When you hear the term air duct cleaning, the first thing that likely comes to mind are the scams that are so pervasive in that industry. We have all seen the videos and news channels showing charlatans and con artists in the act of duping the unsuspecting public of their hard earned money. Air duct cleaning is a very important service for maintaining the health of your household and keeping your HVAC system working at peak efficiency. Sadly, honest local air duct cleaners, the ones who do quality work for a fair price, also receive the bad rap. So how do you tell the duct cleaning scams in Michigan from the legitimate operations when air duct cleaning scams and mold inspection scams are so prevalent?
Here are the top three air duct cleaning scams in Michigan and how you can avoid them.
1. The Good Old Air Duct Cleaning Bait and Switch Trick
How many times have you received a great coupon offer that’s just too good to pass up? What the heck, why not go ahead and have your air ducts cleaned and some dryer duct cleaning as well while you at it, especially at that ultra-low price? Well, the problem is, the price they give is not really the price they want you to pay. You will be offered the best air duct cleaning deals you’ve ever seen; however, once they come to your home and actually perform the most minimal vent cleaning job possible, suddenly, you’ll get hit with “necessary” upgrades that cost extra, of course. And they still probably won’t do a very good job because their business model is all about preying on their customers by making money for minimal, ineffective vent cleaning services. That doesn’t mean this is the case for all coupons and special offers. It just means that you need to perform your own due diligence before hiring any air duct cleaning company to service your vents.
2. The Mold Inspection Scam
The mold inspection scam works like this: You will receive a coupon for air duct cleaning that states they will provide you with a free mold inspection in addition to the low cost duct cleaning service they offered. And guess what? After performing the inspection, they always find mold. Suddenly that cheap vent cleaning service offer you received is now going to cost you hundreds of dollars more to get rid of mold you probably don’t have. Additionally, sometimes those companies will even bring fake tests with them to convince you that you do in fact have mold.
In most cases, you get what you pay for. Air duct cleaning is not as cheap of a service as those low cost offers would have you believe. If you think about it, no company would be able to stay in business if they actually performed their services at such a low price. Therefore, it’s to your benefit to take the time necessary to look for the best air duct cleaning company in Michigan and properly vet them to make sure they are reputable before you make any decisions.
3. The Smoke and Mirrors Air Duct Cleaning Scam
With this scam, you will receive a coupon for a very low cost air duct cleaning service. Once the vent cleaning company arrives at your home, they will pretend to clean your air ducts by only cleaning the part of your vents you can see. Then they will tell you they’re finished and will be on to the next job to perform their scam again. This type of service will only leave your vents in worse shape than if you had done nothing at all because no deep vent cleaning was performed. A service that just does a quick, visible surface cleaning will only push the dust and debris further back into the part of your HVAC system that can’t be easily reached and those accumulated toxins will then be recirculated back into the air you breathe.
How To Protect Yourself From Air Duct Cleaning Scams
The best way to protect yourself from air duct cleaning scams is to make sure the company you hire is properly lice nsed and insured in the state of Michigan and that their license number is clearly stated on their website. And, you should also make sure it’s listed under that company’s name and that it’s not a DBA or some other affiliated name. Additionally, the State also requires any person who accesses commercial or residential ductwork to have a category 3 mechanical contractors license, before they are allowed to clean your air ducts; otherwise, they will be considered to be operating illegally. And unfortunately, air duct cleaners who operate illegally are fairly common and as a result, if something happens in your home, you’re not protected. So don’t let all those lower prices fool you. A few other things you can do to protect yourself from unscrupulous air duct cleaning companies is to check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, as well as any online and offline reviews and testimonials that are available.
The Bottom Line
Just remember you get what you pay for, especially if you don’t hire a licensed, professional vent cleaning company. Hiring unlicensed air duct cleaners could end up costing you more than just money. It could also result in damaged vents as well. And this will require you to spend even more money to have them repaired, not to mention the higher electric bills you will receive before you even realize there is a problem.