Breathing Easy

Not sure about all of y’all but my allergies practically killed me this year. I’m surprised my eyeballs are still in their sockets after all the itching and scratching I’ve been doing. And seriously, is there anything more annoying than an itchy face (on top of the itchy eyeballs), I’m telling ya. It was bad. Now that the late summer allergies are starting to fade for me, I’m starting to think about all the dust and debris that will be floating in our air ducts when we turn on our heat in the next few weeks. Since we are window people during the summer, all our fresh air is about to be replaced by stale, dry, dusty, heater duct air. Loovvveeellyy.

So when I saw this coupon for a full-house duct cleaning for $95, I said cool beans yo, and called those dudes pronto.

Duct Cleaning Coupon

Alas, the minute the duct cleaning crew got here, we had a few problemos.

  1. Our duct work had never been cleaned before, so they had to cut a hole in our vent stack to even start the process, adding $75
  2. We had (5) additional vents from their advertised special, which only cover (10) vents, which added $65
  3. Since our basement is partially finished, they could only clean half the house. Rut-ro.

Since all our vents upstairs are caulked and painted, they would have to remove all of them and they would only be able to get a few inches down, vs. servicing the entire vent. Here is how one vent looked after we cut it out and removed it. Kinda bad. Plus it was pretty heart breaking to imagine doing this to every. single. one. of our newly painted and caulked vents.

Removing Vents for Duct Cleaning

Ultimately, after having our costs go from $95 to $235 with only half of the duct work even accessible, we decided to nix the plan. On to plan b. Cleaning them ourselves! 😉 Now, truth be told, I was having some major second thoughts about the duct cleaning, largely due to reading this article by the EPA, which basically said it can actually be dangerous to clean the ducts, since you land up disturbing more dust than if you just left things alone. And the article mentioned (in detail) how most duct cleaning services would kinda scam you and that they also try to put chemicals into the duct system to “clean” them further. Oye. Color me confused. Since the EPA, from my standpoint, is kind of an uninterested party in all these factors, I took their advice and became kind of leery of the whole thing.

Since we had a few ducts that were kind of in the middle of the action during the wall removal, we decided that we would clean those out more thoroughly, and let the others sit. Mainly, we have a floor inset vent that had a little bit of debris get into it, so we pulled out the handy dandy shop vac and started sucking away.

How to Clean Duct Work

After the cover was already removed, we decided to also vacuum out the vent in our dining room, just for a little extra due diligence. Probably didn’t even need to mess with that one (the EPA advises only cleaning the vent if you can see visible dust collected around it), but we figured it couldn’t hurt, so we moved on full speed ahead with that one as well.

How to Clean Duct Work

To remove this guy, we super carefully lanced along the top edge of the caulk with a knife, so that we didn’t remove any paint off the wall when we popped the vent off. Now, we could have done this for all of the 15 vents in our house, but really, that just didn’t sound all that appealing. 😉

How to Remove Painted Vent

After we cleared out those two ducts, we decided the best next course of action was to get some really good filters for our furnace, in order to make sure any dust particles that did remain in the system, were quickly sucked up by a new filter. Since we saved $235 by nixing the cleaning, we decided to go with a really nice, top of the line filter for twenty bucks.

Best Furnace Air Filters

While we were at it, we also decided to put some filters right on the register, which we thought would help a bit with any extra dust we might have disturbed with our vacuuming escapade earlier.

Vent Filters for Register

I’m hoping this helps a bit with any indoor allergies we might be battling come winter. Has anyone else done the duct cleaning before? Did you notice a difference? Curious to get some feedback from others since I chickened out. 😉


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