Chemical Products in Air Duct Cleaning

Chemical Products in Air Duct Cleaning

One topic that many householders are concerned about is how the cleaning is going to be done, and, most importantly, what products are going to be used. Luckily, nowadays we are provided with a great deal of information, and we are always encouraged to ask our contractor about the process. Anyhow, here is a short explanation on chemical products that can be used to clean your air ducts for you to understand a bit more about the whole process.

Chemical Products in Air Duct Cleaning

To begin with, using chemical products has been proved to be the most effective way to get your HVAC system completely cleaned. In fact, it is the best method for cleaning and also decontaminating each component of your system. As you may know, there exist numerous types of contamination that can be found in your air ducts.

These contaminants can contribute to mold and other microbiological growth as debris from outside air sources, fire damage residue, dust, vermin, etc. Most of these contaminants can only be removed -permanently- with chemical products, and that is why it is so important to use them in your cleaning.

Source removal is defined as the physical removal of contaminants and debris from the HVAC system surfaces. Air duct cleaning aims at removing the contaminants that contribute to microbiological growth, but can, at the same time, help to boost the efficiency of your system, improve the indoor air quality and increase equipment life expectancy.

Depending on your system’s conditions, chemical products may or may not be used. Only a professional, after an evaluation, can determine that.

Are there any safety considerations to be taken into account?

Of course, using chemical products takes a great deal of experience and only qualified personal should perform this task. Workers must be trained to follow procedures for the safe use, handling, and storage of any product used to treat an HVAC system.

Appropriate personal protective equipment must be worn, including respiratory protection if required. Correct application procedures must be understood and carried out to avoid hazards from failing to use the product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. All this to say that, if it is correctly handled, you and your family should not be under any risk for your health. 

A variety of chemical products may be used as part of an HVAC system cleaning process. Among them we can find, for instance:

  • Antimicrobial pesticides (including disinfectants and sanitizers): Any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate a microbial pest. These agents kill or suppress the growth of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and fungi). Properly used, antimicrobials can help reduce the risk or incidence of future microbial growth.
  • Sealants: materials – liquids of varying viscosity or tapes – used to seal surfaces, joints, connections, gaps and openings. Sealants are used in HVAC systems to control air leakage. 
  • Coil Cleaning Compounds: are a subset of a broad category that includes all hard-surface cleaning agents. One benefit of using this type of chemical product is that a complete cleaning lowers the possibility of bacteria and fungi growing on coil surfaces being carried to occupied spaces.
  • Soaps and Detergents: Soaps and detergents are used in general cleaning situations where heavy-duty or specialty cleaners are not required.
  • Degreasers: A chemical product that dissolves fat-based and other water-insoluble substance. In HVAC systems, a degreaser may be required if the system has been exposed to cooking fumes or fat-based contaminants.

All in all, using these types of chemical products have many advantages for your HVAC system and consequently your health. These products are designed to be used in these situations, so they are safe (as long as all the correct application method is followed).

What is more, on some occasions, the professionals performing the cleaning at your house may ask you to leave until fumes or scents are no longer at a level to produce discomfort or concern for occupants. Normally, it takes from 2 to 8 hours to adequately ventilate the whole place.

Yet, you should be careful, because any chemical product of antimicrobial activity is required to be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If not, that product should not be used in your air ducts. 

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