If you're having problems with your HVAC system and looking into various methods of troubleshooting, one of the first things you can do is to check the air vents. This is often something you can do on your own, without resorting to calling a professional.
Technique #1: Use a Vacuum Duster
Many modern vacuum cleaners come with various attachments, including a duster. This usually consists of a special brush or set of bristles surrounding the air intake on the end of a long pole. Vacuum dusters are perfect for small areas with a large amount of dust. This almost perfectly describes HVAC air intake vents (also known as return air registers).
The biggest advantage of vacuum dusters is that they usually allow homeowners to clean difficult-to-reach areas. This is particularly helpful when the return air register is just below the ceiling.
Technique #2: Register Removal
Depending on the installation of the supply registers, they may be easily removed by simply lifting them out. In some cases, you must unscrew two or four screws. That's more involved, but still very simple to do as long as you have a flathead or Phillips head screwdriver.
After removing the registers, clean them very well. Depending on how dirty they are, they might just need a wipe down with a damp paper tower. If they have more stubborn dirt and grime, try soaking them for a few minutes in warm soapy water before scrubbing. Let them dry thoroughly.
Before reinstalling the registers, use a duster or damp paper towel to clean the area of the ductwork located immediately behind the register. When cleaning the ductwork, be careful not to damage it or shift the ductwork from its installation point.
If the above troubleshooting techniques don't work, or you need to clean the ducts themselves (and not just the vents), it may be time to hire a professional. If this is the case, contact Griffin Heating & Air Conditioning and arrange for one of our HVAC professionals to come out. We'll take a look at your HVAC system to determine the best course of action.