Wiring Can Cure Your Ducting Problem - January 23rd 2012

Wiring Can Cure Your Ducting Problem

We have received several inquiries recently from homeowners who have noticed debris in their heat registers. When homeowners use their furnace to heat their home during the winter season, it is a commonly asked question from homeowners who have ducting in their slab foundation.

Q) We have a 30 year old home, built on a slab, with the furnace ductwork embedded in the concrete. Recently we have noticed "sandstorms" rising up from some of the floor vents when the covers are removed and the furnace fan is blowing on high speed. Apparently this is a common occurrence in this type of home, where the ductwork begins to deteriorate and the foundation sand has become exposed. We have heard various stories from neighbours about certain "fixes", including robotic cameras, sprays and flexible vinyl sleeves inserted into the damaged duct. However, we have yet to find any professional who has knowledge of such things, and have been told the only solution would be to re-duct the whole house from the attic. Any suggestions?

A) This has been an ever-growing problem with homes that are built on slabs with the forced air ducting in the slab. The salt in the sand fill under the concrete is the culprit, as it will deteriorate the ducting. We have seen this problem before and rectified it by using the existing ducts to distribute wiring that will accommodate electrical convection type heating units to each room. This is easily accomplished as your electrical panel is usually in close proximity to your furnace location. The heating units are called Convectair. This is a very efficient system and is available through a our licensed and certified electrician. There has been on occasion flexible ducting used to correct the problem but does require investigation by duct cameras to determine where the areas of concern are located. Some duct cleaning companies have a camera available for this purpose.