Do It Yourself Air Duct Cleaning
Most apartments and houses are constructed in such a way that heating and cooling efficiency relies on airtight conditions. This saves energy and is safer for the house. Unfortunately, because air ducts are so tight, new air gets inside the house at a very slow rate. What this means is that the new air takes forever to exchange itself with the stale air.
What's in Your Air?
As you can probably guess, this makes the air conditions less than satisfactory. An unhealthy air builds up that is sometimes full of indoor pollutants. This in turn may cause allergic reactions as the pollutants include irritants such as smoke, plant pollen, animal dandruff and even mold spores. Besides being harmful to your health, such irritants also create damage to your house. They can affect electronic equipment such as computers or CD players, while spores of fungi growth can affect furniture and appliances.
A good air duct cleaning should involve the cleaning of all return-air grilles/registers, inside the air ducts and the interior of the heating and ventilating system. It is also a good idea to clean the furnace fat and if there’s an air conditioning pump that coils inside, it should also be cleaned. Some air duct professionals will also use a disinfectant to run through the air duct system to make sure all the mold, bacteria and dust mites are destroyed.
You can avoid all the allergy hazards if you clean your air ducts in your house every once in a while. The best thing to do is to hire a professional air duct cleaning service to reach air ducts that you won’t be able to reach. If you decide to do it yourself, this air duct cleaning project is relatively easy and can be carried out in the following four steps:
- Get your tools ready and inspect the area. You’ll need a screwdriver and heavy-duty gloves to carry out the cleaning. You’ll also need a cleaning brush, a rag or paper towel and a vacuum cleaner. Make sure the floor around the air duct entrance is clean – you don’t want any small objects to fall inside when you remove the air duct covers.
- Once you remove the air duct covers or return-air grille plates (the metal grinder-like plates), check the walls inside. Even if your air duct uses furnace filters, you still need to pay attention to the walls and make sure you clean these as best as you can. Because the walls may be covered with filters, use a brush and a rag to wipe out all the dirt – the sucking force of your vacuum cleaner may be too strong and will damage the walls.
- You should be able to reach down a few feet with your vacuum cleaner hose which is good because, even though the air duct cleaning isn’t throughout – again, if you want them to be cleaned entirely you’ll need to hire a professional duct-cleaning service – it helps to eliminate some of the irritants.
- Once you’re done vacuuming, put the return-air grille plates back on. After you've screwed them on, vacuum them as well to make sure you've removed all of the dust particles that might’ve gotten trapped when you were vacuuming your air ducts.
Now sit back and enjoy the clean air that is circulating in your home.