How to avoid Scam in HVAC Cleaning Business?

Dryer vent cleaning scam
By | December 17, 2023
5 min read

You feel uncertain “what if I overpay?” or “what if I chose a scam?” Let’s review the checklist to make sure you won’t be bothered with uncertainty ever after.

Air duct cleaning at only $50?

Is it even possible? For a quality service nowadays in America?

There are at least three categories of expenses included in a service cost that any client hears after an estimated inspection.

  • Technicians salary
  • Gasoline. We are a local company, but still, some time slots take hours in long traffic jams
  • Equipment usage and props costs. Such as liquid detergent and bags to carry all the dirt out of the house

Quality cleaning services vs. ones of a low service cost. They compete because our brain (1) perceives the dollars saved as earned, (2) and happily makes a list of things that you can buy with the money saved.

Nobody likes to overpay. The desire to save is natural. Therefore we have Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays. But there are things and services where it is not worth saving. For $ 100, you can hire a shady technician without insurance. You will not know whether he cleaned the ventilation and whether you will have to re-book the service after. We do not save on medical services or baby food, but we save on air for some reason.

Step 1. Make sure you checked the followings

  1. Does a company you’re considering specialize in Air Duct, Dryer Vent Cleaning, Chimney Sweep, or any particular service you’ve requested?
    Fraud businesses continually advertise duct cleaning as one of included in their hundred-plus list of services. It can be carpet and upholstery cleaning, grout and pressure washing, and a dozen more options. But you know, no one can specialize in everything!
  2. How long has the contractor been selling ductwork cleaning services?
    Some companies have 15 years of experience, but they are just newbies as for the specific service. Advertising might imply they’ve been cleaning ducts for many years, which is not necessarily true. You can always check their social media and company info on platforms like Yelp or Homeadvisor.
  3. Are technicians full-time employees of the company you chose?
    Companies often subcontract independent contractors, so you’ll have no idea who is about to come to your house. Beware of poorly trained technicians. They use cheap, inefficient equipment. Customarily, they do cleaning within 30 min and might not even show the before-after pictures.
  4. It’s time to check the reviews
    Go to Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List or simply use Google reviews.

Step 2. Ok. Great! You said “yes” and got an estimate

Scam varies, so what you might hear option A or option B after the estimate

We inspected your ducts and vents. Let’s say the cleaning will take about 1,5 hours, and after we replace the blower, plus provide the mold removal service, the final bill will be $1249.

You can thank them now and wish them a good day.

All right. We inspected your ducts and vents. 79$ per 7 ducts, and the whole cleaning will take about 35 min.

Multiple duct cleaning takes time – from 2,5 to 4 hours, using proper equipment, not 45 minutes. Depending on its size and complexity, you should expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $700 for a complete system cleaning.

The job is done. You should be happy, right? But it seems like the technician barely knows the definition of “the system is clean.”

Hey, we cleaned your system” they say.

When cleaning the return side of the HVAC system, connecting a vacuum to it is a must. Poorly trained air duct cleaners always ignore the return trunk line and the return drop, which in the end didn’t get cleaned at all! Poorly trained air duct cleaners will use the blower on your furnace, which will help pull the dirt down to the filter but not get rid of it.

Ask them to provide the before after photo evidence

Trustful services use remote photography to document inside ducts conditions. All portions of the system should be visibly clean; you should not be able to detect any debris with the naked eye. Request the photos, if the answer is “no”, then this may indicate a problem with the job.

If a service provider fails to follow proper duct cleaning procedures, duct cleaning can cause indoor air problems. For example, an inadequate vacuum collection system can release more dust, dirt, and other contaminants than if you had left the ducts alone. A careless or inadequately trained service provider can damage your ducts or heating and cooling system, possibly increasing your heating and air conditioning costs or forcing you to undertake difficult and costly repairs or replacements.

the EPA says

Beware of the HVAC scam!
Always ask questions to be sure you’ve made the right choice.

The founder, CEO, and author of articles for the Green Ductors blog. Dedicated to his work, Dmytro strives to make people more aware of the importance of maintaining the best possible air quality. By treating readers like friends, he communicates even the most complex information in an easy-to-understand way to make your reading experience not only useful but also enjoyable. Check out the articles written by the hand of our founder Dmytro.

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