Choosing the best duct cleaner is a process of determining the type air duct problem that needs to be solved, matching that problem to a professional who has experience in it, getting an estimate for service from the cleaner and checking references. It is typical, once the problem has been identified, to request estimates and check references of up to three cleaning professionals or companies. The duct cleaner chosen should reflect the best combination of experience, reputation and cost.
In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests having air ducts cleaned if the home or business owner can see mold growing on either the interior sides of air ducts or the components of heating or air conditioning units. Evidence of rats, mice or insects present in duct systems may indicate a need for cleaning as well. Ducts should be cleaned if they are fully or partially blocked by trash or debris, or if material blows out of the vents when the heating or cooling system is in operation.
Duct cleaning is primarily performed to remove foreign material and not to improve the health aspects of air in the home or business, according to the U.S. EPA. That organization cautions against hiring an air duct cleaner primarily because of claims of improved health resulting from the cleaning and stresses the need for routine duct cleaning as a normal part of business maintenance. The EPA does not offer certifications to duct cleaner services.
Be certain the air duct cleaners to be evaluated have experience in the specific problem identified with the duct system. It is common to ask the duct cleaner what types of chemicals, if any, are used in the cleaning process and to expect and explanation as to the effectiveness and safety of the chemicals. Use online resources and any local agencies that rank businesses for reliability and customer feedback.
Select up to three duct cleaners from those initially identified. Each of the three should be asked to provide references and a firm cost estimate. The home or business owner also should personally discuss the project with a representative of the duct cleaner.
Service after the project is completed is an often overlooked component of what makes the best duct cleaner. Be certain to agree in the beginning how problems will be addressed. Specifically ask references if the duct cleaner delivered quality service in a timely manner and for the agreed budget.