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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    64
    I called Sears out to do a duct cleaning. I had several problems from this:

    - Poor A/C performance after this caused by crap in the evap coil and furnace heat exchanger

    - More than one duct knocked out of place

    - They failed to offer/mention that the evaporator needs to be cleaned after stirring up all the dust... I only learned that is a required step after coming here

    - No, to add insult to injury, I sent a camera down one of the return vents to see how good a job they did...






    You guys think I should approach them for a refund? I was gonna offer for them to come out and do the cleaning again with a before/after walkthrough and inspection this time PLUS a free evap cleaning from a HVAC tech to prevent the crap on the evap problem again... OR they can just refund my money and we'll both just walk away... Either way, this is disgusting and obviously they did not do the job they said they were gonna do.



    [Edited by scruit on 07-25-2005 at 11:38 PM]

  2. #2
    42yrs exp is offline Professional Member BM -bad email address
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    176

    I do duct cleaning , and

    I do duct cleaning,and it takes me almost all day to do it right,6 to 8 hours. I have seen companies charge $200 to do a row home, and finish in 2 hours. Of course you can't do a good duct cleaning in two hours even with 2 men. I charge $325 (for a row home) and spend most of the day at the home.I usually wind up with a 5 to 10 pound bag of dirt when I am done doing a home. Much of the weight of that dirt is from sheet rock left in the duct when the home was built.

    Some of these duct cleaning companies do more harm than good when cleaning ducts. They stir up a lot of dirt and block up the evaporator if they are not careful. And also cause problems with dirt in the heater.

    By the looks of your pictures the dirt could be removed by a vacuum. However the pictures you have show insulation and you cannot send a power brush down the duct with insulation in it or you will destroy the insulation in your duct.

    You would have done better using a small duct cleaning company (even a one man operation)to do it right. Why people call sears to clean duct I don't know. Oh yes the guarantee. Bloney, small company can give just as good a guarantee as sears. Since you called sears to do the job have them come out ot do it again. I wouldn't.

    The ducts in a home are small and the people who clean ducts are limited to what the can send down the ducts that are in the walls and ceilings. The pictures they show are of a big brush rotating down the duct to losen all the dirt and then sucked out with a vacuum machine. In reality a very small brush is used and the brush will usually get stuck the first turn it encounters (Duct elbows, sheet metal screws). In theory its easy to clean ducts, but in reality it is not, unless of course you want to rip the walls and ceiling apart.

    I once worked for a company that used an $8,000 portable duct cleaning machine to clean residential ducts, and the men had problems with the hoses and brushes getting stuck in the ducts, and they would wind up doing a lously duct cleaning.

    Good luck, Oh by the way, how long did it take them to clean your ducts? What did sears charge you?



    [Edited by 42yrs exp on 07-26-2005 at 04:38 AM]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    64
    Took them 1.5 hours and cost $324 :-(

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    64
    They are coming back out on saturday to repeat the job. And this time they are under orders to make sure the evap is cleaned before they leave.

    They are going to use a chemical solution to clean the evaporator in-place. Is this an acceptable method of cleaning it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    64
    They came back out tuesday night and repeated the work. This time they ran a brush down each vent then used the whip. They were there for 4 hours for 20 total vents/returns. They also sent a camera down the returns that they couldn't use the brush for.

    They covered the evap before they started, then cleaned the evap with the whip/vac at the end, using the camera to inspect the coil for debris. Also, they threw in the 'Coild Cleaning' fro free - normally $50, they just sprayed a cleaning solution in through a 1" hole just above the coil. (That is normally $50??)


    Looks like they did a much better job, and the techs were very apologetic and professional about it.

    I wanted to make sure that I followed up on my original complanit post because Sears sent the tech back out the same day I complained and they did a really good job the second time. I couldn't have expected more (acept for it to be done first time... But we all make mistakes and a true measure of professionalism is how you deal with your own mistakes.)

    Also, I don't know if this is a standard 'line' fed to complainers, but one of the techs today was also there the first time, and he said that he was glad I took the pics because they had been having an ongoing argument about cleaning methods and that the manager always sided with the other tech who did the work quickly with just the whip. After the manager saw my pics he told them to use the brush/whip technique. (They also used a metal valve with holes around the outside before the whip - supposedly concentrated the airflow better) Dunno if that's just for my house, or for all houses in the future...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    71
    ""They covered the evap before they started, then cleaned the evap with the whip/vac at the end, using the camera to inspect the coil for debris. Also, they threw in the 'Coild Cleaning' fro free - normally $50, they just sprayed a cleaning solution in through a 1" hole just above the coil. (That is normally $50??)""

    I don't think that's the beat way to clean the evaporator coil...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    997
    They covered the evap before they started, then cleaned the evap with the whip/vac at the end, using the camera to inspect the coil for debris. Also, they threw in the 'Coild Cleaning' fro free - normally $50, they just sprayed a cleaning solution in through a 1" hole just above the coil. (That is normally $50??)
    I bet your coil is still dirty! Their is no way you can clean a coil like this. They should have cleaned the bottom (air entering side) this can't be done through a 1 inch hole. Also they should have pulled the blower and cleaned it. I can't believe they charge extra for coil cleaning. This should be standard.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Mahopac NY
    Posts
    448
    As stated by 42yrs, you probably would have fared much better if you had gone with a smaller company. Why anyone would use Sears for anything is beyond me.
    Dogs truly are man's best friend!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Gone
    Posts
    5,340
    What a rip off. Your coil is clogged up now, and will operate less efficiently. There is no way you can clean a coil like this. You must remove the coil, apply coil cleaner, and then push the dirt out with high pressure water. It is just cheaper to replace the coil rather than pay big money to have it done right on an old coil.

    This is a perfect example of the big retail establishments trying to perform work when they do not want to invest the time or money with knowledgeable technicians, but instead just continue to rip off the public.

    Call the manager, instruct him you have been informed by several professionals your coil was not cleaned properly, and tell him you are going to have a true professional company come out to remove and clean it properly, and where do you need to send the bill to. Instruct him, you do not have the time to argue this matter. Ask him if he agrees or do you need to call the consumer advocate on whatever TV station, then your lawyer after you hang up. Tell him to make it easy on himself, close mouth and wait for his response. If he wants to discuss the matter more, tell him, wrong answer and hang up. Then follow whatever course you need to make yourself satisfied.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14
    Unless things have greatly changed nationwide, within the past year, Sears contracts out all duct cleaning with "smaller companies".

    It's the same with any central air, or furnace replacement (as well as new installs).


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Mahopac NY
    Posts
    448
    Yes Sears does contract out their HVAC installs and duct cleaning, but they (at least in my area) use the bottom of the barrel contractors because those are the only contractors who will work for them. There is a big difference with the small companies I was refering to and what Sears offers.
    Dogs truly are man's best friend!!

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