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Archive for the EPA Air Duct Cleaning category

Worried About Having a Bad Duct Cleaning Experience?

By Dave Trosdahl on November 1st, 2007

We don’t blame you for being worried. Anytime you hire a stranger to come into your home it can be a little unnerving. And, as in any industry, there are companies that give our industry a bad rap. As a professional air duct cleaning company, I would like to mention a few things regarding hiring air duct cleaning companies. Check with the BBB, ask for RECENT referrals, join Angie’s List. These should be steps you take whenever you hire a service company to come into your home.

First, you need to understood in advance that $39 for anything is not cost justifiable. Throw that coupon out! Many people do not understand this. These companies have already started out the relationship under false pretenses. When it comes to duct cleaning, If the company is quoting a price it should state “whole-house” (who would partially clean their duct work?). If it does say whole-house, and you don’t agree to any upgrades, write the check out for the coupon amount and not a penny more! They will never pursue it in court, they know they are in the wrong.

Our air duct cleaning company offers a $99 “whole-house” special. It is not at all uncommon for our techs to leave a job with a $99 check. That’s all some people want or need. For others, they want the rotary brush method. That takes longer and we charge $189. Others also want their dryer vents cleaned. That’s another $65. We are not pushy, we show, explain and then let the customer decide. We like to think that we play fair. We don’t mislead you with an artificially low price, nor do we inflate the cost of a rather simple procedure by making it sound very complicated, dangerous, and high tech. We know that some people want this reassurance, we just don’t do it that way. Some shop at Wal-Mart, others want Saks Fifth Avenue.

We like using the “upgrade” method because it saves the customer money. This way, you don’t pay for things they don’t need. For example, if your furnace was just installed, you don’t need a furnace cleaning for one year from the date of install, so why pay for it? If you don’t have central air, a dirty chimney, or a dirty clothes dryer vent, why would you pay a lump sum which includes all that?

Lastly, I disagree with the EPA’s comment that air duct cleaning should take 4-6 hours. Our installers can install new ducts in 6-8 hours! Many of these expensive companies make a big production out of duct cleaning. They are only air ducts! This comes from a guy who has been in the home services/air duct cleaning business for many, many years!

Here’s the big picture.
– Because ducts are made of metal, they are typically much easier to clean than carpeting or fabric.
– No company will send two of their techs to your home for less than $100. When you add up all the expenses, the math doesn’t work. Our company plays the odds. We know that a large percentage of people will want other things cleaned when they see how dirty (and dangerous) the dust or lint build up in their vents can be.
– Read and re-read the coupon. Is their a limit on how many vents? If so, count them and tally it up. does the price include both the hot AND cold air returns, if not, ask how much this will add to the price. Is furnace cleaning included or how about your a/c if you have one?
– Ask the duct cleaning company if they will cover the vents. This will prevent dust from blowing around your home.
– If you want video, you are going to pay. It takes much longer. Again, remember…it’s duct work! Unless you expect to see something, or you are overly curious, or suspect you have a severe mold problem, this is usually just a scheme for duct cleaning companies to increase the overall ticket of their jobs. They will tell you it’s necessary, we think it’s just a gimmick.
– You should be able to tell if they are professionals within the first 15 minutes. If they are anything less than you expect, ask them to leave.

– Visit the bad service forum and read the good and bad experiences of others.

I hope this helps.

Dave Trosdahl

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:


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.


Dave Trosdahl