Because you can't see the ducted air conditioning system in your home, it is easy to forget that it needs cleaning now and again. If you do not keep the system clean, it can become filled with dirt, dust and debris. This can affect the efficiency of your air conditioning system and impact on the air quality in your home. Below is a brief guide to cleaning your ducted air conditioning system.
Clean the grates
The first step you need to take is to ensure that your air conditioning system is turned off. If you attempt to clean the ducts with the system running, you may introduce additional dirt and debris into the system as you attempt to clean it. Next, locate and remove the grates covering the system's air ducts. While it is possible to lift some grates to remove them, others may be secured in place and require you to use a screwdriver to unscrew them. You should soak the grates in a bowl containing warm water and a squirt of liquid detergent to remove any grime and dirt. While they are soaking in the bowl, you should continue cleaning the rest of the system.
Remove objects and debris from the duct
With the grates removed, you should be able to inspect the air ducts themselves. You should check that no large objects or debris are blocking the air duct. You may be surprised at the range of objects which can find their way into your air conditioning system, particularly if you have small children or pets. If you spot something, put on some work gloves and reach into the duct to remove it.
Vacuum the ducts
Once you are sure that you have removed any large objects, you can vacuum the duct to remove smaller particles of dust and dirt. You should use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner as this will enable you to reach as far into the duct as possible. You should then wipe out the entrance to the duct using a soft cloth. You can then reattach the grate covers and turn on your air conditioning system, safe in the knowledge that the air ducts are clean and the system is running efficiently.
If you have any questions or concerns about your ducted air conditioning system, you should contact a professional HVAC contractor who will be able to offer help and assistance.