Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Air Duct Cleaning Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an air duct cleaning company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified air duct cleaning contractor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated air duct cleaning company and

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an air duct cleaning company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified air duct cleaning contractor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated air duct cleaning company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Sonoma County – Air Duct Cleaning CATEGORY

Chris Street is a longtime veteran of the HVAC industry and president of Enviro Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (707) 809-5969 or by email.

Chris Street

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Chris Street: A Second Trade

By James Florence

ROHNERT PARK — When a debilitating injury ended his roofing career, Chris Street found himself starting from scratch in a new professional field. In the end, however, his twist of fate resulted in a greater success than he’d ever imagined. “I developed carpal tunnel syndrome early in my roofing career, and when I had surgery to correct it, I lost about 20 percent usage of my wrists,” he explains. “Since I wasn’t able to do roofing anymore, the workers’ compensation department offered to send me to school to learn a new trade. I decided to go into HVAC—I used to see HVAC technicians doing installations on the sites I worked at, and it always seemed like interesting work.”

After completing his term at the Denver Institute of Technology, Chris returned to California and got a job doing residential HVAC work. A few years later, he joined the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and spent 16 years working for Aaero Heating in Novato before switching to the commercial side of the field. Eventually, after garnering a well-rounded industry expertise, Chris decided it was time to start his own business.

Today, as president of Enviro Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., Chris says his favorite part of his job is improving the functionality and comfort of people’s homes. “I like the process of designing and installing heating and cooling systems, as well as the overall gratification of making our customers’ homes more efficient.”

Chris was born in Missouri, grew up in Novato and today lives in Rohnert Park with his wife, Lori, and their children. Outside of work, he engages in a variety of family activities and personal hobbies. “We’re big Giants fans, so we go to a lot of baseball games,” he says. “I also coach baseball and I’m on the board for the local Cal Ripken league, in which most of our kids have participated.” Chris also enjoys fishing at local reservoirs like Lake Sonoma and going on family vacations to Hawaii.

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Chris says he’d head back to the big island. “I’d take a couple of weeks to relax in Hawaii. Then, after I got back, I’d probably look for some more volunteering opportunities and spend more time working with kids in the community.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?

A: Yes, I played football.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Cricklewood in Santa Rosa.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music.

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Country.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: A cheese Danish from Starbucks.

Q: Who’s your favorite superhero?
A: Batman.

 

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Preventative HVAC Maintenance

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A little preventative maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your home’s heating and cooling system performing optimally. The best way to ensure this is by having a professional HVAC technician perform an annual maintenance service on your system.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Preventative HVAC Maintenance

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Complete Video Transcription:

ROHNERT PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: To ensure efficient performance and maximum lifespan, your home’s heating and cooling systems need to be preventatively maintained. Today we’re in Rohnert… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • Carrier

  • Rheem

  • Trane

  • Rotobrush

  • Sorbo

  • Kohler

  • Moen

  • Delta

  • Grohe

HVAC air ducts
air conditioning ducts
dryer vents
commercial air ducts
heating ducts
residential air ducts (home air ducts)
air vent ducts

Rotobrush cleaning services
air duct maintenance
electrostatic air filter installation
air duct inspection
air duct mold removal
microbial decontamination
air duct filtration system installation
ductwork vacuuming
air duct decontamination
biocide application

Agua Caliente
Alexander Valley
Annapolis
Asti
Bloomfield
Bodega
Bodega Bay
Boyes Hot Springs
Camp Meeker
Cazadero
Cloverdale
Cotati
Duncans Mills
El Verano
Eldridge
Fallon
Fetters Hot Springs
Forestville
Fort Ross
Freestone
Fulton
Geyserville
Glen Ellen
Graton
Guerneville
Guernewood
Healdsburg
Jenner
Kenwood
Lakeville
Larkfield
Lytton
Mark West
Monte Rio
Occidental
Penngrove
Petaluma
Rio Nido
Rohnert Park
Roseland
Russian River
Russian River Meadows
Salmon Creek
Santa Rosa
Schellville
Sebastopol
Sheridan
Sonoma
Stewarts Point Rancheria
Temelec
the Geysers
Sea Ranch
Two Rock
Valley Ford
Villa Grande
Vineburg
Windsor

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Bay Area SMACNA (www.bayareasmacna.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov/)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (epa.gov/)
National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) (www.nadca.com)
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) (www.naima.org)
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) (www.smacna.org/)

Know What You Want
As You Decide Whether You Want to Hire an Air Duct Cleaning Company

No matter where you are looking in Sonoma County, whether in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, or Petaluma, you need to be sure of what you are looking for. Going into the search, there are a few things to think about. You need to decide what level of licensing and certification you are comfortable with. You’ll also want to think about what you will consider acceptable as an outcome after the cleaning. Asking yourself the following questions may help you prepare to hire the best air duct cleaner.

 

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  2. Is it important to me that my air duct cleaner be associated with NADCA?
  3. Is my heating/cooling system working properly before the cleaning?
  4. Do I want chemicals used in my air duct cleaning?
  5. Do I want a firm that will protect my family, my house, and my pets during the cleaning process?
  6. Do I want to make sure my air duct cleaning company is licensed as an HVAC contractor?
  7. What are my ducts made of? Sheet metal or sheet metal lined with fiberglass? Flexduct? Fiberglass board?
  8. Am I looking for a company that will promise the world or one that will offer a realistic assessment of my house and needs?
  9. Do I see mold on my ductwork or smell a moldy smell?
  10. Can I easily access my heating/cooling system components or will I expect the air duct cleaning team to have to create access?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions for Meeting Your Sonoma County Air Duct Cleaner in Person

You will likely meet your Sonoma County air duct cleaning company personally when the representative shows up to estimate the job. A visual estimate is the best way for the company to know what is actually involved with your home. Some companies may have you describe your system over the phone, in which case, the more you know about it, the better. But speaking in person with someone who will perform the estimate for your house is one of the best ways to get insight into the process.

  1. If you do need to open access points, how will you make sure they are sealed after the cleaning?
  2. How many workers do you think the job will take?
  3. How long do you think the job will take?
  4. Do you see any places where you may have to open up access to my ductwork or heating/cooling system?
  5. Will you use vacuum cleaners in the house that don’t vent outside? If so, are they HEPA filtered?
  6. Do you see fiberglass used in my heating/cooling system? How will you clean it?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for references

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified air duct cleaner because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from an air duct cleaner in Sonoma County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified air duct cleaner within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your air duct cleaner. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the air duct cleaner are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

     

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. Were you satisfied with the air duct cleaning provided? Why or why not?
    2. Was your entire system cleaned or did they just blow some air through the ducts only?
    3. Was the crew pleasant and easy to work with?
    4. Did the air duct cleaning team help you inspect the work after they cleaned?
    5. Did you have any chemicals applied to clean your system?
    6. Did the air duct cleaning company recommend any chemicals for killing mold and bacteria?
    7. Did you get a written estimate?
    8. Was the quoted price what you paid? Or did they tack on fees?
    9. Did the cleaners respect your house and leave it clean after the air duct cleaning was completed?
    10. Was there any damage to your heating/cooling system as a result of the air duct cleaning?
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  • How To Work With
    Thinking About Hiring an Air Duct Cleaning Company

    Take a bit of time to prepare before you hire a Sonoma County air duct cleaning company, whether you are looking in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, or Petaluma. Make sure you know what type of heating or cooling system is installed. Is it a furnace and air conditioner or do you use a heat pump? What is your ductwork made of: bare metal pipes, or pipes lined with fiberglass? Does your system also include fiberglass duct board or flexduct? If you cannot tell, ask for help. Look for signs of mold, and look for signs of animal or insect infestation. Consider access to your system – make sure the cleaners can get to it. Be aware of areas where the air duct cleaners may have to create access.

     

    Work With Your Sonoma County Air Duct Cleaner
    Whether you looking for help in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, or Windsor, always make sure you get a written estimate. Ask any questions you have about how they will clean your heating/cooling system. For example, ask what components they will clean. What cleaning methods with they use – all tools-based or will they also use chemicals to clean. Ask to see the labels of any chemicals the company proposes using and make sure the chemical is to be used for the purpose and in the manner described on the label. Work with your air duct cleaner to protect your furniture and floors, as agreed. If chemicals are used, it’s wisest to clear all occupants of the house, including pets, during the application.

     

    Make it an Easy Job for Your Sonoma County Air Duct Cleaning Company
    The more familiar you are with your air ducts and heating/cooling system, the more easily you will be able to get what you want from your air duct cleaning. Understand the materials used in your system. Knowing that you have fiberglass material, for example, will let you expect that the air duct cleaning company will suggest replacing molded fiberglass material instead of replacing it. Decide with the air duct cleaning company who is responsible for covering and protecting the furniture and floors. If you agree to do any of the protective work, do your part. Talk to your air duct cleaning representative about where new access might be needed to facilitate cleaning. Be clear that you expect any additional access to be sealed after the cleaning. Clarity about expectations prevents frustration on both sides. Let the air duct cleaning company know at the start of the appointment that you would like to use their inspection tools to check after the cleaning is done. Make sure the air duct cleaning company can contact you for any questions if you are not on site.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Air Duct Cleaner Customer?

    It’s the air duct cleaner’s responsibility to perform quality cleaning on your air duct system. But you play a big part in the success of your air duct cleaner, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Sonoma County air duct cleaner.

    • Be clear and upfront with the air duct cleaner. Let them know what you want from your air duct cleaning, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire an air duct cleaner in Sonoma County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the air duct cleaning representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local aid duct cleaners occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your air duct cleaner if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re cleaning your air ducts. The work will move along more smoothly if your air duct cleaner can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the air duct cleaning on schedule.
    • Pay for the air duct cleaning work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Air duct cleaners in Sonoma County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Written Warranties
Use Your Written Invoice to Check Work and Ask for Warranties

To avoid problems, you and the air duct cleaning company must agree on what is covered in the cleaning. The estimate should outline your needs. You may have prepared your personal checklist of the components to be cleaned. Try to get this checklist itemized or included as part of the invoice. Even if the checklist is not included in the invoice, go through the checklist after the service to make sure all the pieces of the system were cleaned as you anticipated. As part of choosing your air duct cleaning company, ask what kinds of warranties are available. Many companies guarantee customer satisfaction. Ask what the warranty covers. Ask how to make a claim against the warranty. Ask about the procedure for compensation if the heating/cooling system is damaged during cleaning.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Service Requests

When you request an air duct cleaning, you need to make sure that all the components of your heating and cooling system are cleaned properly. These steps mentioned are not really separate service requests, but points that should be covered by each air duct service as part of the standard air duct cleaning. It might be a good idea to put them into a checklist to cover with your air duct cleaning company before and after the service.

Replace Air Filter
The dirty air filters should be removed and their replacements should match the efficiency rating recommended by the heating or cooling system’s manufacturer.

Clean Plenums
The plenums are boxes that attach the devices that heat or cool the air to the rest of the ductwork that spreads through the house. Both the return and supply air plenums need to be cleaned, and you should make sure the supply plenum in particular does not have moisture built up.

Wash the Air Cleaner
The air cleaner should also be washed as part of the air duct cleaning.

Clean Evaporator
The evaporator coil, pan, and drain must be cleaned. You should be able to point a flashlight at the coil and have the light shine through. If not, the coil is not clean.

Clean Supply Ductwork
Make sure that the ductwork that send the air supply to the rooms in your house is cleaned.

Clean Return Ductwork
Check after the cleaning that the return ductwork, which sends air back to the heating or cooling device is clean.

Clean and Reset System Components
There are supply registers, return air grilles, and diffusers that are spread throughout your house as part of the heating and cooling system. These should all be removed, cleaned, and returned to their places during the air duct cleaning.

Seal Access Panels
Sometimes, your air duct cleaning professional will need to cut access panels to get at parts of the system to cool it. You should make sure the access panels are properly sealed after the cleaning.

Heat Exchanger Cleaning
Both the air-stream side of the heat exchanger and the secondary heat exchanger must be cleaned.

Remove, Clean, and Reinstall
The blower motor should be removed and cleaned, along with its housing and assembly. The blades must not have oil or other dust, nor should the blower compartment as a whole.

 

 

Top 10 Brand Requests
No matter how you heat and cool your house, whether you buy a furnace and air conditioner, or you use a heat pump system, you want to maintain your system in good working order. Most of the heating and cooling systems require ductwork to move air through the house; a few heat pumps may not require ducting. Below are some of the top brands for furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps.

York
York is another company that competes in all three arenas, offering air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces.

Trane
Trane heat pumps, furnaces, and air conditioners are in frequent demand.

Amana
Amana offers heat pumps and furnaces.

Rheem
The well-known firm of Rheem sells heat pumps and furnaces.

Armstrong
Armstrong is one of the top furnace brands.

American Standard
American Standard includes heat pumps among its many other offerings for plumbing, bathrooms, and the home.

Bryant
Bryant is one of the most recognized vendors of furnaces and heat pumps.

Carrier
Carrier is a well-recognized name in HVAC and sells furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners.

Goodman
Goodman focuses on HVAC, selling heat pumps, air conditioners, and furnaces.

Lennox
Lennox’s offerings include furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary

When you want to know if your air ducts are going to be cleaned properly, you need to be able to discuss your system with your HVAC expert. Below are some terms that may help you be more comfortable with the conversation.

advanced reciprocating compressor
Kind of compressor used for improved efficiency when compression refrigerant for cooling.

air handler
In the heating and cooling systems for your house, the part that sends the air through the ductwork.

British thermal unit
Measure of heat. One British thermal unit is roughly equivalent to the amount of heat that a wooden kitchen match gives off.

Also known as: BTU

annual fuel utilization efficiency
A rating on a furnace that indicates how efficiently the furnace uses fuel to make heat. Reported as a percentage. An annual fuel utilization efficiency of 90% indicates that 90% of fuel is producing heat, while 10% is leaving as exhaust due to combustion.

Also known as: AFUE

capacity
Refers to a system’s ability to affect a specified amount of space. Heating capacity is usually described in BTUs, while cooling capacity is usually described in tons.

carbon monoxide poisoning
A gas created by combusting carbon-based fuels when there is not sufficient air. It is highly dangerous, while being odorless.

Also known a: carbon monoxide

compressor
A part of a heating or cooling system that determines how much pressure is put on the refrigerant. It is typically part of the outside unit.

condenser coil
The condenser coil is the part of a heating or cooling system that returns refrigerant from a gas to a liquid. Changing the state from gas to liquid extracts the heat. It is typically part of the outside unit.

cubic feet per minute
A measurement that shows the number of cubic feet of air that flow by a single point in sixty seconds. Higher numbers indicate greater air flow.

Also known as: CFM

DB
Unit of measurement for noise.

Also known as: dB, decibels

damper
A damper is part of duct work. It can open or shut to allow or cut off airflow.

Also known as:valve

downflow
Refers to a kind of furnace that moves cool air from the top and sends warm air to the bottom. Often used when a furnace is placed on the second floor.

ductwork
Pipes that send air from a system’s air handler to the vents located throughout the house.

Also known as: ducts

EAC
A kind of filter, it can remove large particles and contaminants from the air. For smaller particles, it magnetizes viruses, bacteria, and other tiny particles, then attracts them to a collection surface.

Also known as: electronic air cleaner

EER
A calculation that determines how efficient a device’s energy use is. The formula is to divide the device’s BTU by its wattage.

Also known as: energy efficiency ratings

energy saver switch
Makes an air conditioner’s fan and compressor switch on and off in sync, so that less energy is used.

Energy Star
A government program to label devices that offer better energy use than others in their category. This allows consumers to save on energy costs.

evaporator coil
Part of the indoor system for the heating or cooling system, it changes the state of the refrigerant from liquid to gas or vice versa, thus removing heat and humidity from the air.

Also known as: indoor coil

an coil
A fan coil may be used instead of the furnace and evaporator coil. The fan coil is also an indoor part of the system, and it changes the state of the refrigerant from liquid to gas or vice versa to remove heat and humidity.

HEPA
A type of filter used to prevent particles from re-entering the surrounding space.

Also known as: high efficiency particle air

HSPF
Measurement used to describe how efficient a heat pump is. A higher number indicates more efficiency.

Also known as: heating seasonal performance factor

HVAC
The acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

heat exchanger
A part of a furnace that moves heat to the surrounding air.

heat pump
A heat pump moves heat and cold in and out of the house. When used in cooling mode, it performs like an air conditioner to remove heat from the house. In heating mode, it uses heat from the outside to warm the house.

horizontal heater
A kind of furnace that takes air in one side and send it out warmer on the other side. Installed on its side, it is often the type used for attics or crawl spaces.

Also known as: horizontal flow

hybrid heat
Hybrid heat systems have more than one method for producing heat and use the most energy-efficient source at the time.

mastic
Material used to adhere other components. For example, vinyl may be attached to the floor with mastic.

mold amplification sites
A place where mold has been allowed to grow over time.

phantom load
The electricity that a device uses when it is plugged in and not turned on.

plenum
The plenum is sheet-metal box that allow more ductwork to connect to either the furnace outlet or the air handler outlet.

radiant barrier
A device that uses reflective materials on at least one side to prevent heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. Aluminum sheeting or coating is often used.

split system
A split system may be a heat pump or air conditioner. The components are installed in two locations, usually inside and outside.

two-stage compressor
A compressor that can operate at two different levels. When properly sized, the device operates 80% of the time at its low level, and 20% of its time at its high level. By operating at the lower level most of the time, the device improves efficiency and reduces humidity level and operational noise.

upflow heater
A furnace type. It pulls cool air in at the bottom and exhausts warmed air out the top. Often used in a basement installation.

Also known as: upflow

ventilator
A device that gets heating or cooling energy from the indoors air and moves that energy to incoming air.

zone controller
A device that allows more than one thermostat to connect to one HVAC system.

zoning
In HVAC, refers to dividing a space into different areas and controlling the temperature in each separately.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ

Q: Why Choose a Diamond Certified Air Duct Cleaner?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose an air duct cleaner with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only air duct cleaners rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified air duct cleaner.

 

Q: Why is there mold on my ductwork?
A: Mold typically comes from damp that is allowed to linger. Damp can be a problem with a heating/cooling system if the coil is not properly drained. The coil is at the heart of the system and it is where refrigerant is changed from liquid to gas or vice versa. Changing the state of the refrigerant can remove humidity and heat or can bring heat in. The liquid/gas conversation can have condensation as a by-product. This condensation must drain properly so that mold does not take hold. This is one major source of mold.

 

Q: My air duct cleaning company wants to put a sealant in my ducts. Should I let them?
A: First, ask what the sealant is designed to do. Some sealants are offered with the claim that they will reduce the movement of dust and particles in the ductwork. You should not accept these sealants. First, the sealant will probably be applied by being sprayed into the duct. You cannot guarantee that the sealant will cover the entire surface properly. Secondly, for ducts with fiberglass, the sealant may harm their ability to resist fire and provide better acoustics. The sealant might even void the fiberglass manufacturer’s warranty.

Other types of sealants, such as sealants to mend fiberglass or for fire resistance, might be appropriate for use. Ask what the purpose of the sealant is, how it will affect your warranties, and how you will know that it is working.

 

Q: Why does it matter what my ducts are made of?
A: Fiberglass is present in much of modern ductwork, whether in the shape of fiberglass duct board, fiberglass lining for ducts, or flexduct. Older ductwork may be bare sheet metal. The distinction is important for several reasons. First, cleaning is performed by using a brush or other tool to loosen particles, which are then vacuumed up. The bristles on the brush must be soft when used with fiberglass, so that the fiberglass is not damaged. The air duct cleaning company must also be careful about using other tools instead of brushes – blowguns, air whips, and the like may not be appropriate for use with fiberglass. Secondly, once fiberglass is damaged by mold or water, it is recommended to replace it, rather than trying to fix or remediate it.

 

Q: My air duct cleaner wants to spray some anti-microbial chemicals in my ductwork. Is that ok?
A: You should approach the use of chemicals in your air ducts very carefully. Sometimes air duct cleaning companies recommend chemicals to fight bacteria or mold. First, you have to consider how you or family members might react to the chemical. Second, you should ask to see the chemical’s label. You should make sure the chemical is being used for one of the purposes identified on the label – otherwise it should not be used. You should also check how the label says the chemical should be applied. If the chemical cannot be applied as directed on the label, it should not be used. For example, if a water rinse is required, it cannot be used in ductwork because water should not be introduced. With caution, chemicals approved for it may be used on bare sheet metal surfaces.

There are no chemicals approved for use on fiberglass or flexduct, or any fiberglass material. If these materials have mold, they should be replaced.

Rather than using chemicals at all, you should search for the source of the problem and try to eliminate it. For example, mold can be eliminated if it is caused by poor condensation drainage if you fix the way the condensation is draining.

 

Q: Does it matter whether the company uses a truck-mounted or portable vacuum?
A: When the air duct cleaning is done according to NADCA standards, either a portable or a truck-mounted vacuum can perform adequately. While a truck-mounted vacuum is usually more powerful, a portable vacuum may be able to be brought closer to the job itself. For all portable and handheld vacuums that exhaust into the house, it’s important to be sure they use HEPA filters.

Q: I can see dust on the vents where air flows in my house. Do I need air duct cleaning?
A: You may see dust on the registers, or grilles, where air flows into and out of your heating/cooling system. This does not automatically mean that you should get your air ducts cleaned. You can easily vacuum the grilles clean, or other wise clean them. It is normal for the grilles to accumulate dust over time. Look for large buildups of dust in the vents themselves to determine if you need an air duct cleaning because of dust.

 

Q: Should I call this company that is offering a $99 per house special?
A: Companies that offer very low prices for the whole house should be avoided. The rate is simply a teaser, designed to get the unwary to sign up. The customer will then be hit with endless charges that drive the price up. You should know that in 1996, the EPA estimated air duct cleaning charges at between $450 and $1000. This will give you some idea of cost, though of course it is many years later.

 

Q: My air duct cleaning company showed me mold from my duct. I never noticed it. Are they right?
A: Some air duct cleaning companies will claim that you have mold in your ducts. You should ask for proof. The company may put a petri dish or similar collection device into the duct and then give you the resulting substance as proof that mold is present. Actually, no one can tell if mold is present visually. You should take the substance to a lab and get it tested to be sure it is actually mold.

 

Q: What can I do to prolong the life of my cleaning?
A: Air duct cleaners estimate that a clean lasts three to seven years, depending on who lives in the house, heating/cooling usage, the local climate, and the like. Your best way to preserve a clean heating/cooling system is to prevent dirt and water from entering. Make sure the draining in the system is handled correctly. Change air filters annually (at the same time, it’s good to do carbon monoxide testing). Make sure that you are not missing filters, and that the filter holders do not allow air to pass around the filter. Vacuum the house regularly to prevent dirt build up. If you have a major renovation project in the house, seal off the registers and don’t run the system until you have cleaned up after the project. Make sure ducts are sealed and insulated unless they are in air conditioned spaces.

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