Air duct experts warn of 'bait-and-switch'

Air duct experts warn of 'bait-and-switch'

How important is air-duct cleaning? How often should it be done? Is it worth it to pay the extra money to ensure there is no mold in the air ducts? Angie's List member Glenn G. Millar

"While we live in a world where healthy living has become a way of life, we overlook the air we breathe inside our homes," says Ed Mack, owner of highly rated Air Duct Pros in Corona, Calif., which also services Los Angeles. "Air-duct cleaning is important. You should hire a professional who is properly equipped and trained to clean your air ducts every two to five years. The company should utilize state-of-the-art equipment with HEPA filters and use a vacuum with a brush."

According to Marie Linteau, owner and operator of highly rated Mighty Ducts Indoor Air Quality Experts in Santa Ana, Calif., which also services Los Angeles, a clean HVAC system and a good filter will improve indoor air quality and increase the system's performance.

"As far as mold prevention, we recommend sanitizing the system on an as-needed basis," Linteau says. "Considering southern California's rather dry climate, we don't need to routinely sanitize systems, but we sanitize when there is visible evidence of microbial growth."

The cost to clean air ducts ranges anywhere from $344 and up, Linteau says, depending the job size. Mack suggests homeowners steer clear of bait-and-switch that advertise a low price, but upsell services when they arrive in your home.

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