Beware of Duct Cleaning Scams

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA — While there are many air conditioning services that will help you save energy and money, there is one that is a waste of money for the majority of people with residential HVAC systems.

“What some San Diego heating and air conditioning companies are doing is offering a cut-rate deal on ductwork cleaning, then convincing homeowners once inside the home that they need additional, pricey services for the sake of their health,” says Gabriel Carini.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. ( Not only is duct cleaning typically ineffective, there is also a good chance that portions of the system and ductwork will be damaged in the process. Meanwhile, these services can cost anywhere from $450 to $1,000, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region and the level of contamination.

“I’ve had personal experience with duct cleaning and have seen how much damage it can cause. Most companies use a disinfectant spray that has a nice smell to it that fools the customer into thinking the ducts are clean,” Carini says.

NBC’s Dateline did a hidden-camera investigation about duct cleaning companies back in 2011 and found that many of them were using these bait and switch marketing tactics. Some businesses were prosecuted for fraud and shut down but just moved to open businesses in another state. (

The threat is still a problem. The Better Business Bureau published a press release in January about companies in Texas that are scamming people after receiving complaints from consumers in the greater Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth areas. (

“Instead of trying to clean dirty ductwork, I would recommend putting the money into replacing or sealing it, so you know that the ducts are clean and intact,” says Carini. “If ductwork is truly dirty, identifying the source of the problem and correcting it is the only way to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Some problems with ductwork are easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for, but an air conditioning technician can determine exactly what the problem is and recommend the best long-term solution. These are the two most common causes of dirty ductwork:Flexible ductwork may have tears in the protective coating, kinks, flattened areas, exposed insulation or poor sealing at joints – all of which can allow dirt and pollutants to be sucked into the ductwork to be circulated through your home.

  • Flexible ductwork may have tears in the protective coating, kinks, flattened areas, exposed insulation or poor sealing at joints – all of which can allow dirt and pollutants to be sucked into the ductwork to be circulated through your home.
  • Sometimes the culprit of damaged ductwork is wildlife that has made its home inside your home. Roof rats, squirrels and raccoons can severely damage flexible ductwork and compromise your system.

“Whether or not you decide to have the air ducts in your home cleaned, replaced or sealed, committing to a routine preventive maintenance program is essential to minimize duct contamination and keep your system running properly,”

No matter what you decide, finding the right company to take care of your heating and air conditioning needs is extremely important like we’ve talked about on our blog before. ( Some heating and cooling services providers are more interested in making money than their customers’ best interest. They may use technicians with no education, training or certifications or rely on high-pressure sales tactics to get you to buy services you don’t need.

“While I wouldn’t advise people get their ductwork cleaned, if they’re convinced they need it I’d recommend getting a reputable business to give them an estimate and to check with the BBB and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association before hiring them,” says Carini.


Do You Need New Ductwork?

EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA-Saving money on energy costs could be as simple as sealing ductwork throughout your home or business.

When ducts are well-designed they keep your home cool in the summer and warm in winter, improve indoor air quality by minimizing pollutants and allergens in the air, and help you conserve energy and money on utility bills. Read more

Six Of The Most Common AC Problems Prevented In One Step

ALPINE, CALIFORNIA – When the air conditioning goes on the fritz, it seems to pick the worst time imaginable. But according to El Cajon air conditioning expert Gabriel Carini, there is a simple way to prevent the majority of common AC problems.

“Every summer, we get an influx of calls about broken or malfunctioning air conditioning systems, and the majority of the time the problem could have been prevented or quickly remedied before it turned into a major AC repair,” says Carini, the owner of Cariniair a company that provides air conditioning in Santee. Read more

Tips for Keeping Your House Cool During The Summer Months

EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA – Now that we are starting to get into the peak summer months, it is especially important for East County homeowners to do regular maintenance on their cooling systems.

“The summers are typically much hotter in the inland areas like El Cajon, Santee, La Mesa, Alpine and Lakeside, which means people start using their air conditioning earlier in the season and continue using it later into the fall,” says Gabriel Carini, an El Cajon air conditioning and heating expert of 11 years. Read more

Five Ways To Make Every Day Earth Day

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – It was just a few weeks ago that more than one billion people in 192 countries took part in Earth Day, the day designated for increasing awareness and appreciation of the earth’s natural environment, which also gave us a great opportunity to evaluate how we’re doing.

“We make every effort to use green technology and environmentally-responsible service practices, but we also want to make it a priority to share information with customers that they can use to be green,” says Gabriel Carini, who founded his heating and cooling company more than a decade ago. Read more

Carini Adds Ecobee Smart Thermostat Which Offers Functionality, Savings, Extras

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – A programmable thermostat is a great way to save money on heating and cooling costs, which typically comprise 50 to 70 percent of overall home energy use, but it only saves money if it is being used correctly.

Many homeowners do not utilize their thermostats’ benefits due to complicated programming instructions, but ecobee Smart Thermostat eliminates that problem, according to Gabriel Carini, who recently added the product to what he offers through his San Diego heating and air conditioning repair company. Read more

El Cajon Air Conditioning, Heating Expert Says Schedule Tune-Up Before Summer

EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA – Gabriel Carini, a heating and cooling veteran of nearly a decade, is reminding home and business owners to schedule a spring tune-up for their air conditioning systems to make adjustments where necessary and take care of minor repairs before the summer season.

“If just a few aspects of an air conditioning system are slightly off, problems can overwork the unit, costing you more and shortening the life expectancy of the system. Even worse, if problems persist, the result could be a very costly repair,” says the owner of Carini Heating And Air Conditioning. Read more

Now Offering Nest Learning Thermostat, Latest In Energy Savings

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Carini Heating And Air Conditioning is offering one of the latest gadgets in the thermostat arena called The Nest Learning Thermostat, created by Apple innovator Tony Fadell.

Fadell, who worked extensively on the iPod and iPhone while at Apple, created the thermostat to learn the user’s preferred temperatures and schedule, programming itself to save the homeowner money.

“A properly programmed thermostat can yield significant savings on heating and cooling costs,” says Gabriel Carini, the owner of the San Diego heating, air conditioning and ventilation company. “Unfortunately, many of them aren’t programmed correctly.”

Read more

San Diego Heating And Cooling Company Adds New Commercial Services

SAN DIEGO, Carini Heating, Air and Plumbing recently launched a new commercial service: installing, servicing and maintaining air conditioning and heating systems for cell sites.

More commonly known as cell phone towers, cell sites are where antennas and electronic communications equipment are placed, typically on a steel pole or lattice radio mast, tower or other high place, to create a cell in a cellular network. Read more

Protect Your Family During Furnace Season

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -The holiday season probably has most people wrapped up in a flurry of friends, family, shopping deals or travel, and as temperatures dip lower people turn on the furnace without a second thought.
That is why Gabriel Carini, owner of a San Diego air conditioning and heating service, repair and installation company, is reminding homeowners to have their furnaces inspected and cleaned to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“We know that furnace maintenance is not exactly the first thing on anyone’s mind, but we also want to make sure everyone stays safe,” says Carini, who is an expert in heating and air conditioning installation.