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The Importance of Clean Air Ducts One area of the home or business that may cause lingering health issues is a place in which no one goes very often, and few people have ever seen–the inside of the air ducts. It doesn’t matter whether you are heating, cooling, or just ventilating, most are only cleaned at the accessible points near the intake or exhaust grills, and usually only as far as an arm can reach. In older buildings, the ductwork might be a hodgepodge of rectangular or circular sheet metal. While newer buildings often use flexible ducting which is lighter, cheaper, and easier to install, it is often very difficult to clean thoroughly. You might be asking yourself if duct cleaning really is that important. If your house or office is new, you haven’t had any fires or floods, and no one has allergies, then you are probably fine. If, however, you have had a fire, then your ductwork may be left covered with varying sized particles of toxic soot. A smoldering fire may very likely leave greasy soot on your ducts which is very difficult to remove. If you don’t have them professionally cleaned, once the HVAC system is turned, the soot left in the ducts will be continually recirculated throughout your whole home or business. Moisture, whether if be from flooding or water left on the premises from fire hoses or water leaking into the HVAC system might be an even bigger issue for ducts. You can understand just how pervasive moisture can be just by taking a look around the bathroom right after a shower. In ductwork, moisture can be trapped for hours, days, or even weeks, creating an ideal breeding ground for mold and mold spores, unlike in the bathroom where an exhaust fan or open window can help dry up the room.
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To prevent moisture from entering your ducts, the United States EPA has issued some guidelines which should be followed. First off, check your humidifiers often, and be sure to empty the water collection trays. If there is water in your basement, make sure to remove it promptly. If there are any leaks, fix them so there are no issues with condensation. Ensure that the air conditioning units drain correctly and are serviced regularly. When cleaning near ducts, do not use steam or any other moisture.
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If moisture has gotten into the air ducts of a home or business, then they should be checked by a professional restoration company. Temperature and humidity of the home or business will play a role. There will probably be some dust and microbes in the ducts, as this is a reflection of the air content of the home or business. Then, a proper analysis should be conducted to find out if there is a significant level of bacteria or mold, and if there is, then cleaning techniques that don’t further impact the structure or the inhabitants with fumes or toxins should be used. By using the help of a professional restoration service, you can ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for your family or employees.