Keeping Air Ducts Clean There is one place in your home or business that can cause lingering health problems, and most people have never seen it–the inside of your air ducts. Most air ducts are usually only cleaned as far as an arm can reach at their accessible points near the intake or exhaust grills, regardless of whether you are heating, cooling, or ventilating. In older buildings, the ductwork might be a hodgepodge of rectangular or circular sheet metal. Newer buildings often utilize flexible ducting which is cheaper, easy to install, and lighter, but usually fairly difficult to clean properly. You might be asking yourself if duct cleaning really is that important. If you haven’t experienced any fires or floods and no one has allergies and your house or office is new, then you are most likely okay. However, any type of fire can leave the ductwork coated in varying sized toxic particles of soot. Smoldering fires can leave greasy soot which is very difficult to remove from any surface. If you don’t have them professionally cleaned, once the HVAC system is turned, the soot left in the ducts will be continually recirculated throughout your whole home or business. Moisture from flooding or water left from fire hoses or water leaking into the HVAC system could cause you an even bigger problem in your ductwork. If you want to know just how pervasive moisture can be, just take a look around the bathroom right after you’ve taken a shower. In the bathroom, an exhaust fan or open window can help dry up moisture, but in the air ducts, it can be caught for hours, days, or weeks, which creates the ideal environment for mold and mold spores.
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The United States EPA has set forth some guidelines to prevent moisture from entering ductwork. First, maintain your humidifiers and make sure to empty the water collection trays regularly. If there is water in your basement, make sure to remove it promptly. It is important to fix any leaks that might cause condensation. Make sure that your air conditioning unit is draining properly, and that you have it regularly serviced. Do not use steam cleaning or any other moisture methods on ductwork.
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If moisture has entered the air duct system of a home or business, then a professional restoration company should check them immediately. It depends on the temperature and humidity. There may be some dust and microbes in the ducting system, which is normal because it reflects the air content of the home or office. Then, a proper analysis should be conducted to find out if there is a significant level of bacteria or mold, and if there is, then cleaning techniques that don’t further impact the structure or the inhabitants with fumes or toxins should be used. By using the help of a professional restoration service, you can ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for your family or employees.