$600.00 for furnace cleaning?

Today i had American Air Care based in Southern California clean our air ducts for their advertised $79.00. I figured that was the teaser to get in the house. Sure enough he suggested i get the furnace clean too since they were already doing the vents. He said $150.00 for their custom washable filter. The pic of it in their brochure looked similiar to the washable ones that hardware stores sell for $10.00 - $15.00. Then he said the whole system cleaning and sanitizing would be $600.00. I politely refused but he kept pushing, then getting somewhat frustrated that i wouldn't go for it. He finally gave up, but not before stating that if i wanted to breath dust and poison, that was up to me. I don't get pissed very often but i was close to putting my size 14 shoe up his ass. I realize these guys have to make a living, but you don't sell like that. Anyway, we've never had it done and the house is 24 years old. What is the correct way this should be done so i know i'm getting honest work? What is a median price to pay? I think i should probably go with an independent rather than a large company. Thanks for reading.
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On Aug 8, 2:28 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Total waste of money. Might have marginal value if you lived next to a gravel pit and never closed the windows, or if everyone in the place smoked heavily and continually, or if there is someone in the house with genuine diagnosed dust related allergies. Sometimes it's good to remove air outlet grills and vacuum out the pencils and crayons that the kiddies left there. Little else is really needed. We have recently disassembled all the ductwork in a rehab project, and it is nice and clean despite being in service since about 1950- something. Makes me think tha so-called duct cleaning operations are simply a semi-scam or feel-good ploy. No mention of such services by the HVAC people in our yellow pages. HTH
Joe
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Hi Joe- Thanks for the reply. I wasn't sure if the procedure itself was a waste of money or if beneficial, $600.00 was too much. I don't have any of the conditions you described. In the future i'll use the wet/dry vac. It's got a 5 hp motor. Regards, Bob.
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Go check the EPA site for their opinion.
Bob
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On Aug 8, 2:28 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

I had my old house done in 1984 for I would guess under $200, the previous owners were heavy smokers. The main trunk cold air return literally had 3/4 of an inch of thick black greasy dust/smoke mixture hanging off its interior on all 4 sides. The top wall of the duct had something that looked like stalagtites in a cave with greasy black dust dangling there. The branch ducts were not bad however, and neither was the main output duct. The guy cut some access holes in the main return trunk and spend a few hours on that after shining a flashlight to show me the mess in there. He dragged large burlap sheets through the main trunk by stuffing them in the large register and pulling them all the way back to the furnace. Then he went over it all with a spinning brush and put a light coat of some kind of sealer spray to solidify any remaining crud.
Now I've been in my new house 10 years and I change furnace filters like a fanatic, the ducts are as clean as a whistle.
You need to look at the cold air return duct yourself because that is where most of the dirt will be (pre-filter). If it's clean, then your whole system is probably clean too. If the previous owners were smokers, then you might be in for a surprise. At the furnace cut a large access panel to get your head and a light in there. The guy cut mine right at the end of the duct over the furnace, then covered and taped it when done.
If no smokers then you are probably ok.
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Where I live the furnace (oil) runs about 500 hours a year. I have it serviced every year in the fall. The cost is usually about $100 including the nozzle and filter.
---MIKE---

>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')
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Clearly, you identified the scam.
Call around. I did a furnace cleaning last year .. the guys quoted me $280, and that's exactly what it was. -- My house is 80 years old, and I'm guessing it's never been done. The guys carried out a GARBAGE bag full of crap from my vents. It was truly disgusting.
My guys were pretty good .. but I did find a vent that had some crap in it after they left .. turns out it has an odd "bump" to the vent, and they thought they'd gotten the whole run. I called them up, and they came out the next day and did the whole system over again for free. Great customer service.
So .. my advice .. if your house has never had it done, you really should do it. -- Call around, get some estimates. -- And also .. just for the heck of it, go to one of your cold air returns and open it up and look down with a flashlight. If you see a bunch of lint and crap .. it's time. I kick myself for not doing that and living in my house for 7 years without checking.
Once it was done, you could really "hear" the difference around the air returns .. they were sucking way more air.

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On Wed, 08 Aug 2007 12:28:26 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

That's a LOT of money to clean a furnace. With a good shop vac, a few tools and some attachments it can't be that difficult.
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in

Just tell 'em every time he smells a fart, the air that was pushed by some turds in someone's asshole just 10 seconds ago and is now circulating through his lungs and brain.

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