Cleaning Home Air Ducts Cleanings

It’s crucial to clean the air ducts cleaning in your house. The vents may conceal a variety of things, including dust, grime, spider webs, and mildew. Your family’s health may suffer if your air ducts include any contaminants like dust or mold.
When you turn on the HVAC, particles, and impurities that have hidden inside the ductwork will travel throughout your house. The consequences of breathing in dust, mold, hair, pet dander, and other pollutants are varied.air ducts cleaning
Unfortunately, hiring a professional to clean your air ducts may be rather expensive. But can you handle it on your own?
Yes, you can, and it’s not as hard as it might appear. Your heating and cooling systems will function better if you know how to clean your home’s air ducts. Additionally, it may enable you to reduce your energy costs.

Table of Contents

  • Is Cleaning My Air Ducts Necessary?
  • How Much Does Cleaning Air Ducts Cost?
  • How to DIY Duct Cleaning
  • FAQs on How to Avoid Air Duct Contamination
  • Cleaning Up Your Home

Is Cleaning My Air Ducts Necessary?

Sneezing, runny noses, and eye discomfort are some of the most typical symptoms of dirty home air ducts. Allergens can also cause more serious side effects including asthma episodes, migraines, and nausea (1).
There may be something there if you or other family members have symptoms at home but not outside. You can try to examine your air ducts with a flashlight after opening them up.
Cleaning the air duct cleaning may not be essential if there are no noticeable significant dust or mold deposits. The return registers should grow dirty when dust-filled air is drawn through them. You may either remove the grating and clean it by hand or use a portable vacuum to clean it (2).

You should also clean your air ducts for the following reasons:

  • Mold: Mold is likely to present if you frequently smell a musty or wet scent coming from the vents. In this instance, removing mold from air ducts is essential for the welfare of both you and your family. Mold is prone to develop if your insulated ducts become damp. Since you can’t adequately clean the insulation, it is preferable to replace it. To stop the mold from coming back, you must repair the leaks’ origins.
  • Vermin: Yes, an air duct can get infested with rats and insects. In this situation, cleaning is essential. To guarantee the issue is dealt with and fixed, you might want to leave this to the experts. Before cleaning your ducts, you must get rid of any rodent infestation.
  • Ducts are clogged: If dust or other debris accumulates inside the ducts, you’ll probably notice that airborne particles are being expelled. It’s time to clean the vents because of this.

The price of cleaning air ducts

It costs money to have your air ducts professionally cleaned. But only every five to seven years, or as necessary, is advised.
Although costs vary based on where you reside, the average is $366. It may cost anything from $268 to $489. Consider the size and quantity of ducts in your property as well; this might increase the cost to $700. (3).

Locating a Reputable Duct Cleaner

The importance of selecting a quality air duct cleaner is emphasized by the EPA. If the procedure isn’t followed correctly, a number of things might go wrong. If the service provider doesn’t have the right tools, such as a weak vacuum system, it could do more harm than good.
Your ducts may get increasingly contaminated and filled with dust if your cleaning tools are insufficient. Careless or improperly trained service technicians run the risk of damaging your HVAC system or ductwork. This can necessitate pricey repairs or replacements.

Several other warning signs are included below:

  • Rethink claims: Numerous service providers will make enticing promises about the advantages to your health of routine duct cleaning. Experts, however, refute these assertions. Additionally, you should be cautious of businesses that make claims to be EPA certified because the EPA does not certify, authorize, or support such businesses (4).
  • Avoid chemical treatments: Some businesses will claim that chemical treatment is required to eradicate any mold or bacteria present in your ducts. Do your homework to be sure this is essential before approving it, though.
  • Check references and state licenses: Verify that the company’s work has pleased other clients. Additionally, see if the business has any necessary state licenses. A number of states demand that air duct cleaning businesses possess particular permits.

Utilizing a Licensed Air Duct Cleaner

There are a few things a professional who cleans your air ducts should accomplish. They consist of, but are not restricted to:
  • Access ports and active registers: You need to check your complete system. If you decide to clean your ducts on your own, you need to prepare them beforehand. If there are any asbestos-containing products, such as insulation or register boots, you’ll require a contractor with specialized training.
  • Heavy-duty vacuums: A heavy-duty vacuum that exhausts trash outside of your house should be used by the service provider. Make sure the vacuum is a HEPA one if it exhausts inside the house.
  • Protect furniture: While cleaning, carpets, couches, and other furniture should be covered.
  • Follow standards: The air duct cleaner is required to uphold the NADCA’s criteria for air duct cleaning (5). Additionally, if there is a fiberglass lining or duct board, they should adhere to NAIMA’s suggested procedure (6).
An air duct cleaner may occasionally need to drill access holes in order to adequately check particular duct components. This is typical, but you must make sure that they seal up any holes they create or open. To be successful, the air duct must be airtight; if there are any gaps, energy will be lost.

How to DIY Duct Cleaning

You can attempt to clean the ducts yourself before contacting a professional.

What You’ll Need

  • A strong vacuum (preferably with a HEPA filter) with a brush attachment.
  • Screwdriver.
  • Bucket or sink.
  • Water.
  • Dish soap.
  • Drill with a cleaning brush.
  • Broom.

1. Turn the Power Off

Always shut off the electricity to the associated heating and cooling system. Any potential electrocutions or mishaps will be avoided by doing this.

2. Take off any covers or grilles

The air duct grilles or coverings are unscrewed with a screwdriver. After removing them, thoroughly clean them in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Then let them completely dry.

3. Get the drill ready.

Using a drill and a brush to remove dirt, dust, webs, and perhaps mold is a simple method. Find the register and open it; these can occasionally be found on the wall or the floor.
Open the register and then insert your drill brush into the duct. Because you don’t want a loose brush in the ducts, make sure it is fastened firmly.
Then, whirl the brush around inside the ducts while the drill is running. Pull it back gradually while the drill is going. This will also clean the duct walls. To avoid dust blowing everywhere, stop the drill when the brush is about two feet from the aperture.

4. Vacuum

We need to clean up all loose debris when the drill brush is taken out of the duct. Enter the duct with your vacuum and the brush attachment, then suction up all the debris you managed to loosen.
You might need to rent a heavy-duty vacuum if you don’t already own one. We advise utilizing a HEPA-filtered vacuum for the best outcomes. As you clean the ducts, this will stop dust from entering again.
The hose should have sufficient length to extend deep within the ducts. The only way to access any mold, mildew, dust, dirt, or spiderwebs that may be deep inside is through this opening.

5. Repeat

If you have more than one duct, repeat the procedure with the other ones. During this time, you should also inspect any installed air filters. Normally, they can be vacuumed, but if they’re filthy, think about replacing them.

6. Closing Up

Reposition and secure the register after you’re finished. Before returning the grill once you’ve cleaned it, make sure it’s completely dry. Check the vents after re-engaging the power. Although there may be some loose dust present, it should rapidly stop.

How to Prevent Air Duct Contamination

A well-maintained HVAC system won’t need to be cleaned as often. There are several things you can do to ensure there’s no contamination within your system:
  • Use a high-efficiency air filter: Which filters you may use should be suggested by the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system. To guarantee healthy indoor air quality, use the suggested air filter that is the most effective.
  • Replace filters: It could be time to change the filter once you notice that the quality of the air within your home has declined. If you have allergies, having unclean filters may make them worse.
  • Insulate the air duct: Insulate the area surrounding the filters to make sure no air can flow through. Make sure there are no missing filters as well.
  • Check other parts: Ask the person cleaning your air ducts to also clean the drain pans and cooling coils.
  • Clean regularly: You may prevent contamination in the ductwork by routinely cleaning your home and minimizing dust. For optimal results, use a HEPA vacuum since it will capture small particles (7).



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