making holes

We had our ducts and furnace cleaned today. We’ve never done it in the (cough!) two years we’ve been here, and I don’t know if the previous owners ever did it.


The amount of dust and junk that came out of those ducts was shocking. It was caked on inside the ducts, that’s how bad it was. I’m amazed I’m still alive, and not suffering from lung disease. Ugh. Here’s hoping this will lead to better health, especially as cold/flu season starts up.

The vacuum attached to the ducts near the furnace, and various holes were drilled to allow the cleaning wand to be inserted, blowing the dust towards the vacuum.

a plug
This is a plug for one of the smaller holes.

Sheet patch
This is the large patch up.

some of the dust
This is (some of) the dust.

I love how you have to make holes in order to get in and clean something properly. There’s something so cavalier about it, so messy, yet so necessary. Sure, you can just use your own vacuum cleaner and try to clean as much as you can, but there’s no way you can really get in there without cutting into the duct.

Jesus accused the Pharisees of having cups that were fastidiously clean on the outside, but no one had ever bothered to clean the inside of the cup. But if you clean the inside, He said, the outside gets clean as well.

Sometimes we resist having the inside of our lives cleaned, because it means some cutting away, some holes made. We’d rather just clean the outside, and live with all that dust on the inside. But if we decide to let go, get a bit messy, but have the inside cleaned, the outside gets cleaned as well.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. um….I am so paranoid now about what might be lurking in our ducts!

    That’s so scary!


  2. as a new homeowner … here’s my first silly question… would getting your ducts and furnace cleaned be the same thing as cleaning out the air filter? Some coworkers were talking about how they just cleaned out their air filter in their homes and while it’s supposed to be cleaned out every 2 years, they had not cleaned it out for 10 years and it was really dirty and dusty as well. In fact, the furnace was making happier sounds afterwards.

    I think the analogy holds as well – when we clean out our insides, even though it will be messy and perhaps painful, in the end, we’ll be happier as well.


  3. Posted by divine.conspiracy on 2007/10/30 at 11:01 PM

    atooie, the air filter can be a separate unit from the furnace that filters out particles in the air before they get to the furnace and are blown through the house. They are generally placed at the intake side of the furnace. It can also be a user replaceable rectangle with some kind of fabric material to do the same. This kind of filter should be replaced every 1-2 months.


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