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Question DetailsAsked on 6/16/2011

How do I keep drywall dust out of air ducts?

We want to keep the drywall dust out of the ducts when the new drywall is sanded. I cannot find any product made to cover the heat ducts and cold air returns. Any suggestions?

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11 Answers


Something as simple as masking tape might do the trick.

Answered 9 years ago by HolmesonHomes


Earlier this year we did a mold remediation project and that included drywall. We used 3M painters tape (The Blue and Green type), 6 mil poly and Mr. Longarm barriers. Mind you that the carpet in this home is black throughout and the transfer of dust was nil.

Dust is difficult to contain but if you take your time preping every nook and cranny you can locate it can be done.

Answered 9 years ago by HolmesonHomes


We just completed a major kitchen renovation and gave up on the dust. The minute the heating season started it blew the dust throughout the house. I am planning on a thorough air duct cleaning in Spring.

I would like to hear if anyone out there has had luck with air purifiers or scrubbers to see if that improved the air quality WHILE you're remodeling.



Answered 9 years ago by Momski


I have seen people use air scrubbers for this situation, but keep in mind, just because you have a filters running during the construction does not mean that they will keep EVERYTHING out of the ductwork. You should have a certified air duct cleaning company come out and see if they need to be cleaned. We have a lot of clients that build custom homes, and when they get done, about a week before the homeowner moves in, they have the ductwork cleaned out.

A lot of builders will tell you that you do not need to have the ductwork cleaned when moving into a new home. The reason they say this, a lot of times, is because they do not want you to think that you are moving into a dirty home, but in fact, no one can prevent construction debris from entering the duct system.

Click Here for more information



Answered 9 years ago by clayboy17


IMO having ducts cleaned is one of the biggest scams to hit homeowners recently. I think companies do it just because they can, and because they can charge large amounts of money for what is a fairly simple process.

Given routine housekeeping and a good air filter on the furnace fan, there should be absolutely no need for duct cleaning. It just does not make sense.

And before you direct me there again, Superboy, I have read your website. I'm not sure self-promotion is allowed on this message board.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense


Drywall creates an amazing amount of particulate matter whenever it's penetrated. I have seen sanders that are attached to vacuums and which claim to reduce the drywall dust in the air by a large amount. Isolating the area where the work is done, turning off all HVAC and covering all ducts, then vacuuming is the only way to really clean up after drywall work.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense


I have often tried...and just as often failed.

Closest I came was using that clear, clingy wrap (like Glad Wrap). Place sheets over the registers/cold air returns and tape them down using painter's masking tape (the kind that doesn't leave a residue.

Held the dust down but I still had to have the ducts cleaned. Oh well, they were due anyhow.

I'll watch your question for a great answer 'cause I want it too!

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


The best way to keep the dust out of the ducts is to keep your system off during construction. Without the return air pulling air into the system, you don't have to worry about the supply side.

If you really want to keep the dust out, keep the system off and cover the vents with painters tape and plastic bags.

Answered 9 years ago by NT Duct Clean


Shutting off the heating/cooling system while the drywall is being sanded and while the clean up is in process will help keep the dust from getting sucked into the return air ducts. Plastic and tape will keep it out of the heat registers.

Source: J. G. Hamm Construction - Ypsilanti, Michigan

Answered 9 years ago by JGHamm


Seal Off the Room

Use painter's tape and plastic to completely seal the entryway into the room that is being worked on. Cover furniture and flooring with drop cloths.
Stop Dust From Traveling

Close all heat and air vents, and cover any cold air return vents with plastic and painter's tape. Shut off the central heat and air unit if it is warm enough. Uncovered vents will draw the sanding dust through the duct work, and spread it throughout the entire house.
Utilize Available Tools

Attach a drywall vacuum sander to a shop vacuum to eliminate the majority of airborne dust. Use a HEPA filter in the shop vacuum to stop drywall dust from escaping the shop vacuum. The drywall vacuum sander is used the same way that a drywall hand sander is used, except it has a hose that connects to the shop vacuum hose. The dust is drawn through the hose and into the shop vacuum.


Answered 8 years ago by Canaduct


Yes i do, i found this website and it is great you can order any size you want. Very easy just slide it in the vent, the plug is made of foam, easy application

Answered 3 years ago by hawkfeather

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