We’re getting a head start on spring cleaning around the farm.
One of the responsibilities of being a homeowner is to make sure all the major appliances are always in good, working order. Keeping household equipment clean and well-functioning not only extends their lives, but can actually help reduce the risk of fire.
Recently, we called in a team from The Butlers & Air Quality to service all the ductwork. According to The National Air Duct Cleaners Association, it is a good idea to have air ducts professionally examined and cleaned every three to five years - vents, and the air ducts behind them, attract dust, pet dander and a host of other particles that can affect the air quality in the home. This process can take several hours depending on the size of the structure, but it's a very important and necessary task. Here are some photos.
Our friends at The Butlers & Air Quality in Yorktown Heights, New York, came out to the farm to service all the ducts and vents. This company is a family-owned and operated business that has been covering the area since 1982. http://www.thebutlersairquality.com
This is a portable diesel fuel air compressor, which provides high pressure clean air to help push the airflow toward the vacuum device.
The vacuum collection device is used to gain airflow control in the ducts and then suction all the debris into its big tank.
This is the top of the collection filter, where any dust and debris from the ducts is collected.
The first stop was the upstairs area of the Tenant House, where my daughter and grandchildren stay when they visit.
The setup involves connecting a large suction hose from the air handler in the attic to the collection tank. A standard household vacuum isn’t powerful enough to clean deep into the crevices of the ducts, so it is always helpful to call in professional teams to do the job.
These hoses run through the house from the outdoor air compressor.
The Butlers & Air Quality team is very neat and tidy – towels are wrapped around the hoses at various points, so as not to mar any of the walls or floors.
Meanwhile, all the air vent covers are carefully removed.
Once removed, they are inspected and cleaned, so any visible debris is directed toward the main duct area.
Using a rag, Ruben wipes down the inside walls of the vent area and checks for any unusual buildup.
And the covers are temporarily replaced with pieces of cardboard to allow for stronger suction power.
This team brings their own supply of usable cardboard scraps.
One by one, Hermes goes to each of the vent openings to snake the hose through and direct all the debris, so it can get picked up by the vacuum, while Ruben holds the lever controlling the airflow pressure.
Up in the attic, Hermes checks that the air handler is working properly and then cleans all the unit’s coils and the blower wheel.
This is an atomization machine filled with antimichrobial that is sprayed into the ductwork to kill any potential, bacteria, mold, or mildew.
The vacuum is then moved down to the basement, where it can be used to clean the vents and ducts in the downstairs zone of this house.
Hermes, who has been with the company for many years, opens the air handler.
Hermes makes an access hole in this unit, so the vacuum’s hose can be connected and airflow can be properly controlled.
The vacuum hose is connected to the supply plenum, an air-distribution box attached directly to the handler and all the equipment that heats or cools the house – it is the heart of the duct system.
And the other end is connected directly into the vacuum collection device.
The vacuum is turned on for at least two to three hours – the duration depends on the size of the home and the amount of ductwork that needs cleaning.
Hermes continues to walk around the home snaking the hoses through the crevices of all the ducts, so everything is directed towards the powerful vacuum.
Cardboard covers all the necessary vent openings.
Here are the particles collected from the Tenant House.
Once everything is cleaned, all the vent covers are carefully returned.
And any dust or debris that fell is vacuumed up.
One house down and a couple more to go – onto the Winter House. Thank you, Butlers & Air Quality!