DIY Guide: How to Clean Air Ducts at Home
Cleaning air ducts at home can be more complicated than you might initially think. If you are struggling with cleaning ducts or you are looking for some helpful information about doing it properly, you are in the right place.
What Is Duct Cleaning?
It is the cleaning of various parts of the cooling and heating system, which includes the air ducts. Duct cleaning also includes cleaning diffusers, registers or grilles, heat clarifiers, coils for heating and cooling, condensate drain pans, the motor of the fan, the housing of fan, and the air handling unit housing.
If the ducts are not cleaned properly, these can become dirty and contaminated with dust particles and other debris. If moisture dampens the ducts, over time it can lead to growth of germs/bacteria such as fungus, which can cause various kinds of diseases and allergies.
The air ducts can be cleaned by calling a service provider company, or you can also clean it yourself at home.
The Cost of Cleaning Your Air Ducts using a Professional Company
Duct cleaning service providers have regulated procedures maintained by industry associations that regulate air duct cleaning standards. These companies are very helpful as they also use special equipment to clean the dirt and grime stuck inside the air vents. Once the dirt is loose, they use powerful vacuums to suck it out of the ducts.
However, as you may suspect, the cost of having your air ducts professionally cleaned can be very high for many people. The rough estimates for taking the services of a professional HVAC mold removal is they will charge you anywhere between $500 and $2,500.
According to professionals at a Carpet Cleaning Stevenage, the reason behind the high cost is that a professional duct cleaner business uses special tools and chemicals which are costly.
Cleaning Your Air Ducts Yourself at Home
If you wish to clean the air ducts at home, the first step is to invest in the right tools and materials required for the job. In most cases it is not only possible, but also a good idea to clean the air ducts at home as it does not require any tough learning and training.
Of course, you may not be able and don't need to go deeper into the duct system as the professionals would. Usually, the debris is collected in the register, and you can clean them with ease.
Let’s look at how you can clean the air ducts of your heating and cooling system by yourself. We will break the process into two portions for your ease of understanding. The first part deals with the tools that you would need and the second parti is a step by step process to follow.
Let’s dive in.
Tools That You Need to Clean Air Ducts
Here are the air duct cleaning tools that you need to clean the ducts yourself:
- Gloves, dust mask, and goggles - you require these to protect yourself from catching any dust and pathogens while cleaning. It is recommended that you wear heavy-duty gloves and a dust mask or goggles.
- Vacuum – Invest in a long hose vacuum cleaner that can reach into the ducts for sucking the dust.
- Brush – It is used to clean the dust or debris. Buy something like a toilet brush or a stiff-bristled paintbrush.
- Power drill or a screwdriver – Used for removing screws from the vents. Or invest in a screwdriver that’s compatible with screws on different types of registers.
- Cleaning cloth – take any cleaning cloth or a microfiber cloth.
- Paper towels – Paper towels are useful to do a final wipe when you are finished.
- Furnace filter – you need this tool at the end of the task. You are advised to pick up the correct filter option for your furnace.
Easy Step-By-Step Process of Duct Cleaning
STEP #1: Start by removing the screws from the air duct covers using a screwdriver or power drill.
STEP #2: Cover the supply vents with paper towels.
STEP #3: Set the thermostat to the "on Fan" position. It helps in moving the dust particles that you are losing while cleaning. Never forget to switch off the heat and cool mode.
STEP #4: Lose the dust in air ducts using your brush. Take the brush and start cleaning the dust or collected debris. It helps in breaking up any dust that is plunged to the insides of the channels.
STEP #5: Next, clean the supply registers/grills. Switch on the vacuum and point the hose near the register and pull it up. The hose will suck out the debris which is moved forward by the fan. Then, proceed to sweep inside the register's piping as far in as the attachment can reach. With the brush, loosen up any accumulated dust in the register.
STEP #6: Wipe the interior clean. Use a piece of cloth to reach down into the duct as far as you can and wipe clean.
STEP #7: Now wipe out the return registers.
STEP #8: Disconnect the fan and furnace. Disconnect the thermostat because to ensure you completely turn off the power of the whole unit.
STEP #9: Clean out the compartment of the blower and exchange air boot. By switching the power off, you can remove the panels on the front of the furnace and access the blower compartment and the return air boot. Use the vacuum to clean this area.
STEP #10: Relocate the furnace filter. Buy a good filter that will reduce the dust in your air ducts. If a filter is not clean, it limits the flow of air to the fan that makes the motor heat up, and also reduces its life span.
Admittedly, cleaning air ducts is laborious and can be a challenging process. But it is not too difficult if you’re committed to doing it yourself. Besides, not everyone can afford to hire professional duct cleaners.
However, if you are committed to cleaning the ducts yourself, make sure you have all the necessary tools and then follow the step by step, DIY process above. When you are done cleaning, the ducts will be sparkling.