YES it is possible for homeowners to clean air ducts themselves an air duct cleaning service provider has both the equipment to do it more thoroughly and the training and knowledge to not damage fragile heating and cooling system components. Air duct cleaning contractors use special vacuums to put the entire duct work system under negative pressure while they use motorized brushes to loosen debris from air ducts which is removed by the vacuums without making a mess of the house.
Homeowners should not attempt to clean their air ducts if mold is present. If not handled properly, the mold could spread even more and further contaminate the home. If home owners have older ducts and are unsure what they are made of they should not attempt to clean them. Some older ducts are made of fiberglass and other materials which can be harmful to the person cleaning them and if damaged can have a harmful impact on air quality in the home going forward. To be safe, home owners should only attempt to clean air ducts made of bare sheet metal.