5 Air Duct Cleaning Tips You Need to Know
Have you noticed more dust and allergens in your home lately? If your air ducts haven’t been cleaned in a while, it’s probably time for a deep cleaning.
Your home’s air ducts play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment, and neglecting them can lead to many problems. So, you must include air conditioner duct cleaning in your regular cleaning schedule.
If you are not confident about your DIY cleaning skills, then we have a treat for you. Here, we will share five air duct cleaning tips to help you seamlessly clean your ducts and breathe easier in your home.
Why is Air Duct Cleaning Important?
Having the air ducts in your home properly cleaned is one of the best things you can do for your health and energy efficiency. Here are a few reasons why air duct cleaning should be a priority:
- Buildup of Dust, Dirt, and Debris: Over time, dust, dirt, pet dander, mould, and other pollutants can build up in your air ducts. This negatively impacts the air you breathe in your home and can exacerbate allergies and respiratory issues. Air duct cleaning removes these contaminants from your ductwork.
- Improved Airflow: When air ducts get clogged with debris, it reduces the airflow in your HVAC system. This makes your furnace and air conditioner work harder and less efficiently. Air duct cleaning improves airflow for better performance, lower energy bills, and a more comfortable indoor climate.
- Fewer Odours: Smells from smoke, pets, cooking, and more can get trapped in your air ducts and then circulate through your home. Air duct cleaning removes the source of odours and leaves your home smelling fresh and clean.
- Longer HVAC Lifespan: When your furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work as hard due to improved airflow and less buildup, they last longer. Air duct cleaning can extend the useful life of your HVAC system by up to 5 years.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality: The EPA ranks poor indoor air quality as one of the top health risks today. Air duct cleaning removes pollutants from your ductwork and vents so you can breathe easier in your own home. For health, comfort, and energy efficiency, air duct cleaning is one of the best investments you can make.
How Often Should Air Ducts be Cleaned?
Many homeowners wonder how often they should conduct air conditioner duct cleaning for quality results.
As a general rule of thumb, most homeowners should schedule air duct cleaning once or twice a year. However, the cleaning frequency can vary from one home to another based on several factors.
Here are a few factors to consider:
If your air ducts are visibly dirty or haven’t been cleaned in many years, it’s a good idea to schedule a cleaning sooner rather than later. Excessive dirt, debris, mould, and allergens building up in your ductwork can significantly impact the efficiency and quality of your HVAC system.
Do you have pets? Smoke inside? Live in an area with high outdoor pollution? These factors can contribute to dirtier air ducts and may warrant more frequent cleanings, such as every 2-3 years. It’s also a good idea to schedule an extra cleaning after any major home renovations.
Allergy and Asthma Sufferers
For those with allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues, keeping your air ducts clean is especially important. Built-up allergens in your ductwork, like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites can worsen symptoms. You may need professional air duct cleanings as often as once a year to keep the indoor air quality high and allergen levels low.
Dirty, clogged air ducts require your HVAC system to work harder to heat and cool your home. This can significantly reduce its efficiency and increase your energy bills over time. Regular professional cleanings, such as every 3 years, help ensure optimal airflow and peak efficiency.
The best way to determine your ideal air conditioner duct cleaning frequency is to consider your unique situation and needs. If in doubt, you can consult a professional also.
5 DIY Air Duct Cleaning Tips
DIY air duct cleaning may seem like a daunting task, but with these helpful duct cleaning tips, you can freshen up your ducts and create a healthier home environment.
Use a Vacuum with a Hose Attachment
The easiest way to clean your air vents and ducts is with a vacuum that has different hose attachments so you can reach tight spaces. Use the brush attachment to loosen up any built-up dust and debris, then vacuum to suck it all up.
Move your vacuum hose up and down the length of the duct to pull out as much dirt and grime as possible. Be very gentle around the seams and joints of the ducts to avoid causing any damage.
Disinfect and Deodorize
Once you’ve vacuumed your air ducts, go back over them with a disinfectant spray to sanitise them and a deodoriser to leave them smelling fresh. Spray into each vent and as far down the duct as your hose will reach.
Let the sprays sit for several hours or as directed before turning your HVAC system back on. Disinfecting and deodorising your air ducts will help remove musty smells, allergens like mould and mildew, and other contaminants that can build up over time.
Use an Air Duct Cleaning Kit
For a more thorough DIY air duct cleaning, invest in an air duct cleaning kit. These kits provide attachments to connect a vacuum hose to your air vents so you can suction out debris from inside the ductwork. Many also include brushes to loosen clogs before vacuuming.
Air duct cleaning kits allow you to clean deeper into your duct system to remove built-up dust, pet dander, construction particles and other pollutants. Follow the directions to ensure you clean your ducts properly without causing any damage.
Seal Up any Leaks
While cleaning your air ducts, inspect them for any holes, tears or loose seams and seal them up. Air leaks in your ductwork reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system and let pollutants enter your home. Use duct tape, sealant or metal tape designed specifically for sealing air ducts.
Cover the entire hole or seam to ensure no air can escape. Sealing up leaks in your air ducts can improve the air quality in your home and lower energy bills.
Clean Vents and Returns
Don’t forget to remove and clean the vents, registers and air returns in your home. Use a vacuum with brush attachments to suction out any built-up dust around the edges and in the slats of vents.
Take air returns off the walls and use a vacuum hose to clean inside the opening. Wipe down the exterior of vents and return with a disinfectant or degreaser before putting them back on.
Tips for Keeping Your Air Ducts Last Longer
Keeping your air ducts clean is important for the health of your home and family. Here are some tips to help extend the time between professional duct cleanings:
Run an Air Purifier
An air purifier can help capture airborne pollutants like dust, pet dander, and mould before they enter your ductwork. Place air purifiers in rooms where pollutants originate, like near pet beds or in damp areas like basements or bathrooms. HEPA filters are best for trapping ultra-fine particles.
Vacuum Vents and Registers
Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to suction up any built-up dust and debris in air vents, registers, grills and diffusers throughout your home. Pay extra attention to vents in high-traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms. Quarterly vacuuming of vents can significantly reduce the amount of dirt and dander in your air ducts.
Run an Exhaust Fan
Kitchens and bathrooms produce excess moisture that can lead to mould growth in ductwork. Run an exhaust fan for at least 20 minutes after cooking or showering to remove excess humidity. Make sure exhaust fans vent outside, not into attics or crawl spaces.
Seal and Insulate Ducts
Any cracks, holes or disconnects in your ductwork allow pollutants to enter and conditioned air to escape. Have an HVAC professional seal and insulate any problem areas in your ducts. Proper duct sealing and insulation improve efficiency by up to 30 percent and reduce energy bills.
Change Filters Regularly
Clogged or dirty filters prevent efficient airflow and force your HVAC system to work harder. Change HVAC filters once a month or every 3 months for high-quality filters. Pleated 1-inch filters with a MERV rating of 8 or higher are best for trapping airborne contaminants. Neglecting to change filters is one of the leading causes of duct contamination and poor indoor air quality.
Ensuring your air vents and ductwork are clear of built-up dust and debris is one of the best ways to improve your home’s air quality and create a healthy environment for you and your family. Stay on top of regular maintenance like vent cleaning, change your air filters often, address any water damage right away, consider professional duct cleaning if needed, and keep vents unblocked.
These simple steps will pay off for your home’s health and your peace of mind. Keep your air flowing freely and breathe easy, knowing you’ve got clean air ducts working for you.
If you think your air duct’s condition is complicated and needs professional care, consider Total Duct Cleaning your partner. No matter how complex your cleaning requirements are, we have the right equipment and air conditioner duct cleaning expertise to achieve exceptional results for your home. Contact us now and ensure your air ducts get the professional care they deserve.