Ventilation Duct Cleaning must be carried out at least once every two years to fulfil legal requirements and to maintain a safe and healthy environment. Ingot provide a full Ductwork Cleaning service including inspections and filter cleaning to ensure maximum safety and compliance for your building.

The Importance of Ventilation Duct Work Cleaning

Virtually every non-domestic premises will have a ventilation system and associated duct work in the walls or ceilings or both. Over time, the ducts accumulate dust and debris, which can then become a breeding ground for bacteria and mould, especially if raised temperatures and humidity are also present. Air passing through the duct work can then carry these allergens and pathogens into the building. Without adequate and regular Duct Cleaning, the ventilation system designed to provide building occupants with clean, fresh air, could be doing the exact opposite, with potentially serious consequences.

In an office building or school, occupants can suffer from Sick Building Syndrome, involving repeated minor illnesses such as colds, flu and allergies. While the causes of Sick Building Syndrome were a mystery for a long time, it has now been shown to be a direct effect of poorly maintained ventilation systems helping to spread dust and airborne micro-organisms through a building. The Environmental Protection Agency has published studies showing that the air inside buildings can be as much as 70 times more polluted than air outside.

In more sensitive environments such as hospitals, the effects can be deadly, including the spread of MRSA and other serious infections which can threaten the lives of patients.

Thorough and regular Duct Cleaning is therefore a significant contribution to the health of building occupants.

Legal Requirements

Not surprisingly, there is strict legislation governing Ductwork Cleaning and maintenance. Workplace Health and Safety regulations require building managers to ensure a good supply of clean air into the building, and to ensure that ventilation Duct Work Cleaning, inspection and maintenance are carried out on a regular basis.

Not only must Duct Cleaning be carried out, it must be carried out by properly qualified HVAC professionals. This ensures that the correct tools and cleaning materials are used and that specific standards of cleanliness appropriate to the environment are met. Proper records must also be kept, including photographic evidence. Building owners or managers who fail to ensure adequate Duct Work Cleaning face prosecution under this legislation.

These legal requirements add up to one thing: It is essential to employ a professional Duct Work Cleaning service which is HVAC registered. Only cleaning carried out by HVAC professionals will comply with the relevant Health and Safety and Fire Safety legislation.

Duct Work Cleaning Frequency

While every two years is the default requirement for cleaning ventilation duct work, some buildings may need more frequent cleaning. For instance:

  • Heavily used buildings
  • Buildings which generate greater quantities of dust (e.g. factories, clothing stores).
  • Buildings which are exposed to greater quantities of pollution from outside (e.g. in city centres, next to motorways or next to industrial sites).
  • Buildings which need cleaner than average air or where risk to occupants is higher (e.g. computer data centres, hospitals, nursing homes).

Quick Guide to Frequency of Cleaning (source BS EN 15780:2011)

    Cleaning Intervals (months)
Quality Class  Typical Examples AHU AIR Filters Humidifiers Ducts Terminals
Low Rooms with only intermittent occupancy e.g. storage rooms, technical rooms 12 12 12 48 48
Medium Offices, hotels, restaurants, residential homes, shopping centres, exhibition buildings, sports buildings, general areas in hospitals and general working areas in industries. 12 12 6 24 24
High Laboratories, treatment areas in hospitals, high quality offices. 12 6 6 12 12

If in doubt, the best option is to arrange regular tests and inspections and take advice from an HVAC professional about whether cleaning has become necessary.

A full ductwork clean can be quite disruptive to building occupants as it often involves access to ceiling cavities, so it makes sense to keep your ducts as clean as possible in between cleans to avoid additional cleans becoming necessary. This is best achieved by regularly inspecting and cleaning the filters on your ventilation system. These filters minimise pollution from outside and prevent dust getting into the system from inside the building. They need to be inspected and cleaned or replaced so that they remain effective. A strict filter cleaning regime can help to keep your duct work clean and maintain air quality to a high level. Inspecting and replacing filters is far easier, cheaper and less disruptive to your building’s occupants than a full duct clean. As well as full duct cleaning, Ingot can advise on a suitable filter cleaning programme and can carry out regular inspections on your behalf.

Ingot’s Air Duct Work Cleaning Service

Ingot is registered with the Building and Engineering Services Association as well as being a member of the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme and a Safe Contractor Registered firm. We provide you with a certificate upon completion of cleaning for your records and can advise on an appropriate cleaning schedule for your building.