Cleaning Your Heating Ducts

There are times when may need to clean your heating ducts and you are unaware of this need. These might be times when you find dust collecting on surfaces throughout your home. When this happens, it may be time to clean your HVAC system ducts. Below, you will find information that will help you accomplish this.

Whip Cable and Agitation Brush Sizes

If you plan on using a whip cable and agitation brushes to clean your ducts, you'll need to know what sizes to use. You can best determine the proper sizes you'll need by measuring the length and diameter of the ducts you'll be cleaning. Plan on measuring all the vents in your home. You can normally get a sufficiently accurate measurement by using a simple measuring tape. Use a pencil and notebook to make notes of these measurements. While all ducts may be of a similar diameter, you'll find that most of them vary in length.

Covering Duct Vents

You'll need to remove all your duct vents and cover the created openings with cut pieces of plastic sheeting, one for each vent. Scissors or a utility knife will work well for cutting these pieces. To remove your vents you'll need a screwdriver to remove vent screws. When you removed all your vents, you should place them in your sink or other large container that will hold soapy water they can be soaking in while the ducts are being cleaned. With your vents removed, you can then attach the plastic sheet pieces to your vent openings. Duct tape or masking tape works well for this.

Making and Using a Suction Center

You'll need a single opening in your vent through which all air and dust will flow. This will create a stronger air current that will more efficiently draw air from your ducts, along with the dust and debris in them. The best place for this suction center will be a vent that is centrally located in the HVAC system and one that is easily accessed. Into the plastic piece you've covered over your first vent, cut a hole through which the upholstery attachment for your vacuum will snugly fit. If the hole is too big, air flow will come through this hole, rather than through the duct system. The front opening of your vacuum attachment should then be inserted through the hole in the plastic and the opening sealed, using your tape.

Cleaning Individual Vents

You can now begin cleaning each individual Vent by removing the plastic sheet from your first vent, attaching a length of your whip cable to a power drill, and your agitation brush to the far end of your whip cable. Now, when you turn your vacuum cleaner on it will begin pulling air from the vent where your whip cable and brush are inserted into the vent. Then, when your drill is turned on it will activate the whip cable and brush, which will loosen the dust and dirt in your vent, and the suction from your vacuum cleaner will pull the debris into the vacuum. With the opening again sealed, you can move on to the next vent and repeat this procedure.