Awful Smell Coming from Heating Ducts - Please Help

We just bought a 1941 home and we recently had the heating ducts cleaned and sanitized. The brush that the company used however was too big to snake all the way through our duct system because the size of some of our ducts is very small. Before and after the cleaning job, we have had an odor that comes from the heat and appears to be most pungent when their is rain or snow outside, but that could be a coincidence.
Can anyone offer us any advice here?
Thanks, Brian
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Do you have a heat pump? Or is it a gas furnace. Brand & model # may help. Need more information. Are ducts sheet metal? Lined or un-lined? Ductboard? Flex?
How old is your system?
Another unhappy duct cleaning customer. Duct cleaning helps sometimes, but is often done by hacks and is often overrated. I guess it didn't fix your problem.
Stretch
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Brian wrote:

try http://www.nadca.com/consumer_info/consumer_brochure.asp
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What kind of pungent? (Give us something to go on, eh!) How about dog hair in the return? Been there, seen that.
J
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Choose one: (or eliminate as many as you can) Dead Animal Dirty Clothes Mold/Mildew Burned Chemical Animal Skunk Cat box Other Please describe
Try a new more efficient filter on the air intake (you will need to replace more often as these clog more rapidly because they filter more stuff from the air). Try spraying a can of lysol into the air intake while the fan is running (heating or not). Move any plants or food storage or clothes hamper away from the air intakes.
Good chance a thick layer of dust and sufficient humidity has allowed a colony of bacteria or mold to form. If the brush couldn't get it out, perhaps you can kill it without removing it with the Lysol or some kind of UV light put in the duct (but if you couldn't get a brush everywhere, you probably can't get a lamp in there also). If your ductwork is not metal, it may be water damaged and decaying itself. It it exposed in the attic or crawlspace, can you inspect it, maybe need to open a pipe in the middle to clean the rest (ugly job, not recommended)
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Is it like mold, did anybody check the AC coil, dcondensate tray or ducts at the furnace, have you had it serviced. how did they clean the ducts.
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If related to precipitation your house must have a moisture leak that must be located and repaired.
In order of ease of inspection:
Check if the furnace flue is hot and DRY, a too large flue for the current furnace can get condensation inside it.
Then, the furnace's heat exchanger, especially if it's and old furnace, ought to be checked for stress cracks - these allow combustion fumes to enter the ducts - and your lungs. Use a flashlight and small mirror for a look inside.
You need to inspect all, and not less than all, the ducts, including the return, for water infiltration and disconnected joints.
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wrote:

Call them back, You did get a warranty, right? Bubba
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Duct cleaning, is the single biggest scam, next to mold, in the industry.
Hope they gave you some sort of satisfaction warranty with their work..
If its a heat pump, you prob have one hell of a case of DSS, or Dirty Sock syndrome.

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I dont know about that... I had mine cleaned and there was 50 years of shit in them. I figured its better out than still in the system with me breathing it in.
They should really make some sort of filters for the intakes of the system. This would prevent so much crap from getting into the system in the first place...
Tom
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You probably should consider using the toilets instead of the ducts to relieve yourself.

Golly, maybe they already do. You need to change them occasionally, though. If you don't realize they're there, you probably don't change them as you should.

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Intakes where the vents are located in the wall would do it. The system already has a good filtration system by the furnace. The bulk of the debree that was in the system came from the intake side of the system.
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Actually, they do. And if the filter at the unit, if you have a multiple return system as in so many older homes, is there, you are not breathing anything that isnt in your home anyway. Unless you have UV-C's, and a ventilator, (ERV, or a HRV) the air in your homes worse than outside anyway...

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Brian wrote:

I advise you to describe the smell in a way that might be useful to somebody who might be trying to help you.

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Brian must be a female. Women, or those trying to be a woman, tend to describe things in the abstract, which makes diagnosis so difficult. Males tend to detail descriptions with similarities so that a comparison can be made. Unfortunately, the two sexes don't always fit the usual pattern.
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