Cleaning Air Ducts

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated August 24, 2015)

Most cooling and heating systems involve the use of air ducts, which are actually quite helpful when it comes to conserving energy and making your system work the most efficiently. However, when you do have air ducts in your heating and cooling systems, you do need to be made aware that those air ducts need to be cleaned in order to preserve the maximum efficiency. Also, with clean air ducts, you help maintain the health of you and your family by preventing the possibility of bad air circulating throughout your house.

If your air ducts get too dirty, you run the risk of irritants and even certain kinds of bacteria lodging in the dirty air ducts and consequently getting circulated throughout your home. This can not only affect your health, but also the quality and efficiency of your electronics. This is probably the last thing you want to have to deal with and so the best way to make sure that the air you're breathing in your house is top quality, then make sure your air ducts are clean. Air ducts do maximize the efficiency of your system, but the downfall is that new air takes longer to circulate into the house.

When you clean your air ducts, you need to perform a very thorough job. You need to clean all of the return-air grilles and registers, inside of the air ducts themselves, in the interior of the heating system, and also the interior of your ventilation system. If you can, clean the furnace fat, and if your house uses an air conditioning system that coils, then clean that as well. You might want to consider using a disinfectant when cleaning our your air ducts and ventilation systems so that you kill any lingering bacteria, mold, and dust mites.

When you actually clean the air ducts, filters, and ventilation, then you need a damp rag and a bucket full of soapy water. Using ammonia is a good idea when tackling this project because it's a powerful cleaner and will definitely result in clean air ducts for you and your family. Don't just do a mediocre wipe down of all the surfaces, but rather do an in depth cleaning. Get in the corners and clean all sides of the air duct, filter, or ventilation tract. You'll probably want to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and if the water gets too dirty and gross, then take a break and replenish the water with a fresh and soapy supply. Cleaning with extremely dirty water won't do any good.

You probably won't be able to reach all the air ducts in your house, and so if you have a complex system or if your air ducts and ventilation is particularly bad, then you might want to consider hiring a professional to clean the areas you can't reach very well on your own. Paying the extra money may not be your favorite, but if clean air ducts will make a major difference in the air quality of your home, then it's definitely worth it.

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