When it comes to tidying up, cleaning a register vent probably doesn’t top the to-do list, but these simple tools are responsible for much of our indoor comfort, ensuring we stay warm during the winter and cool during the summer.

Why Clean Your Register Vent?

How to Clean a Register VentOver time, vents collect dust, debris, and pollen which can damage the air quality in our homes, ultimately leading to allergic reactions or asthma attacks. To maintain clean air, and keep your HVAC system running efficiently, it’s important to clean them regularly.

There are a number of ways to go about getting a register vent clean, but before we get into that, let’s take a look at the tools you will need.

Tools Needed

  • Feather Duster
  • Dry rag or hand towel
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Screw Driver
  • Vacuum cleaner with edge attachment

In a Rush?

If you don’t have much time to dedicate to this project, you can do a quick, yet thorough job by taking your vacuum cleaner and sweeping up as much dust and dirt as possible.

Once that’s finished, take a feather duster or dry microfiber cloth and go over each and every one of your home’s vents a second time.

While you might think that wetting a cloth will get the job done quicker or better, don’t be deceived. When water is mixed with hair and dust, it’s often a gunky, sticky mess, ultimately leading to more work later on and absolutely disgusting looking vents.

If you’re in a rush, keep it simple. A quick and thorough dusting will do until you have more time to dedicate to the project.

How to Clean a Register Vent with a vacuum

A More Thorough Cleaning

It’s a good idea to do a thorough register vent cleaning at least twice a year, preferably in the winter and then again in the summer. Switching from the furnace to the air conditioner and vice versa has a tendency to stir up dust and debris, so dedicating additional effort every six months just makes sense.

While it takes a bit longer, you will want to use a screwdriver and take off each and every vent plate in your home. Once you are finished doing that, fill a bucket full of warm water and add a tablespoon or two of dish soap into the mix. Then put the vent plates into the warm water, making sure that they are fully submerged. Let them soak for a couple of hours. While the vents are soaking grab your vacuum cleaner and go ahead and vacuum out as much of the dust on the inside of each register vent.

Stubborn Stains

If you notice that there is still oil, dirt, or other residue on the vents after a thorough soaking, grab the rubbing alcohol, dampen a cloth with it, and begin scrubbing them. This will help cut through any really stubborn stains, ensuring they look brand new.

Finishing Up

Once the soaking and cleaning process is finished, let the vents air dry for an additional hour. Now you can go ahead and re-install each register vent throughout your home.

For one last finishing touch, run a dry, microfiber cloth over the top of each register vent plate. This will ensure any specks of dirt and dust are gone for good.

Now, sit back, relax, and take a deep breath of that beautiful fresh air. Feels good, doesn’t it?