Dear Barry, Our home is about nine years old and has off-white carpet in most rooms. The edges of the carpets have gradually turned black, and we're wondering if we should clean the forced-air heating ducts. I think we should, but my husband says this would be wasted money. What do you suggest? --Carrie Dear Carrie, Blackened carpet along the walls could indicate a significant furnace defect, not simply dirty air ducts. It is possible that combustion exhaust is venting into your home, and this could be extremely hazardous. Forget, for now, about the discolored carpet and have the furnace reviewed by a licensed HVAC contractor to ensure that there are no problems with the combustion or venting, and particularly that there are no defects in the heat exchanger. In the meantime, do not use the furnace. Dear Barry, The people who are buying my home hired a home inspector, and no major problems were listed in the report. But the buyers are concerned about the roof because the ins...
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