Planning is an essential task in every business, whether it’s planning how to roll out a new product or how to hire the right employees. Planning matters when it comes to the more basic aspects of operations, too, such as the care and maintenance of your building. When it comes to your HVAC systems, understanding when and what kind of routine maintenance you should plan for is essential — but what about the system that enables your HVAC equipment to supply rooms with treated air? In other words, how should you plan to handle air duct cleaning for commercial buildings? Understanding why and how often you should seek out this service is essential for a well-rounded maintenance plan for commercial HVAC.
The Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning for Commercial Buildings
“Why do I even need this in the first place?” is a question you might be asking yourself, and with good reason — you may have never even considered the need for duct cleaning before. The good news is that you will find this is not a service you constantly need, so it is not a new recurring expense that you must carefully factor into your budget. Instead, it is an important long-term maintenance milestone to keep in mind. Briefly, some of the key reasons to have your ducts periodically cleaned out include:
- Cleaner air. Less dust will travel out of the vents and into rooms, carried on the air from the HVAC unit.
- Fewer unpleasant odors. Dust, mold, and more inside your ducts can influence the smell of the air, and sometimes introduce odors you’d rather avoid.
- Freedom from mold. Duct cleaning helps remove mold and stop its short-term recurrence so you and your staff can breathe easy.
- Better energy efficiency. Believe it or not, but too much accumulated dust can start to have an impact on the way air flows through the ducts — which means your system needs to work harder for the same result. Clean ducts allow for free movement of the air.
With the ability to rely on a professional for air duct cleaning for commercial buildings, you can tap into these benefits whenever it is convenient or necessary for your company.
Ground Rules for Knowing When to Request Cleaning Services
So, when do you need this service? It’s not an easy answer to discern — some buildings can go for longer without cleaning, while others may need it more often. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Look for visible signs of mold around vents and on HVAC system coverings. If possible, use a flashlight to look inside accessible vents for mold. If you see a substance that looks like mold, seek out confirmation or request cleaning as soon as possible.
- Watch for signs of excessive dust accumulation. This process can involve visible dust output from vents, or an increased level of dust settling onto office equipment overnight. More dust indicates your ducts are dirty.
- Detect an odor that doesn’t smell right? Musty smells mean mold. Sometimes, small animals can expire inside the vents as well. The pros can help remove these problems.
Should Commercial Air Ducts Have Regularly Scheduled Cleanings?
As you can see, knowing when you need duct cleaning is not an exact science, and there are differing recommendations out there as to how often you should request help. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests that you only reach out for professional help when you identify a problem such as mold or restricted airflow. Others suggest duct cleaning every three to five years. Which one is the right answer?
It all depends on your building and what goes on inside; a regular office, for example, may not experience a need for duct cleaning for several years or until an abnormal problem causes mold to develop. A warehouse or manufacturing plant that deals with airborne fibers and particles, though, is more likely to need more frequent cleaning to maintain HVAC system health. A discussion with your HVAC provider of choice following an inspection of your system can lead to useful advice specific to your system.
How a Professional Will Clean Your Ducts During Service
First, ask your HVAC professional for an inspection. There are many parts of the duct system inaccessible to humans directly, but cameras and specialized tools provide your service provider with the access they require. Next, stand back and let them go to work. Using brush equipment, cleaning substances, and high-powered air, all the dust and debris can be blown out of the vents. Mold will be cleaned and treated, and your system will be checked for proper functioning.
Ultimately, if you’ve never scheduled air duct cleaning for your commercial buildings, now is the perfect opportunity to connect with an experienced company to assess your ducts. Otherwise, simply watch for the signs, and remember to ask for a periodic inspection just as you would for the HVAC equipment itself. Vigilance is key to knowing how often your building will need this important service.