how to clean vents and air duct

How to Clean Vents and Air Ducts

Good indoor air quality promotes a healthy environment for your family. When the air in your home is clean, you can breathe easily. It helps prevent allergies and keeps every room smelling fresher. If you want to enjoy the best IAQ possible, it’s important to schedule air duct cleaning from time to time. How does the process work?

The Air Duct Cleaning Process

There’s more to cleaning ducts than wiping down vents and vacuuming registers. To be effective, every nook and cranny of ducts need to be cleaned. What can you expect from professional HVAC & duct cleaning?

Check Condition of Air Ducts

The first step is to inspect the current condition of your ducts. This is helpful because it lets professionals detect any problems that you may not know about.

Is there a musty smell you’ve noticed in the house lately? It may be mold hidden inside ducts. By discovering this problem before it gets worse, we can perform mold remediation and protect your family’s health.

Prepare Work Area and Cover Supply Registers

Next, the work team decides the best location to introduce cleaning lines and equipment into the home’s ducts. This minimizes any inconvenience while we work. We also take the time to cover supply registers with microfiber to prevent any dust from leaking into rooms. Duct cleaning experts are always careful and respectful when working inside your home.

Turn on AC Fan

We may turn on the AC fan briefly while setting up to help agitate and loosen dust inside the ducts. This makes removal easier, but make sure you don’t turn the heater on instead. It’s smart to wait for our technicians to perform this step.

Clean Supply Registers

Supply registers are cleaned inside and out. They should almost sparkle by the time we’re finished. After all, no one wants visitors to see vents with layers of dust.

Turn Off System Power

Now it’s time to introduce the cleaning equipment inside air ducts. Before getting started, we have to turn off the air conditioner for a while. Otherwise, dust and contaminants would circulate into the home.

Remove Air Duct Covers

Our professionals take care of everything for you. You don’t have to worry about taking off duct covers or wiping down registers. We remove the duct covers as needed and screw them back into place when finished. If there is furniture in the way that needs to be moved, let us know ahead of time and we can generally handle the moving so you don’t hurt your back.

Loosen Dirt and Debris

Our duct cleaning equipment actively removes dirt and grime. That’s the difference between having a professional take care of cleaning versus a handyman. Our machines have rotating brushes that gently scrub the inside surface of vents, reaching into corners and around curves. The process loosens built-up materials, even grease.

Extract Dirt Particles From Air Ducts

Technically, this step happens simultaneously with the last. As brushes break up dirt, dust, pollen, dead bugs, and other contaminants in ducts, a high-powered vacuum line extracts them immediately.

This is another thing that sets professional air duct cleaning services apart from handyman projects. Other companies loosen dust by blowing pressurized air into vents, but this just makes a big mess. For the best indoor air quality, you can’t beat the combination of brushing and vacuum extraction.

Clean Air Handler / Blower Compartment

Removing dirt and debris from air ducts is only part of the cleaning process. If the inside of the blower unit was left still covered in dust, everything would get dirty again quickly. That’s why expert air duct cleaning also takes care of the air handler or furnace blower compartment.

Generally, we access this compartment by removing the panels from the front of your furnace. This makes reaching all of the edges simpler. We also clean the furnace fan. These surfaces are brushed and vacuumed.

Replace HVAC Air Filter

Once the entire air duct system and furnace blower compartment are clean, the air filter should be removed and replaced. Clogged air filters let lots of germs and allergens into the home.

Placing a new filter ensures every room has clean air coming in from vents. In Colorado, we usually recommend replacing normal AC air filters every 1–2 months anyway so the HVAC unit can operate smoothly. It makes a big difference in energy efficiency.

Perform Final Inspection

We always invite our customers to take a look at the finished results. We want to make sure you’re completely satisfied with how clean your ducts look and smell.

Specialized Air Duct Cleaning Services

There are times when air duct cleaning needs to go further. The specific cleaning process depends on the situation.

Mold Issues

When mold spores are detected, it’s not just a matter of vacuuming them up. Professionals must figure out why there’s moisture in the system and how to solve the problem. Mold remediation involves thoroughly cleaning affected areas of ducts using cleaning agents that destroy mold and mildew.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

A dirty dryer vent presents a different type of problem. It doesn’t affect indoor air quality, but it puts your family in danger. Clogged dryer vents are a serious fire hazard. We use a snake brush and vacuum line to completely remove lint, dirt, grime, and other build-up, leaving vents clean inside and out. You should schedule dryer vent cleaning at least once or twice a year depending on the size of your family.

Air Duct Sanitizing

When someone in your family has allergies or respiratory issues, it may be a good idea to have professionals sanitize the inside of ducts. Disinfecting helps kill viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and other microbes. The process involves applying a sanitizing mist that coats the entire inside surface of ductwork. Sometimes, it can include wiping down ducts. This type of air duct cleaning service is often used in hospitals and other health care settings.

Pest Removal

Specialized air duct cleaning is also needed when pests have made their way inside the home. Rodents, squirrels, raccoons, and bugs can make a nest inside the ducts. First, you’ll want to contact a pest control company to remove the invaders and prevent them from returning. Afterward, always have your ducts cleaned and sanitized to get rid of animal droppings and germs.

Professional Vent and Air Duct Cleaning Services

It’s pretty obvious when looking at all the steps needed that air duct cleaning should only be handled by a professional. At Steamatic of Colorado Springs, we’re experts at cleaning home interiors, including hard floors, carpeting, walls, air ducts, upholstery, and other surfaces.

Our air duct cleaning services reach deep into your home’s HVAC system to eliminate dirt, dust, pet dander, mold spores, microbes, and much more. Your family can enjoy many benefits afterward, including a cleaner home and fewer allergens floating around. Rooms smell fresh, helping you relax. Above all, the home’s IAQ is better than ever.

To learn more about air duct cleaning and IAQ, contact us right away.

Image credit: Alhim / shutterstock