It is possible for a person to clean their own air ducts, though not typically advisable. Because cleaning air ducts is a labor-intensive project that requires some expertise and potentially expensive equipment, it is advisable to use a professional air duct cleaning service.
Air duct maintenance involves cleaning air returns and the interior of the ventilation system. An air professional also uses a disinfectant to ensure that hazards such as mold are removed. To clean the air ducts without professional assistance, a person needs a heavy duty vacuum, a screw driver, paper towels, a hard-bristled brush and a new furnace filter. Light accumulations of dust in an air-return system are not a threat, but if mold or a rodent infestation is present, it can make the air hazardous.