How to Clean Your Air Ducts Like a Pro

Air ducts in a home are not something that most think about daily. But there is something that we do all day, every day. We breathe. Making sure that our air quality inside our homes is important. The air we breathe in may come from open windows, but they also come from our air ducts. Air ducts are the open vents we find at the top of our walls and ceilings. Dust, small insects, and mold can live on the inside. 

That’s why cleaning your air ducts is essential. When air ducts blow the air out, anything hanging in there comes out with it. This is more than enough incentive to clean them thoroughly. How to do that? If you want to learn how to clean your air ducts like a pro, we’ve got you!

What Do Studies Say?

When it comes to indoor air quality, studies are mixed. There is no proof yet that cleaning your air ducts improved indoor air quality. However, many would tell you that there are tons of benefits to figuring out how to clean your air vents. 

  1. For starters, breathing in particles such as dirt and dust and mold is not healthy. 
  2. It can also blow the debris into other electronics like air conditioners, your HVAC system, and so on. 
  3. It is said that your HVAC has increased performance when your air ducts are clean. This decreases your costs for constant cleaning or breaking it entirely. 
  4. When you clean the air ducts, you have less chance of dealing with allergy symptoms such as spreading pet dander and hair throughout the home. 

    How to Clean Your Air Ducts Like a Pro

    How to Clean Your Air Ducts 

    Air ducts are a little bit of a process which is why experts will advise having them cleaned once every two to three years. It normally takes a few hours but can end up being a full-day project depending on the level of cleaning needed and how many air ducts are located throughout the house. Learning how to clean air vents in the house and even cleaning HVAC ducts all go together. Let’s get to it. 


    1. Get your tools
    2. Learn the process
    3. Decide whether to hire out or not

    Air Duct Cleaning Tools You Need

    You will need a few tools to tackle the project. The ducts in a house or condo go deep all over, so it’s not uncommon to have to order kits to help with the project. 

    • Vacuum Cleaner – This may be the most obvious one. But a good vacuum with a long hose to reach the more challenging spots is key to getting all the debris out from the inside. 
    • Hard Bristle Brush – You can use a bristle brush for dusting is something you want to have on your list. It can get up areas that have built up. 
    • Screwdriver – You will need to unfasten the air duct and vents from the ceiling or the wall. 
    • Cloths – Having rags to help clean off your tools is vital because you don’t want to bring the dust and dirt back into the next vent you tackle. 
    • Replacement Filter –  You will need to replace your air filter as this collects just as much debris as your HVAC. 
    • Vacuum Bags – You may fill your vacuum bag quickly with pet dander, hair, dust balls, and more. Replacing them when needed is essential. 

    This is all you need to clean your air ducts. Have you asked yourself, “How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?” When you start sneezing, coughing, or feeling like you have a tickle in your throat, it is time. 

    The Process

    1. The first step is to unfasten your vent covers with a screwdriver. Keep any screws and parts because you will need them to put them back on. Before placing them aside, wash the covers with mild soap and wipe them down with cloths or paper towels. 
    2. To keep dust from flying out of other vents, you can cover them with paper towels or cloths until it’s that specific vents’ time to be cleaned. You will also want to open the windows or put a fan on to let air circulate when cleaning. 
    3. Next, use your hard bristle brush to loosen up all of the dust and debris inside the vent. The longer the handle, the better chances you have at reaching different areas. It doesn’t hurt to wear a mask and eye goggles, so you don’t get it kicked back in your face. During this time, make sure fans are off in this proximity but on in other areas. 
    4. Take the vacuum hose and run it up the vent after the debris has been loosened up. Take your time during this part, as it is easy to miss spots. Hit up all your ducts one by one. 
    5. Now you can replace your air filter after the final step is just putting the vent covers back on after they are cleaned well. 
    How to Clean Your Air Ducts Like a Pro

    Cleaning Yourself Vs. Hiring a Professional

    Many wonder if cleaning air ducts makes a difference. Well, despite the studies being insufficient at the moment, it is definitely worth not having floating particles in and around your house. But it is a bit of work. So is it worth hiring a professional for? 

    Pros of Hiring Yourself

    • Cost efficient by saving money
    • Handy to be able to do
    • Only need to do it once every two to three years
    • Can improve your condition immediately 

    Pros of Hiring the Job Out

    • You know the job will be done thoroughly 
    • Don’t have to invest your own time in cleaning

    Cons of Hiring Yourself

    • May be difficult for you to access the ducts
    • May need to buy materials like a vacuum to do the job

    Cons of Hiring the Job Out

    • You know the job will be done thoroughly 
    • The job can cost, on average, somewhere between $250-$500

    When it comes to the question of how much air duct cleaning is, it really depends on whether you hire the job to someone else or do it yourself. It also depends on how complicated your HVAC system is and how many ducts there are to clean in the first place. Typically speaking, it is much more efficient to do the job yourself. 

    How to Clean Your Air Ducts Like a Pro

    Does Cleaning My Air Ducts Really Make A Difference?

    Cleaning your air ducts really makes a big difference in the airflow in your home. When you know how to clean your HVAC ducts, you also know how to clean AC ducts. In the beginning, you may have been wondering, “Can I clean my HVAC ducts myself?” But by the end of the process, you will realize how simple it truly is. With just a few hours of commitment, it truly is worth doing the job once every few years. 

    You likely won’t need to buy any additional materials than an air filter. The cost to do it yourself is much more efficient than hiring us. The idea to hire out for around $500 is when you don’t have time and don’t mind spending the money to get it done. Other than these deciding factors, the process is simple to follow! 

    Air Duct Cleaning Frequently Asked Questions

    • How to clean vents in the house?
    • How to clean HVAC ducts?
    • How to clean ac ducts?
    • Can I clean my HVAC ducts myself?
    • How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?