ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cleaning Your Home Ventilation Ducts Effectively

Updated on July 11, 2019
Dust in your home
Dust in your home | Source

With a rise in allergies, people often suffer these their whole life and all because they have grown up in an air polluted environment. Children are at the highest risk, but adults can develop allergies too, and your life can be cut short by a number of months, or even years, from the deadliest of lung cancers, and breathing problems.

Normally you would need a high powered vacuum system, with massively long hoses. However, there is a method to clean the ducts yourself and save all the money that would have been spent outsourcing to a ventilation duct company.

Duct systems come in many different designs. There is the basement, and attic systems, however, whatever the type you have, the method of cleaning I will discuss is the same. You can still reach the main parts of the duct that have the most impact, even if you can’t reach every part of the duct. Don’t let that put you off though, you can still make a significant difference in the air quality by doing these steps, and cleaning the parts you can reach instead.

What Do I Need To Clean My Air Ducts?

There are a number of key essentials you will need to clean your ventilation ducts, which I will discuss, however, the most important first essential is the furnace filter.

Furnace Filter Types

The first thing you will need is a furnace filter. These come in a few different styles and price ranges. The most basic is a throwaway filter type, which is sometimes referred to as a mesh hairstyle too. If you don’t want to change your filter that often and your budget is around $30 for a year, then this is the one for you. It doesn’t stop the finer particles, so although it won’t catch as much dust as the other options, it needs to be changed much less.

The standard pleated filter comes in standard sizes, which are 1” to 3” and then deep pleat, which is 5” and 6”. These are much more effective than the mesh, however, will need to be changed every 1-2 months, as they are great for the price. These will normally cost you between $50 to $70 for a year if you are changing monthly, so even still, not that expensive in the scheme of things.

The media filter is the daddy of filters in terms of strength. The reason being, you can often hoover these between changes, they are very robust. They catch a lot of dust, and come in varieties of between 4” to 6”. They, however, can be tricky to replace, so check out the instructions on the box, as you are shopping around for them.

Electronic air filter is the most service-intensive of all the types. Although there isn’t an ongoing cost associated with this filter, you may have to pay expensive service charges, and you also need the power to run these. So I would say they are not ideal in a home environment. They are more suited to commercial premises.

Everyday Items To Help

If you have a household vacuum cleaner that will be ok suction, you just have to make sure you have a nozzle brush that is heavy duty, which will brush between corners, and get to those hard to reach places. Preferably a Dyson or a commercial vacuum with a long hose is best.

Screwdriver or Hex key. The furnace is probably held on firmly with some kind of metal fasteners, so you will need to use some tools to remove them. For star-shaped screws, especially a Phillips screwdriver.

Duct Cleaning Step By Step

  1. Cover the supply registers with a pillow or cushion. You will probably need to wash them afterwards, so be prepared. However, just cover the registers completely so nothing can blow out easily.

  2. Turn the fan on. Make sure the fan is running while you are cleaning the ducts. You want to turn off the thermostat, so it's set to fan only. Most uptodate ventilation duct systems should have this option, if not, you should really upgrade your system.

  3. Break up any buildup of dust. Take a brush or mop, and bang any of the external ductwork. This is to just loosen any lodged dust clusters, and ensure that you capture as much dust as possible. Give this 20 minutes to settle before you proceed to the next step.

  4. Cleaning the supply registers. This is the fun part, turn on your vacuum, and attach the brush accessory, and push the hose as far into the piping as you can reach. You might want to wear a painters mask, as there will be lots of dust flying around, and just ensure you get as much dust into the vacuum as possible. Go around each Supply register, and remove the cushions or pillows you’ve placed on them as you do each one in turn.

  5. Clean the return air registers. Similar to the supply registers, but probably much bigger, remove any screws to get access to the duct, and vacuum away all that built up dust. Try to sweep as far back as you can with the hose, extended if possible.

  6. Turn off the fan and furnace. With the power down, you can lift the panels from the from of the furnace, and get access to the compartment inside. This is called the blower compartment, and again, use your vacuum and brush to sweep up as much dust as you can reach. You will find that the greatest build up of dust is in here.

  7. Replace the furnace filter. This is where you can replace your filter to a better one if you want. You may decide that just replacing your filter for a similar one is fine, as you might already have a supplier and this is fine too.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)