Insulation, The Sequel

Posted May 24th 2013 by: Matt Mountain

A couple of months ago I posted a story about finding a large amount of insulation while performing a duct cleaning. I mentioned how surprised I was at the amount of insulation I found, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever see that much again. Well, I should have known better...

This time, finding the insulation in the ductwork wasn't a complete surprise. My customer actually told me that he knew there was insulation in a part of the air return; he also thought that he had gotten the majority of it out himself. After I finished the supply side of the duct system, I cut an additional access hole into the return duct where I knew the insulation was. This is what I found:

The entire duct (which measured 8in. x 16in.) was completely packed full of insulation for about eight feet. There was also a significant amount in one of the off-runs. There was so much insulation that it completely filled my HEPA collection system, overflowed it actually... three times.

All in all I was able to fill 4 garbage bags with the insulation that I pulled from the ducts. Not getting this insulation out of the duct could have had some serious consequences. Initially it would have completely cut off circulation for three air return vents. The insulation would have slowly made its way back to the filter one bit at a time and would eventually plug the filter also significantly limiting air-flow throughout the system. Pieces could have also gotten past the filter and caused more expensive problems within the furnace itself. Luckily I was able to completely eradicate the insulation from the duct work and restore the system to proper operation.