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Anyone had their house air ducts cleaned - worth it?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Crawford, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Crawford

    Crawford Formula 3

    Mar 5, 2003
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    Crawford White
    Or is it as beneficial as putting fresh air in your tires??
     
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  3. scott61

    scott61 F1 Rookie

    Feb 11, 2004
    2,563
    North of Boston
    I am a germ a phobic and have it done every couple of years. Once you see what is in those ducts you will also
     
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 28, 2003
    44,511
    Texas!
    Unless your home has commerical style ducts, don't do it. Not only will you disturb all the crap that has gotten trapped into the accordion weaves, but these guys typically poke holes in the duct work as they "clean" them. Sad truth is that the standard accordion ducts are a POS. Unless you can afford to have them ripped out and replaced with a system that really works, don't make a bad situation worst.

    DrTax
     
  5. Crawford

    Crawford Formula 3

    Mar 5, 2003
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    My duct work is 90% smooth sheet metal; would this be cosidered commercial grade? Just have one accordian feeder that goes out to a newer sunroom.
     
  6. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 20, 2004
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    If air ducts scare you, don't cut open one of your copper water pipes...
     
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  8. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
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    May 24, 2004
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    Hi Crawford,

    I thought I'd wait a bit before I chimed in. You see, one of the businesses I own cleans ventilation systems in homes and commercial buildings. When I say commercial buildings I mean industrial, office, military, etc... we were just at the Observatory (V.P. House). We have cleaned airports, Sugar Ray Leonard's, Ted Koppel's, Saudi Prince's homes.... and the list goes on to the tune of about 4000 homes a year. So, as you can see, we have a bit of experience and I might be a bit biased.

    In the simplest terms possible, the duct work is a confined space that is difficult to access. It is an air conveyance system that collects a large amount of dirt and debris. If you could see what is inside and could wipe it down you would do so (trust me). Unfortunately access requires the use of special tools which makes it difficult and cost prohibitive to do on your own. A good / reputable company can do a good job cleaning the majority of dirt and debris out of the system. The most important issue for you is finding a reputable company. I suggest you contact NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) or look on their website (nadca.com) to research companies in your area. After you do so, if you have questions, I'd be happy to help.

    One more thing, clean systems, just like clean auto parts, run better and more efficiently. Also, people who are hyper-sensitive, symptomatic, or asthmatic are more likely to notice a difference in dust levels.
     
  9. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
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    AGREE STRONGLY!

    There are many companies that claim to be experts in this field but few are. Find a good company and you will be amazed at the results. Like Scott61 I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe too, but the biggest benefit I noticed was a reduction in the amount of allergy meds I had to take.
     
  10. cairns

    cairns Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2003
    416
    Potomac MD
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    George Williams
    LetsJet is right.

    I had mine done after remodeling by a reputable company- the air is noticably cleaner and the AC and heat work much better too.

    Be sure to use a company that will actually clean the ducts with long brushes and attachments as he advised- not those who just hook up a big vacuum over the intake and exhaust vents and stir the crap up. They should not need to poke holes in the ducts to get to the dirt if they have the right attachments.
     
  11. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
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    May 24, 2004
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    George,

    I'm glad your happy with your service. Though, if you read my post carefully you will see that I did not recommend a methodology. The reason I didn't is there are several methods that are effective, including power-vac trucks. We have done a great deal of research on this issue and have concluded proper procedure is of utmost importance no matter which method is used. We have been called by many customers to re-clean systems after another company has used rotary powered tools. It is a great deal easier for a startup company to purchase a $2000-$5000 duct whip and call himself a business then a company that purchases and maintains a power-vac truck that costs over $50,000. Further, these trucks typically create about 12,000 cfm of negative airflow with a compressor maintaining approx. 180 psi. It's not a solution I would discard. I bring this point up because it would be a disservice to Crawford not to consider several methods. Once again, it is who is doing the service that matters first and foremost.

    One other note - I caution you to say access points ("poke holes") are not required to clean a system properly. In fact, many times they are. If done correctly, they will not cause any problems and will likely provide a cleaner system.
     
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  13. Crawford

    Crawford Formula 3

    Mar 5, 2003
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    Crawford White
    Wow - Thanks for all the expert advise!

    I want to get the ducts cleaned for my allergies, and for the fact that the house seems to smell really stuffy (for lack of a better word) when I come back after being away for a few days.

    I will do some research and find a reputable company.

    Thanks again-
     
  14. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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    Dec 7, 2003
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    My next house will have air ducts designed by TUBI.


    (i win)
     
  15. normhuff

    normhuff Formula Junior

    Dec 14, 2003
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    I would strongly recommend it. My sinus/allergy problems cleared up shortly after my ducts were cleaned for the first time (after 23 years, so I probably waited too long). I also had them install an electronic air filter inside the ducts that uses a black light to zap all kinds of airborne crap floating in the air...
     
  16. cairns

    cairns Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2003
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    Eric- I am not the pro from Dover on this- just happy with the service I got.

    Ideally, what what would you recommend???? What exact equipment would you think a company should have or use and what procedure would you recommend they follow?

    Thanks- I plan on having it done again next Spring.
     
  17. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
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    May 24, 2004
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    LOL........get straight through pipes
     
  18. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
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    May 24, 2004
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    Hey George, this really depends on your house. The company should have all types of equipment so when they make a recommendation it isn't biased by what they use. That said, the majority of homes would be best suited for vac-truck / compressor method. It is less invasive and less likely to do damage to a system that might not have been installed properly. Many homes containing sheet metal ductwork have improperly installed seams that can come apart. When this happens inside drywall it's a mess to repair. Also, many homes have flex duct runs and a rotary tool could damage the lining.

    You might have noted that I'm in your area, PM if you want to tell me where you are located. I grew up in Potomac.......

    Eric
     

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