Investing in air duct cleaning is a smart move because the crud that builds up out of sight is bad for your health and your bank balance. The accumulation of contaminants, such as bacteria, mold spores, dirt, dust, dust mites, vermin droppings, and more, will be circulated in the air you breathe. This material will degrade the airflow which lowers the performance and energy efficiency and drives up your energy bill. But, when you’ve decided to get the air ducts cleaned, how can you know that you’re hiring the right contractors?
Professional vs, Amateur
Before we begin, it’s important to mention that this task is best left to professional HVAC air duct cleaners. Why? Well, it’s a laudable goal to develop DIY skills to work on your home, but it’s easy to make mistakes in the HVAC system. Much of the duct work is hidden and hard to access without special cleaning tools and very powerful vacuum units.
There is a specific process for thorough cleaning deep in the duct work which will sanitize the surfaces. Many people are surprised at how fresh their air smells after a professional duct cleaning, which usually takes around 3-5 hours to complete. Compare this to a “handyman” that is in the home for about an hour to vacuum the vents and spray a little disinfectant in the ducts. One approach works, and the other is simply a waste of money.
A professional duct cleaner can also identify problems as they work and make minor repairs which will hold for a short while until you get the ducts repaired or replaced. In this article, we present seven questions that you need to ask a duct cleaning contractor before you hire them.
1. How Long Has Your Company Been in Business?
We understand that everyone has to start somewhere, but you can tell a lot about a company by how long it has been in business. A new company may have less experienced people and their reputation is an unknown quantity. The company should have been around long enough to gain experience, and they need to be in compliance with state, EPA, and NADCA standards.
2. Do You Have Customer References?
When you deal with a company that has a well established track record of customer satisfaction, it’s reassuring. When you hire a contractor to work in your home, it’s important to ask for references and they should be happy to share them with you. Check out the company website, and there should be some online reviews to read. When people have a positive experience with a company, they are more than happy to share their opinions. You want to hire an air duct cleaning contractor that’s punctual, tidy, and trustworthy.
3. Do You Have Liability Insurance?
If the HVAC technician is injured when working on your property or the home is accidentally damaged in some way, you don’t want to be stuck with a big bill. Reputable air duct cleaning companies have liability insurance, and they will be happy to supply you with proof of that. When you hire a company without adequate insurance, you are risking your home and savings. Always ask a contractor for written proof that they have liability insurance.
4. Is the Quoted Price Accurate?
There are unreputable companies in the air duct cleaning field, and it’s important to be wary of potential scams. Certain companies will entice a potential customer with a low fee, and then they will deliver an incomplete job. They may recommend costly and unnecessary extra work to pad out their bill. According to data released by HomeAdvisor, the cost of air duct cleaning will be in the $120-$600 range. The variation in price takes into account a number of factors, such as the size of your home, the extent of the HVAC system, and more. So, be wary of offers that are too good to be true; ask the questions in this article, and you will be less likely to succumb to scams.
5. Which Guidelines Does Your Company Follow?
Both the NADCA and EPA have clearly defined guidelines and standards for air duct cleaning. A NADCA member company has to adhere to strict requirements to join, and this means that the cleaning standards are very high. The EPA does not provide certification for air duct cleaners, but they do provide a post-cleaning checklist. This will break down what you should expect from your air duct cleaning contractor.
6. Do You Use Chemicals or Biocides?
There are harmful contaminants in dirty air ducts, and this situation can be exacerbated if chemicals and biocides are added to the mix. Some chemicals are recommended for air duct cleaning to kill and prevent the future growth of bacteria and mold. If sanitation is required, it’s important to research the options to fully understand the advantages and disadvantages. A reputable air duct contractor will be happy to share this information with you to help you make informed choices.
7. How Will You Keep My Family Safe During the Air Duct Cleaning?
Air ducts can contain a large volume of dirt, dust, and other contaminants that you don’t want to breathe. Cleaning the air ducts can be messy, and you need to protect your family, pets, and home from these contaminants. A good HVAC air duct cleaning contractor will use drop cloths to protect the floors and floor coverings. They will cover the furnishings and add plastic guards to walls and trim to protect them. As the technicians work, they will wear overshoe booties to ensure that they don’t track dust and debris in your home. The air duct cleaning process will take 3-5 hours, and you need to have technicians that respect your home as they are working.
Asking these questions and any others that spring to mind will protect you from scammers and poor quality workmanship. The company should carry out an inspection before and after the cleaning, and they may use a camera system. If you want to schedule air duct cleaning for your home, contact a local HVAC company today.