Many duct cleaning services are advertising in the media these days, but many of these companies are gimmicky and some of them are outright scam artists. This makes homeowners weary of having the job done. The truth is that the service is absolutely essential for your HVAC system – you just have to know what you’re getting for the money and whom to avoid.
Do A Background Check On Your Service Provider
Make sure you know who you’re dealing with. Do a background check on the company through the BBB and make sure that you know how many unresolved complaints there are, how many total complaints, and what the general rating of the company is.
Outside of that, you should probably check with the National Air Duct Cleaners Association to make sure that the company’s techs are trained and certified to safely evaluate, clean, and restore HVAC units.
Get a Referral
Getting a referral is always a good idea. But, make sure the person you’re getting the referral from is someone you trust but who is also competent to give the referral. Many times, a customer might actually believe that they did business with a good company when, in fact, they were suckered into a “deal” that wasn’t.
It’s the old “ignorance is bliss” cliche. If the tech was friendly and the price seemed reasonable, some consumers won’t bother checking to make sure the tech did the job correctly. A person who just had their ductwork cleaned, for example, might be happy right now with the job.
But, in three months when the HVAC system is dirty again because the tech neglected to clean the entire system and only did the ducts, that customer may be singing a new tune.
You could also cross reference any referral you get with sites like Angie’s List. It’s not a perfect way to do things, but it works.
You might find recommendations for companies like Byrd, that can install a HVAC system and maintain it. But, you still need to do the background check and an interview before you agree to any work.
Don’t Fall For Gimmicks
Don’t fall for $79 “whole house cleaning” specials or other gimmicks. A company should offer a full-service cleaning on every job, especially if you haven’t had it done for more than a year. If a tech comes out to the house, and tries to get you to sign on that day because there is a “one day special,” skip it and move onto another company. These kinds of “specials” are rarely a good deal. It’s just another marketing gimmick.
Verify That The Job Is Done
You should be offered a complete visual inspection of the HVAC system when the tech is done. This should be done in person or by remote camera. If you aren’t offered an inspection, this is something to be concerned about.
Before you pay for the service upon completion, demand to see the ductwork and system so you can verify it’s actually clean.
Joshua V. Reader is a home heating contractor. He likes writing about his experiences in the field. You can find his articles mainly on DIY and homeowner sites.