How to avoid HVAC scams

How to choose the right air duct or dryer vent cleaning company? 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?

Let us name you at least 3 points, included in a price, that any air duct cleaning company client hears after an estimate 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;

If we deduct prices of gasoline and equipment usage, who's gonna work at $12 per shift?

Don't skimp on air

We all know the saying "if you buy cheaply, you pay dearly" and we all drown out the voice of reason when it comes to real actions. It turns out, in theory, we're waiting for the best, but in practice, we are guided by the principle of instant profit.

The benefits of a high-quality cleaning contrast with ones of an immediate profit, as our brain perceives dollars saved as the proceeds.

The desire to skimp on is not shameful. But one thing is getting good's on Black Friday and a different one is picking a less trustable service to save more. But are we really saving in that case? If you'd like to know more, check the air pollution situation in the US and the indoor air quality reality in NYC and NJ.

You don't skimp on medical services, favoring price over quality and not on child's nutrition, so why do you skimp on your lungs? Just because others can't see them? Your lungs are your life motors.
Take care of your health and read on to find out how not to run into a scam.

Step 1. Make sure you checked followings

Does a company you're considering specialize in HVAC cleaning?
Fraud businesses always advertise duct cleaning as one included in their long list of services. It can be carpet and upholstery cleaning, grout and pressure washing and a dozen more options.
But remember, no one can specialize in everything!
How long has the contractor been selling ductwork cleaning services?
Some companies have 15 years' experience, but as for the specific service they just are just a newbie. Advertising might imply they've been cleaning ducts for many years, but you know how things are, right?
Are technicians full-time employees of the company you chose?
Companies often subcontract the work to independent contractors, so you'll have no idea who'll come to your house. Apart from that, also beware of poorly trained technicians. They use cheap inefficient equipment. Customarily, they do cleaning (as they call it) within 20 min and might not even show the before-after pictures.
It's time to check the reviews
Go to the 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 can hear after the estimate is option A or option B:
"We inspected your ducts and vents. Let's say the cleaning will take about 4 hours and after we replace one particle, they don't work, plus the mold removal service, the final bill will be $1249"
Better thank them right now and wish a good day.
"All right. We inspected your ducts and vents. 79$ per 7 ducts and the process will take about 45 min."
Multiple duct cleaning takes time - from 2,5 to 4 hours, using proper equipment. Not 45 min. You should expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $700 for a full system cleaning, depending on its size and complexity.
The job is done. You should be happy, right? But 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 will use the blower on your furnace, and that will help to pull the dirt down to the filter, but not to get rid of it.
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!
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 HVAC scam!
Always ask question to be sure you've made the right choice.
We hope you've enjoyed the Escaping the Scam list and the tips will help you pick the contractor wisely.
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