Debris Filled Furnace – On the House

Debris Filled Furnace

By on March 27, 2014
contractor cleanup


I would appreciate your advice, regarding what to do about a newly installed furnace.

When I turned it on for the first time, an unusual amount of debris came through the floor-vents (gritty dirt, aluminum foil pieces, stuff that looks like fluffy pieces of wool and sooty stuff too).

Assuming that the incident was a one-time thing, I cleaned up the mess and gave it no further thought. Much to my surprise, debris continues to spew out of the ducts. Although to a lesser degree, the strong blower from the furnace scatters dust everywhere.

I have been living in this house for more than thirty years and have had two other furnaces before, without all this happening.



It sounds to us like you have two problems: a sloppy furnace installation and a sloppy furnace installation. As a matter of fact we can almost guarantee that the installer you hired would probably be better off doing gardening.

The initial shower of debris (aluminum shavings, insulation, etc.) indicates a mess left in the duct pipes and adjacent air distribution cans that can only result when the installer isn’t careful about cleaning up during installation.

We feel that you should ask the contractor to come back to do a proper vacuuming of the ducting – at his expense. You didn’t leave the mess – he did. He will have to remove all of the register covers and feed a commercial (high-powered) vacuum hose deep into the ducting to clean up the mess that was left. Doing the job properly might take two visits. One to get the heavy debris and a second trip to get what comes loose after the first cleaning.

It would also be wise for you to check the furnace filters. If they were installed incorrectly or if they have gotten dirty prematurely (as a result of the grubby ducting), then during operation, the furnace will constantly generate a thin layer of dust from one corner of the house to the other.

The same thin layer of dust will result when a filter is the wrong size, has been installed backwards or is a cheap brand. Make sure that the filter being used is recommended by the manufacturer of the furnace.

Next time – hire a different contractor. And don’t recommend this one to your friends. In construction – a slob today is a slob tomorrow.

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