Expand Into Duct Cleaning

Expand Into Duct Cleaning

December 2013

The weather outside is frightful but duct cleaning makes it less painful for the carpet cleaning industry.

Author: David Hart

The weather is either cold or getting colder and, for most companies, this means a major slowdown in carpet cleaning.

This, however, does not have to mean that business has to slow down! In fact, with very little investment and training, you very well may find yourself generating more revenue this winter than you ever thought possible. Winter slowdown of carpet cleaning (except in the most southern, warmer states) is a given. But that is when the duct cleaning business truly experiences growth. With home furnaces running and recirculating all the dust and debris that has collected in the ductwork, it is a perfect time to promote your duct cleaning services. Duct cleaning is an add-on service that has been of interest to carpet cleaners for decades. Profit potential and industry parallels (homeowners who are conscientious about the cleanliness of their carpets are good candidates to become duct cleaning clients as well have prompted carpet cleaners to add duct cleaning to their service menu.

Wide-open market

A simple Google or Yellow Pages search of your area will reveal that there are a fraction of duct cleaners compared to carpet cleaners. And, with an elevated level of interest in indoor air quality, more and more homeowners, builders and small business owners are turning to duct cleaning professionals to get their dirty ducts cleaned. If you have built a client base with carpet cleaning, you have a perfect opportunity to promote your duct cleaning services. A letter or post card to your existing clientele is an easy, effective way to successfully advertise your duct cleaning. Offering duct cleaning to your clients during a carpet cleaning appointment is also a very effective marketing strategy, as you can easily give them a quote for getting their ducts cleaned right then and there. And, figuring that you carry your duct cleaning equipment in your carpet cleaning van you can very easily double or triple the invoice during that appointment. Home builders, real estate agents and home inspectors are great sources for referrals. Many builders are now having the ducts cleaned as soon as they finish building a home. Heating and cooling installation companies in your area can be a valuable resource for referrals, as well. Our company has made a habit of providing a free duct cleaning for the owner or manager of such companies in order to show them the quality of our work and in the process, we have been repaid many times over with referrals from these individuals and their companies.

How difficult is duct cleaning?

Many carpet cleaners, although confident in their carpet and upholstery cleaning abilities, find themselves reluctant to learn how to perform a new service. The truth is that duct cleaning provided you have good equipment couldn’t be simpler. By loosening the dust and debris in the ductwork with an agitation device (compressed air blast ball, brushes or whips) and providing a vacuum system to remove the loosened debris, duct cleaning is a very easy procedure to learn and perform. Recently, there have been some exciting breakthroughs in duct cleaning, with the focus toward making duct cleaning readily available for carpet cleaners.

How profitable is duct cleaning?

Along with being very easy to learn and perform, duct cleaning can be extremely profitable, yielding $250 or more per hour. For example, a medium sized house with 14 supply registers and two cold air returns will yield about $465. A house this size, being cleaned with a modern duct cleaning system available to carpet cleaners, will take around 1½ hours for a single operator, and 1 hour for a team of two. This equates to between $310 and $465 per hour! Just as a stain guard application is an easy, profitable add-on to carpet cleaning, dryer duct cleaning can be a very simple, lucrative service to offer as well. With profits ranging from $45-$90 (and taking 5-10 minutes to perform), asking your client if they would like their dryer duct cleaned is a very worthwhile question to ask! “Free dryer duct cleaning; a $90 value, when you schedule a home duct cleaning” is also a very attractive pitch in your advertising.

Winter opportunities

With the winter months being the “busy season” for duct cleaning, carpet cleaners can enjoy full schedule bookings year-round by adding duct cleaning to their menu. With very minimal monetary and time investment, you can be up and running in the duct cleaning business, earning impressive profits.


David W. Hart, founder and CEO of RamAir Industries, is a 25-year veteran in the carpet and duct cleaning industry. He invented the RamAir ClearView Duct Cleaning System, which is now available for purchase in more than 500 locations in five countries. He also owns and runs Guarantee Cleaning Services, Inc. in Bend, OR. Visit his websites at www.ramair.co and www.guaranteecleaning.com.


Cleanfax Article March 2014

Cleanfax Article March 2014

March 2014

Author: David Hart

Duct cleaning is a sector of the cleaning industry that has, in recent years, shown to be growing exponentially with no signs of slowing down. Industry experts agree that duct cleaning is a business that is expected to continue to explode far into the future.

While other cleaning industries are experiencing a downward shift in annual revenue, duct cleaning is growing at a fantastic rate. In fact, studies show that the duct cleaning industry is growing at a rate 16 times faster than carpet cleaning.

This is huge, especially considering that there is often only one duct cleaning company per literally hundreds of carpet cleaners in a given area. With the over-saturated carpet cleaning industry and the comparatively under-saturated duct cleaning industries both grossing relatively equal revenue, (around $4 billion annually), it’s easy to see how extremely profitable the duct cleaning industry is. In fact, duct cleaning is called by many industry experts: “The most profitable cleaning business to own.”

Now I’m not proposing everybody quit their carpet cleaning companies and start up a duct cleaning business- far from it! In fact, part of the beauty of duct cleaning is that it pairs so well with carpet cleaning. The two are like peas and carrots. One feeds the other. They can easily be performed separately or during the same appointment. Offering your customer a small discount for having both services performed at the same time is a very effective marketing strategy, and will usually double your job ticket.

A great way to solicit your duct cleaning services to a homeowner when you arrive to clean their carpets, is to carry a small media device (portable DVD player, iPad, laptop, etc.) and ask them to watch a short video featuring the duct cleaning service you provide, while you set up your carpet cleaning equipment. Most customers are happy to watch the video, and more often than not, they’re asking you for a quote before your wand hits the carpet. The carpet/duct cleaning package discount is often accepted without hesitation. In our carpet/duct cleaning business, this method has proven to be invaluable.

Another great marketing strategy which can set you apart from your competition is to offer free dryer duct cleaning with the cleaning of the heating/cooling ducts. Point out in your ad what your normal charge for dryer duct cleaning is (average is $90 – $120), and you now have a very valuable (yet quick and easy to perform) incentive for hiring you instead of your competitors.

In short, duct cleaning is a very open market which is very high in demand. By adding duct cleaning to your service menu, you can enjoy offering a service that’s easy to learn, fun to perform, and will almost inevitably increase your revenue substantially.

Have a great and profitable 2014!


David Hart is the founder and president of RamAir International, designers, manufacturers and distributors of the revolutionary RamAir Duct Cleaning System, and the founder and president of Guarantee Cleaning Services Inc., a service company that offers carpet and duct cleaning, as well as the only Oriental rug cleaning plant in the state, east of the Cascades, in Bend, OR.

Why Clean Your Dryer Ducts

December 2013

Saving energy and money: Blocked vents cause the dryer to work harder which costs more and shortens the life of the appliance. Saving more energy: Cleaning a blocked or restricted vent system will reduce drying time. Excessive lint creates a fire hazard. Lint-filled dryer ducts are responsible for over 15,000 house fires annually in the US.” Increase the efficiency and life of your dryer.


RamAir Dryer Duct Cleaning

The RamAir Duct Cleaning system is highly effective and extremely easy to use. There are just 5 simple steps to using the system and seeing the results.




Introducing SaniJet: A duct sanitizing solution

Introducing SaniJet: A duct sanitizing solution

August 2014

RamAir (www.ramair.com) has introduced a next-generation duct sanitizing solution in its SaniJet product, which works to coat duct walls thoroughly and evenly, with all of the disinfectant product going where it should be going. The product is an alternative to the traditional means of administering a chemical agent through ductwork and thereby having it disperse in other areas of the home, like on the carpet, walls, counters, etc.



How Do You Diversify? A Look at Add-Ons Worth Adding

July 2014

“Change is inevitable – growth is optional.”

It was Ralph Bloss who coined that phrase and it couldn’t be more relevant to a lot of cleaning companies out there today. That’s not to say that many carpet cleaners are still thriving in their markets by performing nothing more than the same services they originally began with, but in a world and an industry that’s constantly on the move, new services and add-ons can be something worth exploring. After all, the best-case scenario is adding more revenue and further establishing yourself as the leader in your market.

With that being said, here’s a look at some additional services that might be worth considering for your business:

Duct Cleaning

If you ask David Hart, Founder/CEO of RAMAIR, he’ll tell you that duct cleaning is the fastest growing segment in the cleaning industry, as homeowners are becoming more and more aware of indoor air quality and potential contaminants that can cause harm. He says it’s a $4 billion per year industry – and a largely untapped one at that.

“It’s so under saturated that industry professionals have estimated that there are about 50 carpet cleaners in an area per one duct cleaner,” he says.

And the potential profits make adding duct cleaning as a service to your cleaning business even more enticing. For instance, the typical charge to clean an air handler is anywhere from $45 to $65, about $35 each per return duct and $25 each per supply duct. So if you’re cleaning a home with 2 return ducts and 14 supply ducts, you’re looking at an additional $450 in revenue. And that doesn’t even include dryer vent cleaning – another service that can be accomplished with duct cleaning equipment – which can yield about an additional $100.

What’s more is that portable duct cleaning equipment comes with reasonable price tags in terms of investment when compared to other popular add-on services. And in addition to offering duct cleaning as a service to your current clientele, referral partnerships are there to be made with HVAC companies, real estate agents, home inspectors and home builders.

But just how difficult is duct cleaning? How easy is it to learn? How simple is the equipment to use?

The aforementioned are all questions that a cleaner needs to ask themselves before adding on any service, let alone duct cleaning. And as Hart will tell you, “If you can clean carpets, you can clean ducts.

“When you’re cleaning carpets, you’re dealing with pH, temperature, you’ve got fiber content, you’ve got different kinds of stains, you’ve got different solutions that react to different fiber and react to different stains. There’s a lot of science to carpet cleaning. But duct cleaning, it’s basically taking a dirty tube and turning it into a clean tube.”

Duct cleaning has the potential to be low-risk, high-reward. So would there be the commitment to promoting it and performing it well in your cleaning business?


Bio-cleaning – or crime scene cleaning, bio-hazard cleaning and trauma cleaning, as it’s also known – isn’t for everyone. But the fact is that someone has to do it.

Could it be you?

“A lot of people think, ‘Well I’ll get a bucket, a little bit of bleach and a rag and start washing it and that will be the end of it,’” says Patrick Paluga, Alliance Biohazard. “They don’t anticipate all the other things that are entailed in crime scene cleanup.”

Things like ensuring you have the training to successfully complete a job. Or things like knowing what PPE you need to wear, such as bio suits, gloves, eye googles and a respirator. In fact, Paluga says that many amateur bio-hazard cleaners actually leave more infectious materials than they take out, which creates a whole slew of problems.

Another problem that Paluga sees in the field is people not knowing where to get bio jobs.

“They may not have a problem getting that first job, but after that, how do you keep work coming in, what do you do to set up a connection so people know how to find you?” he says.

That’s where networking with entities like police departments and other emergency responders comes in handy. Even trucking companies have been good referral services for bio companies, as many natural deaths and suicides often occur in the cabins of semi-trucks.

So while bio-hazard cleaning might seem like easy money, you need to not only be prepared to professionally handle some of the scenes you’re going to encounter, but make sure you have the proper training, equipment and PPE to safely and effectively do the work.

Leather Cleaning

Of all the add-on serves that you can add to your cleaning company, leather cleaning might be the easiest to integrate. For starters, the up-front costs are small – all that’s really necessary are buckets, a brush, chemicals and taking the time to attend a class so you know how to identify the different types of leather and how clean each type properly.

Secondly, it’s recommended that consumers with leather furniture have items cleaned professionally at least once every 18 months, which makes it an ideal up-sell when you’re in the home cleaning an applicable customer’s carpets. Keep in mind that people love their leather furniture and want to keep it looking nice and new.

And lastly, leather cleaning has the potential to yield a very high return on investment. For instance, one type of leather – Nubick – is very expensive, which means cleaners can charge premium prices for cleaning such furniture. It’s not uncommon to make several hundred dollars for about an hour’s worth of work cleaning a Nubick piece of furniture.

If you clean in middle class and high-end neighborhoods, chances are you’re walking by leather furniture while you’re dragging the hose and cleaning wand around. Why not try to capture some of it? If you know what you’re doing and you perform the service well, you’ll not only add revenue to your company, but score brownie points with the customer too.

Furthermore, you might even consider taking your leather cleaning service a step further and adding leather repair or restoration. All that’s need is the proper know-how and a color repair kit. And while it can take a lot of practice to truly master leather repair, due to the demand for this service and the lack of people performing it, many cleaners have found they can charge high prices for this service as well.


Cleanfax Article November 2014

Cleanfax Article November 2014

November 2014

Working with Dead Bodies

Breathing new life into duct cleaning

NOVEMBER 24, 2014

We constantly get calls from the disaster restoration companies in our area wanting to hire us to clean and sanitize the duct systems in homes and businesses following a fire, flood or other catastrophe.

I always recommend networking with entities such as building contractors, property management companies, real-estate agents and HVAC installers, as long as the companies with whom you’re networking are upstanding representations of their industry.

Remember: You’re a reflection of them, as they are of you.

Disaster restoration companies are some of my favorites, as they constantly stimulate us with something different from the norm, and the revenue generated by performing work for them is usually maximized.

So when our phone rang one recent morning and we were asked to perform a duct cleaning and sanitizing in a home, it started out pretty routinely.

After the address of the residence was given and a cleaning date selected, our receptionist asked for the nature of the disaster.

The restoration representative paused, lowered her voice and replied, “A human corpse was discovered in the home two weeks after expiring.”

Now, we’ve handled duct cleaning in homes where people have died before, but this was a little different. Usually when a person expires in their home, the body is quickly removed, and it’s not too difficult to clean.

In this case, not only had two weeks passed before the body was removed, but the weather had been in the mid-90s, and there was no air conditioning in the home.

Fortunately for us, duct cleaners are usually one of the last ones to perform our services in disaster cleanup situations, so the rest of the home had already been cleaned and was in pretty good shape when we got there.

Although there still was an unmistakable odor present — an odor which is difficult to describe. If you’ve experienced this odor before, you know what I mean, and you’ll never forget it.

Just to be on the safe side, wanting to be sure everything was done “to code,” I called and spoke with a representative with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additionally, being a member of the National Air Duct Cleaner’s Association (NADCA), I called and spoke with one of their experts.

In a nutshell, it was basically a matter of making sure every bit of the ductwork was cleaned and sanitized using equipment and antimicrobials that met the standards for such a level of restoration.

The first step was to take a look at the duct system to see with what we were dealing with:

  • What type of ducting was it, and how porous was it?
  • What was the inside the furnace — i.e., did it have fiberglass lining?

Cleaning the ducts

By removing the register covers and looking and feeling down the ducts, we could tell they were made of typical plastic flex, so the porosity was not a factor; however, they still needed to be deep-cleaned and sanitized.

We performed a thorough cleaning with an air whip and skipper ball, removing all the dust and debris adhering to the sides of the ducts.

As with nearly all homes that have not had their ducts cleaned recently, copious amounts of sheetrock dust, sawdust and household dust came pouring out into our vacuum box and HEPA vacuum unit. We cleaned the ducts one at a time, first agitating the duct walls with the air whip, then blasting them with the compressed, air-powered skipper ball, scouring the sides with 100+ psi of targeted air.

Construction debris in the form of chunks of wood, sheetrock, nails and discarded sandpaper were then vacuumed out by running the vacuum hose through each duct.

There’s nearly always some “interesting items” removed during this part of the process. In this case: An empty yogurt container (probably discarded by a construction worker 23 years prior); a McDonald’s Big Mac container, which still had some cheese stuck to the inside that was now dehydrated and petrified by two decades’ worth of warm-air movement over it; some marbles and loose change; a tennis ball that likely fell in and rolled down during a game of “fetch” and a handful of toys ranging from Barbie accessories to tabletop game pieces.

Cleaning the furnace

Once we were sure the return and supply ducts were cleaned, we moved our attention to the furnace.

Removing the access doors, we found that indeed there was a fiberglass lining, as is the case for most furnaces, which is quite porous and very successful at trapping odors. We needed to be especially effective at removing the dust and debris from the furnace and fiberglass lining, as the dust itself works like an “odor sponge” and can be very odoriferous.

The thin layer of dust covering the furnace interior was proportionate to that which was on the duct walls, and was blown off rather easily.

Sanitizing the system

After making sure the furnace was completely devoid of all dust and debris, we applied an antimicrobial/ odor- neutralizing sanitizer to it by removing the application hose from the SaniJet and fogging the furnace interior directly.

We then disinfected the ducts themselves, fogging the sanitizer directly to the duct walls by running the SaniJet hose through each duct via each duct opening and blasting them with the sanitizing fog.

I believe it’s very poor practice to treat odors with other aromas, such as “spring fresh this” or “flowery that.”

Covering odors is not getting rid of the problem; it’s just adding pleasant odor on top of an unpleasant one. To me, this is tantamount to, rather than taking a shower, simply slathering oneself with deodorant and body spray every day.

Proper duct sanitizing is a good follow-up to every duct cleaning, but in a restoration situation such as this, it’s absolutely crucial.

Finishing with ozone

As the final step to ensure that any and all odor-producing molecules had been completely eradicated, we turned the furnace system on and placed an industrial-grade ozone generator on an intermittent 48 hour setting at the entrance of the return duct.

While the ozone generator is operating, each entrance to the dwelling must be clearly marked with “Ozone — Do Not Enter” signs, as it’s a biologically hazardous gas while in its active form.

The beauty of ozone is two-fold:

  1. It is a very powerful sanitizer and odor neutralizer, which destroys fungus, bacteria, mold, etc.
  2. After it’s generated, its half-life is very short, converting back to oxygen in a short amount of time and leaving no residue or toxic trace.

The result

I was eager to return to the job site after the ozone generators had completed their cycle and all the ozone had a chance to form back into oxygen. I wanted to give the home a “sniff test” to see for myself how effective our process was at ridding the building of odors.

As I walked through, it was very satisfying to smell absolutely nothing.

The restoration company was thrilled with the results, even going so far as to write us a thank you letter for our efforts.

David W. Hart, founder and CEO of RamAir International, is a 24-year veteran in the carpet and duct cleaning industry. He invented the RamAir ClearView Duct Cleaning System, which is now available for purchase in more than 500 locations in five countries. He also owns and runs Guarantee Cleaning Services Inc. in Bend, OR.



Marketing, Diversification Help Cascade Cleaning Services Beat the Winter Lull

Marketing, Diversification Help Cascade Cleaning Services Beat the Winter Lull

January 2015

 For Cascade Cleaning Services (Boise, ID), the winter slow season begins after Christmas and typically lingers into spring, with the slowest month being January.

“Everyone is kind of in a hurry to get their cleaning done before the holidays, before their guests come over,” says Matthew Huck, owner. “Spring and fall are the peaks and coming out of Christmas, January is our slowest month.”

That’s not to say that Huck doesn’t get carpet cleaning, hard flooring and tile cleaning calls during the winter, but it’s far from a substantial amount. So rather than have his employees sit around and wait for the phone to start ringing again in the spring, Huck has taken action to keep cash flow coming in during the traditional non-busy times. He says the biggest thing that he’s done to combat the winter lull is diversify – specifically, into air duct cleaning.

“We utilize the same capital expenditures – we adopted a system that works with the truckmount that is very cost effective,” Huck says of the portable air duct cleaning units he acquired for his business over 5 years ago. “That’s helped out greatly.”

Aside from diversifying his service offerings, Huck has also upped the ante on marketing over the last several winters, taking a much more creative approach and offering more incentives during the slow season.

“Add a little more discount to your baseline service, but also provide more free add-ons,” he says. “You’re trying to keep your employees busy.”

One customer favorite in Cascade Cleaning Services’ market is a deal for free protector if a customer spends a pre-determined minimum on a cleaning service.

“What’s most effective for me is the current client base – never losing touch with the current client base and looking for referrals off of the current client base,” he says.

The payoff has been notable for Huck, who says he diligently monitors his return on investment to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Over the past several winters, he says his sales have consistently increased.

RamAir Releases New High-Output Ozone Generator

RamAir Releases New High-Output Ozone Generator

Ozone Generator OzoGen 10kV called most powerful generator in its class

October 22, 2015

 RamAir International, Inc. is unveiling the all-new OzoGen 10kV High Output Ozone Generator.

The company boasts this new machine generates more ozone than any other professional-grade ozone generator in its class, and does it six to 10 time faster than the competition.

Other product highlights:

– Size of a loaf of bread
– Weighs 10 pounds
– Maintenance free
– 16 grams/hour output


“OzoGen’s power-to-size is extraordinary, having a considerably higher output than any other generator we’ve ever used. Compact, incredibly powerful and aesthetically beautiful, the OzoGen 10kV ozone generator is a game-changer for the restoration industry,” says Melissa Atkinson, a project manager for ServiceMaster Restore franchise.


RamAir Unveils Powerful New OzoGen

RamAir Unveils Powerful New OzoGen

November 4, 2015

BEND, OR — RamAir International Inc. recently released its new OzoGen 10kV high-output ozone generator, according to a press release.

The company reports the OzoGen 10kV generates ozone six to 10 times faster than other ozone generators and is the most powerful ozone generator in its class despite weighing only 10 pounds.

RamAir’s new generator, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, offers 16 grams per hour output.

“OzoGen’s power to size is extraordinary, having a considerably higher output than any other generator we’ve ever used,” ServiceMaster Restoration Project Manager Melissa Aktinson said in the release. “Compact, incredibly powerful and aesthetically beautiful, the OzoGen 10kV ozone generator is a game-changer for the remediation industry.”

For an article on duct cleaning after a crime scene cleanup by RamAir International CEO and founder David Hart, CLICK HERE to read “Working with Dead Bodies” from November 2014.

In the article, Hart writes about duct cleaning with ozone:

While the ozone generator is operating, each entrance to the dwelling must be clearly marked with “Ozone — Do Not Enter” signs, as it’s a biologically hazardous gas while in its active form.

The beauty of ozone is two-fold:

– It is a very powerful sanitizer and odor neutralizer, which destroys fungus, bacteria, mold, etc.
– After it’s generated, its half-life is very short, converting back to oxygen in a short amount of time and leaving no residue or toxic trace.