Most homeowners know it’s important to change your air conditioner filters on a regular, and frequent, basis. But, it’s also important to clean your return air vent covers periodically.
Don’t forget to clean your air conditioner return air vent covers.
The return-air duct in your house pulls the air in your home into your air conditioning system, where it is cooled before it is redistributed throughout the house. Over time, as dust and dirt-laden air is pulled through the vent cover of your air conditioner return, those dirt and dust particles will collect and leave the vent cover dirty. While this is normal, and unavoidable, you don’t want to let that dirt and dust accumulate, and you certainly don’t want it recirculated into the air in your home.
How often should you clean your air conditioner return air vent covers?
How often you need to clean your return air vent covers depends on your home circumstances, and your lifestyle. Do you have pets? Pet hair and allergens can build up quickly! Do you live in a dusty area (that would be all of Arizona!). Is someone in your household sensitive to dust/allergens? If so, you may need to clean that vent every month, just as you should change your air conditioner filters every month.
You can clean those air conditioner vent covers in several ways.
Vacuuming the vents may do the trick, or, if you find there is a build up of greasy/oily dirt, you may want to remove the vent covers and wash them with mild soap and water. If you decide to remove the vents and wash them, be sure to turn off your air conditioner until the vents have been replaced, and make sure the vents are completely dry before you replace them.
Another option is a thorough wipe down with a micro fiber cloth.
However you choose to clean your ac vents, just make sure you do it on a regular basis.
Dirt and dust that accumulates on the vents will find its way into your air conditioning system, clogging the filters prematurely, impeding good air flow and causing your air conditioner to work harder. The added stress on your ac system can shorten the life of your air conditioner. Plus, the pollutants that are being added to the air in your home are not good for your health!
Speaking of air pollution, if simply changing the air filters in your air conditioning system and keeping the return air vent covers clean isn’t doing enough to ensure the health of your family, you may want to look into an air filtration system.
You can read more about the health effects of indoor air pollution at:
Or, call us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Stevens Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning