Duct cleaning

DUCT CLEANING
SERVICES

For your ventilation duct cleaning needs, we have a certified team (IICRC, ASCS-CVI, NADCA, thermography) recommended by CAA Quebec.

Canadian Society specializing in indoor air quality analysis, ventilation duct cleaning and mitigation. Manufacturer of robotic cleaning equipment for ducts, tools and accessories for the inspection of ventilation system.

Contamination sources

Fresh air intake
Return ductwork plenum
Mixing plenum and filtration unit
Blower and coil section
Sound attenuator and supply ductwork
Diffusers and vav and mixing box

Proper maintenance of HVAC systems is a key step in the process of improving indoor air quality. By neglecting this step, accumulated contaminants are circulated back into the ambient air, thereby contributing to indoor air pollution.

The primary purpose of HVAC system air duct cleaning is to remove contaminants (dust, debris, mold and other) so that air can circulate on clean surfaces, thereby restoring efficiency and effectiveness.

We have NADCA’s Ventilation System Mold Remediator (VSMR) certification to decontaminate your contaminated HVAC systems.

We use the principle of suction, friction, and pulsation in our cleaning process.

The two methods we use for our cleaning projects are:

Traditional method: In general, this method is used for our residential projects. It is an effective and proven method. During the cleaning process, we use compressors, hoses, nozzles, whips and our dust collectors (ELITE3, ELITE5). Cleaning also includes disinfection using safe products.

Specialized method: This method is used for our commercial, institutional and industrial projects. It involves the use of robots (Wolverine, Desert Storm) in conjunction with compressor, hoses, nozzles, whips and our dust collectors (ELITE3, ELITE5). Our zoning balloons (manufacturers by ourselves) are utilized in order to isolate cleaning zones. Our robots are invaluable when it comes to accessing hard-to-reach spaces. Robots can anticipate and avoid obstacles as needed. Electrical tools and pneumatic tools each have their respective source of power: electricity and compressed air. Both contain rotating brushes to remove debris from duct surfaces. Dust is then routed to a negative-air dust collector where it is trapped. Spraying devices are used to vaporize disinfectants and coatings. Airless sprayers are also frequently used for this task. Solutions can be sprayed by a technician from a service point, sprayer installed on cart, or sprayer installed on a robot.

WHAT IS AIR DUCT CLEANING?

In many cases, the two terms «air duct cleaning» and «indoor air pollution» are inextricably connected. In fact, duct cleaning has evolved in response to the increasing concerns over indoor air pollution. Although most indoor air quality problems can be traced to problems outside the physical air conveyance system, a significant portion of indoor air quality issues can be traced, at least in part, to conditions within the air conveyance system itself. Most indoor air quality (IAQ) problems are a combination of many factors, the physical condition of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system being one of them.

The goal of HVAC or air duct cleaning is to remove visible contaminants such as dust, debris and moisture from the entire air conveyance system so that the air passes over clean surfaces. Microbial contaminants such as bread molds, mildews and soil fungi, which can be invisible to the naked eye, can also be removed from the HVAC system with the proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Presence of microbial is not uncommon in an HVAC system. However, the presence of active microbial growth is of concern, since it may affect indoor air quality and pose a health risk for some people.

The benefits of air conveyance system cleaning include lessening the chances of indoor air pollution, health and comfort complaints by the occupants, and it may decrease energy costs by allowing the mechanical components to operate more efficiently and last longer.

INDUSTRY GUIDELINES

The duct cleaning industry is currently unregulated. In 1989, a group of ventilation cleaning contractors and equipment manufacturers formed the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). NADCA has, since its inception, developed industry standards for its members, as well as an Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) certification program which includes continuing education and training programs. NADCA has not only developed cleaning standards, but has worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on testing the effectiveness of air duct cleaning, resulting with the EPA’s suggestion that an air duct cleaning service provider follow NADCA standards.

EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT

Duct cleaning equipment has evolved on the principal of ‘Source Removal,’ i.e., removing visible contaminants from within the air conveyance system. Vacuum collection systems are the center of duct cleaning. All vacuums which are exhausted inside the building must be HEPA-filtered with a 99.97% collection efficiency for 0.3 micron size particles. The cleaning process typically involves connecting a large HEPA-filtered vacuum to the air conveyance system, or a portion of the system, to create a negative pressure so no contaminants are allowed to escape into the occupied space.

As evidence of the industry’s technological advancement within the last 10 years, one simply has to examine the vast extent of equipment that is now available and used during air duct cleaning.

INSPECTION DEVICES

Inspection devices are used to inspect the inside of the AHU and/or ductwork for debris, contamination, and serviceability. The optical borescope is one such device that is used for direct viewing. The borescope is placed through an existing opening, such as a vent opening, or a service opening is created and the scope is placed into the area to be inspected. Scopes normally have at least a 115 watt light source, a standard 40 degree field of view and can accept a 35mm camera or a digital camera for documentation purposes.

Fiber optic scopes and video scopes operate on the same principal as the optical borescope. In addition to the above, they can be pushed into the ductwork and can actually be manipulated around obstacles and maneuvered to specific sections of the ductwork. A closed circuit television (CCTV) camera system is used to remotely direct the head of the system and a video recorder, with voice, can also be attached for documentation purposes. Remote controlled robotic equipment can be driven through the ductwork and has all of the advantages as the previously stated inspection equipment. Robotic equipment comes in all shapes and sizes and looks similar to toy army tanks with their treaded wheels. Robots can have two cameras, one forward, for entry in to the ductwork, and one reverse, for exiting. The robotic duct systems can also be used for cleaning, spraying and sampling operations.

VACUUM COLLECTION DEVICES

There are basically two types of vacuum collection devices: High-efficiency Particle Air (HEPA) -filtered (which filter the air via HEPA filters, where the air enters an occupied space) and Non-HEPA-filtered (which filter the air into unoccupied spaces, normally outside the building).

HEPA-filtered vacuums are very efficient vacuums – in fact, HEPA filters are used in clean rooms and hospital operating rooms. They filter 99.97% of particles which are 0.3 microns (about one-hundredth of a pencil dot) and larger. Large HEPA-filtered vacuums, commonly called negative air collectors or negative air machines, are used to place the portion of the system under a negative pressure. This air purification system ensures that any dust or debris in the system is drawn into the vacuum and not allowed to enter the occupied space. Negative air collectors have a staged filter system with the final stage being the HEPA filter. Portable HEPA-filtered vacuums, which look and operate similar to shop-vacs, are used to hand vacuum, or direct contact vacuum, the AHU and/or the ductwork. There are also HEPA-filtered wet vacuums for removing and containing contaminated water commonly found in drain pans and in ductwork that has been flooded.

Non-HEPA-filtered vacuums are commonly used to create a negative pressure and move materials. Their static pressure capabilities are extremely high because they are not very well filtered and, therefore, are placed outside of occupied spaces, normally outside the building. The basic concept of their use in the cleaning process is the same as described above and they can be used to vacuum bulk materials such as blown-in insulation.

CONTINUED ESSENTIAL TECHNOLOGY

Remote controlled robotic duct cleaning equipment has the attributes noted above in the inspection section and can be fitted with spinning brushes, directional air nozzles and air whips, sample collection devices, and spraying attachments for spraying sanitizing solutions or various coatings. Robots are invaluable in difficult to access areas. They may preempt a situation in which access through a plaster ceiling is considered or the use of scaffolding or lifts. Electric and pneumatic tools are operated by their respective power sources, electricity and compressed air. Both categories include spinning brushes that remove debris from the surface of the duct. The debris is then drawn into a negative air collector or it is hand vacuumed. One combination cleaning device has an electrically power brush at the end of the HEPA-filtered vacuum hose. As the debris is loosened, it is simultaneously vacuumed. Pneumatic tools include blowguns, directional air skippers and air whips which agitate, loosen and push (with compressed air) the debris toward the negative air collector which is pulling the debris into it. (This is called the push – pull technique.)

Spraying devices are used to apply sanitizers and coatings. Airless sprayers are commonly used for this purpose. A technician can physically spray the solution from a service access or a spray cart or robot can be used for spraying. CCTV and video recorders can be attached to the spray cart to view remote spraying or the spray attachments can be connected directly to a duct cleaning robot.