Are your counters and tabletops dusty just a day or two after cleaning? Do your allergies seem worse when you’re at home? The air ducts – the metal tubing that connects your ventilation system – may be to blame. Keeping them clean is a job for a professional, but make sure you hire the right one. It’s easy to get scammed. Here’s more in today’s Angie’s List report.
We all want great service at a low price, but when the price is too low, your scam detector should start beeping.
“You know a deal to clean your air ducts for 50 or 60 dollars might not be what you expect. Typically air duct cleaning costs about 300 dollars and takes two to four hours to complete,” says Angie Hicks.
“It’s simply a bait-and-switch. They get into the house and I can tell you exactly what they’re going to tell you: they’re going to find mold and the price is going to go from $59 to $800 immediately,” says Dave Adams, an air duct cleaning professional.
Mold scams are common. Unscrupulous contractors may even show you evidence they actually brought in themselves. Some come extra prepared.
“They’ll say it’s not safe to stay in the home. I’ve even seen it where they actually carry coupons for hotels so that they tell them to leave the house. Very, very rarely, if ever, does a family need to leave the house if there is a little bit of mold found inside the air ducts,” said Adams.
Angie says to avoid anyone who pressures you into immediate action and to look for someone certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. A good contractor will be happy to show you the completed work, even what’s been removed. That’s visual evidence you can trust.
“If someone tries to scare you, then please ask them to leave. What I tell people is: there’s enough mold in this world for me to make a living. I don’t need to scare anyone and I don’t need to lie to anyone,” said Adams.
Angie recommends having your ducts cleaned every three to five years if you’re in a smoke-free, pet-free home. Allergy sufferers should consider a cleaning every one to three years. If you’re having remodeling work done, make sure your contractor properly protects the duct work so the dust and debris doesn’t get sucked in and spread throughout your home.