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by Alliance Environmental · June 25, 2014

HVAC Cleaning: Spend Some, Save Some

Summertime sun means summertime heat. And summertime heat means that you might need to turn on the air conditioning in your office longer than usual if you want to stay cool. But keep in mind, regardless of how good or new your air conditioning system is, you’ll end up wasting untold electricity (and money!) if your air ducts aren’t in good shape. This is why the start of the summer is a prime opportunity to have your HVAC air ducts thoroughly cleaned by a professional service.

More Than Meets The Eye: What’s Really Going on Inside of Those Ducts
There is a common misconception that if air ducts pass the eye test or ear test – meaning, if you don’t see or hear anything in side of the ducts – that they are clear. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of the things that can be found inside the twisty system of air ducts, such as mold, pollution build up, mildew, and other types of allergens, are never seen or heard by the people living and working in the building. In fact, only a professional can assess whether or not the air ducts need cleaning.

Dust and Debris: What Comes Out Is Also Within
Most people notice that the screens on the vent filters at the end of any HVAC system are dirty. If that’s the type of material that’s visible and coming out of the vents, just imagine what’s going on inside the ducts. A few of the common things found circulating within a heating and cooling system are:

  • Dust
  • Hair
  • Pollen
  • Dander
  • Chemicals and general air pollutants

Inside the system, those things can become caked along the walls and slowly restrict air flow. If the ventilation system is like the lungs of your office, dust and debris within are like asthma, slowly tightening the bronchial tract and making the air flow difficult.

Mold and Mildew: They Are Quite At Home in Your HVAC System
Heating and cooling systems can form an extensive network of ducts that deliver air to multiple rooms. Apart from the area found at the opening of the vents, this network is dark internally. This lack of light coupled with the fact that these systems can naturally trap moisture inside, result in the possibility that mold and mildew could be quietly lingering inside the HVAC system.

This mold can cause allergic reactions if it spreads throughout the system and exits through the vents. On the other hand, there are substances that can appear inside of air ducts that look like mold, but are not. Only a professional would be able to correctly identify the substance through testing. This is another reason why a simple eye test can be misleading.

The Creepy Crawlies: If It’s Small and It Crawls, It Might Be in Your Vents
For humans, navigating into and around an air duct would be a claustrophobic and uncomfortable task. For bugs and animals, the ducts are a swift, convenient passageway through a building. It’s often shocking the creatures that can enter the air ducts:

  • Bees
  • Spiders
  • Flies
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Birds
  • Raccoons
  • Possums

Lots of creatures find their way into the vents and leave the gifts of fur, dander and waste… and that’s assuming they make it out alive.

The Impact: It Adds Unnecessary Costs
The impact of improperly maintained, unclean air system shows up as a HVAC system that runs inefficiently. It must work harder to cut through all that build-up and clutter in order to reach the desired temperature, which adds costs to your company’s electricity bill and leads to wasting energy overall. It also means that your air conditioning system will undergo additional strain while trying to maintain its output which shortens the life of your system.

Stay Proactive this Summer
Rather than wait until your HVAC system is struggling to circulate air, make it a point to have regular air duct cleanings. In the long run, it will save you money and energy. And if nothing else, it guarantees that you and your colleagues will enjoy clean, healthy, non-polluted air.

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