Home Appliances

Effective Ways to clean your air conditioning vents

Due to the isolation and lockdown rules in many cities, many of us are spending a lot of time in our homes.

Indoor air quality, then, becomes a serious issue. Some are investing in air purifiers for their HVAC systems, to purify the air in their homes. However, before you do, we can start with simple measures such as cleaning our AC vents.

Reasons to clean your air conditioning vents

While air conditioners are invaluable, they cannot work efficiently indefinitely without regular cleaning. If we leave them for too long, the following issues may occur.

  • They will end up harboring dust, pet dander, allergens and harmful bacteria or viruses from the air and become a health hazard. 
  • They will increase energy costs since when the vents are clogged up, the AC has to work harder to cool the home.
  • If you have people in the home suffering from allergies and respiratory ailments, dirty vents full of allergens, bacteria, and other pathogens can worsen their condition.

How do you tell if your vents need cleaning?

Vents are often put out of our reach in places we rarely look at. Therefore, people don’t necessarily remember to clean them. However, if you pay attention, you will see signs that your vents need cleaning. Here are a few examples;

  • Mold or mildew is growing out of your vents
  • Rodents have made a home out of your air ducts, and you can hear or see them moving about in there
  • Dirt particles are falling off your vents or hanging around them

Your vents may be filthy inside but look fine from the outside. Perform an AC vent inspection regularly to find out if they need cleaning.

Inspect your vents by examining the grills for dirt and dust accumulation, and checking for unusual smells emanating from them. If your air conditioner is not working efficiently, it could also be a sign of dirty vents.

How to keep your air conditioning vents clean




Once you see signs that your vents are dirty, you should clean them out as soon as possible. Here are tips on how to keep your air conditioning vents clean.

1. Regular maintenance

Ideally, you should clean your AC vents out every month. If you have children and pets, you need to do it as often as possible since any dirt accumulation can trigger illnesses. Where pets are concerned, shedding can worsen the situation.

However, keep in mind that after a few months, you should get a professional to clean out your vents. They have skills and knowledge to take apart air conditioners and clean out vents, ensuring no dirt is left.  If you feel unsure about cleaning out your vents, don’t hesitate to ask the experts. If you let them help you with regular maintenance, your HVAC system will last longer.

2. Cleaning the vents yourself

It’s easy to clean out your air vents yourself. Here is the procedure.

  1. Get a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner, a long-handled brush, and some microfiber cloths.
  2. Before you start, cover any furniture that is likely to get dusty with a sheet.
  3. Protect your nose with a dust mask and wear a cap to keep the dust from your eyes. 
  4. Turn off the thermostat but leave the fan on. Do not remove the old filter as it will collect any dust and dirt you clean out. 
  5. Cover your supply registers with a cloth to keep the dust or dirt from drifting to other parts of the house as you clean.
  6. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the grills covering the return air registers.   
  7. Clean the grills with warm soapy water and make sure they dry properly. 
  8. Using a brush, loosen any dirt in the ducts. Use a flashlight to shine some light into the ductwork so that you can see.
  9. Next, turn off the fan, and insert the hose of a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner into the vents to pull out the dirt you loosen.  
  10. Where possible, use warm soapy water to clean out any visible dirt in the vents that you can’t clean out with the vacuum such as grime.
  11. Once finished, replace the cover and turn on the thermostat as well as the fan.
  12. Cover your vents with the clean grills.

3. Changing your filters 

Air filters collect a lot of the dirt from our air conditioning systems. If you want to keep your vents cleaner for longer, change your filters often.  

After cleaning out your vents as advised above, you should put a new filter in. Invest in a filter with a MERV rating of between 5 – 8 as they will clean out most pollutants from your air.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember when you last changed your filter. Writing the date of replacement on the filters can help. You can also set aside a date every month or two to change your filters.

Do your air conditioning vents need cleaning?

These are tips on how to maintain clean air conditioning vents. If you haven’t checked your vents recently, inspect them, you may be surprised at the amount of dirt they harbor. You can use the suggestions in this article to clean out your vents. 

Alternatively, call a heating and air conditioning new jersey professional for help. They will help you to service your HVAC system and save you the stress of doing it yourself.