If your HVAC system isn’t performing the way it used to and you’ve noticed an increase in your electric bill and a decrease in occupant satisfaction, you may be thinking that it’s time for a costly replacement of all your air ducts, air handling unit, and air conditioning system.
But if you haven’t been keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC system, these may just be signs that your air ducts and system need to be cleaned and refurbished, not replaced. In this blog, we’ll go over what you can expect from commercial HVAC and air duct cleaning and the benefits maintenance can have over replacing your entire system.
How to Tell If Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Before contracting an HVAC cleaning team to service your ducts, you first need to determine if your system needs to be cleaned in the first place.
The first step is to check if it’s ever been cleaned before. If you can’t find out, that’s probably a good sign that it hasn’t.
Next, how is your energy bill? If you’ve seen a spike in energy use lately (that isn’t merely seasonal), this likely indicates you have a leak in your system causing your HVAC unit to work harder than it should.
Check for visual signs like dirt, dust, and mold around the unit, vents, and register. As a rule of thumb, remember, “If your air ducts look dirty, they probably are.”
Lastly, has your facility recently been built or had a major renovation? If so, that residual mess from the worksite can quickly get into your system.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists indoor air pollution as one of the top 5 environmental risks to public health. A contaminated HVAC system is almost always a major culprit in this.
As such, regular cleaning and maintenance is recommended as per the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (see table below).
The Cost of Commercial HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning
When someone considers cleaning their HVAC system, including the air handling unit and air duct lines, they likely think about the cost.
Depending on your system, there are likely to be a few components you’ll want to clean. These include the air handling unit (AHU), cooling coils, air ducts, and their components. The price for having these units will vary based on the size of your facility.
The question, however, is not how much HVAC and air duct cleaning costs, but how much it costs not to keep your AHU regularly cleaned and maintained.
Take, for example, your cooling coil. A recent Service-Tech customer was preparing to spend $30,000 to replace the one they had, assuming it was broken. After a thorough cleaning, however, it turned out the existing cooling coil could still work fine, and they saw an increase of 180% in energy efficiency.
What about your AHU? Merely refurbishing your air handling unit can be done at a quarter to a third of the cost of replacing it and can add up to 15 years to the life of your unit. A complete AHU refurbishing includes:
Cleaning the heating and cooling coils and blower
Repairing/refurbishing/painting the interior surfaces of all components and drain pans
But maintaining your HVAC system isn’t just about saving money on future system replacement and maintenance. It’s also crucial to the health of your building’s occupants. Simply put, the healthier the air, the healthier the employee, which means less time is taken for sick days and more time is spent working productively.
Specialized Commercial Cleaning Services for HVAC Maintenance
What about if your HVAC system has particular components to it? What if, for example, you work in a hospital with a bag-in/bag-out filter? Or what if your air ducts are lined with fiberglass? Can these be affordably maintained with a costly replacement? With the right technician, you can.
Fiberglass Duct Board Cleaning
Even fiberglass-lined air ducts can be cleaned when using the right tools for the job and are crucial to get the health and system savings benefits you expect from commercial air duct cleaning.
Your technician may choose to use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air filter) vacuum to prevent particles from dislodging and getting into your HVAC system. Alternatively, they may use the air washing or power brushing method, depending on your system.
Schedule Your Complete HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning with Service-Tech
Is now the best time to clean your commercial facilities? If you’re not sure, then it probably is. When you have your HVAC system cleaned with Service-Tech, you’re entrusting the health of your air and tenants to certified NADCA professionals.