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Is DIY Air Duct Cleaning a Good Idea?

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

It’s been a long winter. The furnace has been running hard circulating warmth throughout your home for months. Recently, you feel dry and stuffed up and wonder why that may be the case. You suspect it has to do with your indoor air quality. Upon searching throughout the house for issues, you realize the air ducts need cleaning. They are full of dust and debris, so you consider hiring an air duct cleaning service.

Safety is the primary concern

While it’s best to have a NADCA certified company clean your air ducts, you’re concerned about the price to have someone come out and take care of a routine cleaning.  You start to question whether it’s best to rely on a company or do it yourself to save you the money.  

Remember that while you can save money and do it yourself, cleaning your air ducts can potentially be unsafe.  Your safety is the most important factor in this process.  If you put your safety into question, you could be at risk of an injury.  Make sure that you understand what you are doing when you set to clean your air ducts because you do not want to clean them incorrectly.  Doing so could cause damage in your home.  You should stop the repairs immediately if you experience any potentially unsafe conditions.

Things you need to clean your air ducts

  • HEPA filtered vacuum: A household vacuum with a hose will work, but a heavier-duty “Shop Vac” unit will be more efficient
  • Brush: Use something to sweep away dust
  • Screwdriver or hex driver: Your registers are held in place by some kind of fastener.  You will need a tool that is able to fit these fasteners.
  • Towels or plastic sheathing: You’ll need something to assist in covering some registers while you clean others.  If you don’t have these, you will have to do additional dusting and sweeping after cleaning the ducts.
  • Cleaning rag: To clean and wipe down the inside of vents
  • Gloves and long sleeves: Use when reaching into the air ducts to protect your hands and arms from screws and other hazards
  • Dust mask: Protect your breathing while removing heavy amounts of dust and contaminants
  • Eye protection: Prevent projectiles harming your eyes

Some suggestions on DIY air duct cleaning

  1. Make sure the furnace is turned off when you are cleaning the air ducts
  2. Unscrew the vent covers on all the vents throughout the house
  3. Clean the vent covers thoroughly.  The covers act as filters, but they must be clean to work properly.
  4. Use the vacuum cleaner, hose, and brush to clean out the vents
  5. Use the cleaning rag to wipe the inside of the vents after you’ve used the vacuum
  6. Make sure to use personal protective equipment (PPE)

Stronger vacuums will obviously clean out more dust.  Keep in mind that you will never fully clean the air ducts on your own using this process.  You may be able to clean out around 85% of all dust, but some areas will be unreachable by using household items to clean out the air ducts.  To make sure they are fully clean, you are best to hire a professional cleaning and restoration business to clean out your air ducts.  Remember that your air ducts should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years based on activity levels of the property.

Hiring a professional air duct cleaner

In most cases, it is best to contact a cleaning and restoration service, like Soil Away, to take care of any air duct cleaning needs.  Soil-Away will send highly trained IICRC and NADCA certified technicians to clean unwanted contaminants from your HVAC system. In addition to competent technicians, Soil-Away uses high-powered vacuums, brushes and air whips to extract as much dirt as possible from your air ducts. By having a professional company come out to your home, you will ensure that your home will be cared for properly.

However, if you are hesitant about investing in this important service, you always have the option of doing it yourself.  Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration Services wants what is best for the customer.  Just know that in most cases it is strongly recommended that professionals perform the cleaning so that it is done safely and correctly.

More than air duct cleaning

If you want a more extensive cleaning, you will need to reach out to a professional cleaning and restoration business.  Soil-Away has nearly 30 years in the industry.  They not only provide air duct cleaning, but also water and fire damage repairs and mold remediation.  We strongly suggest that you contact Soil-Away at (603) 641-6555 for routine cleanings and repairs in your home or business.

By A. Phelps

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Jay KorsenJay Korsen
00:51 04 Aug 22
All I have to say is WOW and FANTASTIC. I just got done building out my new professional office with Soil-Away’s construction division and they went ABOVE and BEYOND. Scott and Mike, the carpenters are skilled artisans. The project got done on time and the project came in on budget! The finished results have been blowing people away. Much better than I could have anticipated. Anyone is welcome to come to our office, Bright Light Chiropractic in Hooksett to check out the fine work they did. Simply can’t sing enough praises for them. Sorry that the picture doesn’t do the job justice. Thank you Jack and your team. -Dr. Jay
Asian BreezeAsian Breeze
04:28 15 Jul 22
Since day one, I’ve known the owner, Jack, to be a hard-working and selfless leader. Through the efforts of him and his team, he was able to restore my flooded restaurant to tip-top shape. I was amazed with Jack’s orderliness throughout the entire process. Jack has proven to me that he is trustworthy, as both a friend and an individual in the work environment.
Breton LangendorferBreton Langendorfer
21:17 07 Jul 22
Highly recommend Soil-Away. A pipe in our upstairs bathroom gave and sent water down through a wall for at least a day before we noticed water dripping through our kitchen ceiling. Our insurance put us in touch with Soil-Away and they were at our house the next morning to assess the damage and dry things out. Joe, Ray and Tom were phenomenal to work with. They explained every part of the process to us and were very professional and friendly. If you have to deal with similar issues call Soil-Away, you won’t regret it.
Maureen CidzikMaureen Cidzik
13:49 15 May 22
Superior service from start to finish. Highly responsive. The entire team is dedicated to quality and customer care and it shows in everything they do – from first call, to estimate, to job completion.
Sarah GrugnaleSarah Grugnale
16:02 14 Jan 22
Joe and Tommy were amazing to deal with, they kept us updated every step of the process. They were punctual and hard working, answering all of our questions that we had. Everything was done as promised and even above and beyond. A great experience from start to finish.