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Educational Consumer Tips

Air Duct Cleaning

Author: Better Business Bureau

Local ads offering a low price on air duct cleaning can seem like a great deal with minimal risk. While most companies are on the straight and narrow, Better Business Bureau warns consumers to beware of air duct cleaning businesses that employ bait and switch tactics or try to scare the homeowner into thinking they have a serious health-threatening mold problem.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a careless or inadequately trained service provider can damage your ducts or heating and cooling system, possibly increasing your heating and air conditioning costs or forcing you to undertake difficult and costly repairs or replacements. Complaints to BBB also show that putting your trust in the wrong company can mean spending thousands of dollars on unnecessary mold remediation services.

Most of us aren't experts when it comes to maintaining the mechanical components of our house and we have to rely on the opinion of the technician. Unfortunately, some companies can take advantage of that trust by misleading customers and even lying about having a serious mold problem.

When looking for a professional to clean out air ducts, BBB recommends that consumers:

Look for the Fine Print. Ads and contracts may contain fine print which the business might think will absolve them from honoring their advertised price. Always ask plenty of questions and get to the bottom line of what it's going to cost you, before you sign on the dotted line.

Get a Second Opinion. If the duct cleaner discovers that you have a mold problem, get a second opinion. Mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars so you'll want expert advice on how to take care of it.

File a Complaint with BBB. If you believe you've been misled by a business, file a complaint with your BBB online at Even if BBB isn't able to resolve the issue for you, the complaint can serve as a warning to other consumers about the business.