The most common answer to this question is once per year, but you may not need to do it that often. The factors that affect the functionality of your duct are the following:
Complexity of Design (bends)
Diameter of Duct
Let's look at the most simple factor first. Most home dryer ducts are 4" in diameter. If your home was built in the last, say, 30 years, it's almost certain that this is the diameter. Some older homes use 3" ducts. These are fine, but less ideal. You're essentially starting out with a 25% restriction versus a 4". These smaller ducts should be cleaned more often.
The length and complexity are tied together. A long, straight duct can perform the same as a short, complex one. If your duct run is very long (over 24 feet in most cases) or very complex (90 degree bends, multiple 45 degree bends, rectangular duct to round transition point, etc), you may need to clean you duct more frequently as well.
The final factor is how often you use the dryer. For a family that does laundry daily, debris will build up quicker than, say, a single person or couple who only do a few loads per week.
Monitor your drying times and clean the duct at the first sign of performance deterioration. For preventative maintenance and based on the factors above, we'd recommend cleaning the duct every 1-3 years.
If you've ever discussed or researched different carpet cleaning companies, you'll notice that there is a wide variation between drying time. Why does one company have your carpet dry within a few hours while another takes two days? If all companies used the same exact process, the only variation would be the power of their equipment. The reality is process is a more significant contributor to drying. A cleaner using the strongest equipment, poorly, can lead to long dry times.
In terms of process, the major factors are water pressure, drying strokes, and speed. A company who uses high pressure will drive too much moisture down into the carpet pad and this adds significant drying time. Drying strokes are possibly the single most important factor. Does the company take the time to extract more water (vacuuming without using water/steam)? This adds time to the appointment, and could even make the visit twice as long. As a result, many companies hoping to squeeze in as many jobs as possible may skip this important step. On the same concept as drying strokes, how fast does the company hope to finish the job? It takes time to clean and dry carpet properly. If a technician is stressed to hurry and finish the job, they will cut corners and not take the time to extract as much water as possible. Make sure your carpet cleaner can articulate how they will give you the best drying time they can.
Check out our process, pics, and pricing on the Carpet Cleaning page.
You've seen the ads while walking out of the grocery store. "Professional results for a fraction of the price!" These seem enticing enough, but what are you really getting for the price? Firstly, let's tally up what it may cost when trying to replicate a professional cleaning. We'll use a leading brand that you probably see most often in stores.
24 Hour Rental: $30.00
Cleaning Solution: $24.00
Spot Treatment: $7.50
Odor Treatment: $6.00
Total Rental Cost: $73.50
If you're cleaning less than 3 rooms, you'll probably find a professional to do it for around $100, so renting for that isn't a great value. If you're doing your whole house, the value is better, but what's different?
A professional cleaner will provide several features that can't be matched by the store machine (we wouldn't spend $10,000-$30,000 on a truck mounted carpet cleaner if it did!). The first is how we apply the cleaning mix. The store machine has you mix your treatment along with water and go. Imagine if you washed your hands with soapy water and never got a chance to rinse it out. This will leave soil-attracting residue which will make your carpet look worse than when you started within weeks or months. A professional will apply a treatment independently, allow it to activate and do it's work, then fully extract and rinse it with fresh water. The second feature is heat. You can put hot water into the rental machine, but your faucets won't produce water hotter than around 100 degrees, typically. This temperature will only decrease as you start cleaning and you'll end up with room temperature water by the end. A professional machine constantly heats up water to nearly 200 degrees. If you wash anything, you know hot water cleans better. Finally, you need to suck up all the dirt and grime that's in the carpet, so vacuum pressure is the key. The rental can't have much vacuum power particularly if it only has one power cord. The motor couldn't draw enough electricity even if it had a huge vacuum. We use gas-powered engines which power an enormous vacuum blower. This provides the necessary power to lift moisture and dirt out of the carpet. It would be like comparing a blow dryer to a gas powered blower. Which would you prefer?
All of these points don't even take into account the most important thing: YOUR TIME. Option one, the rental, will cost you around $75 and take up your entire day. How much is your day worth? A professional will provide significantly better results due to a better process and equipment. You can get your home done for $150-250 from most cleaners (depending on areas or house size).
The choice is simple: Better Cleaning, Longer-Lasting Clean, Professional Technician OR save a few bucks.
Check out our process, pics, and pricing on the Carpet Cleaning page.
The carpet cleaning industry is not immune to one of the oldest sales techniques ever used. The bait-and-switch is a method which drives someone to solicit your product or service, usually based on an attention-grabbing offer, only to use that opportunity to shift the transaction to the product or service the merchant wanted sold in the first place. The classic example is a car dealership advertising a great vehicle at an outrageously low price. People see this and are enticed to visit the dealer to purchase said vehicle. However, when they show up, that car is sold (of course) but there happen to be many other options which will fit your needs, apparently! The dealer used the ad to bait a customer into the showroom so that he could switch them to a regularly priced sale.
Although less common nowadays, we still see examples of carpet cleaners trying this technique. You may see a print ad or coupon for something like "$10 a room" or "Entire home for $75". A savvy consumer would see this and recognize that high quality service and results can't possibly be combined with below rock-bottom pricing. A stunning price like this is used to get a foot in your door (bait). At that time the cleaner may explain that the price shown is for steam cleaning only and that your carpet needs to be pretreated, conditioned, spot-treated, or other phrase. He would then provide that price and explain how it is much more beneficial in your situation. You've already had your mind set on having your carpet cleaned and moved all the furniture, so you reluctantly agree to the higher price (switch).
How can you avoid these types of scams?
1. If you see an offer that's too good to be true, it probably isn't true
2. If you're unsure, call and ask EXACTLY what you get for the listed price
3. Ask for a quote or bid in writing before the job is completed if you have any suspicions
Always look for reviews on a company before using them. Chances are that if they are unfair or shady, the reviews will reflect that. Check out our up-front pricing with ABSOLUTELY NO BAIT AND SWITCH on the Carpet Cleaning page.
We love our animals, but they can cause quite the headache when it comes to our carpet. Whether you just brought home an energetic puppy or have had one for years, our pets have accidents on the carpet. There are factors which determine whether this issue is a big deal or not. The main one is volume and frequency. If you have a small, trained dog which has very infrequent accidents, if ever, you probably don't have much to worry about. Small dogs have small bladders, so the volume of urine is small enough, typically, that it won't penetrate deeply into the pad. If these spots are found quickly and cleaned, there are probably no lasting effects.
On the other end of the spectrum are larger dogs with frequent accidents. These are much more serious if not addressed. The volume of their urine can penetrate into the pad or even the slab beneath and create and odor that is very difficult to remove. What you visibly see on the carpet can be misleading as the actual size of the spot beneath the surface can be 2-3x larger in diameter. This is a situation where professional carpet cleaning address the issue in ways which are impossible otherwise.
A good pet treatment contains urine-specific ingredients and strong deodorizers. It would be beneficial to use a commercial agitator after application so that the treatment can reach deep into the carpet. Finally, a thorough flushing and extraction of the areas are needed.
It's best to be proactive with pet stains or spots before they turn into a bigger problem. If you wait too long, it may be too late! Check out our process, pics, and pricing on the Carpet Cleaning page.
Steam cleaning is the common phrase used to describe a carpet cleaning process known as "Hot Water Extraction". The name originates from the visible steam that emanates from the carpet cleaning tools. The steam itself has very little to do with the cleaning other than suggesting the water being used is hot. The combination of hot water, the right pressure, and strong vacuum suction are needed to deliver good results using this method of cleaning. For truck-mounted systems, a gasoline engine powers three components to execute this method. Most of the power is used by the vacuum blower to create the suction. The motor also powers a water pump to to move the water to the cleaning tool. If you've every cleaned anything, you know that hot water works best. Most new systems use a "heat exchange" method which circulates the fresh water through the engine exhaust chamber allowing for temperatures of 200 degrees or more.
If you want the deepest carpet cleaning possible, this cleaning system is one step in a complete cleaning process. Check out our process, pics, and pricing on the Carpet Cleaning page.
If you're having drying issues, it's important to identify whether the source of the problem is coming from the dryer itself or the vent. In nearly all cases, this can be identified by asking one question. Is the dryer producing heat? If the answer is yes, but clothes are still taking long to dry, the problem in nearly all cases is the dryer vent. If you want a definitive answer, you can disconnect your dryer from the duct behind the dryer and vent it out into the garage (electric dryers only. Gas dryer exhaust is poisonous). If doing this fixes your drying issues there is no longer a question that the dryer duct is clogged. If you continue to have drying issues even when the dryer is disconnected from the wall, your dryer is the problem. Check out our process, pics, and pricing on the Dryer Vent Cleaning page.
We like to put exact timelines on maintenance, but everyone's home is different. There are some variables to consider when determining how often to have your carpet cleaned.
1. Do you have pets?
2. Do you have young children?
3. Do you wear shoes inside (on carpet)?
4. Do you vacuum less than 3+ times a week
Many online publications suggest having your carpet cleaned once a year. If none of these common soiling factors apply to you, you can probably go longer. If you answered yes one or two, then once a year would normally be sufficient. If you answered yes to 3-4, you may consider having your carpet cleaned twice per year. Some families with allergies may benefit from more frequent cleanings as well. Check out our process, pics, and pricing on the Carpet Cleaning page.