The general rule of thumb is that commercial air ducts should be cleaned at least once every three to five years. If your business has been in its current location for more than this amount of time and you’ve never had your ductwork professionally cleaned, it is definitely time to schedule an appointment.
How to Know When It’s Time to Have Your Ductwork Cleaned?
While having your ducts cleaned once every three to five years is a good rule to follow, there are numerous situations when it might be required as often as every year or two. For instance, wood shops, manufacturing facilities and anywhere else where your routine activities can create lots of airborne dust and debris will generally need their air ducts cleaned much more frequently than an office building or retail location. The same can also be true if your building is located in a dry or dusty area.
You will also need to consider any specific requirements your business may have in terms of cleanliness and air quality. Medical facilities, lab settings and any other places that require a more sterile environment should also have their ductwork cleaned more often.
You may also need to have your ductwork inspected and cleaned much more often if your building has issues with high indoor humidity. High humidity can allow condensation to form inside the ductwork, and this can create the perfect breeding ground for mold.
You should also consider having the ductwork cleaned on any new construction project prior to moving in since all of the construction work can create a huge amount of dust and debris. The same is also true after any remodeling or renovation work. In these situations, you can have the contractor you hired for your HVAC installation perform the air duct cleaning as part of the final cleanup before you move into the building.
You should also pay close attention to any noticeable changes in your building’s indoor air quality and also its general level of cleanliness. If you notice that the building is suddenly becoming noticeably dirtier or dustier, this is a good sign that it’s time to have your ductwork cleaned.
Another thing to watch out for is your HVAC air filters. In general, you should change your air filters at least once every 30 to 90 days, but you should make sure to check the filters every few weeks to ensure they aren’t overly dirty or clogged. If you notice that your air filters are getting dirty and need to be replaced every few weeks, this is another good indication that your ducts are dirty and need to be cleaned.
Mice, cockroaches and other pest and vermin infestations are quite common in ductwork and can lead to issues with poor indoor air quality. For this reason, air duct cleaning is also highly recommended any time your building has a pest problem. Not only will the duct cleaning improve your air quality, but it will also make it far less likely for the problem to quickly return. Pests are more likely to make their home in dirty, debris-filled ductwork than they will if the ducts are clean. This is yet another reason why you should make sure to have your ducts cleaned regularly.
Regular Inspections Are Key
Although three to five years is the general recommendation, it is always best to inspect your ducts at least once a year. You can either do this on your own or have your HVAC contractor perform the inspection as part of your routine heating and cooling maintenance.
To inspect your ductwork, all you need to do is remove some of the supply or return air vents at various points along the duct system and use a flashlight to look inside. If you see lots of debris built up inside the ducts, it’s definitely time to schedule a cleaning. You should also watch out for any dirt or debris on the supply vent covers or on the walls around them as this is also a sign that the ducts are dirty.
The Benefits of Commercial Air Duct Cleaning
Commercial air duct cleaning can provide a number of important benefits both for your building’s indoor air quality and the health of your HVAC system. Dirty ductwork can spread mold spores, pollen and other airborne allergens and contaminants throughout the building. While your air filters can help to trap many of the particles from getting into the system, they won’t prevent the system from circulating all of the particles inside the ductwork throughout the building. The only way to stop this from happening is to have the ducts cleaned.
Dirty ductwork can also harm your HVAC equipment and potentially shorten its lifespan. When the ductwork is dirty, all of that dust and debris interferes with the airflow and will result in the system having to work much harder to circulate air throughout the building. This added stress on the system leads to increased wear and tear, which will eventually result in more frequent repair needs and a shorter lifespan for your heating and cooling equipment. All of the dust and debris inside the ducts can also get into your HVAC equipment and damage its components.
Dirty air ducts can also lead to a huge increase in your heating and cooling costs. The less airflow there is in the system, the less efficiently and effectively it will work. As a result, your heating and cooling systems will need to run more often and for longer in order to adequately heat or cool the building.
How Air Duct Cleaning Works
Air duct cleaning generally uses specialized vacuum equipment to fully remove any dust and debris from inside the ductwork. In most cases, the technician will first seal up all of the supply and return air vents. This allows them to create negative pressure inside the duct system, which makes it easier to suck out all of the dirt and debris. Many contractors also use special cameras that allow them to see inside the ducts while cleaning. This is useful to both make sure that the ducts are fully cleaned and also to allow the technician to ensure there are no issues with mold or pest infestations.
Expert Commercial HVAC Services
If you need any type of commercial HVAC service, the expert team at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating is up to the task. We have offices in Corpus Christi, Austin and San Antonio and have been providing exceptional services to businesses both large and small for more than 30 years. We offer design-build services for both new construction projects and existing buildings, and we can also handle all of your maintenance and repair needs. We can also evaluate the energy efficiency of your building and your existing HVAC system to help identify any ways that can help reduce your energy costs or improve the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems. No matter what type of service you need, the professionals at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating have got you covered, so give us a call today to learn what makes us one of the top-rated commercial HVAC contractors in south-central Texas.