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air duct cleaning process in canada

Air Duct Cleaning Process: Step-By-Step Guide for How to Clean Ducts

Cleaning your air ducts is an essential part of HVAC maintenance. This step-by-step air duct cleaning process guide will show you how to clean ducts using a variety of methods.

Cleaning your HVAC system regularly is one of the easiest ways to keep it in good working condition. It’s also probably one of the least glamorous parts of owning an AC unit, but it’s essential for keeping your system clean and functioning at peak efficiency.

With that being said, cleaning your ductwork isn’t as simple as it sounds. The process requires specialized knowledge and a few special tools that can make things a little bit easier (but not much). Once you understand how to go about cleaning your ducts, though, it doesn’t take long at all (usually less than an hour) and you can get started with the maintenance process right away.

Choosing the Right Duct Cleaning Service

Choosing the right HVAC duct cleaning service is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the best cleaning results possible. There are many great companies out there, but the right one for you will depend on a few factors. The main factor involves the customer service rating of the company along with years of experience in that cleaning service.

Plan Your Duct Cleaning Job Before You Start

The first step when cleaning your ducts is planning. In order to get the best results, you’ll want to plan your cleaning job ahead of time and make sure you have everything you need. This will help to ensure you don’t miss any important components or components that are in difficult-to-reach places. If you’re cleaning the main or return ductwork of your AC unit, you’ll most likely have the entire system to yourself.

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Make sure to schedule your cleaning job for a time when you know you won’t be interrupted and when your neighbors aren’t home. You can also plan your duct cleaning job for a time when the HVAC system is running at full capacity. This will help to increase the amount of air moving through the system and increase the amount of dust removed from the ductwork.

What Tools You’ll Need for Your Duct Cleaning Job?

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Before you start cleaning your ducts, you’ll first want to gather the necessary supplies. These include the cleaning equipment you’ll need and all the various cleaning supplies you’ll need to do the job right. Some of the supplies you’ll want to make sure you have on hand include an air blower, vacuums, rags, ladders, shop towels, dust masks, screwdrivers, and hose clamps. When it comes to cleaning supplies, you’ll need to make sure you have the following on hand:

1. Air Blowers

These blow air so if there are any areas of your ductwork or around wall and ceiling joints and corners that are particularly dirty, you can use them to clean them efficiently.

2. Vacuum cleaners

These are useful for sucking up any loose debris that’s stuck in the ductwork or for removing large amounts of dust from the ductwork.

3. Shop towels

These are incredibly helpful for drying the ductwork after you clean it and are especially helpful if there are any areas of your ductwork that are particularly dusty.

4. Masks

These help to protect your lungs from dust and debris while you clean.

Safety First: Know the Basics Before You Start

Safety is always key when cleaning your ducts and you’ll want to make sure to keep these three rules in mind while you work. First, you should never clean ductwork without a permit and safety equipment. Also, never clean ductwork that is currently in use by the AC or heating system. Finally, make sure to never clean the ductwork if it’s outside of normal operating hours. These three rules should go without saying, but it’s always good to keep them in mind.

Steps Involved in Air Duct Cleaning Process

Remove Duct Coverings

Using a screwdriver or wrench, remove all covers from vents and return ducts within reachable areas. You may want to use masking tape to mark each vent as you remove it for easy reference when putting them back on later

Remove Dust with a Damp Cloth

Next, remove any visible dust from the outside of the vent using a damp cloth. Don’t use water to avoid damaging the vents’ insulation material.

Vacuum away the Debris

Use the vacuum with a hose attachment to remove any debris, such as dust, pet hair, dirt, etc., from inside the ductwork. Make sure you pay extra attention to areas that are difficult to reach such as near fan blades or corners of vents where lint may be hiding. To further loosen any stubborn dust particles, use a brush attachment on the vacuum. Move it around in circles and in back-and-forth motions for maximum coverage.

Use the brush to further remove stubborn dust particles

To further loosen any stubborn dust particles, use a brush attachment on the vacuum. Move it around in circles and in back-and-forth motions for maximum coverage.

Use an Air blower to remove the remaining dust

After vacuuming away all of the debris, use an air blower to help force out any remaining materials stuck inside the ducts. Start by blowing compressed air into each opening and then go around with a vacuum cleaner once more just in case there were any bits that were missed by the previous two steps.

Wipe the duct with a detergent

Using an all-purpose cleaner or detergent with water mixed in a bucket, dampen some rags or cleaning cloths and then wring them out well so they are only slightly wet. Pay close attention to hard-to-reach areas such as corner seams or along air conditioning coils.

Sanitize the Air Duct to prevent Bacterial Growth

After cleaning the ductwork thoroughly inside and out, spray an antimicrobial solution over all registers one more time to eliminate any potential bacteria growth inside them later on.

Reinstall the filters

Finally, reinstall your filters into the duct system after all cleaning is completed for extra protection against airborne particles entering into your home via air circulation systems.

Seal the cracks

Finally, you’ll want to seal any cracks or leaks in the ductwork with duct sealant. This is especially important if the Ductwork is made of plastic or if it’s made of older, corroded.

For more intense cleaning purposes such as ridding of mold growth, contact a professional HVAC service company for specialized cleaning services rather than trying to tackle it yourself as there could be safety risks involved in tackling more serious contamination issues on your own.

Bottom Line

Cleaning your HVAC system regularly is one of the easiest ways to keep it in good working condition. It’s also probably one of the least glamorous parts of owning an AC unit, but it’s essential for keeping your system clean and functioning at peak efficiency.

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With that being said, cleaning your ducts isn’t as simple as it sounds. The process requires specialized knowledge and a few special tools that can make things a little bit easier, but not much. This is why you should hire a professional to do it, BlueGuard offers air duct cleaning all over Canada for just $399.


How long should duct cleaning take?

The residential duct cleaning job should take around 3-4 hours. However, some jobs may take longer due to special circumstances such as multiple levels in a home, heavily soiled ducts, or very large systems. Additionally, if the ducts are being sanitized or treated for mold, the process may take a bit longer.

What is the proper way to clean air ducts?

Properly cleaning air ducts is important for maintaining a healthy living environment, and it’s best done by hiring a professional. They use specialized tools and techniques, like brushes, vacuums and blowers to remove dust, dirt and debris. They also apply a cleaning solution and seal the ducts to prevent any new contaminants from entering. This results in clean, fresh air throughout the home.

Can I clean out my own air ducts?

Although it is possible to clean out your own air ducts, it is usually not recommended. Air ducts can be difficult to reach and contain many parts that may need to be removed and replaced. Without the proper experience, tools, and knowledge, attempting to clean out your own air ducts may damage them or cause further health issues. If you are considering cleaning out your own air ducts, it is best to consult a professional HVAC technician who can properly assess the condition of your air ducts and recommend the best course of action.

Is Duct Cleaning the same as furnace cleaning?

Duct cleaning and furnace cleaning are not the same. Duct cleaning is the process of cleaning the ductwork that carries air throughout your home, removing dust, dirt, and debris, and applying cleaning solutions. Furnace cleaning is the process of cleaning the furnace itself, cleaning the burners, heat exchanger, and other parts to ensure proper function and safety. Both are important for proper airflow and energy efficiency in the HVAC system.

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