Duct Cleaning?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by chickflick, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    I REALLLYYYY need my duct work cleaned in this house. There is no one in this area that acts like they've ever even HEARD of it. :rolleyes:

    So...... Homestead Do It Yourselfers.... What do I do? (Keep looking for someone? LOL)

    The ducts are so dirty that around the vents on the ceiling, I have to vaccum about every couple of months! Ewww.

    HELP!!! Thanks!

    Maybe I should put this in another forum?
  2. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

    Sep 13, 2002
    beautiful Pacific Northwest
    Well, thats one thing I HATE about TX....!! We have the same problem here.... except when it cooled off last year, we turned the fan on the A/C off, and two months later, when we turned on the heat, we had mold in the ducts!! UGH!!!

    I usually just keep the fan on.... and when we had the ducts cleaned, they told us the air coils needed cleaned - but the landlord wouldn't pay for that!!

    Keep looking, someone will do it... I think it cost about $400 for them to do ours, but ours was a rush job which included MOLD work... hopefully yours will be less expensive!!!

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Aug 4, 2003
    Zone Unknown
    I stick the vacuum cleaner hose in my vents every few weeks and vaccum away. I always end up pulling out a lot of stuff, so it's doing something at least. I'd hate to think what they'd pull out if I got a real duct cleaning company out here. :rolleyes:
  4. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2003
    Western WA
    It makes you wonder what you're breathing into your lungs from the air coming through the ducts. They charge 10 dollars a duct in this area. I have the horrors they will find a dead mouse or something in one of those ducts.
  5. bare

    bare Head Muderator

    May 9, 2002
    I clean mobile home ducting by pulling a vent, and feeding a stiff electrical fish tape down to another vent or as far as I want. Then go the the other vent and wire a towel to it and pull it through.

    Amazing some of the stuff I find, especially in homes with youngsters! Don't blame 'em though, I wouldn't eat canned spinach either.
  6. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Is your duct lined or wrapped on the outside? If its lined, a simple cleaning won't do much good. Think of those paper masks you can get in your local do it yourself store, and using the same one for a few years. Do you have a local community college, trade school or sheet metal/hvac shop near by that might be able to help, or at least point you in the right direction?
  7. silosounds

    silosounds Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    in the middle
    If your handy you can either go into the attic or crawlspace wherever the duct work is located pop off the return air side end cap located at the end of duct use a screwdriver shine a flash light down and see if the duct is dirty if it is this is what I do, Ive bought 2- 1/2"pvc pipes about 20' and a coupling use the first one it should bend a little and hook old rags to the end with duct tape feed it down the duct if your duct is long dry fit the coulpling on the end and duct tape so it doesnt come appart until your readythen add another section of pipe this will losin the dust and dirt or dead things from the duct. put the end cap back on then with a filter in place turn the blow on and let the debries flot into the filter. this will get the return air duct a bit cleaner repeat the same on the supply duct this is the duct that blows. If you have a/c on your system the coil at the furnace needs to be cleaned also this is a bit tricky, hvac tech may need to do this dont want to break refrigeration connections.change the filter and see if it helps most likely this will help, if not there could be a worse problem if it looks sooty around registers it could mean bad heat exchanger which is dangerous so if this dosent help get a pro to do it.I have some other thoughts so let me know if you need more info.
  8. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2004
    I'm very curious about this also. Your method seems to be for someone with a single floor house. Our duct work goes across the cellar and up to the first floor and second floor - any ideas there or do yous till use your way? Maybe hubby will understand it better than I. Will i stir up a lot of dust doing this - i'm allergic to it, but wouldn't mind if it's something i can just do and feel better for weeks or months.

    I'm going through each room now and starting at the ceiling and down to the floors to get rid of dust. I also rolled up the living room rug for a few weeks and put a machine washable one there to see if that helps.
  9. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    SE PA, zone 6b
    We are very fortunate to live with hot water heat for the house. I've had it in other houses, also, and like it very much.

    I'm ignorant of costs, etc., but if I had asthma or severe allergies, I would investigate installing a boiler and hot water baseboard heat. Or move to such.
    I realize that this would be expensive, some rent, etc., but it could be a solution to the allergies.

    Best wishes,

  10. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2003
    I'd keep looking. The professional service I've had done includes the following

    1) Cut a hole in the return duct
    2) Hook a vacuum truck that hole in the air return duct.
    3) Close off all duct outlets other than the one being cleaned.
    4) Stick a "puck" on the end of a compressed air hose down the outlet being cleaned. This puck moves around side to side down the bottom of the duct (flails around like the firehose in the cartoons) to dislodge stuff that is then blown toward the vacuum truck line in the return duct. The puck on the airline is fed until the operator is satisfied that that branch is clean.
    5) The cleaned outlet is covered up and the process is repeated with one outlet at a time.

    A extremely frugal friend of mine had a house where most of his ductwork was exposed in his basement. He took all of it out and washed it in his backyard then reinstalled it. He nearly cried when I told him it cost about 4 or 5 hundred bucks to have professionally done because it was so difficult for him to do he would have gladly paid.

    I have a wife and son wih allergies and I really believe it helps to have the ducts cleaned.

    Best Wishes

  11. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Most major insurances will cover duct cleaning if you or a family member have sever allergies or such. The ducts are a major bad area for air quality. I recommend changing your air filter, and you can even get filters that fit over your vents.