If you notice dust puffing out of your home’s air ducts when the HVAC system turns on, you can see dust or pet hair trapped in a vent, or dust is coating your return air register grills, your home’s duct work may need a good cleaning.

How Bad Can It Be?

  • Increased energy costs: When dirt and dust restrict your HVAC system’s air flow, it increases your system’s run time. This means you are using more fuel and energy to heat and cool your home.
  • Increased wear and tear on your unit: The longer your HVAC system operates, the more wear and tear it experiences. You’ll shorten the overall life or your system and it’ll wear out much sooner than it would with usual use.
  • Health problems: The air ducts in your home contain millions of particles of dust, dead skin, hair, dirt, pollen, spider webs, pet dander, and other allergens. This combination of contaminates is then distributed through your ducts to settle on everything and everyone in your home.

How to Clean Your Air Ducts

It is important to periodically check your air ducts to see if they need cleaning. Even if you cannot access all of your home’s air ducts, you can make a difference in your home’s air quality by cleaning the parts of the system that you can reach.

  1. Keep your old furnace filter in place while you work to collect any dust you knock loose.
  2. Cover your supply registers with paper towels to prevent dislodged dust from blowing into your home’s living areas as you work. Lift each register, place a paper towel inside, and then replace the register. Remove and dispose of the paper towels as you go through the house sweeping out the supply registers (Step 5).
  3. Turn the fan on at your thermostat and shut off the heat/cool mode. The fan will move the dust along as you are cleaning.
  4. Use the handle of your brush to knock on any accessible duct work (usually in your attic or basement), breaking up dust deposits.
  5. Moving through your home, unscrew each air duct cover and clean it with a stiff-bristle brush. Wash with soap and water if they are still dirty.
  6. Reach as far into each supply register pipe as possible to brush out any built up dust. To cut down on your mess, sweep out the pipe while holding the nozzle of a heavy duty long-hosed vacuum near the register to catch any dust being pushed out by the fan.
  7. Turn the power off and remove your furnace’s front panels to access the blower compartment, return air boot, and furnace fan. Use your brush and vacuum to clean any dust build up.
  8. Replace furnace filter and change it regularly depending on your home, your pets, and your location.

Call the Professionals at Atlanta Air Care

At Atlanta Air Care, we recommend an annual HVAC system cleaning. If we find that your furnace’s heat exchanger is dirty, we recommend that you have your ducts cleaned. Save yourself the hassle and let the professionals at Atlanta Air Care clean your ducts and you won’t have to worry about dislodging vital connections or tearing the walls of your system’s nonmetal ducts.