When Should HVAC Ductwork Be Replaced and Cleaned?

Signs Your Ductwork Needs Cleaning

If you recently moved into a new space or facility, and the previous owners or tenants haven’t provided complete maintenance logs, then ductwork cleaning and getting a thorough HVAC system assessment is a wise choice. If you’re unsure whether you need ductwork cleaning, check out our list below.

Reasons You Need Ductwork Cleaning

  • You hear odd noises in the ducts
  • Airflow is inconsistent from area to area
  • You find signs of dirt/mold in or around the vents
  • Odor originating from the vents and ductwork
  • Dust is emitted from the vents

When Should HVAC Ductwork Be Cleaned?

Commercial HVAC Duct Cleaning
Air ductwork cleaning should be done as part of routine HVAC maintenance. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends cleaning commercial HVAC ducts every three to five years for optimal performance.

Where in that range depends upon the business or purpose of the building and its location. For example, a hospital should be cleaned every three years due to its special needs, and a commercial bakery might need the same. A warehouse might only need ductwork cleaning every four to five years. That may seem excessive, but it’s not. In fact, according to the EPA, indoor air quality (IAQ) can often be more polluted than outdoor air if the closed system is not properly maintained.

Particulate matter and contaminants build up over time and are circulated through your commercial heating and cooling system. Add moisture from humidity and mold is also a possibility. Dirty air ducts make your system run inefficiently and can even cause problems for your computers and server room. It can even affect employee health.

When Should HVAC Ductwork Be Replaced?

The NADCA also recommends replacing ductwork every 10-15 years. Extenuating circumstances could shorten that lifespan and require earlier replacement.

  • Ducts in Uninsulated Areas

  • Ductwork that runs through crawl spaces, basements, attics, and warehouses frequently become hotter or colder than the rest of the system due to limited or non-existent insulation. This leads to both lost energy and increased wear and tear, especially at the seams.

  • Ductwork in Building Cavities

  • In older buildings, joists were often used as ductwork, which can lead to air leakage. In this case, actual ductwork needs to be installed rather than replaced.

  • Damaged Ductwork

Each section of ductwork should fit the next section tightly with secure connections. Gaps, cracks, and holes should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible for proper operation.

Call Donnelly Mechanical for All of Your HVAC Maintenance

At Donnelly Mechanical, we have a streamlined process. With minimal invasiveness to your business operations, we will treat your commercial property with respect and get the job done in the most efficient manner. Contact us today for more information.

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