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Dirty ducts? What to expect from a proper duct cleaning

These items could be lurking in your air ducts and you wouldn’t even know it. Yuck! Getting your air ducts cleaned will help ensure a healthy and efficient home. But there’s one problem: how do you know your home is getting a thorough cleaning? We spoke with Dave’s Duct Cleaning, an award-winning air duct cleaning company servicing homes in the GTA, about what to expect.

Brendan Ryan, a senior air duct cleaning technician of Dave’s Duct Cleaning, has been in the business long enough to know what goes into a proper and thorough air duct cleaning. Here’s what you need to know before you hire a duct cleaning contractor.

Research the air duct cleaning contractorDave's Duct Cleaning - Example of an HVAC system in a NEW build

When selecting a contractor, Ryan says homeowners should check whether the company has affiliations with reputable trade organizations such as National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), a non-profit association of companies that clean HVAC systems. It represents companies that are qualified to inspect, clean and restore HVAC systems.

The Qualified Air Duct Cleaners Affiliation (QUADCA) is an organization that recognizes reputable air duct cleaning businesses once they’re inspected by the QUADCA team, ensuring they use proper tools and equipment.

Guess what? Dave’s Duct Cleaning has been recognized by both organizations, so you as the homeowner knows you’re getting a thorough duct cleaning by a reputable organization.

Ryan also recommends homeowners research customer reviews.

Here’s why you should hire an air duct cleaning contractor with these credentials:

Don’t be afraid to ask for referencesDave's Duct Cleaning - Debris from 1 HVAC system

A contractor should be able to provide references of work completed within the last 30 days. “If the company is constantly busy and is consistently doing work, they should be able to provide you with a reference as early as the day before,” says Ryan.

Ask for an assessment

The contractor should inspect the system prior to performing any work and should be able to confirm whether or not the air duct cleaning service is necessary. Dave’s Duct Cleaning charges $129 for an assessment, and gives a $50 credit which then can be applied towards a future air duct cleaning should the service not be needed. Using digital cameras, a contractor should be able to tell whether your system needs to be cleaned or not. Typically, air duct cleaning should be done every five to seven years, though a home in a high-traffic area or in an area that is currently under construction may require more frequent cleanings.

Ask for photos of work

Upon completion of their work, the contractor should be able to show you before and after photos. “How do you know it’s clean if you can’t see it?” asks Ryan. Dave’s Duct Cleaning uses digital cameras to do a visual inspection and documents their work with photos. “We always take between 60 to 100 photos of everything that we’re cleaning,” he says.

Dave’s Duct Cleaning documents its work by taking videos as well! Take a look at this one, but be warned! What’s inside looks pretty nasty!

Moral of the story: get your air ducts cleaned! Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean the dirt isn’t there!

Ask how long a cleaning will take

A typical air duct cleaning should take about an hour for every 1,000 square feet. If a contractor quotes you an hour for a 3,000 square foot home, you should be suspicious that you aren’t getting a thorough cleaning.

dave's duct cleaning

Routine air duct cleaning is essential to the health of your home. Scroll through Dave’s Duct Cleaning profile for an image gallery of before and after projects. The pictures you see will make you run to your phone to schedule an inspection!

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