While there are awesome professional HVAC cleaning services out there, many people will still fall victim to scams. Anytime a company uses scare tactics that claim your home might be “unhealthy,” homeowners run the risk of being frightened into emptying their checkbooks.
Here are some tips for avoiding scams the next time you get your air ducts cleaned:
- Complete Cleaning: Don’t settle for just having your ducts cleaned. You will want to make sure they are also cleaning the unit after the ducts have been cleaned. The cleaning process should only take a few hours. If the contractor is in and out in less than an hour, they probably didn’t do a thorough job.
- If It Seems Too Good Too Be True It Probably Is: When you come across an ad for “whole house clean $59” it is a scam. Either the technician is going to show up with a shop vac, or when they arrive, that “whole house clean for $59” will turn into $1200 bill full of hidden fees. A good duct cleaning job should cost on average between $300 to $500
- Get Quotes: You should call at least 3 companies to get a quote from. From each of them also request a written copy of the price and what the cleaning will include.
- Are They Certified?: The company you choose should be certified with the National Air Duct Cleaners Association(NADCA). Companies that are certified by NADCA are trained and must be in compliance to properly clean your HVAC system. You wouldn’t want a mechanic with no certifications fixing your car, so it should be the same with your heating and cooling system. To find a NADCA certified company in your area, visit their website at nadca.com.
- References: During your search, ask your friends, family and neighbors who they have used in the past and what they thought about them. I also recommend checking out review sites like Google, Homestars and even Facebook. I find customers are extremely honest when they write about a company on these pages.
- Don’t be fooled: One thing to keep in mind when hunting for a good duct cleaning company is the return vents (The big white vents in the wall). These vents are most likely to be the dirtier than your heat vents since they pull air from the home and return it to the furnace. With this in mind, avoid companies that don’t clean these vents as well.
These precautionary steps will minimize the chances of you getting scammed by a duct cleaning contractor.