How to Clean Air Ducts Yourself | How Often to Clean Air Ducts

How to Clean Air Ducts

The ducts and vents in your home are the delivery system for the warm and cool air generated by AC units, heat pumps, furnaces, etc. What happens when they need cleaning? Are you on top of that, either hiring out the work or doing it yourself? Do you know how to clean air ducts yourself? If not, you've come to the right place. We will cover the process in detail.

Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

There are many benefits to having your air ducts cleaned regularly. Some of these benefits include:

use a vacuum when you learn how to clean air ducts
  • A reduction in allergens and pollutants in the air, which can improve respiratory health
  • A decrease in energy usage due to improved airflow through the ducts
  • An increase in the life of your HVAC system
  • A decrease in the amount of dust that accumulates inside your air ducts over time, can be a significant issue if it's not regularly removed.

How to Clean Air Ducts Yourself?

You will need an air compressor and HVAC tools, like specialized brushes. However, this is generally done by a professional service. If you are going to attempt to clean air ducts yourself, be very careful as it's easy to damage the ductwork if not done correctly.

We recommend leaving the deep clean up to the professionals, but you can do a more straightforward cleaning that only requires a vacuum, a toilet brush, and a screwdriver. This is a great way to extend the life of your last professional cleaning.

The Process

  1. Remove the vent covers: The first step is to remove the vent covers. They are usually held in place with screws or clips. Be very careful when removing them as they may be dirty and dusty. If they are covered in dirt, you can wash them off before moving on.
  2. Prevent a mess: You can cover any vents or openings around where you're working with tape, so no dust escapes one vent opening while you're working on another. You will need to find a balance between no dust escaping and having enough access so you can work.
  3. Brush vs. dirt: use a toilet brush to loosen as much dirt and debris as possible from each duct. You may not be able to get all of it out, but that's OK. It doesn't have to be perfect.
  4. Vacuum the loosened debris: Vacuum up as much of the loosened dirt and debris as possible.
  5. Replace the vent covers: using your screwdriver, put the vent covers all back in place. And that's it! You're done.

While you're at it, you might as well change the air filter for a completely clean start with your new and improved HVAC system.

How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends that air ducts be cleaned every three to five years, depending on your environment and the amount of dust and debris that accumulates in them. However, if you have allergies or asthma, you may need to have them cleaned more often. You should also clean air ducts after a major renovation or construction project.

If you're not sure whether it's time for your air ducts to be cleaned, you can contact a professional service for an evaluation. They will be able to tell you whether or not they need cleaning and how often they should be cleaned to maintain the optimal air quality in your home.

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