I recently did some remodeling and figured I’d get the air ducts cleaned in our 12 year old home. After obtaining 4 estimates between $572 and a whopping $3,075 for 25 vents and 2 air handlers, I knew I was in for a ride. I read through this blog and decided to use a $79 inspection camera I just found online (Home Depot) to take a look at all my ducts by removing the ceiling grilles first and then try to get into the ducts from the other end. From what I have just learned here, I believe that will take care of my “concerns”.
Simon explained the entire process in detail and took the time to show me what they were doing, how they were doing it, and the effects. In his initial examination of my air duct system, he discovered dust/residue from when the house was built, such as drywall dust. This was in my air system, and I was shocked. Not only did they thoroughly clean out all traces of this built up layer of contaminants, but showed me "before and after". In addition to completely cleaning the air duct system throughout the house (believe me - the inside of the air ducts looked brand new), they sanitized the entire system and then deodorized it. Halfway through the process, they took my $100+ air filter outside the clean it. I was both angry and amazed at the size of the dust balls on my filter. The air ducts were beyond filthy, and simply having the best air filter did nothing for the coating inside the air ducts. Now you would think after all this education on my part and work on their part, we would be through. No.
Had our ducts cleaned late April, 2016. Sodium Chlorite was sprayed into ducts after cleaning. Ever since, we have been bothered with eye and nasal passage irritation because of a “chemical” and “musty” odor. This odor is present whether or not a/c is on.) We are told the sodium chlorite (“EnviroCon, manufactured by Bio-Cide International) is used in hospital and nursing home settings and is not hazardous to health. The air duct company’s suggestion is that they come out and spray even more sodium chlorite…we absolutely don’t want this done! Have had various other recommendations about what we need to have done to remedy our problem. We will be unable to stay in our home if a resolution cannot be found. We’d be willing to replace the ductwork if necessary. (One professional suggested that the cleaning may have “knocked something loose” inside the ductwork and that is the source of the irritant.) This home was built in 1920…no idea when the present ductwork was installed. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Air ducts for your HVAC are critical for the efficient and effective filtering of microbes from the interior air your family breathes. For this reason, Most people should focus more on the proper cleaning and maintenance of your air ducts at least with equal importance as the filters you buy. I moved into a house built in 2003 last year, and spent a lot of time researching air filters because I realize air pollution inside the house is many times higher than outside, and my health and the health of children and youngers can be so adversely impacted by inhaling these indoor pollutants. I spent a lot of money on the best filters because here in northern Kentucky, I discovered I am allergic to something in the air starting in Spring that made me sick for 10 days - sort of a Upper Respiratory Illness. It never occurred to me the previous owner had never cleaned the air ducts, although he had both very young children, two dogs and a cat. I discovered Best Air Duct Cleaning LLC though an Amazon Local offer. Simon and his co-worker showed up on time with more equipment and materials than necessary, and I am so glad and appreciative they did! Simon explained the entire process in detail and took the time to show me what they were doing, how they were doing it, and the effects. In his initial examination of my air duct system, he discovered dust/residue from when the house was built, such as drywall dust. This was in my air system, and I was shocked. Not only did they thoroughly clean out all traces of this built up layer of contaminants, but showed me "before and after". In addition to completely cleaning the air duct system throughout the house (believe me - the inside of the air ducts looked brand new), they sanitized the entire system and then deodorized it. Halfway through the process, they took my $100+ air filter outside the clean it. I was both angry and amazed at the size of the dust balls on my filter. The air ducts were beyond filthy, and simply having the best air filter did nothing for the coating inside the air ducts. Now you would think after all this education on my part and work on their part, we would be through. No. I had researched by HVAC system and saw electronic air filters for over $1000. That was too much for me. But Simon introduced me to a product which uses ultraviolet light to further clean the air going into my home from the HVAC unit, and he gave me a discount because of the totally thorough cleaning I had purchased. This unit attaches to the duct coming after the air filter and comes with a lifetime warranty. Included in that lifetime warranty is a visit every two years to replace elements of this air cleaner, and a free air duct cleaning. Best Air Duct Cleaning provides air duct cleaning, which includes cleaning all your vents in the house outside your house. They repair and install air ducts and associated materials. They also cleaned my dryer vent, which was also incredibly filthy. Simon and his co-worker are intelligent, extremely knowledgeable and patient in their explanations and education to the consumer, and goodness, they are so friendly. I can't praise them enough for the experience and their industriousness. They take indoor pollution and the potential adverse health effects very seriously. The peace of mind I now have knowing all the filth they removed which was invisible to me is worth ten times the amount I paid. Absolutely wonderful people and company.
Demonstrate visible evidence of microbial growth in your duct work. Some service providers may attempt to convince you that your air ducts are contaminated by demonstrating that the microorganisms found in your home grow on a settling plate (i.e., petri dish). This is inappropriate. Some microorganisms are always present in the air, and some growth on a settling plate is normal. As noted earlier, only an expert can positively identify a substance as biological growth and lab analysis may be required for final confirmation. Other testing methods are not reliable.
He proceeded to clean each heat register by removing the grille and blasting it with an air pressure hose toward the duct opening thinking that the dust would magically be sucked inside. In one room this caused a ceiling smoke detector to go off because the excess dust fooled it into thinking there was smoke. I put my hand in front of a register he wasn’t working on and could hardly feel a suction. Although we discussed how I open and close damper doors, I realized later that he never checked, opened or adjusted them during the cleaning. He could have closed all but the one he was working on in order to increase suction results. His next step was to blast air into the duct and then attach a “squid-like” device that slapped around inside the duct as far as he could reach. This is important! In a newer house, ducts have long straight runs from the furnace. In older houses like mine they can turn and twist. In fact, the duct we have a problem with runs straight up from the basement inside a wall and turns 90 degrees into a soffit for three feet then into two 90 degree turns to get into the floor joist area for another two feet and finally a 90 degree turn up to the second floor register. When he cleaned this one he could only get three feet into the register with the hose or squid because of the turns. That was the case with most. Hardly what could be described as a decent cleaning.
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing (See diagram).