If you want to make sure your heat and air conditioning are efficient, you obviously need to make sure there is decent airflow. Usually, the most obvious and easiest problem to fix is within the air registers. Even if you regularly dust your walls and clean the outside of your air registers, you need to remove them from the wall every once in a while for a more thorough cleaning. Often, when you clean your registers from the outside, you end up pushing dust inside, creating clogs in between the vents that can reduce airflow. This article explains the best tools and techniques for removing your air registers from the wall and giving them a more thorough cleaning.
Remove the Air Registers From the Wall
Most air registers can be easily removed from the wall with a screwdriver. A power drill might be necessary, especially if the registers were painted over after they were installed. If this is the case, you will also need to use a utility knife to cut through the paint along the edges of the register. Once you break this seal and remove the screws, you should be able to pull the register right off the wall.
Clean the Registers
To speed up the job, you should remove all the registers at once, so you can clean them. The best way to clean a bunch of registers is to fill up your sink and scrub them down using dishwashing soap and a sponge. Be sure to clean between each individual vent. Pay particular attention to any black spot that could be mold. If the mold does not wash off easily, you can just buy replacement registers. (This might also be a good time to call a mold expert—because if there is mold in your registers, there is probably some in your ducts as well.)
Just make sure you give your registers plenty of time to dry before putting them back on the wall. Also, it is a good idea to check the edges of the wall, where the duct opening is, for dust buildup along the ridge. Dust can accumulate here, especially if there is drywall with a little lip that catches it.
As you can see, cleaning your air registers is not very difficult, but the project can be time-consuming. You will need a ladder to reach the higher registers. Using a power drill and cleaning all the registers at once will definitely speed it up. Talk with an air conditioning service if your system is still having efficiency problems even after a cleaning.