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10 essential tips to cleaning your own air ducts

You might need to clean your air ducts if you notice you're sneezing more often or your home has recently undergone some renovations. Otherwise, it probably isn't necessary. But, cleaning your air ducts will ensure that your system runs more smoothly because the parts won't be slowed down with dirt and dust.
There are many different types of duct systems, but if you're cleaning it yourself the process is generally the same. You need to clean the vents and the ducts, and you should probably replace your furnace filter, too. While cleaning it yourself isn't foolproof, you're sure to clean most of the dirt out. Here are the tips you need to keep in mind before you start your DIY air duct cleaning.
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You Need...
1. Screwdriver
If you're going to get into the air duct, the first thing you need to do is take it apart. Grab a screwdriver so you can loosen the screws and get in there to clean.
2. Vacuum
You're going to need a vacuum, preferably one with a long hose and good suction. This is so you can reach in and get any dust that has gone past arms reach.
3. Brush
You need something like a toilet brush with bristle ends and a nice long hand to hold onto.
4. Paper Towels
You're going to use these to cover up the air registers that suck in air while you clean the others. This is so when you clean one, they don't suck up all that dust and blow it out into the other rooms.
5. Furnace Filter
By the end of all your hard cleaning, it's a great time to get in there and replace the furnace filter, too. Be sure to run out and get one of these before you get started.
And you should...
6. Turn on the fan
Having the fan on is important because it is going to move the dust that you're already trying to grab with the bush and the vacuum. If you don't have a fan function, though, turn on the heat instead.
7. Loosen dust from the outside
Go down to the basement and start tapping the sides of the ducts with your brush. This is going to help any dust that has collected in there get loose so you can clean it up at the vents.
8. You should clean the blower compartment, too
Turn off the power then remove the panels on the front of the furnace. Take the vacuum and suck up all the dust from the blower compartment then the furnace fan.
9. You can get inside the duct work
If you have the normal rectangular duct work there are removable end caps. Remove those then get inside and clean them out with the brush and vacuum to be extra thorough.
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10. Know when to call an expert
If you have serious allergies, have had serious renovations in the home, or you can't seem to get into all the nooks and crannies and clean it yourself, call in an expert to finish the job. Having clean air in your home is important, even if it might be an investment.
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