10 essential tips to cleaning your own air ducts

You might need to clean your air ducts if you notice you're sneezing more often or your home has recently undergone renovations. Otherwise, it probably isn't necessary. But cleaning your air ducts ensures that your system runs more smoothly because the parts won't be slowed down with dirt and dust.
Different types of duct systems exist, but the process of cleaning them is generally the same. Clean the vents and ducts, and replace your furnace filter while your at it. You might not get all of the dirt out, but your air ducts are sure to be cleaner than they were before you started! Keep these tips in mind before you start your DIY air-duct cleaning.
1. Screwdriver
Before you get into the air duct, the first thing you need to do is take it apart. Grab a screwdriver so you can loosen the screws and get in there to clean.
2. Vacuum
You need a vacuum -- preferably one with a long hose and good suction -- so you can reach in and get any dust that has gone past arms reach.
3. Brush
You need a toilet brush or something similar with bristled ends and a nice long handle to hold onto.
4. Paper Towels
Use paper towels to cover up air registers that suck in air while you clean the others. This way, they don't suck up all that dust and blow it out into the other rooms.
5. Furnace Filter
By the end of all your hard cleaning, it's a great time to get in there and replace the furnace filter. Get one before you begin this project.
Get cleaning!
1. Turn on the fan
It's important to keep the fan on because it's going to move the dust that you're already trying to grab with the brush and vacuum. If you don't have a fan function, turn on the heat instead.
2. Loosen dust from the outside
Tap the sides of the ducts in the basement or wherever they are located with your brush. This loosens any dust that has collected in there so you can clean it up at the vents.
3. Clean the blower compartment
Turn off the power, then remove the panels on the front of the furnace. Using the vacuum, suck up all the dust from the blower compartment, then the furnace fan.
4. Get inside the duct work
If you have the normal rectangular duct work, note the removable end caps. Remove those, then get inside and clean them out with the brush and vacuum to be extra thorough.
5. Know when to call an expert
If you have serious allergies, have had serious renovations in the home, or you can't seem to get into all the nooks and crannies and clean it yourself, call an expert to finish the job. Clean air in your home is an important investment.
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