Common Duct Cleaning Scams

HVAC Cleaning Scams

How to Avoid Being Taken To The Cleaners by the Cleaners 

Air duct cleaning is not an easy job. When done right, it is not as cheap as some unreliable companies would have you believe. That is why these types of companies always offer the best deals and coupons. The biggest mistake a customer can make is to think that all companies provide the same high level of quality duct cleaning services. Scam companies will provide a nominal quote which makes reliable companies seem way too expensive. However, it may be too late before you find out that the quality of work is not up to par and you have wasted your money. Be sure to keep an eye out for a few of the scams outlined below when choosing your next duct cleaning company.

The Air Duct Cleaner “Bait and Switch” 

This particular scam begins with a coupon that seems too good to be true. That is because it is. Once in your home, the company will perform minimal work and continually offer upgrades for additional fees. Even if you give in and buy all of the upsells, you are still not going to get quality work from this kind of company.

The “Quick and Dirty” Air Duct Scam  

This scam involves companies who overbook themselves in order to keep their prices low. They will come to your home and clean only the part of the air ducts that you can see before quickly moving on to the next appointment. Since there is no deep cleaning involved, conditions are left worse than before. This kind of scam is harmful to the duct systems in your home because it pushes the dust and debris further into the system, making it harder to reach.  This can then recirculate the dust and microbes in the air that is circulating in your home, contaminating the air you breathe.

The “Mold Inspection Scam” 

This type of scam is the most common. You see a great coupon offer for duct cleaning, so you call the company, and they come over for a scheduled cleaning.  Once in your house, they “inspect” for mold, and they say that they have found it no matter if mold is present or not. Now the cleaning job costs hundreds more for mold remediation. The company had no real intention of cleaning ducts for the quoted price. They always find mold so they can increase their price. They even go as far as bringing mold samples with them and bringing fake tests to show to the customer to convince them.

In the end, when it comes to duct cleaning, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.  Professional air duct cleaning is not as cheap as some coupon offers make it seem. Credible companies do have higher prices, but they are upfront about their prices and honest about their work. Remember, cheap coupons and scam companies result in expensive visits and unsatisfactory results. That is why it is essential that you remember these scams and try to avoid them when hiring a duct cleaning professional.  For a quality and reliable job, do not take any risks and contact the experts at



How To Know If Your Ducts Need To Be Cleaned

When to clean your air ducts

Do you notice dust coming out of the air ducts in your home every time you turn on the HVAC system? Have you seen any dust or pet hair trapped in the vents or dirt on the grill for the air register? This might be an indicator that your ductwork needs to be cleaned.  So, how can you be sure?  Read ahead for some sure-fire signs that you have dirty air ducts in your home.

The Presence of Mold in your HVAC system

Your home ventilation system needs to be cleaned and serviced twice a year to keep it running correctly and cleanly. Since both air conditioners and furnaces can develop condensation, mold growth is a possibility, especially if you live in a humid climate. If mold is found in your air handler, it does not guarantee that your ductwork has been affected, but it increases the chances. An air duct cleaning technician will be able to get rid of mold and prevent its return.

A Brand New Home Or A Major Reconstruction 

Even if a construction crew is extremely careful about clean up, dust and debris will find its way into the air vents. If the HVAC system is not turned on and covered, the dust will get into the ductwork. Construction dust can be toxic, so it is best to get this issue remedied quickly before respiratory problems develop.

You Have A “Naturally Dusty” Home

If you find that your home is always dusty no matter how often you clean, you probably need your ducts clean. Take a quick look around your house and check the supply and return vents as well as the ductwork. Are they dirty and dusty? If the answer is yes, call a duct cleaning expert to get them cleaned as soon as possible.

Rising Heating And Cooling Costs

If you have received a heating or cooling bill that is noticeably high, check your records from the previous year. If it is not consistent from the same time last year, your home ductwork may be to blame. Sometimes, ductwork becomes so dirty that the air isn’t able to flow through the HVAC system efficiently. When this happens, the air conditioner or furnace is forced to work harder to maintain temperature, thus using more energy. This means higher utility bills for you and your family.

A visit from a professional air duct cleaning service every 3 to 5 years on top of your scheduled maintenance can prevent many problems before they start. You will also save money on your heating and cooling bills. Your system will be better and reliable, you will have fewer expensive repairs, and your home will be easier to clean.

The bottom line is the cleaning of your HVAC system is not a DIY project. This needs to be handled by a professional with industry-standard equipment made to handle the size of all kinds of homes. Remember, do not hesitate. If you believe your ducts need cleaning, make an appointment to have them cleaned as soon as possible.




5 Types Of Molds That Are Commonly Found in Your Air Ducts

One of the most significant and frequent problems homeowners face when it comes to home maintenance is mold issues. Mold is hazardous for anyone living in the home. Mold can be complicated to spot at the outset and much harder to remediate later on.

Mold grows in areas of your home that are dark, damp, and colder than the rest of the building. It can occur in any part of the house, even in appliances if not attended to appropriately.

Although mold can be found anywhere, one of the most common places that it spawns is in air conditioners and air ducts. Because of the nature of air conditioners, it is easy for mold to prosper and difficult for homeowners to deal with. This is because air conditioners generally stay damp all day and they continuously have moisture running through them. Compared to the rest of the house, temperatures inside air conditioners are significantly lower, making it an ideal spot for mold to grow and spread.

Before you can take care of the problem of mold in your air ducts, it is essential to know the most common types of mold and what they look like. Below you will find five examples of the most commonly found mold types that are found in air ducts, air conditioners, and vents.


Aspergillus is one of the more complicated kinds of mold to identify because there are so many forms that it can take on. There are several colors that this type takes on, most commonly green, yellow or white.


Chaetomium most commonly grows on walls, but it can appear in ducts and vents. It most often looks like a brown cotton-like substance. The problem with Chaetomium is that the color changes over time, making it harder to distinguish.


Alternaria is arguably the most commonly found type of mold. It is green or brown and has a velvet texture. This kind of mold grows in areas that are moist for a significant amount of time, namely air ducts and vents.


Fusarium is a type of mold that tends to grow in spots where there has been water damage, usually on walls. However, it is also prevalent in places where water is continuously running through a space such as air vents if there has been any water damage to them.


Acremonium is a common type of mold that grows in areas that are damp and wet. This particular type of mold is highly toxic and grows over time, taking on the appearance of a white powdery substance.

Exposure to mold is hazardous. This is why it becomes incredibly important to make sure you have your ducts cleaned regularly. At Willard Duct Cleaning our expertise lies in ensuring that your ducts are cleaned properly and efficiently. All of our staff are equipped with special tools to identify and deal with mold efficiently and safely without exposing you and your family to the toxic spores.





When Was the Last Time You Had Air Quality Testing?

air quality testing

air quality testingHave you had air quality testing done in your home or business lately? If you’re like many people, the answer is likely no.

But did you know that poor air quality can increase your risk of breathing problems and serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease?

Sick building syndrome (and its residential counterpart, toxic home syndrome) occurs due to air pollution inside a building or home. It can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, asthma attacks, and personality changes, and long-term exposure can have detrimental effects.

Having the air quality of your home or business tested can quite literally save your life! Read on to learn more about air quality testing and why it’s so important.

What Is Air Quality Testing?

There is no single air quality test for your home or building. Rather, there are several tests that be done. There are tests that you can purchase and perform yourself, or professional companies can do the testing for you.

The following are just a few issues that can be tested:

  • Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It enters the home through cracks in walls and floors. Radon exposure can lead to lung cancer.
  • Mold: Mold can grow anywhere in a home or building where there is moisture. Mold can cause asthma attacks, trigger allergies, and cause other respiratory problems.
  • Volatile organic compounds: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that can be found in many consumer products, such as glue and paint. They can be released even when the product is not in use! Exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. VOCs can also cause damage to the kidneys and liver.
  • Combustion pollutants: Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide are both combustion pollutants that can come from sources such as gas stoves, furnaces, and unventilated use of gas and kerosene heaters. Exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory problems, and even death.

What Are the Benefits of Air Quality Testing?

An air quality test provides many benefits. It will detect any issues with carbon monoxide, which is incredibly important. Carbon monoxide poisoning killed over 2,200 people from 2010-2015 alone.

Testing air quality can also help identify and thus reduce allergy triggers, such as dust and mold, and pollutants, such as radon. Radon is actually the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers!

Aside from health benefits, air quality testing can lead to reduced energy costs. Testing your HVAC system and ensuring it is running correctly and efficiently will not only improve your air, but it will also lower your energy bill.

What Should You Do After Testing the Air Quality of Your Home?

If you’ve had your air tested, and the results weren’t exactly what you were hoping for, don’t worry! There is plenty that can be done.

First, be sure you’re changing your filters regularly. Make sure your home ventilation systems are working well, including bathroom and kitchen fans.

Professional services such as air duct cleaning can also improve the indoor air quality of your home or business. Contact us today to receive a free estimate!

Chimney Cleaning: Preparing for Colder Weather

chimney cleaning

chimney cleaningBetween December 2016 and January 2017, Portland, Oregon, had arguably one of the harshest winters of the year among cities in the US.

During this period, the city experienced five winter storms over a five-week period. These storms had many people struggling to deal with the freezing temperatures.

A fireplace provides one of the best ways to stay warm when temperatures plummet. But without proper chimney cleaning, you put yourself and your property at risk. In fact, unclean chimneys contribute to nearly one-third of all home heating fires.

Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your chimney clean and enjoy a warm winter!

Pre Chimney Cleaning Inspection

It’s important to look for any signs of damage while inspecting your chimney.

When it comes to the outside of the chimney, keep an eye out for cracked mortar and loose bricks. These can cause water penetration, which damages the flue liner.

Also, make sure your chimney damper works properly. Over time, heat causes the steel to bend, allowing cold air to sneak into your home.

Before cleaning, shine a light into your chimney and look for black or brown buildup along the sides. However, avoid putting your head near the chimney without eyewear and respiratory protection.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends getting your chimney inspected annually.

Cleaning Your Chimney

If you use your fireplace often, you’ll most likely notice plenty of buildup. Known as creosote, this buildup accumulates regardless of what type of wood you use. Over time, it can cause serious blockages, and it’s also extremely combustible.

You can use a brush or a shop vac to get the creosote off the sides.

If you rarely use your chimney, don’t assume you can avoid cleaning. Certain animals may build nests inside. Furthermore, previous homeowners may have avoided cleaning too.

There are many benefits of proper chimney cleaning. These include reduced chances of carbon monoxide poisoning, fewer repairs, and better heating.

Cleaning on Your Own vs Leaving It to Professionals

While chimney cleaning on your own won’t cost much upfront, you may end up with more expenses if your chimney fails. Therefore, if you never cleaned your chimney before, you might be better off hiring a professional.

First, professionals deal with all sorts of chimney issues on the regular basis. As a result, they’re capable of adapting to any situation. Additionally, this knowledge allows them to spot subtle signs of trouble and help you avoid future problems.

Professionals also have the tools necessary for the job. You don’t have to worry about damaging your home or getting injured in the process.

Final Thoughts on Chimney Cleaning

A professional chimney inspection provides a peace of mind during winter.

When choosing between specialists, make sure to check the Better Business Bureau website. There, you can find any complaints filed against the company as well as information about how long the company has been in business. This will help you avoid any scammers.

Before the chimney sweep, specialists show up to your house, clear your mantel and hearth. Also, feel free to prepare a list of questions you want to ask.

Keep you and your family safe and warm by getting your free chimney cleaning estimate today!

Summer Is Coming to End: How to Prepare Your HVAC for Fall

HVAC tips

HVAC tips

A good HVAC system is something you won’t miss until it’s gone.

But many people don’t care for their HVAC systems properly. That makes them costly and even a health hazard.

With summer on the way out, now might be the time to give your HVAC some TLC and prepare for the fall. Check out these HVAC tips to make sure your system is ready for the first cold snap.

Replace Your Filters

Filters have a limited shelf-life. After a certain point, their efficiency begins to drop.

This is something you can take care of yourself, too. Old filters will waste energy by running at reduced efficiency. So not only can you get more out of your HVAC system, but you’ll save money, too.

Compromised filters can even pose a health hazard. If your filters are clogged and damp, they could be spreading mold spores through your home. Make sure to clean your filters for your family’s health.

Call in the Experts

If you suspect your HVAC is underperforming, now’s the time to get the experts in.

You’ll want your HVAC working before fall comes around. Waiting until colder weather could leave you stuck without heating. You’ll also join the ranks of others who waited until there was a problem to get it fixed. That means you could face higher call-out fees or a long wait for an engineer.

Checking your system and getting it patched up in advance is the kind of foresight that could save you money and discomfort in the long run.

Check Your Vents and Intakes

HVAC isn’t a hands-off system.

To keep your HVAC running at full efficiency, you’ll need to clean it. Make sure none of your intakes or vents are blocked by debris. Summer might have left you with bits of twig, grass cuttings, and fast-growing weeds blocking your intakes. Cut back any foliage that might be blocking airflow.

You’ll also want to expect your intakes and vents for damage or deterioration. Are your fans running as they should be? Are your units still securely fixed to the wall? Also, check for any signs of electrical damage to avoid a fire hazard.

Warm It Up

Your HVAC’s heating system has probably sat idle for a few months.

That means it’s a good idea to warm it back up before fall comes. It could take a while for the system to get back up to full efficiency. Luckily, fall comes on gradually, so you can use some cold snaps or cooler nights as a good excuse to get it running again.

Running your HVAC before you truly need it might also help you to detect faults early.

HVAC Tips Save You Time and Money

It may seem like a chore, but these tips will save you time and money in the long-run. So use this as a checklist before fall comes around to make sure your HVAC is doing the best it can to make your home comfortable.

Be sure to follow our blog for more HVAC tips and tricks!

HVAC Duct: What to Do If Your AC Stops Working

HVAC duct

HVAC duct

Do you ever wonder why some people love their AC so much? Well, according to Buzzfeed, it’s because “it doesn’t talk back, it makes you feel good, and it’s always there for you.”

We can definitely agree on the first two, but the third one? That’s debatable. If you’ve seen your fair share of ACs that do not work like we have, then you know that ‘always’ isn’t true.

The good thing about broken ACs though is that they don’t have to remain broken, especially if you strongly suspect that it’s an HVAC duct problem. Here, we’ll talk about common HVAC duct issues and what you can do about them.

1. Blocked Ductwork

In a previous post, we talked about the importance of preventative maintenance to keep your air conditioning cost low. This is because aside from other potential problems, dust and debris can collect in your HVAC’s ductwork. At first, this may not be a huge deal but over time, it may completely block air flow.

Not only will this lead to varying temperatures but also higher energy consumption, which of course, translates to more energy costs.

2. Leaks

Imagine your vacuum hose having leaks, cracks, and holes. Obviously, it won’t be able to suck up dirt as efficiently as one that’s in pristine condition. The same applies to your ductwork.

If it’s leaky, it can’t cool properly. This usually happens with old HVAC systems or those that were poorly installed. Sometimes, rodents are to blame for gnawing on the HVAC duct parts.

To prevent leaks, duct joints must be sealed properly. For improper installation, your best bet is to have professional HVAC contractors look over the problem so they can either provide a solution or recommend the best course of action to take.

3. Design Issues

Did you recently renovate your home or office?

Perhaps, you forgot to take into account your HVAC system while changing the layout of your home or office areas. Or maybe the ductwork design is flawed, to begin with. Are the ducts too narrow? Are there too many bends? Is your HVAC system placed too far from the areas that need to be cooled?

These are just some of the design issues you could be dealing with, especially if the ones who installed your AC don’t have the expertise to correct for possible air flow problems.

Best Fix for HVAC Duct Problems

Some AC problems such as dirty filters or incorrect thermostat settings are easy enough to troubleshoot. Ductwork issues, on the other hand, are best left to professionals, unless you have experience cleaning or redesigning HVAC systems.

But don’t worry. Calling experts in doesn’t mean you’re throwing away money. As we’ve said, air duct cleaning is still preventative maintenance.

What you’re essentially doing is nipping things in the bud before they cause bigger problems. After all, HVAC systems aren’t exactly cheap. It only makes sense to protect your investment by doing the smart thing.

If you need air duct cleaning service, don’t hesitate to give us a call or get a free estimate.

How to Keep Your Air Conditioning Cost Low

air conditioning cost

air conditioning costWe love the summertime! From festivals to fairs— rodeos, floats, and concerts– there may be no better time to enjoy all that Portland has to offer.

The only drawback to summer is the high price for feeling cool at home and in the office. With energy prices steadily on the rise, all of us want to know how to save money when it comes to air conditioning.

In order to lower your air conditioning cost, there are a number of things you can do this summer. Master these, and your savings account will thank you.

You may even have more money to spend on summer trips and ice cream! Let’s find out how:

Make Sure You Are Insulated

One of the worst feelings is discovering you have high air conditioning cost because you are paying to cool off the whole outdoors!

Doing a check for proper insulation and investing in windows can greatly impact your costs at home. In many cases, these improvements can lead to rebates.

Check For Mold

Having mold in your home or office can be a health risk. And some homeowners and property managers may understand it can affect home and property values.

Proper air conditioning won’t just hurt you and your loved ones, or the value of your home– it will also cut down on the growth of mold. Mold can cause indoor air pollution as well as signal other issues in your home.

If an inspection turns up mold you may need to address the AC in your home as well as the insulation. You may be paying extra to have the cool air seep out the cracks in your home and ductwork.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

The experts suggest investing in a programmable thermostat to lower your air conditioning cost. In fact, this technique can save you 10% a year on your energy costs!

Have It Made In the Shade

Using your shades, curtains, and blinds during the hot hours of the day can cut energy costs. If you will be out during the heat of the day make sure to draw your blinds.

Perform Preventative Maintenance

The worst time to think about changing the oil in your car is after the engine breaks down. It will cost thousands to rebuild.

The same is true for your air conditioning. For homeowners and property managers who want lower conditioning cost, performing regular maintenance is the key.

A little investment goes a long way. From filter changes to duct cleaning, a little preventative maintenance goes a long way.

Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for regular planned maintenance and adhere to them You

Duct Cleaning Services

If your ducts have dirt, residue, and contaminants it can cut down on the efficiency of your HVAC system. Your air conditioning cost may be higher simply because your ducts aren’t operating optimally.

One way to cut your costs is by hiring professional duct cleaning services. Willard Power Vac can help.

We operate around all around Portland and have provided dependable service for years.

Our customers get cleaner and more cost efficient air conditioning systems. Come find out more about our track record of success and get a free estimate today.

5 Ways HVAC Cleaning Saves Energy

hvac cleaning

hvac cleaningDid you know heating and cooling constitutes nearly 50% of your monthly energy bill?

The average Oregon household spends approximately $94 per month on their electricity bill. Over time, these expenses pile up. But your HVAC system is the only thing that makes harsh winters and summers seem bearable.

The good news is that a clean HVAC system slices your bill significantly. Plus, it helps keep you and your family comfortable no matter the weather.

Here are 5 ways HVAC cleaning can help you cut costs.

1. It Helps Reduce Humidity

As an HVAC system wears down, it gradually gets worse at dehumidifying. This is why one of the first signs of a failing heating and cooling system is a humid home.

To combat humidity and prevent mold growth, many homeowners invest in dehumidifiers. However, most dehumidifiers cost anywhere from 6 cents to 10 cents to run per hour. This can lead to an extra $15-$50 per month in energy costs.

2. It Eliminates the Need for Fans

Dehumidifiers aren’t the only thing needed to compensate for a dirty HVAC unit. Weak heating and cooling units force some homeowners to invest in mini fans and heaters as well.

Mini fans and heaters can be a good temporary solution for your heating and cooling woes. However, running several of these appliances daily adds more to your energy costs. Plus, these smaller appliances don’t provide as much comfort as your larger unit.

3. It Removes Dirt From Coils

Clean condensing unit coils and evaporator coils are the keys to optimal heat transfer in your system. Dirty coils, on the other hand, are the bane of all HVAC units.

With normal use, coils in your unit accumulate dirt. When too much dirt piles up, it forces the entire unit to work harder and less efficiently. This is about the time when you’ll notice your energy bills soaring to record heights.

4. It Prevents Cracks in Ducts

If you don’t clean your air ducts, dust and grime can eventually cause cracks in them. These cracks impact the system’s performance by allowing air to leak out. As a result, the system doesn’t heat and cool your home as well as it should.

When this occurs, you’ll find that you’re forced to keep your system running nonstop. However, a system that doesn’t allow air to escape will save you money by getting more done in less time. But you can’t detect cracks without getting your ducts cleaned.

5. It Prolongs the Life of the Unit

Dirty coils and cracks in ducts both force your heating and cooling unit to work overtime. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, this inefficiency causes extensive wear and tear.

A lifespan of a solid HVAC system is usually 15-20 years. In some cases, a unit may even last up to 30 years. However, you have to dole out money prematurely if your unit tanks due to a lack of maintenance.

HVAC Cleaning in Portland

A dirty heating and cooling system seems easy enough to ignore. However, by ignoring it, you end up paying more for a system that doesn’t even function optimally.

You should get an HVAC cleaning every 1-2 years. A regular cleaning ensures your system continues to work reliably throughout the seasons.

Older systems are not the only ones that struggle with dirt. In fact, newer systems actually benefit more from regular cleaning. Efficient heat transfer maximizes their capabilities.

If you’re in the Portland area and need professional HVAC cleaning, get a free estimate today!

What Causes Air Pollution Indoors?

what causes air pollution

what causes air pollution

Air pollution is always a concern when you go outside, especially if you live in a major city like Portland.

What you probably didn’t know is that the inside of your house might just be as dangerous.

Indoor air pollution is a serious problem that poses health risks, especially for people with asthma or allergy concerns.

You are probably wondering what causes indoor air pollution. You’re in luck because that’s exactly what we are going to be looking at!

Smoke Is Always Answer Number One to What Causes Air Pollution Indoors

Smoke can lead to all kinds of problems, from simple irritation to cancer. This can be from smoking in the home or directly outside of it. Smoke can also come from fireplaces and stoves as well.

The best piece of advice is to simply get rid of the problem. Being exposed to smoke for an extended period of time can cause asthma and other serious health effects as well.

Make sure you aren’t allowing anyone to smoke in your home or by your doors and windows. Have your fireplace and stove checked, and ensure they are ventilating properly.

Building and Cleaning Materials

If you live in an older home, you are at a high risk of asbestos exposure.

Even though this product has been banned from widespread use, it can still pop up in houses built before the 80’s and in some paints.

Formaldehyde is a product that shows up in many common items around your house and should be taken seriously.

It can cause serious health effects. Look on this list from the Health and Human Services and make sure you don’t have these products in your home.


Mold isn’t just a problem when you see it on your bread. It could also be in your home and be polluting your air. Mold will cause health problems when there’s long-term exposure, and mold spores spread easily through the air.

Mold is what causes air pollution if your house is humid or has a lot of damp places in it. Fix any leaks or flooding immediately and check your air conditioning unit and pipes for leaks.

After the extremely wet winter Portland has seen, get a professional to check your ducts to make sure mold isn’t growing there.

Outdoor Sources

Radon can get into your home no matter where you live. It naturally occurs from the decay of uranium that is in almost every soil type. It is a carcinogen that the EPA takes very seriously. Get your house tested for it regularly.

Pesticides and other outdoor sources can get into your house as well. Ensure your home is properly sealed and ventilated to control these substances.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. Oftentimes, deaths occur from its inhalation without people knowing that it’s even there.

There are ways to protect yourself. Ensure you have enough Carbon Monoxide alarms in your home. Also, if there is ANY suspicion of it being in your home, leave immediately and call a professional.

Carbon Monoxide isn’t just a cause of air pollution. It’s what causes air pollution deaths.

We Are Here When Your Family Needs Us

If you suspect that any of these indoor pollutants are in your home, have someone check it out immediately. There is no time to waste when it comes to you and your families health.

We can find out what causes air pollution in your home and take care of the problem in a timely and efficient manner.

We have served the NorthWest since 1975, and have a reputation for honesty and delivering only the best customer service. If you need us, contact us and we will be there to keep your home air pollution-free.