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Basics of Duct cleaning??

Printed From: Carpet & Floor Cleaning Industry Discussion
Category: Carpet Cleaners Discussion
Forum Name: Air Duct Cleaning & Indoor Air Quality Discussion
Forum Description: Discuss anything relating to air duct cleaning
Printed Date: 28/November/2020 at 3:23pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Basics of Duct cleaning??
Posted By: doglips
Subject: Basics of Duct cleaning??
Date Posted: 24/January/2009 at 8:31pm
Im an ac tech...but we have been picked up some side jobs doing HVAC change outs and repairs for a local porperty management company...

I do peice work for a property management company...little extra pocket $$ on the side....they own some low rent condos...and appartments they call well as low rent of the owners basicly belives in duct cleaning...right or wrong....he signs the checks.....he's asked me IF I could do about duct cleaning and gave him the duct cleaning is evil speach us ac guys get beat into us.k....

Long story short...when they go to sell a condo..or need to clean up a smelly one to rent...the one owner wants the ducts cleaned and deoderized.......just a basic job....and of course CHEAP!!!!!!!....but I can make some extra $$ or let it slip away...and I hate to let $$ float away.

Soo I've been looking around trying to figure this stuff out....and can not find a basic ..this is how u clean ducts artical or book..or DVD...unless I but a roto-brush or some other $$$$$$$$$$ system.....

Soo can some one explain the basics of duct cleaning...thinks like skipper balls and such...and what basic tools I need.. I own a fogger for sanatizing ducts...but thats it...Pulling the blower and evap coil is easy to do..(Ill post this as a diffrent ?? about cleaning evap coils) Masticing up the plenum and such also not a problem..its the duct cleaning thats got me confused.

Im planing on just useing some hand first to see how the $$ condos looking at say 30ft runs max..and CAN NOT get to duct work....its in the ceiling....most are hang on the wall no return plenum..and very small transistion to tap into.....ducts are generaly made of ductboard...we dont do much sheet metal down here.

And information...or places I can get a book..DVD what ever would be a big help....

Thanks all.

Posted By: jaymark1
Date Posted: 07/February/2009 at 9:49pm
youtube duct cleaning, theres good videos on it

I dont predict the future or sell glides, am I allowed on this site?

Posted By: doglips
Date Posted: 11/February/2009 at 2:16pm
Thaks all I had some long talks via telephone with some very knowledgeable people...In my area of Florida 99% ductboard and flex which is a major problem when it comes to cleaning. Based on what I learned...I think Ill let this opertunity  slip by.
Thanks to everyone for the answers.

Posted By: FuzzSucker
Date Posted: 11/February/2009 at 9:31pm
Now don't let it go totally. Duct cleaning is a great service to add on. There are just a lot of different methods for it. The following is merely my opinion and I do not represent any firm.

From what I hear, the best and the most expensive to get into is a truckmounted negative air system. You hook these up to the furnace and the machines pull 10,000 cfm through the ducts while you run an air hose with a little ball on the end down each register and trunk line with high pressure air blasting the gook loose down to the vacuum source. The machines are very expensive and require an entirely different truck to transport. The next level down is a portable version of the system. Very similar but these are roll around units. Not as powerful. Both of these units can be found at aircare.

Next come the carpet cleaning versions of air duct cleaning. Most of the cleaners offer a brush style system, that is either manually scrubbed by hand, mechanically by a cable attached to a motor, or by air pressure, aka rotobrush, aka motobrush, aka duct wizard, and I'm sure there is more. There are also the high pressure air systems that will work with your portable or truckmount. Basically the same way of loosening the debris as the negative air, but instead you hook your vac up directly to each register and run the line down and suck up the mess as you blast it off with the high pressure air from an air compressor. I prefer this method as it substantially easier to perform than the other systems I have tried and seems to get the best results without damaging any ducts. Which some of the brush systems will do if your not careful. Ramair offers a version of this system as well as aircare.

I price my services accordingly. I dont offer the best system available so I dont charge the highest rates. i usually charge about $12-$15 a register, while someone with a higher end system will usually double my rates.

Choose wisely

Posted By: jaymark1
Date Posted: 12/February/2009 at 4:03pm
doglips..theres two types of ductboard
regular falls apart like a chinese motorcycle
ductboard toughguard has a 1/16 inch black almost felt material covering the yellow fiberglass..Im sure you can cleaning that without it falling apart...
im suprised they use ductboard in florida, if it gets moist(will all that humidity in the summer), it stinks, and its expensive compaired to sheetmetal, but it i am sure is regulation...

I dont predict the future or sell glides, am I allowed on this site?

Posted By: doglips
Date Posted: 12/February/2009 at 5:23pm
Actualy we use duct board for the plenums and trasiitions from airhandler to plenum (Even on GAS furnaces).....then generaly flex off the  main plenum...some times junction boxes made of duct board....The toughguard is something Ive seen on new duct board......I hear it a lot from people from the we use sheet metal up north....
I believe it has to do with LOW wages, low ball contractors, and duct board and flex requires less skill, tools and thus can pay less....
Mold and mildew on outside of plenums is soooo common its funny...Im 20 miles south of the space center...we are a swamp that the built houses on....sooo u would think we would do it better, but we dont.

Posted By: jaymark1
Date Posted: 12/February/2009 at 5:35pm
I once was at a house, and I was looking at the plenum, and couldnt figure it out, so since we were replacing it, just put my box cutter...and dont you know, it was made out of card board wrapped in foil tape..GHETTO!!!

I dont predict the future or sell glides, am I allowed on this site?

Posted By: wheelie
Date Posted: 11/October/2009 at 5:37am
Originally posted by CCandmore CCandmore wrote:

[QUOTE=Superglide Ken]Why bother.

The equipment you need to do the job costs only a few hundred dollars 

A few hundred dollars?  It's no wonder many people think air duct cleaning is a scam.
Few hundred dollars, I am a heating and cooling company!!! I have 14 thousand dollars tied up in Duct Cleaning Equipment. Can't stand comments like this. Think you carpet cleaning guys are a scam that hurts us that do things properly. Cleaning ducts do nothing if you don't clean everythying that contacts the air in tthe home. How would it be as a heating company and I decided to talk people into letting me clean there carpets while I am there anyways?

Posted By: Soil Lint Green
Date Posted: 11/October/2009 at 5:55am
Originally posted by wheelie wheelie wrote:

Can't stand comments like this. Think you carpet cleaning guys are a scam that hurts us that do things properly. Cleaning ducts do nothing if you don't clean everythying that contacts the air in tthe home. How would it be as a heating company and I decided to talk people into letting me clean there carpets while I am there anyways?

I'm not sure that attacks against "carpet cleaning guys" wins you any supporters on this board.  I take it you have a problem with competition?  We appreciate the fact that you feel free to express an opinion even if we don't share it.

Good luck wheelie.  Remember this.  We don't talk crap about bikers here so perhaps you would respect us by not taking crap about us "carpet cleaning guys". 

It's ORY GUN, not OR A GONE. Learn to talk.

Posted By: Soil Lint Green
Date Posted: 11/October/2009 at 9:18pm
I like that signature line, Jason.Cool!

It's ORY GUN, not OR A GONE. Learn to talk.

Posted By: CCandmore
Date Posted: 13/October/2009 at 7:31am

Think about that. With only about 20,000 carpet cleaning companies using TMs, I have over 20% of them cleaning dryer vents and air duct cleaning systems in homes with my system! At least 1 TM in 5 out there has a Turboteck system.  [/QUOTE]
Slow down, big guy.  Give me time to get my boots and shovel.

Posted By: Soil Lint Green
Date Posted: 13/October/2009 at 11:52am
Yeah, he just build the Chump Towers with all those sales dollars. 

Here in town we have 40.000 homes and I have cleaning contracts with 12,000 of them.  At least 3 of every 10 homes use my services and at $5000 for our complete service we include a week at the Bunny Ranch Health Spa in Nevada.  That's right - Airfare, accommodations in a single wide at the lush SandBowl Trailer Park, and $1000 spending money.  The guys love it.  And for another $5,000 they can buy the pictures and soon to be released Director's Cut DVD going on sale at  .... or we can just mail it to your wife at no charge.

And whatever you catch there --- keep it as a little going away present --- it's just our small way of saying you have been screwed by the best and now you have proof!  Pimpin

It's ORY GUN, not OR A GONE. Learn to talk.

Posted By: wheelie
Date Posted: 13/October/2009 at 4:36pm
Superglide Ken  K you explain to me how your system works on the trunk lines and how you get over jumper boxes hid in basement ceilings. I have 2 systems and over 14 000 dollars investested in duct cleaning equipment. You telling me all I had to do is spend a couple hundred bucks for your system instead. You clean hrv and blower motor of furnace and everything that contacts the air in the system. If not is it not like cleaning all the carpets except for the hallway coming in from the door?

Posted By: wheelie
Date Posted: 13/October/2009 at 4:46pm
One more thing, does your 200 dollar system do anything more than just vaccum dirt out? You vacuum out the dirt are you doing anything to improve the quality of air in the house?  Just help me to understand. I do not see how one can be a professional carpet cleaner and a air specialist in one. I have a sheet metal licence and a tech 2 gas licence and it helps me to understand how a system works and how a system is put in a home. To be a carpet cleaner well honestly with no lack of respect I don't see how you could jump all the hurdles you come across in duct cleaning. Please ken help me understand!

Posted By: Superglide Ken
Date Posted: 13/October/2009 at 7:19pm
The fact is wheelie, you cannot have a complete cleaning system for the $299 starter price, and you know it and I know it. The starting price of $299 only gets you started with the tool and brush for dryer vent cleaning. In most cases you need to spend another $400 to add the brushes to get you into what you need to do the round ducts in the system. That brings the price up to $699. If the state the cleaner is operating in requires a HVAC licence to cut into the duct work , then that is what they use. Added to most TMS it does the job for that part of the system that can be cleaned. 

Posted By: wheelie
Date Posted: 14/October/2009 at 5:53am
Oh I see, thanks for the info Ken. Went to the site to see your system but was not listed, atleast that I could find to look at. I am not trying to make anyone mad I am just trying to understand. Trunk lines hold all the dirt cause dirt goes in return air and over time no matter what filter you have some goes through into the heat side. Then goes down the heat trunk and cannot make the jump up to the takeoff into the round pipe. Any dirt in round pipes stays at the boot becuse air forces it to stay at the end. If a whole system doesn't get cleaned you are not changing any air quality and really not doing anything for the home owner. Owner could shove a vacuum line down round pipe and most of the time do the same thing.
I inspect entire system and one could eat off any part of my system when I am done. Most duct cleaning jobs I do take me 4 to 5 hours. Never done a home in less than 3 hours so I get a little up tight when people say it should just take an hour or so.

Posted By: A1 ChemDry
Date Posted: 30/July/2010 at 9:43am
If you want the basics here is a quick flash video that I made about duct cleaning for my company. - furnace duct cleaning Read the text below the flash file.

Here are the basic methods of duct cleaning:

  1. Standard Method. This method cleans the duct system using forced air and a strong vacuum. The standard method is recommended for removing dust and debris from the ducting systems of brand new buildings only. Once a building has been occupied, moisture in the air causes the dust to stick to the interior of the ducts, so the building must be cleaned using a more advanced technology.
  2. Power Whip/Viper Method. This method is suitable for most cleaning tasks. A power whip cleaning tool is used along with forced air and vacuum to dislodge dirt and debris from the ducts. All commercial, industrial, and institutional cleaning involves either the Power Whip or Pneumatic Brush method (described below).
  3. Pneumatic Brush Method. This is the most advanced of the three cleaning methods, giving superior cleaning results. In the pneumatic brush method, hi-tech rotating brushes and a strong vacuum are used to clean the ducts. The use of this technology is common in hospital and institutional cleaning, where very high standards of cleanliness are required. White-glove testing of the ducting should detect no dust residue after this method of cleaning has been used.
  4. In Commercial applications depending on the duct size we will use one of the above methods or even robotic methods like in video found on this page: -
Hope this information helps you, if you need more information or decide to get very serious about duct cleaning then you should consider joining - NADCA .

Fort McMurray Carpet Cleaners -
And a proud member of -

Posted By: albertperry
Date Posted: 02/November/2010 at 11:31pm
Clean air ducts allow the system to work more efficiently and provide the homeowners with a healthier environment. If you want to prevent mold and allergy problems in your home, you need to clean your air ducts annually.

Hire a licensed contractor that specializes in mold remediation or duct cleaning if you have air pollution problems, such as a buildup of allergens in your duct system. Proper duct cleaning should take several hours and involve extensive preparation to ensure that mold spores are not being released inside the home. -

Posted By: duckcountry
Date Posted: 03/November/2010 at 12:48am
That is exactly what us professional carpet cleaners would do even if we do air ducts.  We will hire a professional.  I have problems growing mold spores in my place.  Perhaps you can teach us your trade secrets?

Are you in a high paying business or are you just a self employed low paid grunt who thinks this business provides dignity?

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