It’s easy for homeowners to get tricked by duct cleaning scams scams done by contractors in order to get in your home and clean your air ducts. If you need to have your duct system cleaned. Looking for a deal is never a bad thing but this is one area of home maintenance that will cost you money. So what are common air ducts scams and how to avoid them?
Common Air Duct Cleaning Scams
There are many scammers in the industry that offer low-priced “blow-and-go” services. Typically, these companies schedule many appointments in one day, allowing just enough time to clean what you can see, leaving behind dirt, dust, and microbes in the air you breathe. These companies do a poor job of cleaning heating and cooling systems and may also persuade a homeowner to pay for unneeded services with or without their permission.
The “bait-and-switch” technique is another common air duct cleaning scam. This occurs when you’re offered an amazing deal by coupon or over the phone. Once the company arrives for the scheduled appointment, they’ll perform minimal work, tell you that you need more, and continue to offer you service upgrades for additional fees.
Some scammers even use scare tactics to get homeowners to pay more for subpar services. Unfortunately, even when you commit to the upsells, you are still not going to get quality work.
Mold inspection scams
Many scammers take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners by preying on their fears. They’ll typically offer a great coupon to get their foot in the door. Then, during the air duct cleaning and “inspection” process, the contractor will make false claims about finding mold in the home, charging thousands of dollars for a service that isn’t needed.
If a contractor tells you they found mold, put a hold on the job before agreeing to get work done. Then, either call a different company for a second opinion or contact a licensed mold assessor to get it evaluated.
Tips you can use to avoid Air Duct Cleaning Scams:
Do some research on the company before you call. Online reviews aren’t just valuable to customers looking to find HVAC contractors with great customer service. They’re also valuable when it comes to detecting scams. A real HVAC company will have online reviews, proof of its existence, and proof of insurance.
Make sure the company you hire is licensed. If your state requires HVAC cleaning services to licensed, make sure the one you hire can provide you with a copy of their license. A company that can’t provide you with a required license isn’t a valid company.
Trust your gut. There are certain things that air duct cleaning services won’t do such as using bait-and-switch tactics. This is when an illegitimate business advertises themselves as a lower price and then tells you their services will cost several hundred dollars more when they arrive. It’s also worth mentioning that duct cleaning takes some time. A legitimate duct cleaner won’t done quickly.
Don’t trust outrageous claims. Air duct cleaning scams will make outrageous claims such as the cleaning will give you a dust-free home or that it will cure a disease. They might also try to convince you to rely on an instant mold test. Or that your ducts require thousands of dollars worth of work they can repair within just a few hours.