Staying healthy is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and when it comes to places where we live, work and visit, cleanliness and prevention are key. The average American home accumulates over 40 pounds of dust each year. In addition to dust, air ducts may be harboring mold, mildew, bacteria or even insects or rodents. Now imagine that it’s an apartment, hotel or mixed-use building with hundreds, possibly thousands of residents!

An HVAC system pushes air through ducts that run throughout walls, ceilings, and floors. According to the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association, contaminants are, “pulled into an HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in duct work.” If these ducts contain allergens, contaminates or bacteria, occupants can experience poor air quality and even aggravated respiratory illness. There also is risk of air conditioner failure due to dirty ducts and build up which can be costly to repair.

An air handling system’s insulation is designed to provide thermal efficiency, but it can also help or hinder indoor air quality and cost savings. Since poor indoor breathing conditions can be caused not only by mold, dust, or dirt, but also by VOCs and particulating fibers, it is imperative that contractors properly install the best duct liner or wrap insulation products as well as clean and maintain the system over time. Armacell’s closed-cell elastomeric foam insulation products are fiber-free, non-particulating, and have low VOCs. In addition, the smooth surface is easily cleanable and resistant to the growth of mold and mildew. To clean duct liners with dust or film particulates, wipe clean with a dry, soft cloth. For stubborn dirt or harder to remove contaminates, a non-abrasive brush or cleaning wheel is a tool of choice. A clean cloth with a small amount of denatured alcohol can also be used to wipe or lightly scrub the surface.  

When an HVAC system is clean it will operate at a much higher energy efficiency level, producing better temperature control. By not cleaning ducts, the system must work harder and a build-up of contaminating air pollutants can cause air quality issues. By completing an annual inspection and duct liner cleaning, you can help reduce energy loss, mitigate potential maintenance issues, extend a system’s life and capture cost savings.