LESLIE: Jane in Florida is on the line and needs some help with some duct cleaning. What’s going on at your money pit?
JANE: Well, the problem is I don’t know how to have the ducts cleaned. I don’t know what would be the best way to do it.
TOM: Well, the best way to clean the ducts is to not do it yourself.
JANE: Is that correct? No. That makes sense. When I was young, I used to. Now, I cannot.
TOM: First of all, generally, I only recommend duct cleaning if you’ve done some major construction. I don’t think it’s a regular thing that you have to do all the time. What I think where most people drop the ball is on the filtration system. If you don’t have a good-quality air filter and if you don’t replace it frequently enough, that’s what lets a lot of dirty air escape into the house and just contribute to breathing difficulties and make it harder to keep the house clean and so on. So, unless you’ve done some construction, I don’t necessarily think duct cleaning is the answer.
JANE: I think construction was probably done before I moved in. So it might be a good idea. I’ve been here a long time but I do the – I have a great air conditioner with a special filter and everything. So, I’m thinking there might be – you know, I’ve lived in apartments and condos before. And when I checked them, they hadn’t been cleaned for decades. So, I’m thinking that it might be a good idea to have them cleaned.
My air-conditioning company says no. They don’t clean them because air-conditioning ducts in Florida are not metal like the ducts up north that I had done up there. So I’m wondering if there’s a different method of cleaning them than using water.
TOM: I don’t think you need to clean your ducts, as I said. I think if you have a good air-filtration system – and by the way, your air conditioning and your heating system are using the same ventilation system. So, the thing is about filters, there’s a lot of different levels of filters and you need to get one that is really efficient. The inexpensive ones that you buy at home centers generally aren’t going to do the trick. What you really want to do is have a good-quality one that has a lot of filter material to it. That’s what scrubs the air and that’s what’s going to make that dust disappear, keep the house cleaner and make it a lot easier to breathe.
Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.