3 Vacuum Tricks for Cleaning Seasonal Vents

3 Vacuum Tricks for Cleaning Seasonal Vents

Sarah Rae Smith
Nov 11, 2011

In many parts of the country the temperatures have started to drop and with that comes a new slew of cleaning routines that need to be tackled as the house is shut up for the coming seasons ahead. One of my least favorite tasks is vacuuming out air vents, but there are a few tried and true tricks to making it suck a little less. Plus, you kind of get to feel like McGyver and that's always awesome. Unless you don't like McGyver and then we can't be friends.

In our home we only run the air conditioning (if ever) for a very short period of time, so the down time between our vents being used is rather great. First and foremost you should be changing your air filters frequently (though you can extend their life by vacuuming them) to get the best air quality. That said, there are two additional things you can do to help clean your vents without feeling the need to call a professional. Check them out below:

1. Save Your Paper Towel Tubes: Even if your vacuum has amazing sucking power (snicker) and a great crevice tool (double snicker), that doesn't mean you can reach the ball, dog treat or stray M&M that rolled down your vent a few months back. To make sure things are extra clean, add a paper towel tube to the end of your crevice tool to give you a few more inches (seriously we have to stop giggling here, this is serious) to ensure things are really, really clean.

2. Clean Your Grates: The covers that make our rooms more aesthetically pleasing tend to collect some serious dust bunnies behind them. When you remove them, place them in a plastic bag. Use the upholstery attachment (bristles are your friend) to clean the backside of each one. The bag will help keep it contained and your floors clean. Even if your ducts are clean, if the surface the air is blowing through isn't, then you're still breathing yucky air.

3. Vacuum Your Dusters: On occasion a long duster (the ones intended for use under your refrigerator work well) can do wonders for cleaning hard to reach vents, but then they're all dusty. While your vacuum is out, just vacuum them off and keep the dust where it belongs — in the trash!

Do you have any tips on keeping your vents clean? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: Sarah Rae Trover

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