How Do I choose A Qualified Technician?

Air duct cleaning is a misunderstood component of the building. Some of the questions we often hear are: 1. is it really necessary to have my air ducts cleaned? 2. How often should I be cleaning the duct system? 3. How should I choose a qualified air conveyance system technician? Let’s take these questions one at a time and go over them. Clink on one or more of the following questions:

1. is it really necessary to have my air ducts cleaned?
2. How often should I address the cleaning of the air duct system?
3. How should I choose a qualified air conveyance system “cleaning” technician?

A. When undertaking a project, choosing a qualified technician will be the point where the project will result in an expected end or disaster. Where do we begin? Many associations claim to have certified members. Looking deeper into the certification process is where we must begin. This process should weed out many of the hardships that come with hiring unqualified workers.

General information:
Associations generate revenue by memberships. How they attract these members is by what they have to offer compared to other associations. Over the years, what we call “certification mills” were popping up everywhere. These membership organizations would offer training and certifications to its membership for additional fees. Once the student passed the test, they would become “certified” and would be added to its data base. Consumers could find them on the association’s web-page. The web-page would verify the individual was certified under certain designations, i.e carpet cleaner, mold remediator, air system cleaning specialist, certified indoor environmentalist, etc.

Mold is gold:
When the “mold is gold” era gained recognition, other associations and certifying schools began to pop up like dandelions (first you don’t see them, than they are everywhere). Mold was gold and everyone wanted to get on the money train. Many took the little training that was available while others collected the information and open their own schools. These new schools became another avenue of revenue for the teachers. What separated these schools was they could certify their students if they passed a test. The more student who passed, the more student a company would sent to that schools.

The test:
After training students, these schools offer a test to become certified. The test may be proctored by the trainer, school, or by someone in the association certifying the student as compared to a third party non-affiliated college or accredited facility. Anything less has the greater potential of being no less than teaching to the test or testing short term memory skills verses testing to a broad body of knowledge and experience.

What is certified according to the ANSI/NOCA 1100 Standard:
According to the ANSI/NOCA 1100 under section 8, the document clearly address the difference between a “professional certification” and a “certificate” of training (assessment based certificate), i.e. an assessment based certificate is awarded to someone who attends a particulate course, than passes a test based upon the course where as a professional certification is awarded to someone who passes an exam based upon broad industry knowledge, independent of training courses, and course providers.

According to section 8, anyone who holds a training certificate may not use letters or acronyms after their names nor may they use certified to describe their credentials. Training certificate vendors who encourage their students to use “certified” or acronyms after their names not only misleads their members, but the public as well.

Advisory: Just because the association claims their members are certified, does not mean they meet the ANSI/NOCA 1100 for a professional certification.

Before you hire: Ask the contractor if he/she is certified and if their certifying body meets the ANSI/NOCA 1100 standards. If they claim their professional certification is third party accredited, request verification, i.e a copy of the certification, who is the third party certifying body (also get web-page). The third party accredited certifications (not the individual) should be exhibited on the third party’s web-site for verification purposes, i.e. American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) and American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). This should help weed out those who are not certified according to the ANSI/NOCA 1100 guidelines.

Also see (click on):
How to Determine if the Duct Cleaner Did A Thorough Job

Also Dateline Investigation(s) by Chris Hansen (click on):
Duct Cleaners “Scam In The Air” by Datelines Chris Hansen – Part_01
Duct Cleaners Bate & Switch by Datelines Chris Hansen – Part_02
BBB Says “$400-$800.00 (or more) & Several Hrs” by Datelines Chris Hansen – Part_03
Confronting Duct Cleaner (Shawn) by Datelines Chris Hansen – Part_04