Five to seven times per day, the airborne dust and debris in your home circulates through the air ducts of your HVAC cooling and heating system. Your furnace filter catches a lot of that debris, but a buildup of gunk in your ducts can threaten their ability to circulate air. What´s more, if you´re sensitive to pet dander and airborne dust, cleaning your ducts will help keep your sinuses clear and your tissues dry. This handy list will teach you how to clean air ducts in five easy steps.
1. Get Your Cleaners Ready
Fill a small bucket with warm water and dish detergent. In a separate container, preferably a spray bottle, add vinegar. A mold removal spray is also useful to have on hand. Finally, be sure you have a few rags, your vacuum cleaner, and a flashlight.
2. Find Your Ducts
Not all homes have ducts located in the same place. Some houses have ducts located at the base of the walls, while others have them higher up. Check for unusual places your vents could be located. Then, be sure to look for anything lying under the duct – furniture, art on the walls, carpet or rugs – and either cover them up or move them out of the way so that they don´t accumulate dust.
Before going on, determine what materials your ducts are made of, and plan how to clean air ducts accordingly. For example, Duct Board contains fiberglass, which can damage if you wipe it with anything wet, and using your vacuum´s brush attachment on metal ducts lined with insulation on the inside can break the lining. In order to obtain the best results for your home, know your ducts.
3. Clean the Liners
Remove the inner and outer liners from the duct connectors at the unit and at either the wall or ceiling. Using your rags and cleaning solution, reach as far in as you can to wipe the inner liner. Use your flashlight to check for any mold. If you see any, wipe it down with your vinegar solution, or try spraying with mold killer for persistent mold. Use a paper towel to clean up, and allow to dry.
4. Vacuum the Vent
Suck up any loose fluff, dust, or particles that have built up in the vent corridor with your vacuum. Many vacuums have special attachments; for this step, the nozzle is most appropriate for cleaning. You probably don´t own a truck-mounted, high-powered vacuum system with 100-foot hoses, and that´s okay. Your everyday Dyson or Hoover will still eliminate about 85% of the dust and particulates hanging around in your vent.
5. Replace Filters
Purchasing a new filter will help you cut down on the amount of dust in your home. A dirty filter restricts airflow to the fan, which ends up reducing the lifespan of your blower motor. How frequently you should change your filter depends on your pet situation, your home, and your location.
Remember, you don´t need to worry about trying to reach every single nook and cranny. By following these steps on how to clean air ducts yourself, you can already start to save money on heating and air conditioning. Completely cleaning your ducts, however, is a job for professionals. Contact Vital Restoration for free in-home estimates and a thorough inspection.