There are numerous reasons for cleaning air ducts in your home. When these ducts are clean, your heating system will last longer, you would dust less often, and the air breathed in is cleaner. Here is a DIY guide to cleaning air conditioning ducts to experience these and many more benefits.
- Cover supply registers
Begin by covering your air supply registers with paper towels. Doing this keeps the dislodged debris and dust from spreading in the room during the process. Just lift the register and wrap a paper towel around it, and replace it.
- Turn on fan
You need the fan to run as you clean to move the dust that you would loosen by brushing and banging. Configure the thermostat to “fan on,” and the “heat/cool” mode off so that the fan runs independently. If you do not have the fan-only option, you may run the heat, or take this opportunity to install a new thermostat that has this helpful option.
- Check filter
Ensure your old furnace filter is intact so that loose dust does not end up being drawn into the fan motor.
- Loosen dust in ducts
Loosen any dust buildup in the ductwork. Just take the handle of your brush and start tapping on any accessible ductwork in the basement. This would help break up any dampened dust deposits that may have stuck on the interior of the duct.
- Clean supply registers
Start sweeping out the dust from your supply registers. With the end of the hose near the register and the vacuum running, lift the register. Use the hose to trap any dust pushed out by the fan, and sweep as into the register’s piping where your hose can reach. With your brush, scuff any built up dust in the register.
- Clean the return air register
Brush off the return air registers. They are often secured with screws and nuts, and would need appropriate tools to unscrew them. Brush and sweep as far back into cavity or register piping as you can.
- Shut off furnace and fan
Shut off the fan at the thermostat and unplug power to the furnace from the breaker panel or service switch. Do not simply shut off the thermostat, as that does not turn off power to the unit.
- Cleaning out the return air boot and blower compartment
First, switch the power off and proceed to removing the panels on the anterior of the furnace and locate the return air boot and blower compartment. With your vacuum, sweep up the dust build up on the blower compartment as well as return air boot. You may as well clean the furnace.
- Replace furnace filter
Purchasing a better filter would surely cut down on the dust in your space. However, the better the filter, the more frequent it would need changing; a dirty filter restricts airflow to the fan, resulting in the blower motor reducing its lifespan.