Cleaning Your Air Conditioning Vents
Cleaning your air conditioning vents — both your return vents and floor registers — is a great way to help maintain indoor air quality and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. Dirty vents can contain millions of particles of pollen and dust, which can break free and enter your home. Keeping them clean will help maintain proper airflow as well as reduce the number of contaminants entering your home.
Cleaning your air conditioning vents is a relatively easy process, and all you’ll need are few basic tools, a little elbow grease and a few minutes of free time.
Here’s a list of tools you’ll need to clean your air conditioning vents:
- A good vacuum cleaner, such as a ShopVac®
- Broom and dustpan
- Cleaning brush
Once you have your tools gathered, do the following:
- Safety first: Shut off the power connected to the heating and air conditioning system. You can do this either at your electric control panel (fuse box) or the shut off switches on the outside system. If you are unsure how to turn off your system, talk to an HVAC professional. Never work on any electrically based system when the power is on.
- Remove your return covers and registers using a screwdriver where necessary. Use your brush to clean everything thoroughly. If they’re extremely dirty you may want to use soap and water as well. If you have allergies and respiratory issues, make sure to wear a dust mask.
- Vacuum the duct area where the registers and return vents reside as much as possible. Consider using a high-powered ShopVac® for this purpose, as a regular household vacuum won’t be strong enough to clean deep into the crevices of the ducts. Make sure to use your broom and dustpan to clean up any dust that may have fallen on the floor.
- If you used soap and water, allow your vents and registers to dry thoroughly before re-installing. Damp registers and vents will act like a magnet for dust, allergens, and mold.
That’s it! 20 minutes of your time will reward you with cleaner air and better airflow.
Remember, to avoid having to clean your vents frequently, change your filters on a regular basis. If you feel that your ducts are excessively dirty, contact a reputable, reliable HVAC duct cleaning company.