How to Clean HVAC Ducts

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Air duct cleaning is typically done by professionals as they can get the grime out of the entire HVAC system. Professional duct cleaning is recommended for air ducts that have not been cleaned in years, and we recommend having our technicians come in to clean your air ducts, and ensure your heating and cooling systems are functioning properly.

However, you can also clean your air ducts at home with a few tools, and protective gear like a dust mask and goggles to protect yourself against dust and debris. Here's a step-by-step guide on DIY duct cleaning.

Effects of Unmaintained HVAC Air Ducts

Unmaintained air ducts can cause a number of problems with your indoor air quality, and can even damage your HVAC system as the accumulated dirt, and dust-laden air starts to block the different HVAC components from functioning properly. Dirty ducts also spread germs and bacteria into the room, which is why it is important to have the air ducts cleaned.

  • Poor indoor air quality;
  • Air duct contamination;
  • Indoor air pollution from dirty air ducts;
  • Malfunctioning heating and cooling system;
  • Hastened wear and tear of HVAC system;
  • Attracts rodents, roaches, and other pests.

How to Clean HVAC Air Ducts: A Step-by-step Process

Step 1: Remove and Clean the Duct Vent Cover and Air Filter

The first step is to remove all the vent covers. Clean your air duct vent covers by running them through water, and gently brushing them with soap to remove any grime. Remove the filters as well, and wash them if they are reusable, or toss them out if they are dirty and disposable. You can also opt to clean the cooling coils.

Step 2: Block All Openings

Block all the openings of your air ducts except one. To do this, you can place a large piece of cloth, or paper towels over the air duct openings. Keep these openings properly sealed to prevent dust and debris from flying into the room as you clean air ducts. Leave one open as this is where you will work to clean the air ducts of your HVAC system.

Step 3: Tap the Sides of Your Air Ducts

Use a hard tool, such as a screwdriver or plastic brush, to tap the sides of the air ducts. This will cause the dust to fall down from the sides of the ducts, allowing your vacuum cleaner to remove them efficiently. Professional air duct cleaning will often use tools to brush out the dust from the ducts manually for a thorough clean.

Step 4: Utilize Your Vacuum Cleaner

Remember that one air duct opening left uncovered? Cover the remaining opening with plastic wrap, and create a hole for your vacuum hose to go through. This creates an air-tight seal at the opening to prevent the dust from the duct system from getting into the room.

Power on your vacuum cleaner to the highest setting, and let it run to remove as much dust as possible from your air ducts. You can use a regular household vacuum cleaner to clean air ducts, but shop vacuum cleaners are more effective as they typically have a higher suction power, and the highest efficiency filter bags.

We recommend going through each vent opening with the vacuum cleaning method to remove as much of the dust as possible. Tap the sides of the vents before you vacuum to loosen the dust as grime from your air ducts adheres to the walls of the entire system.

Step 5: Replace the HVAC Filters and Vent Covers

Finally, place the dry air filter and air duct covers back onto the vent openings. Make sure the vent covers and filters are completely dry before placing it back into the duct openings. Finish off your DIY duct cleaning by wiping the outside of the air vents clean.

Looking to clean HVAC furnace? Check this guide.

Tips to Maintain Clean Air Ducts

  • Steer clear of air duct cleaners that claim to disinfect the duct system as these may be harmful to your health when inhaled. Opt for homemade solutions and natural formulas instead.
  • Schedule routine maintenance with HVAC duct cleaning companies for thorough duct cleaning services that will prevent bacteria and mold growth.
  • Clean or change the filters often to prevent dust from entering the room.

Maintaining your HVAC system takes a lot of work, especially if you have ducted air conditioning units around the home. Make air conditioning upkeep simple, convenient, and stress-free with Luce Aircon cleaning, maintenance, and repair services.

Our technicians have decades of experience handling air conditioners from different brands and models, so you know we have the knowledge to keep your HVAC system in good working condition for longer!

Contact us today to have your air ducts cleaned professionally, and breathe easier with better indoor air quality!

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