How to Clean Your Air Conditioning Vents
As the cooler weather transitions into the warmer months, you’re likely getting ready to turn on your air conditioner for the first time in a while. Since it probably hasn’t seen much action recently, it’s the perfect chance to do a deep cleaning of your supply and return vents.
The supply vents are typically covered with registers that can be controlled by an adjustable damper. These are usually rolling lever-type guides, or levers on the side of the vent, that open and close the damper to manage supply air flow from the supply ducts. You do not want to close these completely, or the system may become unbalanced.
The return vents are covered with grilles, which are permanent metal coverings. They are found in walls, ceilings, and floors.
Your vents can harbor a lot of hidden dirt and lint. By ensuring your AC unit and vents are clean from dust, allergens, indoor chemicals, and other debris, you can keep your indoor air quality levels high. This helps you and your family stay healthy and breathe crisp, clean air through the warm seasons.
Luckily, cleaning your vents is a simple and straightforward process. Ready to start? Follow these steps below.
Cleaning Your AC Vents
- Turn off your unit
Make sure your HVAC unit is turned off before you begin any cleaning. Both the furnace and the air conditioner should be off for safety purposes. We also recommend wearing a mask throughout the process to prevent breathing in dust and other particles as you work.
- Remove registers and grilles
In order to remove your air registers and grilles, you may need to use a screwdriver. If required, unscrew them, and then remove them from the walls or ceiling.
If they are high up on the ceiling and can’t be easily unscrewed, use a duster or a broom to reach them and remove as much dust and debris as possible.
- Dust off registers and grilles
Once the registers and grilles have been removed, use a duster, cleaning brush, or towel to get as much dirt off as possible. To prevent dust from dispersing into the air and recirculating, dust off the registers and grilles directly into a garbage bag.
- Wash with soap and water
After dusting, use a damp cloth to carefully wash them with soap and water. This helps to remove tougher grime, dirt, and particles clinging to your registers and grilles. Let them air dry completely after they’ve been washed.
- Replace registers and grilles
When the registers and grilles have fully dried, screw them in place if needed.
- Change your air filter
If you’re like most people, chances are, you’re overdue for an air filter replacement. The frequency that you change your filter varies depending on your usage and the type of filter you use, but if you’re just starting to use your AC again after winter, it’s likely time to switch yours out.
A clean filter will help keep your HVAC system in top shape and reduce the amount of debris clogging up your vents and ducts.
- Turn on your AC
Now that everything has been cleaned and your filter has been replaced, it’s time to turn on your AC.
Even if it’s not quite the appropriate weather for air conditioning, a quick test of your system to ensure it’s running properly is a good idea at this point. In case your system is having any issues, you have time to schedule a maintenance appointment before the hot weather starts to hit.