Our inspector told us when we moved in that we needed to get the ductwork cleaned. Supposedly, cleaning them results in lower energy bills and reduced dust/mold/allergens in your house. We suspected it had been a while since they were cleaned, so yesterday when I saw an ad in the mail I decided to finally call and set up an appointment.
According to the ad, it would be $110 for 15 vents and one return. What I didn’t realize is that they would have to do more than that $110 price point, so it ended up costing us almost $800. Yikes! Didn’t plan for that, but it came out of the “house renovations” budget and we have a lot of money floating around in there thanks to not having enough to get the foundation fixed. Our house has 2 returns (upstairs and down in the den), and 3 main trunks that distribute the air (one for each level I think?). So, we had to pay extra for those things, since that original price only covered one of each. Also, they had to add access panels to the main trunks, which means the system has never been cleaned in the 50 years this house has been around. (More $$$.)
Another thing they did was inspect the furnace. Unfortunately for us, the original owner was quite a DIY-er. I don’t want to put down DIY projects – they are great if you can do it well and do it right! However, this guy either didn’t do it right or didn’t do it in a way that it would last. Our HVAC unit was put in 1997, and it was hooked up completely wrong. I can’t remember how it is – I think it’s cooling the air before it’s filtering it… but whatever it is, it’s causing the unit to get gunked up with air particles and run more inefficiently. Someday when we win the lottery we really need to replace the whole thing with a unit that works correctly.
So today they cleaned the whole furnace – the AC coil, the heating coil, and the blower house. These really, really needed to be cleaned for the reasons I mentioned above. So even though that added $$$, it was good that we went ahead and got it done.
While the ad didn’t lie, I feel like it was a bit misleading about the price. They should have mentioned that there are other things involved that you *have* to do (you can’t just skip that part). Oh well.
I told the guy about our house heating unevenly, and he said that putting insulation in the crawlspace and putting in a return for the main level would help with that. Apparently the return that’s in the hallway upstairs is sucking up some of the warm air from downstairs. We’ll add that to our list, though it will probably fall in the “only if we stay here 40 years” category, right under replacing all the paneling with drywall.