LESLIE: David in Oklahoma, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
DAVID: I was wondering about the vents in the house. I have central heat and air and every – you wipe all the shelves and all that stuff off, then you get this film all over everything where you just have to continually do that. I’m just wondering, is there a way to cleaning vents out without creating a bunch of dust in the house?
TOM: Well, there are duct-cleaning companies, obviously, and what they do is they have specialized equipment that goes inside of HVAC ducts to clean the dust that gets stuck in them. I will say that unless you’ve had a reason to get your ducts super-dirty like, for example, you’re doing some construction or remodeling, I don’t – I’m not sure that that’s really worth the expense. So, what I would tell you to invest in, if you want to invest in something, is a good-quality filter system for your HVAC system.
So, that means an electrostatic or an electronic air cleaner mounted just before the blower compartment so that all the air that runs through the duct system is thoroughly scrubbed. In terms of the registers, you can just vacuum them. But a good-quality HVAC filter system is going to make a world of difference in terms of the quality of air inside your house, David.
DAVID: OK. Well, I’m just wondering about where the vents come out in each room. I’m wondering if I can put anything like a – similar to cheesecloth or a filter or something in there.
TOM: Yeah, that would not be the right place to put the filter. The filter goes on the return duct and it cleans the air on the way in. And this way, the air that comes out is clean.
DAVID: Yeah, well, he changes the filter every month.
TOM: Yeah. But you know what? If he’s changing the filter every month, he’s not got the right kind of filter on there. The basic fiberglass filters don’t do a good job. A good-quality media filter or a good-quality electronic air cleaner is going to make a big difference, David, OK? That’s the solution.
DAVID: OK. Hey, I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.