Demystifying Duct Cleaning

Over the past couple of years, it has been a rare day when I have not received a phone call at dinner time from an overseas telemarketer trying to sell me duct cleaning, despite the best efforts of our government to establish do not call lists and issuing penalties for violators.

In January 2013 CBC Marketplace even did a segment on these companies, exposing the kind of work they do or, more accurately, don’t do. The existing lack of trust with duct cleaning services was the principal reason AtlasCare entered the business in the first place. Our customers wanted their ducts cleaned by someone they could trust. They sought someone who would not only do the work right, but who would also respect them and their home in the process.

I am proud to say that AtlasCare fits the bill completely in responding to what customers want in their duct cleaning. In the six years we have now been in the business, we have completed more than 5,000 duct cleanings to the complete satisfaction of our customers.

The message we want potential customers to know is that there are a number of ways to clean ducts and they are not all the same. You will find duct cleaners who use every method from a shop vac to sophisticated vacuum trucks and everything in between. It’s hard to see the finished product because it is enclosed inside the duct. Since the end product is so hard to see, we feel it’s important to let customers know our approach to duct cleaning so they can feel confident choosing our services.

First off, we use only the highest end truck mounted vacuum and compression systems, which is the only way to guarantee that the ducts will be completely cleaned.

In fact, this month we just added another truck to our fleet. We seal off all vents to ensure that dirt does not get blown back into the home. Should a vent cover ever come loose (a rare occurrence) it’s important that you are dealing with a contractor with good insurance coverage and a commitment to customer care so that things are cleaned up to your satisfaction.

We do little things like covering up the air conditioner coil so it doesn’t get plugged with dirt. We also protect your walls and baseboards from the impact of large vacuum hoses. And, of course, we put down the AtlasCare red carpet to protect your floors.

It isn’t that complicated to get into the duct cleaning business, which is why so many folks do it. Doing it right, though, takes a big investment in people and technology and a commitment to delivering what customers expect and more.

Duct cleaning & dryer vents

It is hard to believe, but AtlasCare has been in the duct cleaning business for more than five years now.

We got into the business in response to many requests from customers who were tired of being hounded by relentless telemarketers and wanted to have their ducts cleaned by someone they could trust. We took the plunge and invested in leading edge, high-powered vacuum trucks to do the job right. We hired people dedicated to the task and earned our National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) certification.

Duct cleaning can be done at any time during the year but many homeowners seem to get spring cleaning fever and want to clean their homes thoroughly including the ducts. This is not a service we recommend every year unless there is a particular reason such as a recent renovation or you have pets in the home. Having it done every three years is a good frequency so, if you haven’t had your ducts cleaned for more than three years, this is a good time.

People are always amazed at how much dirt (six pounds on average) our trucks can remove each duct cleaning, using the latest technology.

Even more important than cleaning your ducts is cleaning your clothes dryer vent. Dryer vents are one of the most common causes of fires in the home. No matter how good the lint traps are in our modern dryers, plenty gets through and eventually plugs the vent, especially if it has corrugated ribbing. If your dryer vent is made from flexible plastic and/or is ribbed it’s recommended that it be replaced with one made from smooth sheet metal similar to that used in heating ducts.

Why Have Your Ducts Cleaned?

Before you turn your furnace on for winter warmth, remember that over the past year, your ducts have been building up pollen, dust, and even bacteria. So, when your furnace comes on you’ll be blowing all that buildup into your home. With windows closed tight, the debris stays in your air. If you’ve had a renovation, or there’s building going on your neighbourhood, you could have a particularly bad build up in your ducts.

Breathing the best possible air is important to your health and the health of your family. Be sure you have a trusted, proven and favourably reviewed company because there is good duct cleaning and bad. Make sure you get a firm price on the job and that you’re not being given a low price and then upsold on extras.

Dryer Vent Fire Dangers

Did you know that dryer vents can cause dangerous house fires? As you can imagine, the dry, fluffy material is highly flammable. The problem is, once there is excessive buildup, it can cause the dryer over heat and ignite the fluff. It can take just a few seconds once ignited to get out of control.

Depending on your dryer usage, thoroughly cleaning your dryer vents should be a regular routine. Clean your filters every time you dry a load, and have your entire dryer vent system cleaned every three years. For your protection, be sure to use reputable technicians who know how to get at every nook and cranny of your dryer vent system from dryer to the outside walls.