How to Clean Home Air Ducts

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Cleaning your home’s air ducts is a critical chore. Dust, filth, spider Ibs, and even mold may all be found within the vents. Any pollution in your air ducts, such as mold or dirt, might have a detrimental impact on you and your family.

If particles and pollutants are trapped inside the ducts, they will spread throughout your house anytime the HVAC is turned on. When dirt, mold, hair, pet dander, and other pollutants are breathed, they produce a variety of consequences.

Unfortunately, hiring a professional to clean your air ducts might cost a small amount. But can you accomplish it on your own?

You most certainly can, and it isn’t as tough as it may appear. Keeping your air ducts clean will help your heating and cooling systems perform better. It might also assist you in saving money on your energy costs.

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Do My Air Ducts Need to Be Cleaned?

Do My Air Ducts Need to Be Cleaned?

It might be difficult to determine whether or not you need to clean your home’s air ducts. There are a few warning signals to look out for.

The most frequent side effects of polluted house air ducts are allergic responses such as sneezing, a runny nose, and eye discomfort. Allergens can, however, cause more serious symptoms such as asthma episodes, headaches, and nausea.

So, if you or other family members are feeling ill at home but fine when you leave the house, there might be something hiding. You may examine your air ducts by opening them up and gazing into them with a flashlight.

If you don’t detect any big deposits of dirt or mold, cleaning the ducts may be unnecessary. As dirt-laden air is drawn through the return registers, it is natural for them to get dirty. The grate may be readily cleaned with a handheld vacuum, or it can be removed and cleaned by hand.

Mold: If you frequently detect a wet stench coming from the vents, mold is likely. In this scenario, removing mold from air ducts is critical for your health and the wellness of your family. Mold is prone to form if your ducts are insulated and become moist. Because the insulation cannot be adequately cleaned, it is better to replace it.

Yes, rats and insects can infest an air duct, and cleaning is required in this scenario. However, you may want to delegate this task to a professional to guarantee that the problem is eliminated and fixed.

The ductwork is clogged: When dirt or debris accumulates within the ducts, particles are likely to be discharged with the air.

How Much Does Air Duct Cleaning Cost?

Cleaning your air ducts professionally is not inexpensive. It is, however, only suggested to do so every five to seven years, or as needed.

Prices vary based on where you reside, but the national average is $366. It might range from $267 and $485. The size of your home and the number of ducts should also be taken into account; this might raise the price to $700.

How to Hare a Professional Duct Cleaner

The EPA highlights the need of selecting a good air duct cleaning. If the procedure is not followed correctly, several things can go wrong. If the service provider does not utilize suitable equipment, such as an insufficient vacuum system, it may do more harm than good.

Inadequate cleaning equipment might lead to an increase in dirt and pollutants in your ducts. A negligent or inexperienced service provider may cause harm to your ductwork or HVAC system. This might lead to costly repairs or replacements.

Here are a few more things to keep an eye out for:

Rethink claims: Many service companies may make enticing claims about the health advantages of having your ducts cleaned on a regular basis. Experts, however, have not backed up these assertions. You should also be careful of firms that claim to be EPA approved, as the EPA does not certify, authorize, or recommend such businesses.

Avoid chemical treatments: Some firms may convince you that chemical treatments are required to eliminate mold or germs within your ducts. However, do your homework before agreeing to this to confirm that it is truly essential.

Check the following references and state licenses: Check to see if the company’s work has been appreciated by other customers. Check to see if the firm has any necessary state licenses.

Making Use of a Professional Air Duct Cleaner

There are a few things that a professional should perform if you have them to clean your air ducts. Among these include, but are not limited to:

Open registers and access ports: You need to check the complete system. If you decide to clean your ducts yourself, you should do the same thing before you start. If you have asbestos-containing products, such as insulation or register boots, well need to have a properly qualified contractor.

Heavy-duty vacuums: The service provider should use a vacuum that exhausts trash beyond your house. If it exhausts within the house, use a HEPA vacuum.

Safeguard your furniture: While cleaning, furniture such as couches, chairs, and carpets should be covered.

Requirements need to be followed: The air duct cleaning needs to adhere to the NADCA’s air duct cleaning standards. If there is fiberglass lining or duct board, they should likewise follow NAIMA’s suggested procedure.

An air duct cleaner may need to drill access holes in order to thoroughly check specific portions of the duct. This is typical, but you need to ensure that any holes opened or created are re-insulated. To be functional, the air duct needs to be airtight; any holes present can waste energy.

s it Worth It to Clean Air Ducts?

Is it Worth It to Clean Air Ducts?

To evaluate if it is worthwhile to clean your air ducts, you need to first assess whether it is essential. As I’ve seen, having your HVAC system properly cleaned isn’t inexpensive, and finding the appropriate firm may be difficult.

Cleaning your air ducts isn’t something you do on a daily basis. Of course, you may clean the grate anytime it becomes dirty.

If you or a family member suffers from allergies, asthma, or other unpleasant symptoms while at home, cleaning your ducts is worth a go. You may possibly see immediate changes in your health.

It is crucial to note, however, that before you begin cleaning the ducts, any problems need to be resolved. If you have a rodent problem, find out where they are coming from and fix it. If mold is the source of your problem, repair any leaks or sources of moisture.

Cleaning your ducts without addressing the root cause of the problem would render your efforts futile. After cleaning, the problems are likely to recur, costing you extra time and money.

How to Clean Ducts on Your Own

How to Clean Ducts on Your Own

If you don’t want to have a professional clean your air ducts, you can do it yourself. Here’s what you’ll need to get the task done right:

Power Off

To begin, always switch off the power to the linked air conditioning and heating equipment. This will eliminate the possibility of electrocutions or accidents.

Remove Covers

Unscrew the air duct grilles or coverings needing a screwdriver. After removing them, thoroughly clean them in a container with hot, soapy water. Then let them dry completely.

Prepare The Drill

Using a drill with a brush is a simple way to remove dirt, dirt, spider Ibs, and perhaps mold. Locate and open the register – they can sometimes be found on the floor or the wall.

After you’ve opened the register, insert your drill brush into the duct. Make sure it’s tightly fastened; you don’t want a loose brush in the ducts.

Turn on the drill and swirl the brush inside the ducts. Pull it back carefully while the drill is going. This will also clean the duct’s walls. To avoid dirt from blowing around, turn off the drill when the brush is about 2 feet from the entrance.


Once the drill brush has been removed from the duct, I need to remove all of the loose dirt. Take out your vacuum and attach a dirt brush to the hose – make sure it’s securely fastened. Insert it into the duct and suck up any loose muck you’ve removed.

You may need to rent a heavy-duty vacuum if you don’t already have one. I recommend needing a HEPA-filtered vacuum for the best results. This will keep dirt from reentering the ducts while you clean them.

The hose should be long enough to reach deep into the ductwork. Mould, mildew, dirt, dirt, or spiders may be hidden deep within, then this is the only way to access them.


If you have more than one duct, go through the process again. You may also use this time to inspect any air filters you may have installed. These may generally be vacuumed, but if they become dirty, they should be replaced.


When you’re finished, replace the register and secure it. If you’ve washed the grille, make sure it’s completely dry before reinstalling it. Reconnect the electricity and inspect the vents. There may be some loose dirt coming out, but it should cease soon.

How to Prevent Air Duct Pollution

A well-maintained HVAC system will require less cleaning. There are numerous things you may take to ensure that your system is free of contamination:

Use a high-efficiency air filter: Your heating and cooling system’s manufacturer should indicate which filters you may use. To guarantee optimum indoor air quality, choose the most efficient suggested air filter.

Replace filters: If you notice that your indoor air quality is deteriorating, it may be time to change the filter. If you suffer from allergies, you may be more impacted when the filters are filthy.

Insulate the air duct: By insulating around the filters, you may ensure that no air can bypass them. You need to also check that no filters are missing.

Check out the following sections: If you have a professional clean your air ducts, request that they also clean the cooling coils and drain pans.

Clean on a regular basis: You may avoid contamination in the ducts by vacuuming your house on a regular basis and keeping dirt to a minimum. For the greatest results, use a HEPA vacuum, which traps microscopic particles.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to Clean Home Air Ducts Bottom Line

Professionals may clean your air ducts, or you can do it yourself. It’s a short process, but it has to be done right. To avoid extra dirt from accumulating within your ducts, you need to use a HEPA vacuum.

Despite the fact that specialists believe cleaning your air ducts will not avoid health problems, it is still something you should do. Mould and germs can form in the ducts and will be brought into your living area if they are not removed. However, cleaning the air ducts should not be done on a yearly basis and should only be done when necessary.

More On Air Vents

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You can also grab a copy of my cleaning planner, The Get It Clean Cleaning Planner here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks and checklists that can help you get your house clean, and keep it clean once and for all.

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