Duct Cleaning For Forced Hot Air Systems: Good Idea ?

Hello,
Have a forced hot air heating system; gas fired.
Have read that it is Not a good idea to (ever have Ducts cleaned as this tends to dislodge lint which has adhered, over the years, to the duct's walls.
Hard to buy this argument, but, maybe ?
Anyway, any strong opinions on whether it should be done periodically (how often), or if it really is a bad idea, and best to just leave them alone ?
Pros and cons ?
Thanks, Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't kow and I haven't read the EPA page Bob F posted, but these thougts occur to me.
If there is no stuff in the duct, there is nothing to clean.
If stuff in the duct is not coming out of the vent, why bother to clean the duct?
If stuff in the duct IS coming out of the vent, won't it come out whether you clean it or not? If some comes out and some doesn't, see previous paragraph for the part that doesn't come out.
Can it stay in the duct and still bother people? Can dust sit on top of the breakfront, the kitchen cabinets that don't reach the ceiling, and the armoire and bother people? I don't know, but I know it doesn't bother me.
I'm sure there's not enough stuff in the duct to actually clog the duct.
To see if the heated air is dirty, do some version of this: Look at the walls near the ducts. If you think the air was dirty and now the furnace is fixed and it's clean, but you're not sure, tape a piece of white paper to cover half of a wall duct. Usually afaik bathrooms have ducts in the wall rather than the floor or ceiling. If the paper seems too clean (except maybe the edge closest to the open part of the duct) , maybe put small holes in the paper so that the hot air goes through those holes and see if it leaves dirt near the holes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't kow and I haven't read the EPA page Bob F posted, but these thougts occur to me.
If there is no stuff in the duct, there is nothing to clean.
If stuff in the duct is not coming out of the vent, why bother to clean the duct?
If stuff in the duct IS coming out of the vent, won't it come out whether you clean it or not? If some comes out and some doesn't, see previous paragraph for the part that doesn't come out.
Can it stay in the duct and still bother people? Can dust sit on top of the breakfront, the kitchen cabinets that don't reach the ceiling, and the armoire and bother people? I don't know, but I know it doesn't bother me.
I'm sure there's not enough stuff in the duct to actually clog the duct.
To see if the heated air is dirty, do some version of this: Look at the walls near the ducts. If you think the air was dirty and now the furnace is fixed and it's clean, but you're not sure, tape a piece of white paper to cover half of a wall duct. Usually afaik bathrooms have ducts in the wall rather than the floor or ceiling. If the paper seems too clean (except maybe the edge closest to the open part of the duct) , maybe put small holes in the paper so that the hot air goes through those holes and see if it leaves dirt near the holes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You should read it. Considering what a highly-political organization the EPA is, their page on duct-cleaning reads as fairly informative and unbiased.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I intended to read it, and have read about half so far. I doubt that the EPA is as political as the people who don't like what it says think. Or put another way, some issues are subject to politics but most probably aren't.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

website does not work
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 26 Feb 2013 20:55:37 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net"

Worked for me. Right now, it looks like you have that stupid "- Hide quoted text-" appended to the url. Perhaps another disgusting artifact of google.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Worked for me too. I always wondered about this question. I know a couple of Realtors who didn't believe in duct cleaning. I think the link cut to the chase as to why or why not.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The vent stuff I have seen is white. I'll check that out.
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Seems like some shit made to drum up business. Then how do you know the service even cleaned them? You can't see inside.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/27/2013 12:46 AM, frag wrote:

small mirror and a flashlight. Remove the duct cover (if you can), reach in and lay the flashlight on the level portion of the vent, then use the mirror to look into the vent. I have done that and it works pretty well. You can't see all of it, but you should be able to see enough to tell how dirty it is.
That said I have always heard that it is normally a waste of money to have your air ducts cleaned. It is more of a scam than a valuable service. The EPA link provided by Bob F. pretty much says that.
Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In my 50's house, there were very large clumps of dust in the returns. The old system was a low flow. Some of it collected on filter after high flow system was installed. I removed most of the crud with shop vac. Now, I got to clean off the exteriors of the metalwork. What fun. The circular ports are wrapped with asbestos. I have some freshly wrapped pipping tape over some of the asbestos.
Does anybody know if that liquid pipe coat is good for asbestos, containment ?
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Systems: Good Idea ?:

Do it yearly. It's only money. It's for the children.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would not clean them unless you suspected a problem. I had to have mine done several years ago when furnace malfunctioned sending soot into the house. Cleaning crew had to clean the house as well as remove soot from ducts. Furnace people have never recommended periodic cleaning to me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The EPA article appears to relate to ONLY whether cleaning a duct improves breathable air. As others have mentioned, if it's going to come off, it will, or already has, so forget about cleaning.
From experience with an antique convectrion system -- CLEAN YOUR AIR DUCTS PROFESSIONALLY!!
Over years something sticky like what you find on your kitchen walls slowly builds on the inside walls of the airducts. Dust adheres to that surface making it very rough, even to the touch. I tried all kinds of DIY cleaning techniques, which worked well NEAR openings, but I could not reach very far at all. I hired a professional cleaning service [meaning they had a unit so powerful they have it mounted on a truck and when it runs, sounds like a jet engine] to clean the ducts. I don't know about forced air systems and not much efficiency lost due to the rough surfaces of the vents, but for a convection system made a BIG difference. Convection systems have large diameter ducts. Forced air, a lot smaller, so it would seem that rough walls on the ducts could take a toll on efficiency.Plus, I got to see what came out of my ducts. Including small children's toys, circa 50's.
Anyway, after I had the cleaning done on the convection system; noticed averages on the heating bills dropped 5-10% At $350/month, didn't take long to pay back the cost of the Professional Cleaning.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think it's a classic example of someone inventing a problem and then selling you a solution.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.