How to Keep Air Ducts Clean

In our blog post, 4 Reasons You Should Clean Your Building’s Air Ducts, we told you that, in general, the EPA doesn’t recommend cleaning air ducts regularly because the agency isn’t sure about the benefits of routine cleaning.

iStock_000005673959SmallStudies have not shown conclusively that duct cleaning prevents health problems or that particle levels within a building increase because of dirty air ducts. Air ducts are just one potential source of particles since pollutants can come from outdoors as well as other indoor sources.

However, the EPA does recommend cleaning air ducts if there is visible mold growth, a rodent/insect infestation, if the ducts are clogged with dust/debris, or if it’s obvious that particles are being released into the air through the building’s registers.

There is chance, though, that particles can contaminate your HVAC system due to dirty ducts, or moisture can get in the system, causing mold to grow and potentially releasing mold spores into the air. That’s why it’s in a facility manager’s best interest to take whatever preventive measures he can to keep the ducts clean.

Here’s what the EPA suggests to keep dirt from entering the system:

  • Change filters regularly, and change them more often if they become clogged.
  • Use the highest efficiency air filter as recommended by the HVAC system manufacturer.
  • Make sure you don’t have any missing filters, and make sure air cannot bypass the filters through gaps around the filter holder.
  • When servicing the HVAC system, clean cooling coils and drain pans.
  • When undergoing any type of construction that produces dust, seal off the registers and do not operate the HVAC system until after the dust is cleaned up.
  • Vacuum the facility regularly preferably with a HEPA vacuum, and clean dust from surfaces regularly.
  • If the facility’s heating system has an in-duct humidifier, operate and maintain the humidifier as specified by the manufacturer.

To prevent ducts from getting wet:

  • Repair leaks and water damage immediately and correctly.
  • Inspect cooling coils regularly. Cooling coils are designed to remove water from the air and can be major sources of moisture contamination, which can lead to mold growth.
  • Check that the condensate pan drains properly as the presence of a substantial amount of standing water or debris indicates a problem. Also check that there are no wet spots on the insulation near the cooling coils.
  • Ducts should be properly sealed and insulated in spaces that aren’t air conditioned like attics. This prevents moisture from condensation from entering the system.
  • Select an air conditioning system for your facility that is sized correctly, and seal all the ducts at the joints.

If your facility does have a situation that warrants duct cleaning, Goodway duct cleaning equipment cleans ducts quickly and easily. Our duct cleaning equipment can clean 4″-18″ round and spiral ducts and 4″-16″ rectangular/square ducts in a simple one-person operation.

Some of the features available with our duct cleaners include flexible shafts, rotary brushes, reversible shaft rotation, adjustable speed control and a three-stage true HEPA filtration system.

Next Steps:

One comment


  • Great blog! It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that simply using a high-efficiency air filter and keeping your condensate drain pan clean can drastically improve the quality and smell of your air.

    March 18, 2014

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