Duct Cleaning and Indoor Air Quality Experts
TwitterFacebookGoogleLinkedInYouTube

St Louis BBB Warns Consumers To Be Wary Of Air Care, Duct Cleaning Firm

St. Louis, Mo., April 23, 2013 – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends that consumers use caution when dealing with Air Care and Show Me Air Duct and Carpet Cleaning, two new St. Louis area businesses tied to Noach Palatnik.

Palatnik is the former owner of US Air Ducts and president of Pure Air, both companies with dozens of customer complaints with the BBB.

The BBB has received several reports in recent weeks from consumers who said they received automated “robo” phone calls from Air Care offering air duct cleaning specials at prices ranging from $30 to $59.95. Consumers who hired the firm said technicians charged them for additional work once they arrived at their homes.

“It was not a good experience,” an 82-year-old Maryland Heights woman told the BBB after Air Care charged her more than $1,000 last month for what she thought was a $59 service call.

US Air Ducts, which has also used the name US Air Duct, has logged more than 60 BBB complaints; Pure Air has been the focus of more than 30 complaints.

Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said Palatnik’s involvement in the new companies is reason for concern. “Mr. Palatnik has a troubling history with consumers and the BBB,” Corey said. “Consumers say US Air Ducts and Pure Air have used bait-and-switch promotions. There is no reason to believe these new companies will be any different.”

Palatnik, also known as Israel Palatnik or Aselector Palatnik, first came to the BBB’s  attention in 2011 as owner and president of US Air Ducts.  US Air Ducts reported an address on Kingsland Avenue in University City.

In November 2011, the BBB issued a news warning about US Air Ducts, noting that consumers complained they were lured by advertising flyers promising $49 air duct cleaning only to be hit with bills of $1,800 and more.

Shortly after that warning, Yogev Buskila told the BBB he had purchased the equipment and business of US Air Ducts from Palatnik. Buskila said he had set up a new, independent duct cleaning firm called Pure Air. Within weeks, customers of Pure Air began complaining of bait-and-switch marketing tactics similar to those alleged by customers of US Air Ducts.

Even though Buskila claimed that Palatnik was no longer involved with Pure Air, Missouri secretary of state records show Palatnik as the current president of Pure Air.

Buskila told the BBB earlier this month that he did not know why Palatnik is listed on the documents. “I am the owner of Pure Air,” he said.

In February, Palatnik registered Air Care as a fictitious name with the secretary of state, indicating that business was owned by Pure Air. Both companies list addresses on Tulane Avenue in University City. Buskila told the BBB he was not aware of any company called Air Care. In January of this year, Palatnik registered Show Me Air Duct and Carpet Cleaning at the same Tulane Avenue address.

The BBB has been unable to reach Palatnik despite repeated attempts.  A woman who first answered the phone at the Air Care phone number said that no one named Palatnik or Buskila worked for the business. But several days later, when a BBB investigator called the number again, another woman said that Palatnik was not available.  That woman said she did not know why anyone would say Palatnik did not work there.

Customer billing forms for US Air Ducts, Pure Air and Air Care are all strikingly similar, with virtually identical wording.

The Maryland Heights woman said she was stunned when an Air Care worker handed her a bill for $1,043. She said there had been no previous discussion about any charges above the $59 fee. “He knew I was upset,” she said of the technician.

An Air Care customer from Crestwood, also 82, said she also agreed to the $59 Air Care special, but ultimately was charged $135 for what workers said was additional cleaning.

She said her son noticed later that her dryer vent, which was supposed to have been included in the cleaning, was “loaded with dirt” after the workers left.  “They hadn’t even touched it,” she said.

She also was suspicious when the workers declined repeated requests to give her a business address.

Since Air Care came to her home, she has received several automated calls from the same company.

BBBs in St. Louis and across the nation have issued numerous news alerts on duct-cleaning companies.  Law enforcement agencies have sued some firms for defrauding consumers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urges consumers to be wary of any company that makes sweeping promises that air duct cleaning will improve residents’ health. The EPA suggests cleaning in cases where there is visible mold growth, vermin infestation or if the ducts are clogged with excessive dust and debris. It also says that homeowners need to fully understand the pros and cons of using chemical treatments

The BBB offers the following tips for consumers looking to hire a duct-cleaning firm:

 

  • Deal only with reputable companies, preferably businesses in your area with a good track record. Ask for references from homeowners in your neighborhood. Always contact the BBB for a Business Review by going to www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.
  • Beware of advertising offers for air duct cleaning at extremely low prices. Often, businesses use these promotions to get an appointment and then try to sell additional services once they get inside your home.
  • If a company discovers a potential problem in your furnace or ducts, do not be pressured into paying for additional services until you have contacted a heating and air conditioning professional for a second opinion. While the second company may charge you for a service call to check out the problem, the call may save you money if no service is needed.
  • Try to have a friend or family member with you during a scheduled appointment with a salesman or service technician. If that is not possible and you feel threatened or intimidated during the visit, ask the person or persons to leave your home immediately. If they refuse or hesitate, call police.

 

 

The BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior.  The BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews of more than 4 million companies, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.  Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.

Read more: http://interact.stltoday.com/pr/business/PR042313103612654#ixzz2RVyHZhBD

 

RCS provides NADCA trained and certified duct cleaning services for St Louis and Southern Illinois.

Honest UPFRONT pricing with 15+ years of experience , means you get what you pay for, a through cleaning meeting or exceeding NADCA standards.

Air Handler Cleaning & Refurbishment

 

Blog_ahu1Blog_ahu2

 

Depending on the scope of the repair and project requirements, HVAC equipment may be refurbished for less than 50 percent of the cost of new equipment 


Evaluating the cost of replacement vs. refurbishment when it comes to HVAC equipment is a tough decision, but one that every facilities professional will probably face. So how do you know when refurbishment is a viable option?

If  it seems that the refurbishment will offer at least 10+ years of reliable serv­ice, it’s probably worth the work and money. Some equipment is robustly constructed and can easily go beyond its statistical useful life with refurbishment.

A straightforward device (like a central  air-handling unit) can be cleaned up, leak tested, receive a replacement fan shaft, bearings, control valves, and damper actuators; and be vi­able for many years.

Large built in place air handling units often have the building constructed around them when new, removal and replacement of these units is very costly and invasive.

Units with dirty coils, leaking drain pans, worn or mold contaminated fiberglass liners, rusty and corroded metals can often times be refurbished for about %25 of the original cost or less.

This applies to large built up units 10 – 100 ton, smaller packaged units may not be worth refurbishing due to small size and access to internals and complexity.

The  pictures are from a project started last weekend, four 80 ton air handlers had mold, fungus and worn fiberglass liner inside them.

RCS was employed to inspect the buildings 26 year old HVAC system, air handlers, VAV boxes, supply air ducts, return air plenums for signs of visible mold. A 3rd party took air samples from all 6 floors of the building. It was determined the building tested clean and the problem was localized to the air handlers.

RCS Drafted a custom scope of work and timeline for this project, presenting options to the facility managers, closed cell foam was specked to replace the fiberglass liner but, due to cost issues, fiberglass liner was re installed.

 

Blog_contain

Blog_fan1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First step was removing (scrape) the old worn liner from inside the fan compartment, then vacuuming and treating the compartment.

We cleaned and treated the fresh air intake compartment, return air plenums in the penthouse on the roof, coils, coil compartment, drain pans, fan compartment, fan housing, fan, supply air plenum and the supply air ducts inside penthouse.

Some facilities request re finishing of the fan, fan housing and metal supports inside the units, for this we use an industrial epoxy.

Once everything was cleaned we installed new mechanical fasteners followed with fiberglass liner, mastic and new foam seals for the doors.

Each air handler will be completed in one weekend shift.

 

  • Air-handling unit refurbishment typically costs about 25 percent of the installed cost of a new unit.
  • Leaking drain pans can be epoxy coated to provide a smooth corrosion resistant finish that stops leaks.
  • Intact duct liner can be coated with a repair coating to resurface the liner.
  • Removal and replacement of internal liner can be performed in large duct work.

 

RCS provides HVAC cleaning and restoration services for missouri and southern illinois. 20+ years of experience means that we can provide you with a solution to your cleaning needs.

NADCA Trained and Certified.

We specialize in:

  • HVAC Mold/Fungus/Microbial Remediation.
  • HVAC Smoke/Soot/Odor Removal.
  • Cleaning & Refurbishment of Air Handling Systems.
  • Duct Cleaning , Hazmat Duct Cleaning.
  • Insurance Work Specialists.
  • Ventilation Cleaning Consulting

All Pictures and Text © RCS Ventilation Cleaning

Contact Us

www.ductcleanstl.com

www.rcsstl.com