How to Clean Your Air Vents

Face masks and gloves have become standard outerwear. These days, you’re probably hyperaware of air pollutants, being even more cautious about what you’re bringing into your home. But what about the particles that floated around in your home before social distancing? To keep from breathing in stale, polluted air, you might be plotting to clean your air vents, but the task may not be as simple as you were imagining. Here’s how to clean your air vents.

1. Turn Off Your HVAC

Before you can effectively clean your vents, you’ll need to turn off your central air system. Think about it: How can you wipe away dust and debris if it’s dancing to the beat of an artificial breeze? Besides being difficult to clean, your blowing AC unit could blast debris right into your eyes. It might not be dangerous necessarily, but it certainly won’t be comfortable. Cut down on the chaos by turning your HVAC off before you clean your air vents.

2. Clean the Grills on the Walls

The grilled casings that channel air into your rooms — that’s the first thing that needs your attention. Just looking at the grills of your vents could give you the shivers: they’re so caked in dust, they’ve forgotten their original color. Unscrew the grills and scrub them with a cleaning brush or even an old toothbrush.

3. Vacuum the Ducts

Now that you’ve addressed the borders between your HVAC and your home, it’s time to clean up the streets. (In this metaphor, the air ducts are the streets, in case that wasn’t clear!) Take the detachable hose of your vacuum cleaner and use it to suction as many dust bunnies out of the vent channels as possible. You can also use a hand-held vacuum cleaner, but be prepared to empty the cartridge repeatedly.

4. Clean the Grills in the Ceiling

Unlike the grills on your walls, the grills in the ceiling are barriers to abominable horrors: dead bugs, mold, and mildew, as well as dust and debris. While the grills in your ceiling do open, they don’t usually fully detach, making them hard to clean. What’s more: Gravity will help you out by dumping the contents of the vent out as soon as you open the grilled gate.

To clean these grills, wear a face mask (we’re sure you have plenty by now) and eye protection. Clear the space beneath the vent entrance and lay down a tarp, if you have one handy. From there, you can open the grill, watch the stuff of nightmares fall out, and then use your vacuum cleaner to address the rest.

5. Hire a Professional

While a cleaning brush and vacuum cleaner will certainly improve your indoor air quality, they’re not going to make your vents squeaky-clean. The best way to remove dust, debris, and germs from your vents is to hire a licensed HVAC professional.

At Weeks Service Co., we have HVAC professionals to spare. They’re waiting for your call, so don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment.