Air Duct Cleaning - Best Method

Old 11-14-05, 02:22 PM
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Question Air Duct Cleaning - Best Method

Good afternoon.
We are investigating having our ventilation ducts, both supply and return, in our house cleaned. They have never been cleaned in the 11 years our house has existed (not even by the builder after it was first built).
So, first question: will this help cut down on the amount of dust we have?

Now, what is the better method?
I have heard the pitch from several different companies. Among the options:
1. A suction hose with rotating brush inserted into each duct and then the main trunk (after cutting a hole) with the main pump in a truck outside. Also, they have some kind of water bath in their truck to assist in catching the dirt.

2. A spinning air hose that is inserted into each duct blowing air onto the duct walls. Each register is covered first and the main suction pump is attached to our house's central air unit.

I am leaning towards #1, but am concerend about the attachment fitting into our small registers (smaller than 2.5") and the plastic ductwork in the attic.

So, What is the better way to clean these?
What about no extra dust in my house? Which one will ensure that?
What is a ballpark cost/register?
Can anyone offer some personal experience?

Thank you for your input.

Old 11-15-05, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gansmanms
Can anyone offer some personal experience?
Although I'm not a "professional" home maintenace person, I can offer some personal experience from maintaining my home as well as a couple rental houses over the past many years (I do a lot of the minor maintenance myself).

There are many, many differing opinions about having duct work cleaned. Some homeowners say there is a noticeable improvement (for a while), while others say it made no difference at all. (Google around for this issue.) Duct systems made of metal are more rigid and easier to clean. Most contractors nowadays only install flex duct which is far less expensive but it accumulates more dust and is hard to really get clean.

You can buy all kinds of fancy filters. Some of them help, but you run the risk of some of them being too efficient and impeding the air flow. No matter what kind of filter you use, at least some dust is going to pass through it and settle and accumulate in your duct work again; only to be recycled and re-circulated through the system and back into your living space.

When I lived in the north, most everyone had radiated heating, baseboard hot water heat, radiator steam heating, etc. (no duct work) and dust was never noticeable. In the tropics we had no heat or duct work at all and used window airconditioning units (no duct work -- hence no noticeable dust.

When I moved to the south, I began to notice the house got dusty, and everything had to be "dusted" about every two weeks. The neighbors said "well that's just the way it is."

A few years ago I had new duct work installed. I observed the old duct work and it was gross -- dust and all kinds of dead insects had accumulated and settled into it. We were shocked to learn that we had been inhaling air that had flowing over all that debris. The new duct work improved the air quality, but dust is starting to show up again all over inside the house.

Sorry I can't give you a definite answer -- just some insight and experience. My advice is to before you do anything, get lots of opinions and research it on the various Websites.

Best of luck.
Old 11-15-05, 08:05 AM
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Have been in heating and cooling for over 30 year . Ill say no dont mess with cleaning them. Dont use a EAC filter at all and for sure none of the wash and put back kind. Get a filter up to a MERV 5 dont go over that as it cuts down on air flow to much. Be sure and put a new one in every 30 or so days when the unit is on. Also we have filter sprays that you can put on just a little bit on the intake side of a new filter and that helps a lot. Try


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