With Halloween coming up it is time to think about our heating systems. Halloween has it roots in the belief that on that day, the 31st of October, the distinction between the living and the dead go away—-leaving the living vulnerable to over 700 Billion calamities. The dead had to be driven away by fire and ritual costumes—-and even by Congressional Edict. As with anything deemed marketable, the origins of Halloween have been greatly embellished to suit the times and the market place.
Even this post will attempt to “rip-off” the origins of Halloween.
With October—-and even earlier for some of us—-it is time to start thinking about another heating season. It is time to make sure the furnace is tuned up—-clean filters, etc. If you haven’t had the furnace serviced recently—-get it serviced. Typically I like to recommend that if the furnace is over 3 years old to have it serviced annually.
Another thing to think about is “duct cleaning.”
There is some controversy (among some authorities—see “Is Duct Cleaning Quackery” for more info) as to the benefits and necessity of duct cleaning. There are those that think ductwork should be cleaned annually, there are those that think leaving them dirty actually creates more places for the dust to adhere to—thus the dirty ducts actually help to filter the air.
I can give “qualified” support to the second approach, but to me there is a point where the ducts are just too nasty to justify not cleaning them. REALLY dirty ducts can have large clumps of dust break off when a truck goes rolling by the house. These clumps then tumble through the duct system knocking off even more clumps re-introducing the dust particles to the air stream. That said, duct work should ALWAYS, and only, be cleaned by a qualified duct cleaning company that uses HEPA filters as part of its process so as to not just blast the fine dust particles throughout the home.
There is no question that cleaning ducts can actually increase the amount of particulate in the air of a home if the ducts are not cleaned properly.
When your ducts are as dirty as the ones in this picture—-I think it is prudent to call Ghost Busters and get those “ghosts” excised—-professionally!
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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