Cleaning vents

My lovely wife wants the vents in our house cleaned.
Removing the register covers is not a problem. The stackhead or register box in the walls have an adjustable slide door to control the flow. Oval 5" ducts in the walls transition to 5" round in the basement. Two story house with all supply vents on the outside walls.
I could easily disconnect the ducts in the basement and rig up a way to connect my shop-vac in the basement to each duct. This would probably be eaiser than trying to seal all the vents and vaccum from the main trunk or furnace.
Question: Waht kind of tool do I need to clean the vents?
When I questioned a guy about doing this he said he would run a thin hose through the grills and used high-pressure air to blast the dust loose and connected a 'recovery vaccum' in the basement.
This tool is a long shot but I am sure someobody has a better idea. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?itemnumber396-1VGA&Submit=Go
10' is long enough to get me to the basement but this thing is flimsy and I doubt would do much.
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I would put the vacuum in the basement as you suggested, and then use the tool pictured to go up and down the ducts (not vents) to loosen whatever would come loose. I have never figured out why you would mess with the ducts as the dirt that is in them does not move and except for harboring bugs does not cause any harm. Loose dust will come out and is not in the ducts. Only when dirt builds up and restricts airflow is there a problem (in my opinion). No matter what, when you first turn on the airflow again, there will be a cloud of dust coming outof every register since the vacuum cannot get everything that is loosened up out. I would put something to catch the worst of the loosened dust in front of every register when I first turned on the airflow.
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wrote:

Did I mention my wife wants this done? During spring in NJ it is hard to find anyone without runny eyes and sneezing. Easier to do it than have a discussion about pollen.

Excellent point. I didn't think of that.
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Commercial duct cleaners are essentially scammers.
Visually inspect the inside of ducts, as much a you can gain access. Just sample them. You will probably find that they are as clean as a whistle.
Even after our house was smoke-damaged, there was no soot and no dirt in the ducts. Save your money.
Commercial cleaners use a combination rotating power-blast nozzle and vacuum cleaner nozzle, which they insert in the ducts as a unit.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
  Click to see the full signature.
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Buy the tool, make a lot of fuss about using it so SWMBO is well aware of your heroic efforts. Then, hook up the loudest shop vac you can find, maybe even rent a commercial version to help remove the debris and keep the things running for as long as can be tolerated while you flail away at the duct work. Take several breaks for refreshment, and continue the 'cleaning' until you hear the magic words, "Aren't you done yet?" Then reply in an exhausted tone of voice, "Another half hour..". She may reply, "Well, hurry up.", at which point you have won the battle. Predictably, reason will prevail and duct cleaning will never be an issue again. Good luck.
Joe
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Good advice. You must be a long time veteran of marital bliss.
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The idea behind vent cleaning is basically wrong. Studies show it's basically a scam.
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