Mary Dziak

What do I charge?

I have been asked this quite a few times in the past and I thought I would share our thinking with all of you.

Air duct cleaning definitely has potential for big ticket pricing.  It also has the low ball guy, who uses his advertising to get in the door and then proceed to get the big ticket.  There should be a fair price for a fair service.  It has to be fair to both you the duct cleaner, as well as the customer.

Enough preaching, let’s get down to pricing.  You can have different levels of service to present to your customers so they can choose what is right for them.  We at Air-Care, base our pricing on getting $100 per hour for every hour our crew is on the job.  Our first package might be the “Basic Service”.  It takes us about 1 ½ to 2 hours to do this work, so our charge would be somewhere between $169 and $199.  If that same customer buys an electrostatic air filter at $100.00, we just made $300 for that call.  We are already over the $100 per hour we wanted to make.

graphThe second package might be “Full Service”.  This job includes the basic service (debris removal and register cleaning) and also includes cleaning the air handler and fogging the system with Envirocon, Soot Set and Odor Kill.  This would take between 2 ½ to 4 hours to do.  Our charge:  $450 – $500. Again, if you sold a dryer duct cleaning or an electrostatic air filter, the ticket keeps going up, but not because you started there, you gave the customer legitimate service or products for a fair price.

Our third package might be called “Deluxe” Package.  This would include everything that the other services included, adding the dryer duct, electrostatic air filter, and the outside coil.  This would take approximately 4-5 hours to complete and the charge would be $500-$650.

As you can see, you can make a good dollar for just about any service you provide.

When setting your pricing, all you need to figure out is what do you want to make per hour and how long will each service level take you to do.  It’s as simple as ABC, 123.

Duct Cleaning: Selling & PERFORMING

Each month, we have training classes here at our facility.  We not only train how to do duct cleaning, but we also have a segment that outlines how to sell and price duct cleaning.

Air-Care has been cleaning air ducts since the late 1980’s.  We were among the first duct cleaners here in Las Vegas and that is when we started manufacturing air duct cleaning equipment.  As we learned this trade, we changed our equipment to fit the needs in the field.  We manufactured our equipment for ease of use and with every change made it more efficient.

There have been stories in the national news lately about “scam” duct cleaners.  These words are not ones we like related to our industry.  There are ways to promote duct cleaning as a service valuable to the consumer.  Unfortunately, these “scam” or “bait and switch” ads just hurt our industry and make consumers skeptical of all of us.

Air-Care teaches and strongly believes that the only way to do duct cleaning correctly, is you have to clean everything that the indoor air touches.  That means cleaning all the supply and return ducts, the air handler (furnace) and fogging the system.  This is really “Air System Cleaning”.

With the “bait and switch” ads that are out there, they advertise for primarily “duct cleaning” service although they don’t state that.  This “duct cleaning” is just cleaning the air ducts themselves not “Air System Cleaning”.  This is what puts you ahead of your competitors.

The ads that you run should state “Air System Cleaning”.  You really can’t put a dollar amount in your advertising because you wouldn’t be able to compete against the “$69” whole house ads.  A good way to advertise is “Free, No Obligation” inspection.  This gets you in the door so that you can educate your customer on the differences in “duct cleaning” and “Air System Cleaning.  You can also offer a “free filter” or “free dryer duct service” instead of showing a price.

If you are hired to do an Air System Cleaning, then the first thing you do is clean the air handler.  That should take 45 minutes to 1 hour to perform.  After that, you should then clean all supply and return ducts and then fog the system with a disinfectant and deodorizer.  This should take 1 ½ to 2 hours to perform.  Total on the job time should be around 2 ½ to 3 hours, for an average size home.

National organizations for duct cleaning state that duct cleaning costs about $450 – $1000 nationally for Air System Cleaning.  These are legitimate numbers.  You don’t have to make up stories about mold or other problems that don’t exist to get the customer to want Air System Cleaning.

The worst story I have heard from others around the country is that there have been “so-called” duct cleaners come into a home, hook up a negative air machine and without going around to each duct, say that the ducts were cleaned.  I don’t care how powerful of a negative air machine you have, if you do not disturb the debris in a duct system, it is not coming out.

Put yourself above the “bait and switch” competitors by advertising and doing the job with quality in mind.