Have you been seeing more dust lately or getting sick? Cleaning your ducts is a necessary maintenance task if you want to ensure that your home has clean air. Most homeowners hire an HVAC contractor to clean their ducts. If you don't have the time to do this necessary task, you can have a professional check it out for you. However, if you have a limited budget and a few basic tools, you can clean your own ducts quite effectively. This article explains some great DIY duct cleaning tips.
Removing and Cleaning the Registers
One of the most vital parts of an AC duct system is the registers. They are usually the first to get clogged because of the small space between the vents. Also, they can get clogged from the inside and outside of the register, so they constantly need to be cleaned. However, even if you clean your walls and registers on a regular basis, they can get clogged. In fact, simply wiping down the outside of your register can push dust in between the ducts and cause clogs.
For an adequate cleaning you will need to remove the registers. This is easily done with a handheld Phillips head screwdriver. Wipe down both sides of the register with a wet rag. If you notice any black spots, clean them well because it could be a sign of mold. If you notice that your registers get clogged soon after a cleaning, you should then proceed to check and change the filters.
Cleaning the Ducts
Now that the registers are off of the wall, you can access and clean the ducts. Most people will not have a duct cleaning tool, but you can fashion one out of existing things you might already have around the house. A powerful flashlight will also be necessary so you can actually see what you are cleaning. For instance, a telescoping paint pole or broom stick can be useful. You can screw on a mop head (or even tape it if necessary) that you can then use to wipe down the sidewalls of the ducts. A slightly wet rag taped to the handle end of a broomstick is also very effective. Whatever you use for wiping can be aided with some watered down all-purpose cleaner. Once you are doing wiping things down, use a shop vac (with a long hose) to pull out any other debris.
A simple duct cleaning can immediately alleviate allergy problems and even prevent mold formation. If you neglect to regularly clean your ducts, they can becomes so dirty that they can become very expensive to clean. Yearly duct cleanings are the best way to make sure you heating and AC systems are clean and energy efficient.