How to Clean Air Vent Covers in a House?

Dust and debris get into a house’s HVAC system from both outside and inside. The air conditioner is connected to air ducts throughout the house and forces excessive dirt to travel through the system, which then gets stuck in the air vents.

Air vents can also get dirt inside the house, which recirculates dust or pet fur stuck on and inside the vent covers.

If you don’t know how to clean air vent covers and would prefer to hire a professional, you can contact the expert technicians at Anderson Air.

Deciding On Whether Or Not to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

This will depend on a couple of conditions which vary from one house to another. Some of these conditions include a family member suffering from allergies or unexplained illness related to the home environment.

 After a visual inspection of the air vents, you may notice a lot of dust and dirt deposits. Or may also observe that the air ducts are infested with vermin (e.g., rodents or insects).

There are debates on how often you should clean your air vents. Regardless, do not wait till things get worse, but these reasons alone are enough to clean the air duct covers of your house. We will cover how you can complete the air vent cleaning process yourself, but if you need help, contact HVAC professionals to do the work.

What to Expect From Air Vent Cleaning Service Providers

If you don’t know how to clean air vent covers in-house, an excellent way is to hire a qualified HVAC technician. An HVAC service provider should do the following:

  • Inspect the system before cooling to ensure no asbestos-containing materials are used in the cooling and heating systems. Asbestos-containing materials require special cleaning procedures and should only be done by trained, specialized contractors.
  • Opening the access port allows the contractor to assess and clean the entire system.
  • Protect the ductwork by reinstalling access holes the contractor might have used and then sealing them.
  • Cover the household items, furniture, and carpets when cleaning. 
  • Use vacuum equipment that exhausts outside the home or use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum if necessary.

Things to Know Before Cleaning the Air Vents In Your House

Depending on the size of your house, legitimate air duct cleaning services cost between $500 to $1,500.

There are scams in the HVAC space who claim to be members of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Make sure to confirm their legitimacy by contacting the organization.

Returning air registers being prone to collecting dust does not mean the whole filter system is dust-laden. The air filters positioned behind the registers are designed to trap most of the dust sucked into the vents preventing them from getting into the HVAC system.

You need a complete guide on cleaning the air ducts because improper cleaning might do more harm than good. Therefore, we advise hiring cleaning technicians who will probably execute the task.

Cleaning air vent covers in your home may contain dust, but other house items like drapes, upholstery, and carpets may contain higher dust particles. Ensure these items are made clean as well.

What You Need To Clean Air Vent Covers 

●    Screwdriver: The vent covers have screws that keep them secure. Ensure you have the right screwdriver for opening the air duct covers.

●    Microfiber cloth: A microfibre cloth is used to clean the walls of the vents, along with horizontal and vertical surfaces.

●    Heavy-duty vacuum: The one with a long hose will enable you to reach the furthest in the ductwork. Also, a professional-level vacuum cleaner helps clean the vents thoroughly.

●    Water and soap in a bucket: this is used to clean the top and bottom of the air vent covers

●    A broom: this tool will make it easier for you to loosen some of the buildups that might be clinging to the vent walls

●     A ladder: this is used for climbing if some of your air vents are on the ceiling or set in places you can’t reach in the house

How to Clean Air Vent Covers Yourself

● Turn off the power of your HVAC heating system.

● Use a traditional broom, then dust the vents. If they are on the ceiling, sweep underneath the air ducts with a longer brush.

● Get screwdrivers, go from room to room in your house, then remove all the air vent covers carefully and unscrew the vent covers to remove any fallen objects from those vents on the floor.

● Vacuum the air vents. Consider taping the vacuum attachments to avoid losing them into the vents when vacuuming.

● Soak the vent cover and clean it with a microfiber cloth and soap. Then put them out to dry manually.

● Screw your air vent cover back on after thorough vacuuming.

● Consider changing the air filters.

Benefits Of Routinely Cleaning Your Air Ducts?

Being able to breathe quality air goes without saying. Another advantage of regularly cleaning air vents is it saves you money.

The US Department of Energy states that about 25-40% of the energy used in heating is wasted. This occurs when the air ducts and the whole HVAC system are contaminated with dust. Knowing how to clean air conditioner covers improves airflow efficiency throughout your home, making it much more comfortable to live in.

How To Clean Floor Vents Manually

● Turn off your heat AC to prevent the ventilation system from kicking on and launching dust. In addition, you may need to put on protective eyewear to prevent dust flowing by natural air from the vents from getting into your eyes.

● Using a crevice tool can help remove dirt from the vents when vacuuming. Take a wet, dampened, clean run and wipe them out for those clumps that won’t vacuum up.

● Lay a rug on the floor near the vents to prevent dirt from spreading when unscrewing air vent covers to clean.

● Use a dish cleaning tool like a sponge to clean the air duct covers. If the dirt is hard to remove, consider soaking them in warm water for a while before washing them.

● Put the vents dry after a thorough cleaning, then return them to their proper openings.


Knowing how to clean air vent covers increases the efficiency of your HVAC system and helps you breathe clean, fresh air.

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