Cleaning air ducts and vents in your house regularly has many benefits. The dust trapped in your HVAC system poses a significant health hazard. Apart from eliminating health hazards associated with dust, dirt, and other harsh elements, a thorough cleanup ensures that you enjoy clean air in your home. Your air conditioner and heating systems are also likely to last longer due to clean ducts.
In an era where homeowners inclined to Do-it-yourself household projects, it is more than tempting to clean your ducts by yourself. While enlisting a professional cleaner is a viable option, DIY cleaning can save you a lot of money. The only limitations that you have to overcome are the lack of essential tools and probably limited cleaning skills. Here is a guide on how to clean air ducts and vents in your house.
Acquire the Right Tools & Equipment
Cleaning your air ducts is not a simple task, especially if you do not have all the essential tools to get the job done. You must set aside some money to gain the right tools for the job. These tools are common and relatively affordable. It will surprise you how easy it is to acquire them. If you are having trouble purchasing cleaning tools, then you should or borrowing from your neighbor. Here are the tools that you will need:
1. Vacuum Cleaner
A conventional vacuum cleaner will do the job appropriately. Make sure it has a decent hose that you can use to reach all the tight corners. However, if you can afford it, consider purchasing a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner for optimum results.
A typical dust brush with a long handle is ideal for cleaning your ducts. For best results, make sure the brush has stiff bristles.
It is common to find air ducts, and vents fastened using screws, or other fastening details. You will need a standard screwdriver to unfasten your ducts during cleaning.
4. Cleaning Cloths or Paper Towels
Cleaning cloths and paper towels will come in handy when dusting and wiping areas surrounding your air ducts and vents. You will also need these to cover supply registers while cleaning others.
5. Furnace Filter
The effects of clogging can take its toll on your furnace filter. You will therefore need to make a replacement at the end of your cleaning. Always make sure that you select a compatible furnace filter.
Steps on Cleaning your Air Ducts and Vents
1. Cover Supply Registers
The first step to cleaning your air ducts and vents is to cover the supply registers using paper towels or microfiber cloths. Your ducts will undergo a thorough cleaning, and it is only logical that you prevent the dust from going to other areas around the home. To cover the supply registers lift the grills and cover using paper towels then replace them.
2. Turn on Fan
You should turn on the fan just before you clean your ducts. This will loosen up the dust and ensure that it moves along, as you begin your cleaning. However, make sure it switches the heat supply off.
3. Clean Supply Registers
Now that dust and other elements have accumulated on your supply registers, it is only rational that you clean them. Depending on the magnitude of the debris, you may use a brush or vacuum cleaner to clean your supply registers. Lift the registers and literally sweep out the dust and debris. Use a long broom to sweep deep into the register’s piping system.
4. Clean Return Air Registers
Unscrew the return air registers and sweep off any dust that might have accumulated inside the piping system. You will need a brush with a longer handle to access deeper areas inside the cavity.
5. Turn off power connected to the System
After leaving the fan running for a few minutes, we recommend it to you to turn off the power connected to the system, as you get down to serious business. This is because you will need to access the main ducts and it is highly risky to do this when the system is running.
6. Unscrew Air Duct Covers
Air duct covers often fastened using screws or other fasteners. Using a standard screwdriver, unscrew air duct covers and grills, to gain access to your ducts. Clean the grates using a cleaning cloth. If they are too dirty, then you should soap and water.
7. Vacuum Clean the Air Ducts
This is where proper work begins. Your vacuum cleaner should have a hose, long enough to reach the troublesome spots and corners. Vacuum clean your air ducts thoroughly, leaving no spot untouched. If possible, gain a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner, considering that a conventional cleaner is not powerful enough for deep cleaning. Use your brush to remove molds and mildew inside the ductwork. Use your cleaning cloth to wipe the interior of the duct as far as you can reach.
8. Clean Blower Compartment
Considering that the power is off, you can now access the return air boot and the blower compartment by removing the panels on the front of the furnace. Most dust and dirt buildup around the furnace, leading to clogging. Use your vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris from the lower compartment. Take extra precautions when cleaning the furnace fan so as not to damage it.
9. Replace Furnace Filter
Clogging and buildup of dust will definitely damage your furnace filter. A malfunctioning filter will not only restrict airflow but also reduce the lifespan of your air conditioner. After cleaning your air ducts and vents, always make a point to replacing your furnace filter. Consider calling a professional if you do not know how to change a furnace filter.
Cleaning air ducts and vents in your house can effective if done correctly. However, when everything is done and dusted, your home will probably be in an enormous mess. Use your vacuum cleaner to clean up your home and make use of the cleaning cloths to dust your furniture. If you are having trouble cleaning your air ducts, then you should the services of a professional cleaner.