The best time to clean your air ducts is when you turn on your heating system in the spring and fall. This will remove any built-up dust, dirt, mold spores, and other allergens from the passages in your house that have been collected over the preceding year.
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Choosing the right air duct cleaning company is crucial. That's because many companies claim to be the best and will offer services at a quoted price, but once they begin their work, they try to upsell you on all kinds of unneeded items and services. Since they're already in your home, they reason that you'll be less likely to complain about the upsell.
Most people don't even know that they're being upsold, and it's very easy to miss some of the added fees or services. Some companies will show you their price and then charge an extra $100 or more for items "that need to be done." For example, a company might offer to clean your air ducts for $79.99 per system and an extra $20 for each vent that needs attention. Or they could try charging you extra for services not rendered, such as travel time or "per truck." Some even go as far as adding on a percentage of the overall job cost to the service and pass that cost to you.
Most companies offer a basic package that includes cleaning, sanitizing, and pest control. As part of the basic package, they may offer to clean your dryer vent for free - a bonus. But these same companies will upsell you on various add-on services such as adding chemical biocide to your system after cleaning, replacing the furnace filter, etc. Some companies use bait-and-switch by promising one price and then adding on extra fees when they arrive to do the work.
So how do you avoid being up-sold? The best way is to ask them what is included in their quote and specifically ask them what's not included. They should tell you what is included, and they should not try to upsell you on any extras at all - regardless of whether it's a "per track" charge or something else that is completely unrelated to the actual work being done.
If they try to upsell you, simply say no every time they try. They will eventually get the message and stop trying to convince you that you need their services. But it might take a few times of saying no before they realize that there is no way around it.
Another thing that companies use as a selling point is how long they've been in business, but there's no correlation between experience and quality work. They may have been in business for several years, but you should avoid doing business with them if the reviews are poor.
When it comes to choosing a company, ask around and check online reviews. Get references and do thorough research before signing contracts or giving any money upfront. This way you can be sure that you will receive the services that you were promised.
The fact is, there are many excellent companies out there that provide excellent service at fair prices. But if your area is home to sub-par companies, it's difficult to spot them until they've given you problems. So always do your homework before hiring someone, and don't take their word that the price they are offering is reasonable - do your research.
Some companies specialize in HVAC equipment, but instead of cleaning ducts, they offer what's known as "duct sealing." This process involves injecting a sealant into all the connections on your forced air heating system to seal any leaks or holes. Note that this will not fix a leaky furnace or blower motor, which is the most common cause of forced-air heating systems.
The issue with duct sealing is that although some companies do it well, others don't know how to do the job correctly. So if you're considering hiring someone to seal your ducts, go through the same research process as before to ensure that the company knows what they are doing.
When it comes time to pay, make sure you get an itemized list of all services and prices upfront. If you don't receive one, ask for it or walk away. It's also a good idea to get multiple quotes from different companies. Price isn't everything, but if you know what other companies are charging, it can give you an idea of who is offering the best value.
Lastly, make sure always to read and understand any contract before signing. Never sign a blank contract. The key here is to remember that many good companies out there will provide quality services at fair prices. It's just a matter of doing your homework before hiring anyone to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.