Hiring a professional duct cleaning company isn’t the priciest investment you can make in your home, but it’s definitely not dirt cheap, either. Depending on what region of the country you live in and how large your home is, a good duct cleaner will charge you anywhere between $300 and a few thousand to do the job right.
But let’s say that you’ve done your due diligence. You’ve looked up certified duct cleaners on the National Air Duct Cleaners Association website (NADCA), you’ve read reviews, called around and asked questions, and budgeted in advance to hire the best. The company has come and completed the work, but you still find yourself wondering if the work they did was worth the money and if your home is really clean. Or maybe the work hasn’t been done yet and you’re already a little worried about how you’ll know that you got the value you were promised.
There are a few things you can do, both before and after the work is completed, to make sure that the money you pay to have your ductwork cleaned is money well spent:
Do this before your ductwork is cleaned:
- Check the NADCA website to locate certified air duct cleaners in your area.
- Call those companies and ask them what kind of equipment they use (for a rundown on the good, the bad, and the ugly of duct cleaning equipment check out this blog post).
- While you have the duct cleaning companies on the phone, ask them to explain the cleaning process. If they can’t explain to you what they do, then you should be skeptical of the company.
- Double check to make sure you aren’t hiring a scammer.
- Take note of the current state of your vents and ducts throughout your home. How dirty and dusty are they right now? You can compare this with how clean they are after the cleaning is complete.
- How often are you dusting on average? You can compare this to see if the frequency is decreased after the cleaning is complete.
- Check for reviews and endorsements from agencies and companies. (For example, Hi Tech Duct Cleaning has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau, has excellent reviews, has been featured on Dateline NBC, and is regularly featured on Gary Sullivan’s “At Home” radio show on Cincinnati’s WKRC station).
Do this after the work is completed:
- Ask your duct cleaner to take photos or a video of the inside of the ductwork to show you that it’s cleaned.
- Make sure that they cut adequate access holes in the ductwork and also patched them after they were done.
- Ask to see the inside of their vacuum. If your ductwork had a lot of debris you may be surprised at what came out!
- Note any decrease in the amount of dusting you have to do in the weeks after the ductwork is cleaned.
- Note any decrease in allergic reactions of the people living in your home, less build-up on furnace filters, and higher overall efficiency of your HVAC system.
These are easy things that the average homeowner can do to make sure that their hard-earned dollars and cents are spent on a professional company who will do quality work. But having said that, you should also go into this knowing that even the most professional duct cleaner in the world cannot promise you that you will never have to dust again. Or that you won’t have lint in your bathroom (seriously, it comes off the toilet paper) or hair in the carpet from the pets that live in your home. That’s just life.
All homes and living situations are different and this can lead to slightly different outcomes. But the bottom line is that the inside of your ductwork should be clean and sanitized when you are done. Follow the tips above, and it will be.