Duct cleaning helps dodge dirt, dust

Duct cleaning helps dodge dirt, dust

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 airducts? Angie's List member Glenn G. Millar

"It's very important if it needs to be done, but it doesn't necessarily need to be done to all houses," says Sharon Altenhoff, CEO of highly rated Air Quality Specialists Inc. in Glendale, Ariz. "If it hasn't been done properly in a while, it's a good idea to check. We don't charge anything for inspections."

On average, she says cleaning should be done every three to five years. "[Homes] can get pretty dirty and dusty with the dust storms around here," she says. "A lot of people think brand-new construction doesn't need it, but it often does, so it's worth checking out."

She says her company will check ducts for mold, and use an antimicrobial fog at no additional charge if they find any contamination. "There shouldn't ever be an extra charge to do it right," she says. "When people start adding on charges, that's a red flag that it's a scam."

Her company charges $40 per return and intake, and the average house has about 10. "Anyone saying they'll do your whole house for $49.99 is scamming you," Altenhoff says. She recommends hiring a duct cleaner certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, and visiting nadca.com for tips and information about ensuring high-quality duct cleaning work.

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

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