When colder seasons leave and warmer seasons come, it might be the time for you to think about cleaning your air duct. All that dust piles up, dander, bugs, dirt and hair can pollute the air you breathe. So, it makes sense to start thinking about air duct cleaning.

The EPA, also known as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five risks to public health. All that dust, dirt, and debris in your air duct isn’t doing you any good.

What is air duct cleaning

 Air duct cleaning is having all your duct system, including the supply, intake and return vents cleaned using professional air duct cleaning equipment. Air duct cleaning could also include cleaning the registers, grills, HVAC unit, and cleaning the furnace (if you have one).

Why you should clean your air ducts  

When forced air from your HVAC flows through, ducts and vents filled with dust, dirt, and pet hair spreads throughout your home. Cleaning your air ducts means that you’ll have cleaner indoor air – that means less dust too. You might even be able to notice less odors and reduced allergy symptoms depending on what was hiding in your system.

Why clean the air duct yourself

You don’t always have to hire a company. But, if you don’t have the time to then, by all means, hire for help! But if you are looking for a way to spend less due to budget or want to learn how to clean an air duct we can provide you with a step-by-step guide.

Things you need to clean your air ducts 

  • Manual dryer vent brush. This will be used to clean the air duct.
  • You will need heavy-duty gloves, dust mask, and goggles.
  • The vacuum will be used to suck out all the dust and dirt in the air register. Make sure your vacuum has a dust brush attachment.
  • It doesn’t have to be a fancy brush. A simple toilet brush or a stiff-bristled paintbrush will work just as well.
  • Power drill or screwdriver. You can use one or the other to remove screws from the vents. When using a screwdriver make sure that it is compatible with all the screws on the various types of registers in your home.
  • Cleaning cloth. Any type of cleaning cloth works, but we recommend a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Safety Tips

Before you get into the grind, we want to make sure that you’re doing this as safely as possible.

  • Always turn off your thermostat before you begin to clean the air ducts
  • Have a person who can help you nearby. If you might have to reach high wall vents or ceiling registers make sure to have someone who can keep the ladder or step stool you’re using still.

Step 1 Remove and clean your vent covers

Floor registers are easy to remove. So, you should be able to lift them. Wall registers require a screwdriver or power drill. Whichever you have on hand. If you notice that your vent cover is really dusty, use the brush attachment on your vacuum to clean it out, before removing the cover.

Once you take off the vent cover, gather some warm water with soap and wash it. Scrub as needed, but make sure to not damage the cover or the finish. If your vent cover is metal, you can even pop it into your dishwasher for a quick cycle.

Whitening tip

Plastic vent covers can become grimy and yellow over time. This happens! To give it back its whiteness, wash the cover with warm water and soap. Then set it on a baking sheet or a large container and cover it with hydrogen peroxide. Leave in the sun for about an hour or two and then give it a good scrub with hot water and soap.

Step 2 Clean the inside of the duct

Insert the manual vent brush into the duct as far as you can. Rotate the brush and run it along the walls of the duct. If your duct is crinkly Mylar flex ducts, we recommend that you be as light as you can. These kinds of ducts can get easily damaged. Once you’re done, remove the brush and use your vacuum cleaner’s hose to clean up all the debris in the duct.

Step 3 Wipe

Remember the cleaning cloth? You’re going to wet the cloth. Once the cloth is damp, you’re going to wipe the interior of the vent. You can rinse the cloth or just have a few cloths on hand to change it along the way.

If you happen to come across stubborn dirt, get an all-purpose cleaner. Spray the all-purpose cleaner on your cloth and wipe. The spray should be able to get those stubborn dirt off the vent.

Also, be sure to clean around the duct, floor, and wall.

Step 4 Finish 

You’re all set with the cleaning! It’s now time for you to put the clean vent cover back on and turn on your thermostat. Make sure to run the system for about 30 minutes to filter out any hidden dust that was loosened from the cleaning. Once your 30 minute timer goes off, change your system’s air filter that collected all the extar dust for you.

How often should you clean your air ducts

The most common times to clean your air ducts would be during spring and fall. But cleaning it once or twice a year is a good recommendation. If you or someone in your home has indoor allergies, or if you have pets, try to clean your air ducts each season.

Conclusion

You don’t always need a fancy device or professional help to clean your air ducts. Hiring a professional once in a while to really get into the deep crevices of your air duct might be something you can think about. But, if you’d much rather clean the ducts by yourself, you don’t need any fancy equipment at all. Simply gather the household cleaning supplies you already have and you’re already halfway through with the cleaning process.