How to Clean Air Ventilation Ducts Yourself

There are many reasons to clean the air ducts in your home. When ducts How to Clean Air Ventilation Ducts Yourselfare clean, the heating system lasts longer (because there is less dirt wearing out its components), we dust less often, and the air we breathe at home is cleaner. For those of us with allergies, this should be a welcome improvement. That’s way DIY air duct cleaning equipment is the way to go!

Probably you don’t own a high-powered, truck-mounted vacuum system with 150 foot-hoses; perhaps you can’t afford the cost of such service. But I am going to tell you how you can clean air ducts yourself. Sure, you won’t be able to reach every nook and cranny, but you can still eliminate roughly 85% of the dust in your system without spending any more than the cost of your new furnace filter.

There are many different designs of duct systems, such as attic systems and underground systems, but the theory of cleaning these systems is the same. DIY air duct cleaning equipment may not be able to access all parts of these systems (for example, underground ducts), but you can make a difference in your air quality by cleaning the parts of the system that you can reach.

Before we get started, check out this video of what one of those high-powered, truck-mounted vacuum systems looks like at work on a pretty neglected duct system

Things You Need to Clean Your Air Ducts

  1. Furnace Filter. You will definitely need a new furnace filter at the end of the job. Make sure you choose the right filter option for you.
  2. Vacuum. A household-type vacuum with a decent hose attached will work, but a heavier-duty “Shop Vac” unit is better, if available.
  3. Brush. Something closely resembling a toilet brush will work best, but a stiff-bristle paintbrush or something similar will do.
  4. Screwdriver or Hex Driver. Your registers are likely held in place by some kind of fasteners. You will need to use whatever tool fits the fasteners, usually a Phillips screwdriver or 1/4″ hex driver.
  5. Paper Towels. Unless you want to do a lot of dusting and sweeping right after you clean your ducts, you will find these useful to cover some registers while you clean others.