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Our Duct Cleaning Process from Start to Finish


If you’re watching this video you’ve probably learned about our duct cleaning services we offer at Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning. In this video we’ll take a deep dive into our process from start to finish.

Additional Info

Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning proudly serves Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding areas. Our service area includes Bexley, Blacklick, Canal Winchester, Columbus, Delaware, Dublin, Gahanna, Galena, Galloway, Grandview, Grove City, Hilliard, Lewis Center, New Albany, Obetz, Pataskala, Pickerington, Powell, Reynoldsburg, Sunbury, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, and Worthington.

We invite you to take the first step and call us. Our process for cleaning ducts and furnaces is unrivaled in Columbus and Central Ohio. We’d like the chance to show you how much your quality of indoor life could improve. Visit our duct cleaning page for more details. Or click below to get in touch with us.

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Video Transcription

If you’re watching this video you’ve probably learned about our duct cleaning services we offer at Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning. In this video we’ll take a deep dive into our process from start to finish.

Hi I’m Isaac and I am one of the Indoor Air Quality Technicians at Fire & Ice. A clean furnace and ductwork is a great way to ensure the air you breathe inside of your home is healthy. It also helps improve the performance of your HVAC system. A typical duct cleaning takes between 2 and 4 hours. In this video we'll go over the tools used and the entire process from start to finish.

What tools are used during a duct cleaning?

The goal with every duct cleaning is to remove as much debris as possible from the ductwork. There are two vacuum types: portable and truck mounted. Portable systems are carried by technicians from room to room. A hose is then inserted in each room's vents to clean the ductwork. The largest portable vacuum has a suction power of about 5,000 cubic feet per minute. 

Portable vacuums work by inserting the hose into the vents in each room of a house. On the end of the hose is a nylon brush that spins, which scrapes away any dust and debris that is inside the duct. The vacuum then sucks any debris. The downside of this approach is the hose is about 4" thick and cannot get into every nook and cranny of the ductwork. The spinning brush can be aggressive, too, and can damage flexible ductwork or dampers.

The other option are the truck mounted systems, which we use at Fire & Ice. They’re powerful vacuums of 12,000 CFM's. They work by sucking the debris from the entire network of ductwork using a large 10" hose attached to your ductwork.The primary benefit of a truck mounted system is it can clean the entire ductwork system and get into spaces that can't be reached by a portable system.

An air compressor is used to clean the ductwork by pushing all the dirt and debris towards the vacuum with 250 PSI of pressure. Various attachments are used, such as forward and reverse pushing heads to direct the airflow. 

For stubborn material an octopus whip can be used. It has eight rubber fingers that whip around the ductwork. Air rods can be connected together to reach the furthest nook and cranny of your ductwork.

In addition, there are disinfectants that can be used during a duct cleaning. We offer both chemical and botanical based disinfectants that are both effective at neutralizing odors and killing any mold growth inside your ducts. 

What is done during a duct cleaning?

Here in Central Ohio there are dozens of companies that offer duct cleaning services, but only a very few know HVAC. Our process doesn’t just stop at the vents but goes further and addresses the entire system. At Fire & Ice we believe in doing things right or not doing them at all. That’s why we refuse to use portable units to clean your ducts,  and only use a truck mounted system. It’s the only way to thoroughly clean your ductwork. We’re trained and certified in both systems and that’s why we know without a shadow of doubt, that in order to clean your ducts thoroughly, it takes a truck mounted system in conjunction with a thorough process that has been built upon HVAC and Duct Cleaning national certifications. Let’s take a moment to walk you through our duct cleaning process from start to finish.

The day starts with a phone call from the Indoor Air Quality technicians that will be coming to your house typically 30 minutes before they arrive. Two technicians will arrive in uniform, wearing a name badge and mask throughout the cleaning. They will also put on shoe covers before entering your home. Once they arrive they will need to park their vehicle in the driveway so that the hoses and other tools can reach your ductwork. 

Before they begin, they'll take a few minutes to discuss the entire process and go over any questions or concerns you may have. They will then assess the ductwork and come up with a plan while also doing a quick inspection of your furnace. Afterwards, they will have you take them on a tour to every room in the house to locate the supply and return vents. Then the prep work begins, which includes:

  • laying down drop cloths and protecting the walls with corner guards
  • Running the vacuum hose from the truck to the main trunk line
  • Gathering the compressor hose
  • Set up all tools in the work space
  • And sealing off all the registers and vents with grill masks

While the prep work is being done, a series of access holes are cut in the ductwork. An 8” hole is cut in both the supply and return trunk lines for the vacuum to attach to. 1-inch holes are drilled in each duct run as well. After the access holes are cut, the vacuum is hooked to the trunk line and turned on. I will warn customers that the vacuum is loud and will be running continuously for the next hour or so. We recommend homeowners with pets or family members sensitive to sounds to be away from the house. 

With the vacuum hooked up it's time to start cleaning. We begin by going to each supply and return vent and use compressed air to clean the vents and blow any debris down into each trunk run. Our objective is to push or pull all the debris in each run towards the vacuum. Next, we focus on the trunks themselves to push the debris trapped inside to the vacuum. We clean each individual duct run using a combination of air rods, reverse and forward pushing heads, or the octopus whip. Along the way, we’ll take before and after pictures to make sure we have gotten the air ducts as clean as possible

Once the ducts are all clean we take the added step in cleaning the air return drop and plenum using the same methods of loosening all the dust and debris and pushing it all towards the vacuum. Our next step is air cleaning the blower compartment and evaporator coil (if the evaporator coil is accessible). The evaporator coil is a common source for bacteria and mold and the blower wheel is a common place for dust buildup, so we may suggest a deep cleaning for both those area. And if there is a new air filter available, we’ll change your furnace filter, as well. If a disinfectant has been requested we'll spray it into the ductwork at this time.

Once everything is cleaned we’ll then take time to patch all the holes with plugs and sheet metal. We also sweep the area where we’ve been working and pack up our tools. As this is being done the lead technician will go over everything with you and share the photos taken throughout the cleaning. 

What are the next steps?

I hope by now you have a better understanding of everything that goes into our duct cleaning process here at Fire & Ice. If you’re interested in having your ducts cleaned visit our duct cleaning page on our website to schedule yours today. Thank you for watching and we look forward to making your day better.

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