(NAPSI)—Swindlers are scamming homeowners concerned about the health and safety of their families with phony air duct cleaning schemes—but you can protect yourself.
What To Watch For
• Low-ball Prices: Reputable companies do offer promotional pricing or discounts, but it’s best to be cautious. Once you show interest, sophisticated scammers can gather personal information or ask for a hefty deposit and then disappear.
• Pressure for a Quick Decision: Qualified contractors understand if you need to take a few days to consider.
• Asking for Payment Up Front or Accepting Only Cash: A reputable company will ask for the majority of payment for the service when the job is done.
• Convince you of Unforeseen Problems: Be cautious if your contractor starts finding reasons—such as mold—to increase prices or uses scare tactics to convince you urgent repairs are necessary.
• Knock on Your Door: Beware of a contractor who comes to the door saying he or she was “just in the neighborhood.” An established company earns business through advertisements or referrals.
• The “blow-and-go” scam: Companies offer bargain-basement prices, then do an inferior job, leaving dirt and contaminants inside the system. Those pollutants then circulate throughout the ductwork and make their way into the air you and your family breathe.
How to Find Qualified Cleaners
Members of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) have technicians with advanced training and certifications in HVAC system cleaning. You can search the online directory at www.nadca.com to find a NADCA member nearby.