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Your Guide to Inspecting Your Air Ducts

Your Guide to Inspecting Your Air Ducts

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Air ducts are passages used in HVAC systems to transport air throughout your home. Your air ducts connect your HVAC system with air vents all over your house. Over time, dust and dirt collect on air duct surfaces and can limit your AC unit’s effectiveness. 

Some common signs of unclean air ducts include mold growth, strange scratching or shuffling sounds, smoke dirt, or dust coming from air vents, and excessively high energy bills. 

Unclean ducts can reduce the overall efficiency of your HVAC unit. This means that it has to use more energy to cool or heat your home, which leads to a higher energy bill. 

Unclean ducts force your system to work harder and longer which creates extra stress that causes your HVAC system to wear out faster. 

Just like every other system, air ducts require periodic maintenance. To prevent these problems, inspect and clean your air ducts every 3-5 years. 

Here is a guide from Dixon air conditioning experts Right Now Air & Solar to help you inspect your air ducts. 

Check the Vents and Registers 

Inspect your vents and registers. If dirt, dust, and debris are flowing out, your ductwork is dirty and needs a thorough cleaning. 

Thoroughly Inspect Your Registers 

Once you have inspected your vents, thoroughly check the registers. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the vent grills and take a look inside. Take a couple of photos (you can use a flash camera) to determine the severity of the issue. 

Do not ignore signs of pest infestation, such as droppings or dead insects. Contact an exterminator immediately to schedule a cleanup. 

Clean the Ductwork 

Follow these steps to clean your ductwork. 

  • Cover the supply vents not being cleaned at the time with paper towels (by placing a paper toilet between the vent cover and the wall)
  • Set your thermostat to a fan position. Your thermostat's fan will help move the dust that you loosen while cleaning. Remember to switch off the heating and cooling modes. 
  • Using a brush, remove dust. To loosen clumps of dust, tap them with the handle of your brush. 
  • Clean the supply registers. Use your vacuum's hose to catch dust pushed out by the fan. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe the interior clean. 
  • Clean the return registers. 
  • Shut off the fan and furnace. 
  • Clean the blower compartment and return the air boot. Use your vacuum to get rid of built-up dirt. 
  • Inspect and replace your HVAC system's filters (every 30-90 days).

If there is a heavy build-up of dirt in your system, reach out to an air conditioning company for duct cleaning. After your contractor cleans the ductwork, ask them to seal the air ducts, if required. 

Right Now Air & Solar is a top-rated air conditioning company in Dixon. Whether you need help choosing a new system or want to show your current system some TLC, our team has you covered. To schedule an appointment, call (707) 240-8777.