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Cleaning Ducts and Vents

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The ducts and vents in your home are generally out of view; they can easily go unnoticed for quite some time. However, just like any other surface in your home, it doesn't take long for them to build up dust and grime. If you were to let this go unchecked, the airflow through your home could be constricted or even blocked off completely. Additionally, the unfiltered air circulating through you home can be very hazardous to your health. This guide will tell you how to go about cleaning ducts and vents.

Cleaning Ducts and Vents

Cleaning Ducts and Vents Doing this job stirs up a lot of dust, allergens, and other pollutants. If you'd rather not deal with all that work or are particularly sensitive to allergens, you can actually hire professionals to clean your ducts and vents for you. In fact, it's unlikely that you'll be able to do a completely thorough job on your own, so it's still best to have professionals perform this service for you periodically. In between those visits, however, there are some things you can do to maintain a level of relative cleanliness.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Work gloves
  • Cleaning brush
  • Rag or paper towels
  • Vacuum cleaner

Remove vents using the screwdriver. Make sure that there aren't any small objects surrounding floor vents before you remove them. Small objects can easily fall into ducts this way and be difficult to retrieve. Put the screws together in a plastic bag so they don't get lost.

Dust off the vents with a rag and dusting spray. If that doesn't get them clean enough, you can wash them with dish soap and water. Be sure to let them dry thoroughly before reinstalling them after you've cleaned out the ducts. Air-return grilles will have a furnace-type filter behind them. These need to be changed periodically. The area immediately behind the grille will also be covered with filters. These need to be wiped out with a rag or a cleaning brush.

Once the vents and return grilles are dealt with, you can turn your attention to the ducts themselves. Vacuum out the interiors of the ducts. Unfortunately, you'll only be able to go as deep as your vacuum hose will let you. Again, you'll need professionals for a more thorough cleaning. Do the best that you can with the vacuum. Then, after replacing all the vents and air-return grilles, you can sit back and enjoy the clean air now circulating through your home.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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