Six, Disturbingly Real, Reasons to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Warning: Due to the nauseating contents of this report, reader discretion is advised.
Hi, I’m Tony Satas and I own and operate Indoor Air with my wife Marta, a company that specializes in the cleaning of residential duct systems. That’s it, that’s all we do. We’ve cleaned the duct systems in thousands of homes exactly like yours. I’m writing this special report because:
• Air ducts definitely get dirty. Yours may even be filthy! And it doesn’t matter if you’re the best housekeeper; or you’re married to the best housekeeper; or even if your house is brand new! After your done reading this you’ll understand just how polluted your duct system might be and just how in the heck it got that way.
• Those dirty ducts may be making your home life unbreathable! I’m going to explain to you, in plain english, why dirty duct work can affect your home life, and what you can do about it.
• There are some important things you need to know as a homeowner, and consumer interested in this service. As the need for cleaner indoor air continues to grow, so does the number of companies that provide air duct cleaning. By the time you finish this letter, I promise, you’ll understand what air duct cleaning is, and what it is not; what duct cleaning can do and what it can’t do. That way you can make an educated decision as to whether or not you should have your ducts cleaned and who you should use if you decide to go ahead.
So let’s get started! But take note, this is the part I warned you about.
Would you force your family to inhale the crud inside your household vacuum cleaner bag?
Of course not, that’s insane! But that’s what’s happening every time your furnace blows air through a dirty duct system. That’s because your furnace and air ducts work a lot like your vacuum cleaner. Every time you use your vacuum cleaner, air is drawn in one end and blown out the other. So too with your air ducts. The part you may not think about is, that along with that flowing air are millions of contaminants like: pet and human dander (tiny particles of dead skin and hair), pollen, mold spores, drywall dust, construction debris, rotting insect/rodent carcasses, and carpet and fabric fibers. The only difference is that your vacuum only runs minutes a week, but your furnace runs hundreds of hours every year! It circulates every last breath of air your family breathes through hundreds of feet of duct work that could be so polluted that I had to put a warning on this letter! This alone is reason enough to have your air ducts cleaned! But this is only the first reason, we still have five more to go!
If you moved into a new house and the previous owners left a used toothbrush behind, would you let your family brush their teeth with it?
Remember, I did warn you. But the truth is that there’s no difference between the toothbrush, or all of the other junk we find in residential air ducts. It’s gross, it’s someone else’s dirt and if I were you I’d want it out of my home. The fact of the matter is, you have no idea how the people were who lived in your house before you. Were they clean freaks or did they provide a refuge for twenty seven molting parakeets? (Don’t laugh I’ve seen this.) And what about the people before them?!
Maybe you’re saying, “Now wait just a dog-gone second! My home is brand new, just built! No one lived here before us. My family and I are the very first people to live in this house, for pete’s sake! Surely you’re not saying I need to have my air ducts cleaned?”
All I’m saying is please read reason #3 and then ask me that question, fair enough?
“So that’s where the other half of my sandwich went.”
Construction debris can and will affect your air quality as it builds up in your ventilation system. If you have a brand new home, you’re right; no one “lived” in the house before you, at least not in the way your defining “live”. And no, I didn’t get that line from our past president. What I mean is, of course no one slept or showered or cooked, but believe me, the construction workers that built your home did work and “live” in it before you did. The best way to explain what I mean is by sharing a short story with you. Oh, by the way, I promise you that every story I tell you is the honest to goodness truth. I won’t share it with you unless I have personally experienced it myself.
One of my technicians and myself were cleaning the air ducts of a brand spanking new house. I mean you could still smell the fresh paint and the newly laid carpeting. Anyway, at the beginning of the process the owner mentioned to me that she wasn’t getting any air flow from the supply floor vent in her daughter’s bedroom. So I pulled the vent out and reached my hand in to investigate. To both our shock and surprise, the first thing I pulled out was two pieces of scrap electrical piping! Then a belt of nails for a nail gun! Then an opened bag of those orange cheese puffs! And finally, the other half of a partially eaten sandwich, still in the baggie!
Now I’m not saying that every single new house should have the ducts cleaned. But what I am saying is that just because a house is brand new, it doesn’t mean that the ducts are spotless. Many times it’s quite the opposite! There are literally dozens of opportunities during building, or remodeling, for a duct system to get contaminated. Empty cigarette packs, cigarette butts, screws, saw dust, tile dust/grout, pop cans, beer cans, dead mice, tile pieces, various wrappers, and mounds of drywall dust are just a few of the items we’ve pulled out of newly built homes. Wow, with all the building that’s been going on lately, think about all the homes that have never had their ducts cleaned. What about yours?
“Ma’am, did you used to have a cat?”
No, I’m not kidding. Believe it or not, we were at a home doing a cleaning when what looked like an old gray dried up dish towel caught my tech’s attention. But to his utter disgust it turned out to be something quite different. Just as he pulled it out of the bottom of the duct work, he realized that dirty, dried up dish towel had legs!! It was actually the remains of a long lost cat who had mysteriously disappeared some years back. If you find this hard to believe, I don’t blame you. It’s hard for me sometimes. But if you’d like to see a list of some of the crud we’ve pulled out of air duct systems thus far, see the list I included with this report. Like I said earlier, you may never think about your duct system in the same way again. Do you know where your pets are?
Do you know the best way to grow mushrooms or other related fungi?
I’ll give you a hint – you have to have a dark, warm, damp place. And the fungus, mold, or bacteria has to have some sort of food source to feed on, preferably organic. You know, like maybe “dead skin flakes”, dust mite droppings or even a dead mouse. Do you know a place like this? If you guessed the inside of a duct system, you win the golden mushroom award! Many times air ducts can provide the ideal circumstances for mold, fungus and bacteria to flourish. Even the EPA, you know, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in their free guide, The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality, says,
Especially if you have a humidifier attached to the furnace or some of, or maybe all of your duct work is in a moist basement, a crawl space, or built into the ground on a slab. Now don’t forget, every time your furnace runs, the air you and your family breathes is passing through that, let’s just say, less than clean, duct system. Remember, I told you it was going to be gruesome. I hope you’re getting through this report without gaging or gasping for cleaner air! Please note, air duct cleaning can get rid of mold spores in ductwork, but the fact that mold is growing or there are mold spores in the first place indicates some sort of moisture problem that needs to be corrected by a restoration specialist or heating contractor. Indoor Air, does not fix anything related to your heating/cooling system or correct any moisture problems, nor do we guarantee that having your air ducts cleaned will provide a solution to an existing mold problem.
“Dirty” ducts could be making your home unbreathable!
Before we go any further, let me make something clear. Your duct system is not the problem. It’s just doing what it was designed to do. And that’s to deliver air from various rooms of the house, to the furnace/AC, where the air is either heated or cooled, then transport that air back to the various rooms again. The problem, or should I say; the source of the problem, is all the contaminants that get sucked in, and blown through that duct work. All the dirt in those ducts could be contributing to allergy and/or flu-like symptoms such as: sneezing, watery eyes, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, and even general fatigue, to mention only a few. And the sad thing is, it could be affecting the people we love most– children and older people. Why? Because a) their the ones that spend most of their time inside. And b) because their lungs are generally more sensitive. That’s why you want to get the ducts cleaned. Not because your air ducts are the problem, but because of what might be in the air ducts that could be causing the problems. Make sense? I hope so.
If you would like a copy of that EPA guide I mentioned earlier, you could call the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse at 800-438-4318. I think this is an excellent source of information and I really urge you to get your free copy. It’ll explain all the things you can do to make your home a healthier, safer place to breathe.
So now that I’ve thoroughly grossed you out, let me reveal what air duct cleaning WON’T do!
That’s right, what it won’t do! I don’t know about you, but I like straight talk, especially when it comes to my family and my hard earned greenbacks. I hope you do too, because that’s what I built my company, Indoor Air on– straight talk. Air duct cleaning is not the end-all, cure-all solution to all your air quality problems. And don’t let anyone try to tell you it is. And I can’t promise to pull a half-eaten sandwich out of your duct work either. But I will promise that having your air ducts properly cleaned by Indoor Air is definitely a step in the right direction towards maintaining a cleaner, healthier home for your family and yourself.
Sorry, but a clean duct won’t pass the white glove test.
Let me give you a bit more of that straight talk stuff; you will never be able to eat off your duct work or expect it to pass a white glove test. That’s just not being realistic. As thorough as we are, a duct cleaning is not a duct washing. Duct cleaning does not involve a garden hose, soap, and a sponge. The goal of a good air duct cleaner is to get a duct system as clean as that duct system allows itself to be. Now if this sounds like double talk, just give me a second to explain.
Let’s say for example your house is thirty five years old and the ducts have never been cleaned. The couple who lived there before you had a dog and both people smoked. I guarantee this would be one filthy system! Anyway, if you had this system cleaned and then took your finger and rubbed the inside of the duct, your finger would have some dirt on it. But the system would technically be clean, because it would not have the pounds of germ-laden, cigarette smelling, dog hair shedding, skin flake coating, brown, fluffy dust that once inhabited the thousands of square inches of this duct system. Make sense? Great! To see exactly what I mean check out some of the pictures on our website at www.180066DUCTS.com.
“OK. since we’re talkin’ straight, what WILL having my air ducts cleaned by Indoor Air do for my family and me?”
I’m glad you asked, because there are many real benefits to having your ducts cleaned properly. Here are some results I think you can live with:
• You and your family will enjoy a cleaner environment. If there’s dust, dirt and debris in your ducts, and you have that dust, dirt and debris removed properly, your home will be cleaner. It’s that simple.
• You will reduce the amount of dust in your home. Most people discover that after getting their ducts cleaned, they’re not dust- ing as often. Most people like this.
• You’ll be helping to prevent mechanical breakdowns. I’m not saying your furnace will never need repair, but many breakdowns can be attributed to a dirty system.
• You can help lower your energy bills. Duct cleaning can improve air flow allowing your system to run more efficiently.
And by choosing Indoor Air…
• You’ll be choosing a company recommended by heating contractors, allergists, doctors, environmentalists and especially our thousands of already satisfied customers!
• You’ll get your ducts cleaned by some of the best trained, most knowledgeable technicians in the field.
• We’ll always leave your home and furnishings in the same way we found them, minus the dirt of course.
• Because we respect your home, all of our technicians wear shoe covers to help keep your house clean.
• You can deal with confidence because we don’t sell, service or repair anything relating to your furnaces or air conditioning systems. We specialize only in the art and practice of air duct cleaning
• We offer one of the strongest guarantees in the market and it’s in writing on every receipt.
• You’ll “breathe easy” knowing that the job was done properly.
The carpet-baggers and snake oil salesmen
Sadly as with all industries, there are companies out there that want to rip you off. The only thing they’re interested in cleaning, is the money out of your pocket. Knowing what you’re getting, especially when it comes to duct cleaning, can save you hard earned money, a dirty house, a huge headache, and a bad opinion of my industry. I mean would you believe that some companies actually clean air ducts with leaf blowers? Many of these companies grease the gears of their flim-flam machine with your hard earned money, preying on you, the customer, like a predator in the wild. They make me furious! They will lie, cheat and say anything, so beware!
Cleaning air ducts with leaf blowers is like performing surgery with a chain saw!
It’s definitely going to be messy, probably painful and there’s no clue to the outcome. There are quite a few companies out there using these devices to clean air ducts. You know what I’m talking about, you might even have one in your garage. If you ever used one, you know that it’s not something you want to let loose inside your house. By choosing a company that uses this method, you get the privilege of paying someone to turn your home into a dust bowl. I do not endorse this method of air duct cleaning. I’ve tested it myself and it stinks. That’s all I have to say about that.
Hope this helps you get a better idea of what duct cleaning is. And that there are some, disturbingly real, reasons to have your air ducts cleaned. But only if it’s done the right way by Indoor Air, Inc. If you’d like a professional cleaning performed by a professional company, give us a call today at (708) 562-5213!
Just Some of the Stuff We’ve Pulled Out of Ductwork Over the Years: