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Keeping your air ducts clean

December 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Category: Remodeling Contractor

Filthy air ducts can let dust and dirt spread throughout your house, along with odors, pollen and bacteria. A high-quality furnace filter helps, but ducts should be frequently cleaned as well. There are services that do this, and it’s a good idea to hire them once a year because they can reach spots in the system that you can’t. But your own lighter monthly duct cleaning will keep the dust at bay.
Change the Filter
Your furnace filter is the first line of defense against airborne contaminants. Furnace filters are so inexpensive and simple to change that there is little reason not to do it every month, and doing it when you clean the air ducts will help you remember. Locate the filter on your furnace (it’s often in a slot in the main outgoing duct) and make a note of the dimensions listed on the side of the filter. Go to your hardware store and get a replacement of that dimension. Spend a little extra for a style with multiple layers of filters within it, as it will do a better job of clearing the air.
Clean the Vents
At each vent, use a screwdriver to take the grill off the wall or floor, and set it to one side. Make sure not to lose the screws. Lay the grill on an old towel, and sponge it off with any household cleanser. Pat it dry with the towel.
Clean the Ducts
With the vent cover still off, attach your vacuum hose to the vacuum with a brush attachment at the end. Use duct tape to connect all the parts of the hose and the brush attachment so it does not come loose while it is in the ductwork. Run the vacuum hose around the inside of the duct, starting at the part closest to you and working your way back as far as you can reach. Focus on the corners and the duct joints, where dust can snag and build. Follow up by wiping out the inside of the duct as far in as you can reach. Put the vent cover back on and move to the next vent.
By doing this regularly, it will prevent and maybe even solve allergens and sicknesses that come from mold and dust blowing out of your vents.

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