When the time comes to clean out the air ducts in your commercial building, you might find yourself thinking about taking the do-it-yourself route. For good reasons, business owners are always looking for opportunities to reduce overhead expenses. Trimming operational costs can increase profit margins, leading to jumps in company profits. At first glance, air duct cleaning DIY might seem like an excellent way to save money without a compromise in quality. The truth, though, is that DIY air duct cleaning is complicated in commercial buildings—to the point where it often ends up costing significantly more than hiring a qualified HVAC technician.
The Problem with DIY Air Duct Cleaning
In a residential environment, it’s not entirely uncommon to handle duct cleaning on a do it yourself (DIY) basis. Duct systems are smaller, less complex, and easily accessible. By turning on the furnace fan, tapping the ducts (where possible) to dislodge dust, and using a shop-vac vacuum at and around supply and return registers, it’s possible to remove some of the dust and debris from a residential system. Most homeowners are also aware of the fact that changing out their furnace filters from time to time will help reduce the buildup of debris in their ducts.
That’s not to say DIY air duct cleaning is effective in a residential situation. On the contrary, it’s still tough for homeowners to clean every nook and cranny of their HVAC systems without the help of trained and well-equipped technicians. Companies that offer air duct cleaning services have expensive and heavy-duty tools that are explicitly intended for this application. Such tools range from powerful truck-mounted vacuum systems to snake cameras that can give a better sense of the condition of the harder-to-reach parts of the ducts. Homeowners don’t have these systems and have no reason to buy them. Thus, their options are to hire HVAC technicians to handle duct cleaning or to attempt the work on their own. At best, these DIY duct cleaning jobs will only remove a fraction of the dust and debris that a qualified technician could eradicate with the right equipment. So, even if a homeowner can make do with a self-cleaned duct system, they will likely have to clean the ducts again sooner than they would if they had hired an HVAC technician to do the work.
All these same facts are true with commercial buildings as well, but to an even greater degree. Commercial buildings are much larger and more complex in design than the average residential house. That complexity bleeds over to the HVAC system and duct network, which need to be quite extensive to handle the heating and cooling for the entire building in a reliable fashion.
The complexity also means that cleaning commercial ducts is a considerably more involved and challenging process than cleaning the ducts in a residential home. The size and reach of the ducts mean that they are much more difficult to reach and clean with a simple shop-vac unit. Effectively cleaning the system is impossible without the equipment and know-how that professional HVAC contractors bring to the table.
It is also worth noting that the stakes of air duct cleaning are quite high with commercial buildings. In both residential and commercial environments, contamination in the ductwork—be it dust, debris, pollen, or mold—can aggravate allergies and cause respiratory health issues. Dirty ducts also affect the efficiency of the whole HVAC system, leading to higher operational costs. These problems are nothing to ignore in a residential environment, but in a commercial building, they impact more people and lead to bigger increases in cost.
Save Money and Time by Hiring a Qualified HVAC Company
Bottom line, it isn’t worth attempting a DIY commercial air duct cleaning project. You and your team will spend so much time trying to get the job done that you will lose valuable productivity in other areas of your business. You likely do not have the proper tools to get the job done and investing in those tools will cost far more than hiring an HVAC company to do the work for you. By all accounts, there is no benefit to DIY duct cleaning in a commercial building.
When you hire the right HVAC contractor to handle your duct cleaning, you will get a faster, more thorough, and more assured service from a business that does this kind of work all the time. They will bring the right equipment to your premises and use it to conduct the deep cleaning that your ducts deserve. You will end up with cleaner ducts, cleaner air, a more efficient HVAC system, and lower heating and cooling bills. Plus, the people who live or work in your building will appreciate the cleaner air and will be happier and healthier as a result.
Put simply, while air duct cleaning DIY might seem like a money-saving option, it ultimately isn’t worth the time, effort, and frustration necessary to mount an attempt. You’d do better to hire a qualified commercial duct cleaning company and look for other opportunities to reduce overhead spending.