Cleaning RV air vents: A simple, important task to breathe easy

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By Gail Marsh
I don’t know about you, but I rarely look up when I’m inside our RV. That changed a few days ago. I happened to be contemplating very deep thoughts (read: relaxing) on the sofa when I noticed the intake air vent above me. Hmm … it looked dusty. Really dusty! “Is there a way to clean that?” I wondered. Because the vent was too high to reach, I went back to the bathroom where I could easily reach the vent. Wow! This one was dusty, too!

Taking apart the air vent

Not wanting to break anything, I gingerly fingered all around the air vent. Giving a gentle pull, the vent assembly easily came down. It looked like this:

I suppose I could have washed the entire vent cover assembly, but I wanted to make sure that the foam filter got clean. So, I removed the bracket that holds the filter. The bracket is held in place by tension. I gently pushed the side brackets back as I pulled up on the top brackets and – voila! – the foam filter was free. Not only did the filter hold a lot of dust particles, but it also had a fair amount of sawdust!

I proceeded to wash the filter in warm water and Dawn dish soap. A swish-swish was all it took, and the filter was clean! (How did I know? I could see through it!) I blotted the foam between towels to dry. Then I quickly washed the plastic vent cover, too. I reassembled the unit and gently pushed it back into place.

After cleaning all the intake air vents, I felt much better. The air conditioner seemed to breathe a happy sigh of relief, as well. That’s a very deep thought. I should probably contemplate that…

Related (sort of):

Rust: How to prevent it from damaging your RV

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CAREN KELLY
20 days ago

Hi Gail, quick question. Can you vacuum inside the vents as well(both heat and air) – to catch anything that is still in there? Thank you, when we get to our Moho at our seasonal site in May I will be cleaning all my vents before we head south of the border for the winter.

Last edited 20 days ago by CAREN KELLY
PennyPA
20 days ago
Reply to  CAREN KELLY

This is a good question because I’m wondering the same thing. Is there something that we can push down the air vents to clean them out completely? I don’t think there are filters in mine.

Larry
20 days ago

I have a dirt devil central vacuum cleaner. With the rug attachment on I just run the foam through the attachment. It sucks it in and spits it out the other side. I run it a few times and it’s clean. No need to wash with soap and water. I saw David Bott do this on one of his videos.

Last edited 20 days ago by Larry
Ran
20 days ago

Yeppa! I clean mine semi-annually, or when I use it more often. Mine come off pretty easy, but I usually vacuum the vent first. This saves some of the intake foam screens from dropping below. Just another maintenance item to add to your checklist.
Thanks for the reminder. I just assumed most are already doing this!