Getting your home’s air vents cleaned every few months will greatly help with airflow and air quality. In fact, one of the best ways to be sure your home is clean and dust-free is to clean the air vents regularly, so it could be beneficial for you to learn how to clean vents in the house.
Millions of tiny dust particles exist in your home, including hair, pollen, spider webs, and other allergens. These can get into your air ducts and continuously circulate your home if they’re not cleaned. This can prevent your HVAC system from running optimally and your air filters from purifying your air.
Here are step-by-step instructions to help teach you how to clean your vents at home.
How Do I Clean the Air Vents in My House?
Cleaning the air ducts and vents is not only beneficial to your HVAC system’s health but you and your family’s health as well. Regularly removing built-up dust and dirt particles can help remove health hazards and allow your system to run more efficiently. It will also help increase your HVAC system’s lifespan since it won’t need to work as hard to run optimally.
Can I Clean My Air Ducts Myself?
Yes, you technically can clean your air ducts by yourself… if you have the right tools, skills, and determination.
DIY household projects are becoming more and more popular as homeowners strive to save money. While hiring a professional to clean your air ducts is always an efficient, viable option, cleaning your own air ducts might be incredibly tempting. A DIY air duct clean can save you the money of a professional clean, but keep in mind that you might lack the necessary tools or skills to get the job done at a professional grade.
Here is a guide for how to clean your vents at home, but always know you can enlist the help of a professional if needed, or if you want to make sure your HVAC unit is running correctly .
How to Clean Air Vents in House: Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Gather the Right Tools
If you’re looking for how to clean air vents in the house, then gathering all the necessary tools is critical. Properly cleaning your air vents is not an easy task, and if you don’t have the correct tools for the job it becomes all the more difficult. Here are the tools you will need:
- Vacuum Cleaner. You will need a heavy-duty vacuum with a lengthy hose and an ability to reach tight corners.
- Brush. A dusting brush with a long handle is ideal for cleaning your ducts. Stiff bristles are preferable so you can reach tough spots and deep clean.
- Screwdriver. To clean your air ducts, you will need to unfasten them first. Most air ducts and vents are kept closed with typical screws or some other kind of fastener. A standard screwdriver is usually what you’ll need to open them.
- Cleaning Cloths. You will need to dust your ducts, clean all flat surfaces, and clear air vents. Microfiber cloths or paper towels work well.
- A New Filter. Dirty ducts and duct cleaning can cause your filter to clog so you will need to replace your old air filter once you finish cleaning . Be sure it’s a compatible size for your HVAC unit.
Once you have all the right tools, you’re ready to get to the real work.
Step 2: Cover all Supply Registers and Clean
Use your cleaning cloths to cover all supply registers. This will help keep dust from going into all areas of your home while you clean your air ducts. To properly cover the supply registers, lift the grills, cover with a cloth, and then replace them. Depending on the amount of dust in your ducts, your supply registers may also need to be cleaned. Brush out any dirt and dust, being sure to clean the return air registers as well. Don’t be afraid to clean deep in the register’s pipes and cavities.
Step 3: Turn on Fan
With the supply registers properly covered, go ahead and turn on the fan before cleaning your ducts. This helps loosen debris and move it along as you clean. (Be sure the heat is off.) Run the fan for a few minutes before beginning your duct cleaning.
Step 4: Turn off Power
Once you’ve allowed the fan to run for a few minutes and the dust has loosened, turn off the power to your HVAC system. Leaving the power on while deep cleaning your ducts presents big safety risks.
Step 5: Unscrew Duct Covers
Air ducts are kept fastened with screws or other fasteners, so you’ll need to use your screwdriver to open the covers and grills. Clean all the grills with your cleaning cloth to get rid of dust and dirt. (You may need soap and water to properly clean the grills.)
Step 6: Clean the Air Ducts
While all the previous steps have certainly been work, here’s where the true work begins. Grab your vacuum cleaner, grab your cleaning cloths, and get ready to deep clean. You should vacuum out your air ducts thoroughly, going over every surface, corner, and nook and cranny. Use the brush to scrub difficult spots and pay attention for signs of mold and mildew. Use your cleaning cloths to wipe any surface you can reach.
Be sure to clean the blower compartment before turning the power to your unit back on, taking extra safety precautions around the furnace so you don’t damage it or injure yourself.
Step 7: Replace the Filter
Once you’ve finished cleaning your ducts and grills and replaced all the air duct fasteners, you should replace your air filter.
Ready for a Deep Clean?
So now you know how to clean vents in your house! Clean air ducts and air vents greatly improve your home’s air quality and allow your HVAC unit to operate more efficiently. However, this only works if the air ducts are thoroughly cleaned.
If you miss any spots or don’t scratch off all mold and mildew, more dirt can quickly collect. To skip the hassle of cleaning and be sure the job is done well, consider bringing John C. Flood in to get the job done right . You can call us at (703) 752-1266 or contact John C. Flood certified HVAC technicians online to schedule your cleaning.
If you don’t know how to clean floor heating vents, there are actually several possible ways to do it.
However, some people may find difficulty on cleaning floor vents. Here are some easy steps on how to do it properly.
Before Cleaning Floor Vents
It is important to know that before start cleaning floor vents, you need to know thoroughly the vents composition.
Mostly, vents materials are metal and it is possible to clean it using a dishwasher. It is better not to wash the vents using any paint because paint can be peeled when it is washed by a dishwasher.
For wooden vents, it is highly recommended not to wash it with a dishwasher as well because it is susceptible to intense heat. If the vents are made of plastic, a dishwasher can’t be used to clean it as well
Cleaning Floor Vents Using a Dishwasher
For the floor vents that are made of metal, it is recommended to use a dishwasher to clean it. Here are some steps on how to clean floor vents using a dishwasher.
- First, turn off any vent fan, heat, and air conditioning. It is dangerous to keep these ventilation systems on while cleaning because the blower can spread grime and dust into the air. Grime and dust can irritate eyes and lungs. In addition, it is recommended to wear dust mask and eye protection.
- Use a vacuum that is equipped with a kind of crevice tool to clear loose dust and grim from the vent. It is essential to do to avoid the dust and grim for falling on the floor. A damp rag can also be used to wipe down vents.
- The next step is to remove floor vents. Use a standard screwdriver to remove some screws on the floor vents, so that it can be moved from the floor. Use a crevice tool on the vacuum to clean loose grime and dust behind the vents if there is any.
- After that, arrange the vents in a dishwasher without stacking them. Make sure to not use any dishwasher detergents. It is because detergents are not suitable for vents and it can cause damage on the surface. Next, start the dishwasher for a few minutes.
- Do not directly move the vents after washing them on the dishwasher because the heat from the dishwasher can make the vents hot. Wait for few moments and then move them to its original place and do not forget to fasten each back with the screws.
Cleaning Floor Vents Manually
For other types of dishwashers, such as wooden vents and plastic vents, it is highly recommended to wash them manually. Here are some steps to follow.
- First thing first, do not forget to turn off all ventilation systems. Wherever the position of the vents is, it is a must to turn off all ventilation systems.
- Then, use a crevice tool to help removing dirt from the crannies and the nooks of the vent. Then, wipe the vents with a damp rag to make sure that it is clean from grime and dust. This surface cleaning is recommended to do to restore vents condition. Surface cleaning doesn’t have to be done thoroughly because the main purpose of vacuuming and wiping is to remove loose dust.
- After that, take the vents out from the floor. Use unused newspaper or a tarp to catch falling dust from the vent. Do not forget to remove screws that fasten the vents to the floor using a standard screwdriver.
- Now, the vents are already removed from the floor, bring them to the bathroom and clean the vents in warm water with dish soap. Use a dish cleaning tool, such as a sponge or a scrub brush for more maximum result.
- Finally, return the vents to the original position. Make sure to put the screws back on the vents to fasten them on the floor.
Cleaning floor vents do not require an expert knowledge, but it should be done carefully. Learning how to clean floor heating vents first will matter a lot in the real application.
Dust, pet hair and dirt particles collect on floor air ducts over time. The debris build up causes your heating and cooling systems to work harder because the flow of air is partially blocked. More work means more money spent on heating and cooling costs.
Whether you own a home or live an apartment like me, you should realize that small changes like cleaning and proper maintenance can save you up to $100 per year.
Cleaning these air ducts is easy enough that anyone can do it and only takes about 30 minutes to complete.
- Vacuum with hose and brush
- Cotton Swabs
- Soap and water
- Dryer Sheets
- Replacement filters (if necessary)
- Rubber gloves (optional)
(Photo Credit: Jon Ross)
- Turn off the airflow throughout your home.
- Unscrew each floor air duct vent cover. Some covers simply lift off without any hardware. You may want to use gloves for this to protect against cuts and to keep your hands clean of debris.
- Using the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner with the brush nozzle on it begin to clean out the inside of the air duct. You will want to run the brush up and down all sides of the duct as far as you can reach. If there is any grime that has gotten caked on then you will need to use a sponge with mild soap and warm water to thoroughly clean the inside surface.
- Carefully run the vacuum brush along the grates of the cover to dislodge any dirt or dust which has collected there. Next you will want to take several cotton swabs and run them along the inside edges of the grate slats. Cotton swabs are used by professional car detailers to clean out the vents of your automobile. This tactic is ideal because it easily gets debris which was missed by the vacuum.
- Take one or two dryer sheets and rub them along the inside of the air ducts. The residue from dryer sheets which helps them remove static from your clothing will also help prevent debris from sticking to the walls of your ducts for longer. You can also wrap a dryer sheet around the end of your screwdriver and run it along the grates of the vent cover.
- Replace the old filter with a new one if necessary. Heating and cooling filters should be replaced every six months to one year. It may be necessary to replace these more often if you have several pets in your home or if the heat supply in your house puts off a lot of dust such as that with a coal, wood or pellet stove. An easy way to make your filters last longer is by tapping out the dust and dirt into the garbage can every few months.
- Replace all of your vent covers and screw them back into place.
- Turn your air flow back on.
This simple maintenance step can help extend the life of your heating and cooling system. It is best to clean floor ducts every six months. If you live in an area with high air pollution, your home has a lot of traffic or if you live in a region with dramatic weather changes then you should consider cleaning your air ducts every three months for the best results.
Is your indoor air quality getting compromised by dirty vents?
HVAC systems are commonplace in any household nowadays. These are essential in controlling the temperatures within the home, preventing discomfort during hot summer days or cold winter nights. However, this frequent use means that a lot of dust and dirt get into the air ducts.
This can have a negative impact on your health since it pumps dusty or moldy air into your home. Air duct cleaning is vital in preventing this. Read what’s below to learn how you can clean vents and ducts well.
Turn Off Your HVAC System
The first thing you need to do is turn off your HVAC system. Doing this prevents more dirt and other debris from circulating throughout your system while you’re cleaning it.
This is even more important when cleaning out floor vents as it’s easy for anything to fall into the system through them. Doing this also protects your eyes from any dusty discharge the system may blow onto your face.
Clean Out Loose Debris
Once you deactivate the system, clean out the loose dirt and debris on the vents first. A simple wet rag is enough in doing this. Wipe down the vents gently to make sure nothing breaks off.
Next, unscrew the vent and lift it off from the duct. Do the same to the interior to make sure you have clean vents once you’re through with everything. Many people miss cleaning the underside of the vents, which renders everything you’ve done beforehand useless.
Clean Out the Interior
Once you clean the vents, proceed with cleaning the interior. The ducts are often where most of the dirt and debris settle once they’re inside the system. It can be tough to get rid of them if your system is too spread out throughout the house.
How to clean air ducts easily? Using a vacuum will do the trick. One with a long, extendable neck will help you reach deep into the duct to clean out the debris.
Make sure to wipe the duct down afterward. You don’t want it to accumulate moisture and become a breeding ground for mold.
Finish Up Cleaning the Vents
Lastly, do proper cleaning and maintenance on your vents. What you should do will depend on the material of your duct vents.
For metal vents, anti-rust solution and metal polish will help increase its longevity. If you’re dealing with wood materials like oak floor registers, make sure they’re dry before placing them back on the duct. This will prevent it from degrading in the long run.
Clean Air Ducts and Floor Vents Today
Make sure your home HVAC system performs at its best capacity by cleaning air ducts and floor vents. Not only does this improve indoor air quality, but it also improves the longevity of your system. Get cleaning and live in comfort and cleanliness today!
Do you want to learn more about vent cleaning and household maintenance in general? Check out our articles and guides for more cleaning tips and learn all you can today!
Looking for information on how to clean air ducts yourself? First, let’s talk about why you want to clean them—and whether or not investing in the tools and materials required to get the job done is even worth it.
When you think about it, it does make sense that you’d want to clean your ductwork. You’ve spent time learning how to clean car seats, how to clean dryer vents, and how to clean walls; why should you ignore your HVAC? Plus, since its ducts make an appearance in so many different areas of your home, wouldn’t it make sense that they’d get dusty? Like, really dusty?
Yes and no. Sure, HVAC filters accumulate dust, but usually not to a detrimental degree. That’s why many people believe it’s not actually necessary to clean them. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), duct cleaning “has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts.”
What’s more, cleaning your air ducts the “wrong way” can make things worse, not better. You might end up dislodging debris and bringing allergens into your home that weren’t previously a problem. Inexperienced individuals could also end up permanently damaging their HVAC systems, or worse, hurting themselves. Where mold is involved, the cleanup process becomes more than just a liability for your home; it potentially becomes downright dangerous for you.
Here’s what to know, and how to determine if you should clean the ducts. And while you’re feeling inspired to get your home in tip-top shape, get our best tips for how to wash comforters and how to clean your garbage disposal.
How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?
The EPA does recommend cleaning ducts on certain occasions: if and when there is substantial visible mold growth inside the components of your heating and cooling system, if and when the ducts are infested with rodents or insects, and if and when the ducts are so debris-filled that an enormous amount of dust is actually making its way into your home through them.
If there’s visible mold or mildew on the ducts, or if you hear noises coming from within them, you should probably contact a professional. But if you’re just acting on a hunch, we suggest you begin by examining the vents, grilles, drip pans, and/or registers of your unit. Do you notice any discoloration or dark dust? Do you smell anything unusual?
Another question to ask yourself is whether airflow is consistent in each room of your home. Dirt, dust, or mold buildup could be responsible for restricting the air’s pathway throughout your house.
Is cleaning air ducts worth it?
If you determine or suspect that there is mold growth, a rodent or insect infestation, or dust making its way into your home through your air ducts, or if you’re worried about consistent airflow room to room, it could be worth it to hire a professional to clean your ducts.
There is, however, the matter of expenses. As you might expect, it can be incredibly pricey to turn to the experts—so, if there’s no real need to do so, you might find yourself spending money unnecessarily. If mold is really the issue though, it’s important to take action.
How much does it cost to have your air ducts cleaned?
According to a set of estimates from HomeAdvisor.com, professional HVAC mold removal will run you anywhere from $600 to $2,000—and that might be on top of the standard HVAC cleaning fees, which could be anywhere from $100 to $1,000. That’s because mold removal often involves special equipment, chemicals, and of course, extra time on the part of the professional.
You’ll likely be charged one of three ways: a flat rate for all the services and add-ons, a “per vent” fee, or a fee determined by the square footage of the ducts.
Ahhh! Sparkling floors, gleaming windows, and zero dust bunnies. A thorough cleaning can make your abode feel brand new. But that immaculate house comes with a price — sore biceps. Here’s how to deep clean your house without skimping, or pulling a muscle.
Image: Rafa Fernández/ImageBrief
Best of all these brilliant hacks — for nine pain-in-the-butt tasks — will deliver the same pristine results with half the time and energy.
#1 Break Out the Drill on Your Bathtub
Cleaning a grungy tub can be back-breaking work. But here’s a genius idea that’ll save you time and sweat: Use your drill. Simply attach a scrubby (or a foam ball polishing attachment if you happen to have one) and use it to do the deep cleaning for you. Look in the automotive section for the attachment, which is made specially for tackling grime without scratching surfaces.
#2 Soak Stove Burners in Ammonia
Your stove burners take the bulk of the greasy, gunky mess during cooking, so do them a favor and give them a deep cleaning. Don’t worry: No scrubbing involved. To clear the crud, combine your stove burners and 1/4 cup ammonia in a plastic bag and let sit overnight. They should come clean with a light sponge the next day.
#3 Run Floor Vents Through the Dishwasher
You can’t go much deeper when debating how to deep clean your house than tackling your floor and ceiling vents. Scour as you might, removing all the accumulated dirt and dust from vents can be a spring cleaner’s nightmare. If yours are made of aluminum or steel, there’s a shortcut to spic-and-span: Just run them through the dishwasher on a water-only cycle.
Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic
#4 Iron Out Bad Carpet Stains
Don’t spend an hour scrubbing out that nasty, set-in carpet splotch. Iron it out instead. Spritz a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water on the stain, and lay a clean cotton cloth on top. Turn your iron to its highest steam setting and run it over the stain for about 10 seconds to transfer the stain to the cloth and off your carpet.
#5 Tie a Bag of Vinegar Around Your Showerhead
Mineral build-up on your showerhead can cause low water pressure and wonky water streams. But deep cleaning them is easy without removing them. Using a rubber band, attach a bag of vinegar to your showerhead, making sure all the holes are submerged in the vinegar, and soak it overnight. Voilà. Good as new.
Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic
#6 Make Your Leaf Blower Multi-Task
Forget the broom and rags when you’re cleaning out the garage. Whip out your leaf blower and let it blow all the dust, debris, and dead bugs (yuck!) away from the floor and shelving. Just be sure to put away light-weight things could accidentally get blown out with the trash.
#7 Get Rid of Crayon Marks with Goo Gone
Removing evidence of your toddler’s overactive imagination from your gorgeous white walls can be a struggle, but a little bit of Goo Gone (traditionally used to clean sticker residue) will remove the crayon and your headache. Spray it on the drawing, wait a moment, and wipe it off cleanly — without exhausting your arms.
#8 Boil Your Range Filter
There’s no need to scrub the grease and grime off your range filters. Use a bit of baking soda and your largest pot instead. Set the water to boil, slowly add 1/2 cup of baking soda, and submerge your filters for about five minutes. (Make sure to dump the water somewhere safe. Grease in the drain is even worse than grimy filters.)
Image: One Good Thing by Jillee
#9 Sprinkle Your Mattress With Baking Soda
Your mattress needs a spring cleaning refresh, too, but you sure can’t toss it in the washing machine. Cleaning gurus recommend dragging your mattress outside, beating it, and letting the sunshine help freshen it, then dragging it back in. How to deep clean your house shouldn’t result in a herniated disk.
This is much easier: Use a kitchen strainer to sprinkle baking soda over its surface and let sit for an hour or longer. Longer is better. Then use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to suck up the odor-absorbing soda.
*Content Originally published by REALTOR.com, provided by PAAR**
Articles in Ideal Living are made possible by Ability Remodeling of Prescott, AZ.
Mold in your home is never good. It looks awful, smells awful, and is awful for your health. Generally speaking, mold is either easy to spot or hides where you may never think to look. Wherever there may be moisture, there may be mold.
Of course, it loves to make its home wherever you will have a hard time reaching. Your HVAC system’s ductwork and AC vents are a natural place for mold to grow.
Luckily, there are some ways Winchester homeowners can easily deal with it with home remedies.
Identifying Moldy Vents (When to Clean)
Mold is typically considered an “invisible threat.” While it may not jump right out at you, there are some telltale signs that you are dealing with a mold problem on your AC Vents.
If you want to work proactively, it’s always a good idea to take a look in the vents to check for any signs of mold. Otherwise, a musty smell combined with headaches or allergy symptoms once the air conditioning is on is indicative of mold.
You may also see mold begin to appear on the outside of the vents when the situation becomes bad enough. Any time mold is present, no matter how small it may be, it’s a good idea to take care of it.
There are professional services for this exact issue, but you can deal with it yourself. DIY remedies for mold are cost-effective and straightforward.
How To Clean Mold on Your AC Vents
There’s no need to panic or scramble if you find some mold on your AC vents. So long as you’re willing, you can take care of it. Put yourself first, though. Before you begin, take measures to protect yourself from the mold. Rubber gloves, respiratory protection, and safety glasses are must-haves.
As far as what you will need to deal with the mold, there’s no need to go nuts. Your favorite detergent, bleach (or baking soda), and water are what you’ll need. Of course, you can use commercially available EPA registered mold removal solutions and inhibitors to prevent the mold from returning.
What to Mix
Mixing the solution is easy. If you opt to use detergent and baking soda, you may follow the following mixture:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of detergent
- Half-tablespoon of baking soda
If you prefer bleach, one part bleach to 16 parts water is enough to remove mold.
Removal of the mold may be tackled in various methods, and you can get creative here. There isn’t any need to overcomplicate the matter, though.
You will need to remove the vents to clean them as both sides need attention. A spray bottle paired with means to scrub the vents does the trick; before you do so, it’s wise to let the vents soak. Be sure that no mold remains before reinstalling the vents.
Should I Replace The Vents/Ductwork?
Just because the vents are moldy, there’s no need to replace them. As long as structural integrity remains, simple cleaning is enough. If you have a central AC system and the vents are moldy, take a look at the ductwork. Finding mold here a well is not uncommon.
If mold exists within your ductwork, there’s no need to worry about replacing that either.
In fact, with a flexible mop and the cleaning solution of your choice may be enough to deal with it. You should know that if the situation is bad enough, you can call professionals in for ductwork cleaning.
Proactive Measures are Better Than Reactive Measures
It’s always better to stop a problem before it starts. Because mold can be harmful to your health, or others who enter your home, this is especially true. If you are cleaning the mold yourself, use of an inhibiter once the vents are clean will help prevent mold from reappearing.
Because moisture breeds mold, dealing with humidity is another proactive step to take.
A dehumidifier is especially helpful when you live in a humid region. Be mindful that an AC system reduces humidity by nature, and using a dehumidifier may only be needed during times when the AC is not in use.
Mold is scary, but you can handle it yourself. Just remember to make sure to protect yourself when cleaning. If mold is growing on your vents, there is cause to check other parts of the HVAC system.
Drip pans drain and any other parts of the system where moisture is present is where mold will grow. Again, there’s no need to panic; just apply a few simple cleaning methods.
Your heating and air conditioning ducts are the lungs of your home. Like your lungs, the ducts work better with clean air. However there is some dispute as to how clean your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts need to be.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the light dust found in ductwork is less hazardous than contaminants stirred up by cooking, cleaning, smoking, and even walking across the carpet. And HVAC ducts are part of a sealed system—they don’t accumulate dust like shelves and furniture. Airborne particles are prevented from entering the HVAC system by furnace and air conditioner filters. This is why your first—and best—line of defense is to replace HVAC filters on a regular basis. Filters are inexpensive insurance against costly problems in the future.
If you have mold growing on the sheet metal of your ductwork, you may need to take some additional steps. While you can’t see into the ducts, presence of mold is indicated by odors and damp filters or wall insulation. An HVAC professional can determine if you have mold in your ducts.
Ducts can also get infested with rodents, insects, and other vermin. This is a serious problem that needs immediate attention from professionals. The droppings and dander produced by vermin quickly creates an unhealthy environment in your home.
When it comes to the nitty gritty, cleaning air ducts is not a do-it-yourself job. It requires tools, such as a high-powered vacuum and rotary brushes, that you don’t have lying around in the garage. In addition, an improper cleaning job could damage the ducts, resulting in expensive repairs.
The best DIY project for your HVAC system involves the good old vacuum cleaner. Keep the floor grilles and wall duct registers clean with the vacuum brush attachment. If there’s a lot of dust, unscrew the grills and hose out the visible interior of the ducts. Also, don’t forget the cold-air returns.
If you decide to call in the professionals, be aware that there are companies out there who take advantage of people’s fear of mold and allergens. They might offer a “free inspection” and then charge a huge sum to treat (nonexistent) mold and to “seal” the entire system. Make sure your HVAC cleaners are recommended on crowd-source review websites or have positive ratings from the Better Business Bureau.