When we did the whole painting the bedroom thing I came across a little surprise in our bedroom...as well as the guest room...then the living room...then the office. Not a good surprise. More of a furry, dusty, cigarette smoke tary, Grinchy surprise. I am warning you - what you are about to see is extremely disgusting and not for the weak stomached therefor I am officially giving this post a XXX rating!
Unfortunately, my hose nozzle could only go so far and as you know the vents run all through the house to many places not visible by the nakedy eye. We had to call in the professionals who use a air nozzle to blow a heavy force stream of air on the gunky vents in conjunction with a suction hose about 10 inches wide to suck up everything from inside the vents. When I asked the guys if this was the worst they had seen there reply was "the worst today". There is worse than this?? For the record - these vents are our intake vents which means anything in our air gets sucked back through these then brought to the furnace to be recirculated again.
The people who lived here before we bought the house were smokers and had multiple dogs AND cats...hence the weird pet stains throughout the house. Since they rented the house for the past 10 years my guess is they never bothered to have the vents cleaned. That is soooo not good for the air we breath! Just because you cant see it doesn't mean it is OK! LESSON LEARNED! While the gents were at it, I asked if they ever found any thing good in the vents. You wouldn't believe the treasure chest of items these vents can hold! They said they have found money, old homework assignments, socks, gloves, dead animals (gross), and all sorts of other goodies. Problem is - they don't know which house those things come from because they dump it all at the end of the shift. My point is...Hold on to the goods people! You don't want your house sucking them up!
Now that we have learned this lesson we will be cleaning them more regularly. Read all about duct cleaning and your indoor air quality here. It is important to be educated on the process before hiring a contractor. TRUST ME ON THIS - even if they are not positive of the benefits of cleaning out your ducts it will be well worth your piece of mind and perhaps you will even find some lost homework. Now the old "dog ate my homework" excuse is no longer needed. Your vent ate it!
So long for now!