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I'm afraid that I need a reality check relating to the cost of duct cleaning. I thought that I had a pretty good handle on what this kind of service costs, but perhaps not. What is a reasonable cost range for the following service on a small 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in Florida?

"Performed whole house duct cleaning. Cleaned all grills, cleaned/sanitized A.H.@attic. Installed UV light kit. Installed E.S.F (filters)x2. Sanitized entire system. System cooling & draining, working as should."

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I guess you're referring to rigid sheet metal ducts because around these parts, flex ducts are by far most popular and they're cleaned by replacement. That's about $200 per branch duct but replacing all of them would likely bring a discount. Doesn't include AH cleaning. Sanitizing is done by spraying about half a can of aerosol into the AR filter whilst the fan is running. These are my observations, not my methods.

Marc

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I'm afraid that I need a reality check relating to the cost of duct cleaning. I thought that I had a pretty good handle on what this kind of service costs, but perhaps not. What is a reasonable cost range for the following service on a small 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in Florida?

"Performed whole house duct cleaning. Cleaned all grills, cleaned/sanitized A.H.@attic. Installed UV light kit. Installed E.S.F (filters)x2. Sanitized entire system. System cooling & draining, working as should."

With the UV light and filters I'm guessing it is around $650?

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So, it's my mom's house. She wanted to get her regular service done on the heat pump, but her regular guy had retired. So she called a new outfit. They sent out a fellow who looked at it, told her that there was "high" microbial growth throughout the system, and showed her pictures of the gross stuff. Then he offered her a special deal to clean the system for $1,950. She figured it was necessary and went for it.

I'm presently holding their payment and trying to figure out if they're trying to pull a scam or if they're merely enthusiastic about their work product.

Any advice?

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I've heard of similar scare tactics. I'll bet the pictures aren't from your Mom's house. Ask for the pics and view the metadata.

Perhaps, but there'd be no reason to do it. I could take scary pictures from the inside of pretty much any duct system, especially in Florida.

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So, it's my mom's house. She wanted to get her regular service done on the heat pump, but her regular guy had retired. So she called a new outfit. They sent out a fellow who looked at it, told her that there was "high" microbial growth throughout the system, and showed her pictures of the gross stuff. Then he offered her a special deal to clean the system for $1,950. She figured it was necessary and went for it.

I'm presently holding their payment and trying to figure out if they're trying to pull a scam or if they're merely enthusiastic about their work product.

Any advice?

If the service has already been rendered, I'd say it's perhaps too late.

You might compete your own examination of the work and take photos of any residual dust/accumulation and show that the service was deficient. It might not fix everything but I'll give them folks a run for their money. Knowing you, I'm quite confident you'll find something somewhere to challenge their service.

Marc

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So, it's my mom's house. She wanted to get her regular service done on the heat pump, but her regular guy had retired. So she called a new outfit. They sent out a fellow who looked at it, told her that there was "high" microbial growth throughout the system, and showed her pictures of the gross stuff. Then he offered her a special deal to clean the system for $1,950. She figured it was necessary and went for it.

I'm presently holding their payment and trying to figure out if they're trying to pull a scam or if they're merely enthusiastic about their work product.

Any advice?

Google Florida Duct Cleaning Scams. There are many articles. Call the BBB for your mom's area. Call a few companies and ask for a quote. It will give you an idea if a fight is worth it.

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If they went in and by a visual examination only said there was high microbial growth then I have to call it out as not an accurate assessment. Without taking a sample of what they call microbial growth, along with an air sample from the HVAC system while operational, and an exterior control sample, then they are just looking for extra work. Without testing you are just guessing. If it was microbial growth, are they authorized or qualified for remediation of a contaminated HVAC system? Not all HVAC contractors are. Cleaning to remove potentially harmful microbial growth is different than just cleaning and "sanitizing" the system.

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If they went in and by a visual examination only said there was high microbial growth then I have to call it out as not an accurate assessment. Without taking a sample of what they call microbial growth, along with an air sample from the HVAC system while operational, and an exterior control sample, then they are just looking for extra work. Without testing you are just guessing. If it was microbial growth, are they authorized or qualified for remediation of a contaminated HVAC system? Not all HVAC contractors are. Cleaning to remove potentially harmful microbial growth is different than just cleaning and "sanitizing" the system.

Exactly, Charles. Unfortunately a lot of that "entrepreneurial" energy of which we sing such loud praise as a society is downright predatory toward the customer base it serves.

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