Air Duct Cleaning... Scam or Reality?

By
Real Estate Agent with Homebuyer Representation, Inc. DRE# 5467433
Allergy sufferers aren't the only people who like to breathe clean air.

The following news story (Don't know when it aired, sorry) discusses whether or not having your ducts cleaned is a scam or not.

I have always wondered this myself and it is nice to know that there ARE companies out there that CAN actually clean your ducts pretty thoroughly. (Did they say 300 mile per hour winds?)

Here are tips I picked up from the story:

  • If you pay for air duct cleaning and they show up with a Shop Vac, send them home.
  • Read the fine print ("Whole House" doesn't always mean "Whole House")

Has anybody had their ducts cleaned?

Did you feel scammed?


3:38

If you are thinking about buying a home in the Salt Lake area, make sure you get an agent on YOUR side.

Homebuyer Representation, Inc. is the only Real Estate Brokerage representing Buyers ONLY in Salt Lake City and the Surrounding Area. We do not list any homes. We never represent Sellers. We work for BUYERS ONLY on the Buyer's side of the transaction.

We work to get BUYERS the Best Price and Terms when they Buy...

We're "Real Estate Agents on the Buyer's Side" TMreal estate agents on the buyers side

If you have excellent credit and are thinking about buying a $250,000-$500,000 home in the Salt Lake area in the next 60-90 days, call us at (801) 969-8989 or contact us via the link on this page.

©2008 Homebuyer Representation, Inc. All Rights Reserved

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Realtors®
Exclusive Buyer's Agents (EBAs)
Almost Anything Goes
ABR-Accredited Buyer Representatives
Tags:
air
duct
cleaning
scam
quality

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
9,996
Dawn Rodriguez
HomeRun Title - Hollywood, FL
HomeRun Title - Title Insurance Company
Both of my kids have allergies. Because of what I heard, in the past, I've spent tons of money on air duct cleaning. As I've stated here on AR before, a good friend of mine who's in this line of work, told me not to waste my money anymore. What I was told was to open my windows once a week for a couple of hours with the air on. I do this while I'm cleaning my house. When you do this, the dust is now able to escape. Of course, change your filters on a regular basis. I've not had any problems since and I've saved money!
Mar 09, 2008 08:43 AM #14
Rainmaker
240,216
Benjamin Clark
Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Salt Lake City, UT
Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert
Dawn - Interesting. I'm not sure the force from the blower is enough to actually dislodge and expel dust from the ducting. But, if that is true, what is the harm in letting the dust stay in the duct? Right?
Mar 10, 2008 11:22 AM #15
Rainer
7,060
Gloria Ruesch
NP Dodge Real Estate - Omaha, NE
Real Estate Agent - Nebraska- Iowa

Hey Ben,

I have a friend who does carpet cleaning and air duct cleaning as well as clean-up from disasters such as flood and fire.  Air duct cleaning is NOT a scam if it is done properly.  When done properly, the vendor cuts a hole in the duct work just before it reaches the furnace.  They then seal off all of the intake and supply vents in the house.  In the hole goes a vacuum with a rotor brush on it which runs through the ducts and loosens everything in its path which is then sucked into the truck.  New construction is a great one to have cleaned.  A lot of builders think that duct work is a dustpan and just sweep stuff down.  When we had ours cleaned, they pulled out chunks of drywall. 

They've pulled out things as large as baseballs, silverware, glasses, beer cans, dead squirrel carcasses.  You name it, it's been down there.  The dusting in my house was substantially less after I had this done because I was no longer recirculating construction debris.  When I dust for housework, I do turn on the fan on the furnace to suck the dust in the air back through the system, but this doesn't pull major dust and dirt out of the ducts.  If the person who is purporting to clean your air ducts doesn't use this method, they probably aren't getting it all.  The cost, as I remember it, was $90 for the set up and $10 per vent.  To me it was definitely worth it.  It also isn't something you need to do more than every couple of years unless you have heavy allergies or fuzzy animals (or kids.)  I recommend it highly just because it cuts down on the layers of dust in the house and (in used homes) some of the musty smells that candles just won't cover up.

Mar 11, 2008 02:44 PM #16
Rainmaker
240,216
Benjamin Clark
Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Salt Lake City, UT
Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert
Gloria - Thanks for the information. Having helped a number of clients purchase new construction, I have seen much of what you have. It is a good idea (and many builders are starting to do this on their own) to have the ducts covered once they are installed so nothing can be put into them during the rest of construction (did somebody say taco bell?). Well, at least until the carpet goes in... Most builders are nailing a piece of wood over the hole. Not a complete seal, but it should keep out the trash... and squirrels.
Mar 11, 2008 03:32 PM #17
Anonymous
Four Winds Healthy Home, Michelle Viggiano

Benjamin, as an air duct cleaner in the Phoenix area, we see it all, especially in new construction; construction debris, insulation, trash, all in the air ducts.  It is a sad reality that many companies do offer these slight of hand specials.  We are a green company, and  do not use any chemical based cleaners to sanitize the air ducts after we clean them.  We know that if you do, you are just taking junk out and putting, albeit in a different form, new junk back in.  With the exception of mold, truly plant based sanitizers should only be used to clean and sanitize air ducts.  The EPA states this as do government and enlightened health officials.  Additionally, ask to see the in-line filter after the job is done, so you can plainly see what has been extracted from the system. Michelle Viggiano Owner of Four Winds Healthy Home Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning. www.healthyhomeaz.com  

Apr 30, 2008 06:17 PM #18
Rainmaker
478,165
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Michigan
Sounds like a rip-off to me. What happens if you have rental property and they want it done. Is it your cost or theirs?
Apr 30, 2008 07:57 PM #19
Anonymous
Tom

We just had this company Bell Air Duct and Carpet Cleaning from Maryland (1-866-416-3848) clean our ducts and it was a ripoff. I know they got some stuff clean because they left piles of lint everywhere and didn't bother cleaning any of it up. Their "salesman" lied about everything, saying we had mold throughout the ducts. He also said that he didn't clean any vents going to any rooms because "there isn't anything there". They dumped collected dust into our bathtub leaving wet dust all over everything including my child's bathtoys and even charged me at Maryland's tax rates even though my house is in Virginia. I really hope that duct cleaners aren't this bad, because it was really pathetic.

Nov 26, 2008 04:36 PM #20
Anonymous
david kester
I'm on line today specifically in regards to this company, Bell Air Duct Cleaning (1 866 416 3838). They also list DC/MD, VA, and NC numbers. Their web page claims they clean "the entire air duct system using a powerful vacuum along with specialized tools....areas will be zoned off to ensure that the entire system is cleaned properly....All dirt and debris is removed....". Three men arrived about 6pm in an unidentified truck, (the appointment was for between 2 and 4). They set an overgrown shop vac outside my front door, to which they attached a standard size vac hose to reach throughout the house. They used about an 18" wand extension with a standard round cleaning brush (I have several of each in my closet) to scrub the duct inside each vent, but obviously no further than the first bend in the floor since the wand was rigid. The worker than removed the wand and installed a larger soft bristle brush to the hose and attempted to push that in the duct (ever try pushing a string?). That's it! They could not have cleaned more than 10% of the system. I have called their office(s) multiple times and left my number, but in a month no one has bothered to call me back. I even located their office in Gaithersburg, Md (an unmarked office door in a hall with several other businesses) and gave the sectretary(?) my number. Today I called the 866 number which is an office in Rockville. The person was very testy and insisted they do clean the entire duct system. She also took my number. The company claims they folow the guidelines of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). I called them but they are basically just a membership thing and referred me to the American IAQ Council (800 942 0832) which trains certain members of a company to their standard, so the company can claim the credentials. I also tried to contact the Better Business Bureau but their web page was unable to locate a listing for the company (I'll try again in case I was doing something incorrectly, Bell Air's web site claims membership). Bottom line: Bell Air Duct Cleaning is a SCAM! Also, as soon as the first register was remove, the lead man informed me I had a mildew problem (looked every bit like dust to me, and nothing more) and offered to treat the system for an additional $180. After I bulked at the cost, he "called the boss" and offered it for $80. I still refused it because the ducts were still dirty.
Aug 28, 2009 11:29 AM #21
Anonymous
Judy Babbit
Bellair Duct Cleaning is a SCAM. They showed up w/ a shop vac, told me I had mold, didnt remove my vents. I told them to get the hell out of my house.
Oct 25, 2009 12:13 PM #22
Anonymous
Andrea
I just had a similar experience with Bell Air Duct Cleaning. We had a coupon for $72 to clean all our vents, so I wasn't expecting much. Two men showed up in an unmarked truck with a large shop vac. After about three minutes, their salesman showed me a vent that had what he said were mold spores on the back, which he quickly took back upstairs. Strangely, I looked for that vent later and couldn't find it. He said our house had a really big mold problem and that I needed the whole system sanitized for over $600. I said no. He then called his boss from somewhere in the house and the boss offered to take $200 off the price. When I still said no, he offered to sanitize my furnace for $99. Again, I told him that we didn't want any additional services. After that, they quickly finished and left. They didn't clean up after themselves and left dust all over our bathrooms. They also didn't go into all of our rooms. I wouldn't say it was a complete waste of money, because they did suck a lot of stuff out of our vents and cleaned our bathroom vent fans which are running a lot better now.
Nov 16, 2009 01:06 PM #23
Anonymous
Justine B
Hi had a terrible experience with Bell Air Duct Cleaning company last September. They didn't know what they were doing (in addition to the rip off scam of taking apart my air conditioning system which they weren't familiar with and I had not asked for), they incorrectly connected wires in the system, started a fire on my wall at the thermostat and broke the whole system. I had to pay $1300 to a reputable company to fix it. I contacted Better Business Bureau in the hopes they could assist with getting a reimbursement from the company who initially said they would reimburse me. I now cannot get them to respond, and discover that they have disconnected their phone and it appears they have changed their name to Bell Services and Bell Cleaning Services. I have written to them one last time and if I don't get satisfaction am going to take them to Court. If anyone else has a good case against them and would like to join a law suit please let me know. Better Business Bureau has taken away their rating from Bell Air Duct Cleaning company, but Bell Services and Bell Cleaning Services appear on BBB, but not yet rated by BBB. I've advised BBB that I believe as Bell Service has the same ad and website as Bell Air Duct Cleaning company they are the same company and trying to get rated again.
May 09, 2010 05:00 PM #24
Rainmaker
921,196
Tony Marriott
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Associate Broker, REALTOR

False Advertising of any kind is a hot topic for me right now.  It's incredible and appalling how some agents that are clueless when it comes to Short Sales boast of hundreds of transactions and high closing ratios - neither metric being supported by the MLS.

Aug 30, 2010 11:32 AM #25
Anonymous
Air Blue Duct Cleaning
I hate to hear about rip offs in the duct cleaning industry. I have been doing this for 10 years. Some houses are in a big need of having air ducts cleaned and some are not. There are many reliable and qualified companies that do a proper job and get many contaminants out. I have seen some pretty nasty things in vents, pet hair and construction sheet rock and saw dust are the biggest culprits. You should always get a free inspection and estimate from any honarable company. We use brush heads on the ends of pliable hoses that clean down each vent and then we clean the trunk lines as well. The negative air method(placing a high powered vacuum at the furnace and attaching it to the duct work above the furnace and shutting off all vents and intakes, blowing the debris to the vacuum) is the method recommended and the company should use this method. A normal sized house should average about 3 hours to clean. We at Airblueductcleaning.com give free estimates and never upcharge for anything. I hope this helps.
Sep 17, 2010 07:15 PM #26
Anonymous
air duct cleaning md

I think it is a nice reality.... and i think it should be neccessary.......

Oct 25, 2010 03:39 AM #27
Anonymous
duct cleaning md

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems collect mold, fungi, bacteria and a variety of contaminants that reduce the quality of the air residents and visitors breathe............

 

http://affordableairductcleaners.com/

Oct 26, 2010 03:20 AM #28
Anonymous
maryland air duct cleaning

Air duct cleaning is a relatively new industry that has exploded as a $4 Billion a year industry in the United States alone, in the 21st century.

 

 

 

http://affordableairductcleaners.com/

 

Oct 26, 2010 08:38 AM #29
Anonymous
Kristine Stanski

I am about to have this done on the advice of a friend. She had bags of proof after they cleaned out her ducts included the dryer.

Nov 05, 2010 04:05 PM #30
Anonymous
duct cleaning maryland

Thanks for sending this post..I watch this video it is very easy to do..

Can you please send me charges of this

 

Nov 09, 2010 05:24 AM #31
Anonymous
Freddie

Bell Air Duct Cleaning aka Bell Services USA aka Bell Cleaning Serivces, LLC is a scam.

 

They are terrible, do not clean up after themselves, use a small shop vac, try to up-sell every service imaginable.  And have a F rating with the BBB.  They are in several markets although headquartered in MD.

 

see the BBB rating of F

www.dc.bbb.org/report.html?national=y&compid=171659106

 

Nov 16, 2010 12:23 PM #32
Anonymous
Cleaning

Cleaning And Restoration Pros LLC is a licensed, insured and certified company. Service area: Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Services: air duct cleaning, carpet cleaning, chimney sweep, dryer vent cleaning, fire & smoke damage, tile & grout cleaning, rug cleaning, upholstery cleaning, water & flood damage. http://www.cleaningandrestorationpros.com/

Mar 15, 2013 06:18 AM #33
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
240,216

Benjamin Clark

Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert
Contact me now to get started or to ask any questions you have
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information