Air ducts Ignoring tasks like replacing your filter each month can invite pollutants into your home’s ventilation system. Viruses, bacteria and fungi can invade your air ducts and become suspended in your indoor air if your ducts are left uncleaned.

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Cleaning your AC ducts yourself isn’t too difficult when you follow these steps:

  1. Cover vent openings with paper towels. Cover the openings to your supply registers with a few paper towels. This prevents dust from blowing out of them and landing on you walls and floor while you are cleaning ducts in other parts of the HVAC system. You will remove the covers to do your cleaning, but it’s a good idea to replace them after you are finished each time.
  2. Loosen the dust. Use the handle of your brush to tap around the sides of the ductwork and knock the dust attached to the walls loose.
  3. Change your air filter. Now that you have successfully removed some of the dust from your ducts, keep your indoor air even cleaner by replacing your air filter with a new one.
  4. Replace vent covers. After you have washed all of your vent covers, make sure to replace them.

If you repeat this process in the months between scheduled air duct cleaning services, you can improve the cleanliness of your home and your indoor air quality.

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another way to clean your air ducts

Still curious about the steps involved in cleaning air ducts? Here are the basics, although we still don’t recommend attempting it as a DIY project:

1. Check the vents

Open a vent cover to check inside for dirt, dust or any other matter you don’t want in there.

2. Check the return registers

Check the return air registers for dust buildup. Pay attention especially if there is a thick layer coated on the registers.

3. Remove the filter

Remove and examine the air filter. If your air filter is dirty and covered in dust, it’s time to change it.

4. Check the furnace

Open up your furnace compartment and check the blower fan, motor and the furnace controls for dust.

5. Check the air conditioning coil

Examine the air conditioning coil. If you find dust on it or the housing walls, then your air filter isn’t working.

6. Turn off power

Turn off the power to your heating and air conditioning units. Note: Shutting off the thermostat does not power down the unit; you need to turn off power at the breaker panel or power switch on the furnace.

7. Remove the air duct covers and clean

Remove the air duct covers and use a brush to clean the grates. Make sure to be thorough. Use a vacuum to clean out the ducts. A model with a hose will give you the most maneuverability.

8. Clean ceiling vents

Last, clean the vents on your ceiling. You can use a vacuum or broom to clean off the dust.

Want to learn more about your air ducts? Browse through our articles on how to keep your home cool during the summerhow to improve your indoor air quality, and what devices can help you remove nuisance or harmful particles from the air.

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