Keeping a few items on hand makes the cleaning process easier. You’ll want a couple of microfiber cleaning cloths and a few paper towels to clean grilles and vent covers.
Professionals use a method that utilizes negative pressure along with vacuuming, high powered airlines and agitation tools to provide a thorough air duct cleaning. The process is safe and effective for homeowners who choose to do it themselves.
1. Use a Ladder
Air ducts are hard to get at. They’re often located high on the wall or ceiling, in between the floor and the base of the walls, and in other inaccessible locations. As a result, they can be difficult to clean. This is why it’s best to hire a professional airduct cleaning company. They have the tools and equipment to make this job easier. However, if you decide to do it yourself, here are some tips to help you clean your airducts properly.
To begin with, you should turn off your heating and cooling system. This will prevent the dirt and dust from being circulated throughout your house. Then, use a screwdriver to remove the vent covers and vacuum them thoroughly. Next, brush the interior of your ducts with a brush (something like a toilet brush or large paint brush will work). When you’re finished, replace the vent covers and vacuum the area around them. Lastly, use a lint-free cleaning cloth to wipe away any dust that clings to the sides of the duct.
Then, you can start vacuuming the actual ducts themselves. This is a time-consuming task, and it’s important to do it right. It’s also a good idea to wear protective eyewear and a dust mask during this process.
You can also purchase a special vacuum cleaner that has long hoses and brushes for cleaning ducts. These machines cost around $9,000, but they can be a great way to keep your ducts clean. In addition, these machines have a powerful suction and can clean both flex and metal ducts. If you’re unable to afford one of these, a shop vac with a brush attachment will still do an adequate job.
2. Use a Long-Handled Brush or Broom
The most important tool when cleaning your airducts is a long-handled brush or broom. These will allow you to sweep away dirt, dust, and even mold from the inside of your ducts. You should also be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a long hose that can reach deep into your ducts, so that you can suck up as much debris as possible.
Another important tool to use when cleaning your ducts is a hose with a spinning brush. Professional air duct cleaners use these to clean out vents that cannot be reached with a regular shop vac or vacuum. This system works much like a scrubber, and can loosen up to 90% of the dirt trapped in your vents.
This cleaning method can be very messy, so make sure to have a broom and dustpan ready when you are done. Also, you will want to cover your vent openings with paper towels to prevent dust from blowing onto your walls and furniture while you are working.
Once you have your tools ready, it is time to start cleaning your ducts. Start at any supply vent in your home, and use a flashlight to see how the duct is configured. The duct may be straight for a short run, then it will usually make two opposing 90-degree turns. It may then reach a tee, or it may be connected to two other ducts in the same room. Once you have located the duct, remove the vent cover and unscrew it to expose the duct. If the duct is connected to other ducts, then you will need to unscrew the other vent covers and clean them as well.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Sweep
Air ducts contain dangerous microorganisms and contaminants that can contribute to respiratory illnesses. If these pollutants are not removed from your ducts regularly, they can circulate throughout the house and aggravate breathing problems for people who already have respiratory issues. Dirty ducts also circulate dust mites, mold spores and mildew, all of which can cause allergies, asthma and other health problems. If you are thinking about hiring a professional to clean your air ducts, consider looking for a company that uses a point of contact cleaning technique. This method is less expensive than source removal duct cleaning and is just as effective.
This cleaning technique utilizes powerful vacuuming, high powered airlines and agitation tools to remove contaminants from your ductwork. This method is used by professional duct cleaners who have met NADCA standards and have a solid track record of satisfied customers.
Before the technicians arrive, you should clear any work area that could interfere with their equipment. Also, make sure that you turn off the heating and cooling system before the process begins. It is important to do this because it will prevent any dust or debris from circulating through your home.
It is also a good idea to remove any vent covers before the cleaning process begins. This will allow the cleaners to easily access the ductwork and to clean it thoroughly. Finally, it is important to keep children and pets away from the work area during the cleaning process. This will ensure their safety and reduce the stress that they might feel during the process. You should also remove any items that can be damaged by the cleaning chemicals that may be used in the process.
4. Use Paper Towels
Air ducts can get dirty and need cleaning. Dirty ducts can contribute to poor indoor air quality which can cause heart diseases and respiratory conditions. It can also lead to mold growth. This is why it is important to have them cleaned regularly. Fortunately, cleaning airducts is a fairly simple task. Here are some tips to help you clean your ducts:
Before you start, make sure that you have all the tools and materials you need. This includes a ladder, a long-handled brush or broom, and paper towels. You should also move or cover any furniture near your ducts to avoid getting dust on them. You should also secure a stable surface and ladder if your ducts are located in high places such as the ceiling. It is also a good idea to have a mask and gloves to protect yourself from breathing in any dust that might escape. You should also cover your vents so that excess dust doesn’t blow back into the room while you are cleaning. Professionals use magnetic or adhesive vent covers to reduce dust blow-back during duct cleaning. Vent covers also create extra suction power and keep debris from escaping the vents when you vacuum them.
Once you’ve got all your supplies, start by wrapping supply registers with paper towels to prevent excess dust from temporarily blowing into the house during the cleaning process. You can then use your brush to lightly tap clumps of dust on the walls of your ductwork to loosen them. Finally, vacuum any visible debris and dust from your ductwork with your brush. If you have a lot of clumps of dust that are difficult to reach, you can always hire professionals to clean your ducts.
5. Cover Your Vents
It is not unusual for dust, dirt, and other debris to collect in air ducts over time. Having these contaminants in your home’s ductwork can restrict airflow, make it harder for your HVAC system to cool and heat your house, increase the amount of dust in your house, and can even contribute to respiratory illnesses.
Luckily, many professional cleaning companies use tools that are designed to remove these contaminants from your ductwork without having to vacuum the entire system again. They start by removing the vent covers and washing them with water and detergent in the sink. Once dry, they can be replaced. They also use a tool that looks like a drill with flexible rods attached to it. These rods extend into the duct and, when turned on, loosen the dust in your ducts. Then they vacuum up the loose debris. If you want to hire a company that performs this type of cleaning, ask what size vacuum they use and whether it has a HEPA filter. It should have a rating of at least 5000 CFM to be effective and not blow the debris back into your house.
While it is common for some homeowners to clean their own ducts, there are several reasons why it is better to leave this job to a professional. Some of the components in an HVAC unit are very sensitive and should only be accessed by professionals who know what they’re doing. The fan motor, fan housing, heat exchanger, and cooling coils can be covered in dust that can affect the operation of the system and should never be cleaned by someone who doesn’t have this knowledge and experience.