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How Often Does Your Workplace Need Ductwork Cleaning?

21/01/2022
How Often Does Your Workplace Need Ductwork Cleaning?
If you want to make your office the cleanest it can be, look beyond the dust gathering in corners, or disinfecting doorknobs regularly.
 
Dirty ductwork carries dust, mould, and other allergens through your entire building via the ductwork distribution network. Ductwork cleaning conducted by a professional will make your building’s air hygienic and keep all surfaces and fabrics cleaner once it has been performed as your duct system is no longer spraying distributed debris particles and dust all over yourselves and your building contents and will be clean once again. Keep reading to learn how often you need regular ductwork cleaning and what to expect from the professionals who clean them.
 
Signs Your Ductwork Needs Cleaning
 
If your employees are missing work regularly because of basic colds and illness or if your building has started to smell peculiar in the morning or late afternoon as the system gets going or ramps down, it is highly probable that your ductwork needs cleaning. Accessing and decontaminating your ductwork takes a given time but yields significant results. 
 
Here are a few basic tell-tale signs that your ductwork requires a service clean:
 
Mould
 
Every year, mould spores cause illnesses that affect hundreds of thousands of people, causing their immune system to go into overdrive. If you see visible signs of mould on your HVAC ducts or around your grilles, you have a problem. 
 
Use a flashlight to peek inside accessible grilles for mould. If you see anything that looks suspicious, bring in a ductwork cleaning specialist. They will know what mould looks like and set you up with cleaning right away. 
 
Excessive Dust
 
Everyone has some dust in their building. However, if you have excessive dust accumulating in corners or on the surfaces in your building, you may need a good ductwork clean. You may notice more dust settling on your office equipment overnight, for example. The more dust you have, the more your ductwork needs cleaning. 
 
Odd Odours
 
When your air smells weird, off or funny, your ductwork system is giving you a problem. If your air smells musty, then you most likely have mould somewhere in your ductwork system. You could also have a dead rodent in the plant-room, air handling unit (the big filtered fan that drives the air down the ducts) ,or even a dead pigeon from nesting in the ductwork!. 
 
Professionals who spend their days cleaning ductwork systems can find the problem, remove it or remediate it and have your office smelling normal quickly. 
 
Benefits of Ductwork Cleaning
 
Ductwork cleaning takes a bit of time and extra cost from your regular maintenance budget. But cleaning ductwork in offices will increase the value of your building and your business as a whole. Here are a few primary benefits of having your ductwork cleaned. 
 
Better Air

You will have cleaner air when you have your ductwork cleaned. You will have less dust being blown out of your air supply grilles into your office spaces. As a result, you and your employees can breathe in air while working, knowing that you aren't sucking in allergens or contaminants. 
 
Better Smells
 
Smells in the work environment very much do matter. The right smells can even boost productivity at home and at work. So when a client or employee walks into an office and immediately detects a musty smell, their perception and general impression of the business will dive. 
Having your ductwork cleaned will lead to a much improved and pleasant-smelling office and overall it is a better ambience for both your employees and your clients. 
 
Healthier Air
 
Not only will the air smell better, but it won't cause illnesses. Ductwork cleaning will eradicate mould at source, so your employees will breathe healthier air, experience less illness and hence clock-in less sickness days. This has been proven to be the case by several Finnish studies
 
On completion of the exercise, you can hope for increased productivity and quite simply a better office environment once you have your air ductwork cleaned. When your employees know you're working hard to keep their environment clean, they tend to show up more. They feel better physically and mentally, knowing you care about their wellbeing. 
 
More Efficient Cooling and Heating
 
Accumulated dust impacts the way air flows through your grilles. Too much dust will make your HVAC work harder than it should to achieve the same results. Blocked filters ,blocked heating and cooling radiator banks inside the air handling units and ducts will cause the energy bill to rise by anything up to 30%, and this is the consequent saving that you can glean permanently throughout the operational lifecycle of the ventilation system, once it has been decontaminated and the filth and debris has been removed from the system.

Thus, the ductcleaning operation pays for itself over a short period of return of investment, (normally 2-3 years), after which it is all saved money on the energy budget annually.
 
Why Call the Professionals
 
professional ductwork cleaning service costs money. But in the end, it saves money as well. You can certainly try to clean your ductwork system by yourself, however it is very easy if you don’t know what you are doing to damage delicate but critical parts of the system’s sensors, or completely upset the balance of the airflows then requiring recommissioning and balancing.

The professionals have the knowledge and equipment to complete the job safely, correctly and thoroughly and then put the system back to its original state. So if you do not already have one, create a line in your budget for a ductwork cleaning budget. 
 
You understand your office and the nature of your business better than anyone else. If your business leads to having extra contaminants in the air, then you'll want to have your ductwork inspected annually as per BS EN 15780:2011. BRITISH STANDARD.
 
However, if you only have a general office area, then plan on having a professional clean your ductwork every three to ten years. Let no more than five years pass between ductwork cleans. 

If you identify a problem like restricted airflow or mould, then contact a professional immediately. 

If you're not sure how often you should have your ductwork cleaned, call in a professional both to evaluate your ductwork and then give you an estimate on how often to bring in a professional ductwork cleaning service. 
 
What the Pros Do
 
HVAC experts bring in a variety of specialised tools when they begin cleaning your ductwork. They start with CCTV surveys or PVT (preferred vacuum tests) these are dust samples taken from the ductwork in question. This allows them to see deep into your systems to evaluate the ductwork condition best.
 
Next, they use extreme suction HEPA-filtration units, high-powered air, and commercial brush equipment to suck the debris and dust from the ductwork and collect it in the air movers HEPA filters. If you have mould spores and fungi, they will use specialised chemicals to treat it and remove it and fog the cleansed ductwork to reduce the reoccurrence of the problem once the source (vermin, dander, dead skin-cell build-up etc.) has been dealt with.
 
Professionals will also check your system to make sure it functions properly. If you've never had your ductwork cleaned, call in a professional as soon as possible. They can evaluate the condition of your ductwork and recommend services and a schedule that works best for your business. 

Hidden Improvements via Ductwork Cleaning
 
No one normally thinks to look inside your ductwork at your office, although your staff may look up at the grilles (and dirt?) more frequently than you might imagine. But the things that lie hidden from sight can affect your office productivity and general wellbeing. With regular ductwork cleaning you can give your office a fresh atmosphere, pleasant working environment and reduce illnesses created by harmful contaminants.
 
Does your HVAC system need inspecting or ductwork cleaning? Contact us today.