Check out air duct cleaners to avoid overpaying

Check out air duct cleaners to avoid overpaying
air duct technician using hose to clean air duct

air duct technician using hose to clean air duct

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 Millar

"An air-duct cleaning will relieve allergens in the air and help the HVAC system work more efficiently," says Dave Kostecka, owner of highly rated DuctVac Northwest in Marysville, Wash., which also services Seattle. Air-duct cleaning is also a vital part of preparing to move into a house or cleaning up after a remodeling project, he says.

A regular duct cleaning every five years will cost between $450 to $600, and Kostecka recommends hiring an air-cleaning specialist certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.

To avoid overpaying for a substandard job, he suggests investigating the company you want to hire beforehand and request that they perform a free inspection and offer a firm written estimate.

"Don't trust bait-and-switch companies that promise to clean your entire ductwork system for $60," Kostecka says. "They use high-pressure sales tactics to upsell you into buying other products."

For homeowners concerned with mold in their air ducts, Kostecka advises against paying to treat the ductwork with chemicals unless an animal has died in the ductwork, or the house has had standing water in it for a long time.

In between cleanings, he says homeowners should replace their air filters every three months with high-quality pleated filters at least an inch thick.

Do you have a service-related question? E-mail us at mailbag@angieslist.com.


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