Having clean air ducts is important for maintaining a healthy and hygienic space. But do you know what goes into cleaning these systems? There are a few different methods for getting rid of the dust and dirt that collects in HVAC systems, and we are breaking down how it all works.
Use this air duct cleaning guide to learn more about how the cleaning process works and whether or not you can perform air duct cleaning on your own.
Table of Contents
- Can You Clean Air Ducts Yourself?
- Types of Duct Cleaning
- How Does Duct Cleaning Work?
- DIY Duct Cleaning
- Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning
Can You Clean Your Air Ducts Yourself?
Yes! But, it is not that simple. When it comes to doing your own HVAC system duct cleaning, there are a few instances when it is best to turn to a professional. If you have a complex system or your air ducts require a deep clean, it can ineffective to do the cleaning yourself.
DIY air duct cleaning is more suitable for small cleaning jobs between regularly scheduled professional HVAC cleaning services.
Types of Duct Cleaning
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) shares the proper duct cleaning methods and includes general information about what is involved in the process.
Over the years, these methods have evolved. The following are three common types of duct cleaning methods and each vary according to the level of cleaning you hope to achieve:
- Power vacuuming: This method is ideal for tough jobs that require a lot of dust and dirt removal. Power vacuuming uses negative pressure to suck up debris and deep clean the system by removing as much of the present contaminants as possible.
- Point of contact: As a less aggressive duct cleaning method, point of contact cleaning involves using a brush and vacuum to brush contaminants from the surfaces of the air duct system and remove them before they enter the air.
- Mechanical agitation and extraction: The most common method of air duct cleaning is to remove the source. After utilizing mechanical agitation to loosen contaminants, a vacuum extracts them.
The best method to use will depend on how dirty your air duct system is and your budget.
How Does Duct Cleaning Work?
When looking to clean an air duct, there are a few simple steps that can effectively remove the contaminants that build up over time in the system, including:
- Building debris
- Pet dander
- Organic allergens
The typical AC duct cleaning process consists of these four main steps:
Step 1: Pre-Inspection
The first step in the process is pre-inspection. You should check out all of your duct system’s access points and take a look inside. This will help you determine the best cleaning method to use according to your system and its condition. Once you complete this check, you can begin the cleaning process.
Step 2: Agitate the Dust and Debris
The next step involves agitation. It is important to break any contaminants loose so that you can easily remove them in the following step.
There are agitation devices designed to shake and stir dust and debris in the HVAC system. They break up contaminants along the surface of the air duct system, making them easier to remove later. Agitation devices and methods include:
- Air whips
- Compressed air
- Contact vacuuming
Step 3: Create Negative Pressure
To collect the loose contaminants, you’ll need to create a continuous negative pressure to prevent dirt and dust from spreading throughout the air duct system and beyond.
Continuous negative pressure makes it possible to collect even the finest particles as they break loose from the system’s surfaces. This step is incredibly important because agitation could cause dirt and debris particles to enter the air in the living space. The negative pressure creates a vacuum that helps make it easier to collect the contaminants and remove them from the air duct entirely.
Step 4: Final Inspection
After you’ve agitated the contaminants and removed them using the negative pressure vacuum, it is time to check out the system to see if it is adequately cleaned. After the system passes the final inspection, you can get it up and running again.
DIY Air Duct Cleaning
Professional services are preferable for annual air duct cleaning. However, you can clean your air ducts yourself periodically between professional cleanings to help maintain healthy air quality all year long.
If you are wondering how to clean air ducts yourself, follow these easy steps:
- Remove vent covers: Use a screwdriver to take your vent covers off. It can be beneficial to wash these covers to remove any dirt and dust.
- Cover vent openings: To prevent loose contaminants from blowing into the air during cleaning, cover your vent openings using paper towels.
- Agitate the contaminants: Loosen the dirt and debris from the surfaces of your ductwork.
- Vacuum: Use an effective vacuum to suck up the loose particles. If your vacuum has a brush attachment, this can help agitate and remove contaminants at the same time. You can wipe any residual dirt or dust on the surfaces with paper towels or clean rags.
- Replace air filter: Consider replacing your air filter after performing these steps to clean your air ducts to improve your indoor air quality.
- Reinstall vent cover: Cover your duct openings with your cleaned vent covers or with new ones.
With an understanding of how to clean your HVAC system, you can maintain it better and enjoy the many benefits of having clean air ducts.
Top 4 Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning
Cleaning your air duct system has many advantages for your space and the people and animals that spend time there. The following are the top four benefits of having clean ducts:
- Providing cleaner air: Clean HVAC systems can boost your space’s hygiene and minimize the amount of dust and contaminants in the air.
- Reducing allergens: Regular air duct cleaning can help remove contaminants from the air that can cause respiratory irritation for some people.
- Improving airflow: Getting rid of the dirt and debris on the surfaces of your air ducts can make it easier for the air to flow through the system efficiently.
- Removing odors: Another awesome benefit of air duct cleaning is how it can help to remove unpleasant smells from the air.
Explore HVAC Services From Hennemuth Metal Fabricators
Since 1954, Hennemuth Metal Fabricators has been family-owned and operated. We specialize in offering custom ducts and fittings for commercial and residential HVAC contractors and ensure your system is working effectively. When you work with us, you can rely on quick lead times and our knowledgeable customer service for all your air duct needs.