Cleaning the air ducts in your home comes with many benefits. Clean ducts ensure that the HVAC system takes on less wear and tear, that there is less dust and debris generated within the home, and that the quality of the air is generally higher. Duct cleaning is also very important if you have residents who suffer from allergies. So, what does the DIY air duct cleaning process entail?
The Necessary Products
Before you embark on cleaning your system’s air ducts, you will need the following things:
- HVAC filters: Since you will remove your current air filters in order to reach some areas of your HVAC system, you can use this opportunity to replace them if they are old.
- Vacuum cleaner: Any household vacuum cleaner will do as long as it has a hose attached to it. The more heavy-duty, the better.
- Brush: A stiff-bristle paint brush will do here.
- Screwdriver/hex driver: This tool may be needed to remove the fasteners keeping your registers in place.
- Paper towels: The paper towels will be used to cover some of the registers so that dust and debris are not released into your home.
Before you begin, you’ll want to block the air vents with the paper towels. The easiest way to do this is to lift the vent and wrap a towel around it, then place it back on its opening. You’ll then want to start the system’s fan, and have it running so that it can expel any dust or debris that you are going to loosen using your brush. Either activate the fan-only function through your thermostat, or turn the heat on if you do not have that option on your system. Next, you will want to make sure that the old filters are still in place so that the dust generated during the cleaning process does not end up in the fan motor.
With everything set up, it’s time to start knocking the dust loose. For areas that you can reach, use the brush, and for areas that you cannot, simply tap the duct work. This will break up any large deposits of dust, especially if they are dampened. As the dust is loosened, it will start to travel towards your vent openings. This is when you want to turn on your vacuum cleaner and place the hose inside the vent. The vacuum will catch the pieces of dust and debris as they are pushed out by your AC unit or heater. To be as thorough as possible, try to reach as far back into the duct as you can to collect all the dust. You’ll then want to move to a new vent and use the vacuum to clean the duct as far back as you can reach.
The final step will be to clean the return air boot and blower compartment of your system. Start by turning off the system’s fan and powering off the furnace from your breaker panel. Once the power is off, remove the front panels of the furnace. This will give you access to the return air boot and blower compartment. You will probably find a lot of dust here, so make sure that you vacuum the area thoroughly. You can also give the furnace fan a good rinse. Finally, if you’ve bought a new air filter, and your old one has been in use for quite a while, now is the time to replace it.
And that’s it. Your DIY air duct cleaning project is complete. While not perfect, it will definitely be an improvement. But if this sounds like too much of a headache, or you would like to have a professional help you with your air duct cleaning in Elmhurst, contact us today.