With the introduction of central air cooling and heating for single-family homes and businesses, and the installation of circulatory systems to efficiently move that air through the structure, a necessity has arisen for the regular maintenance of these systems. This maintenance has little to do with the materials or workmanship associated with construction but is focused more on the ability to keep the circulatory system clean and free of dust, pollutants and mould. Because indoor air quality is a major concern for not only homeowners but also businessmen, regular maintenance has become a necessity. It has been estimated that up to forty pounds of dust are created annually in the average home as a result of nothing more than living and normal use.
In addition to dust, air pollutants caused by chemicals and everyday clean-up supplies are constantly re-circulated through air conditioning leading to pollutant buildup on the walls of the system. In addition to dust and pollutants, another major reason for this maintenance is for the removal of spores and mould. Mould contamination can pose negative health effects and even trigger serious reactions in occupants that are sensitive to them. The individuals that are most prone to these reactions are generally older, have respiratory issues or have an autoimmune disease. Professionals equipped with specialized tools designed to clean and sanitize air conditioning and heating units from top to bottom usually do duct cleaning.
The tools used for this type of service are varied but can include hand tools. These would be simple brushes to pneumatic devices like blowguns or air whips to remove the accumulated dirt and mould and to drive the debris to a collection device. Vacuum devices are also used to help control the spread of the contaminants during the cleaning process. These come in two types of truck-mounted and portable. The portable units are more likely to be used in duct cleaning in a building than in a single-family home. Many of the tools and equipment used in this process are also powered by compressed air so a heavy-duty air compressor is generally used as the power source.
The next step in a thorough duct cleaning is to have a checklist of all the components in your system that need to be sanitized and then to make sure that the company you hire to do the work follows through and cleans and sanitizes those components. There are several of these that would need to be completely removed from the unit, cleaned, and then be reinstalled and reset. These would include all the supply registers and return grills. The blower motor housing and assembly also need to be removed and cleaned. Other components can be cleaned without removal. These would include the supply and return air plenums, the coils and of course all tubing.