According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), the Environmental Protection Agency says that "duct cleaning services typically - but not always - range in cost from $450 to $1000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region, and level of contamination" and type of duct material. NADCA further advises that consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning - such claims are unsubstantiated. Consumers should also beware of "blow-and-go" air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their permission.
NADCA suggests invterviewing as many local contractors as you can. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quotation. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:
* Make sure the company is a member in good standing of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).
* See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
* Inquire whether the company is in good standing with your local Better Business Bureau.
* Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
* Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
* Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
* Avoid advertisements for "$99 whole house specials" and other sales gimmicks.
* Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours. Get references from neighbors if possible.
Additional information and consumer tips are available at the NADCA website at www.nadca.com or call NADCA at (202) 737-2926.
According to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation Construction Industry Licensing Board businesses that clean central air and heat ducts for compensation (requires partial disassembly of the system, such as removal of air grills) require a state license. A state license is not required to change an A/C filter or cleaning ducts that do not require removal of the air grills regardless of compensation.
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