Repairs For Seniors

Many ducted heating systems have problems with animal penetration, most generally caused by rats, or sometimes caused by possums. The damage can often be extensive and the first time seeking repair for seniors, they often discover the problem in the winter when the system gets turned on for the first time, and they find there is either no airflow or very poor airflow – or dreadful odors are emitted from the system.  This is when the heating ducts would need repair, or in extreme cases, heating system replacement.

However, there is the option to have your furnace ducts cleaned, especially when an elderly adult may be suffering from allergies or other breathing problems.  Like all air ducts, furnace ducts, when not cleaned or repaired, can breed mold and mildew, and lead to poor air quality. Furnace duct cleaning can also improve the efficiency of your furnace.

Furnace duct cleaning is an option to repair, and requires cleaning not only of the ducts themselves, but have the entire furnace system: the blower, heat exchangers, cooling coils, and condensate pan. When all these parts are clean, air flows more efficiently through the entire furnace system.

If an elderly senior is experiencing health or breathing problems, and you suspect your furnace air ducts might be the problem, call a duct cleaning or repair company. They can inspect your furnace ducts, and will most likely use robotic video equipment to show you how dirty the ducts actually are. If the video surveillance reveals mold is present anywhere in the duct system, clean your furnace ducts.

Sometimes, dust and mold can appear almost identical on a video scan of the furnace ducts. If you and the furnace-cleaning professionals are unsure, touch a piece of tape to the inside of a furnace duct, and have a lab analyze it for you. The test will likely cost you around $50.
There are several ways to clean furnace ducts. One way is to use an extremely powerful vacuum, which remains in a truck outside. A long hose runs to the furnace area and attaches to the furnace ducts. From the rooms, mechanical brushes, air jet brushes or air snakes pull the dust loose within the furnace ducts.

Another way to clean furnace ducts is with smaller vacuum unit located inside your house, in the vicinity of the furnace. This vacuum should contain a HEPA exhaust filter to ensure that the dust from the furnace ducts does not fill the air in the room.

A third way of cleaning furnace ducts is to run a rotating brush that is attached to a vacuum nozzle through the furnace ducts.  Remember, when selecting methods and services for your furnace duct repair or cleaning, look for quality over cost. A poor-quality furnace or heating duct repair job can leave you worse off than before, as it can pull the dust off the furnace duct walls without sucking it all in. Companies certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association tend to offer the highest quality.

Remember, furnace duct cleaning costs money, so before you sign a service contract, ensure that the company has given you sufficient visual evidence that furnace duct cleaning is necessary, especially for seniors on fixed incomes. Also, make sure your furnace duct cleaning provider can explain to you in detail how he/she will clean the entire system, not just the ducts. If one component of the system is left un-cleaned, it may re-contaminate the entire system—defeating the purpose of having put out the cash for the cleaning in the first place. Ask that your furnace duct repair or cleaning provider give you a full-duct-length visual inspection after the work is completed, preferably with a camera inside the ducts.

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