Keeping the ductwork in your commercial facility operating efficiently can be managed most of the time with regular attention such as changing filters and doing visual inspections. But there eventually comes a time when air quality levels just aren’t what they should be and a professional, commercial air duct cleaning is in order. Before you put off making that call because of anticipated disruption to the building, we want to set your mind at ease about the process and what it will entail at your facility.

The inspection

Before any work is initiated, a full inspection of your facility’s ductwork will be conducted in order to determine the extent of the dirt and debris as well as any damage that may be present.

The work plan

Your air cleaning professional will provide a document outlining the scope of the work to be completed as well as the steps that will occur so that you’ll know what to expect. The methods to be used as well as a schedule should also be provided to you before any actual work begins.

Protective Coverings

Prior to the onset of any cleaning, your air cleaning pros will place protective coverings over computers, desks, filing cabinets, copiers and any other equipment that could be impacted by dust and debris during the cleaning process.

Service openings

The air cleaning experts will utilize any existing service openings wherever possible to conduct the cleaning process. If, however, current openings won’t accommodate a complete cleaning process, new service openings may need to be installed in order to do a thorough cleaning of your commercial ductwork. All new opening installations will be completed according to industry standards for safety and air control.

Ceiling access

In some situations where the service openings are inadequate to complete the cleaning process, it may be necessary to remove ceiling sections to access the ductwork system. In these cases, the ceiling sections will be replaced upon the completion of the cleaning process.

Supply and return diffusers

All diffusers, dampers, grills and diffuser boots will be removed and cleaned and then replaced at the end of the cleaning procedures.

Supply and return ductwork

The internal ductwork will then be cleaned via vacuuming, air washing or power brushing. This includes the ductwork interior, fiberglass insulation, ducts, dampers, louvers, etc. The vacuuming involves the use of a portable vacuum cleaner with a High Efficiency Particle Air (HEPA) filter that is inserted into openings in the ductwork to dislodge and vacuum dirt and contaminants. The cleaning action is limited to the reach of the technician performing the work so several openings into the ducts will have to be utilized.

In the air washing method of ductwork cleaning, compressed air is sent into an opening in the duct via a hose with a special nozzle attached at the end. The nozzle helps to force the air into the ductwork, dislodging particulates and dirt which are then drawn downstream the ductwork and out of the system and into a vacuum collection unit.

Power brushing employs the use of pneumatic or electric-powered rotation bristle brushes which loosen debris and dirt from the walls of the ductwork. The loosened dirt is then drawn out via a HEPA-filtered vacuum device just as in the air washing method of cleaning.

Air handlers and coils

As part of the commercial ductwork cleaning process, air handlers and coils will be cleaned. This includes blowers, blades and turning vanes, fan housings, louvers, dampers, shafts, coils, drive assemblies, etc.

The fan blower, housing and other interior components will be vacuumed, cleaned and rinsed by hand as appropriate. The cleaning pro will hand vacuum the coils on both sides and apply a coil cleaner for thorough elimination of dust and debris before a final rinse.

Progress reports

Throughout the cleaning process, your cleaning professionals will provide you a daily report to keep you updated on the progress of the cleaning process. Any issues or status issues will also be noted for discussion.

The scope of each duct cleaning service can vary—from a few hours to a few months—depending on the scope of the work. Be sure to have a comprehensive discussion with your commercial air cleaning professionals before any work is begun so that you have a full understanding of what the process will entail and how long it will take. The process is sure to be smooth and efficient when the process is understood and the cleaning plan is managed professionally.