Vent Cleaning Scams


Most vent cleaning companies will insist that you need to have the vents in your home cleaned. This may not be the case according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Although the air quality of inside air is a concern because it is frequently much dirtier and more polluted than the air outside, vent cleaning is not always the answer. If those who live in the home are suffering from allergies or if there is a mildew smell in the house, then the vents probably do need to be cleaned. Professional vent cleaners recommend cleaning about every three to five years unless there is a problem. In that case, cleaning may need to be done more frequently.

Vent Cleaning ScamUnfortunately, there are some untrustworthy vendors who offer to clean your vents for a lower price than other vendors, and they end up doing little to no cleaning. The problem with vent cleaning is that much of the heating and cooling system cannot be seen by the homeowner. This means that it is easy to deceive customers by telling them that mold was found inside the vent. Some black substances that may be shown to the homeowner could really just be grime and dirt, not mold. The EPA recommends that homeowners have the substance tested to be sure that they are really mold before going ahead and treating the vents for mold. Testing costs only about $15.

The best way to prevent being scammed by a vent cleaning company is to use a reputable company. There are people who have had their vents cleaned who notice great improvements in their allergies, or they may stop getting headaches that they once had. Vent cleaning can be a useful process if the vents truly have excess dust and other debris. If mold is present, it is absolutely required for health reasons that the vents are cleaned. Another reason for cleaning them is if the home has insects or vermin living in the vents. These pests leave droppings behind, and bacteria from the droppings can be blown into the home’s air through the forced air furnace and air conditioning unit.

There are some recommended steps to take to prevent an untrustworthy vendor from taking advantage of the homeowner. Vent cleaning companies that say that homeowners should have their vents cleaned as part of routine heating and cooling system maintenance should not be hired. It is a good idea to interview the vent cleaning company representative before signing a contract or hiring the company. Make sure that the company has experience in cleaning ducts similar to those in your home. If the ducts are made from fiberglass duct board of are insulated with fiberglass duct liner, the company should be able to tell you how they will comply with the cleaning standards that have been set by the industry.

In addition, some states require licensure for vent cleaning. If you live in one of these states, ask the provider for a copy of their license. It is also important to know how many hours the company believes that it will take to clean your heating and cooling system, especially if they charge by the hour. This should be listed in the written agreement that also lists the price of their services.

It is also important to ask the provider for references of customers who have used their services. Then, check with these people to see what they say about the vent cleaning company. This is a good way to find out if there were any problems with their service. Checking with the Better Business Bureau is another step that can save a homeowner from potential problems with a company that is not reliable. Taking some time to check on the company that you are considering can save you time because you will not be stuck with an untrustworthy vent cleaning company.