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How to clean your air ducts


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Your air ducts and vents need regular maintenance. Ignoring tasks such as changing your filter every month can invite pollutants into your home̵

7;s ventilation system. Viruses, bacteria and fungi can enter your air ducts and float in your indoor air if your ducts are left unclean.

It’s also important to note that people with clean channels report better overall health. And for those with respiratory problems and allergies, clean ventilation can prevent symptoms from triggering and becoming a higher risk. Contact a health professional if you have any questions about how indoor air quality can affect your health.

Keep reading to learn more about how to safely clean your dirty air ducts, including whether you really need to tackle this job yourself – or hire a professional instead.

Hire a professional

While you can certainly try cleaning your air ducts yourself, we highly recommend consulting a professional for a more thorough job. Your home’s HVAC system has a variety of sensitive components that should only be opened and maintained by a professional service provider who knows what they are doing. Fan motors, fan housings, heat exchangers and cooling coils can be covered with dust, requiring professional judgment and experience to clean safely.

In addition to dust, pests and microbial pathogens can also live in your air ducts. The use of chemical agents, such as pesticides and biocides, requires the expertise of a professional. Your HVAC system may have been contaminated or damaged by pests, resulting in unexpected dangers. Play it smart and leave the cleaning of the air ducts to a qualified supplier.

Find an air duct cleaning service

Start here to search for a professional duct cleaner.

If you’re in one of the following states – AZ, AK, CA, FL, GA, MI, and TX – ask your prospective air duct cleaner if it is specially licensed. Qualified service providers may have their own specific approach to cleaning your channels, but they should incorporate NAIMA practices and NADCA’s industry standard into their efforts, especially if the ductwork includes fiber. Do you want to know if your channel cleaner was thorough? Consider checking the EPA’s consumer checklist after cleaning.

Beware of companies claiming remarkable health benefits as research on clean air ducts and their impact on residents’ health is still in its infancy. All air ducts collect dust and must be cleaned, although the amount of dust a cleaning requires is subjective. A professional can help identify the specific needs for cleaning your air ducts and provide tips on how to improve your indoor air quality year round.

How to clean your air ducts

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

1. Check the ventilation openings

Open a vent to check the inside for dirt, dust, or anything else you don’t want inside.

2. Check the return registers

Check the return air registers for dust build-up. Pay particular attention if there is a thick layer 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 replace it.

4. Check the oven

Open your oven compartment and check the fan, motor and oven controls for dust.

5. Check the air conditioning battery

Examine the A / C battery. If you find dust on or on the walls of the housing, your air filter will not work.

6. Turn off the power

Turn off the power to your heating and air conditioning. Note: Turning off the thermostat will not turn off the unit; you must turn off the power at the circuit breaker panel or the power switch on the oven.

7. Remove and clean the air duct covers

Remove the air duct covers and use a brush to clean the grilles. Make sure you are thorough. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the channels. A model with a hose gives you the most maneuverability.

8. Clean ceiling fans

Finally, clean the vents on your ceiling. You can use a vacuum cleaner or broom to remove the dust.

Want to know more about your air ducts? Browse our articles about how to keep your home cool during the summer how to improve your indoor air quality, and which devices can help you remove nuisance or harmful particles from the air

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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