The efficiency of your central heating and air depends on several components. Most repairs are technical and need to be done by HVAC professionals. However, there are a couple of things that you can do on your own, with basic tools and minimal monetary investment, to help increase the productivity of your system. One of the best do-it-yourself HVAC repairs is to clean your ducts.
Remove the Air Registers
Before your clean your ducts, you need to remove the registers from the wall. Most air registers are attached to the wall with a couple of screws. There is also a chance that they could be sealed to the wall with caulk around the edges. If so, use a razor blade to cut through the caulk before pulling them off of the wall.
Using a Telescoping Pole
Once you have access to the ducts, you will need a special tool to clean them. You can find an affordable telescoping pole at most home improvement stores. These poles will often be in the painting section because they can also be used for paint rollers. Regardless, it will have a universal attachment that you can attach a wire duct cleaner to. These are affordable and easy to use. You will also need a flashlight so you can see inside your ducts. Finally, have some rags on hand and household cleaner. If you noticed mold inside your duct walls, you can use the cleaner and rags to help wipe it away. In fact, you can tape a rag soaked in cleaner to the end of your telescoping pole to enable you to wipe deep inside the ducts.
The key to cleaning with the wire cleaner is to try and probe it all the way to the back of the duct as far as it will go. Then, push down on one side of the duct as you pull the pole back out. This way, You will sweep any dust or dirt out of the duct, instead of just pushing it further in.
Finishing the Job
Before you reattach the air registers, you should thoroughly clean them as well. Most importantly, clean the backside and make sure that there is no dust in between the vents that could be blocking airflow. Another important area to clean is the space between the drywall and the end of the duct. There is usually a lip here where dust can get caught.
If you do this basic duct cleaning on a regular basis, you're less likely to have allergens and mold form within your ducts.
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