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What to Know Before Hiring an Air Duct Cleaning Company

Air duct cleaning is serious business, so when it comes to choosing a company for the job, it’s important to do your research. Finding a reliable, reputable company really comes down to asking the right questions. By doing so, you can help ensure that your home is in good hands with professionals that provide honest pricing and quality service. Not sure where to start? Read on and learn what you need to know when hiring an air duct cleaning company! 

  1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

  2. Knowing how long a company has been in business can help you get a gauge of its overall reputability in the industry. At Stanley Steemer, we started cleaning in 1947 and expanding our services to include air duct cleaning in 1997. With roughly 25 years of air duct cleaning expertise, we’re driven by our commitment to customer satisfaction and quality service. Without this dedication, we wouldn’t be where we are today. 

  1. What is NADCA and do you adhere to their cleaning standards?

  2. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) was formed in 1989 as a governing organization that sets the national standard for HVAC cleaning and restoration services. Prior to NADCA, the industry had rising issues with scam companies that provided poor quality services and created a general distrust toward HVAC cleaning services. Since its founding, the association has been largely dedicated to supporting reputable companies and promoting high-quality services in the industry.

    The NADCA Standard for Assessment, Cleaning & Restoration of HVAC Systems, or the “ACR” for short, provides a quantifiable performance standard and offers customers a verifiable level of cleaning performance. Adhering to these cleaning guidelines means that a company is using best practices for safety and cleaning.

    In short, NADCA promotes whole-system cleanings. This means you should find a company that cleans the entirety of your HVAC system as part of the service. In fact, “failure to clean all components can result in recontamination of the entire system and minimize the benefits of cleaning.” With this, be sure that your air duct cleaning service cleans the following: air ducts, coils, drain pan, registers, air plenum, blower motor & assembly, air filter, and air cleaners.

    At Stanley Steemer, we provide free, in-home inspections that detail our process and the general health of your HVAC system. Our services include a whole-system clean to deliver the most effective results for source removal of dirt, dust, and other contaminants. 

  1. How are your technicians trained?

  2. Understanding how technicians are trained at air duct cleaning companies is crucial. You don’t want an air duct cleaner who cuts corners and doesn’t keep safety top of mind. It can be especially hard to vet out trusted technicians if companies choose to sub-contract.

    At Stanley Steemer, we never subcontract and always background check our technicians. After our thorough hiring process, our technicians are trained and educated according to the cleaning standards set by NADCA. 

  1. What cleaning equipment will be used on my home?

  2. Your housing type and access to the HVAC system can make cleaning processes vary. Asking a cleaning company what equipment will be used ensures that they have everything needed to deliver the best services. For example, a portable vacuum may be needed if you live on the second floor or higher of a building.

    With the largest fleet of air duct cleaning trucks in the nation, we are well-equipped to tackle any size and style of home. We have both truck-mounted and portable vacuums that deliver a consistent, powerful clean. 

  1. Are you licensed and insured?

  2. Knowing that the company you hired is licensed, trained, and insured protects you from lawsuits arising out of the contractor’s actions and also prevents you from suffering financially should the contractor damage your property or cause injury to you or others.

    Rest assured, we are licensed to do business in states where we operate and are adequately insured on all lines of coverage. With Stanley Steemer, you, as the homeowner, can feel confident that you have the appropriately trained and skilled professionals in your home. 

  1. Do you provide estimates and are there any costs associated?

  2. With the complexities of HVAC systems, estimates are needed for companies to assess your unit and determine pricing & cleaning procedures. Some companies may require payment for these estimates either as a general fee, a mileage fee, etc. Be sure you know whether this will be an added expense for you. At Stanley Steemer, we provide free, zero-obligation estimates. Overall, these provide a great opportunity to ask questions and become informed of any air duct cleaning company’s processes and costs before hiring.

    Before any air duct cleaning, we always start with a free inspection of your HVAC system. During this time, our inspectors evaluate the entire system including supply and return ductwork, air handling unit, dryer vent, and outside condensing unit to assess the need for cleaning. The inspection helps us determine the best cleaning set-up and equipment to be utilized. Our technicians will help answer any questions you may have and keep you well informed from start to finish. Finally, an accurate estimate will be provided, and scheduling can be completed at that time.

  1. What does the price of my air duct cleaning include?

  2. Companies price based on different structures and it’s important to know how a company prices before hiring. This is especially key to avoid potential scams. While there are more than 3 pricing structures, it’s common for air duct cleaning estimates to use some variation of the following methods as their base: 

    1. Per Vent – These types of services charge based on how many vents you have.
    2. Flat Fee + Vent – These services charge a flat service fee (sometimes used as a mileage fee) as well as per vent.
    3. Per Square Footage – These services are priced based on the square footage of your home

    Overall, we recommend reading the fine print of any offer to be safe. Look out for companies that make claims such as “$99 air duct cleaning” or “whole house cleaning” at extremely low prices. These bait-&-switch tactics use low offers to entice customers to book services then upcharge once crew members are in the home.

    For Stanley Steemer, air duct cleaning costs will vary depending on the number of furnaces and vents in your home. Our service costs include a whole-system cleaning. While other companies may only clean air ducts, we clean everything – vents, coils, drain pan, registers, air plenums, blower motor assembly, air filters, etc. for the most effective clean.

    Read more about air duct cleaning costs in our blog, “How Much is Air Duct Cleaning?

  1. How Do You Keep My Home Safe During the Cleaning Service?

  2. Safety should always be a top priority for any air duct cleaning company. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for some businesses. When finding a company, be sure to ask how they plan to keep your home and all occupants safe during the cleaning service.

    At Stanley Steemer, safety is at the forefront before, during, and after the time of service. To keep your home, family, pets, and other guests safe, we do the following:

    • Ensure all equipment and tools brought into the home are clean and in good condition.
    • Set up tools and equipment in a manner to avoid any safety concerns and to avoid damage to your home. Furniture is carefully moved to gain access to registers and grilles. 
    • Place corner guards on each wall to make sure vacuum hoses and air lines do not damage the paint or trim of your home.
    • Place drop cloths down to protect flooring from potential damage from our vacuum hoses.
    • Carefully remove registers and grills from the wall, ceiling, and floors – paying special care to avoid any damage to the paint or the register itself.
    • Test your furnace and air conditioning unit before and after to make sure it is operational (Note: It will be shut off for the duration of the cleaning.)
    • Seal off doors & windows used for the point of entry as a safety precaution. Then, verify all other doors and windows are closed for the duration of the cleaning.
    • Return furniture, ductwork, etc. in its proper place and leave your home looking exactly how we found it.

Ready to breathe cleaner indoor air? Call 1-800-STEEMER to schedule your free air duct cleaning estimate!