The efficiency of your air conditioner and furnace will largely depend on airflow. Clogged and dirty vents and ducts can hugely impact the airflow in your home. Some people end up calling an HVAC professional when they notice reduced airflow. Before you do this, you should clean your vents and ducts on your own. This could increase the airflow and make your HVAC system cleaner (and healthier). This article will explain how to cheaply and easily clean your ducts and vents.
Remove the Vents
To give your vents a thorough cleaning, you need to remove them from the wall. This is very easy because the vents are usually just attached to the wall with 2 screws. You can clean vinyl, plastic or fiberglass vents with dish washing soap. However, if you happen to have stainless steel, aluminum or wooden vents, you should just wipe them down with a wet rag. Do not get them too wet because metals can rust and wood can warp.
Examining and Cleaning Your Ducts
While your vents are removed from the walls, you should get out a flashlight and inspect your vents. If you see any dust build up you should try to vacuum it out or dust it with a long pole. You might even need to get a long broom out and wipe down the sidewalls of your ducts to remove any dust or cobwebs. It is also very important to look for any solid, dark build up on the duct walls. Dark build up could look harmless, but it could be mold. When your air is flowing, you are essentially blowing this moldy air throughout your house. It could be the cause of allergies or other health issues. This is why you should have a duct specialist clean your moldy ducts as soon as possible.
Cleaning or Replacing the Filter
The filter is large and flat. It is easily accessed at through a door at the front or side of the furnace. You can open the filter door without any tools. If your filter is extremely dirty, it will block air and substantially reduce your airflow. You should buy a new filter as soon as possible. If the filter is only a little dusty, it is probably not reducing your airflow. You might as well clean it while you have it out.
If you do not notice any improvement in airflow after cleaning your ducts, vents and filter, you should call a specialist. The problems could have to do with your furnace or air conditioning unit.