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Old 08-14-2010, 08:48 AM
 
450 posts, read 3,733,290 times
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Has anyone ever tried to clean their own ducts with their shop vac? Our ducts could use a cleaning (post-remodel) and I was thinking maybe I could do it myself with the shop vac. Good or bad idea?
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:56 AM
 
Location: WA
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A vacuum is a vacuum... sure it will work if you are up to it. The pro's do use spinning brushes to clean ducts as well as vacuum. The only duct I have that needs cleaning periodically is the dryer vent and I use the shopvac on it.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
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While it will probably get the stuff thats near the supply registers, it will likely not have enough strength to get much further. Better than nothing, but thats why the pros have that huge truck mounted unit.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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So I would just remove the vent, and stick the shop vac in, and put it in as far as it would go and vacuum around? Is there anything around there that I shouldn't vacuum up? I've never actually removed a vent and looked in my ducts. Anything to be aware of if I do this? I'll have the a/c turned off, but do I need to shut it down somehow--i.e. is there any electrocution hazard?
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Ocean County, NJ
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My g/f's stepfather has 5HP shop vac that he connects to the exhaust outlet and blows the air into the duct work to blast it out the other end. He says it works great.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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I don't know where you live, so maybe prices are vastly different than where I am. I paid $100 to have the ductwork in my house cleaned professionally by taking advantage of a coupon I got in one of those coupon packages homeowners are constantly receiving in the mail. Aside from the actual vacuuming of the ducts, I thought it was worth $100 just to have someone else haul a ladder around the house, unscrew and remove all the vent covers (I'm in Arizona, so they're on the ceiling), hose them down, and replace them. That would have taken me all day and the two guys who were here got the job done in an hour. I have allergies and getting the ductwork cleaned professionally helped me a lot.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass101 View Post
Has anyone ever tried to clean their own ducts with their shop vac? Our ducts could use a cleaning (post-remodel) and I was thinking maybe I could do it myself with the shop vac. Good or bad idea?
Bad idea, IMO. The job you will be able to accomplish with your shop vac will be little more than surface cleaning of vent areas. If you want the job done thoroghly you need to spring for a professional company with the correct equipment. They will actually drill through your ductwork to get complete access along the entire run of both your supply and return ducts.

You can use your shop vac to keep the area around where your filters insert into your furnace unit clean. Many people fail to do this and change out filters often enough.

I'm hoping you were not actually running your HVAC system while dust debris was being created during your remodel project.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
I'm hoping you were not actually running your HVAC system while dust debris was being created during your remodel project.
I had to b/c it was almost 100 degrees outside and I tried having it off and the workers were sweating and complaining. What else was I supposed to do? This was minor remodeling, anyway. Only one room had its drywall sanded and patched--in the basement. Other areas that were sanded and patched included one closet and an area of the basement stairs. There was only one minor cutting of drywall, where an area was removed on the staircase.

Last edited by Bass101; 08-15-2010 at 12:55 PM..
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:59 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 31,702,376 times
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Originally Posted by Bass101 View Post
I had to b/c it was almost 100 degrees outside and I tried having it off and the workers were sweating and complaining. What else was I supposed to do? This was minor remodeling, anyway. Only one room had its drywall sanded and patched--in the basement. Other areas that were sanded and patched included one closet and an area of the basement stairs. There was only one minor cutting of drywall, where an area was removed on the staircase.
I've had my HVAC all summer in triple digits but mine is a major remodel with much dust from plaster and sheetrock sanding. The investment of a new HVAC system and the high cost of that system were more important the contractors griping about the heat. Mine didn't grip and they used fans. The inside of the house remained more cool than the triple digits outside as long as the windows remained closed.

I had my ductwork cleaned prior to the messiest part of the remodel so the new HVAC system could be installed (major past mouse nests in ductwork). I am trying to decide if I will have it done again once the remodel is complete. Indoor air quality is something too few people consider as a worthwhile investment.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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If you make sure all of your duct work is sealed tight, including the return, then using a media filter type system will remove the need to have your ducts cleaned. When choosing the filter you want to use the thicker the better and the larger the returns the better. You want to shoot, ideally, for 300 feet per minute for the return. This maximizes filter and evaporator coil performance.

MERV RATING CHART

By the way those 1" pleated filters are horrible for airflow, performance and the life of your HVAC system unless your contractor specifically designed your return to handle the greater pressure drop across the filter.
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