Sunday, October 30, 2016

We gave our house an enema...

Ever since we moved in I've been suffering from allergies. I assumed it was just the exposure to the woods and all the pollen, mold spores, etc that come with non-city life. But as Fall has progressed into cooler weather and we've had the windows closed because of bugs and have had the heat on intermittently, my allergies have worsened, as have Len's and the girls (although mine seem to be the worst as I'm home the most). With that in mind, I started researching air duct cleaning knowing that we had the entire first floor sanded and there could be a lot of residual dust coming back through the vents and who knows how much cat hair there could be from Bella?

Well. The dust was not nearly as bad as the rest of the stuff lurking in our vents. Try old pieces of flooring (wood and tile), concrete, cigarette butts and dog hair. The previous owners had a large black dog and from the looks of it, he left most of his fur coat behind.

According to the duct cleaners, it looked like at some time in the past the ducts had been cleaned since there was one opening in the ductwork. However, with only one opening in only one line, it certainly was not done correctly. These guys were here for 4 1/2 hours and they opened several parts of both lines, each time dumping all kinds of stuff out through the holes they had made before they could put the blower in to blow it all out.

The metal-work is what they cut out of the ductwork. All the rest of the stuff is what fell out, including lots of cigarette butts.
Tile, wood, tape.
You can actually hear, above the noise of the vacuum, the sound of large objects being sucked into the tube.
Air duct cleaning from Lisa on Vimeo.

And lots of dog hair...this was a shot inside the ductwork.
Lots of dust and cobwebs.
Before, with massive amounts of dog hair and dust.
After, nice and clean!
Before, what looks like construction materials and more cigs.
And after, in the same spot.
 This was the contraption outside that was sucking it all away.
Like I said, they were here for 4 1/2 hours, which is 2 hours longer than the time they said it would take but given what they found when they opened up the ducts, they needed extra time to get it all out. They started by cleaning all the air intake vents throughout the house, then moved on to the exhaust vents (and cleaning all the grilles) before moving down into the basement and working on the ducts from there. The whole house seemed to be shaking as all the larger garbage was moving throughout the ducts and out of the house. Poor Bella was not a happy camper--I ended up putting her in our bedroom closet where she promptly crawled under the lowest shelf and curled up for the duration.

As for whether this helps my allergies, we have to wait and see. The weather has taken a turn for the warm and humid so we've turned the heat back off. Still can't open the windows for all the bugs...we have massive amounts of bugs that are in-between the storms/screens and the glass, trapped until they die and form a bug graveyard on the sill. It's totally gross but that's a whole other issue.

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