It’s a common misconception that the air we breathe indoors is cleaner than the air outside. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Authority, air inside can actually be four or five times more polluted. Poor indoor air quality contributes to a number of diseases, resulting in major absences both in school and at work.
Even in relatively new infrastructures, dirt, debris and other pollutants can accumulate in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. These end up blocking the key parts of the furnace, including the evaporator coil and blower. When the buildup of pollutants blocks the airflow, the HVAC needs to work harder reducing its energy efficiency.
Pollutant buildup can also trigger allergies and other health issues, including asthma, frequent colds, headaches, fatigue and other respiratory diseases.
Conducting regular air quality inspections make it easier to identify where the air quality problems are developing and makes it easier to deal with the problem.
Here are some of the cleaning methods used:
Source removal involves the mechanical cleaning of the system’s parts in order to remove dust and debris. It requires mechanical agitation to loosen the debris from the parts of the HVAC and extraction to remove the debris in a way that complies with the standards of the industry.
Steam air duct cleaning involves delivering high pressure and high temperature steam to loosen the debris and get drawn into a vacuum. However, this is not used on modern HVAC components that are made up mostly of electronic parts. When moisture gets into the electronic HVAC system, it will become damaged.
Truck vacuum-mounted cleaning involves using a vacuum that is powered by the power take-off shaft of the vehicle. A vacuum hose is connected from the vehicle to the trunk lines of the HVAC system. Air lines are then inserted into the vents to agitate the debris. While one a popular method, professionals rarely use this method these days because of the high risk of contamination.
At present, the safest and most effective cleaning method is the point of contact, which involves using a portable high efficiency particulate air filtered vacuum and agitation device to clean the air ducts. This prevents the high risk of cross contamination from the pollutants.