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Red in Chicago
09-24-2006, 11:06 PM
I'm sure this will get zero responses, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway;)

Have any of you ever had the air ducts in your house cleaned? With winter right around the corner, I was thinking this might be a good idea. My house is only three years old, but I'm sure there are still some construction remnants in there. I've tried a vacuum hose, but obviously, that only goes so far.

In a somewhat related question, how about your dryer vents. Have you ever had a service come and do this for you? I'm too chicken to mess with this myself.

Just wondering about the cost and if you felt it was worth it. Thanks.

pedro
09-25-2006, 01:24 AM
My sister had the folks come out with their truck and clean her air ducts. She was happy with it. I believe it cost a couple hundred dollars.

I plan to have it done before winter myself.

RedsBaron
09-25-2006, 06:16 AM
Eight days ago a lady who lives next door to us came to our house on a Sunday afternoon. She rather calmly asked if she could use our phone to call 911, because her house was on fire.
After doing a doubletake (I couldn't believe how calm she seemed to be), being the generous guy I am, I allowed her to use our phone. My 15 year old son and I then ran next door. We discovered that there was a fire in her laundry room, next to the dryer. My son grabbed a water hose and quickly put out the fire.
The fire had come from the dryer vent, which had not been cleaned. The local fire department later told us that if we had not put out the fire when we did, the house would have been lost before the fire department arrived. As it is, the lady and her family has had to temporarily move out until all the smoke damage has been repaired.

GAC
09-25-2006, 08:00 AM
I think it was rfs who told me this awhile back, but alot of house fires are started by clogged dryer vent ducts. People never think to clean them.

I usually take my duct off a couple times a year and clean it out. Last year I had a grand ole time. It seems the trap door, on the outside wall of the house, that covers the dryer vent exhaust was an ideal location, according to the hornets, to build their home. They had it plugged up really good.

I was out there with the garden hose, hornet/wasp spray, and a fly swatter doing battle. And they were those real aggressive little buggers too. I had a huge pile of hornet carcasses lying on the ground.... and I only got stung 2-3 times in the process. :D

zombielady
09-25-2006, 08:07 AM
Dryer vents depends on where it's clogged. That might be easier to replace the hose. My parents had the heating ducts cleaned a few years back, and I don't remember them complaining about the cost, and they're cheap, so I can't imagine it was that bad.

RBA
09-25-2006, 08:15 AM
This works real well for me.

I take an electric yard blower and put the end in the dryer duct. It blows it out real good. You might want to have someone on the other side with a plastic bag or you will have lint all over the neighborhood.

I would be leary in using a gas blower inside.

dabvu2498
09-25-2006, 09:27 AM
What RBA suggests has worked for me with cleaning the dryer vents.

As far as duct cleaning goes, my buddy is an HVAC guy and he recommended getting ductwork cleaned every 7-8 years. Says it will pay the cost of doing it back in efficiency for your heating/cooling system. We did it when we first moved in to our house, so I don't know if it really helped or not.

Unassisted
09-26-2006, 03:44 PM
I've always thought HVAC duct cleaning was a snake oil proposition, particularly for those who use good quality air filters on their return air. The benefits of it are impossible to measure.

Dryer vent cleaning does seem like a good idea.

I was reading a money-saving tip the other day that said people should use clotheslines as much as possible because dryer lint is physical proof that your dryer is wearing out your clothes. :eek:

pedro
09-27-2006, 01:27 AM
I've always thought HVAC duct cleaning was a snake oil proposition, particularly for those who use good quality air filters on their return air. The benefits of it are impossible to measure.




My house is 95 years old and I think it really needs it.

GAC
09-27-2006, 06:57 AM
My house is 95 years old and I think it really needs it.

Log cabins have ductwork? :evil:

westofyou
09-27-2006, 10:50 AM
Log cabins have ductwork? :evil:

Mine's 12 years older then his and my ducts are as clean as a marine's rifle. or so the furnance guy told me, he said..."you must be really clean."

Roy Tucker
09-27-2006, 11:07 AM
I've always thought HVAC duct cleaning was a snake oil proposition, particularly for those who use good quality air filters on their return air. The benefits of it are impossible to measure.

Dryer vent cleaning does seem like a good idea.


This is my take on it as well.

We went through an episode of bird's nests in the dryer vents. So I check those fairly often and when I see suspicious bird activity.

My wife buys a stack of return air filters and I replace them about once every month or so. Mostly because I'm cheap and it helps the heat pump do its thing and keep my CG+E bill down (it will always be my CG+E bill, not Cinergy and not Duke).

I've heard the HVAC cleaning thing is good if your household has a lot of allergy problems. But since we don't, I just look at it as a way for the heating/cooling guy to make a buck off me.

And I think a contributing factor to why we're healthy and allergy-free is because we tolerate a little dirt and dust in the house and aren't microbe-phobic and live in an allergen-free bubble.

bucksfan
09-27-2006, 11:36 AM
I don't have ductwork on our old house so cannot comment there. But, for me at least, dry vent cleaning is as simple as sliding back our dryer, removing the big hose, and reaching in there. It takes me about 5 minutes tops. Our situation is that I have a very short (3 feet) dryer vent line since I put in the vent directly behind the machine. It rarely gets clogged because it is short and straight, and I can reach easily to the exterior vent from the inside. The outside vent has a removable grill that is also easy to clean. But I still check it often (every couple months) based on the wise advice of others.

D-Man
09-27-2006, 02:29 PM
I read a Consumer Reports article on having your air ducts cleaned--the conclusion was that it's pretty much a sham. 1.) You really don't need to clean out the dust in your air ducts. In fact, 99% of the dust in the air ducts stays in the air ducts because it is magnetically attracted to the metal in the ductwork. Cleaning your air ducts will likely agitate the dust and make the problem worse. 2.) The only "bad" thing in your air ducts is mold, and if you have mold in your air ducts, then you have a bigger problem--probably a leaky A/C or a leak in your house. Cleaning your ductwork does not address the root cause of the problem.

A nice HEPA air filter or five will most likely address any indoor air quality issues you might have.

The dryer vents, on the other hand, are definitely important to clean regularly. RedsBaron's story explains why.

pedro
09-27-2006, 06:27 PM
Mine's 12 years older then his and my ducts are as clean as a marine's rifle. or so the furnance guy told me, he said..."you must be really clean."

6 years older.

GAC
09-27-2006, 08:22 PM
This is my take on it as well.

We went through an episode of bird's nests in the dryer vents. So I check those fairly often and when I see suspicious bird activity.

OK - what is suspicious bird activity? Are they wearing trench coats? :lol:

GAC
09-27-2006, 08:27 PM
Mine's 12 years older then his and my ducts are as clean as a marine's rifle. or so the furnance guy told me, he said..."you must be really clean."

Mine are about 30 days old. :lol:

LoganBuck
09-28-2006, 12:11 AM
After my Grandfather died, my parents did some renovations and then moved into his house. Nobody used the dryer for three months. When my mom went to use it, the stench of death filled the house. A chipmunk had crawled into the vent and died. Easily the worst smell ever.

Rojo
09-28-2006, 10:20 PM
Can I just interrupt to say this is about the most prosaic thread ever.

Love you guys, don't you dare change.

vaticanplum
09-28-2006, 10:38 PM
After my Grandfather died, my parents did some renovations and then moved into his house. Nobody used the dryer for three months. When my mom went to use it, the stench of death filled the house. A chipmunk had crawled into the vent and died. Easily the worst smell ever.

This may actually kill Red in Chicago, but in the bar where I worked in New York, we would have rats die in the floorboards every once in a while. This was an extremely clean place that passed inspection 100% every time, no one would have ever need worried about the food, and there was a great cat in the basement who killed all rodents. But this building was probably two hundred years old, there are simply little cracks and little passageways, away from the kitchen and the cat, that no one could get to. So occasionally a rat would die under the floor and the stench would be horrible for a few weeks. There was nothing we could do about it -- we couldn't pull up the floorboards or the bar; it was impossible to tell exactly where it was anyway -- and we'd just open the windows and door and hope that customers wouldn't be too bothered by it (it was a very little place). Eventually it would decompose and the smell would go away. So there are probably a fair amount of little rodent skeletons down there :D