Air Conditioning Duct Cleaning

What You'll Need
Face Mask
Vacuum cleaner
Dishwasher liquid

An air conditioning duct gets a lot of use during the summer. It can also pick up a large amount of debris such as hair, pet fur, dust and other obstructions. Cleaning out an air conditioning duct keeps the air flowing better and promotes cleaner air inside your home. It’s a simple job and only takes a few minutes for each duct. Make sure you wear the proper equipment for the job and don’t forget to clean each separate duct.

Step 1 - Safety

It’s possible that your air conditioning duct might contain mold and mildew, so you should wear a face mask and gloves to be certain that you don’t breathe in any or get it on your hands. To access each air conditioning duct, unscrew and remove each grills that covers the duct. Set them to one side.

Step 2 - Clean the Grille

Pour warm water and a little dishwashing liquid into a bucket. Dunk each grille into the bucket and thoroughly wipe with a rag. Clean them completely and then rinse each one in another bucket of clean water before allowing them to dry.

Step 3 - Washing the Duct

Soak a clean rag in a bucket of clean warm water and wring it out until it’s slightly damp. Reach down into the air conditioning duct as far as you can and hand clean by pulling the rag up toward you to bring out the dust and dirt. Rinse out after each stroke to ensure you’re removing as much of the dirt as possible. Keep changing the water so you’re not putting dirt back into the duct.

Once finished, allow each duct to dry out thoroughly.

Step 4 - Vacuuming

Attach the hose to your vacuum cleaner. Switch on the cleaner and push the hose down the vent as far as it will go. Depending on the ductwork in your house, this might not actually be too far. Remove as much of the dust and dirt as you can with the vacuum cleaner.

Some debris might still be caked into the metal ductwork and you can loosen this with a brush. Vacuum again to remove even more of the debris and repeat this process for each duct in your house.

Step 5 - Elbows

If you want to be very thorough in your cleaning, you can go into the basement and unscrew elbows from the air conditioning duct before using your vacuum cleaner with the hose attached to reach even further into the ductwork. Be aware, however, that you won’t be able to do a complete job on a DIY basis. For a full cleaning operation, employ a professional service on an annual basis to clean the ducts and ensure that your family are always breathing clean air.

However, you will still be able to cover a lot of the air conditioning duct by yourself. When you’ve finished with the vacuum cleaner, screw the grilles back on to complete your air conditioning duct cleaning.