Do a little investigating on your own. Start by having a look at the duct registers or grilles: Are they discolored and coated with a fine, dark dust? If you remove the cover, reach into the duct, and wipe its sides with a damp rag, does it come out filthy? If so, you should consider having your ducts cleaned.
Here are some important times to consider a duct cleaning:
• Every three to five years. Be wary of a contractor who suggests more frequent cleanings.
• When you move into a new home, unless you know the previous homeowner serviced the air ducts within the last three years.
• After building a new home. It’s likely the ducts have built up debris from drywall dust, and other materials used during the construction phase.
• After completing a home remodeling project. Construction projects spread sawdust throughout the home, and unless you go to lengths to protect the ducts, the dust will extend into the duct-work.
• If you have pets in the home that shed fur and dander. Duct cleaning and effective home cleaning practices can help to prevent it from spreading throughout the home
Know who to hire
• Professionals warn homeowners to avoid air duct cleaning scams and stay away from excessively cheap specials that seem too good to be true.
• Be wary of the bait- and – switch. Companies may quote a low price to get their foot in the door, but this leaves you open to “additional charges” that weren’t disclosed when the call was scheduled.
Keep these points in mind when hiring an air duct cleaning company:
• A good duct cleaning costs between $400 and $1,000 and addresses every aspect of the system that air passes over. This includes the furnace, air coils and central system.
• Good cleaners will use a Roto-brush machine that loosens debris and simultaneously vacuums it up before it reattaches to the ductwork.
• It should take a few hours for a thorough job. If someone is in and out of your home in less than 1 hour, you may not be satisfied with your results.