7 Tips for Cleaning the Air Registers
4 Jan, 2022
An often ignored but very important part of maintaining a clean home is the air vents and registers. Without regular cleaning, dust and other particles can build up to levels that affect both your health (think allergies) and also the general quality of your home atmosphere. Cleaning out the area around these vents should be part of every spring or fall cleaning routine, as well as whenever you notice that heating or cooling isn’t running as efficiently as it should be.
For those who don’t want to put their face near dusty vents and suckers for dear life to try and pull out whatever might have crawled inside over the past year, we’ve come up with 7 tips on how to safely clean those areas without affecting your indoor air quality:
1 . Turn the Heat Off
It is extremely important to ensure that your heat is “off” before you begin cleaning any vent. Cleaning this part of the system while the heat is still turned on leaves it susceptible to fire, and also defeats the purpose of cleaning if you’re going to turn it back on without making sure everything has been properly disinfected.
2 . Clean One Register at a Time
When working with something potentially dangerous like a heating system, it’s often best to do things one step at a time – another reason to not leave the heat on. Cleaning all your registers one after another can be cumbersome, so start by working on one vent and make sure it’s clean before moving on to the next area. If you have a wide, sweeping brush you can use it to clean out the area between each vent, which will make your job easier.
3 . Clean the Grates
Sometimes there is dust that has built up under or around the grates of your registers. This is why it’s important to take them off and give them a good sweep before getting started with cleaning any other part of the system. If these vent covers are found all over your home, you should consider buying some cheap plastic covers to seal them away during periods when they aren’t in use (like summer).
4 . Clean Out Vent Covers
When removing one grate at a time, check to see if there are any visible signs of dirt buildup on its underside. If so, do not try to rinse it out with water (you may damage your heating system). Instead, you can use an old toothbrush or similar small brush to get the gunk off, and then wipe down the area with a dry cloth. If your vent covers are of the type that can be removed, be sure to clean them as well before replacing them.
5 . Clean Out the Vent Itself
After all visible signs of dirt on either side of each register have been removed, it’s time to turn our attention inward. Using your wet-dry vacuum cleaner hose attachment works best for this step because it is flexible enough not to do any damage to the surrounding area while still allowing you to suck out some dust particles which may otherwise cause future problems with air quality.
6 . Clean Out the Ducts
After cleaning out each vent, you’ll want to clean out the duct that leads from the furnace to the vents themselves. Remember, anything that gets into your ventilation system can be circulated around your home – even viruses and bacteria which simply cannot be filtered out by any part of this system. Cleaning these as well as all your air registers will ensure a healthier indoor environment for everyone in your home.
7 . Clean Off Filters
At this point, it’s also important to check the filters of your heating/cooling unit and replace them if they look old or worn down (if they’re disposable), or wash them off and let them dry before replacing (if they’re reusable). Cleaning the filters of your heating system is also a good idea from a general maintenance standpoint, regardless of whether or not they need replacement. Cleaning them regularly keeps dust and particulates to a minimum.
These simple steps can give you cleaner air in no time while making sure your HVAC system is safe for continued use, so be sure to follow these general guidelines whenever you notice that rooms are getting warmer than usual just by opening the door. Keeping everything clean should improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit as well as keep any allergies or similar conditions you may have under control all year round. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need professional help with cleaning out vents!