Duct cleaning: what to look for so you don’t get ripped off

TORONTO – If you are a homeowner, you may have considered having your ductwork cleaned, especially if you have pets, allergies, or have recently done home renovations.

You may have received random phone calls from duct cleaners or seen advertisements to get the job done, but what’s the best way to choose a business?

Debbie Wilson from Oshawa hired a duct cleaner, but ultimately felt she was overcharged and maybe paid for a service she didn’t need.

“You just feel stupid and angry,” Wilson said.

When Wilson saw an ad for duct cleaning in a flyer for $ 149, she called the company, but was surprised when they showed up in a van instead of a large duct cleaning truck.

The two workers told her that she had mold in her ducts which should be treated immediately at a cost of an additional $ 900. Wilson accepted the additional charge, but then had his HVAC system checked by someone else.

“He said ‘Your ducts are still dirty and I don’t see any mold in there,’” Wilson said.

Atanas Deliivanov from Scarborough hired the same company, which also said it had mold in its ducts. He also paid an additional $ 900, but was worried after the company left and his ducts were still dirty. When he called the company, he said they refused to come back.

“Absolutely, I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of,” Deliivanov said. “They just told me you had mold in the duct and we got scared and made a quick move which was obviously wrong.”

CTV News Toronto contacted the company that cleaned the Wilson and Deliivanov ducts, but the company’s lawyer told CTV News Toronto that “whatever work was done was appropriate and appropriate.”

CTV News Toronto has also reached out to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), a group that promotes ethics and fairness in the duct cleaning industry.

Clint Orr, spokesperson for NADCA and also duct cleaner and owner of Full Throttle Furnace and Duct Cleaning in Regina, SK, said “Our mandate is to give our customers proper publicity and not to tamper with anything. either we can’t save. “

Orr said low prices are often a red flag.

“If you go into a duct cleaning job for $ 99 or $ 149 and it’s done in 15 to 45 minutes, it’s telling that some steps may have been missed,” Orr said.

Orr says that while mold can be an issue in the ductwork, photos and samples should be provided and testing can also be done by a third party.

Orr said a duct cleaner should also be able to provide customers with before and after photos or videos.

“Photo or video evidence is actually paramount in making sure your system is properly cleaned,” Orr said.

When choosing a duct cleaning company, beware of low introductory prices, expensive surprise additions, and high pressure selling tactics.

Orr said customers may also consider choosing a NADCA member. On the association’s website, you can enter your postal code and the duct cleaners belonging to the association will be listed in your region.

The industry suggests having your ducts cleaned every few years, but it really depends on where you live and how dirty they are. Changing your furnace filter often can also help keep your ductwork clean.

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