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Archive for September, 2007

Fall is Here – Time for Air Duct Cleaning and Dryer Vent Cleaning

By Dave Trosdahl on September 22nd, 2007

Today is the last day of summer, so that means tomorrow must be the first day of the air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning season. Although anytime is a good time to clean your dyer vent or your air ducts, it seems that most people prefer fall. If you are one of those people, you might want to get on the air duct cleaning schedule sooner than later. Our company has already seen a “spike” in business and we expect to have a very busy fall.

Perhaps, the sudden increase in people wanting their air ducts or dryer vents cleaned is because it was so hot this summer. Even though an efficient air duct cleaning technician doesn’t leave the outside doors open for very long at all, I am sure that homeowners still don’t like the thought of seeing their air conditioning dollars floating out the door. The same holds true in really cold weather.

Either way, now is the perfect time for duct work cleaning, a thorough furnace tune-up and dryer vent cleaning. Having it done this time of year will give you the piece of mind and the added insurance you need, so that you can know you have taken all the right steps to prepare for winter.

If you live in the Maryland, Virginia or Washington D.C. area please call: 443-927-2400
If you live in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul (Twin Cities) area please call: 651-653-4704

We will be adding additional air duct cleaning service locations nation wide, so check back often. We would eventually like to offer everyone from Florida to California and from New York to Arizona our $99 “Whole-House” Air Duct Cleaning Special!

Home Energy Saving Tips From Washington

By Dave Trosdahl on September 19th, 2007

Here are 5 energy saving tips from Energy Ideas Clearing House based in Washington. They have many tips from using the right light bulbs to refrigeration savings. We have published the ones directly related to Heating and cooling.

Home Energy Saving Tips.

  • Lower your thermostat at night and whenever the house is not occupied.
  • Tune up the furnace annually.
  • Replace furnace filters. The dirtier they are, the harder the fan furnace works. Clean filters are essential for heat pumps – airflow is critical and can add years to the life of your heat pump.
  • Insulate and seal ducts in attics, crawl spaces, garages and other unheated areas-potential big energy savings.
  • Furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioning and water eaters all have high efficiency models available and should be considered when replacing these appliances. – Replace conventional oil burner (oil furnace) with a more efficient flame-retention burner.
  • To read all of the home energy savings tips (even those unrelated to your heating and cooling system) visit energyideas.org. Additionally, you might want to search the entire Duct-911.com website for many heating and cooling, dryer vent cleaning tips and air duct cleaning tips.

    Why You SHOULD Spend Only $99 on Duct Cleaning

    By Dave Trosdahl on September 11th, 2007

    Dear Dale W. of Maryland,

    I received your comment today (busy hanging out with my kids this weekend, sorry for the delay), but thank you for your input. I have decided to publish your comment as I think it desperately needs addressing. Your comment is as follows:

    Comment:

    The 99.00 deal is a rip-off. National air duct cleaners of america recommend cunsumers pay 400.00 – 1,000.00 dollars for a whole house duct cleaning and that it should take 4-6 hours on the average home. duct911.com will spend 1/2 hour to 45 minutes in your home. remember you get what you pay for and if you want it done correct a 99.00 duct cleaning is not gonna do it for you.

    First off, it’s clear that you feel NADCA is the ultimate authority on air duct cleaning and we at Duct-911.com (and a host of others) do not. You are also referring to a very old article published by the EPA. I think you will agree (but perhaps not like), that prices have dropped since 1997. Competition has developed and as usual, prices have lowered. Much like the first computer which I purchased cost $2,500. Today I could buy one for that is lightening fast with way more features and pay a fraction of that price.

    The problem here is that you and several other NADCA followers, feel there is only one definition of clean. I’m sure that if you were a vacuum cleaner salesperson you would insist that if anyone paid less than $800 for a vacuum it should not be called a vacuum. The fact of the matter is, the customer has the right to choose what their individual definition of clean is.

    For some, yes, that is to have someone thoroughly clean ever nook and cranny of their duct work (and even components which don’t need cleaning), spend 3-4 hours in their home, and then charge them $400-$600-$800+ or more.

    For others, they want their air ducts clean enough so that the majority of the dust and dirt is out and what little is left, won’t be disturbed by the furnace fan. These folks are only willing to spend $99. Anymore, and they will go without cleaning their air ducts at all. Seriously now, isn’t “good cleaning” better than “no cleaning”? To use my earlier example, wouldn’t cleaning your carpet with a $29 carpet sweeper be better than doing nothing at all until you can afford an $800 top-of-the-line, self-propelled, programmable vacuum with a built in cd player?

    Finally, there are the folks (the vast majority) that want their duct work “well cleaned”. Not perfect, but close to it. For those folks we offer the 3-step, brush, air-sweep, vacuum method. They can expect to pay less than $200 ($49 more if they include the furnace). This method cleans their air duct work very well and everyone is happy…except the loyal NADCA follower that is. Their way is the best, and by gosh, anyone who thinks other wise is a crazy!

    Look, I think your method has a place. In fact, if someone has a severe mold problem, we back away and send them to you. But lets be honest, what percentage of customers have a severe mold problem. Perhaps a little in their drip pan, and we’ll take care of that. Why is it that you can’t except that, across the USA, there are differing opinions on the definition of clean. One person brings their car to a detail shop, the next person washes it by hand, while yet another drives their car through a touch free carwash and calls it good. So who’s right? We say they all are. After all, it’s a free country.

    Please don’t insist that everyone must bring their car to a detail shop or leave it dirty until you can afford cleaning it the best way. And please don’t insist that everyone should spend $400 – $1,000 to have their air ducts cleaned. True, there are some “scammers” out there. Every industry has them. At Duct-911.com we have been very careful to work with only highly ethical and well trained air duct cleaners and we will continue to strive for the very best from all of our duct cleaners.

    Respectfully,

    Dave Trosdahl

    Owner

    Duct-911.com

    A Few Tips to Keep Your Furnace & A/C Running Efficiently

    By Dave Trosdahl on September 8th, 2007

    With winter quickly approaching, here are a few tips to help you keep your heating and cooling system running at its most efficient level:

    • Keep your thermostat at a constant temperature, even when no one is home.
    • Change the pleated filters inside your furnace every month or as required.
    • If you have an electronic filter, keep it clean. When dirty, it can create ozone and irritate allergies.
    • Check the outside condensing system regularly for any grass clippings or leaves stuck to the coil.
    • Have the system serviced every spring & fall by a reputable HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) service company.

    Following these simple steps should help keep your home more comfortable and your utility bills lower.

    What to do When the Electricity Goes Off

    By Dave Trosdahl on September 2nd, 2007

    Today, with the electric service in most areas being as dependable as it is, some customers response to no power is total confusion. Electric companies say this is even more true in good weather. The fact of the matter is, the power can go off at any time for any number of reasons.

    First of all, relax, it’s going to be okay. Even if it is the dead of winter, it takes hours for your house to cool off enough to cause any damage. Under normal circumstances, in winter, your furnace might not run for long periods of time. Besides, electrical power is typically restored in minutes, so other than being an inconvenience, there is usually no need for alarm. In the summer months you will simply be without refrigeration and air conditioning for a few minutes or hours. Simply limit the number of times you open outside doors and try not to open the refrigerator or freezer more than necessary. Everything will be back to normal in no time.

    Then next thing you should do is check your main breaker or fuse panel. This is usually located somewhere in the house within eight feet of your electric meter, somewhere in the house (like the basement or utility room), or else outside on the side of the house or on a pole. If you don’t know where your main panel is, find it now. You can also listen to your meter for a slight humming noise to determine if electricity is flowing through it.

    If your home is being monitored by an electronic alarm system, and you have been alerted of an outage, you should first verify that an outage exists before you call. Once you have established that your fuses are good and that the main breaker is on, then you should call your electric utility company. You should have your physical address ready as well as your phone number and ideally, your account number. If you live in a rural area, it doesn’t hurt to mention which village or township you are in either.

    Most electric companies have people available to answer the phones at any time of the day or night. If you need to hold, be patient. If there has been a power outage, many people are perhaps calling to report the same problem. If you see or hear something which you think might have contributed to the power outage, like a tree on the line, sparking or the loud sound of a transformer being hit by lightening, you should share this information with the dispatcher. It will help the linemen isolate the problem.

    To prepare for a possible power outage, have some flashlights and candles ready. If you live in a cold climate consider buying a portable kerosene heater. If you have these items, know where your main electrical panel is and how to tell if a fuse is blown or a breaker has been tripped, other than being temporarily inconvenienced, you will be just fine.