Home Air Duct Cleaning – Is It Necessary?

In the past several years the popularity of air duct cleaning has increased in Southeast Ohio leading to an increase in the number of businesses popping up claiming to provide home air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning. It’s important to understand the benefits of the service and how to choose the right provider.

Legitimate air duct cleaning companies use professional equipment, give up-front pricing and are very happy to explain their process when asked. Air duct cleaning is unique to each person and situation.

Does my house need air duct cleaning?

Signs that your home air ducts are filling and need to be cleaned include:

  • Dust trails from your vents
  • Needing to change your filter more often
  • Needing to dust your home, specifically near supply vents (the vents that push the air out)
  • Moving into a new home – duct cleaning removes prior owners’ pet fur and, in new builds, removes construction dust

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air duct cleaners are not allowed to claim health benefits of duct cleaning due to the lack of sufficient testing to prove the benefits. Our business, Erwin’s Air Duct Cleaning, does not dispute our customers’ reviews claiming they have noticed health benefits but we do not promise or claim those benefits are from our air duct cleaning. Personally, I feel happier just knowing my air ducts are clean and I definitely notice I dust less. Yes, we clean our home’s air ducts, too!

A good air duct cleaning company can tell you they will do their best to remove airborne dust from your ductwork that can be coming into your return, clogging your filter and being blown out your supply vents.  Some particles inevitably get through the filter and they will explain how their process addresses that.

Should I have my dryer vent professionally cleaned?

The short answer is yes. Annual dryer vent cleanings minimize the risk of dryer-caused home fires. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, “failure to clean was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in homes 2018-2020.” (Source: fema.gov)

The warning signs your dryer vent needs cleaning: Once dryer lint has accumulated to a dangerous point inside the vent, your dryer may start taking longer to dry or will be very hot to touch. It is important to never ignore these signs. Stop use of your dryer immediately and call a professional. While air duct cleaning is a personal choice; dryer vent cleaning is a safety need.

If you can do dryer cleaning yourself, fantastic! Be sure that you:

  • Clean the area under your lint filter
  • Clean the back of your machine
  • Clean the dryer vent leading outside
  • Be sure you are cleaning your dryer lint filter each time you do laundry
  • Never run your dryer without the filter or when you aren’t home
  • Keep the vent from the dryer clean, in good condition and unobstructed
  • Be sure to check frequently for proper airflow. You should be feeling plenty of air exiting the outside vent, the flow should be enough to lift the flaps on the outside vent cap.

If you need a company to provide this service, find a company that does dryer vent cleanings routinely. While an odd-jobber can sometimes effectively clean your vent, they may also cause a dangerous clog that could cause your dryer to overheat so be sure to always check the airflow outside.

Avoiding Duct Cleaning Scams

When choosing a company to do your air duct or dryer vent cleaning, there are a few things to help you avoid scams:

  • You should always call the business first. Ask for pricing and a description of their cleaning process.
  • Check company reviews both on Facebook and Google.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for reports of bad business.
  • Never give a company a deposit without meeting them. I don’t know of any air duct cleaning companies that charge you before the work is complete and if they do, I would not contract with them.
  • Ask for a Certificate of Insurance to prove that the business is insured. The company will have their insurance company send you a copy, showing the company holds insurance.
  • Ask for Contractor Lists, Licenses the business holds, or Chambers of Commerce they are a part of and confirm their names are on those lists. Scammers are not going to be licensed through any cities or listed with any Chambers of Commerce.
  • Ask for the company’s HVAC experience. For your best air duct cleaning experience, the technician should have HVAC experience.

When seeking reputable air duct cleaning companies, you may see dramatic before and after pictures. Some scammers steal the before and after photos of legitimate businesses so be sure to also check customer reviews.

The most recent air duct cleaning scam includes a very believable person claiming a dire need due to job loss and starting a new air duct cleaning business. Never let guilt guide your decision on what company to use. Your home and family’s safety is your primary concern. Use the checklist above to check out companies. Legitimate cleaning businesses have to spend quite a bit to secure the equipment they use and should have proper licensing and registrations.

We hope this information is helpful.

Here is some additional detail on Erwin’s Air Duct Cleaning and the work they’ve been doing in southeastern Ohio…

Erwin’s Air Duct Cleaning is a veteran-owned and operated  business located in Albany, Ohio.  They’ll travel up to two hours away to serve customers. Todd Erwin is a Navy Veteran with 14 years of HVAC experience. He and his wife Robin opened Erwin’s Air Duct Cleaning full-time in June 2022.

Todd and Robin note that many customers are single females and feel comforted having a woman on the team in their home.

You can find Erwin’s on Facebook and Google where you’ll find reviews and pictures of their work and machine. Customer reviews are positive about their professional appearance, friendliness, punctuality and attention to detail. They are listed on the Athens, Ohio Approved Contractors List and the Athens Chamber of Commerce.

Erwin’s offers residential and light commercial services. If you feel air duct or dryer vent cleaning is something you’d like to pursue, you can call or text Erwin’s at (740) 992-4069!

Filed under: Home Improvement, Life, Meet Your Neighbors, News, People

By Robin and Todd Erwin