The Dirty Little Secrets About Duct Cleaning
That You Must Know
There has been a great increase in knowledge about how the quality of your indoor air can impact your health in the last 15 years. This new awareness has companies popping up everywhere claiming they have they solution. The following information is written to help educate the marketplace so that the power of choice is in your hands. For news stories on duct cleaning scams click here.
Dirty Secret #1
Many contractors would have you think that duct cleaning is very simple through their advertising. They use the loss leader technique of advertising duct cleanings for $88.00 and when they show up to your home you are left with a bill of $500. The extra charges are “in the fine print”. It is very important when choosing a duct cleaning service provider that they follow proper duct cleaning procedures as recommended by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). According to the EPA: “A careless or inadequately trained service provider can damage your ducts or heating and cooling system, possibly increasing your heating and air conditioning costs or forcing you to undertake difficult and costly repairs or replacement.”
Dirty Secret #2
The world is flooded with advertising claims that duct cleaning will solve your allergies. This is simply not true. Duct cleaning can be a great step to a whole home air cleaning approach and this can certainly provide you with cleaner, fresher and healthier air. Many people will experience greatly reduced allergy symptoms when they are reducing the hazardous compounds (link to 3 hazard levels) in their home. To explore this deeper read about the Allergy Analogy.
Dirty Secret #3
Companies will tell you that you should have your ducts cleaned every 2-5 years. This is not true either. Each home is different and the level of dirt present in your duct system is dependent on several factors. If your return air duct system is not sealed properly you may have dusting piling in form your attic or crawlspace. If you have pets or live in the country where more dust is present, or if you have lots of kids tracking in dirt, all of these things contribute to increased amount of dirt in your duct system. The type of filter that you use in your HVAC system has an impact as well. Bottom line is the only way to know if your ducts require cleaning is by visual inspection. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you have your air ducts, heating and cooling systems inspected first by a Professional Heating and Cooling Contractor. If, after this inspection, you discover that your air ducts have substantial visible mold, dust, dirt, and other contaminants or a musty odor, a professional will recommend duct cleaning. This is especially important if someone in your household suffers from asthma, allergies, or other symptoms that may be related to indoor air pollution. Although duct cleaning alone has never been shown to actually prevent health problems, it is an important step in a whole-house air cleaning strategy.
Dirty Secret #4
The low priced “blow and go” guys will scam the customer into believing that a proper job has been done when their inadequate system and procedures can actually make the problem worse. For example, many duct cleaners are not licensed HVAC contractors and are not qualified to service any of your HVAC equipment. So, they may vacuum out the ducts and vents, but they should not touch any of the component parts of the heating and cooling system. However, these parts are also dirty, which means the job is only half done. This would be like changing the oil in your car without replacing the oil filter. Also, inadequate vacuum systems and not having the proper duct cleaning brushes and tools can release more dust, dirt, and other contaminants than if you had left the ducts alone. The job may be cheap and fast, but it’s just a waste of time and money and can cause additional problems rather than preventing them.
Don’t be fooled by the $200.00 duct cleanings. These “blow and go” guys are usually in and out of your home in less than an hour and a half. This is not enough time to do anything remotely close to a complete job and is a waste of your hard earned dollars.
The EPA states that a duct cleaning service, “providing that it is done properly”, will take 3 to 8 hours and will “range in cost from $450.00 to $1,000.00 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, the climate region, and level of contamination.”
The EPA also says that a properly done “duct cleaning” job should include the cleaning of “all components of the system”. . . and “failure to clean the components of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits.”
You work hard for money! Make sure that the duct cleaning service provider that you choose gives you your money’s worth. Locate a contractor that uses the ToraVac method of cleaning your duct system. Find a Dealer