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Every business wants to provide a welcoming atmosphere for its clients, customers, and staff. Obvious ways to do this include creating a warm space that’s visually appealing and offering snacks or beverages in a waiting area. While business owners often recognize that air temperature control is an integral part of comfort, the thought rarely extends past keeping the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. What business owners tend to forget is that clean air ducts play a role in keeping your visitors and employees healthy.

The most significant cause of problems related to air quality is bacteria. It often develops as a result of an already-existing issue within your ducts, but given enough time, every HVAC system will face this challenge. The only solution is to be proactive. Don’t wait for bacterial spread to reveal itself through its effect on your guests and personnel. Instead, invest in commercial duct cleaning to stop the problem before it starts. Continue reading below to learn about some of the common causes of bacterial spread, the ways it manifests, and how duct cleaning prevents the problem from coming back.

How Bacteria Accumulates in Your Ductwork

commercial duct cleaningThere are several potential causes of bacteria in your ductwork. These include:

  • Biological Matter – As much as people generally think this is an issue for animals only, even people shed skin cells and hair over time. Months or years of customers passing through, people scratching their heads, and the air currents bringing the residue through your registers accumulate. It doesn’t seem like much, but this is food for bacteria and can be the start of an undesired culture blooming in your ducts. 
  • Pests – Even the cleanest businesses occasionally have unwanted visitors, especially true in urban centers where unclean neighbors can make the problem significantly worse. Much like the biological matter mentioned above, pests drop feces and eventually die, so they become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. 
  • Mold – The risk of mold is closely tied to bacterial issues. While they sometimes conflict with each other, the presence of either one is a significant problem for your HVAC system. Your ductwork’s dark environment is often undisturbed by cleaning solutions and even casual disruption, so mold can build up over time. Once it establishes itself, the problem becomes worse. 
  • Stagnant Systems – Unfortunately, dirty ducts compound the bacterial issue. When dust and debris interrupt a smooth airflow, the air stagnates, and bacteria has an easier time growing. Bacteria growth will first happen in the shadow of the debris, but once the colony has a starting point, it will explode from there.

Regardless of how the bacteria builds up in your system, the solution is the same: you need commercial duct cleaning services to help you.

Dust Mites in your HVAC Ducts

Common Issues Related to Bacteria in Your Ducts

The signs that you have a bad bacterial issue are unfortunately severe. For healthy individuals, they may only notice an odd scent at first. Depending on the type of mold or bacteria growth, the scents range from being sickly-sweet to something similar to garbage or rotting food. Over time, healthy adults will gradually develop immune reactions to it, experiencing more sneezing, runny noses, and sore throats.

Those with weaker immune systems are in more trouble. They’ll experience what the healthy folks are going through, but they’ll also have worse problems. If someone’s immune system has been compromised by illness, age, or medical treatments, they can even develop pneumonia and serious infections. Due to the possible risks for your patrons and staff, it’s essential that you contract commercial duct cleaning services well before the issue reaches this point.

How Commercial Duct Cleaning Addresses the Problem

There are three significant ways that professional cleaning can resolve your issues with bacterial growth:

  1. The first step is physically removing your existing mold and bacteria buildup. This initial cleaning is the most important step. Further, bacteria grows faster on top of itself, so by removing the existing colonies, your contractor removes the bacteria’s home base. 
  2. The second way is by removing the various dust and debris that can seed bacterial growth. After the initial infestation has been removed, the periodic removal of dust and biological matter ensures that there’s no new location where the bacteria can thrive. 
  3. The final way is by using antibacterial cleaners in areas that are prone to infestation. The residue from these cleaners is rated to be safe for humans to breathe, but in the physical proximity of the vents themselves, the cleaners create an unwelcoming environment for bacteria.

When you have your ducts professionally cleaned every year or two, you can eliminate any existing bacteria issues and prevent any new ones from arising.

Locating a Quality Contractor to Help Your Business

Once you’ve committed to eliminating and preventing bacterial issues, the next question is who to contact for this. Many companies offer commercial duct cleaning services, but no two companies are the same. The question of how to determine the best supplier is a serious one and should be given due consideration. We strongly recommend investigating reviews, recommendations, and ratings. When you consider a company, see if any nearby businesses have worked with them, and ask for references. Otherwise, you can use sites such as Yelp to view honest reviews from actual customers. Ultimately, you want a reliable contractor who will work with you to keep your ducts clean for years to come.