Increase air vent efficiency

This house has a forced air heating/cooling system. I’ve already blogged about removing the vent covers, vacuuming out the crap, washing the cover and replacing. I’ve also blogged about making vent deflectors to get the air going where you need it thus making the system more efficient.

A forced air system has two air flow ports, enter and exit. The vents along the floor are the exit where the cold or hot air comes out but in order for air to come out there it has to go in somewhere. Those are the intake vents and they’re usually bigger and shaped differently than the exit vents.

So there I was, minding my own business wiping dirty fingerprints off the wall when I noticed a dusty grill on one of the intake vents.

dust on the air intake vent

dust on the air intake vent

Not too big a deal, it must have accumulated from my constant sweeping, so I thought I’d unscrew it, clean it and put it back.

Then I saw this.

dusty air intake entrance

dusty air intake entrance

Ok. So there’s more dust. I’ll get the vacuum because this certainly can’t help the efficiency of the system. Upon closer scrutiny:
a thick blanket of dust in the vent

a thick blanket of dust in the vent

There was so much dust it clogged the vacuum. I also found a small piece of a Rapunzel doll’s dress in the mess too which means some of the dust traveled from the upstairs bedrooms down to this main floor intake vent.

Today I’ll be opening the remaining intake vents to see what we can see. The outdoor unit is dusty too and it’s fairly easy to clean it yourself http://homerepair.about.com/od/heatingcoolingrepair/ss/ctrl_ac_maint.htm but I called a professional because I don’t know what previous renters might have done to the thing. I’m on the waiting list. Meanwhile, I’ll be vacuuming the indoor sections as far as the hose can reach.

I’m on a quest for efficiency, reduced fire hazards and money savings!

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