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Air Duct Cleaning - Anti-bacterial spray question

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[OP]
Member
Mar 7, 2007
304 posts
96 upvotes
Toronto

Air Duct Cleaning - Anti-bacterial spray question

I am interested in getting the air ducts/vents of my house cleaned as I see a large amount of dust on my filters when I change them every month. I moved into this house about 3 years ago and had air duct cleaning done when I moved in since the basement was finished prior to my move in (due to possibility of saw dust, etc in the vents). I was not satisfied with the service that I got last time as I see large chunks of dust on the filter each month. Here is my dilemma about it

1. One of the tele-marketing companies (checked online reviews and seems decent) offered me a quote for 100 bucks which includes air duct cleaning and spraying of anti-bacterial/disinfectant in the main vent. On inquiry, they said the ant bacterial/disinfectant is a combination of water, glycerine and some chemical I cant pronounce. I am not sure if this is safe i.e. spraying anti-bacterial/disinfectant in the main vent for 2 reasons i.e. a> not sure if it is safe from a health perspective and b> what if the duct cleaning is not done properly and wouldnt spraying liquid on it would make any dust balls or particles stick to the walls of the vent

2. I called a company that my neighbor used last year and he said its apparently illegal in ontario to spray any chemicals in the vent system which is why they dont do it. He offered a package for $180 which includes air duct cleaning as well as camera inspection before/after.

I am not sure who is right about the anti-bacterial spray and if so, is it safe?
23 replies
Deal Expert
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Feb 8, 2014
25958 posts
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Socially Distanced
Without you telling us what this chemical is there is no way to know

Camera inspection does sound good though
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
2028 posts
270 upvotes
Mississauga
I've actually been calling around, my house is 2200 sq.ft in mississauga, the average price is $300 for me....some people include the spray called benefect...others charge for it.

i've called and spoken to some of these 'smaller asian' companies....they offer the same job for about $100

equipment seems to be same based on verbal description....

im just wondering if it is strictly overhead that causes the price to go up, or is something actually different.

I could care less about the camera
[OP]
Member
Mar 7, 2007
304 posts
96 upvotes
Toronto
I am trying to get the correct name to post here but in general, is it safe to use disinfectants in the ducts? Wouldnt that cause any remaining dust to stick to the walls and make it worse?
Banned
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Jun 22, 2012
4737 posts
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Shhanada
ambience wrote: I am interested in getting the air ducts/vents of my house cleaned as I see a large amount of dust on my filters when I change them every month. I moved into this house about 3 years ago and had air duct cleaning done when I moved in since the basement was finished prior to my move in (due to possibility of saw dust, etc in the vents). I was not satisfied with the service that I got last time as I see large chunks of dust on the filter each month. Here is my dilemma about it
Duct cleaning is (usually) pointless. You even experienced that when you had your ducts cleaned and the symptoms persisted.

The dust you see on your filters is probably from the air circulating in your home, NOT your ducts.

Think about it, your ducts are already being constantly swept with moving air.

I would suggest you look into other causes and solutions.

Also, RFD seems to be a magnet for dubious duct cleaning and duct sealing salespeople. Beware of any response you get (including mine I guess!) that it might be coming from someone trying to sell you duct services.

And (no offense) but even posts like yours have, in the past, been fakes, from duct companies that want to present a false "need" in order to generate discussion and leads.
Newbie
Oct 9, 2013
15 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
Benefect is the most common disinfectant used by duct cleaners & HVAC companies in general, and is an all natural product, no chemicals... www.benefect.com

Because companies have the same tools & equipment, doesn't mean they will provide the same type of results... so learn how each company does the cleaning, how long it will take, what means of inspection/guarantee do they have, and price.


Hope this post is informative
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Jun 22, 2012
4737 posts
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Shhanada
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: I'd love to come out to do a free system inspection to see if duct cleaning makes sense, or possibly find some other alternatives for you. Sounds like the job wasn't done properly to begin with, which will make matters worse in the home, but you can't do a proper job for $100... It takes about 2-3 hours to do the duct cleaning alone if done properly, not counting time if the blower and ac coils are to be cleaned... Benefect is the most common disinfectant used by duct cleaners & HVAC companies in general, and is an all natural product, no chemicals... www.benefect.com

Because companies have the same tools & equipment, doesn't mean they will provide the same type of results... so learn how each company does the cleaning, how long it will take, what means of inspection/guarantee do they have, and price.

If your in the city (Toronto/GTA) I'd be more than happy to come out and check things out for you... feel free to contact me if you would like.. XXX-XXX-XXXX were one of the more honest and reputable companies... but i'm sure everyone says that about their company right...
FYI, you're violating RFD rules with this kind of sales and marketing. You're OK with providing generic advice (even if duct cleaning is of highly dubious benefit) but advertising your business is a clear violation and has caused many duct cleaners before you to receive permanent bans. My suggestion is to remove your advertising before mods ban you.
Newbie
Oct 9, 2013
15 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
I've edited the post... hope I don't get banned for trying to help
Sr. Member
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Aug 20, 2011
699 posts
34 upvotes
Markham
I've gotten these calls from these air duct cleaning telemarketers for a couple weeks now, there was a CBC marketplace documentary on these telemarketing air duct cleaners, check it out, based on the video, nothing really gets cleaned.
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 7, 2007
5145 posts
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Toronto
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: I've edited the post... hope I don't get banned for trying to help

Hi there,

You are allowed to participate on the forums to provide support to users as long as you clearly identify yourself (as a Duct Cleaning Specialists) and pursue no commercial activity whatsoever.
Feel free to answer support questions or provide product information, but cannot offer prices or quotes even when specifically asked for them.

Thanks!
Newbie
Oct 9, 2013
15 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
MTommy79 wrote:
Hi there,

You are allowed to participate on the forums to provide support to users as long as you clearly identify yourself (as a Duct Cleaning Specialists) and pursue no commercial activity whatsoever.
Feel free to answer support questions or provide product information, but cannot offer prices or quotes even when specifically asked for them.

Thanks!
sounds good....
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Jun 22, 2012
4737 posts
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Shhanada
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: I've edited the post... hope I don't get banned for trying to help
Well so far your info has been accurate (nobody can do a proper job for $100, there are special tools and methods that a professional would use, etc)

But isn't duct cleaning only useful in rare situations? Like removing construction debris or remnants of vermin? For the typical home with regular air circulation isn't duct cleaning basically a placebo?

Often the problems people report would not be solved by duct cleaning and they'd be better off preventing the sources of extra dust and preventing it or using filtration.
Newbie
Oct 9, 2013
15 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
your absolutely correct.. regular duct cleaning makes no sense... having the filtration system upgraded, and possibly install a HEPA filtration system in addition to the normal filter would be a better investment than routine duct cleaning.... but when you do the duct cleaning, don't expect much for $100 -- that's what I have been saying all along... so glad you find my input honest!!
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Jun 22, 2012
4737 posts
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Shhanada
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: your absolutely correct.. regular duct cleaning makes no sense... having the filtration system upgraded, and possibly install a HEPA filtration system in addition to the normal filter would be a better investment than routine duct cleaning.... but when you do the duct cleaning, don't expect much for $100 -- that's what I have been saying all along... so glad you find my input honest!!
What would you say are the scenarios that justify a duct cleaning? I'm thinking large scale contamination such a fire or uncontained renovation waste, or cleaning up after insect/vermin infestation. Is there any other time it might be justified though?
Newbie
Oct 9, 2013
15 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
New home construction, home renovation, some instances with pets, if your moving into a new home and not sure the condition/maintenance previous owners did, older home that has never had the system cleaned, or some people just want it done for piece of mind... you can always have a company perform an inspection of the system to see if a cleaning may be justified, or other suggestions can be made... every home, situation and circumstance are different..
Banned
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Jun 22, 2012
4737 posts
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Shhanada
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: New home construction
Why would that be? Most new home contracts include an initial thorough cleaning.

some instances with pets - like what? Hair/dander would be caught in normal filter, and would be continuously regenerating, so the effect of a duct cleaning would be super brief.

renovations - I guess I can see this if the renovation included a lot of uncontrolled dust, shavings, sanding, particles. Better of course to just contain these as the work is being done.

older home that has never had the system cleaned -why?

piece of mind - that's placebo
Quentin5 wrote: you can always have a company perform an inspection of the system to see if a cleaning may be justified
Except I don't think there's any company that does only duct inspection without having a corresponding conflict of interest.
Newbie
Oct 9, 2013
15 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
new homes are some of the worst to clean.... do you know what companies the builders hire to clean the ductwork?>? there in and out in less than an hour and blow air down a vent... they don't even hook up the vacuum hose, no panels made in the main ductwork... so they may say a cleaning has been done... but I'd bet there is tons of stuff left in the system that should not be there..

some people don't like the idea of dirty ducts... maybe you don't mind... but others may rather feel more comfortable knowing their system is clean... what's wrong with that?? the only issue I mentioned was if it's going to be done, it needs to be done properly, otherwise you can make matters worse in the home/system, and that doesn't accomplish anything...

older homes, more dust/debris has accumulated inside the system that could possibly be causing the system to work less efficient... what if the system is older and the furnace & ac coils have never been cleaned... that is one of the main places problems start where mould can develop... and correct me if I'm wrong... but over time these should be cleaned to improve the performance of the system and provide, or at least help improve the indoor air quality....

there are some duct cleaning companies that are honest enough to turn down a job... but you as a homeowner can also request an inspection be done prior to cleaning... if a company doesn't want to do that... then yea there probably not one you would want to hire... but for the most part... a company can come out, perform an inspection, take pictures, show the customer first hand, if it makes sense or not..after that.. it can be up to the homeowner whether or not they want to the spend the money on the cleaning...

i know this industry is a very shady one, and there are hundreds of companies that offer duct cleaning... but in reality, it can be a very useful service in most cases that a regular homeowner can't do themselves...
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Jun 22, 2012
4737 posts
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Shhanada
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: new homes are some of the worst to clean.... do you know what companies the builders hire to clean the ductwork?>? there in and out in less than an hour and blow air down a vent... they don't even hook up the vacuum hose, no panels made in the main ductwork... so they may say a cleaning has been done... but I'd bet there is tons of stuff left in the system that should not be there..
I quite agree that new homes would be subject to all kinds of junk in the ducts as I've seen how construction crews use them to hide garbage (or worse). But again, that is on the builder to resolve. If the lazy initial cleaning is insufficient, get the builder to come back and do it properly. So really the only one that should be booking you to do a new home would be the builder, not the homeowner. Of course I'm aware that probably doesn't happen in the real world, as the builder would like to assume the newly built ducts are clean, and the homeowners probably make that assumption as well.
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: some people don't like the idea of dirty ducts...
But if you and I know that is an unfounded worry, don't we have an obligation to explain that ducts are actually pretty clean and are constantly being self-swept by the continuous air that flows through them? It's kind of self-regulating in that any areas inside the duct that aren't subject to air flow won't be accumulating or contributing contaminants.
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: older homes, more dust/debris has accumulated inside the system that could possibly be causing the system to work less efficient...
I guess I would concede if there is some grease or substance on coils or other places that would cause contaminants to stick and resist being blown through the system then your service would be able to clean it better.

Well I will give you credit because these statements are quite true:
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: this industry is a very shady one
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: there are hundreds of companies that offer duct cleaning
DuctCleaningTOR wrote: a regular homeowner can't do themselves
I would say though that once clean, a duct system should not require any future cleaning under normal circumstances, even for many years. The only way they would is if something contaminates the ducts and would need to be actively removed.
[OP]
Member
Mar 7, 2007
304 posts
96 upvotes
Toronto
If you dont require regular maintenance of the ducts then am wondering why would the amount of dust wary that gets accumulated on the filter each month? I noticed in my house that it is generally on an increasing curve i.e. each month it gets higher higher and am not sure why.

I am located on a quiet street with not much traffic and in winter even with all the windows closed, I see large amount of dust on the filters which is why I am puzzled when you said the vent system maintains itself. I am interested to know more now.
Newbie
Oct 9, 2013
15 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
ambience.. i think surplus plus is wording it a bit different, but maybe he can elaborate.. the air in the supply side portion is typically a lot cleaner that the returns, because the air is filtered on that side... obviously small particles get through the filters, and will eventually start to build up over time inside the supply ductwork and eventually cleaning this all out would be a good idea... you will always have dust in your home, even after a thorough duct cleaning, maybe not as much, but there still will be dust... upgrading filtration may be good idea... having noticed your filter accumulate dust is a good sign, as it is being captured and not circulating through the system... a dirty filter is good and doing its job but does not mean your ductwork is filthy.... you will need to be replacing that filter before it starts to overwork your furnace, and can also reduce airflow to the vents...this may also lead to issues with the AC coil freezing up as well.. cleaning the system is a good investment, as well as the components (furnace blower & ac coil) when needed... typically, a system is cleaned out every 7-10 years under normal circumstances, but should be inspected every 1-2 years... most people have a maintenance protection plan anyways, so if anything was out of the norm it would be brought to your attention...

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