Cutting the cost of keeping your home warm may be as easy as cleaning the heat vents. The register covers collect a surprising amount of airborne particulates from dust, pets and fibers. As it collects, the air blowing through the vents slows, which drops the efficiency of your furnace.
Those dust deposits also indicate compromised indoor air quality
(IAQ). Failing to change the air filter
also causes dust to collect inside the ducts and on the register covers.
Cleaning the Vents
Most of the time, maintaining the vents is a do-it-yourself project. You’ll need:
- A Phillips or flat-head screwdriver
- Soft, clean rags and kitchen scrubbing brush
- Mild detergent
- Towels for drying
- A ladder if the vents are up high
- A vacuum cleaner
Some homeowners find it easier to remove the vents one at a time to make them easier to put back on. While they are standardized parts of the air ducts, there may be minute variations vent to vent that make it easier to return the cover to its original position.
Once you’ve taken the heat vents off, dust them off before cleaning it. If possible, it’s best not to submerge in water because most vent covers are made from metal that can rust, although a quick rise will remove any soap residue that attracts dirt. Use the scrub brush to remove the built-up dust on the louvers. As the vent covers dry, gently vacuum the visible areas of the ducts that are easy to access.
Excess Dust in the Ducts
As you remove the register covers, look as far into the ducts as you can see. If you find that they’re thick with dust and dirt, or show signs of mold, insects, or rodents, you may need a professional duct inspection and cleaning. Any signs of mold in the ducts should be addressed and vermin in the ducts
often indicate serious leaks or tears.
Cleaning the heat vents won’t take long and it helps increase heating efficiency and promotes better IAQ. For more in depth information, contact Russell’s Heating & Cooling
, providing HVAC services for Hampton Roads area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chesapeake, Virginia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat vents and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 757-750-1831.
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