Can a Carpet Cleaning Truck Mount be used for duct cleaning?

emeraldclean

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We do CC as well. Box truck has lots of room for Titan 575 and mounted radial exhaust blade.
Lots of "combo's" here as well. Agree TM has more vacuum but only need shop vac to clean out first 5 feet of boots. All of our duct work on the supply offshoots have dampers.
Question , how do you clean the main ductwork on residential when it runs 30-40 feet on a finished basement ceiling?
All of our main duct work is square , and air-whips/forward and back sweeps work great for long distance. Never found round brushes to work well on square mains.I had the Cleanco indoor air quality system that hooked up to TM when I first started offering furnace and duct cleaning and IMO it was a joke. Very hit and miss.
Unless TM attachments have come along way in the last decade can't see doing a proper job.
Maybe our residential ductwork is different up here in Canada?
 

Spazznout

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Grant

No, no

Its the same here. I use a portable negative air vacuum from air-care. I isolate the long main with air bags. Then use whip and 4 ft rods connected together for runs up to 60 feet. We to use 2 different whips as well as forward and reverse skipper balls in order to manipulate dust and debris towards the negative air machine. Seems the only difference in our services is that I have a van so I have limited room so I use my TM in places you would use your shop vac. We also can typically run our hoses a little further nearly always to the dampers in the vent lines which are located 8 inches from the main line in most applications before running our whips.

However if a main is accessible by taking off an end cap and it is a run of 15 feet or less there is no need for the negative air as I have brushes on telescoping poles that make very quick work of stuck dust and debris. I simply lay my 2 inch Vac hose from my TM in the line in proximity to where the brush on the poll is scrubbing to extract dust and to keep it from escaping the main line its self. The direct brush method is quicker, less equipment needed and provides a cleaner final result vs using a whip and setting up the negative air vac. However again they can not be any longer than 15 feet in length and have an accessible end cap to use this method.

PS would love to have a box truck, just not practical for an urban setting of Columbus Ohio. Our streets and neighborhoods are not built to accommodate vehicles that large easily.
 
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pacleaner

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I bring a ferret in a cage, now that gets the refferals.

Matt, that does sound like it works great. Thanks for sharing your ideas. That's what this forum is all about. I also like to remove obstructions and I have used the tape method with my cobra view. I think I will experiment with a twenty foot thin hose for a shop vac. I mostly wonder if it will be ridgid enough to push through. Yours does and it isn't really meant for that either so it might work. Do they sell short lengths of the type of hose you carpet guys use? I saw a long coil of sump pump hose that's pretty thin at the home store but I think it's too plasticy to not just bind.
 

Spazznout

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Pac

You do NOT want a thin hose. You want a 1.5 inch vac hose made for TM's. They are heavy and thick enough that they can be pushed all the way down the vent tubes. If you go any smaller than that, you may not have the suction to pull porous objects like clothing out of the vents. I am not sure a shop vac will have the power necessary to remove all objects.
 

pacleaner

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Thanks Spazz. I did intend to stay around 1.5". I'm not sure about the shop vac either but it will work in some cases and I will resort to other methods when it won't. Just another tool in the bag if it helps. I will report my findings when I have some.
 

jaymark

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I worked at a HVAC company and I will tell you first hand, even more so then CC the correct system will mean success and failure in this business. Or at least either you hating your daily job from frustration or loving it.

I can barely clean a 10 foot dryer vent with my TM without the filter getting clogged, how do I expect to clean an entire home using my TM without cleaning the filter 100 times?

I do not believe using a TM is a economical option. I would rather buy a trailer and some portable negative air systems while running a compressed air brush in the vents.
 

AdmiralClean

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My question is ... is it worth it? I have lurked around listening to air duct cleaners talk and I have walked around behind my local ServPro after they have cleaned for my customers and from what I have seen, duct cleaners are making the same hourly rates I am making cleaning carpet.

I am not willing to purchase extra equipment and learn a new trade just to make another $100 an hour.
 

Spazznout

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Jay,
get a filter box and dust downer, and you can clean several dryer vents that are packed before needing to clean up the filter. When you hit the lint with water it turns into a slurry and looses 95%= of its volume in addition to keeping dust out of your blower. Plus if you have a HX it helps keep you cool.
You are missing out on an easy up sell if you are NOT cleaning dryer vents with your tm and brushes with rods.

As for air duct cleaning as I keep saying, a hybrid clean is the best. First use hose from tm in all vents in house to remove debris that the negative air will not move. Then I hook my negative air and zone out the house and use rods, whips and skipper balls to manipulate the material.

Admiral clean

I have higher hourly averages with air duct cleaning as apposed to carpet cleaning. I offer both services. Also it is an added service that is easy to sell when cleaning carpet, and vise verse, while cleaning air ducts, carpets is the biggest filter in the house affecting your air quality so having them cleaned while I am there cleaning the air ducts is just the next logical place to go. So for an old timer like you that has a custy data base, you now have a new additional service you can market to these people that you are gonna market regardless if you pick up air duct cleaning. See what I mean. One custy, multi services is cheaper than 2x the customers same amount of work.

Sorry if that makes no sense, I have a terrible migraine headache this morning.

Cross selling, cross selling, cross selling.
Its what helps my wallet grow!
 
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emeraldclean

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Totally agree Jay! When I used my TM and the Cleanco IAQ system the brush attachment constantly plugged up at the vac openings when you cleaned dirty cold air returns.It came with a wet down filter box that came with system also plugged easy restricting airflow.Unless the ventilation system wasn't dirty the equipment was Absolutly useless.
It was embarrassing and unprofessional taking people's money for marginal workmanship.
It was such a treat for me and my custy when I custum made a proper duct cleaning set up!
Now I was actually able to clean the other 90% of the ductwork that I was missing with TM setup.
Also in Manitoba we don't need any special HVAC license to clean furnace and AC. For the first five years I neglected the "Heart " of the ventilation system. Don't consider it a proper job unless these components are clean as well. Try cleaning a nasty filthy furnace or AC coil with out negative air from radial exhaust blade and 175 psi compressor.
I speak from experience (13 years). Use your TM system and then I will hook up with my gear with all the bells and whistles and show YOU and YOUR CUSTUMER what you left behind. Especially in the cold air returns !
 

Spazznout

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Same here Grant.
Furnace is a must on 70% of jobs here in town. Unfortunately for me there are several good HVAC companies in town who offer maintenance contracts and they are very good about cleaning the inside of the furnaces bi-annually on their inspections. I would eat my dinner off of most of these. I loose out on my furnace sell on these custys. However I have started working with one of these companies over the last few months. They have been referring custys needing their ducts cleaned my way and I have been sending maintenance issues their way. No license is needed in Ohio either for furnace cleaning.
 

Spazznout

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Oh and did I say there is much less competition in the Air duct cleaning space. At least where I operate anyways.

Grant what percent of your business is air duct cleaning?

I average about 60-65% annually with spikes in spring and fall.
 

emeraldclean

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My question is ... is it worth it? I have lurked around listening to air duct cleaners talk and I have walked around behind my local ServPro after they have cleaned for my customers and from what I have seen, duct cleaners are making the same hourly rates I am making cleaning carpet.

I am not willing to purchase extra equipment and learn a new trade just to make another $100 an hour.
IMO yes it is worth it Admiral! Furnace and duct cleaning is 40% of my total sales. Just think at least 50% if your exhisting custumer base has this service done periodically. They trust you to look after their carpet cleaning needs why not look after their duct cleaning needs as well. After all they go hand in hand to help promote good indoor air quality.
I do so many "combo's " (carpets and ductwork) for residential.
This was the best move I ever made 13 years ago . It was intimidating at first because I had to learn from trial and error. At least back in 86 I started working for a CC company and got some training and worked for them for 5 years before going solo.
Alot of CC outfits where starting to diversify into duct cleaning by the earily 90's and I either offered this service as well or let my competition do it!
After all you watched serv-pro look after the ductwork at YOUR custy house.
Bet they would let you clean their ventilation for another $300-$400.
When I custum built my gear 13 years ago , it cost me around 10k without a van or trailer.
I made that up real quick!

IF anybody on this forum is interested in diversifying and perhaps going for a ride a long they are more than welcome to come up to Manitoba and tag along with me for a few days.
Seeing 8-10 jobs will give you a very good idea and confidence to go out and do this on your own.
Even though it was intimidating at the beginning in the end there is alot less to know and absorb than CC.
This is what stopped me for a couple of years while I pondered the thought of getting in to this service.

I will say again best move I ever made !

Grant
 

emeraldclean

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Oh and did I say there is much less competition in the Air duct cleaning space. At least where I operate anyways.

Grant what percent of your business is air duct cleaning?

I average about 60-65% annually with spikes in spring and fall.
43% last year, and ya fall is by far the busiest
 

pgcleaner

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Lots of horrible misinformation from folks who are speculating and have never cleaned a duct for money in their lives.
Negative air is great for main lines and some returns. But please explain how you are gonna get cans, dry wall, nails, balls, toys, vibrators, dog poop, jewelery out of a second or 3rd floor vent using negative air and some whip.

Answer me that riddle.

Truth is the best clean comes from a hybrid cleaning where both a portable negative air system and the TM are used.

If anyone needs any real information from a working air duct cleaning company PM me. Too much misinformation on this thread to even begin.

PS,
with a filter box and a dust downer, there is not much you cannot suck up with your TM sans flammable stuff.
You are NOT going to hurt your TM.
I would love some more information on duct cleaning! I am considering adding the ram air to my set up.