With the growing demand for duct cleaning services to improve indoor air quality, scam artists are making millions from unsuspecting homeowners looking for a good deal. The biggest mistake homeowners make is to assume they will receive quality services from whichever company they choose. Their choice is based on the price alone, which in this case could range from $49 dollars to $800 dollars or more. Such an abnormal range only confirms the fact that there are many scam artists out there looking to make a quick buck at your expense.
Beware Low prices
Unreliable companies draw customers by offering the best deals, which is why you will find numerous coupons offering the service for less than $100 dollars. It is worth noting that proper air duct cleaning is quite difficult; reaching inside the air ducts and cleaning all the parts of the system requires hours of hard work, knowledgeable technicians and advanced equipment. In fact, a quality service will cost upwards of $300 dollars, depending on the size of your home, the number of vents and their configuration.
You’ll Receive Low quality work
A company offering these services for less than $100 dollars would obviously be operating at a loss – unless what they actually do falls short of quality service. Proper air duct cleaning will typically take about two to three hours, but scam artists will quickly go through the house, vacuuming a few vents and be done in less than an hour. They may also use inadequate tools and equipment, such as handheld vacuums and drills. Most good companies use outdoor vented equipment that ensures the dust and debris captured is vented and contained outside the home.
Typical Bait and switch
A common scam approach is the bait and switch tactic. You are offered an amazing coupon deal, but this is only to get the con artist through the door. Once inside your home, they perform minimal work and then offer you upgrades to the service for additional fees. Note that even if you give in to their schemes and pay for the up-sells, you still won’t get quality work done.
Tack on Extras like Mold
Another common scam is when a “mold inspection” is performed. To your disadvantage they always find mold contamination even if it’s not true, just so they can charge for more services. Such companies can even fake tests or bring the mold with them in an attempt to convince you.
What to do
Most reputable companies provide a free inspection and estimate, so asking for written estimates is one way to avoid scams. As a rule, avoid outrageously low offers. They might actually damage your ducts and force you to undertake difficult and costly repairs or replacements. Additionally, if a company tells you that you have mold in your air ducts, it is advisable to have a qualified mold testing firm visit your home to verify this.
Cheap coupons will often become the most expensive route in the end – and there’s no guarantee the work will be done well because you are, in fact, working with a scam artist. A reputable company may seem expensive at first, but this is because they are providing an honest price for honest work.