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How To Clean Your HVAC Ducts

Improve the smell and efficiency of your HVAC system.

Posted 15:51 August 07, 2023
Last Updated 15:51 August 07, 2023

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Cleaning HVAC ducts is essential for maintaining indoor air quality and ensuring the efficiency of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. While it's recommended to hire a professional for thorough duct cleaning, you can perform basic maintenance to improve air quality and system performance. Here's a general guide:


Safety First: Turn off the HVAC system to prevent dust and debris from circulating during cleaning.

Gather Supplies: You'll need a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, a stiff-bristle brush, screwdriver, disposable dust masks, gloves, and possibly a flashlight.


Accessing Ducts: Remove the air registers or grilles from your ducts. These are the metal or plastic covers on the walls or floors that allow air to flow into the ducts. Use a screwdriver to carefully remove any screws holding the grilles in place.

Vacuuming: Attach a brush or nozzle to the hose of your vacuum cleaner. Reach as far into the ducts as possible, vacuuming up dust, debris, and cobwebs. Focus on the visible areas near the register openings.

Brushing: For stubborn dirt, mold, or debris, use a stiff-bristle brush to gently scrub the inside of the ducts. Be cautious not to damage the ductwork. Brush towards the vacuum hose to capture dislodged particles.

Cleaning the Grilles: Clean the removed grilles thoroughly by washing them with soap and water. Dry them before reattaching.

Inspect for Mold or Pests: Use a flashlight to inspect the ducts for signs of mold growth, insect nests, or rodent droppings. If you find any, it's advisable to contact a professional for remediation.

Change Air Filters: Install new or clean air filters for your HVAC system. This helps trap particles before they enter the ducts.

Additional Tips:

Professional Inspection: While you can handle basic maintenance, it's recommended to have your HVAC ducts professionally inspected and cleaned every 3 to 5 years, especially if you notice significant dust buildup, reduced airflow, or persistent indoor air quality issues.

Sealing Leaks: If you find gaps or leaks in the ductwork during your inspection, use foil tape or mastic sealant to seal them. Leaky ducts can lead to energy loss and reduced system efficiency.

Consider Duct Sealing: Duct sealing is a process where a professional uses specialized materials to seal and insulate the entire duct system. This improves efficiency and helps maintain indoor air quality.

Maintain a Clean Environment: Regularly dust and vacuum your home to reduce the amount of dust and debris that enters the HVAC system.

Remember that HVAC duct cleaning can be a challenging and time-consuming task. If you're unsure about any aspect of the process or if you encounter mold, pests, or significant buildup, it's best to consult a licensed HVAC professional. They have the expertise and equipment to ensure thorough cleaning without causing damage to your system.

If you'd like a professional HVAC inspection and duct cleaning, contact us here at All Trades. We service Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and most parts of Clark County Nevada.

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