IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO CLEAN A COMMERCIAL BUILDING'S AIR DUCTS?
With everything that's involved in the maintenance of a commercial building, cleaning an air duct system that's not showing any obvious problems can seem like an unnecessary expenditure of time and money. While air duct cleaning isn't a job you need to do every year, it's not something you can afford to ignore entirely.
Why Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Poor indoor air quality, inefficient air filtration, and duct leaks can all result in dust entering the duct system. This dust can accumulate to the point that it starts to break off and re-enter your air. When this happens, you may notice your workspaces become dusty faster.
High humidity in the building or water leaking into the ducts provides the moisture needed for mold to develop. Mold in the ducts releases tiny spores that will end up circulating through your whole building. In addition to aggravating allergies and asthma, exposure to mold spores increases risk of upper respiratory infection.
Pest infestations are another reason to have your ducts cleaned. It's not uncommon for mice, squirrels, bees, and other pests to find their way into a duct system. Once inside, they leave behind nesting material, hair, and dead insects. Particles of these are then blown out into your rooms.
If the air quality in your building is high and you use high-efficiency HVAC air filters, your ducts could stay clean for years. Even in the ideal situation, though, there's always a chance of unexpected issues. At least once every three or four years, have your duct system professionally inspected to check if it's due for a cleaning.
How Air Duct Cleaning Benefits You
Keeping your building's ducts clean protects the heating and cooling system, and the health of the building occupants.
Improved indoor air quality — When your ducts are clean, you'll have less dust, mold spores, pollen, and pest debris floating in your air. While air duct cleaning hasn't been proven to improve any health condition, cleaner air can help those with allergies and asthma.
Greater HVAC system efficiency — Debris in the ducts impairs airflow through your system, so the fan motor has to work harder to distribute conditioned air to your rooms. With the ducts clean, the air will flow freely and the motor will consume less energy moving it. Clean ducts deposit less dust on your air conditioner's evaporator coil. Even a millimeter of dust on the coil reduces its efficiency, so clean ducts really pay off in summer.
Longer HVAC component lifespan — Dust and debris blowing through your ducts can find its way into your system's fan motor and other components and cause excess wear. Keeping the ducts clean prevents this wear, helping the components last longer.
Professional Duct Cleaning Makes the Difference
Duct cleaning isn't a job to leave up to a regular building maintenance crew armed with a few vacuums. Attempting to clean the ducts without the right tools can worsen your indoor air quality because the debris dislodged will end up floating away into your rooms. You're also likely to miss a lot of the debris.
A professional will bring in equipment specially designed to thoroughly clean the ducts without contaminating your air. A powerful truck-mounted vacuum with an attached hose is commonly used for smaller buildings. For large buildings, portable equipment is often a better choice because it allows the crew to more effectively access all parts of the building's extensive duct system.