Miscellaneous Tips and Hints for Air Duct Cleaning

Miscellaneous Tips and Hints for Air Duct Cleaning

by Wayne Tracy
wayneI’ve been writing articles for our newsletter for several years and usually focus on a specific topic or event. Instead of doing that this month I thought I would discuss some common questions I am frequently asked by contractors and customers. For the remainder of the year I’d like cover topics that would be of interest to you. Please call me or email me at wtracy@air-care.com with any suggestions.Do customers seem guarded or uncomfortable when you first enter their home?

When the customer opens their door to you – greet them in the following manner with a confident voice and a friendly smile:

“Good Morning/Afternoon Mrs. Jones, my name is Wayne and I’m here from Air-Care to perform your air system cleaning services. This is my associate Frank and he’ll be assisting me in the project.” “May we come in?” (Don’t just walk in; get permission to enter – the customer will respect you for this).

Many people have trouble saying Good Morning/Afternoon – practice it and very soon you’ll be greeting everyone this way. Once you start greeting people in this manner you’ll see a big difference in how they react to you during the cleaning process. Always ask permission to enter a home instead of just walking in.

Will the chemicals used in the cleaning process have any adverse effect on my asthma condition (or other medical conditions)?

You have to be very careful in responding to a question like this. I will usually offer the customer the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the products to be used in the process and suggest they talk to their physician if they have concerns.

Generally any of these products will not cause irritation to most people, but we are not medical professionals and shouldn’t give that type of advice. Be sure you do explain the benefits of using each product to the customer.

What is the best type of drop cloth to use to protect our customers furnishings?

We find the best way to protect floors, furnishings, and other surfaces is to use twin size bed sheets. They are soft, easy to manage, and can be reused simply by laundering them. In many cities you can get these sheets through a laundry service, or buy them at discount or thrift stores.

What is the best way to remember which grill goes where after they’ve been removed for access and cleaning?

Using a quality permanent marker, like a fine point Sharpie, mark the inside of the register pan and the inside of the grill with a number or letter. Also, be sure to mark them on corresponding sides so you also will know the orientation of the grill. Orientation is important especially on ceiling grills, to be sure the screw holes will line up for a proper fit.

When creating access holes in residential ducting, what is the best way to patch the hole?

You should carry 6″ and 12″ sheet metal patches in your truck. Most residential ducting is 26 gauge or higher. Sheet metal standards require the patch be equal to or heavier in gauge than the metal you are patching. The patch must also be at least 1″ greater in size than the hole you cut.

To install the patch use self tapping sheet metal screws (1/2″ in length is sufficient) and put one every 4″ around the perimeter of the patch. After installing screws use either UL approved foil tape and/or duct sealant around the whole perimeter of the patch. Tape is usually sufficient on residential ducting and can be easily cut or removed when you return for the next cleaning.

I strongly encourage the use of a pre and post inspection report prior to starting the duct cleaning project and when it is completed. I’ve attached a copy of a report we use in our own service department on every job. It can be easily changed for your own business. The form should be self explanatory and an invaluable tool for you and your technicians.

Please remember this newsletter is for your benefit and I’d like to have your suggestions and comments about future content and article. Just contact me at wtracy@air-care.com or call me direct with your thoughts and comments.


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