If you own or operate an office building, healthcare facility, school, or any commercial facility you must create a long-term duct cleaning schedule. With proper HVAC maintenance most businesses only have to clean their ducts every 2 to 5 years, more frequently if contamination compliance is required. Here is a closer look at why duct cleaning is essential.
The Outside Will Find Its Way In
Pollen, dust, and allergens of every kind will find their way inside your building. Without proper cleaning and maintenance, your building’s indoor air quality can be far dirtier and more hazardous than outside air. Keeping your ducts clean also helps to maintain the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, as ducts with lots of buildup restrict airflow. Clean ducts also:
- Improve air quality
- Reduce staff allergies and illness
- Result in a cleaner office/facility
- Lower the risk for mold spores
- Lower the risk for indoor odors
- Extend the lifespan of your HVAC system
- Improve energy efficiency
- Contribute to keeping your heating and cooling costs low
Keeping Your Filters Clean Will Help
There is no way around the gradual buildup in your ducts, but with proper filter selection and maintenance, you can minimize the buildup. The first thing you can do is invest in quality filters. This is an area where saving a few dollars isn’t worth it. In fact, investing in HEPA filters is always best. Not only do you need to invest in quality filters, but you must stay on top of cleaning and/or changing your filters. Depending on the size of your facility, daily traffic, type of work completed, and how well your facility is cleaned on a daily basis—your filter schedule will vary. Your HVAC technician will be able to suggest a schedule. Your schedule may also be affected by your contamination compliance.
Cleaning May Affect Operations
Cleaning your ducts is often something that needs to be completed afterhours. Depending on the size, layout, and amount of buildup in your ducts—you may even have to temporarily adjust operations, or clean large buildings in phases. To minimize the inconvenience for you and your commercial tenants, stay on top of your HVAC service schedule. Keep an annual, seasonal, and monthly and maintenance schedule which includes your tune-ups, filter changes, duct buildup checks, and duct cleaning.
You Can’t Clean Your Ducts Yourself
Ducts are simply too long and expansive to clean yourself. Even if your maintenance crew cleans the buildup just inside the vents, it would hardly be enough to make a difference. However, ask your maintenance crew to pay attention to how quickly the vents and vent screens buildup. If they have had to increase the frequency of cleaning, odds are it’s time to clean the ducts. However, the increase will occur gradually so make sure it is something they are aware they should be watching.
Modern Duct Cleaning Technology Is Better Than Ever
Air compressors have long been used to clean commercial duct lines, but today we also have robotics and cameras that allow technicians to assess the need for cleaning, and confirm that lines are squeaky clean. This provides business owners and building operators with the peace of mind that they are taking a true proactive approach to keeping the air in their building clean—and their HVAC system in good working condition.
In between duct cleaning and other HVAC maintenance, keep an eye out for any gradual or rapid changes in service or function. If an area of the building no longer heats or cools adequately, strange noises or odors occur when the system is running, or if there has been a recent spike in allergies or illness—it’s time for an additional HVAC inspection.