Furnace

Duct Cleaning Scam or Not

How many calls do you get every month for duct cleaning services? We receive at least one per week and we just hang up on these guys. However there may be situations where you should consider having your ducts cleaned. But should you have one of these companies clean your ducts? Lets first talk about whether you need to have your ducts cleaned in the first place, then how to deal with these callers. Most ducts do not look like the one in the picture. If yours does, then definitely have have your ducts cleaned. We suggest that you check your ducts first and then make a decision.

Do You need Duct Cleaning

If you keep your home spotless, do not have pets and have not had any major renovation work completed around your home, you may not need duct cleaning. Any time you do renovations, dust is generated. If the AC or the heating system is running, this dust will be drawn into the duct system, onto the heating system elements and the cooling coils. Some will be captured by your filter but not all.

Another situation where duct cleaning is needed is when you move into a brand new home. We had ours cleaned and they found dust of course, but also cigarette butts, coke cans and cigarette packs.

Consumers who have pets may also need to have their ducts cleaned from time to time. Hair and dander is drawn into the system and adheres to metal surfaces.

Dealing with Duct Cleaning Calls

While many of these companies may be legitimate, some are not. Many will offer a great deal over the phone, however when they arrive at your home, they will try to up sell you on additional services or based on the size of your heating system.

Ask for references, review web sites, read reviews as part of your decision process. Avoid agreeing to duct cleaning services over the phone without doing some investigation first.

In addition verify what they will actually clean. All ducts both cold air return and heating ducts, vents, grilles, heating and AC components should be on the list. If they are going to open the furnace compartment, they should know what they are doing. Verify credentials before you allow them into your home.

While duct cleaning may be needed, consumers can save themselves a lot of money by keeping their homes spotless and avoiding dust and pollen from entering the home. for more information on keeping your furnace running efficiently, click here.


Purchase or Lease Furnace and AC Unit

Purchase or Lease Furnace and AC UnitWe contacted our Real Estate Agent about whether we should purchase or lease furnace and AC unit. His answer follows and is quite enlightening. Basically you are going to pay for it one way or the other and it is up to you just how you want to do it. Some alternatives are more economic than others. After reading his answer decide for yourself based on your own situation.

Purchase or Lease Furnace and AC Unit

In terms of the real estate sales side of things, it is presumed that the furnace and A/C are bought and paid for by the seller.  If they are rented then the buy out is the key # required. At time of transfer of the deed it is expected that the seller will pay for it.  I think that you need to examine that and look at different scenarios. What if I had to sell the house in 3 years, 5 years 7 years or 10 years, what is the cost to ‘pay off’ the contract.
You are suggesting that you will remain in the house for the next 10 – 15 years. Life changes on a dime and maybe you will be facing family or personal instances where you must sell.  So somehow you have to factor that into your decision making.

Purchase or Lease Furnace and AC Unit – Buyers Agent

As a buyer’s agent when showing homes, we take into account the furnace and A/C are 10 years or more. I emphasize to the buyers that they are going to have to budget for a new furnace and A/C  in the short term.  So if your contract is 10 years AND you actually expect to be living there for that time then maybe a rental plan would work to your favor.  (is the equipment free and clear and paid for after the rental contract?)
Bottom line is that everything boils down to price.  Your home would be priced accordingly – to market conditions. Also conditions of the home along  with the features and chattels etc. so, you are going to end up ‘paying’ either now or later.
Many of the homeowners on our street used the same guy someone had found.  He is a one man band so to speak, and he sells, installs and services the Goodman brand.  When we bought, it had a 10 year guarantee which has paid off for us. We had the burner unit replaced in the furnace at about year 9.  It works for us and him because he gives us all a great price on annual cleaning etc. and does everybody the same day for cash.  So that’s another bonus for him.
It’s a tough question to deal with – as the homeowner you are looking at a good chunk of change to make it happen. Just be sure that on the rental lease scenario, you are well aware of the buy out costs.  Also transfer costs / obligations conditions etc.
Hope this helps and hasn’t muddied the waters! For more energy saving ideas, click here.

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