In winter, your indoor air quality decreases sharply. Can you improve IAQ by cleaning air vents? How often should you have it done? Can you do it yourself, or should you hire a professional duct-cleaning service? Here’s what you need to know about cleaning air vents.

Cleaning Your Own Vents

If dust builds up in your vents, it gets blown into your home and circulates through the air. There are several ways to prevent this, such as dusting and vacuuming regularly and replacing your air filter.

However, once a year, you can also perform DIY vent cleaning. After turning off your HVAC system, remove the vent covers with a screwdriver and wash them in warm, soapy water with a scrub brush. Rinse and let them dry.

Next, use a long-handled electrostatic mop and/or the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner to reach as far as you can into each vent and clean any lingering dust or debris. You won’t be able to reach the entire duct system, but what you can get will still make a difference to your IAQ. Finally, replace the vent covers on the vents.

Professional Duct Cleaning

Cleaning air vents yourself will eliminate some contaminants, but if you want to clean your entire ductwork system, you’ll need to hire a professional. It’s an expensive process, though, so be sure it’s something you really need.

Some experts recommend having your ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years. However, the EPA says it’s not necessary at all, except under specific circumstances, such as if there are rodents, insects, or other vermin in your ducts or mold growth on the ductwork’s inner walls.

Likewise, if there’s a visible buildup of dust and debris in your vents that you can’t reach with your own mop or vacuum, or members of your household suffer from allergies or asthma and rely on having clean air to breathe, then professional duct cleaning may be worthwhile.

For help cleaning air vents in your home, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We provide Indianapolis with quality home-comfort solutions.