Residential Duct Cleaning Services: A Waste of Money?

A famous New Yorker cartoon says, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” How can you trust pieces you see on the internet? One way is to check the sources used. Articles can cite reliable sources, like universities, government agencies, scientists and research organizations. Articles can also cite unreliable sources, like the same website, blogs, and social media. Today we will use only authoritative sources to look at Residential Duct Cleaning from an unbiased point of view.

Beware of the Bait and Switch in Residential Duct Cleaning

Low prices advertised for air duct cleaning usually indicate a bait-and-switch tactic, says Angie’s List. A charge of $80 will end up costing hundreds more when the low-ball contractor amazingly “discovers” mold in your air ducts.

Angie’s List advice: use a professional air duct company for Residential Duct Cleaning that is certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.

Experts at Today’s Homeowner point to five criteria for Residential Duct Cleaning:

  1. Renovation — If you are having your house torn apart and reassembled to join the 21st century, the dust, dirt, possible asbestos and lead paint stirred up by the renovation may make duct cleaning a wise move
  2. Pets or Pests — Ducts showing evidence of rodents, or ducts clogged by pet hair and dander, should be professionally cleaned
  3. Mold — Be careful; we are not talking about a spot or two of mold (of any color); if you see substantial black mold growth, consider professional air duct cleaning
  4. Elderly; infirm; invalids; infants; ill family members — Anyone in the house with a compromised, sensitive or developing respiratory system deserves clean ductwork
  5. Airborne pollutants — Particulates like dander and ground up insect parts, or volatiles like strong chemical odors, cooking odors, or irritating fumes all are reasons to get your ducts cleaned

What the EPA Says About Residential Duct Cleaning…

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, “Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts.”

The EPA goes on to say, though, with their own emphasis, that “no evidence suggests that such cleaning would be detrimental, provided that it is done properly.”

If you and your family would feel better knowing rodent droppings, insect wings and mold are not hiding in your home’s air ducts, use a qualified professional with the right equipment, training and procedures to do the job correctly.

What to Watch For From Your Service Provider…

How can you be sure the job is done correctly? The goal of Residential Duct Cleaning is to remove the build-up within rigid or flexible air ducts in your home without pushing the contaminants back into your home. This requires industrial-strength vacuums, sealing off registers and vents, visually inspecting ducts before and after cleaning, and providing a written documentation of the exact work performed.

Ask for evidence the cleaner is certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. Some states require air duct cleaners to hold a state license (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Texas all do; your state may also).  For your own protection, make certain the contractor has liability insurance and a physical address.  After the job is done, visually inspect convenient areas (inside registers and vents; at your HVAC system’s air plenum) to see if they are clean. Homeowners must each decide for themselves if air duct cleaning is right for them, but if it is done, it should be done correctly.

For over 20 years, we have been helping people who are working on improving indoor air quality with Indoor Environmental Surveys and Ventilation Systems Cleaning by providing high quality workmanship with unparalleled customer service to both residential and commercial customers. Our staff of professionals are dedicated to serving your specific needs from the moment you contact us until the completion of your remediation project. Visit our website or contact us today for more information or to schedule your mold remediation consultation.

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