Can I Clean Out My Own Air Ducts?

Yes, you can clean air ducts on your own but have to keep a few safety considerations in mind while doing this job. A simple and most important safety consideration before you start duct cleaning is to wear a mask to prevent restoration irritations. If you are wondering how often “Can I clean out my own air ducts”, then it is advisable for you to clean them on a quarterly basis. Because this helps in the quick removal of debris, dirt, grease and dust particles your air ducts are accumulating in a quarter. Moreover, if you clean your air ducts often, it increases the efficiency and lifespan of the HVAC system as well.

Can I Clean Out My Own Air Ducts

Guide To Clean Air Duct On Your Own 

Read this guide- the best and most effective DIY for residential duct cleaning. Follow the below instructions to get your air ducts cleaned in no time. 

  1. Turn Off the HVAC System 

A basic step prior to starting the air duct cleaning is to turn off your HVAC system in order to avoid accidents from happening. To complete the first step successfully and safely, you can switch off the HVAC system. 

  1. Gathering Requirements

When you are planning to clean the air ducts on your own, then it is better to first gather necessary requirements and then start cleaning. Some specific tools and materials you require while cleaning air ducts are as follows:

  • Vacuum 
  • Screwdriver 
  • Brush
  • Paper towels
  • Vacuum extension hose
  • Electric drill
  • A flashlight 
  • Dryer vent cleaning brush
  • Materials such as duct tape, warm water and mild detergent. 
  1. Remove Vent Covers To Clean

First, identify all the locations of vents indoors on your property and note them to remove them safely. If the vents are located as floor supplies, then it would be easier to remove them as they are just fit to sit in the position and not attached. Thus, you can easily lift off the vents from the floor supply. However, if vents are registered in either walls or ceilings, you must use a drill to unscrew the grills of vents from there. 

Once you are done with removing the vents, it is time to clean them by taking soft brushes, any kind of mild detergent and warm water. Vents are usually large and it is not easy to clean them in a place like a bathroom or kitchen. Thus, take these vents outdoors to clean them with mild detergent, a dryer vent cleaning brush and a hose. Keep cleaning them until you find no dirt on them to set them against a wall to let them naturally dry.

  1. Inspecting Air Ducts 

Once vents are thoroughly cleaned to air dry naturally, start inspecting the air ducts but using a flashlight. Start inspecting the air ducts from the vent opening side for a clear view of the HVAC system’s inside components. In most HVAC systems air ducts almost have the same position, that is, running staining from outside to inside and making a right-angle turn. However, there are also other HVAC systems where their air ducts take different directions and that too in opposite ways. So, inspect to find the right direction of air ducts in your HVAC system to plan a cleaning method by yourself.

  1. Dislodge Contaminants 

Now, take the vacuum hose to force it into the HVAC system until its opening is exposed outside of the system (with about 1 foot out). Then, take a rod kind of any metal structure chuck it into the drills and press on the drill button to clean the inside components. While drills are on, slowly detach the rod from them to effectively dislodge the contaminants from them. Once contaminants in the HVAC system are dislodged, clean the deposited contaminants using a vacuum extension hose. Note- make sure drills are not turned on in reverse manner as this embeds HVAC system components when a metal rod is chucked. 

  1. Vacuuming Supply Air Duct

Take a vacuum cleaner with an attached hose and secure its nozzle to air ducts and start vacuuming the inside of the HVAC system. In fact, alongside the nozzle, brush attachments should be used to suck away the dirt present around air ducts. While doing this, if there is any dirt left or stuck to the interior walls of your HVAC system, use paper towels to wipe the walls. Follow this step for every opening of the air ducts for better results. 

  1. To Clean Air Ducts 

After vacuuming supply air ducts, it is time to time to clean them using an attached hose. So take a vacuum cleaner and turn it on to force it into air ducts, as far as it goes inside your HVAC system. Once you clean the innermost air ducts, then slowly bring back the vacuum hose to clean other areas’ surroundings. Now, jostle the vacuum hose upside down, front and back to clean the air ducts as much as possible. Vacuum the air ducts thoroughly in order to prevent leftover dirt or dust particles from blowing into your indoors.

  1. Replace Vents & Turn On The HVAC System

The last step is to replace the vents in their original position. However, make sure both vents and air ducts are thoroughly dried before you are replacing them in their place. Then, turn on the HVAC system to see it run for at least 30 minutes and then shut it off to check if the filter is clean. 


This way you can clean air ducts in some cases. You cannot make your air ducts dirt-free easily on a single if the dirt had accumulated over months or years together as root cause matters. Despite you following the mentioned steps in the blog step-by-step. So, give a second thought to “Can I clean out my own air ducts?”, if your air duct had been a victim of debris, mould, odours, etc. If you feel that DIYs aren’t going to work on your HVAC system, then find professionals. They can help you to clean air ducts and maintain fresh and excellent air quality. In fact, professional duct cleaning also helps in resolving many issues with HVAC systems.