Clean HVAC Ducts for Greater Performance and Improved Air Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the level of indoor pollutants can be ten to hundred times more than outdoor pollutant concentrations. The indoor pollutants can come from a variety of sources, such as furniture, home cleaning gadgets, pets and outdoor air. The HVAC system of your home can spread these pollutants to all parts of your commercial or residential building. That is why you need a reputable HVAC duct cleaning service to get rid of these contaminants before you breathe them in. There are some other benefits of comprehensive cleaning of the HVAC too.

A clean HVAC system performs at a higher efficiency level, consumes a lesser amount of electricity, enables better environment control and leads to longer equipment life. According to the EPA, cleaning of your duct is needed in the following circumstances:

  • About duct cleaning, the EPA states the following points to remember:
  • Persistent water damage to the duct
  • Microbial or slime growth in the duct
  • Accumulation of debris in the duct restricting airflow
  • Stench originating in the ductwork or any HVAC component
  • Cleaning of HVAC duct should be decided only as a last resort, after all other steps are exhausted.
  • Duct cleaning should be considered only after a thorough evaluation of the problem, and most importantly, the source of contamination should be identified.
  • Preventing dirt, water and similar contaminants from entering the duct should always be the first priority. Good practices of preventive maintenance should be followed and air intakes need to be properly located.

You need to hire an HVAC duct & system cleaning provider that follows comprehensive procedures recommended by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association. Their specialist technicians have an expertise in the cleaning techniques prescribed by the Association for a complete cleaning of the HVAC system. As it is one of the directions of the EPA to ensure that all other ways are exhausted before resorting to duct cleaning, your system is first subjected to an expert evaluation.

Checklist for Considering HVAC Duct Cleaning

The National Air Duct Cleaning Association provides a checklist to customers who are considering a cleaning of their HVAC duct. NADCA advises the commercial and industrial community to understand some important guidelines in the checklist before hiring a cleaning company. If you find this to be too difficult, some reputed companies can perform free photo documented inspections to help you evaluate whether your HVAC needs cleaning or not.

If a HVAC system accumulates a lot of debris or microbial growth, its performance suffers. If you find your system to be showing any signs of this, you can get in touch with a reputable HVAC cleaning company. Some companies specialize in restaurant vent cleaning, HVAC duct cleaning service and cooling tower cleaning. You can use any popular web search engine to locate one.

Troubleshooting Tips For Water Leaks Around Hood Systems

No restaurant owner likes to deal with water leaks. Sometimes water leakage can occur around a kitchen hood exhaust fan. Sometimes this happens as a result of the fan not being secured properly.

This could be caused by a hood cleaner not securing the fan properly after conducting a routine hood cleaning. Another cause could be corrosion as a result of normal wear and tear on the equipment.

Regardless of what caused the leak, the next time it rains, water will come straight down the exhaust system.

When a restaurant owner or manager is faced with a water leak, identifying the source quickly is imperative. Knowing some troubleshooting tips can be helping in getting the leak located and repaired quickly.

Recent Cleaning?
In a restaurant that has recently had the hood system cleaned, it is possible that some water became trapped in a corner of the duct system and is dripping. If this is the case, it simply has to clear itself out, which will happen fairly quickly.
If it appears that there is a lot of water stuck in the system, it may be necessary to drain it through an access panel.

Ductwork Problems
A leak could be an indicator of problems in the ductwork.

Commercial hood cleaning experts may run into that a lot where a welding job was not done properly in the duct system, so there might be little cracks that enable water to leak through.

Depending on how the ducts are run in the restaurant, the leak could be in the dining room area of the restaurant, which could result in an unpleasant dining experience for patrons.

Access panels must be installed at every 90-degree angle and about every 10 feet on horizontal duct lines to make the entire system accessible for cleaning, maintenance and repair. In addition to preventing water leaks, ducts must be properly welded to prevent the likelihood of grease leaks. Grease leaks can act as fuel in the event of a fire.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that water leaks in kitchen exhaust systems must be dealt with immediately, because they can damage ceiling tiles. If this is happening and you are renting, you need to notify your landlord.

One thing restaurant owners and managers never should do is ask their hood cleaner not to spray the water with high pressure during the hood cleaning process.

Sometimes clients will ask to spray lightly, in an effort to avoid leaks. That only postpones the problem, and spraying lightly does not clean the system effectively. Fix the leaks and have your hood cleaner use all of the tools at their disposal to clean your system to like-new condition each time. You’ll be glad you did.

It’s Time to Set An Annual Cleaning Schedule

This is the time of year when millions of people make personal resolutions.

It is recommended to restaurant owners and managers that they also make at least one work-related resolution this year: schedule their routine hood cleanings for the year.

This is the best way for restaurants to stay on target with this highly important task. Scheduling cleanings for the entire year is easy because owners and managers typically know when their busiest times of year are.

Cooking volume and cooking processes are key factors in determining how often restaurant kitchen fans, ducts and hoods need to be cleaned.

Dining facilities that cook with deep fryers or charbroilers should have their systems cleaned at least every three months. The same is true for restaurants that use large quantities of vegetable oils in their kitchens, including Chinese restaurants.

Regardless of the type of establishment and methods in which the food is cooked, it is important that no restaurant go longer than six months between cleanings.

Between 2003 and 2006, approximately 17 percent of the 109,300 non-residential structure fires that were reported started as a result of cooking equipment, making it the No. 2 cause of fires.

The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System also found that in the same reporting period, the main cause of structure fires specifically in stores and other mercantile properties was cooking equipment, according to information posted on NFPA’s Web site. That report stated that the areas in which foods were cooked was the leading area where fires originated, and cooking materials or food was the leading item that was first ignited.