Thu January 24, 2013
BBB: Austin Air Duct Company is Cleaning Customers' Wallets
An Austin-based air duct cleaning company is looking a little dirty.
A company known alternately as Austin City Air Ducts, ANS Air Ducts, AC Air Ducts and AOS Air Ducts, advertises cleaning services in ValPak coupons and on group buying websites like Eversave. But the Better Business Bureau says it received several complaints about the company from consumers in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas/Forth Worth.
Consumer complaints to the BBB allege that services were poorly performed, and in many cases caused damage to homes’ heating and air conditioning systems. In addition to these complaints, consumers say the company billed for expensive services that were not performed.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends against hiring cleaners “who make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning.” The EPA has also released a guide on when homeowners should clean their air ducts. The agency says consumers should hire air duct cleaners in the following circumstances:
- There is substantial visible mold growth inside a hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
- Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects); or
- Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.
The bottom line? Choose carefully. Air duct cleaning companies are allowed to operate without a license in Texas if they don't perform any biomedical testing or remediation.