Tools for Duct Cleaning

Updated February 21, 2017

A house or apartment's air ducts play an important role within the living space. They are one of the main ways in which the air inside gets traded for the air outside. Keeping these ducts clean should be a top priority for all homeowners. Air ducts can be cleaned by the homeowner, using relatively simple tools, or by a professional air duct cleaning company. The tools needed to clean a duct on your own are different from the duct-cleaning systems that professionals use.

Tools for Cleaning Air Ducts Yourself

To clean air ducts yourself, all you need is a few basic tools and some time. You can clean an air duct with a cleaning brush, rags or paper towels and a vacuum cleaner. However, many areas of your home's air ducts are not easily accessible without specialised equipment, for which you may need to hire a professional service.

Rotary Brush Air Duct Cleaning Systems

Rotary brush air duct systems are one of the two major methods used by professionals to clean air ducts. Rotary brush systems have a few major parts: a spinning brush, a rotary machine, a hose and a vacuum. The brushes are manufactured especially for their function. The are placed at the end of a flexible cable and spin around, removing debris from the duct walls in the process. The dirt is then sent back into a hose on the way to a vacuum. The rotary machine motivates the spinning brush. The cable is made to be flexible, but also manoeuvrable. It is more rigid than a hose. It is placed in between the brush and the hose. The cable is about 35 feet long. The hoses are essentially vacuum hoses. They allow the dirt and debris to move from the end of the cable into the vacuum cleaner. They are usually about 50 feet long and come in a wide variety of sizes.

Negative Air Vacuume System

The other major type of professional cleaning system is a negative air vacuum system. This type of system is a little more heavy-duty than a rotary-brush system, and is usually used for industrial jobs. It consists of a large box with a vacuum tube that connects directly to the air duct, usually through a special hole cut by the operator. The negative air machine simply sucks the dirt out of the duct.

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About the Author

Justin Mitchell has been a writer since 2009. In 2002, he received a B.A. in theater and writing from the University of Northern Colorado. Mitchell worked as an ESL teacher in Europe and Asia before earning a master's degree in journalism from the City University of New York. He has written for the "New York Daily News" and, among other outlets.