Considering how much dust and grime can accumulate on visible surfaces over time, it’s easy to imagine what the inside of your HVAC system’s vents and air ducts must look like after a while. However, air duct cleaning can be costly, and dirt accumulates during annual maintenance. What is air duct cleaning DIY tips?

Here are some pointers for cleaning your air ducts on your own in between professional services.


  • You will need a few specific tools to clean all of the air duct components effectively.
  • Ensure your vacuum has a hose and nozzle attachment to reach deeper into your ducts.
  • A toilet brush or a large paintbrush will suffice.
  • Screwdriver – This is required to remove the vents that cover your ducts.
  • Paper towels will remove escaping dust and cover other supply registers while cleaning.
  • Air Filter – When you’re finished, it’s a good idea to replace your air filter with a new one.

How To Clean Your Air Ducts

Cleaning your air conditioning ducts is simple if you follow these steps:

  • Remove the vent covers and clean them. Using your screwdriver, remove the vent covers. To clean them, you can either put them in the dishwasher or rinse them by hand. Place them aside to dry.
  • Paper towels should be used to cover the vent openings. Cover the supply register openings with a few paper towels. While cleaning ducts in other parts of the HVAC system prevents dust from blowing out of them and landing on your walls and floor. You will remove the covers to clean, but replacing them after each cleaning is a good idea.
  • Remove the dust. Tap the handle of your brush around the sides of the ductwork to loosen the dust that has become attached to the walls.
  • Clean it up. Suck all the dirt within your reach with the nozzle and brush attachments on your vacuum hose. If there is still dust on the walls afterward, wipe them down with paper towels. Rep this process for each ductwork opening.
  • Replace your air filter. Now that you’ve successfully removed some dust from your ducts, replace your air filter to keep your indoor air cleaner.
  • Vent covers should be replaced. Make sure to replace all your vent covers after you’ve washed them.
  • You can improve your home’s cleanliness and indoor air quality by repeating this process in the months between scheduled air duct cleaning services.

How To Clean Soot From Air Ducts

As the warmer weather gives way to cooler weather in the fall, many homeowners turn on their heaters to stay warm. A fine layer of black soot appears on appliances, wall hangings, furniture, and anything else left exposed in the home during this time of year, which many people notice. Soot usually comes from the air vents and is caused by one of two problems. For vent cleaning services, you can contact American Air Ducts.

Air Ducts Producing Black Soot

Fires are a common source of soot. People who burn candles regularly or use a fireplace or wood-burning stove may notice soot coming from their air ducts and contaminating their homes. Mold is another common source of this residue rather than fires. A mold removal specialist will be required if there are no fireplaces in the house. If the house has a fireplace or a wood-burning stove, the chimneys will most likely need to be cleaned thoroughly.

One major issue remains, regardless of whether the issue is mold residue or fireplace soot on carpets, upholstery, and curtains. This is the problem of removing it without exacerbating the situation. The soot of any kind is difficult to remove, and home removal methods may only smear it or worsen the problem. It is best to contact a professional cleaning service that specializes in soot removal. Only a professional company has access to suitable substances and is familiar with the proper methods for effectively cleaning soot from the essential textiles and carpets in the home. Allow the soot to settle and become more embedded in the furniture and carpet. For a free estimate, contact a reputable specialist.

When an oil or gas furnace properly operates, little to no soot is produced as the fuel is burned to generate the heat required to warm your home. Unfortunately, it only takes one leaking or clogged burner to create a hazardous situation that can result in an explosion known as a puff back. A puff back distributes soot throughout your ducts, filling your home with oily smoke and black marks that can linger for years. Cleaning up soot from the furnace necessitates understanding what caused the issue and how to handle potentially hazardous materials released by your furnace.

1. Cleanup of the Puff Back

A puff back is a severe issue that should be treated as an emergency. It happens when too much fuel accumulates in a furnace’s combustion chamber. When the furnace starts up again, the extra oil or gas explodes, causing an explosion that can damage your furnace or even the entire house. At the very least, you’ll notice a loud noise and fine dust on furniture and surfaces near your air vents. You may also notice delicate or large black splatters on your walls and vent covers, as well as a solid burnt odor and smoke from the vents.

2. Furnace Black Soot

Due to a lack of routine maintenance, black soot can accumulate inside the combustion chamber of a furnace, but this soot should not end up in the ducts or coming out of your vents unless there is a serious problem, such as a puff back. Soot inside the furnace should still be removed once or twice a year if more than half an inch accumulates per year. Allowing soot to accumulate inside the combustion chamber reduces heating efficiency, raises energy bills, and increases the fire risk inside the chamber.

3. Soot from the house’s oil furnace

Soot blown around the house by a broken furnace must be dealt with professionally. To avoid damage to the drywall, carpeting, upholstery, and other surfaces on which soot settles, the oily residue must be neutralized and carefully scrubbed or wiped away.

4. Modify the Filter

Changing the air filter is one cleaning task you can handle after a puff back. A puff back leaves enough residue to clog even a new filter, so it’s a small investment to replace the filter while you wait for repairs. This keeps debris from blowing around the ducts and vents the first time you turn on the heating system.

5. Seal the Vents

Finally, you can cover the vents to prevent soot movement while the ducts and furnaces are cleaned and repaired. Tape a few layers of cheesecloth securely around the vent covers to prevent soot from escaping.

You should not attempt to clean the residue from your furnace, regardless of the cause or severity of the problem. Exposure to the particulate is unsafe, requiring special treatment to remove from the various surfaces in your home without causing damage to the materials. Allow American Air Ducts to handle the task of cleaning up soot from your furnace.

American Air Duct Cleaning Services

Even if you clean your air ducts, hiring an AC technician to professionally clean your home’s ducts at least once a year is still recommended. Do you want to know the duct cleaning cost? Then read another post what is the air duct cleaning average cost? American Air Ducts has years of industry experience in ac duct cleaning and knows how to ensure that your AC unit provides cold, clean air to every room in your home. Call us at 866-373-3828 to speak with one of our certified HVAC technicians.

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