Prepare Your Heating Vents for Winter with a Proper Cleaning
Your heating vents form the gateway for indoor comfort throughout the winter. However, if they’re obstructed by dust accumulation, they become a source of bad indoor air quality, declining heating performance and increased operating costs.
A typical residential heating system moves about 1,400 cubic feet per minute of air through the ductwork. Grilles that cover heating vents in each room attract and capture dust and other particulates in the air flow. The resultant accumulation may obstruct circulation, increasing internal air friction inside the duct. This impacts not only system efficiency but also potentially disrupts the neutral air balance in rooms.
Turn off the furnace. Stand on a ladder and use a flashlight to inspect the supply vent grilles as well as the duct surfaces immediately inside the vents as far as you can see. Look for a coating of dust, dust “bunnies” and any other red flags like rodent droppings or anything that looks like mold.
Spread a tarp or newspapers out directly beneath the vent grille. Using a screwdriver open or remove the grille. Some supply grilles are hinged and will open like a door, others can be removed entirely.
If the cover can be completely removed, soak it in a bucket or sink full of hot water with dishwashing soap. Use a fingernail brush or an old toothbrush to clean between the slats of the grille. If the grille is the non-removable hinged variety, you’ll have to use a bottle of spray cleaner to soak and wipe clean the grille in place.
While the grille is drying, use a long-handled duster with a static dusting head, to wipe away dust from interior surfaces of the duct as far inside as you can reach. A canister vacuum with a long extension hose and a wand is also useful.
Replace or close the vent grille and secure with the screwdriver.
At Sobieski Services, our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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