Dust and dirt are generated from a number of sources including dirt carried in from outside, and dust that becomes airborne from carpets, curtains or blinds, and furniture in homes or offices. Duct leakage is another source of dust. Air that leaks out of ductwork when the fan is running can be a potential source of dust and dirt in the duct and vents.
Nerissa Deoraj, Director Technical and Regulatory Affairs, Eurovent Middle East, avers, “Frequent cleaning of the grille or vent by vacuuming can reduce the possibility of dust entering the duct. Additionally, suitably qualified maintenance personnel should evaluate the duct air tightness to reduce the possibility of leakage and dust infiltration. Properly fitted air filters should be maintained or changed as and when required to ensure that the air filtration is effective and efficient.”
Cleaning & inspection
Even though there are various standards established for duct cleaning by global associations concerned with HVAC, the methods of duct cleaning v aries depending on the service provider. Usually, a service provider will use tools and equipment to clear the debris and other particles in the ducts. In addition, the service provider may recommend a disinfection or sanitiser to kill microbiological contaminants inside the duct work and other system components.
“It is imperative that the air conditioning unit and air ducts are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, as the cooled air circulates through both before being disseminated from the AC vents. The deep cleaning of both components is vital t o the overall improvement of our indoor air quality. Regular and effective disinfection of our indoor spaces significantly reduces the presence of pathogens. The most sensitive environments are within the healthcare sector, food industries, schools and universities where the risk of contamination is non-negotiable. Disinfecting all work surfaces within these industries is, therefore, crucial in order to keep the risk of infection to the minimum,” explains Vinod Harjani, Director, Moltocare. Moltocare is a Dubai-basedcompany, focusing on deep cleaning and disinf ection of the entire AC system for the private and corporate sectors.
Laying emphasis on the impor tance of maintenance of HVAC systems, Eurovent Middle East recently published a Position Paper focusing on ‘Building Inspections and Market Surveillance’, with recommendations that inspections should be recurrent (2-year intervals) and include an overall assessment of the condition of the building and its HVACR infrastructure. Inspection should address aspects such as the r egular maintenance of the HVACR system, functionality of the system, ensured supply of fresh air, regular replacement of air filters, refrigerant monitoring and bacteriological sampling of the air ducts, drip pans etc. The inspection programme should also aim at conducting assessment of maintenance and operation guidelines for the equipment, documentation procedures and the operational safety aspects of the system.
To conclude, properly maintained, serviced, designed and installed HVACR equipment has a notable influence on people’s health. Therefore, the operational safety of HVACR installations, proper guidance and training, provision of clean and safe working environment for people handling and maintaining such equipment will drastically reduce the potential for accidents and injuries.