How To Clean Your Air Ducts Yourself (Full DIY On Air Duct Cleaning)

Have you noticed a funny smell coming from your vents? Or uneven air flow from different vents? You could need a thorough air duct cleaning.

Cleaning your air ducts can be very important but it can also be expensive. But don’t worry, there’s a way to do it yourself! Keep reading for a DIY air duct cleaning guide with what you should do if you can’t (or can’t afford) get the job done.

Why Clean Your Air Ducts?

Are dirty air ducts going to kill you? Probably not. So some people might see the chore as unnecessary.

But dirty air ducts contribute to excess dust in your breathing air, on your furniture, and settling on your shelves. They can also attract insects that love to set up homes in places like that. And don’t forget about all the hair and dander that your pet constantly sheds!

Cutting down on excess dust, dirt, and hair will brighten the appearance of your home decor, especially books and pictures. Wouldn’t you love to say goodbye to dusting your decor every single day?

You can easily avoid these issues by cleaning your air ducts yourself every few years (or more often, if you’re more concerned about dust, dirt, and bugs). Here is the simple list of what you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum with hose
  • Dust brush (most vacuums come with one)
  • Cloths (microfiber works best but it’s not necessary)
  • Water in a bowl
  • Optional: goggles, mouth/nose mask

Hopefully, you can tell from the supplies list that this task is much easier than most people think. Here’s how to do it at home:

1. How To Vacuum Clean Your Air Duct

First thing’s first, you need to remove the vent covers. Floor vents are the easiest since their tops just pop off. Wall vents require a screwdriver to get their fronts unscrewed.

Go around to all your vents and remove their tops/fronts. Then it’s time to vacuum. This is what gets the majority of the gunk out of the ducts.

Use the vacuum hose to suck up whatever debris is in the duct, as deep as the hose can go. Don’t forget to vacuum the walls of the ducts too! Suck up everything you can see, don’t spare any area.

Move from vent to vent, vacuuming everything out of them. It’s easiest to do each step to each duct one at a time like this, instead of doing all steps to one at a time.

2. Smart Ways To Brush Your Air Ducts Clean

After you’ve thoroughly vacuumed each vent, start from the beginning with your vacuum brush or other brush. Brush the walls of the ducts, as deep as you can reach. Start on the surfaces nearest to you and work your way down (or back).

This might take a little more elbow grease than you expect, especially if your ducts have never been cleaned before. You’ll dislodge a lot of debris, which could end up irritating your eyes, nose, and mouth.

So you might consider wearing goggles and a mouth/nose cover for this part! That could save you from coughing, irritated eyes, or feeling the need to shower afterward.

Since brushing will inevitably loosen a lot more dust, dirt, and hair than you already cleaned up, be prepared to vacuum again after you brush. That way you can be sure to get rid of as much as you can.

Reading that might make you want to just brush before vacuuming, but brushing after vacuuming is actually smart: the initial vacuum is to suck up large chunks and the bulk of the build-up. That means you get the main part of the problem out of the way before continuing.

3. How To Scrub And Clean Your Air Ducts

Last but not least, it’s time to scrub. Use your cloth to wipe down the duct surfaces. It’ll pick up a lot of gunk, so use the water to rinse your cloth often.

Don’t make the cloth soaking wet, or it’ll just drip water into your ducts and that will attract mold and other bugs. Rinse the cloth in the water then wring it out before you wipe down the vents.

The best kind of cloth to use is a microfiber cloth. The cloth itself can be folded and squished down to such a small size that it’ll fit almost anywhere. Perfect for cleaning in small ducts and crevices!

The tiny microfibers of the fabric grab onto pretty much anything, from dust to grease. It’s more likely to pick up tiny particles in your vents, making them the ideal choice for cleaning your air ducts.

That being said, you certainly don’t have to use a microfiber cloth. Some scrubbing is better than none at all! So feel free to use a damp rag from your kitchen or even an old towel.

Don’t forget to perform these same steps on the vent covers that you removed earlier! Otherwise, you’re putting dirty clothes on a clean body, so to speak. After cleaning all the vent covers, replace them by either popping them into place or screwing them back on.

And you’re done! Easier than you initially thought, right?

If you’re not sold on do-it-yourself and you’d rather have this done professionally, you’re in luck. Air duct cleaning in Austin is available to you! Don’t hesitate to contact the professionals with inquiries.

Effective DIY Air Duct Cleaning Is Possible

Are you concerned about cleanliness, health, and safety in your home? Then take to heart these tips and steps on DIY air duct cleaning.

This way you can avoid excess dust, dirt, hair, dander, and invasive bugs in your home. Just as importantly, you can save money on professional cleaning costs! You’re totally able to do this chore yourself, no downsides.

You’re also able to hire this task out, no problem. If you don’t want to open up vents, get caught in the dust and dirt, and clean everything up yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals.

Check out our other articles about home and interior design tips. They go hand-in-hand with the tips you’ve learned here on how to decrease your dusting and cleaning of interior decor. The more you know, the better!

E. Emmanuel

Emmanuel doesn't want a lot for Christmas, he just wants people to have beautiful and hazard free homes. He loves to write about beautiful things, he also loves to create beauty out of a combination of oddities.