Keeping your air ducts clean and in good working order is one of the most important aspects of home maintenance. Failure to keep the air ducts clean can, and often does, result in an overworked furnace, unexpected breakdowns and elevated energy bills. Dirty air ducts are also a major cause of respiratory problems including allergies and asthma. But while home air duct cleaning is a crucial aspect of home maintenance it’s not always easy to pick a company to perform the work for you. That’s because the nature of the work - little understood, performed out of sight - tends to attract all kinds of bogus, self-appointed ‘experts’ who know no more about air ducts than we do about aircraft engines. So, how do you separate the air duct cleaning pros from the frauds? Below we’ll provide 5 ways.
How to Find the Right Home Air Duct Cleaning Company
- Their BBB Rating - The Better Business Bureau exists to help you learn about the companies you’re considering doing business with. A BBB page is a place where people who have actual experience with a particular company will chime in with their opinion and rate it based on a number of different criteria. It’s an important tool for consumers and homeowners and it’s where your search for an air duct cleaner should start. If the folks offering to clean your ducts don’t have a BBB page you should take a pass. Likewise, if they do have a BBB listing but most of the feedback is negative and the overall rating is low (B or lower), you should also take a pass. Steve’s Carpet Care in Boulder has an A+ BBB rating. That’s exactly the kind of rating you want to see when choosing a home air duct cleaning company.
- References - If the company or individual offering to clean your air ducts cannot or will not provide references you should take a pass. This is “Hiring a Contractor 101” and should never be dismissed or ignored. If they can’t or won’t provide you with references there must be a reason. Either they A) don’t have any experience and so don’t have any former customers to refer you to or B) they don’t want you talking to their former customers, which should be a huge red flag. References are a vital tool for consumers to verify the claims made by a contractor regarding their experience and ability. No references, no business. No exceptions. Simple as that.
- How Long Have They Been in Business? - Sometimes well-intentioned, honest, hard-working folks will offer to clean your air ducts for you. They may even have HVAC training. However, if they have never actually gotten their hands dirty cleaning air ducts before or you are their 3rd of 4th customer you should probably take a pass. Sure, everyone has to start somewhere. But do you really want someone to undergo on the job training on your house, with the health of your loved ones on the line? If they don’t have much practical experience, but you felt they were basically honest and trustworthy, take their card and try calling them next time you need your ducts clean. If they are dedicated to the work they’ll be there to answer the phone and have a lot more experience under their belt.
- Is Duct Cleaning Just Something They do on the Side - Some companies suddenly become home air duct cleaning experts the minute you ask them if they can do it. “Air ducts? Yeaaahhh…. sure… we can do that”. Basically, if the cleaning and maintenance of air ducts is not an important component of someone’s business you should take a pass. There’s too much at stake to trust the job to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. You wouldn’t let the guy who mows your lawn put a new roof on your house if it’s not something he does regularly. Likewise you shouldn’t let the landscape contractor clean your air ducts unless that service is part of his essential business model. If you’re not sure about a company, go to their website. If you don’t see “Air ducts” on their list of services you should take a pass.
- Do They Try the Old Bait and Switch? - If you bring someone in to discuss cleaning your air ducts and 10 minutes after the conversation starts they’re trying to sell you wallpaper or telling you that you really need a new furnace (which they’ll install of course) you should thank them for their time and say goodbye. Lots of unscrupulous contractors attempt to prey on the unsuspecting by dazzling them with techno-speak in an attempt get them to buy something they don’t need. If someone tries the old bait and switch on you, take a pass.
The Bottom Line
Home air duct cleaning is an essential component of home maintenance, but it’s not the kind of thing that can be done properly by just anyone. Make sure you choose Steve’s to clean your ducts this year and rest easy knowing it will be done right