The air conditioning ducts in your HVAC system supply all of the rooms with cool forced air. When they need cleaning, the quality of the air will decrease and in many cases, the quantity of the air will decrease too. That will lead to an inefficient duct system that will tax both your blower motor and your pocketbook. However, that isn’t the only thing to look for when determining when your AC duct work needs to be cleaned.
1. Replace the filter. A clogged filter will blow dirty air through every duct and will make it look like the duct needs to be cleaned. Take the filter aspect out of the loop and replace it with a new one.
2. Turn on the AC unit and watch a vent during the initial start-up when the motor turns on. If you notice a blast of dust from the vent when the motor kicks in, the duct needs to be cleaned.
3. Listen to the airflow of the duct work. There should be no noise other than the blower motor. If there is a whistling noise or the airflow is just generally noisy, that may indicate a blockage somewhere in the duct work. A blockage can occur from a piece of insulation that gets sucked into the ducts, a broken-off piece of filter or a damper that is either partially closed or caked with dirt. In all instances, the problem must be found and the duct cleaned.
4. Check the airflow of the ducts from room to room. Make sure the vents are opened fully when doing this. If you notice that one of the ducts has less airflow than the others, the duct needs to be cleaned.
5. Check the places where there are return air inlets. In many cases they are located on the floor and oftentimes things are dropped down the vents. This can starve the blower motor for air. If you notice any blockage inside of a return vent, it will need to be cleaned.
Things You Will Need
Make sure the return air vents are not covered by such things as paper, furniture, pillows, stuffed animals or anything else that will lay flat on top of the vent and impede airflow.