There is no doubt about the necessity of having clean air ducts, and the reasons to hire professional air duct cleaners is also obvious. The job simply requires professional knowledge and experience – if you want superior results, at least. The real question therefore is how can you find a reliable professional air duct cleaner?
To begin, check the Yellow Pages or log on to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) website, where you will find a list of qualified contractors. Of course, nothing beats asking for a personal referral from someone you trust.
However, before you actually commit to a specific duct cleaning company, make sure you won’t regret the decision. According to the EPA, these are most important steps to take in assessing an air duct cleaner:
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Obtain written estimates from a minimum of three different cleaners .
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Let the cleaners explain the exact condition the ducts are presently in. If they say there is contamination, for instance, have them point it to you.
Be wary of duct cleaners who say they are certified by the EPA. The organization does not endorse or certify duct cleaning companies.
Allow them to use biocides or other chemicals in your ducts only if you have thoroughly understood their pros and cons. If totally necessary, the products should be EPA-registered.
Ask for a few client references and call these people so they can tell you about their experience with the specific contractor.
Check with your local Better Business Bureau to know if there are any complaints filed against the duct cleaning company.
If applicable, ask them if they have a state license. Duct cleaners don’t need a license to operate in most states, but in some states, like Michigan, California, Arizona and a few others, they do. Don’t forget to look into this as well.
When talking to duct cleaning contractors, ask if they have experienced working with the kind of system you have. How do they protect your home or facility’s occupants from contamination? Do they follow duct cleaning standards set by NADCA?
Finally, don’t proceed until they come up with a written agreement that comes with all the important details, like how much the service will cost, how long it will be completed, the possible interruptions as the work is carried out, etc.
If you search for a duct cleaner only when an issue has started, you may only end up selecting the first company you find simply because of the pressure to get the job done ASAP. The best thing you can do is to start looking before the issues even come up. Just keep the company’s contact information, and when you actually have to call them, you’ll know you’re about to hire a duct cleaner that’s been properly vetted and wisely chosen.