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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,180
    Just a heads up, something for you to investigate. In Michigan if you spray anything into the duct system, sanitizer, whatever, you need a pesticide license.

    Better check what is needed in your neck of the woods if any........

  2. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    82
    We are talking about pneumatic cleaning tools now and whats works best. Yes, you absolutely correct you better have a pesticide applicator license before you introduce any pesticide into the someones air duct system.

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    McDonald PA
    Posts
    290
    Cleaning branch ducts located on upper floors often requires that your tools negotiate sharp bends, multiple ells, etc and with the shorter rods this can be a real challenge as you have no control (swivel fittings at each connector) over the working end of your rod.

    With a single piece longer rod, twisting the operator end will turn the working end. Also the ends of the longer rods can be hand bent slightly and the combination of the two makes it easier to traverse difficult runs.

    A single 20' to 35' long rod costs less than two 5' rods and the fittings last longer because you are not constantly assembling and disassembling them.

    With the exception of cleaning lightly soiled flex duct, you need some form of agitation to dislodge the dirt and air pressure alone will not work! In branch ducts, I use an air sweep to remove any loose dirt located in the first feet of the duct to prevent my whips from slinging that dirt back at me and into the room. I also use an air sweep on my last pass in all branch and main ducts to blow out anything heavy that may have been left behind.

    Heat Seal sells a reverse blowing spinning brush and when all else fails, I will put it on the end of a 6" flexible connector that is sold by DCS. This will dislodge the majority of the dirt, but does not work as well as a whip and is only used when I've tried everything else. When using this tool I cover the vent opening with a bath towel to prevent the dirt from being blown back into the room I am working in. I have also modified mine to use electrical tape in place of the tines they sell for it. This is by far cheaper and I think the tape does a better job of cleaning. Please note however that this tool will only work well in round duct.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing well at what others say can't be done at all!

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    McDonald PA
    Posts
    290
    With rare exception, sanitizing is an expensive joke. The EPA mandates that these products only be used in non-porous duct work and metal ducts are by far the easiest to thoroughly clean. It is also all but impossible to thoroughly coat the ducts by spraying or fogging these into a vent opening. Many companies claim they can achieve this by applying them with their vac running, but remember that vac is designed (or should be) to thoroughly remove dirt and dust from the system and a liquid vapor is far lighter and easier to remove. Regardless of the amount of negative pressure used the majority of the product isn't going to remain in the ducts.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing well at what others say can't be done at all!

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,180
    gorinemarken,

    You must be a professional member before you can post links to your business. Posting links as you did would be considered spam. A link to your business should go in your profile in the future.

    We appreciate your cooperation.

    Mod Team

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    Just curious, have there been any studies that show air duct cleaning has any tangible measurable benefit to IAQ or system performance in any but a very small minority of cases?

    There were none as of a couple of years ago, but I haven't been keeping up.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    7

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    Just curious, have there been any studies that show air duct cleaning has any tangible measurable benefit to IAQ or system performance in any but a very small minority of cases?

    There were none as of a couple of years ago, but I haven't been keeping up.
    No..... Look at the EPA's website. It will say the same thing.
    (I don't know if I can post links... )

    However, take off a return cover in a house that hasn't had it's ducts cleaned in a while. I know, I know, the filter is supposed to catch everything. Well, it doesn't. You would be suprised how many people:
    -Don't know where their filter is
    -Have it in backwards
    -Haven't changed it in 5 years!
    -Have the wrong size
    -Have a junk filter in
    -And my personal favorite, don't have a filter at all

    All of these will contribute to the ducts becoming filthy all the way around.

    There are some options, such as a UV light that gets installed in the plenum... which helps clean the air. Which is great, and a great sale .

    I liked to offer the duct cleaning and the uv light. If they couldn't afford it, then I would offer the uv light. They would say... "But what about the stuff already in my ducts..." And you pull a cover off, point at the return and say, "That's up to you.... "

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    McDonald PA
    Posts
    290
    There haven't been any studies that I know of done in several years but like anything else the job is only as good as the people doing it. Those customers who are fortunate enough to find a company that invested in good equipment and more importantly take the time to do the job right will see a positive difference in air quality.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing well at what others say can't be done at all!

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,225

    Smile duck cleaning

    I think initially, it stirs up a lot of particulates esp. in the 10 and below micron range that std. filters do not catch. Much like asbestos mitigation where the airborne levels are worse than before they started.

    Definitely need to use a high quality filter and change often. This would be one case where I'd recommend temporarily using a 16 MERV filter for a few days then replace it with an 8-10 MERV for maintenance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWgbmgIzoT8
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by hearthman; 06-22-2012 at 06:59 PM.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    McDonald PA
    Posts
    290
    While that may be true for those running glorified shop vacs or worse, my vacuum is powered by a 56HP turbo diesel and in my 11 years of cleaning, I've not had a single legitimate callback. I'm not the only company that uses quality equipment, but far too many companies looking to make a fast buck get suckered into buying glorified shop vacs and/or are unwilling to take the time to do it right.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing well at what others say can't be done at all!

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,225

    Talking

    There's a LOT more to controlling particulates that just the horsepower of a vacuum. That's almost like saying my air conditioner is better because its the biggest AHU on the market.

    You still have your connections, condition and sizing/ kinks in hoses, etc. Also, what sort of mechanical brushing do you use?

    I'm not calling you wrong but as one who does environmental sampling and very familiar with particulate soiling, the fact that you have not had a single "legitimate" complaint does not guarantee you haven't accidentally caused a problem--you just haven't been successfully sued for one yet apparently.

    Just curious what would constitute a 'non-legitimate' complaint and how was it determined to be illegit?
    TIA,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEBLt6Kd9EY

    duck air pressure problems

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    McDonald PA
    Posts
    290
    I connect a short section of 8” vacuum hose to the return side of the system. This is generally done at the base of the return plenum, filter or blower cabinet opening. It and one or more sections of 10” vacuum hose are then connected to my truck mounted vacuum. We remove and clean the vent covers and then using pneumatic cleaning tools on small 3/8” to ” o.d. flexible rods go thru those openings to clean the smaller branch ducts. When all of the branch ducts are clean I access and clean the main return trunks, plenums, blower cabinet, furnace doors, etc. If dirty I will also remove, disassemble and clean the furnace blower which in turn gives me access to the secondary heat exchanger or the primary on older furnaces. I also clean washable filters, EAC’s, humidifiers, humidistats, sail switches, etc.

    I own three, but have never found a brush system that works well. My pneumatic cleaning tools consist of whips 14” to 28" long with 3 to 8 tentacles each and these are used in conjunction with and as applicable either a forward or reverse air sweep. Operating pressures range between 150 and 200psi and each tool is chosen for its ability to safely/thoroughly clean the material the duct is made from. Multiple passes are made with each and continue until my video monitor clearly shows that all lighter potentially airborne particles have been removed from the duct being cleaned. If a vent opening is particularly dirty and I suspect that dirt will be blown back into the living space, I cover the opening with a bath towel (ours) before turning on the pressure to my cleaning tool. Camera placement is generally directly in front of the 8” suction hose and this enables me to see all of the dirt as it is leaving the system. When clean a final pass is made with an air sweep to remove any larger particles that may have been left behind. Whenever possible I also do a visual inspection of the main trunk to ensure that nothing has been left there and if seen those pieces are removed with air sweeps.

    When the return side is finished, I repeat this process for the supply side of the system. Whenever possible access is gained directly above the indoor coil which allows me to protect it and later clean it. I also foil tape sheets of thermopan above the coil to prevent dirt from falling into and damaging the fins. If I suspect the underside of the coil to be caked with dirt or animal hair and I am unable to remove an end plate to clean it, I will suggest that the homeowner have an HVAC company remove the coil for cleaning.
    I see many of my customers from time to time and always ask how the work went. To date I have not had a single complaint about dust. I’ve had a few complain about how long our cleaning took and one lady who was dead sure that we had missed the extremely dirty vent in her bathroom. I had to turn the switch on to prove to her it was an exhaust fan and no I do not clean those for a variety of reasons!

    Early on I missed the occasional loose wiring connection and got called back for those. Also had a muskrat chew thru a condenser power cable and spent 4 hours looking for the problem before finally finding it dead under the garage. Unlike many we go the extra mile and if there’s any dirt anywhere on the floors near the vents or ductwork we use a Dyson to clean it up and that includes the dust bunnies under the furniture that hasn’t been moved in 20 years.

    While I’m sure that I don’t know nearly as much as you, I do have associate degrees in both HVAC and IAQ.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing well at what others say can't be done at all!

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    McDonald PA
    Posts
    290
    Unlike many of my competitors I rarely and I do mean rarely sanitize a system. Only slightly better than soot sealing, both when routinely offered are an expensive joke. I'm also honest with the customer - duct cleaning alone cannot possibly eliminate all of the dust in your home and one of the best reasons I can think of for why airborne particulates might be high after cleaning is the fact that we are often moving household items that have not been moved or cleaned under in months and sometimes years. Also in basements with unfinished ceilings there is often more dirt on top of the ducts than there is in them and it will be dislodged when the agitation tools pass below.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing well at what others say can't be done at all!

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