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Experts Recommend Checking History On Air Duct Companies

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The problems started as soon as workers arrived.

“They saw something up in the air vent and said it was black mold,” said Monsce Lightfoot.

Lightfoot had hired ANS Air Ducts to clean her vents and dryer connection for $45, after spotting a coupon for the business. Workers, though, told her she’d need to pay extra to get the mold treated.

“I freaked out. We had babies, so I was worried,” she said.

She told CBS 11, for $500, the company sprayed her home’s air ducts with a chemical it insisted was safe and organic.

Within hours, though, her five year old, Tyler, started having trouble breathing.

“He was coughing and not breathing,” she said.  “He had to go to the emergency room.”

Lightfoot says, she can’t be sure the chemical caused her son’s reaction, but her family later learned the “black mold” was more likely mildew.

She also says, ANS never even did the job they’d been hired for.

“You could see the dust on all the vents they supposedly cleaned,” said her husband, Chris Lightfoot.

The Better Business Bureau found the company has operated under at least four different names, including ANS Air Ducts, AOS Air Ducts, AC Air Ducts, and Austin City Air Ducts.

The BBB gave them an F rating, citing dozens of complaints that workers had pressed customers for additional services, after claiming to find problems.

“And to tell me, ‘All the mold and bacteria,’ and ‘We will be sick’ and ‘It could kill us’ scared me,” wrote a Forth Worth woman, identified as Roberta R, in one BBB complaint.

Another customer provided the BBB with his final bill, totaling more than $1,500 dollars.

We tried to reach ANS at several different phone numbers, but found them disconnected. Their listed address lead us to a FedEx office in northeast Dallas.

For more information on this company, visit their BBB page.

The EPA warns, despite the claims of many air duct cleaning businesses, most people don’t need the expensive services they provide.  The government agency says, there’s no evidence cleaning your ducts improves indoor air quality, and in some cases doing so can actually do more harm.

For more information to help you decide, head to the EPA’s page on air duct cleaning.

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