Duct Cleaning And Air Filters (1 of 2)

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

I am asked by clients and Realtors all the time - "Is duct cleaning really worth it?"  I had an email contact just yesterday about this very subject.  So I thought a post would be worth while and instructive.

Well, you tell me!  Dust accumulates anywhere it can land.  As it accumulates many things can happen:

1.  It can restrict air flow, making your system's ability to move air less efficient, costing you more money.

2.  It is composed of more than just dust.  I say to my clients that it is full of "living organisms."  You should believe that too.

The little fellow to the right has a life cycle of one to three months.  During that time the female will lay 40-80 eggs.  Adults are very prolific in creating more dust mites! 

Is your return duct a dust mite factory?  Um, YES!  Just as your furniture, carpets, pillows and mattresses are!

How big are they?  The picture on the right is one sitting on something much smaller than the head of a pin, which is 2 millimeters in diameter.  That dust mite is 250 - 300 microns in size.  A micron is one-millionth of a meter.  So this mite to the right is one-quarter or so of a millimeter, and about twenty four times larger than a human red blood cell.

3.  Its accumulation is conducive to the amplification of molds and fungi, which are in your air.  This amplification will continue and eventually infest your HVAC mechanism, and that is a real problem!

All this organism blows around your house.

I see three kinds of return ducts in houses - wood, metal and flexible.  All three can accumulate dust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These can all be cleaned.  You want a couple of things in a duct-cleaning company - how they do it and their good reputation.  The reputation is best acquired by reading customer comments on line.  There are many sites to do this.  Research carefully.

But how do they do it?  You want a company that both brushes and vacuums.  The material needs to be dislodged and acquired.  Their use of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Accumulation) filters are very, very important.  What kind of filters does the company use?

And, can they introduce a fungicide into the ducts after cleaning?  And, if so, can they introduce it also into the beginnings of the HVAC system?  Molds can accumulate there also, slightly beyond the return duct.

All of this costs more for sure.  But if you and yours suffer from allergies, asthma or other pulmonary circumstances, I highly recommend that you do this.

THE NEXT POST - how to prevent, or at least forestall, dust accumulation in your ducts.  And air filtration!  Be there, or be parallelogram...

My recommendation:  Information is everything.  Ask questions of your local home inspector (or cute thermographer).  They will be happy to help!

(I couldn't resist the "cute" comment - that has a lot of people rattled!  Just another service I offer...)

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Bloggged 15 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 10/25/2010 06:56 AM
  2. THE TRAILBLAZER TEAM Asheville 1031 10/26/2010 10:06 AM
  3. Jan McNulty 10/26/2010 11:12 AM
  4. Susan Jacobs 10/26/2010 01:59 PM
  5. Gloria Ledesma 10/26/2010 03:00 PM
  6. Simon Mills 10/26/2010 05:26 PM
  7. Gabe Sanders 10/27/2010 08:41 AM
  8. Linda Sabo 10/27/2010 10:15 AM
  9. Wendy Cutrufelli 10/28/2010 10:48 AM
  10. Steve and Jan Bachman 10/28/2010 11:35 AM
  11. Jon Quist 10/29/2010 02:09 AM
  12. Maureen McCabe 10/29/2010 06:28 AM
  13. Dub Walters 10/29/2010 10:37 AM
  14. Roger Johnson 10/30/2010 01:03 PM
  15. Jennifer Dulmaine 11/01/2010 09:47 PM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Ask the Home Inspector
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WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Tags:
dirty return ducts
dusty ducts
dust mites
duct cleaning
filters
air filters
furnace filters

Comments 100 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,168,695
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

All said they are Wayne.  And few think about it apparently, as I see such dirty duct work virtually every day.

November 07, 2010 06:59 PM
Rainer
43,028
Renée Montgomery
Northern Virginia Real Estate
Century 21 New Millennium

ewww, ewww, ewwww, I hate dust and especially dust mites! I re-blogged your part two!

December 18, 2010 06:41 PM
Rainmaker
1,168,695
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Wow, thank Renee.  I hate those mites too!  Vacuum a lot!

December 18, 2010 09:56 PM
Rainmaker
124,583
Matt Robinson
Pensacola Real Estate (850) 292-4000
ERA Emerald Coast Realty

Jay, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise.  I can't say that I have clients ask me about duct cleaning very often, but I was certainly interested in the information for my own house.  Thanks again!

July 20, 2011 12:28 PM
Rainmaker
1,168,695
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Wow, Matt.  An oldie but a goodie!  I look at the ducts in every house and more often than not they are really dirty!

July 20, 2011 12:55 PM
Rainmaker
1,168,695

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.