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Beware of Duct Cleaning Scams, Not All Duct Cleaners are the Same:

Here are a couple links for a recent story that Dateline NBC did on Duct Cleaning. The first link is the episode that aired on Dateline. The second link is the same story in text version.

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If you are going to pay someone to clean your ductwork, please make sure they are going to do it right, and for the amount of money they told you.

Duct Cleaning

Commonly Asked Questions

1. How do I know if my duct work needs cleaning?
2. If I answered yes.
3. What criteria should I use in selecting a HVAC System Cleaner?
4. Why should I choose DDC?
5. What is NADCA?
6. Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned?

7. How often should residential HVAC system be cleaned?
8. Pre and Post Cleaning Checklist
9. How long should it take to clean a typical residential HVAC System?
10. What is a normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?
11. Copy of NADCA Certification
12. Copy of Liability Insurance

1. How do I know if my duct work needs cleaning?

  • If you don’t remember ever having your ductwork cleaned or if you haven’t within the past 5 years, it’s probably time. If your ductwork has been cleaned in the past, you will typically find access doors installed on the supply and return plenums near the furnace.
  • Remove a register grill – ones on the floor or near the floor are easiest to remove (often no screws) and peer inside with a flashlight – check several areas for a representative sample.
  • Do people in the house suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems?
  • Do you experience nausea, headaches, itchy eyes, etc. while at home?
  • Do you have pets in the home and/or excessive dust on furniture and horizontal surfaces?

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2. If I answered yes….

  • Never cleaning your ductwork is like changing your oil filter without changing your oil. I’m sure you change you furnace filter often – what about everything leading to the furnace filter?
  • Mold needs three things to survive: Moisture, Nutrients (such as dirt, dust, animal dander, cellulose construction debris from building), and a Surface to grow on. Your ductwork can become an unknown breeding ground for fungi, germs, and mold.
  • Studies have confirmed that contaminated air ducts spread some disease, including salmonella, strep, and legionnaires disease.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency claims that indoor air has been found up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. We spend 60% to 90% of our time indoors.
  • Better Health Magazine states “1 out of 6 people who suffer from allergies do so as a direct result of the fungi and bacteria in the air duct systems.”
  • Reduced energy bills? Research by the EPA had demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems generally operate more efficiently than dirty systems.

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3. What criteria should I use in selecting a HVAC System Cleaner?

Interview as many local contractors as you can. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quotation. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:

  • Make sure the company is a member in good standing of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).
  • See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
  • Inquire whether the company is in good standing with your local Better Business Bureau.
  • Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
  • Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
  • Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
  • Avoid advertisements for "$99 whole house specials" and other sales gimmicks.
  • Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours. Get references from neighbors if possible.

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4. Why should I choose DDC…?

  • Certified staff by NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association). NADCA members have signed a Code of Ethics stating that they will do everything possible to protect the consumer, and follow NADCA Standards for cleaning to the best of their ability. Air duct cleaning companies must meet stringent requirements to become a NADCA member.
  • Our company uses the most advanced H.E.P.A. (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filtered Air Duct Cleaning System available. Our filters are identical to those used to decontaminate air of asbestos fibers and mold spores. It is manufactured to meet or exceed OSHA, EPA, and NADCA Standards for cleaning the air of nuisance dust.
  • We’ll show you. We take before and after pictures to leave with you and we’ll show different areas of the system with our boroscope.
  • Fully Insured with Assurance Brokers Ltd. (Phone @ 618-692-9800).
  • Professional and courteous staff making your experience an enjoyable one.

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5. What is NADCA? Click here

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6. Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned? Click here

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7. How often should residential HVAC system be cleaned?

Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the home owner. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

  • Smokers in the household.
  • Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
  • Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
  • Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
  • After home renovations or remodeling.
  • Prior to occupancy of a new home.

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8. Pre and Post Cleaning Checklist. Click here

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9. How long should it take to clean a typical residential HVAC System?

The amount of time it takes to clean a residential HVAC system depends on many variables such as the size of the home, the number of systems, the extent of the contamination and the number of HVAC cleaners performing the job. Ask at least two contractors to inspect your system and give you a time estimate for your particular system. This will give you a general idea of how long the job should take as well as an idea of how thoroughly the contractor plans to do the job.

A typical 2,000 sq. ft. home averages 4-5 man hours to complete the cleaning.

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10. What is a normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?

The Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region, and level of contamination” and type of duct material.

Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that making sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning – such claims are unsubstantiated. Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their permission.

(If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal, and state elected officials to demand legislation.)

DDC rates start at $375 for a typical home in the Madison are under 1,500 sq. ft. Please call or email us with your home's square footage and location for a free estimate.

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11. Copy of NADCA Certification Click here to download (PDF)

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12. Copy of Liability Insurance Click here to download (PDF)

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