You perform maintenance on your home at least once a year. You keep your plumbing and electrical systems working properly and you inspect your roof on a regular basis. However, there might still be a part of your home that you're overlooking - your duct work. There are some very important reasons why your ducts should be cleaned once a year. Here's a quick look at why you might need your ducts cleaned at least once a year and how to take care of the job yourself.
Why You Need Your Ducts Cleaned
When it comes to your ducts, there are three specific reasons why you should have them cleaned.
The easiest way to tell if your ducts are dirty is to look at the wall and ceiling around them. If you see a circle of dirt around the vents, they need to be cleaned. The dirt that's inside the ducts is blowing out into your home, which means you and your family are breathing in dirt and allergens.
If you have been battling a rodent infestation, chances are you have rodents living in your ductwork. Once you have eliminated the rodent problem, you'll need to clean your ducts to remove the dander, feces and urine that was left behind in the vents.
Houses that are drafty or moist often have mold growing in the ductwork. If you can smell a faint odor of mold when your heater or air conditioner is on, you probably have mold growing in the ducts.
How to Clean Them Yourself
Now that you've decided that your ducts need to be cleaned, here are some quick steps for getting the job done.
Tools You'll Need
Vacuum with nozzle attachment
- Dish soap
Remove the Covers and Clean Them
The first thing you'll need to do is use your screwdriver to remove the covers. Once they're off, thoroughly wash them in warm soapy water and leave them to dry.
Vacuum Away the Dirt
Once the vent covers are off and soaking, it'll be time to vacuum the inside of the ducts. Place the nozzle attachment on your vacuum and secure it with duct tape. This will prevent the nozzle from falling off in the duct while you're vacuuming. Be sure to reach as far into your ducts as your vacuum hose will reach.
Wash Them Out
Now that you have the ducts vacuumed out, you can wash them to remove caked on dirt and mold. Fill your bucket with warm water and add about a ¼ cup of dish soap. Use your sponge to wash the insides of your ducts. Allow them to air dry and then replace the vent covers.
The air that flows through your home goes through a system of ducts. If those ducts are dirty, it means that the air your breathing is dirty. You can help keep dirt, mold and rodent dander out of your air by keeping your ducts cleaned. If you need help or can't reach far enough to clean your ducts, contact professionals like Now Heating & Air.