Cleaning Air Ducts Yourself

Air ducts.
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50
What You'll Need
Eye protection
Long-handled wire brush
Cleaning rag
Vacuum cleaner

If you or a family member has bad allergies or asthma, one of the most important things you can do is keep pollutants out of the home. But, because today’s homes are constructed so air-tight, it can often take an extremely long time for enough fresh air to enter a dwelling to expel the stale air inside. This causes air quality problems in the home because the pollutants simply stay inside with nowhere to go.

One way you can reduce these allergens and pollutants from collecting in your home is to clean your air ducts. There are hundreds of companies out there that are capable of coming out to your home to do this, but in reality, you can save yourself some money by taking the time to clean your air ducts yourself. All it takes to do this task is a screwdriver, a long-handled wire brush, a cleaning rag, and a vacuum cleaner. Gloves and eye protection should also be worn, and if you have bad allergies, a face mask or breathing filter is also recommended.

Step 1 - Check the Area

You can begin by making sure the area around your floor registers are clean and free of any debris that may fall into the ducts.

Step 2 - Remove Covers

Remove the duct covers or air-intake grills and give them a thorough cleaning. Use the wire brush to clean the walls of the duct. If the walls of your air-intake are covered by filters, you may need to use a rag to clean them.

Step 3 - Use a Vacuum

Extend the vacuum wand as far into the ductwork as it will go and give it a thorough vacuum. Replace the grills and give them another vacuum to pick up any debris that may have settled on them while during your duct cleaning.

Now, your ducts are relatively clean. Understand that your ducts will not be as clean as they would be if the job was performed by a professional. Professional duct cleaners have the means to get through all of the ductwork in the home and they usually spray a disinfectant to kill any existing germs in them.

For people with severe allergies, it is recommended to have your ducts cleaned by a professional at least once a year and then you can self-service your ducts in the manner explained here a few times throughout the year. For everyone else, simply performing the actions described here on a regular basis will greatly reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your home.