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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are the Benefits of Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning for Commercial HVAC Systems

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: In addition to commercial damage restoration services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides commercial HVAC cleaning for Atherton-area businesses.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is invested in providing the commercial cleaning and damage restoration services the businesses want and need. Commercial HVAC cleaning is just such a service. Using the best equipment, the latest cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved cleaners that are safe for families and pets, the Palo Alto SERVPRO team can efficiently and affordably tackle commercial HVAC cleaning needs in the Atherton, CA area.

Ventilation systems are often a significant contributor to poor indoor air quality. A scheduled inspection of the HVAC system, along with the ductwork, can identify any issues that need attention. These issues include:

  • loose electrical connections arising from vibrations in the system
  • parts that are wearing out prematurely
  • dirty, clogged coils
  • clogged, grimy, leaking, condensate pan
  • air filters that need changing
  • dirty ductwork

How often should an HVAC inspection be scheduled?

If the HVAC system is used year-round, an inspection every six months is advised. The best time is spring and fall, after a season of intense usage. If the system sees little use for four to six months out of the year, annual inspection and servicing are adequate. In a commercial setting, where usage may be constant and extreme, the safest course is to have the system inspected every six months.

Consumer Reports suggest that an HVAC system can last ten to fifteen years. Consistent upkeep and maintenance can add years to the life of a system. Clogged coils and dirty air ducts cause a system to work harder and longer to cool or heat a home or business. This added strain reduces the lifespan of an HVAC system. Commercial HVAC systems are expensive to replace. Every added year of life is money kept in the property owner’s pocket. The ROI on a well-maintained commercial HVAC unit is worth the investment to keep the system in top operating condition.

How often should air filters be changed?

Industry recommendations are for air filters to be changed every ninety days. The EPA offers the following information which is helpful in selecting air filters for the commercial or residential HVAC system: “What is a MERV rating? Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERVs, report a filter’s ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). This value is helpful in comparing the performance of different filters. The rating is derived from a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles.”

The EPA continues with an explanation of the HEPA filter: “HEPA is a type of pleated mechanical air filter. It is an acronym for ‘high-efficiency particulate air [filter]’ (as officially defined by the U.S. Dept. of Energy).  This type of air filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.”

Conditions that would require a filter upgrade or more frequent filter replacement would include:

  • a personal preference to have cleaner air circulating through the facility
  • a dusty environment such as a construction site, a trucking terminal, nearby farms, or seasonal wildfires
  • pet dander from service animals
  • pollen
  • known mold issues

How often should the HVAC ductwork be inspected and cleaned?

Any inspection of the mechanical and electrical components of the HVAC system should include the ductwork, as well. Dirty air ducts contaminate the air that has been pulled through a certified HEPA filter, effectively neutralizing the effort to purify the air. Clean air ducts reduce the potential for mold growth. Cleaning the air ducts can eliminate unpleasant or offensive odors.

A thorough inspection of the ductwork can reveal leaks in the system, which allow stale, moldy, and dust-laden air to penetrate the ductwork. The circulation of this unhealthy air throughout the business, office complex, daycare, or other commercial facility compromises respiratory hygiene, negatively impacting the well-being of the occupants.

The conscientious technicians at SERVPRO of Palo Alto point out that duct cleaning is not always necessary. After the inspection, they will make recommendations that best address any indoor air quality issues, saving the business an expense while providing peace of mind concerning the health and safety of the HVAC system.

For more information about commercial damage restoration in Atherton, CA, contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto by phone at (650) 800-3448. The damage restoration company can also be reached by email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

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