Business Spotlight: The Mad Hatter
Owners: Mark W. Conley and William G. Conley Location: 7605-Blueberry Road, Powell
BY LISETTE KACZKA
As Santa Clause climbed down your chimney to make his Christmas Eve delivery, did he have a clean pathway or did the jolly old elf emerge with soot and grime all over his beautiful red suit? If it was the latter, then perhaps you should call The Mad Hatter.
The Mad Hatter is an air duct cleaning and chimney sweep service that has locations in Atlanta, Birmingham, Cleveland, Ohio, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Knoxville. The Knoxville Mad Hatter has been in business since April 1999, and is owned and operated by John Smith of Halls along with his stepson, Mark Conley of Powell.
According to Smith, the Knoxville Mad Hatter is a ….registered member with the
Better Business Bureau.
What led you to start this business?
“A friend of mine started The Mad Hatter business in Oklahoma City in the early ’80s, and it grew through friends and family leasing and developing their own Mad Hatter businesses throughout the country,” Smith said.
What services do you offer?
“We offer air duct cleaning (residential and commercial), chimney sweep service, dryer vent cleaning, masonry repairs, caps, dampers, chimney liners and crowns,” Smith said. “We work a lot of apartment complexes, approximately 1,500 units in the Knoxville area, and we also get a lot of jobs through the Servall Co., which does restoration work.”
What does a chimney cleaning entail?
“We sweep all five parts – the firebox, damper, smoke shelf, smoker chamber and the flue, all the way to the top. A job takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2-1/2 hours, depending on the amount of soot and creosote that’s accumulated,” Smith said.
When or how often should a homeowner have their chimney, air ducts and dryer vents cleaned?
“The National Fire Protection Association suggests homeowners check their chimneys annually; however, most people wait until it gets cold! By then, we become so busy that sometimes there could be a month-long wait,” Smith said. “The ideal time to do it is in July and August, when we are not that busy,” he added.
“Air duct cleaning should be done every 3-5 years, but people with pets and allergies should have it done more often – every 2-3 years,” Smith said. He also emphasized that dryer vent cleaning is important because “there are approximately 15,000 dryer vent fires a year (nationally).”
How many clients do you currently service and in what area?
“This time of year, we’re doing about 60 jobs a week,” Smith said. “We probably do 1,200-1,500 in a year, which is a combination of all our services.We pretty much cover Knox, Blount, Louden, Anderson, Campbell, Union and Sevier counties.”
How do you price jobs?
“We will go out and bid commercial jobs, but for residential jobs, we can give free estimates over the phone.” Smith said. “While we have set prices for fireplaces and dryer vent cleaning, the cost of an air duct cleaning will differ because it’s based on the number of vents and returns in the home or business.”
Lisette Kaczka may be reached at 865-342-6275
Contact us for more information about air duct cleaning and chimney sweep service services we provide. We look forward to making you another satisfied customer.