5 DIY Duct and Vent Cleaning Tips

ventsOne of the most important elements in any home is the HVAC system. Those hundreds of feet of duct work and dozens of vents move hot and cold air through every room, keeping you and your family comfortable regardless of what’s going on with the weather outside. You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the ducts and vents in your home, until the day arrives when they have some sort of a problem. Luckily, most issues with your duct work are caused by dirt in the system, and that’s easily rectified. If you have a large house with ceilings that are unreachable, you might want to bring in a professional cleaning service. But in most cases you should be able to handle the seasonal cleaning yourself. Here are five DIY duct and vent cleaning tips.

First of all, see if there are any mold issues before you get started. Mold can develop inside your ducts, especially if they aren’t venting properly because of dirt. Moisture builds up, and mold is the result. If spores are present and you start cleaning, you could release them into the air, breathing them in and sending them out across your whole home. This is a major problem, and could cause serious health issues. So get in there with a flashlight and do a visual inspection. If you find any evidence of mold, consider taking a sample and sending it out for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, you’ll have to call in the professionals.

Next, check for clogs in the vents. Run the system, and feel around for the flow of air. If it isn’t coming out consistently and evenly from a vent, there may be something stuck in there. It’s a gross proposition, but in many cases those clogs are caused by insects or rodents who somehow gained access and died in the duct system. You obviously don’t want decaying animal particles blowing through the room, so serious clogs should always be looked at by a professional duct cleaner.

Now you’re ready to get started. Shut the system down at the source, and even consider throwing the breaker that powers your HVAC system. The last thing you want is to get a face full of dirt and grime in the middle of your cleaning process. With the system ready to access, get your supplies together. You’ll need a small brush, a full-sized broom, a set of gloves and a face mask for safety, a high quality vacuum, a bucket, a sponge and a strong cleaning product.

At this point, pull all of the vents off the head of each duct. Collect all of the tiny screws in a plastic bag, so you don’t lose them. You should be able to clean the vents using that small brush, but if it’s been a while you’ll probably want to scrub them off in a bucket of soapy water. Pat them dry and set them aside.

Now that you have access to the ducts, it’s time to get in there for a real cleaning. Put together the extended hose and nozzle attachment, and secure the separate pieces together with duct tape. You don’t want to lose any of those attachments in the wall while you’re cleaning. Run the vacuum up and down the length of each vent, as far as you can get it in there. As long as the vacuum is powerful enough, this should allow you to get the majority of dust and debris. If during this process you notice leaky seals in the vents or issues with your wall, call a professional in. You should be able to find Florida A/C dealers, or companies in basically any region that handle maintenance as well as installation.

On May 8th, 2013, posted in: Article by

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