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Old 11-17-2009, 11:40 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
BTW, the duct cleaning was a total waste of money, except for the fact that it enabled me to find the hole that the mice used.

The amount of stuff that was flushed out of the ducts was about a cup's worth of debris. Either all the stuff that was in there was near the registers, and had been vacuumed up by me, or the system wasn't effective at removing debris.
A while back, I cut a hole in one of our ducts to add a vent in the basement, and I was surprised how clean it was. Now, If I reach into the ducts near a floor vent in the house, there will be some dust and dirt collected at the bend where the duct rises up, so some dirt falls out of the air stream at that point, which makes sense.

But that got me thinking - if it's clean it does not need cleaning (duh), and if there is some dirt there, well, the dirt is 'there' it isn't getting blown all through the house (otherwise it wouldn't be 'there'). And if that much dust was getting blown around, my filters would be clogging in short order.

Maybe running w/o a filter is a reason to get the ducts cleaned, but it seems unnecessary for most cases.

-ERD50
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:03 AM   #42
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Yes, my advice is to never have ducts cleaned, unless you know there's something in there (such as rodent leftovers).

Here's an update: After running the heat all day, with vinegar sprayed on the cold air return, the smell is still there, but it's coming from only one register. This morning I reached in through that register with a vinegar-soaked paper towel, and swabbed as far as I could reach (in up to my shoulder). The paper towel got quite black, and I repeated this several times. The smell seems better. If it doesn't go away completely, I'll replace that one segment of duct.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:51 PM   #43
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I removed a 13 foot section that leads to the smelliest duct. There wasn't anything in there but the walls of the duct seemed a little moldy. It definitely had that sweet smell to it. Perhaps we had mice with MSUD.

I'll buy some new ducting and replace that section and maybe some other sections (since I need to buy a minimum of 25 feet.
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