Carrying out routine office cleaning and maintenance tasks is common. However there are certain cleaning tasks which tend to get neglected more often than not.
Cleaning HVAC air ducts is one of these, and you will be amazed at the huge effect a lack of cleaning ducts cab have on your health.
In fact, unclean office air ducts can cause various ailments and repercussions, as this will negatively affect the air that we breathe.
As a result, allergies, asthma and other breathing related problems are among the consequences.
In this article we explore the 7 main reasons why your air ducts should be regularly cleaned, especially in the springtime and how to clean them correctly and the key benefits.
Read on the find out more or jump to a chapter by using the links listed below.
- Dust Mites
- Pet Dander
- Smog & Pollution
- Organic Compounds
- Mould & Mildew
- Bacteria & Viruses
- The Cleaning Process
1. Dust Mites
Dust mites cause allergic reactions and unless air ducts are properly cleaned, these minuscule creatures are going to negatively affect the air quality in your office.
Dust mites feed on flakes of human skin, and their enzymes move on to their faeces, which in turn result in poor air quality.
This is because this will tend to build up in air ducts and flow throughout the office.
Thus cleaning air ducts is critical if you want to reduce the large amounts of dust and mite allergens that are present in the office environment.
Many people are allergic to pollen, and particularly in spring time, allergic reactions can be quite severe.
This is because pollen is perceived as a pathogen by the human immune system.
Consequently the body reacts by producing histamine, which leads to sneezing, a blocked or runny nose and watery eyes, among others.
Pollen tends to accumulate in air ducts and so cleaning them at least once a year is a must.
Otherwise constant exposure will result whenever the HVAC system is running.
3. Pet Dander
Animal dander buildup is common in air ducts.
This will in turn end up getting blown in the air, resulting in possible allergic reactions.
Animal dander is microscopic and contains many allergens.
It is continuously shed by rodents, dogs and cats, and therefore cleaning air ducts on a regular basis is highly recommended.
This will ensure that built-up animal dander is removed and that the surface areas inside the ducts is clean.
4. Smog & Pollution
Outdoor pollutants end up getting indoors and it is normal to have these pollutants build up in HVAC air ducts.
Dirty ducts lead to odours and more humid air, as well as increase the possibility of people suffering from allergic reactions since whenever the HVAC system is switched on it will basically be blowing airborne dust into the air.
5. Volatile Organic Compounds
Also referred to as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), these harmful gases will end up circulating through the air ducts of the HVAC system unless the air ducts are not scrupulously cleaned at least once a year.
These organic compounds are given off by printers, as well as cleaning fluids, for example.
6. Mould & Mildew
Mould and mildew commonly build up in air ducts due to the moisture that may be present there, particularly after the autumn and winter months.
Moreover, not all mould and mildew will be seen by the naked eye.
This is makes it increasingly important to clean air ducts as spring time draws near.
Mould and mildew are responsible for many allergic symptoms including sneezing, watery eyes and a blocked or runny nose.
And unfortunately air ducts are the perfect place for mould and mildew to grow into and thrive.
7. Bacteria & Viruses
Bacteria and viruses will easily circulate in the office through air ducts if these are not properly cleaned.
Regular cleaning of air ducts is if utmost importance to maintain the indoor air quality good.
A more thorough cleaning of air ducts is advisable when spring comes around so as to remove bacteria, viruses, and other accumulated dirt and allergens that are trapped in the air ducts.
The Cleaning Process
With all of the above mentioned contaminants circulating in the air if your air ducts are not properly cleaned, it goes without saying that indoor air quality will be very poor.
This results in allergies and their undesirable symptoms.
If your employees spend several hours a day in the office, and are constantly exposed to these allergens, their quality of work and performance will end up degrading if they are not feeling well.
Imagine all the workers sneezing or blowing their noses and not managing to concentrate on their work as a result of watery eyes.
This will be a normal scenario if your office air ducts are dirty.
So, it might seem as a negligible task, but it ultimately has a critical effect on your office workers performance!
Thus cleaning the air ducts well is a must!
This is how it is best done so as to ensure that the contaminants are removed properly:
a. Cover Openings
Start off by covering up openings, so that if any dust gets dislodged it will not end up drifting along. You can do this by wrapping them up with paper towels.
b. Check Filters
Check the filter and ideally replace it later to ensure it is clean.
c. Remove Buildup
Knock loose dust buildup so as to remove it well. This can be done by tapping on the walls so that the dust is loosened up and falls.
d. Clean Surfaces
Then, clean with a damp cloth as it will be easier to remove the deposits if they have been dampened.
e. Sweep or Vacuum Dust
Sweep away dust that has accumulated in supply registers. You can also do this more effectively if you vacuum it.
f. Sweep Air Registers
Air registers should also be swept and to do this it is advisable that they are unscrewed so as to be better able to access all the area and clean it properly.
g. Clean Coils
Also make sure to clean the coils and motors.
For those who suffer from allergies, it is a well-known fact that it is very unpleasant to end up feeling as if you have a cold for several days at a stretch.
Instead of resorting to treatments and medications, you will be amazed at the huge difference improving the indoor air quality that you breathe could do.
This can be easily attained of the air ducts are thoroughly cleaned when spring time arrives.
A proper cleaning of air ducts will remove dust buildup which would have accumulated microscopic allergens such as pollen, animal dander, mould and mildew.
Breathe fresh air freely with clean air ducts!