What are the Best Tips for Air Vent Cleaning?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Air vent cleaning can significantly improve the air quality of a home or office, which can sometimes be worse than pollution outdoors. Dust, dirt, allergens, and other materials can build up within air vents and cause potential health hazards, so it is important to schedule regular air vent cleaning processes, either by the homeowner or by a professional service. A good way to start an air vent cleaning is to remove filters from vents and replace them once the entire cleaning process is complete. These filters should be replaced regularly, every month to three months.

The most thorough air vent cleaning will be done by a professional with the proper equipment to get deep inside the vent system. Cleaning in and around the opening of the vents will only get rid of the dirt and allergens immediately inside the air system, which is good but insufficient. Vacuuming with a conventional vacuum into the vent is even better, but again, this will only get rid of the dirt and allergens near the opening of the air system. Professional cleaners have the equipment to get deep the air system, thereby eliminating dirt and allergens deep inside the ductwork. It may be more expensive to hire such services, but it may be well worth the cost, especially if the air vents are irritating one's allergies. This type of cleaning should be done once a year or close to it.


A homeowner can clean vents once a month or so to keep the system as clean as possible at vent openings, where dirt and allergens are likely to enter the system. It is important to remember to clean the grate as well; the grate that covers the vents will accrue dirt and allergens that will need to be cleaned thoroughly to prevent that dirt from entering the air in a room. Use a damp cloth and some disinfectant to clean the vent grate before replacing the filter and closing the grate.

Some heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have center locations through which a cleaning can be done. Applying a mist disinfectant into the system can help kill bacteria all the way throughout the HVAC system, though this should only be done to the manufacturer's recommendations. If the manufacturer recommends another method for cleaning, be sure to try that method first, as this may save the cleaner from damaging any of the HVAC components during air vent cleaning and HVAC system cleaning.


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