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Rusted out vent

Got Rusted Out Vents?

Here’s something that we frequently see when cleaning air ducts in older buildings.

This heating vent is located in a store on the Danforth, near the front door. It was totally rusted out to the point where almost no air was coming out of the vent. There was a gaping hole in the pipe underneath that was serving it.

If you have vents like this that are in need of repair, call us at City Duct Cleaning for a free estimate.

Another common thing we see while visiting older homes has to do with the return air vent right near the front door… the metal inside is often rotted out because over the years shoes and wet boots have been placed on the grill, causing the metal to rust out over time.

We can fix this for you, and this will help to make your HVAC system much more energy efficient. Repairing rusted out duct connector pipes and the metal boots will also make your home much more comfortable. And when you happen to look in, the metal will be shiny and new again!

After you have replaced any rusted ductwork in your home, you may want to consider sealing the system as needed. Sealing your home’s ductwork saves money, energy and your health. Find out why and how in this short video.

Magnehelic Gauge 1

The Technical Side To Cleaning A Dryer Vent

A magnehelic pressure gauge is a device, similar to a manometer, that is used to measure positive, negative, and differential pressures.

Just as a magnehelic gauge can give your HVAC technician a wealth of information about the operation of your furnace and duct system, it can also provide your duct cleaning technician with valuable information about your dryer exhaust vent too.

The magnehelic gauge can be used to quantify how blocked (or inefficient) a dryer is operating prior to cleaning the dryer vent. After cleaning, the gauge will tell you exactly how much more efficiently the dryer is venting. Technically speaking, dryer manufacturers say to have the dryer vent cleaned if the back pressure readings are greater than 0.6 – 0.75 inches of water column (wci), as indicated on the gauge itself.

The magnehelic gauge measures duct static pressure, which is the pressure the blower produces in the exhaust conduit. In this industry, back pressure is a result of one or more of these conditions: long duct runs, excessive elbows, squished transition hoses, lint buildup, bird nests, rodent nests, and termination hoods that are blocked or feature an inefficient design.

As you can see, cleaning a dryer exhaust duct can be narrowed down to a pretty exact science. Contact City Duct Cleaning today to schedule your dryer exhaust vent cleaning/inspection.

Related Information:

Dog and cat urinated in my air duct

My Animals Urinated in My Duct System Again! What Can I Do?

Pet Urine is difficult to locate in any home, even though it is very easy to smell. Pet urine can be removed out of your duct work. To determine where your pet has urinated, provide yourself with a UV black light. Make sure you turn all the lights off on that floor, so that you can be sure to see the glow.

Once you detect the area(s) where the pet has urinated, you must clean that area in its entirety. Most times animals will go to the bathroom on carpet or hardwood floors, which can be located close to your duct system. Once an animal has urinated in one spot then it is very instinctive that they keep re-soiling that specific area.

To remove the odor, it is highly NOT-RECOMMENDED to use any products that are ammonia based. As you know, if you have this problem, most urine has ammonia in it, which does not effectively clean the soiled area, and will keep the animal still interested to keep re-soiling this spot. We do recommend the use of baking soda with white vinegar. Please always do a test spot first to ensure that it does not create more damage, by discoloring your carpets or hardwood floors. Make sure that these products do not enter your heating and cooling system. If any of the products do enter the duct system, you should open all the windows and doors and call us.

Once the surrounding areas around the vents are cleaned, you will need to hire a professional duct cleaner. Dust, debris, crevices, or cracks can hold in the pet urine odor. Once your system is running it will distribute this awful smell throughout the home. At City Duct Cleaning we have the proper chemicals that can remove the urine smell from inside the ductwork, without contaminating the rest of your system.

 We have a long-time customer who had a kitten that took a liking to urinating directly over one particular air vent in her home.

The heat from the furnace would dry it out and spread the stink throughout the entire floor that vent was serving.

It was necessary to replace the metal boot and the first pipe leading into it. Due to the nature of normal ductwork installations, where one pipe goes into the next one to enhance proper air flow, there was a gap where the two fittings connected that could not be reached to be cleaned. So we replaced those two parts and the air vent even though it was necessary to put a hole in the drywall directly below that air vent.

We also encapsulated the entire duct system, paying closer attention to that duct run. Our chemical also happens to work perfectly on drywall, concrete and wood, so while we had the space open we also sealed all around the area where the vent was (between the floor and the ceiling below). This procedure solved the problem with the odor completely.

It is not clear how she was able to get her kitten to stop peeing in the vent.

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82mmx cooling coils

What a Summer

HOT!!! Yeah no kidding. Here in Toronto it has been exceptionally hot this summer…but are we complaining? No Way!!

But is your air conditioner complaining? Maybe. Whenever you operate the air duct system for heating or cooling, the bottom of the Air Conditioning coil has a greater chance of clogging with dirt.

This can often cause your coil to freeze up and will definitely reduce your air flow down to almost nothing. Give us a call and we might be able to help you over the phone, and if not, then one of our friendly technicians will be happy to stop by and help with your cooling needs.

Here is a useful video that explains some ways of how to stay cool during our extremely hot summers.

Published on Jun 19, 2012

Toronto EMS Public Service Announcement, the dangers of hot weather and quick tips to stay safe.


Dirty Dryer Exhaust Ducts

Dirty dryer exhaust ductwork

From one single dryer in a customer’s home to dozens of commercial machines in a coin laundry, City Duct Cleaning cleans all dryer exhaust ductwork big and small.

And whether the dryers are gas-fired or electric, that doesn’t matter either. They all produce the same amount of lint, and you’d be very surprised to see how quickly the lint builds up in your ductwork.

City Duct Cleaning does dryer duct cleaning in homes, condominiums and in places of business such as laundromats, hotels, retirement homes and more!

For more info on dryer duct cleaning, check out these additional posts… http://www.cityductcleaning.com/category/dryer-ducts/


Air Duct System Repairs

Air Duct System Repairs

Here are some examples of why it makes good sense to keep your air duct systems in good repair. The photos below show some of the recent dryer exhaust ducts that we have cleaned, but the principle applies to any air duct system whether it is for an exhaust system or for heating or cooling in a home or a business.

The first set of photos shows a broken 90 degree elbow that was found by our inspection camera or duct cam. The duct being photographed in this case is in a retirement home. We measured it out and broke a hole in the ceiling, and the dryer lint that fell out of the hole onto the floor was enough to fill five green garbage bags. You wouldn’t believe how much lint there was above that ceiling.

Duct Cam Duct Cam Duct Cam

Duct cleaning is obviously our company’s main business, but I’ve been in the HVAC industry for almost 30 years as well, and have installed hundreds of new furnaces, central air conditioners, electronic air cleaners, HEPA systems, humidifiers and even complete duct systems. So doing minor duct repairs such as this one was not difficult for us to manage at all.

I’ve been finding out from my customers over the years that it was quite hard for them to find a heating company who is even interested in doing duct repairs of any kind, and several people have told me that. Most of the companies that they called before they found us said they basically do new installations only.

The same applies to dryer exhaust ducts as well. If you need your’s to be replaced, re-routed or to have a brand new one installed from scatch, or if you need new outside vents with bird screening installed, give us a call. We are here to serve you. Providing excellent service for reasonable costs and winning loyal customers is what we do best.

The second set of photos shows the state of a dryer exhaust duct that we found. The duct system was previously cleaned by another duct cleaning contractor and this is the way they closed the access hole… with duct tape only!

Duct tape is good for many things, but it is definitely not meant to act as a permanent fix in this situation. The hole had very rough edges, so they obviously didn’t even know how to use their sheet metal snips. All that was required to make this one right was to remove all the tape, trim the metal to make it flat, and then to simply screw a metal plate on it. It took me longer to go downstairs to my truck and come back with a metal plate than it did to fix the ductwork.

Duct Repair Duct Repair Duct Repair

My best advice when looking for a duct cleaner to do any job, whether it is in your home or in a business or commercial establishment is not to assume that all duct cleaning companies are equally knowledgeable or reputable.

It amazes me sometimes how people can get away with doing such shoddy work. In this case, the duct went for 16 feet, had two turns seperated by 12 feet of duct, and then there was a stack 90 where the duct went into a riser. And from there it went up six floors to a fan on the roof… and there was not a single access hole anywhere else to be found. So how did they clean this duct system? There absolutely has to be access into the duct system at the bottom of the riser. Always. Anyway, we fixed everything up and made this one work like new again.

Getting back to duct repairs, from patching holes to adding a new vent to re-routing or moving duct runs or even your main ducts, at City Duct we do it all, residential or commercial. Call us if you need any of these things done. We’d be glad to help.

Disaster Restoration Cleanup From Fire Wind And Water

Tornados Hit Maple, Ont. in August 2009


At City Duct Cleaning we’ve always been involved in water and smoke damage restoration, and we have done some tornado jobs in the past too. But those ones never seemed to be all that close to home.

The tornados that hit Maple, Ontario back in the summer of 2009 was a huge disaster where literally dozens and dozens of homes were so badly damaged that it required many people to have to vacate their homes.

Our part in the restoration started with the removal of the attic insulation. Many homes had large parts of their roofs blown off, and what insulation that remained was wet and had to be removed immediately before mold set in.

Most people in the GTA did not see all the damage that happened but in several neighborhoods it looked like a war zone. Some will find the first set of photos here to be quite interesting and for others it might be an unpleasant reminder of what happened that day, but our point is merely to demonstrate another of the many ways that we are involved in disaster restoration clean up.

Part of the Disaster Cleanup Process

Removing the attic insulation can be done by either using a truck-mounted vacuum system or a portable one. But regardless of which type of vacuum is used, it is still necessary to get right in there and suck out every inch of the attic space.

The photos below show a part of that job while in progress. In many cases we were working in attic spaces that had crushed-in or severely damaged roofs.



It took almost a year for some home owners to get their lives back in order. After the emergency restoration work was all completed, we were once again called upon but this time we were needed to clean the air duct systems just prior to the homeowners moving back in. Many of the damaged homes also had most if not all of their drywall replaced, and an air duct cleaning is a normal part of any renovation.

If you require air duct cleaning in your Toronto area home whether it is due to a recent renovation or if it is required as part of your normal home maintenance, then call City Duct Cleaning today. We can help you and your family live in a cleaner environment and to breathe much cleaner air.

Air vent damper

Making Adjustments To Your Air Duct System

For optimum performance from your HVAC system, you will need to adjust your air duct system slightly at the beginning of the heating season, and then again at the start of the cooling season.

The reason for this is because warm air naturally rises, which makes it harder for your system to cool your second floor in the summer.

In the summer you should have all of the air vents on the 2nd floor wide open. This also includes any dampers in the pipes that are serving those vents.

On the main floor, the air vents should be about half-way closed, which in turn would force more air to go to the remaining vents which serve the upstairs.

Basement vents including the return air vent(s) should be temporarily closed or sealed. During the cooling season, your basement will be noticeably cooler anyway, so we want to push as much of your cooled air upstairs as possible.

And as always, be sure that there are no obstructions around air vents and especially any cold air return vents or grills.


Also be sure to close the damper in the bypass tube of any duct-mounted humidifier.

For the heating season, it is then necessary to go through the home and make some quick adjustments to the system at the start of this season.

Open the basement vents and be sure that any dampers are open as well. The vents on the main floor should be fully opened, and the vents serving the upstairs should be about half-way closed, with the exception of any specific rooms that seem to be hard to heat.

The reason you would want the basement vents to be open now is because since heat rises, the heat in the basement will warm the floor above it. And the same applies to the air coming out of the main floor vents.

You can fine-tune this procedure even further to help solve problems with cold rooms in the home. If you partially close any one damper in the system, that will cause more air to blow out somewhere else.

If you find that certain rooms are difficult to heat or cool, then those rooms are more than likely on your second floor, or possibly above a garage or some other unheated area. Keeping the door open to that room will help the airflow, especially if there is no return air directly in that room. Sometimes it is not so convenient to always keep the door to a specific room open, but this alone can sometimes solve the problem of reduced airflow.

Keeping your air filter clean is crucial for the operation of your furnace, to help maximize energy savings and for your own personal comfort. A dirty air filter will not allow the proper amount of air to flow through your HVAC system and especially through your ducts.

Making these simple adjustments twice per year takes about five minutes to do each time. Adjusting your air volume dampers and air vents is something that we can easily do for free while we are in your home cleaning your air duct system.

Air duct system

Is Your Furnace Ready?

The Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end to the summer for many, and since we’ve also been having almost fall-like weather these past few days, I think it might be prudent to run this post once again.

Getting Your Heating System Ready For The Fall offers some helpful advice, and the only other thing I might add now that another year has gone by is when we get to the part where your furnace fan comes on, make sure that you actually feel the air blowing from the vents. Heat will rise and some warmth will come out of them if the furnace is on. Even if the fan is not. So make sure you have good air blowing out.

If your air flow is not good enough then you might want to consider having your air ducts cleaned. And if you are interested in upgrading your air filter to something better, there are many options available. We can hook you up with just about any type of air filter there is. We supply and install them all. From 1″ exterior furnace filter racks to electronic air cleaners to whole house HEPA systems. We do it all and we can offer some good free advice as well. Just call if you need us.