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Hi, my home office a/c vent has been blowing out blackish granular particles. It only happens with this particular vent. I’ve read lighting candles tend to do something like this… I do light candles every day. Can someone help me with what I should do? Thanks.
Indoor air quality didn’t become an issue until we decided we needed airtight, energy-efficient homes. We’ve lowered our energy bills, but we’ve trapped pollutants inside our homes and offices. What’s in your air ducts? Dust, pollen, animal dander, mouse droppings, dust mites, drywall dust, insulation, fungus and bacteria. Each time the fan turns on, it forces them into your living environment for you to breathe… morning, noon and night. And, if your vent covers are located on the floor, you would be surprised what finds its way into your duct system.
Well, I had the cleaning done. The handler is definitely much quieter. It was explained to me that with the coils clean, the condensation will be able to sweat off instead of sticking to the dust and dirt, therefore the humidity (lots of humidity in florida) will be removed better. I feel as if it was worth it, but, I will definitely change that filter every 3 weeks or so from now on. I don’t want to pay that cost again.
Although i love to burn candles, depending on the type your asking for problems big ones! At work one day i had been talking with co workers about these black shadows that were appearing on my ceilings and higher wall areas. They seemed to in the corners and along the stud supports , i could even see what i thought to be where all had been nailed. There would be dark shadows perfectly straight across my ceiling and then real dark circels every few inches within the lines. I thought it was the propane heat but learned quickly that oil heat will do that but not normally propane. A co worker brought me a magazine with a huge article about candles and what actually burns off them when lit, an ashy soot that is attracted to the areas on walls and ceilings that omit the most heat or warmth, of course where the drywall and studs meet and corners of the room. Its been about 8 years since i painted the entire house. I started bending to my love for candles again in the last 3 years, surprise i will be spending part of my summer re painting again!! No more candles ,well maybe at the holidays LOL
Ozone generators use UV light or an electrical discharge to intentionally produce ozone. Ozone is a lung irritant that can cause adverse health effects. At concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone has little effect in removing most indoor air contaminants. Thus, ozone generators are not always safe and effective in controlling indoor air pollutants. Consumers should instead use methods proven to be both safe and effective to reduce pollutant concentrations, which include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources and increasing outdoor air ventilation.
7. Shut off fan and furnace. Shut the fan off at the thermostat and the power off to the furnace via the service switch or breaker panel. Do not just off the thermostat, because that doesn’t turn off the power to the unit.
I hope that those customers you have with breathing problems don’t follow your advice too closely. You are doing them a disservice. Dirt in your ducts does not always stay there, depending on what the contaminants are. I bet you tell your customers not to worry about mold either- just to kill it with bleach. Educate yourself before opening your mouth- You may kill someone someday with your opinion.
12.       All access openings created are sealed up with custom sheet metal access panels. An air-tight seal is made with either an acrylic-based metal tape or mastic sealant. If your duct has insulation, this insulation is re-sealed correctly, not with duct tape.  There is no air loss or structural integrity lost in the ducts after this method.
However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.
10.       Once all main trunk ducts are cleaned and visibly inspected, we move on to clean your HVAC air handling unit. We clean the blower area, removing it if it is accessible, and air-wash all the fan blades. If you have air conditioning, we will inspect your evaporator coil, as long as it is accessible and serviceable.  We will determine if the coil needs to be cleaned and present this to you during the job.  Matted coils are a breeding ground for microbes. In addition, if they haven’t been cleaned in some time, you can experience up to 20% less efficiency, according to the America Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The condensate pan is also air-washed and drained.
You’d be surprised how many HVAC companies don’t even have websites. How accountable can we think they are, when a phone number can be changed at the drop of a hat? I’m not hiring one without a website. Never again.
Pastor B – First, thank you for the kind words! The answer to the first 2 questions in a nutshell is yes. Running the fan however by itself is probably the better idea to dry the system a bit. That said, it isn’t a solution, just helps a bit. I would attempt to find the root of the problem and take care of that to end the issue. Adding things like air cleaner and UV light to the system can help long term with some of this but having the a/c coil cleaned and checked (the indoor evaporator coil) is a good start if you’ve not had that done before. If the smell is coming from the crawlspace and getting pulled into the air stream is the issue then sealing the ductwork with a mastic may also be a good measure and is something you can do yourself with a bucket of mastic, a paint brush, pair of rubber gloves and long sleeves….you don’t want to get it tangled up in your arm hair and such. It can be a difficult task to get out. 🙂 I hope this helps and thank you for reading!
I have been told I need to replace my duct work. Air conditioner froze up, duckwork was full of water, and they had to pierce it to release it. They want $550 to replace. I live in a modular home with crawl space underneath.
Little research has been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of most biocides and ozone when used inside ducts. Simply spraying or otherwise introducing these materials into the operating duct system may cause much of the material to be transported through the system and released into other areas of your home.
I’m a heating and air conditioning contractor. I’ve been in the trade for over 15 years. I’ve witnessed numerous duct cleaning projects and talked with many duct cleaners. Duct cleaning as it’s usually promoted is a fraud. Most duct cleaners claim to deliver cleaner air. They deliver exactly the opposite. The studies on duct cleaning prove it, including a May 1998 study sponsored by NADCA and the EPA! The stories are compelling, but they can come up with stories that “prove” anything they want. Internet searches are dominated by results from those who are paid to tell you that duct cleaning is worthwhile. Search a little more and you’ll find the truth.
I’d have to disagree with all of your statements. Not only are they derived from no experience in the field, you are missing keys facts. Ducts even if air tight will get dirty. If they are not getting dirty, it means they are not working. Your returns side of the duct work is always under negative pressure when the system is operational.Therefore it is always drawing air in. Seeing how dust is made up mostly from dead skin humans shed daily. Around 1.6 Pounds of skin a year per human. Living in your home anything that is air born will be drawn back towards the cold air returns. That is what they are designed for, to draw stale air back to the system to be filtered and sent back through the house.Homes with carpet will actually have cleaner duct work than home with all tile or hardwood. This is because carpets hold onto dust particles and you vacuum them up. Whereas on hardwood or tile, dust can run freely back to the returns. Even if a duct system was sealed 100%, which is next to impossible to achieve 100% would still need to be cleaned. The cleaning may only have to be every 7-10 years for example. Most homes require every 5-7 years. And that’s if it was done properly the first time. If you constantly hire people that have no or minimal knowledge of duct cleaning, You home would require cleaning more often. Every 2 years. That’s a trade secret, The longer they recommend before the next cleaning, the odds are they did it right. That’s not to say there aren’t people that lie, because there are. Just have your duct cleaner take pictures before and after cleaning. Not just an outside view. Get in there, picture entire joist liners, Whole main runs and even long round pipes. Also it helps to have a company that guarantees their work. If it’s not done right, they will come back and do it until it is. Most companies that do this make sure it is right the first time. Your not getting paid to do the job twice.
Air pollutants are 4 to 7 times higher INDOORS than outdoors! We spend 80-90% of our time inside, increasing the risk for allergies, asthma, breathing problems and lung damage, especially in the young and elderly.
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Dallas, Texas, the ninth-largest city in the country, features a glitzy skyline and cosmopolitan lifestyle along with a friendliness that’s hard to find in many large metropolises. Plenty of cultural amenities, a vibrant arts scene, and a delicious array of restaurants make Dallas an appealing destination for residents and visitors alike. The sprawl and spread of the city’s neighborhoods and suburbs translates to long commutes for most city residents.
My intention was to use the $59.99 coupon for unlimited vents and 1 return. I have allergies so I wanted to make sure I cleaned out everything that is needed. The technician says that the coupon doesn’t include the furnace and the main trunks which turned out to be an extra $270 (and that I needed to have this done). On top of that I was charged $130 for a blower housing cleaning of which they used the shopvac to blow air in the ducts push the debris and dust. On top of that I was charged $200 for Sanitizer and Mildicide. I only saw the technician use a white spray bottle to spray the vents and return (so I don’t know if the contents in the bottle contain both chemicals). He also used a drill attached with a cord. At the end of the cord it was a brush to I guess loosen the dirt in the ducts. After this, a vac was used to suck the dirt. He asked for my phone so he can take before and after pictures of only the return vent. His partner cleaned the furnace of which didn’t let me see how it looked after. I was charged an additional $40 for the Lifetime Electrostatic Filter (he said it was originally $120, whatever). Lastly he wanted to install a UV light to take out the mold for $600, but I declined. When they left there was dust on my TV stand the upstairs hallway (under the return vent), and mostly in the furnace. I had to replace my filter immediately since they use the shop vac to blow in the air duct technique. I plan on requesting a refund.
More in-depth analysis of air cleaners is available in the EPA technical document “Residential Air Cleaners (Second Edition) A Summary of Available Information – Printable Version” EPA 402-F-09-002, Revised August 2009
Christine – I think you’re misunderstanding. I’m recommending you cover the supply registers, not the return and only temporarily, not forever. It would take a lot more than a paper towel over the supply registers for a few minutes to burn up a motor. Especially on the supply side. If it were return air, I’d say you’re right but even then, it would take a lot more than a paper towel and few minutes to cause any sort of damage to the motor.

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