Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Air Duct Cleaning Advertisements

The Kansas City Better Business Bureau began looking into the advertising practices of local air duct cleaning companies.  Around the same time, the BBB of Sacramento finished an in-depth year long investigation of the same industry.  We began researching complaints against air duct cleaning companies that advertised inexpensive cleanings, offering specials for as little as $39.95.  In the Kansas City Area, one can expect to pay a few hundred dollars, but no where near as low $40 to $80.

Ward Holman, owner/operator of Air Vision Duct Cleaning of KC, an A+ rated BBB Accredited Business and three-time Angie's List Super Service Award winner, has heard so many stories about these companies that his website states: "I'll tell you why there's no such thing as a $59 duct cleaning--even on a small home!"  We called Holman and asked why there is no such thing and, in the end, it's pretty simple.

"Because they can't make any money," Holman says. "They stay in business because the coupon looks pretty good. Eighteen vents for this price and the homeowner only has nineteen vents. It can't be that much more...A guy starts touring the house, does a quick inspection and they always find mold."  Mold is uncommon, but not unheard of, in air ducts.  "They seem to find it on every job," Holman says. "They start adding up prices and suddenly it costs $575.  The homeowner says something about the cost and the guy says he'll call his boss...he tells the homeowner that the 'boss' says he'll do it for $475.  I'm not saying a house can't get big enough to cost $500, but not every job."

If an Air Duct cleaning company finds mold and increases the price by a few hundred percent, get skeptical.  If you are concerned about mold, you can contact a laboratory to do a proper test for mold.  On site air duct cleaners are not equipped to determine if your ducts are actually infested with mold. Their equipment can only tell, at best, if mold spores are in the air.  Mold spores are virtually always in the air, which makes the test irrelevant.

The best way to combat bait and switch advertising is to check up on any company you might do business with.  For a list of BBB Accredited Air Duct Cleaners, click HERE.


  1. There are only few options to consider when investing in whole house air purifier. There are health issues, cost, and type of purifier to buy. Also check the technical specifications to make sure that it can benefit the square footage of home. You may want to see about do it yourself maintenance like replacing air filters. So consider some of these pros cons when considering if full house air purifier is right for you.


  2. Of curse there could be mold due to damp and neglect and no cleaning of the ducts.Mold is very harmful to health and should be immediately taken up for cleaning.

    1. Air ducts are NORMALLY very arid and active mold growth is not present, though mold SPORES are. I have seen mold on register in bathrooms and near hot tubs. I've also seen mold in a system that had a humidifier running all summer long and the cold duct work was allowing the add water vapor to condense.

  3. to survive with this current economy business owners been promoting their products/services with freebies or discounts. Aside from that having a well trusted company by consumer really helps a lot.

  4. I am happy to hear that the BBB is now getting involved with these scam air duct cleaners. They have tarnished our industry and make it very difficult for honest companies like ours to compete on price.

  5. Thanks for the great advice. Companies that offer the bait and switch are hurting the image of the industry. A licensed and well know company should be used for any air duct cleaning.