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Old 07-03-2013, 01:13 AM   #1
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


Just had my ducts cleaned by a reputable company off angies list. For 149.00 they attached a huge vacuum at the return duct by removing a panel and then used compressed air (200psi I think) coming out of 12 inch wand and blew at the vents. They also sprayed a chemical that kills dust mites And mold out of a spray bottle. No vent covers were ever removed. The wand just slipped through vents. What do you guys think?

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Old 07-03-2013, 01:49 AM   #2
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First clue....Angie's list.......

200 PSI? Yea, right....most compressors would blow up at 175 PSI.....

Did the job include you being 'hosed off'?

So....two guys....there for about 45 minutes....?

I personally use an 'hourly' figure to determine if something is a fair value....

Assume a 'labor' rate is going to be around $30/hr.....this is assuming a 'real' company. That $30 means the employee gets $15....and $15 is the other real cost to a company for insurance, SSN, workmans comp, etc.

Then you need profit....none of us work for free.....so double the labor rate.

Then add equipment use and materials....

So....if a particular job is going to take 2 guys an hour....if you assume each guy should cost about $60/hr....then toss in equipment costs.....then you have to factor in travel time....(if you live 30 min from the office, the boss still has to pay his employees)....so a 1 hr job is actually 2 hours/person.

So...in the OP's case.....I bet they don't have a contractor's license....I doubt they were there more than 45 min.....I doubt the employee's have any benefits...much less pay any taxes....

You could have done the same thing in 30 min with your shop vac.........and a bottle of water with a little bit of bleach in it.....

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Old 07-03-2013, 04:44 AM   #3
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


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Originally Posted by jclee View Post
Just had my ducts cleaned by a reputable company off angies list. For 149.00 they attached a huge vacuum at the return duct by removing a panel and then used compressed air (200psi I think) coming out of 12 inch wand and blew at the vents. They also sprayed a chemical that kills dust mites And mold out of a spray bottle. No vent covers were ever removed. The wand just slipped through vents. What do you guys think?
Your wallet is $149.00 lighter.

Very little dirt was removed.

Don't dust your house for a month. Connect a huge vacuum to the front door of your house. Insert a 12" wand in each widow and blow compressed air into the house. Now tell me how clean your coffee table got.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:40 AM   #4
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


The vacuum probably shouldn't have been on the return trunk if they were cleaning the vent side. That means they would have been pulling all that dirt back down through the blower. Something doesn't seem right with all this.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:43 AM   #5
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


There's a national organization that sets standards and certifies companies. http://www.nadca.com/. I would read their page and probably only hire companies that are on their site.

From what I've read, you have to pay quite a bit more than $149 to get it done right.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:46 AM   #6
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I had 2 quotes to get my whole system cleaned and both were around $650. And that's with no chemical spray that I wouldn't get anyways. 18 vents and 3 returns.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:42 AM   #7
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The only time that you should have your duct work cleaned out, is after a major renovation. Otherwise it is snake oil. Worst is if you have old duct work that has the Asbestos tape on the joints, the duct cleaning can do more damage than good, when it comes to that stuff.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #8
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


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Originally Posted by bova80
The vacuum probably shouldn't have been on the return trunk if they were cleaning the vent side. That means they would have been pulling all that dirt back down through the blower. Something doesn't seem right with all this.
It may have not been the return.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


while finishing my basement I was adding new duct runs and looked inside my ducts. my house is only 3 years old so I was shocked when I saw how dirty it was, must have run the furnace when they were doing drywall work.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


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The only time that you should have your duct work cleaned out, is after a major renovation. Otherwise it is snake oil. Worst is if you have old duct work that has the Asbestos tape on the joints, the duct cleaning can do more damage than good, when it comes to that stuff.
Snake oil? Seriously? I can point to about 6 different reasons to get your ducts cleaned off the top of my head. I agree about the major renovations as a cause to get them cleaned. How about a home with a lot of animals? How about a home where there are occupants with asthma? Ever see a home that is not clean as a whistle? Yeah... that duct work gets filthy. Ever see ductwork in a high moisture environment? Dust gets in and then gets moldy and that crap is not healthy to be breathing in all the time.

I cannot see how someone can tell another person that duct cleaning is a waste of money except for major renovations. A responsible company doing duct cleaning will show the homeowner problem areas and explain why the cleaning is needed. There are tons that won't go that far because they want money but just because some companies just want the money doesn't mean that all duct cleaning is a scam.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


FClef, dict cleaning is a waste of money, unless you have had flooding that allowed mold spores to go through the system, or major renovations.

As long as you do regular dusting and vacuuming, along with changing your filter on your furnace, not use the cheap blue paper thin filters, you should never have to have your ducts cleaned.

Majority of the time you are throwing money away on it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:36 PM   #12
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What is a proper duct cleaning job?


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FClef, dict cleaning is a waste of money, unless you have had flooding that allowed mold spores to go through the system, or major renovations.

As long as you do regular dusting and vacuuming, along with changing your filter on your furnace, not use the cheap blue paper thin filters, you should never have to have your ducts cleaned.

Majority of the time you are throwing money away on it.
That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. If you re-read my post I sited examples of where it could be needed. If you have any experience going into people's homes for a living then you know as well as I do that there are plenty of homes out there that use thin filters, don't clean their homes, have high moisture in the area where ducts are run or they have tons of animals in the home or a health condition. It certainly is not Snake Oil in the examples I sited. Sure, it is not always needed, but to be totally dismissive of the need in some cases is a little overboard wouldn't you agree?
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bova80 View Post
while finishing my basement I was adding new duct runs and looked inside my ducts. my house is only 3 years old so I was shocked when I saw how dirty it was, must have run the furnace when they were doing drywall work.
Oh, by the way, those ducts are pretty clean save for the little bit of dust in there. I would tell you that you would be wasting your money getting them cleaned. I have seen much worse.

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