Practical Ways to Clean your Air Conditioning Vents

HVAC systems make our lives much more comfortable, whether at home or at the office.

However, just like any other machine, the system must be well-maintained to increase its efficiency and lifespan and  reduce your energy bill.

Clean your Air Conditioning Vents

One of the easiest ways to maintain a HVAC system is by cleaning the vents.

While many people choose to outsource these services to professional HVAC contractors, this is something you can easily do yourself and save money.

Here is a step by step method to clean your air conditioning vents.

Get the right tools and equipment

One of the reasons why people seek professional help for cleaning their vents is the lack of necessary tools. However, you can borrow, rent, or buy some of the essential tools to help you do the cleaning.

Here is what you will need:

  1. Screwdriver – since most air vents and ducts are fastened by screws, you need a screwdriver to unfasten them and remove the duct cover. A standard screwdriver will do just fine.
  • Vacuum cleaner – a conventional vacuum cleaner with a decent hose will do. A heavy-duty vacuum cleaner is useful, if you have access to one.
  • Brush – for optimum results, get a stiff bristle brush. Alternatively, you can just use a typical brush that has a long handle.
  • Paper towels or cleaning cloths – this will be used to cover the registers while the cleaning goes on.
  • Filter – get a compatible filter to replace the old one.

Have a clear understanding of the vents on your AC

clear understanding of the vents on your AC

Typically, there are two types of vents – the supply vent and return vent.

The supply vents act as the arteries  of the system. They are smaller than the return vents and allow clean air to flow indoors. If you place your hand or a piece of paper on the vent and you feel air being blown out, that is a supply vent.

Return vents are the veins of your HVAC. They are more extensive and are connected to the return ducts. They take air from your indoors to the AC. If you feel a suction effect after placing your hand or a piece of paper on a vent,  it is a return vent.

Your AC fan motor might fail for a number of reasons so call Ambrose Air in Orlando for a proper diagnosis and repair.

Now that you know your AC vents, it’s time to get started with the cleaning process.

Steps to cleaning air conditioning ducts

  • Cover the supply registers: Use the paper towels to cover the registers so that the dust or debris should not settle on the floor or any other furniture around.
  • Turn off the system: You can not clean the vents when the system is still running as this will blow more dust inside your house. However, leave the fan running to make sure that the dust moves along as you clean.
  • Now clean the registers; Start with the supply registers and use a brush or a vacuum cleaner to clear all the debris or dirt. Now unscrew the return registers and remove any dust from the piping system. Use a brush with a long handle to reach the deeper sides of the register.
  • Turn off the fan and use the vacuum cleaner to suck any dust from the vents.
  • If there is any dirt left after sucking, use water and soap to clear it out.
  • Remove the panels on the front of the furnace to access the blower compartment and the air boot. This is the area where most of the dirt accumulates, leading to clogging. Take precautions when cleaning the furnace fan to avoid damage.
  • When you are done with the cleaning, remember to replace the furnace filter. A malfunctioning filter will not only shorten your AC’s lifespan but also restrict airflow. If you can’t replace it, seek help from a professional like the New Jersey heating and air conditioning repair experts.

Why should you clean your air conditioning vents?

  • To reduce energy bills: Clogged vents make the AC system work harder leading to faster wear and tear, more frequent repairs and a reduced lifespan.
  • Quality air: Dirty vents will supply dirty air to your home. This can create a host of issues including respiratory difficulties and susceptibility to illness.


Regular cleaning of your air conditioning vents helps keep your system running for a longer period while cutting down costs. It also improves air quality inside your house, making it a comfortable place to stay. If you haven’t cleaned your vents for a while, follow the above guidelines to get the job done.

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