How to Clean Air Vents In Your House

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

cleaning air ducts
Cleaning your home's air ducts every few months will help with air quality and air flow. JaniceRichard/Getty Images

One of the best ways to ensure that the air in your home is clean is to clean your air vents. The air ducts in your house contain millions of particles of dust, hair, dirt, pollen, spider webs and other allergens. Cleaning your air vents will also save you money on heating and air conditioning. So read the tips listed below and learn about how you can clean the air vents in your house.

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Here's What You Need

  • Heavy duty vacuum
  • Screwdriver
  • Broom
  • Cleaning Brush

Here's What To Do

  1. Turn off the power connected to the heating and air conditioning system.
  2. Unscrew the air duct covers or grilles from the walls. Use your brush to clean the grates thoroughly. If they're very dusty and grimy, you may want to use soap and water to make them gleam.
  3. Vacuum the ducts as much as possible. Consider renting a heavy duty vacuum for this purpose. The standard household vacuum isn't powerful enough to clean deep into the crevices of the ducts. Make sure that the vacuum you rent has a long hose to reach deep into the ducts. This is important, as there may be mold and mildew growing inside the air ducts. If you want the ducts to be cleaned more thoroughly, consider hiring a professional to do the job.
  4. Clean the grilles in your ceiling. If you can't reach them with the vacuum or screwdriver, use a broom to attack the dust. Remember that if you haven't cleaned them for a long time, you will want to protect yourself from all the dust and debris that will fall down by wearing a dust mask.

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Air Vent Cleaning FAQ

How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?
Persistant mold, dust or even the presence of rodents are all signs that your ducts need a thorough cleaning.
What happens if you don't clean your air ducts?
Unclean air ducts are prone to the formation of mold and mildew. This can ruin the air quality in a home and can lead to illnesses and even death.
How much does it cost to get air ducts cleaned?
The cost of duct cleaning differs depending on the size of the house and the number of ducts. It can fall between $300 and $500, with an average price of $35 per vent.
What is the best method for air duct cleaning?
One of the best ways to cleaning an air duct is the Power Vacuum or Air Sweep method. However, this is a tedious task, so it’s best to leave it to an expert.
What is the best duct cleaning machine?
The SpinVax 1000XT is marketed as the best piece of equipment for duct cleaning as it is powerful and efficient.

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