Homeowners today are well aware of the steps they can take to improve air quality in their homes: Mold Testing increasing ventilation from outside, adjusting appliances to reduce emissions, using tabletop air clea ners, and many more-including cleaning their air ducts.
Duct cleaning, of course, isn’t exactly a do-it-yourself job. It calls for a professional-and that professional just might be you.
Most of the duct cleaning jobs today are being performed by two groups: service providers who have decided to specialize in duct cleaning, or HVAC professionals who see it as a natural extension of their business. The market is far from saturated, though, so if you’re considering starting a duct cleaning business or adding this to your list of services, here are some things you’ll need to know:
- The market for air duct cleaning grew steadily from 2002-2007, peaking at $1. 25 billion before the recession hit. The two reasons most homeowners cited for using the service were a desire for home cleanliness and the need to reduce allergens. These reasons are not likely to go away soon.
- The recession caused a major slowdown in the purchase of duct cleaning services. Nevertheless, psychographic studies show that the following trends are still in effect:
The “cocooning” lifestyle is evolving toward “hiving, ” meaning that while people still center their lives around the home, they share activities with others and do more entertaining there. They will thus want to make that living space as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
23% of all homeowners plan to spend at least $5, 000 on home improvements in the near future. With new home construction still down, more people are buying older homes and taking the steps necessary to renovate them.
The increase in allergy- and asthma related illness will cause homeowners to seek out ways to improve indoor air quality.
- About 95% of the population is concerned about allergens, mold, dust mites, and other things that affect indoor air quality. Women are particularly concerned about their families’ exposure to these contaminants, and about 81% would prefer solutions that cover the entire home as opposed to one room at a time.
So what does this mean for you? Naturally, before undertaking any business venture, you’ll want to do some local research to see if your market is ripe for something new. Before investing in equipment, you’ll also want to determine which duct cleaning method is right for you. There are two major methods:
- The brush-and-vacuum method
This simple method simple requires little technical knowledge. It employs a round, soft-bristled brush that rotates at the end of a high-powered vacuum hose as it is pushed through the duct system. According to research by ABA Consulting, homeowners prefer this method nearly 3 to 1 over the other options.
- The negative air method
This method is more complex, and involves cutting a hole in the duct, blocking off various sections of the duct, and attaching an extremely powerful vacuum (generally up to 3000 cfm) to suck out dust and debris. This method is often used in industrial situations where the ducts are too large for brushes.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s starting a business from scratch or an HVAC professional wishing to expand your service offerings, air duct cleaning represents a way to meet the needs of today’s homeowners.