Iím trying to find a good duct cleaner in Toronto.
(Iíve been living in a two story apartment building for four months and have been diagnosed with dust and slight mold allergies. I share a basement and an HVAC with the apartment below me. After researching the pros and cons of duct cleaning I have concluded that itís worth trying. My building was built in the fifties and has never had its ducts cleaned.)
Iíve interviewed a bunch of companies and have questions related to the answers they have given me.
RE: AGITATION/SCRUBBING IN UPPER DUCT WORK. One company said it will send a forward bouncing ball through my vents to blow stuff to the basement. Another said a ball wouldnít be able to get around turns in flexible duct work. (As I canít see that ductwork I canít tell what type it is.) Most companies say that blowing air down the vents is what they do. Is mechanical agitation necessary/possible on the duct work leading to the basement?
RE: AGITATION/SCRUBBING IN BASEMENT. Is a reverse blowing whipper ball adequate? One company told me that rotary brushes would a) not be a good choice in my rectangular supply ducts b) not fit in my return duct which is a panned bay nailed to the floor joists in the ceiling. Is a scorpion system better than a whipper ball? How many holes should be made in the ducts (holes for vacuum, holes for air rake) and where? My ducts are metal.
Re: BIOCIDES and COIL/BLOWER CLEANING. It seems it is not recommended to blow a biocide through your duct system. But it may be necessary to use on the air conditioner coil and condensate pan and blower? Opinions? Whatís a good way to clean a coil? With a comb? Or by blowing air at it? One company told me that an acid wash would be too abrasive for a residential coil. How about the blower? Is it necessary to pull it out of the cabinet? And insulation on the side of the cabinet?
RE: SEALING VENTS in my apartment. Methods Iíve been quotedÖ magnetic covers, plastic bags, masking tape. Pros and cons thereof? Is it common practice to clean the boot area with a shop-vac?
RE: NUMBER OF GUYS ON CREW. Advantages to two person versus one person teams? Other than time?
RE: LEAK TESTING. Do duct cleaners test for leaks before commencing work? (I had two companies come in and give me estimates. Both missed something I discovered a week laterÖ that there was a gaping hole in my return duct where a pan had separated from a ceiling return.)
RE: COMPANY CREDIBILITY. All the companies I have spoken with have at least one NADCA certified employee. They all use vacuum trucks. But the price variations are pretty big. A department store branded company acknowledges its ďpremium priceĒ. But Iím not sure after speaking with them and other companies that they have much more expertise to warrant the price difference (They came to my house for the estimate, and they have a name behind them, but does that warrant the price difference?) I want a good company to do the work, and Iím willing to pay for it (ie. no blow Ďn gos to make things worse), but aside from getting references, any suggestions on choosing a company?
RE: WEB RSOURCES. Any other forums out there where I might find more local Toronto information?
Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.