Every Fall and Winter, the air-vent cleaning scams appear once again. Households can be charged hundreds of unnecessary dollars for “additional services” without some basic knowledge. Here are three facts to save you time and money.
First, reputable companies do not conduct home visits prior to cleaning your air vents. The purpose of such visits is to gain entry to someone’s home to recommend additional services such as mold or bacterial remediation, or cleaning of the furnace fan and trunk cords – all at additional cost. In fact, reputable companies already include cleaning of the furnace fan and trunk cords along with air vents. These companies have pre-set prices based on number of air vents, and whether your home is considered large or small.
Second, there is no legitimate “swab” test of mold in home air ventilating systems that delivers a result in 15-20 minutes. The only trustworthy test of mold in the air vents is a robotic “duct eye” camera that allows customers to see the mold directly. No reputable company will recommend mold remediation without showing it to the customer firsthand.
Utah’s dry climate makes a true case of mold hard to come by. One local company told us they had not seen a true case of mold in an air ventilating system even once in the past five years – yet they frequently charge customers for the diagnostic test. Another company acknowledged it to be “really rare,” saying they had seen only one or two legitimate instances.
An industry expert out of North Carolina told us that “your nose” is the most accurate mold test. The best sign of mold is a persistent musty odor. The most likely culprit is not your air vents, but rather damaged air conditioning coils that need servicing to prevent mold from growing and then blowing into your home through the air vents.
Third, avoid any companies that lack agitation systems that brush or whip the dust off the inside of air vents before vacuuming it out.
Also, the industry standard recommendation for home air-vent cleaning is once every five years, and once every three-four years for homes with furnaces (since furnaces build up dust more quickly than electrical or other heating systems.)
Armed with knowledge, your air vents can be cleaned without your wallet being cleaned out at the same time.
Avoiding Scams in Bountiful