How to Clean Air Conditioner Vents

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Updated February 2, 2023

Accumulated matter in air ducts is a huge problem with which even the best air conditioners have to contend. This can harm your entire system, lower its overall efficiency, and even impact air quality. Today, you’ll learn how to clean air conditioning vents without the help of an air duct cleaning specialist. This will help you take control of your environment and ensure your system is always in working order.

Cleaning Your Air Conditioning Vents

You should regularly clean your air ducts to ensure high indoor air quality. It will also extend the life of your HVAC system. If you want to take it a step further, you can learn how to clean air conditioner filters. After all, air filters will always freshen up your air supply.


  • Cleaning your air ducts may seem simple, but it’s always best to hire an air duct cleaning technician to come out and do the job for you.
  • To clean your air ducts, you have to pop off the air vent, clean using a vacuum and scrub brush, and then pop the vent back on.
  • Regular maintenance of your system will result in higher air quality, better efficiency for the system, and an extension of its overall longevity.

Cleaning Out Your Air Conditioner Vents

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time Required: 15 minutes
  • Total Steps: 6
  • Tools Needed: Screwdriver


Ensure that the power is completely turned off to your air conditioning and heating system. From there, gather your air duct cleaning tools, a cloth, and a tub of water with a little soap.


Now, take the air vent cover off using your screwdriver. Some vents can pop off without using a tool, but typically you’ll need to unscrew them to access your dirty air ducts.


Clean the air vent thoroughly using your paper towels and scrub brush. If they’re heavily soiled, soak them in a solution of soapy water. Just make sure they’re totally dry before reinstalling them.


Next, use the scrub brush to brush out the dirty air ducts. This will loosen up debris and dust that has accumulated. Take care not to spill excess debris onto the floor.


The cost of duct cleaning can be high, but you can only get truly clean ducts if you hire a professional.


Get the vacuum cleaner ready. You want to vacuum out everything that’s come loose as best you can. Don’t forget to clean your carpet or floor of debris that might have fallen out of the duct, as well.


Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe the air ducts down so they’re completely clean. Dry and replace the vent cover, and enjoy your freshly cleaned air ducts.

Should You Hire an Air Duct Cleaning Service?

Hiring a professional service provider may seem like a costly investment, and it can be. However, the air duct cleaning cost is offset by the high-quality treatment your dirty ducts will receive.

Insider Tip

Check into the National Air Duct Cleaners Association to find a capable professional when you need duct cleaning.

If you still want to do it yourself, try learning how to clean central air evaporator coils to get a complete clean after you follow the instructions below. You might also want to know how to clean leaves out of an air conditioner.

STAT: By 2016, revenues from building and industrial cleaning – other in Lithuania are projected to reach approximately 27.45 million U.S. dollars. (source)

Lastly, if you’re in the market for a new AC, look into the best window air conditioners on the market. These efficient, space-saving options go a long way in keeping your home cool.


How do I change a disposable filter in an AC?

A clean air filter goes a long way in ensuring the cleanliness of your indoor air supply. Disposable air filters are easy to replace. You just remove the old one and insert a replacement filter.

How do I prepare for a professional cleaning service?

If they need access to a crawl space, ensure that it is as clear of debris and accessible as possible. You can also ask the company what you need to do in preparation for your appointment.

How do I find a reputable professional to handle duct contamination?

If your ducts have been contaminated, you’ll need a professional equipped to handle the situation. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association has a listing of service providers you can contact.

How can I tell what type of ducts my AC system has?

You can refer to the user manual that came with the system to figure out what type of ducts you have. If you still aren’t sure, try to contact the company to figure it out.

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