While the kids were at kindercamp this morning, I pulled out the vent covers and put them in the dishwasher to clean them all.
I vacuumed out as much crap as I could reach from the ducts.
I washed away the grime that had settled and discoloured the floor area under the lip of the vent covers with a lysol disinfecting wipe. I vacuumed if the vent sat on carpet.
I replaced the vent covers once the dishwasher cycle was complete.
If you have any damaged vents, now is the time to consider replacing them. They’re really inexpensive and if you currently have an ugly one that came with the house, you could get a nice one that matches your decor.
To save money (and/or furniture) consider buying an air vent deflector. We have a forced air system so in the winter it blows heat and in the summer it’s for air conditioning. It helps if the heat/cold is directed towards the people in the room.
There is also a magnetic vent cover, for blocking a little used or needed metal vent. I’m sure you can buy a plastic sticky one for a plastic vent. In the cold basement, there is no need to blow more cold A/C air there, best to redirect that precious cold into the upstairs bedrooms so block those vents and save money (and sanity if the heat makes you literally boil).
For a free alternative to the magnetic vent cover: take vent out, put it in a plastic bag, put back in place.
You can make your own free air vent deflector from a cardboard box, check out my post: https://erythrocyte.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/how-to-make-a-free-air-vent-deflector/