DIY Home Cleaning: 10 Simple Ways to Clean an Air Duct


Regularly cleaning the air ducts and vents in your home will come with several benefits. The dust that’s trapped in your HVAC system poses a significant health hazard. Other than getting rid of hazards associated with dirt, dust, and mold, you’ll get to enjoy clean air throughout your house.

Also, you’ll likely extend the lifespan of your heating systems and air conditioner when you clean the ducts.

While it can be tempting to contact a professional, you can end up saving a lot of money if you do it yourself. Plus, you’ll be able to have a feeling of accomplishment as well.

Are you interested in learning more? If you are, then keep on reading and we’ll walk you through how to clean an air duct.

  1. Gather the Right Equipment and Tools

It’s not the simplest thing to clean your air ducts. And it’s going to be extremely difficult or even impossible if you don’t have the right equipment for the job.

The tools you need are fairly affordable and easy to come across. You may be able to even borrow them from a neighbor.

First, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner. A traditional vacuum should be all you need. You’ll also need a dust brush with a long handle.

A screwdriver will be needed to unscrew your ducts during the cleaning. Paper towels will come in handy for wiping and dusty the areas around your vents and ducts.

Lastly, you’ll want a replacement furnace filter.

  1. Cover Supply Registers

First, you’re going to want to use paper towels to cover your spiral duct register. Your ducts are going to undergo a deep cleaning and you want to make sure that you don’t get dust around the other parts of your home.

To cover the registers, just lift up the grills and cover them using paper towels.

  1. Turn the Fan On

It’s generally recommended that you turn the fan on just before you start to clean the air ducts. This is going to loosen the dust up and make sure that it moves along as you start the cleaning.

However, you want to make sure that the heat supply is turned off.

  1. Clean Supply Registers

Now that the dust has gathered on the supply registers, it’s time for you to clean them. Depending on how much dust there is, you might want to use a vacuum cleaner or just a brush to clean the supply registers.

All you need to do is lift the registers and sweep out all of the dust and dirt. You can use a long broom to get deep into the piping system.

  1. Clean Return Air Registers

Unscrew your return air registers and brush away any dust that might have gathered inside the piping system. You’ll need a brush that has a long handle in order to get to the deeper parts that are in the cavity.

  1. Turn Off Power Connected to the System

After you leave the fan running for several minutes, it’s a good idea to turn the power connected to the system off. This is because you’re going to want to access the main air ducts and it’s very risky to do this while the system is on.

  1. Unscrew Air Duct Covers

Now, it’s time to break out that screwdriver. Air duct covers tend to be fastened with screws, although they sometimes utilize other kinds of fasteners. Using a regular screwdriver, you can unscrew the air duct grills and covers in order to gain access to the ducts.

Using a cleaning cloth or paper towel, clean off the grates. If they’re really dirty, then you can use soap and water on them.

  1. Vacuum Clean the Air Ducts

This is where the real work starts. You’ll want to attach a hose to your vacuum cleaner. It should be long enough to reach the corners of the ducts.

Use the vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean your air ducts. If it’s possible, you should get a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner. A standard vacuum might not be strong enough for a truly deep clean.

Use the brush to get rid of mildew and mold in the ductwork. Also, use your cleaning cloth to wipe the interior of the duct as far as you can.

  1. Clean Blower Compartment

Once the power is off, you now have the ability to access the return air boot and the blower compartment. You can do this by taking off the panels on the front of the furnace. Most debris builds up around the furnace, which leads to clogs.

Use the vacuum to get rid of dirt from the blower compartment.

  1. Replace Furnace Filter

Clogging of dust is definitely going to ruin your furnace filter. A clogged filter will restrict airflow and also reduce the machine’s lifespan. After you clean the ducts and vents, make sure that you replace the filter.

The Importance of Knowing How to Clean an Air Duct

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better understanding of how to clean an air duct. As we can see, it takes a good amount of work but it’s certainly not an impossible task. Just make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and you make sure that the system is off before you start cleaning.

Are you looking for other helpful articles like this one? If so, then make sure to check out the rest of our site today!

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