Trusted Referrals & Accurate Information Regarding Duct Cleaning

If you ultimately decide to have your ducts cleaned, here’s how to hire a responsible company.

WHAT TO AVOID

Don’t hire a company that makes sweeping claims about health benefits or claims to be EPA-certified for duct cleaning: That agency offers no such certification.

Shop for a good price, but avoid companies that advertise specials under $200, or even under $100. Known in the industry as “blow-and-go” outfits, they will likely just hook up a vacuum to part of your duct system and do a poor job. Or use the low price as a bait-and-switch tactic.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Focus your search on contractors who belong to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), a nonprofit trade association. Ask for written proof of a company’s NADCA membership and certification, or use the NADCA website to locate members in your area. NADCA members must subscribe to the NADCA code of ethics. More important, they must employ at least one NADCA-trained-and-certified technician and employ NADCA-approved methods. Members must also carry at least $500,000 in general liability insurance.

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Suggestions for Choosing a Duct Cleaning Service Provider

Do not assume that all duct cleaning service providers are equally knowledgeable and responsible. Talk to at least three different service providers and get written estimates before deciding whether to have your ducts cleaned.

  Visit the National Air Duct Cleaners Association website
  Visit the Better Business Bureau website
 Ask the service provider proof of insurrance
  Request an estimate of the number of hours the job will take
  Written agreement outlining the total cost before work begins

Get several companies to come to your home to perform inspections and provide estimates. Ask them to perform the inspection while you are present. Inspections might consist of only a flashlight and mirrors or involve inserting a video camera into the ducts. Ask them to show you the contamination that would justify having your ducts cleaned.
Confirm that the cleaning will cover the entire system. A cleaning should include supply duct work, return duct work, supply plenum (chamber), return plenum, and all registers and grilles. You may agree, for a reduced price, to exclude the blower fan assembly, heat exchangers, evaporator coils, and collector pans if those are serviced under a maintenance plan with a heating and air-conditioning contractor. But these are the elements most relevant to system efficiency and should be explicitly listed by the duct-cleaning company unless you have agreed to exclude them.
Before agreeing to any work, get written estimates after each inspection. Get the company to agree in writing that it will perform to the standards of NADCA and the EPA.
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