(St. Louis) Consumers should use extreme caution when tempted to use coupons showing “incredible discounts” for duct cleaning services in their homes or businesses according to Patty Clisham who owns DUCTZ of West St. Louis, Chesterfield and Maryland Heights, an award-winning and nationally recognized duct cleaning company.

For the second time, Clisham’s expertise was requested during a journalistic investigation of coupon scams. The report by News 4 St. Louis responded to a homeowner who complained after replying to a $50 coupon. The homeowner then agreed to spend $399 instead and said the ducts were still clogged when the company was finished.

“Those coupons can be extremely tempting. But no company can legitimately do duct cleaning work for such a small amount of money,” Clisham said. “It should be a red flag for consumers. Duct cleaning work when done correctly takes no less than four hours. It can take up to eight or ten depending on the complexity and dirt accumulation.”

The news report used hidden cameras to investigate the cleaning methods of a company offering $50 coupons, which showed the crew using basic vacuums and spending less than an hour on a 2,800 square foot home. Clisham inspected the work and said the crew did nothing beneficial at all to the home’s ductwork.

“It is important for consumers to find a reputable company to do any kind of work on their home, including ductwork cleaning. Before you agree to anything, do your homework,” Clisham said.

These are some of the steps Clisham recommends homeowners take to protect themselves from becoming victims of scams:

Ask whether the duct cleaning company is certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and ask to see their credentials

Ask what protocol will be used to perform the ductwork cleaning

Ask for a referral from someone you trust, including a certified heating and cooling company

Check the company in question with reputable sources, including your local Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau

Be suspicious of coupon offers that appear too good to be true

Clisham started DUCTZ of West St. Louis, Chesterfield & Maryland Heights more than five years ago. The company is a Certified Woman Business Enterprise that has earned a reputation for integrity, customer service, and expertise for residential and commercial customers needing HVAC system cleaning, restoration service, air duct cleaning, and dryer vent cleaning in the metro St. Louis area.