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Duct Cleaning in new homes is a scam.

Printed From: Carpet & Floor Cleaning Industry Discussion
Category: Carpet Cleaners Discussion
Forum Name: Air Duct Cleaning & Indoor Air Quality Discussion
Forum Description: Discuss anything relating to air duct cleaning
URL: https://www.kleenkuip.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5626
Printed Date: 03/April/2020 at 7:37pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Duct Cleaning in new homes is a scam.
Posted By: jaymark1
Subject: Duct Cleaning in new homes is a scam.
Date Posted: 06/February/2009 at 2:06pm

I know im going to get alot of flack for this one. 

Before I started my carpet cleaning business, I put myself thru college working at a HVAC business.  We did a good amount(50%) of replacement.  Meaning, we would take out the old heater, and install a new, along with often replacing the duct work.  I can only remeber, and I stress this is in the average home, 2 occasions where duct cleaning might have made a difference.   

Before you call me an idiot, or stupid, or that im a virgin or something, understand that I did see homes where a filter wasnt changed, or there was construction debris.  I am refering to the average home that maintained there system and changed there filter.
 
The man who was a VP at the company, also did duct cleaning before he came to the company, someone who I thought of as a good friend.  He even said it was a scam, and he used to have to carry a bag of dirt around for when people asked to see what was in the duct.  I didnt say he was honest!
 
about 2 years ago, the bosses son and I were looking into adding it to the company, since it was large, 50 employees and 30,000 customers over the years.  And after awhile, we both looked at each other and gave up.  I could not morally charge people for the service.
 
When you look at the amount of material that is floating in the air, cleaning the dirt out of a duct wont make much of a difference.  I know there will be people who will quote some EPA guildline, but the simple fact is that there is very few occasions where the duct gets covered like you see in duct cleaning ads.
 
I even saw on here someone said every 6 months you need your ducts cleaned, you gotta be kidding me


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I dont predict the future or sell glides, am I allowed on this site?



Replies:
Posted By: CCandmore
Date Posted: 06/February/2009 at 3:40pm
Like the man you described, there are a lot of dishonest and/or incompetent duct cleaners around who sometimes give the industry a bad name.  If the ducts aren't dirty, I tell the customer it's not needing to be cleaned.  I lose that job, but get many referrals for being honest.
 
I have a a separate vehicle and equipment for air duct cleaning, not some vac hose attachment or Rotobrush.  When I clean the ductwork, plenum, trunklines, blower, and coils I get a lot of crap out.  I show the customer before and after.  The local HVAC companies have seen my work and started recommending my company to their customers after furnace replacements, IF IT IS NEEDED.  When I treat for mold, etc. I  use an EPA approved microbiocide, not some glorified air freshener like Envirocon. 
 
I seldom clean new construction, however there are times when it is neccessary.  Drywall work taking place while the air is running is not uncommon.  Heavy drywall dust on the AHU coils/fins will make the AHU very inefficient and send it to an early grave - ask any HVAC installer or repairman.  I those instances, I do clean the ductwork, coils, etc. removing the drywall dust from the system and restoring the efficiency and longevity of the AHU.
 
I'm glad you're not charging people for the service, since you obviously do not know a lot about it.  Don't make statements badmouthing an entire industry based on your own very limited experience.


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 06/February/2009 at 4:45pm
Originally posted by CCandmore CCandmore wrote:

Like the man you described, there are a lot of dishonest and/or incompetent duct cleaners around who sometimes give the industry a bad name.  If the ducts aren't dirty, I tell the customer it's not needing to be cleaned.  I lose that job, but get many referrals for being honest.
 

I have a a separate vehicle and equipment for air duct cleaning, not some vac hose attachment or Rotobrush.  When I clean the ductwork, plenum, trunklines, blower, and coils I get a lot of crap out.  I show the customer before and after.  The local HVAC companies have seen my work and started recommending my company to their customers after furnace replacements, IF IT IS NEEDED.  When I treat for mold, etc. I  use an EPA approved microbiocide, not some glorified air freshener like Envirocon. 

 

I seldom clean new construction, however there are times when it is neccessary.  Drywall work taking place while the air is running is not uncommon.  Heavy drywall dust on the AHU coils/fins will make the AHU very inefficient and send it to an early grave - ask any HVAC installer or repairman.  I those instances, I do clean the ductwork, coils, etc. removing the drywall dust from the system and restoring the efficiency and longevity of the AHU.

 

I'm glad you're not charging people for the service, since you obviously do not know a lot about it.  Don't make statements badmouthing an entire industry based on your own very limited experience.



I agree.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: jaymark1
Date Posted: 06/February/2009 at 5:31pm
You are right, the man who showed customers a bag full of dust he kept on the truck was dishonest, but he had to be because he just wasnt finding anything to clean.  He is not the only one, men I trust, good honest men, who have been in the HVAC industry for 25 years have said the same thing.
 
You can call me whatever you want, but I was in hundreds of homes over those 4 years, ripped apart hundreds of duct systems, and I had a hard time trying to convince myself this was an honest business.
 
Granted, I am sure when you clean a duct system, you find a bag full of crap, and the customer is amazed, but the pictures you have on your website ken, are not the typical senerio in someones home, and in my opinion dishonest.  The most I ever found on a duct system was just a layer of dust, which most of the time, was permintly stuck on due to condensation and constent change of temp, it was NOT floating in the air.  And im sure when you removed that layer of dust, it filled up a bag, please see article below!
 
Dont tell me I dont know anything about it sir, I have eyes, I can see that a duct is not dirty.  I know load limits on ducts, i did the math, I constructed duct systems on a computer, I hung duct, installed systems, have you sir?  Just because you run a alittle brush thru the duct and suck it out, and I dont do duct cleaning, doesnt make you the expert, and me the idiot sir.
 
I do believe duct cleaning can only be preformed in these couple of instances.  Right after new construction, since the construction guys us ducts as a trash can, guess what Ken, that HVAC company I worked for, had contracts with one of the largest home builders in america so i saw alot of duct systems.   You are right, construction dust will kill a system, but try and convice someone who just bought a new million dollar home that they need to spend a couple of hundred bucks because there ducts are dirty!!!!   In an older house that didnt keep up with proper maintance, when a filter has not been replaced, and in cased of mold.  If there is mold though, most of the time it is in what they call duct board, not ducts, unless you have a constant water source.  Please see last sentence from article below!
 
 
 
This is a report from the EPA  It was written by Jeanne Huber, who works for the Washington Post Ken, and 10 years later, the EPA still doesnt recomend it.
 
"In 1997, the EPA released a 16-page handout based on that research. It was pretty damning. "Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems," the report said. "Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts or go down after cleaning. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space." The report went on to say that duct cleaning could be useful if there is visible mold inside ducts, but only if they are metal or other solid material, and only if the cleaning is done properly. Ducts with interior insulation can't be adequately cleaned and must be replaced if they become moldy."
 
 
 


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I dont predict the future or sell glides, am I allowed on this site?


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 06/February/2009 at 7:49pm
Duct cleaning cleans the duct walls clean to a higher state of clean than existed before. Regardless of wether there are health effects from doing it(in most cases there are not), it makes people feel better that it has been done. That alone is why the service is needed.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: CCandmore
Date Posted: 06/February/2009 at 11:52pm
Jaymark1
 
First of all, you are talking to 2 different Kens.  I am Kenny Wright (CCandmore), not Superglide Ken.  As for your questions and statements:
 
"Just because you run a alittle brush thru the duct and suck it out, and I dont do duct cleaning, doesnt make you the expert, and me the idiot sir."
I did not call you an idiot, and running a little brush and sucking it out is what people with CC attachments do, not me.  Are you familiar with established NADCA standards?
 
"I know load limits on ducts, i did the math, I constructed duct systems on a computer, I hung duct, installed systems, have you sir?"
Thanks for asking. Yes I know load limits and have done all those things. It occurs to me that most of those things mentioned involve new ductwork (unless your switching out an old unit), so of course the duct work doesn't need cleaning.  If you had switched out many old units, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.  You stated "that HVAC company I worked for, had contracts with one of the largest home builders in america so i saw alot of duct systems." Again: HOME BUILDERS = NEW ductwork. 
 
Those "good honest men, who have been in the HVAC industry for 25 years have said the same thing" aren't they spending the majority or their time installing new ductwork and installing or servicing residential and commercial HVAC components other than ductwiork?
 
When you say you have "ripped apart hundreds of duct systems" I don't know why you would be ripping apart duct systems.  For cleaning, you should be zoning off the AHU to protect it and accessing the truncklines for suction.  If you are telling me you have gotten a look into a few 20+ year old return air runs and didn't think they had to be cleaned, then I can't think of anything to say because I promised myself not to call you any bad names.
 
"Granted, I am sure when you clean a duct system, you find a bag full of crap, and the customer is amazed, but the pictures you have on your website ken, are not the typical senerio in someones home, and in my opinion dishonest.  The most I ever found on a duct system was just a layer of dust, which most of the time, was permintly stuck on due to condensation and constent change of temp, it was NOT floating in the air." 
Again, not me, not my website or pictures (mine are actual and realistic).  When I find a thin layer of dust, stuck on or not, I show the homeowner and recommend not cleaning.  Of course, I would still clean it if they insisted, but I can only recall that happening a few times with customers that had severe respiratory issues.  When I clean I get a lot more than a bag full of crap and, more importantly, my heavy pleated filters are FULL of dust.  When I take the filter out to throw it away, if I shake it a tiny bit the dust can float in the air.
 
I don't "try and convice someone who just bought a new million dollar home that they need to spend a couple of hundred bucks because there ducts are dirty!!!"  If the ductwork needs cleaning, I just show the homeowner/business owner.  I don't have to recommend the cleaning; they see it with their own eyes. 
 
Just because you worked for a guy for 4 years helping him to screw homeowners doesn't mean you are correct to assume all air duct cleaning companies operate at that level of integrity.  By your account, you worked quite a while believing you were ripping people off.  You couldn't find a legitimate employer?  It's kind of hard to believe that experience gives you the expertise to condem an industry.  I'm not out to screw anybody and I resent your comments.  If what your talking about was my situation, I'd just sell the equipment.  Also, the guys who charge a couple of hundred bucks are usually the dishonest ones.  My average residential duct cleaning job takes two people 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
 
By the way, I market my carpet cleaning services but my air duct cleaning customers come through recommendations from satisfied customers and HVAC installation and service companies.  Other than an occasional local ad, I don't push the marketing for air duct cleaning because CC and upholstery is easier to sell and more lucrative by the hour.  When people call me, I know the majority will need their ducts cleaned.  That wouldn't be the case if I were doing a lot of duct cleaning advertising and out going door to door. 
 
You are correct that mold in duct systems isn't common without a constant moisture source.  There are plenty of residential systems (in this part of the country) that get mold from being located in damp crawlspaces.  Residential and commercial systems can have stuff growing due to dirty coil fins.  In areas with a lot of construction, I've found that Condos with heat pumps in outdoor closets are especially susceptible to mold.  Furthermore, a quality microbiocide applied properly will remove bacteria and fungi, in addition to mold. 
 
Finally, anytime someone references that one EPA article they claim it says you shouldn't clean air ducts.  I wish they, or you, would actually READ the article before talking about it.  Read the EPA study and findings, not the Washington Post reporter's interpretation.  (The Washington Post: have they ever been known to twist things around to sell papers? Hmmm.)  The study doesn't find that air duct cleaning improves indoor air quality, NOR does the study find that air duct cleaning doesn't improves indoor air quality.  It's inconclusive and the testing methods from the 1997 study left a lot to be desired.  I don't care whether you believe me, but at least read the actual study before regurgitating some reporter's B.S.
 
The EPA study was a flop and, to my knowledge, has never been revisited.  I do know that what I clean from customers' ducts I would not want in my family's air ducts.  I also know that many customers stop me (I live in a small community) and tell me how improved their allergies, asthma, odors and dust are since their ductwork was cleaned. 
 
Bottom line is my experience probably won't change your mind and vice-versa.  Difference is I didn't start a post to a forum  that blatently badmouths the integrity and honesty of your business practices.
 
Kenny Wright (CCandmore, not Superglide Ken)
 


Posted By: CCandmore
Date Posted: 06/February/2009 at 11:58pm
"Duct cleaning cleans the duct walls clean to a higher state of clean than existed before. Regardless of wether there are health effects from doing it(in most cases there are not), it makes people feel better that it has been done. That alone is why the service is needed."
 
Pardon me, Superglide Ken.  That may be true of those using Duct Wizards, Rotobrushes, and the like.  However there are many duct cleaners who actually run a credible business and provide a valuable and needed service.  Your type of approach is absolutely indefensible in my opinion. 


Posted By: jaymark1
Date Posted: 07/February/2009 at 3:07pm
Yes Ken Wright, owner of  Wright Cleaning from Virginia, I checked out your webpage before i wrote back the first time.  The other Ken only write that he agreed with you.
 
But ken, we never did duct cleaning, we only looked into it
 
I was involved in the day to day opperation, the business did service(about 40%), replacement(50% of business), and new construction(10% of business), it had 50 people, and 30,000 customers in only 15 years of business.  We didnt do duct cleaning, he would recomned someone else.  His son and I thought about adding it, we had the big manufature of the duct cleaning trucks(the ones that cost 80 grand, and we had the rotobrush guy come out with his little shop vac) come out and give us demos, but never got beyond writing the business plan.  I completly understand the process, I understand everything your doing, I know about the duct cleaning asc, and there rules about cleaning, and like I said, there is a market for it.
 
When I say ripped apart duct systems, I mean ripping the return box and plenium, as you know, you dont actualy rip out the entire system of an old house.  but many times, your still removing a good amount of duct work and replacing it with new duct work that the old guy in the shop made up from our drayings. 
 
but even in 50 year old return and supply duct, there was only 2 occasions where I thought the cost verse the value to the customer might be worth it, and in both occasions, the customer didnt use a filter.  I know your from the dirty south, so maybe they need more duct cleaning, ahaha im only kidding Ken, its just a north south joke.
 
as far as the EPA report, im sure your right.  I did skim thru it, the reporter, referrs everyone to the report, and tells you how to find out.
 
I just feel, that if it doesnt really improve IAC, and only cleans the ducts from dirt, whoo hoo big whoop.  I believe that this is exactly why people can get away with scamming for duct cleaning, people believe they have it cleaned, and now they feel better, and unlike yourself, an honest business man, most dont have the little camera to show the customer you are cleaning. 
 
Big%20smile I have enjoyed this debate
 


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I dont predict the future or sell glides, am I allowed on this site?


Posted By: CCandmore
Date Posted: 07/February/2009 at 8:30pm
OK, Jaymark1.  Lets just disagree and be done with it.


Posted By: FuzzSucker
Date Posted: 11/February/2009 at 9:42pm
Its like I tell my customers that are interested in duct cleaning. "The goal is to reduce air born material that can be recycled into your home."
Your not going to be able to eat off of it when I'm done, but you will have less dust in your home and on your furnishings and carpet.
You cant argue with that.


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http://thepremierclean.com - http://thepremierclean.com | http://carpetcleaning-coloradosprings.com - Colorado Springs Carpet Cleaning


Posted By: John L
Date Posted: 11/February/2009 at 11:10pm
Originally posted by jaymark1 jaymark1 wrote:

Dont tell me I dont know anything
LOL LOL LOL LOL
 
That happens alot on this forum.. LOL
 
SmileTongueWinkCryBig%20smileLOLDeadEmbarrassedConfusedClapAngryOuchStarShockedSleepyUnhappyCool
 
 


Posted By: duckcountry
Date Posted: 12/February/2009 at 2:00pm
so this was not about duck cleaning?Wink 
still conmen do have a stinch all their own.

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Are you in a high paying business or are you just a self employed low paid grunt who thinks this business provides dignity?


Posted By: Americancarpet
Date Posted: 23/August/2009 at 12:05pm
There is a guy here in Indianapolis that does Duct Cleaning.... he's been running his "Two Week Only" special for the last year. I guess he'd ripped off so many people that the local TV station called him out on it. Next thing you know he closed his shop up, quit running the ads and has apparently moved out of town.

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Home of the FIX PRIXING carpet cleaning!


Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 23/August/2009 at 1:09pm
Yes there is good and bad operators in EVERY profession.But this is a MULTI-BILLION Dollar business that is not going away. You can make money from it, or get out of the way for those that will.People will ALWAYS be there to fill a demand.


In this one we use a camera equipped video system(yes we do sell it) on every air duct cleaning job to show the customer what soil is in thier ductwork BEFORE we clean it. That way THEY are making the decision wether to clean or not, not us.Then we show them the picture as we clean it so they can see the soil being removed. Then we show them pictures of the ductwork AFTER the cleaning is complete for their approval that the service is complete. The result is happy customers.We can even give them a copy of the entire cleaning so they can show it to their freinds if they want it.

With Complete Video equipped packages selling for under $4000-$5000, there is no excuse that EVERYONE cant operate this way.

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Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.


Posted By: TrueNorth
Date Posted: 17/November/2010 at 1:45am

I clean ducts: I went through a moral crysis wondering if it was really worth it to the consumer or not. 

 But ultimately this drives me to do the best job possible and use the some of the best equipment availalbe . Now I've been doing it a few years and have had lots of positive feedback:
 
There are homes where I tell the customer you don't need this done; here's why.  If they tell me to do  it, they will win that discussion.
 
I have sucked mice out of duct work and have discovered runs that aren't attached. I've fixed furnaces for people and let them know of impending problems (we have a gas detection meter). I'm in there why not make sure its kosher. We clean parts of the furnace that prevents them from failing and having a callout to a plumber which would end up costing them half of what our entire cleaning service does anyway. 
 
I've been told by customers that before cleaning the ducts a layer of dust would cover the desks every morning or that black dirt would be throughout the house. After cleaning it was all good.  I've found a hole big enough for a cat to come in through the floor of a trailer.
 
After the ductwork is cleaned I don't tell them 6 months or a year. I tell them to change the filter regulary and you should be good for atleast 5 years maybe even more.
 
As with anything people will cheat you; but a good duct cleaner will definately benefit the customers who call.
 
In the end it's not just about Indoor Air Quality, its about keeping your house or office clean, knowing that there isn't anything rotting in your ductwork and inspecting the HVAC system inside out.


Posted By: TrueNorth
Date Posted: 17/November/2010 at 2:12am
  http://morecfm.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=188 - TT ZX7 Air Duct Cleaner- Works with ANY TM to make you $1000's
 
The service is in high demand and pays about an average $475 for about 60-90 minutes work.
 
After that, the thousands of dollars per month you can make with this tool is almost like finding FREE money!
 
-turbotek
 
My bullsh*t scam detector is going off on this product. 
 
60-90 minutes?  So you are going to spend 3-5 minutes sticking your hose down each vent in the house and charge $475 for this.  
 
My guys have to work hard for 4-5 hours to clean a system right.
 


Posted By: wheelie
Date Posted: 06/December/2010 at 6:03am
Definatly not a scam if done properly. I have done two homes that were condemed by the health department over the condition of the ducts. I have never done a house in less than 4 hours. Most take me 5 to 6 hours to do. I am a licenced sheet metal and fitter 2 for gas. Had a licenced sheet metal working helping me a few days that never believed in duct cleaning but he is a firm believer in it now and recommends me for jobs. I do alot of new houses and the furnaces with the new DC motors, slightest dust will ruin a 800 dollar motor. I give reduced rates for new homes. Make my guys go down each vent pipe 3 times. First skipper ball then Air whip, then skipper Ball. Do same in trunks as many times as it needs to get them clean. As for the guy with a bag of dirt, well don't matter what trade you are in you will have some that are dishonest. If you are not going to clean everything in the system including the underside of the a/c coil, well it is not being done properly. See to many companies hooking up and driving off in 1 1/2 hours and I shake my head thinking , man I would be just getting started, They could not have  any better equipment than I have. I have all top of the line Nikkro.



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