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Easing the Ordeal of Duct Cleaning
Duct Cleaning

During a periodic clean up at home or in an office, duct cleaning is often overlooked, and for very good reasons. Very few find the necessity of carrying out the job especially if the air conditioning or the exhaust system seems to be in order. And doing it can be very frustrating and tiring since not all the parts of a ducting system are readily visible.

But duct cleaning is as important as any cleaning job.

An air duct system comprise of supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, blowers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, drip pans, fan motor and housing and the air handling unit housing.

All these parts should be properly maintained and cleaned. Failure to do so may result in accumulation of dust, pollen, grime and other debris. If moisture develops, microbiological growth like molds may ensue, and corrosion may start. In extreme cases, dirty ducts may become health hazards.

Duct cleaning is particularly crucial in restaurant operations. Many contaminants like dust, grease, oil, bits of paper and fibers may find their way into the ducting system and lead to a destructive fire ignited by stray spark or even heat build up.

Restaurants are particularly prone to fire if one looks at how exhaust systems work there. Hoods are designed to capture smoke, heated grease and particles so as not to contaminate the food cooked or waft into the dining area. With time and improper maintenance, dirt can rapidly choke the system.

The best method to prevent further damage to exhaust ducts is periodic pressure washing. Next to a seasoned chef, an industrial duct cleaner may be the most important investment the owners can make.

The owner can commission a commercial cleaning outfit, but due to a recurring need for duct cleaning, owning an industrial grade pressure washer is a must, and cost effective in the long run. In addition local fire and health departments are increasingly wary of eating places which are not up to standards in safety and cleanliness.

Duct cleaners are perfect accessories for any hot or cold pressure washer. They come in many sizes and are designed for cleaning specific portions of a ducting system. To clean vertical ductwork, a fixed type duct cleaner with non-adjustable arms is perfect for the job.

A typical one contains 2 spray nozzles capable of withstanding high RPM and pressure of 4000 PSI. The temperature of operation is normally between 40°F and 250°F. The nozzle sizes are determined based on the pressure and flow rate (GPM) desired.

Horizontal duct cleaning devices use an adjustable type. Typically, these are designed to be mobile, with a side to side frame and height which is adjustable, and mounted in casters. The set up allows easy cleaning and restrains the entire device from bouncing off the walls during operation.

Ducts at home also need occasional cleaning. But if you keep ducts well maintained, cleaning time can be few and far in between.


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