Do It Yourself Duct Cleaning

The air ducts in your home transfer hot or cold air from your heating and air conditioning system. Because you probably do not look inside these ducts often, they can become dirty with build-up and debris you might not realize exist. These contaminants can potentially enter your home and can be harmful to your health if the ducts are left dirty for too long. You can hire professional duct cleaners to clean the ducts, but you can save money by cleaning them yourself with the right tools.

Keeping the ducts in your home clean can help you stay healthy and can improve the effectiveness of your heating and air conditioning system.
  1. Open the vent covers by removing the screws with the screwdriver. Place the cover aside and use a flashlight to look into the duct. Assess the cleanliness of the duct by observing how much dust build-up there is. If you see a lot of debris, it's time to clean.
  2. Hook up attachments to your vacuum cleaner. Use a long, flexible attachment that can easily reach down into the duct. Wear gloves since you might need to reach your hands down there as well. Switch the vacuum on and vacuum the inside of the duct with the attachment until the duct looks free of build-up and meets your cleanliness expectations.
  3. Vacuum the vent cover to free it of any dust or dirt. Spray the grille with cleaning solution and wipe it with a paper towel or rag.
  4. Replace the vent cover and screw it back on with the screwdriver. Secure it in place. Once you are done, clean other ducts in your home the same way.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • Gloves
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Cleaning solution


  • Use a vacuum that has a brush attachment to help agitate dust and dirt from the sides of the ducts as you vacuum.


  • If you are worried about dust getting into the air as you clean, consider wearing a mask or goggles to protect yourself.
  • Don't leave the vent covers off of the ducts for longer than necessary to prevent injury.

About the Author

Jewel Rivers has been writing professionally since 2011. She specializes in topics relating to health, pets, cleaning, food, fashion and beauty. Rivers is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in English from Utah Valley University.

Photo Credits

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