How to clean air ducts: Easy DIY Steps

Furnaces use air ducts to transport heat. They can also be used for ventilation. Air ducts are responsible for circulating air in your home. Unfortunately, the air that travels through them is often filled with dust, dander, mold spores, and other contaminants.

These contaminants circulate throughout your home and into the air you breathe which can lead to allergies or other health problems. Duct cleaning is necessary to remove these contaminants from your ductwork.  It also makes your devices more efficient and saves you money.   Below are some tips to keep your air ducts clean over time.


Is duct cleaning worth it?

Ducts can attract a lot of dirt and dust. This can get spread out over your home if it is not cleaned regularly. Mold and mildew can spread further in this way. This can damage your home and furniture. For this reason, it is important that you get them cleaned thoroughly. The problem is that most people don’t do it or don’t do it thoroughly enough.

Air ducts can be quite small and difficult to clean without the right equipment.

Another reason is that it will make your heating system work better. This can allow you to save on energy costs in the long term as less heat has to be produced for the same result.

If you don’t know if your ducts are dirty, it is possible to run a camera in them to see if there is a lot of dust or not. This also allows you to see if there is damage to your ducts.

It is a commitment to get this done but should be part of home maintenance. Cleaning the panels is quite easy as you can just go over them with a vacuum. Cleaning the ducts itself is harder as you have to open the panels and go into the ducts without damaging them. Let’s take a look at how this can be done.

How to clean your air ducts

In houses, air ducts are often flexible hoses but they can be made out of metal as well. In businesses, they are often made out of metal. They often have two parts: one where hot air leaves and the other one where cold air returns back to the furnace.

You can a camera in your ducts to inspect them. This allows you to see if everything is working properly.

Get a shopvac and a leafblower. Cover up all the vents and ducts in your home. This can be done with tape and paper or cardboard. Install the shop vac in the basement. You might have to drill a hole into the air duct to install the shop vac.

Use the leaf blower to blow on each vent individually. Often you can lift up the vents but you might need a screwdriver to open them up. Start out by vacuuming around and inside the vents. You might want to clean the vents with water and soap as well. 

Start with the air ducts that are the farthest away from the furnace and work your way towards the furnace. This whole process can take a few hours, it is easier if you work with 2 people on it.

 Covering up the vents will make sure that the dirt will go downstairs instead of inside your home. Turn off the furnace before you start. Be sure to cover the furnace so that it doesn’t get dirty when you clean the ducts. 

You can also get bristles to clean ducts. A vacuum is then used to remove the dirt. This can remove lint but might leave some residues behind. For this reason, it is mainly used for light cleaning. You can expand it by connecting rods. It is also possible to attach it to your drill. Be careful though as ducts are quite fragile and it is easy to tear them up. 

If your ducts are starting to break or are very dirty, it can be a great idea to replace them. This is easy to do as you don’t need a lot of tools. Furthermore, it is cheap as flexible ducts are not expensive. This can really increase the air quality in your house. It can be a quick and easy fix if you feel that the ducts are too dirty to clean. 

Cleaning might not be enough

 Below are some tips to keep your air ducts clean over time.

1) Get an inspection done on a regular basis

If you’ve had your ducts cleaned recently but have been noticing a decrease in air quality, you may need to call in professional help sooner than later. Duct cleaning alone may not be enough to solve the problem if there’s a leak in the system somewhere- especially if it’s not visible.

2) Have a yearly maintenance plan

A yearly maintenance plan can help keep your home’s ventilation system running smoothly and at its optimal efficiency. This type of plan usually includes a checkup of all the major components including supply registers, return vents, fan motor, filters, condensate drain pan (usually located near the furnace), and more. It also includes special tasks such as inspections of attic insulation levels or crawl space encapsulation quality. Lastly, this type of plan will include any replacement parts needed on occasion too- so it’s just like getting new parts for free!

3) If you have mold, you have more work to do. Start by finding out if there is a leak. Cameras can help you to see what is going on. You might have to clean the rest of the house once this has been cleaned as dirt can get everywhere if it has been in your ducts. You can do electrostatic fogging as well to complete the cleaning process. You can use an air tester to verify that the process is done properly.

4) There are a few simple things you can do to keep your air ducts clean over time. When cooking, opening up windows and turning on an exhaust fan will help remove any extra odors from the home which will reduce the amount of nastiness circulating through your ductwork. Vacuuming your vents can also help keep them clean by removing dust and debris that has settled throughout the year. It is important that you inspect them from time to time to see that nothing has fallen in them. 

Replace filters

Regularly changing your filters is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent dust and other contaminants from circulating in your home. The filters that are used in your HVAC system should be replaced every month or two. If you notice that your filter is extremely clogged, it might be a good idea to change it more often than once every two months.

It’s important to note that not all filters are created equal, so be sure to check with your HVAC provider before purchasing new ones.

Also, don’t forget about furnace filters! These should also be changed regularly for optimal performance.

How to hire a company to do this for you

Cleaning your air ducts is an important part of maintaining your home. However, not all companies that offer this service are going to give you the best experience.

A lot can go wrong when cleaning the air ducts. You could cause damage to your building or even release harmful particles into the air you and your family breathe. And if you hire a company that isn’t qualified or doesn’t use up-to-date methods, they could make the situation worse by releasing contaminated particles into the air.

Make sure that the company has equipment that is adjusted to your installation. This allows them to use the correct pressure. Your ducts can get damaged if they are not cleaned properly. Some companies offer before and after pictures to prove that they didn’t break anything.

The good news is there are a few ways to avoid these problems when cleaning your air ducts. One way is to research the company before hiring them for the job. You should make sure they have been in business for at least 2 years and have relevant certifications from reputable organizations like NADCA or IACAT. Furthermore, you should ask what types of equipment they use and how often they do this job so you can be certain they know what’s necessary for a thorough clean.