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Identifying And Avoiding Air Duct Cleaning Scams

From maintaining the roof to fixing the plumbing system, there are so many things that a homeowner needs to think about. And because of all the maintenance required, it can be hard to be aware of every scam out there. Unfortunately, air duct cleaning scams can be quite common across the industry.

Many homeowners tend to forget about the pieces and parts of their houses they can’t see. However, your air ducts – like everything else – require consistent maintenance to ensure that they work as they should. It’s important that they are inspected and cleaned so they don’t cause any adverse health effects for your family. After all, dust and dirt circulating around your home due to neglected inspections are less than ideal!

While it’s important not to put off service for your HVAC system, it’s necessary to get a reputable contractor who will do the job right. It’s also important to know what scams might be out there so you can guard against them!

If you’re looking for an Air Duct professional you can trust, reach out to United Home Services today for help.

Avoiding Air Duct Cleaning Scams

Air duct cleaning scams are becoming increasingly common, and homeowners need to be aware of the warning signs to avoid falling victim to these fraudulent practices. In this article, we will discuss the most common air duct cleaning scams and provide tips on how to identify and avoid them.

Don’t Provide Payment Up Front

Most of us appreciate finding a good deal. And if you’re a homeowner that has been putting off AC maintenance, there’s a good chance you’re looking for one.

Unfortunately, if the deal you find sounds too good to be true or is asking for cash upfront, there’s a pretty good chance it’s an air duct cleaning scam. A company offering this type of service may not do the job properly and may not be willing to deal with any deficiencies.

Instead of risking it all for a deal, be sure that you get a quotation on paper and have signed a contract. In the event that something goes wrong and you require coverage or additional work, you won’t have to worry.

The lowest price may be tempting to save some money on air duct services, but it often won’t be the best option overall.

Request References

An online search will help you find many local air duct contractors that can deal with AC installation or maintenance. Unfortunately, simply because they’re the first contractor that pops up doesn’t mean they’re the right choice. That’s why it’s important to get some references to ensure that you’re going with a reliable AC Repair company.

Whether you complete your AC maintenance checklist consistently or you’ve been putting off air duct cleaning, references will help you make a choice. A former customer should be able to confirm that the company completed the work in a timely manner and provided follow-up in the event it was needed. They’ll also be able to verify the quality of the work completed.  

It’s also important to seek out more than one contractor and request references from all of them. By enquiring with multiple contractors, you’ll be able to make the best choice for your family and your home.

If a contractor is unwilling to provide references or a quote on paper, it may point to an air duct cleaning scam

Make Sure They’re Insured

Providing expert service is one thing, but having the qualifications to complete service is quite another. It’s easy to think that because an air duct company will do the work that they’re qualified for, that’s not necessarily the case.

Before you sign on the dotted line or set up a service date, make sure you’ve requested the business license and insurance of the company you’re considering. An air duct cleaning company should also have worker’s compensation and liability insurance in case something goes wrong.

Before you commit to AC maintenance services, it’s important to know the company you choose has coverage so you’re not caught holding the bag.

Confirm Their Qualifications

A business license and the necessary insurance are necessary in ensuring you can trust a company’s AC repair or maintenance service. However, there’s more to finding the right service provider than this documentation.

The right air duct cleaning company should also be certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). This organization sets the standard for HVAC services and membership with them means that you can expect a certain level of service. If the contractor you’re considering doesn’t offer this, you may want to go with another option.

When you request a company’s membership with NADCA, you may also want to request any other special certifications they may have. Whatever their training, a little extra knowledge can help to set them apart from the competition. 

Forget About Phone Calls

A reputable HVAC service company is unlikely to call you on the phone to solicit business. This is because they’re going to be too busy with their customers to do this and will rely on word of mouth.

Unfortunately, some less-than-reputable companies will hire a third party for phone services to sell air duct cleaning and troubleshoot AC issues. The person doing the air duct cleaning scam calls may not even work for the company! It’s also the case that they may feel they have a better chance of upselling you over the phone.

Before you get involved with a company like this, be sure to do a search for the phone number. Does it match the name of the company in the web results? And does it have a website that looks like a professional air duct cleaning service with certifications?

A legitimate company will likely be one that you have to reach out to yourself. However, if you do receive any calls, you may want to do some sleuthing to determine if it’s legitimate.

Ask About the Process

The thing about a reputable air duct cleaning company is that they’ll have a process. This means they should be able to provide a timeline for the service provided. They’ll also be able to tell you what they have to do to clean your ducts from start to finish.

Unfortunately, when it comes to scammers, they’re all about the scam and not the big picture. If they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes and provide minimal service, they may be reluctant to share information with you. In fact, some air duct scammers won’t even unpack their equipment when they arrive at a home to do a job!

A simple question about what the service entails should give you a pretty good sense of whether or not you’re dealing with an air duct cleaning scam. Some companies may even be able to provide you with a visual inspection of the work they’ve done so you can verify it yourself.

What Are Some Common Air Duct Scams?

Checking the references and qualifications of any contractor you hire for your home is important. However, no matter who you choose, it’s still important to be aware of some common scams out there so you can avoid any problems.

Blow-and-Go

It might sound like a fancy hairstyle, but this is actually a type of air duct cleaning scam that you won’t want. A blow-and-go option is a low-priced duct service that is very much like what it sounds. Instead of an intensive, detailed duct cleaning, the service provider will do the bare minimum and clean what’s visible. This means that plenty of dust and dirt is left behind that will adversely impact the air quality in your home. And you’ll likely require more AC maintenance in short order!

Bait-and-Switch

This type of ‘too good to be true’ service offering is somewhat similar to a blow-and-go service. Generally, the air duct cleaning company in question will offer a deal that seems great. However, as soon as they arrive, they will perform very little work and will try to sell you what you really need. By the time the service is complete, the great deal may be no more. Unfortunately, more work is no guarantee that effective AC maintenance will be provided.

Mold Inspection ­

This type of scam may also occur alongside other scams once an air duct service provider has started cleaning your system. Unfortunately, because most of us trust the experts, it’s easy to believe that something is wrong if they tell us it is. In order to scare homeowners into services they don’t need, some providers will tell them they’ve found mold in their ducts and the problem needs to be rectified. Instead of a regular service, this can end up costing homeowners well above the regular proposed service. Before you agree to anything, be sure to contact a mold inspection professional for a second opinion.

NADCA Membership Claims

NADCA sets the standard for HVAC cleaning. This means that an air duct cleaning provider that has a membership with this organization will be recognized as a contracting professional you can trust. Some air duct cleaning companies may claim to be members of this organization by sporting the logo. Before you commit to an air duct cleaning provider it’s a good idea to look at NADCA’s directory to verify their membership. If they’ve claimed membership but are not a member, it’s a red flag that you should be looking elsewhere for service.

It’s important to be aware that an untrustworthy air duct cleaning contractor will be less than upfront about their services and will try to get you to sign up on the spot. Fortunately, by being aware of what the air duct cleaning scams are, you can avoid the pitfalls of bad service.

Choose United Home Services for Quality Air Duct Cleaning!

It can be hard for a homeowner to avoid all the air duct cleaning scams out there. After all, there are a lot of contractors around who don’t provide quality work and will try and take advantage where they can. Fortunately, by being aware of scams like blow-and-go and bait-and-switch, you can avoid signing up with a company that can’t do the job right.

The right air duct cleaning contractor will be able to provide you with a detailed quote offering a price you can rely on. They should also be insured and licensed, and be a member of the National Air Duct Cleaning Association. Before you sign anything, it’s important to make sure the contractor you choose is reputable.

Are you in need of annual AC maintenance for your home? If you’re noticing dust and grime, and you think it might be time, contact the professionals at United Home Services for various professional home services near you.

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