Most of us don’t give much thought to cleaning air vents or air ducts in our homes. However, that doesn’t stop dust and debris from building up inside. Just like any other area in your home, your air ducts require your attention.
The Benefits of Clean Air Vents
No one wants to imagine a dusty air vent pumping air into their house. A clean air vent makes for a cleaner, healthier home with better indoor air quality. In particular, you’ll see benefits such as:
- Better HVAC functionality and energy efficiency — If you’ve been noticing that your energy bill has been getting higher, it might not just be price inflation. It could also be caused by dusty air vents. When the vents are dirty, it puts additional strain on your HVAC system and prevents it from working at peak energy efficiency.
- Less dust and contaminants within the home — It’s downright impossible to completely eliminate dust from your home but cleaning your air vents will at least reduce the amount of dust that’s been floating in your indoor air.
- No mold or mildew growth — Mold and mildew are perfectly at home within your air ducts. By cleaning your ducts regularly, you’ll be able to catch the signs of mold growth and remove them before it poses a significant health hazard.
When Should I Check My Vents?
The best time to check your vents is actually in spring or fall. Spring is a good time for cleaning as dust and debris tend to accumulate over winter due to the increase in indoor activities. In addition, spring is also the time when pollen spreads and pets shed fur, so cleaning your ducts during the season will reduce the allergens circulating in your home.
On the other hand, some prefer cleaning during fall in order to prepare for being cooped up during winter. You want to ensure good indoor air quality if you’re going to spend most of your time at home. Some also prefer to tackle their vent cleaning alongside their furnace cleaning to ensure their HVAC system is in top condition before the cold weather hits.
Warning Signs of Bad Indoor Air Quality
In general, you should clean your vents at least once every two to five years. However, if you notice any of these symptoms and conditions of dirty air vents, it’s best to start cleaning immediately:
- Excessive dust, debris, or particles being released from the supply vents
- Visible mold growth inside your ductwork
- Evidence of an animal infestation (e.g. droppings, hair or fur, odor)
- Unexplained allergies or illness among the residents of the home
Simple DIY Solution for Cleaning Air Vents
It’s more than likely that you’ve never cleaned your air ducts before. As such, you might be confused or uncertain about whether or not you can do it yourself. Cleaning your air vents can actually be rather simple. All you need is a vacuum (with a nozzle and a decently long hose), a brush (e.g. a stiff paintbrush or a toilet brush), a screwdriver, paper towels, and a new air filter.
Just follow these steps:
- Unscrew your vent covers and wash them with soap and water.
- Use your brush to loosen the dust stuck to your vent walls.
- Vacuum up the dust.
- Replace your air filter with a new one.
- Screw your vent covers back on.
- Enjoy better indoor air quality!
Professional Air Duct Cleaning
Cleaning your air ducts at least once every four to seven years is absolutely instrumental for ensuring good indoor air quality. It’s a simple enough process that you can even do it yourself, but if you ever need to make repairs or deal with serious problems, like mold contamination or a rodent infestation, your best bet is to hire professional air duct cleaning services.