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Why Clean and Optimize Air Handlers and Ductwork?

Sick Building Syndrome Affects Office Workers & Costs Millions

Unfortunately, most people don’t give their HVAC systems a second thought…unless they are not working properly. Best Practices incorporate routine inspections along with preventive maintenance and proper cleaning. The outcome delivers major benefits.

BENEFITS of Cleaning Air Handlers and Ductwork:

  • Reduces heating and cooling costs by 10-15% by improving efficiency[1];
  • Saves even more money over time by decreasing loads and wear and tear, which prolongs system life;
  • Improves Productivity and Profitability while Decreasing Absenteeism by reducing the likelihood of Sick Building Syndrome[2] as well as diminishing impacts to those suffering from allergies and asthma;[3]
  • Provides Superior Comfort, which enhances social interactions, increases productivity, and boosts revenues and profitability.[4]

DOWNLOAD Facts Validating Cleaning of Ductwork & Air Handling Systems

2 Coils - Before & After
2 Ducts - Before & After
ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2012

“Scientific research has indicated that improving the working environment results in a reduction in the number of complaints and absenteeism and an increase in productivity.”[5]

A study conducted at a 34 story building in New York City, serviced by four air handler units, showed that detailed cleaning of just one unit would yield annual savings of $40,000.[6] Given that HVAC and Refrigeration typically account for 60% of electrical energy usage, savings will be substantial – and carbon emissions will be reduced, as well.

For the public good, in order to create indoor environments that would be optimized for comfort and sustainability, a team of industry experts from around the world established minimum acceptable levels of inspection and maintenance for commercial building HVAC systems. Created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) along with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), this universal model (known as Standard 180) was developed with the key objectives to improve:

  • Energy Efficiency;
  • Thermal Comfort;
  • Indoor Air Quality.

National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends annual inspections.[7]

Sample Conditions Requiring Cleaning:

  • Recent construction has contaminated the system with particulate matter and dust;
  • Worn or damaged insulation, e.g. fiberglass duct liner, duct board, etc.
  • System is a source of unacceptable odors;
  • Normal-use accumulation of dust mites, feces dust, and other particulate matter;
  • Deformation, discoloration, oxidation, corrosion, scale, leakage of fluids or vapors, excessive noise/vibration, loose/missing fasteners, ice, frost or condensation.
  • Biohazard contamination, e.g. mold, animals/insect infestation, their byproducts and carcasses, etc.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency declared that indoor air is “among the top five environmental risks to public health.”[8] Contaminants like molds, bacteria, fiberglass insulation fibers, dust and debris are all present in your ductwork. These containments can easily be dispersed into the ambient air for the building occupants and visitors to inhale. According to Angel Waldron, a spokeswoman for the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “The best thing you can do to improve your indoor air quality is to put some elbow grease into it…remove the source of allergens…”[9]

 

[1] American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Journal Vol. 48 (2006): “Study Verifies Coil Cleaning Saves Energy.”
[2] Facility Management Journal Vol. 25, No. 1 (2015): “Sick Building Syndrome Costs Millions.”
[3] Johns Hopkins University Study, 2009: “Indoor Air Pollution Increases Asthma Symptoms.”
[4] J Sullivan (2013): “Measuring Productivity in the Office Workplace, Edition 2,” Centre for Building Performance Research.
[5] Roelofsen, P. (2002): “The impact of office environments on employee performance: the design of the workplace as a strategy for productivity enhancement.”
[6] American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (www.ashrae.org), ASHRAE Journal Vol. 48 (2006): “Study Verifies Coil Cleaning Saves Energy.”
[7] National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) (2013): ACR The NADCA Standard for Assessment, Cleaning, and Restoration of HVAC Systems
[8] Washington Post, 2005: “Indoor Air Quality Is a Top Health Risk.”
[9] Washington Post, 2005: “Indoor Air Quality Is a Top Health Risk.”