Should I Clean My Heat Ducts?
LESLIE: Now we have a call from Dave in Indiana who wants to clean his vents.
Dave, how can we help you?
DAVE: Yeah, I’d just like to know – I’ve been inundated with some people that have been trying to get me to clean my heat ducts and I know there’s a lot of scams going out there and I just wondered if this is something that a person should really do or if it’s just a fake situation.
TOM: Well, honestly, I have a mixed reaction about it because some people swear by vent cleaning and some don’t. I think more important than spending money on vent cleaning would be to invest money on a good, whole-house air cleaner.
Don’t you agree, Leslie?
LESLIE: I agree because then you get a nice filtration system that will not only help your system run more efficiently but it also improves the air quality in your home.
TOM: Yeah, if you install a whole-house air cleaner into the HVAC system, it’s a heck of a lot better than the very thin, fiberglass filters, Dave, that typically are installed in furnaces and air conditioners. It keeps out a lot more of the contaminants that could even get stuck in those ducts, and if you do that, there’s really no reason to have a duct cleaning.
DAVE: What I’m learning about is they’re saying, “Oh, there’s mold growing in these ducts” and all this kind of stuff.
TOM: Well if you put a whole-house air cleaner in, it will trap mold spores; it’ll trap viruses, bacteria, dust, dander, mites.
LESLIE: And I’ve seen the filters after a year of use, which is when you’re supposed to change them, and they’re so nasty. And to think, I have a home that doesn’t have any ductwork and my husband and I are always thinking it’s really gross what’s getting into our lungs; especially when you see what the filter pulls out of the air.
TOM: Yeah, I would look into Aprilaire as the brand, Aprilaire. Go to Aprilaire.com. They have some really, really efficient ones and they make the best ones in the industry.
DAVE: Just following up with this, I have an Aprilaire humidifier.
TOM: Well see, there you go.
DAVE: Yeah. And of course that was – the people have been telling me, “Well you got that and that’s putting all this moisture in your heat ducts and that’s building mold” and you know.
TOM: Nah. No, no, no. That’s an old wives’ tale right there. In the wintertime, you need to put moisture in the air because the air is so dry and that’s when the humidifier should run. In fact, they’re high-tech humidifiers; actually constantly measure outdoor air and indoor air and determine the difference in how much moisture you actually need in the air. OK, Dave?
DAVE: Alright, thank you very much.
TOM: Alright. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.