When Should You Have Your System Cleaned?

In my experience I recommend that oil fired furnaces and boilers should be cleaned and serviced annually to prolong the life and increase the efficiency of the unit.

Forced air heating systems (oil, gas, electric) ductwork should be cleaned every 2 years to keep the air quality in your home healthy.  If you have allergies or respiratory problems I recommend cleaning the ductwork annually.

Air filters should be vacuumed every 2 months and replaced once a year, normally when the furnace is cleaned.

Dryer vents should be cleaned every 1 to 5 years depending on the length of the dryer vent run and usage.  Dryers that are situated on an outside wall that have a very short run (6 inches) can be checked by the homeowner and don’t usually need cleaning.

Bathroom exhaust fans should be cleaned 1 to 5 years depending on usage.

Bathroom venting should be checked 1 to 10 years depending on usage and length.

How To Check If Your System Needs Cleaning

Oil fired furnaces and boilers should be cleaned annually. However, if your furnace or boiler malfunctions due to combustion problems (usually your service technician will require your unit to be cleaned before any service work is done) your unit should be cleaned.

Vents and ductwork should be cleaned every 2 years except for allergy/respiratory sufferers (should be cleaned annually). However, if you have had renovations or your home is very dusty or your filters are plugging up quickly I would recommend checking your vents to see if they need cleaning.

To check your vents remove one of the cold air return vents and look down the vent with a flashlight and mirror. If you see a lot of dust then your vents should be cleaned.

Dryer vents should be cleaned every 1 to 5 years. If your clothes are taking a long time to dry or your dryer feels extremely hot or the discharge vent has poor air flow you should have your dryer vent cleaned.

Bathroom exhaust fans and venting should be cleaned every 1 to 5 years. If your bathroom is condensating heavily or you see mold forming you should remove the plastic cover over the fan and look to see how dirty the fan is. If the fan is dirty then the fan should be cleaned. If there is poor air flow through the venting then the venting should be cleaned.

Our Cleaning Methods

We use truck mounted Pringles power vacuums with Quincy air compressors.

Oil Furnace Cleaning – (Furnaces heat air)

We thoroughly clean the oil furnace heat exchanger, remove cleanout ports, replace gaskets, clean smoke-pipe and firebox (soft fireboxes excluded) and power vacuum the furnace chimney and chimney base. We visually inspect the heat exchanger for rust holes, expansion cracks and weld cracks which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. When necessary we will replace the cleanout gaskets.

We also install new high quality air filters at customers’ option.

Vents and Ductwork Cleaning

We connect an 8 inch vacuum hose to the furnace fan compartment and seal it off with a drop sheet, then we seal off all hot and cold air vents with papers. Next we remove the paper on one vent at a time or remove the vent if it is able to be removed, wiping the grill area and blowing high-powered compressed air (225 psi) down the opening. If the air vents are really dirty and air alone won’t remove the dust, we insert the rattle snake hose down the hot air vents when possible. We also use the rattle snake in the cold vents to get the stubborn dirt hanging up on the electric wires or the cross braces in some systems. We then follow the square ductwork drilling access holes in the side of the ductwork and blasting with the rattle gun until we get back to the furnace.

If your basement has a finished ceiling and your ductwork is not accessible we insert skipper balls down the trunking from the furnace end to remove the dust. We then insert plastic plugs into the holes we have drilled. We install a cleanout inspection panel above the heat exchanger to check for any debris sitting on top of the heat exchanger and check the condition of the heat exchanger. If it is an electric furnace we check and clean the coils. If the system has a heat pump attached to it we clean the heat pump radiator. Next we clean the fan, fan motor and fan compartment. If needed, we can install new high quality polyester air filter at customers’ option.

Boiler Cleaning – (Boilers heat water)

We thoroughly clean oil-fired hot water boilers / oil-fired hot water heaters, punch tubes, brush and steam fins and the passage ways, remove the smoke-pipe and cleanouts on the heat exchanger, thoroughly blow and vacuum the heat exchanger, firebox (excluding soft fireboxes), smoke-pipe, vacuum chimney and chimney base.

We check for condition of firebox floor and target wall. We can replace firebox floor and target wall on some boilers when necessary.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

We thoroughly clean dryer vents using a reverse spinning skipper ball powered by compressed air. We insert the skipper ball into the dryer vent opening from the outside towards the dryer. We have our helper stationed at the dryer end communicating by radio to me performing the cleaning from the outside verifying if the cleaning tool has reached the end of the run. Our helper also checks the dryer hose that is behind the dryer to see if it is up to code. White vinyl hoses are no longer up to code. We can replace this hose at customers’ option.

Bathroom Exhaust Fans / Vent Cleaning

We remove the bathroom fan and take it to the power vacuum truck to be cleaned.