There’s nobody who wants to pay more when you can get the same thing done for a bargain. Nonetheless, remember, there is a fine line between a bargain price and getting scammed. You must have seen really low figures for duct cleaning like $75 and even as high as $800. And the first thought that would have entered your mind would’ve been – Why pay more when you can get it for less?
Be Wry Of Low Ball Figures
The lowball figures are the first sign of a scam. No legit company will charge that low for a work that takes 3 to 4 hours to complete. Many homeowners have fallen prey to such scammers. They quote a very low price to entice the homeowner, then do a rapid job within half an hour to 40 minutes and that too, without any proper equipment. To be quite honest, a DIY air duct cleaning will give you far better results than these unethical duct cleaning companies. In their urgency to finish the job in minimum possible time, you may find out later that your ducts got torn or were never cleaned properly in the first place.
Beware Of The Scams
An air duct cleaning company that is not operating ethically will ideally try to sell you their service with a very low figure cupon. The thing to keep in mind is that they use this coupon as a magnet to entice you and enter your home. As soon as they get down to actual cleaning they will find out other problems that will add to the cost. Applying scare tactics and blowing an issue out of proportion is their usual course of action to make you a victim of their scam.
Some unscrupulous companies may even try to use this opportunity to sell you further services that you may have no need for. Their ultimate aim is to extract as much money as they possibly can from an uninformed homeowner.
How Much Does Duct Cleaning Usually Cost?
If you go by the industry standards, HVAC air ducts cleaning will cost you anywhere between $300 to $500. On average, the cost of cleaning a single duct comes to $35. Usually, a home with central heating and cooling would have at least 10 ducts, so the cost of duct cleaning would be around $350.
Factors On Which The Cost Of Duct Cleaning Depends
There are various factors on which the final cost of duct cleaning depends. These are:
1. The number of ducts in the home.
2. Size of the residence.
3. Configuration of the ductwork.
4. The number of furnaces in your home.
5. Ease of access to your HVAC system.
6. Presence of mold in the ducts.
Difference Between A Legit Job And A Contractor Out To Scam You
1. Attention To Safety – A legitimate contractor will pay full attention to the safety standards while a scammer will try to get away with the basics. They don’t really care about their own safety or that of the homeowner.
2. Outdoor Vented Equipment – A legitimate duct cleaning company, uses truck-mounted and high-powered vacuum cleaner. They access the ducts and capture all the dust and debris outside the home so that none of it is released inside. A contractor out to fool you will care notch about the unwanted particles that they release into your home. They don’t have specialized equipment and make do with the regular vacuum cleaner.
3. Thoroughness Of Job – As already stated above, a thorough air duct cleaning job cannot be accomplished in a matter of a few minutes. It may take as long as 3 hours or more. A contractor who performs the job within an hour should raise your red flag. The job they perform will be sub-standard and leave much to be desired. In fact, don’t be too surprised to find out that they just did a superficial cleaning and nothing else.
How Not To Get Scammed
There are a few red flags that you should always look out for. These are:
1. A Very Low Figure – As mentioned already, the job is time-consuming when done thoroughly and with proper care. In no way can it come cheap. That will happen only when someone is trying to take you for a ride.
2. Talk Of Mold – If your AC contractor starts talking about mold infestation in your ducts when there are no obvious signs of water leakage, you better be on guard. Without moisture, there can be no mold growth. On top of that, every mold is not a problem; only certain types are. If there are such mold formations, you need the advice of an expert who deals in such infestations. An air duct cleaning contractor is definitely not that expert.
3. Ask For A Written Checklist – A contractor who has half baked knowledge will never volunteer a written checklist of the tasks that they plan to accomplish through air ducts cleaning. And when you ask for it, they will try to confuse you with words. Come what may, a written checklist is a must-have so that you can guarantee that all the said tasks were completed.
4. License – Unfortunately, not all states have made it mandatory to get the air duct cleaners licensed. However, in some states, it is needed. Florida happens to be one state in which the duct cleaners are required to be licensed by the Department of Business & Professional Regulation or DBPR. So, if you happen to reside in Florida, ask your contractor for a copy of his license.
Words Of Wisdom
Air duct cleaning is a necessary evil to maintain air quality and hygiene in your home. Needless to say, not everyone is geared to do it on their own, and that is why there are professional duct cleaners to handle the job for you. It would be best if you look for an air duct cleaning contractor with a good reputation who is willing to answer all your queries. Don’t get fooled by low costs and sweet words. Choose wisely.