When I bought my home, there was already a forced air furnace and central air conditioner in place. The HVAC system was fairly old, but still seemed to operate effectively. Although I hired a licensed contractor to inspect and service both the furnace and the air conditioner, I never bothered with the duct system. It never occurred to me to have the duct system checked out or cleaned. The majority of the ductwork is concealed in the walls, ceilings and crawl space. Since it’s tucked out of sight and nearly impossible to access, I didn’t give it a thought. Despite having the air conditioner and furnace professionally cleaned and maintained every year, I noticed a gradual decrease in performance. The HVAC system slowly began to run longer and longer to achieve a comfortable temperature. It struggled to meet demand on really hot or extremely cold days. My monthly energy bills became more and more expensive. I also noticed more dust floating around in the air than usual. Plus, the heated and cooled air from the supply registers did not smell all that great. I finally called my regular HVAC contractor and explained the situation. He immediately recommended ductwork cleaning. I was a little aggravated that he had never suggested this before. He brought in a large piece of equipment that looked a lot like my vacuum cleaner. A hose with a brush on the end inserted into the ductwork to scrub away and suck up any debris. There was a great deal of dust, bugs, webs, mold and even dead rodents in the ductwork.