April 26, 2021

How Facility Managers Can Conduct A Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Plan

When facility managers think about HVAC maintenance, they usually focus on the outside components such as their rooftop units. However, what’s inside is just as important and can cause just as many problems if not properly addressed. We’re talking about commercial air duct cleaning, an often overlooked preventative maintenance service for your building.

The Indoor Air Quality Can Be Harmful

There is one big reason why you want to have a commercial air duct cleaning: air quality. The Covid-19 crisis of 2020 put indoor air quality front and center in everyone’s minds. Consider this: the average person breathes 14,000 liters per day, spending at least 8 of their waking hours inside a building of some kind. Poor air quality can aggravate existing health conditions including asthma, seasonal allergies, and other long-term problems.

A lot of things impact a building’s air quality. We can’t see them, but they are there. Of course, we’re talking about dust, dirt, mold spores, microbes, and other viral agents. The pandemic prompted many facility managers to install air purifiers throughout their building. While a welcome upgrade, this doesn’t eliminate everything. 

In fact, over time contaminants can and will build up on the inside of your ductwork. No air purifier can compensate for ducts that are excessively dirty and full of dust. The only way to truly provide clean air for your building occupants is through a commercial air duct cleaning. This will improve the air quality inside of your building significantly and, in turn, improve the health of everyone inside.

What’s Involved In A Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Service

commercial air ductsWhen your HVAC maintenance company visits your property for a commercial air duct cleaning, the first thing they will do is perform a thorough inspection of your ductwork. Most likely, they’ll schedule your cleaning for another day, accommodating your facility’s schedule as best as possible.

On cleaning day, before they begin, they will cover all desks and office equipment with plastic tarps to protect them from any contaminants that may be ejected from the ductwork. They will also remove all dampers and grills for hand cleaning.

Typically, your contractor will begin by attaching a large vacuum to your air ducts nearest to your HVAC system, preferably near a service opening. If one doesn’t exist, they will install one so it’s easier to clean in the future.

Next, they will use the vacuum to dislodge the larger buildup from within your ductwork. Once that is completed, they’ll typically move to a process known as air washing to fully remove the dust and debris still attached to the inside of your ducts.

Finally, your contractor will clean the HVAC system itself including the blower, housing, and any other dirty components.

Do Cleaner Air Ducts Result In More Energy Efficiency?

A lot has been said about HVAC system efficiency. Energy costs are at the top of almost every facility manager’s mind right now. Preventative maintenance plans fix and repair worn down equipment which, in turn, helps the system run more efficiently. So what about the ductwork itself?

Per the US Department of Energy, between 25 and 40 percent of the energy an HVAC system uses is wasted due to problematic ductwork. Put that in real numbers: if it costs you $1,000 per month to heat or cool your facility, potentially $400 of that cost was simply due to dirty air ducts.

A regular commercial air duct cleaning can prevent this. In particular, various components within your system are susceptible to damage that can result from excessive dust and debris build up. Naturally, a damaged component will work less efficiently. When you combine that with ductwork full of dust and other contaminants, your system’s efficiency will decrease exponentially. Regular commercial air duct cleanings will keep your system functioning at optimal levels.

Improve health and efficiency

Commercial air duct cleaning should be done on a regular basis so that the air inside the building is healthy and free of pollutants. It will also increase the overall efficiency of your system, saving you money in energy costs. The process can be scheduled around your schedule needs so that you have no loss of productivity and will provide a substantial increase in your occupants health.

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