Hot Air Furnace Duct Cleaning: Good Idea ?

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Hello,
Family member has been diognosed with mild asthma. Lives in a house with hot air heating. House about 30 yrs old.
Was thinking of suggesting that they have the hot air ducts cleaned out by one of those services that do it.
But, there does not seem to be any kind of agreement as to whether this is actually a good idea or not.
Counter argument to doing it seems to be that the lint, etc. by now is pretty well adhered to the duct's wall's, and you are better off to not disturb it. Just live with whatever comes loose in normal usage, and use a good furnace filter.
Makes some sense, I guess, but ... ?
What's the latest thinking on this subject ?
Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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On 10/02/2014 06:31 PM, Bob wrote:

My house is over 100 years old and used to be extremely dusty so I had one of those places come out. They cleaned the vents but that did nothing to eliminate the dust.
About a year later I was working in the basement and bumped something into one of the hot air ducts and it thumped (made a non-hollow sound)
It was an elbow which I took apart and found clogged with probably fo years worth of debris. After I disassembled and cleaned it, it actually was less dusty in the house.
So if you hire one of those services make sure they really get everything! Then...got one of those electrostatic filters.
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Background: I have/had such severe asthma that often triggered by a cold would end up down for over a month at a time [hospital grade down]. Lungs have so much scar tissue that during my draft physical for the Vietnam War, the doctor came over and very seriously said, "We don't want to frighten you, but we don't want you. We're giving you a 4F rating." More recently during my pilot's physical exam my doctor would listen to my lungs and tell me to cut down on my smoking. "Doctor, you know I don't smoke." He'd then give that "hmmmm" and check more but not say anything.
That's background. So under insurance claim was allowed to purchase an electrostatic air cleaner! Fairly expensive too. I put it in the corner of our bedroom, turned it on, laid down on the bed. After it ran a few short moments; it literally felt like someone had been sitting on my chest for years got up and left! The effect was THAT dramatic.
I share ALL those details to convince you your friend should get portable electrostatic cleaners, place them EVERYWHERE, AND clean out the crud from his heating vents. But form experience, if they don't put something mechanical in there, fire 'em. An air blast won't do it!.
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On 10/2/2014 7:50 PM, RobertMacy wrote:

Combine the cleaners with having the ducts cleaned out, I'd expect some improvement.
My problem turned out to be stuff growing in the tray of my window AC. I had to take it all apart, clean it, and clorox it. That helped, in my case. I also rerouted the condensate, so it doesn't collect in the tray any more, it runs dry. I know about slinger rings, and evaporative cooling for the condenser, but I prefer not having slime build up.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Clean and seal is the most effective. A good duct cleaner will "shake" the ducts as they are being cleaned, then they spray a fixative that traps any remaining dirt firmly to the duct surface.
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Well, it always seemed to me that if the ducts were really spewing dust, th ey would be getting cleaner and cleaner. Either that or the dust would be s ticking in place and not causing problems. I don't give duct cleaners much credibility. I recommend the electrostatic filter route along with sealing cracks from the outside. If you have negative air pressure in the house, it could be drawing dust from the attic though cracks or electrical sockets.
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Years ago CMHC had a report released on duct cleaning effectiveness.... "not worth it, save money" was conclusion. I always had at least 16x2x5 filter or Honeywell electronic filter with spare elements(one being used, one cleaned and as spare) No dust problem in the house even with dog and cat.
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wrote:

would be sticking in place and not causing problems. I don't give duct cleaners much credibility. I recommend the electrostatic filter route along with sealing cracks from the outside. If you have negative air pressure in the house, it could be drawing dust from the attic though cracks or electrical sockets.

I have heard people talk about setting a humidifier next to the intake during the winter and wondered if that might create problems with mold.
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On Fri, 3 Oct 2014 08:52:53 -0700, "Guv Bob"

or less. It has to get over 70% to even begin to consider mould issues. I like about 55% +/- for comfort. Currently sitting at 24C and 58% RH in my basement office. Wife just did some laundry and I just washed the air filter with hot water, so it is up a few points.
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EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned except on an as-needed basis because of the continuing uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning under most circumstances.
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html
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On 10/3/2014 8:14 AM, Tony Discenza wrote:

continuing uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning under most circumstances.

mild asthma qualify?
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On 10/2/2014 10:59 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:> Stormin Mormon wrote: > Hi, > There was a report out a few years ago written by CMHC(Canada Mortgage > and Housing Corporation) about the effect of duct cleaning. Conclusion, > "not that effective, > save your money". I always lived in a house built per our specs. Never > lived in old house. > Always forced air heating/cooling system with 16x25x5 Merv 10 or better > filter/or Honeywell electronic filter. Never had dust issue(s) in the > house even with cat and dog. > My son was born with serious asthma, until he reached pre-teen he > carried two different > puffers all the time. But since Jr. high he did not need them. He > started playing Tenor Sax in the band for 6 years and now at age 30, > still does in addition to guitar and drum playing. Good diet, natural > supplement, excercise got rid of that asthma for good. We > conquered asthma in my house. >
That's encouraging. Hope the OP with the family member can benefit from your success.
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is the family member with asthma obese? that means are they seriously overweight?
if so serious weight loss including weight loss urgery can often solve most of their health troubles
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Tony Discenza wrote:

Years ago CMHC looked into it and released a report. "Not worth it, save your money" was conclusion. I always use 16x25x5 at least MERV 10 filter or Honeywell electronic filter with two sets of elements(one in use, one cleaned and as spare) Have a big dog and a cat in the house as well. No dust problem.
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On 10/2/2014 7:31 PM, Bob wrote:

I only know one family that had duct cleaning done, a guy from my church congregation. He was thrilled with the service, and very pleased he did. I don't remember which company. Guess I could ask, if you wish. I'm sure he'd know.
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I've never found dirt when taking ductwork apart, aside from the area around the vent where dust can drift in. I'd spend the money on a better furnace filter and maybe an air cleaner. The HEPA air cleaners work well, in my experience. I had one once and it made the air in the room feel fresh, like outside. The trouble with that, though, is that it's local to one room and it's somewhat noisy.
| Hello, | | Family member has been diognosed with mild asthma. | Lives in a house with hot air heating. | House about 30 yrs old. | | Was thinking of suggesting that they have the hot air | ducts cleaned out by one of those services that do it. | | But, there does not seem to be any kind of agreement as | to whether this is actually a good idea or not. | | Counter argument to doing it seems to be that the lint, etc. by now is | pretty well adhered to the duct's wall's, and you are better off to not | disturb it. Just live with whatever comes loose in normal usage, and use | a good furnace filter. | | Makes some sense, I guess, but ... ? | | What's the latest thinking on this subject ? | | Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated. | | Thanks, | Bob | | --- | This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active. | http://www.avast.com |
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On Friday, October 3, 2014 9:46:54 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

I find a WARM MIST vaporizer to be helpful.
NOT a cold mist slinger wheel or ultrasonic type, these CREATE dust.
Unfortunalty the warm mist vaporizer that actually boils the water also collects all the minerals inside itself and requires a lot of maintenance. I don't know of a good alternative however.
Mark
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On 10/3/2014 10:08 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

inside itself and requires a lot of maintenance. I don't know of a good alternative however.

In the years I did heating and AC installs, I did see a lot of dusty ducts. So, it can happen in forced air systems.
How's this about cold mist vaporizer creating dust? I thought matter was neither created nor destroyed. Is the dust dissolved in the water?
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On Friday, October 3, 2014 10:20:02 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Yes, it's minerals.
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| How's this about cold mist vaporizer creating | dust? I thought matter was neither created nor | destroyed. Is the dust dissolved in the water? |
Perhaps it should be noted that these are two different topics. The OP was talking about dust, not humidifiers. Personally I like humidifiers, but I actually like the damp, moldy quality of humidified air. With enough humidifying mold or some kind of fungus grows in the air. To me the dampness seems to open the lungs and the mold doesn't bother me, but people with asthma are often hypersensitive to mold spores.
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