Choosing a Duct CleanerIn recent years millions of Americans have had their home air conditioning systems and ductwork cleaned. Duct cleaning can help to reduce the levels of dust within a home, increase the efficiency of the air conditioning system, and diminish the risks of indoor air pollution.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), a non-profit organization, has published a guideline for consumers to follow When choosing an air duct cleaning company.NADCA offers these suggestions for selecting an air duct cleaner:
- Make sure the cleaning contractor uses "source removal" cleaning methods designed to extract the debris within your air conditioning system. The routine application of encapsulants to seal debris within ductwork is not recommended.
- Get references from past jobs. Ask the duct cleaners customers if they were happy with the services performed, if they felt they benefited from the cleaning, and if they experienced any problems with their air conditioning system after the job.
- See if the duct cleaning company is a member in good standing of your local Better Business Bureau.
- Make sure the duct cleaner has worked on air conditioning systems similar to your own and ask how long the cleaning technicians who will be servicing your system have been performing duct cleaning.
- Make sure the duct cleaner takes care to protect your home and belongings. Duct cleaning is a relatively routine process and you should not have to do any unusual house cleaning after the job.
- Make sure that any chemicals used in the cleaning process are EPA registered for the intended application. You may also request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
- Make sure that the cleaner you choose agrees to perform the cleaning services in accordance with all provisions of the industry performance standard NADCA 1992-01, Mechanical Cleaning of Non-Porous Air Conveyance System Components.
- Ask if the firm has all of the necessary business and professional licenses. Some states have recently passed statutes which require that air duct cleaners hold air conditioning contractors' licenses or similar professional licenses.
- Watch out for "add-on" sales. Some cleaners will charge a base fee and then surprise the customer with additional costs for applying sanitzers or other related services. Make sure you have agreed on the total cost and scope of the job before work begins.
- Confirm that the duct cleaner is a member in good standing of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. Choosing a NADCA member to perform the work will ensure that your facility receives a thorough source removal cleaning in accordance with the association's mandatory performance standard.
Contact the NADCA at:
1518 K Street, N.W., Suite 503, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 737-2926. The association provides free literature and listings of member firms.