How To Clean Air Vents In Your Home

After sustained use during both cold winter months and hot, humid summer months your heating and air conditioning system will need maintenance work in the form of cleaning. The ducts and grilles in your home may collect dust, dirt and grime over the course of weeks, months and in some cases, years.

Clean air vents to improve the efficiency of your system and cut down on energy bills. Making your air vents clean as a whistle also helps reduce mold spores and other harmful particulates which can reduce the air quality in your home. Allergens, spider webs, pollen, dirt and hair are only a few of the millions of particles which will build up within your heating and air conditioning system. Remove these impurities with a thorough cleaning regularly.

Before jumping into the cleaning you’ll need a few tools. Collect a broom, screwdriver, heavy duty vacuum cleaner and a cleaning brush to get the job done effectively.

Power off Your System

Power off your heating and air conditioning system. Do not clean air vents with the power switched on or you may run the risk of being shocked. An unpleasant moment or a trip to the hospital isn’t worth rushing through the process.

Unscrew and Scrub

Remove grilles or air duct covers from the walls as your next step. Clean the grates with an industrial strength cleaning brush. Dig deep to remove months or year’s worth of grime and dust. Do a thorough job to improve the quality of your air flow. You may need to use water and soap if the surface film is particularly grimy and filthy. Warm the water a bit and scrub away to remove dirt effectively.


Use a powerful vacuum to suck up loose particles from the ducts. You may need to rent a heavy duty vacuum to effectively remove stubborn, clingy particulates. The minimal investment yields great returns if your heating and air conditioning system functions more efficiently after your thorough vacuuming. Getting deep into the crevices of air ducts requires more horsepower than can be generated by a common household vacuum.

Use a long hose to reach deep down into the ducts. Mildew and mold may grow in these moist, hard to reach areas. Using a long hose helps you to remove these unpleasant impurities which can affect the air quality in your home.

Scrub Grilles

Don’t forget to give the grilles a thorough scrubbing. Dust and dirt often collects on air conditioning or heating grilles through continued use. Consider using a long handled broom to sweep away dust if you have grilles placed on high ceilings. Otherwise, consider using a screw driver to remove the grilles and vacuum to suck away particles and clean your grilles. Wear a dust mask to protect yourself from failing particles. If it’s been many months since you last cleaned your grilles falling particles can drop into your eyes and mouth.

Consider using cleaning and inspection services for more thorough, in-depth cleaning jobs.