Why should you have your HVAC system cleaned? The short answer is simple: because they get dirty over time and they have the potential to contain large amounts of dust and particulates.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.
Indoor air quality is one concern that building managers and building inhabitants have when they decide to investigate HVAC system. Through normal occupation in a building, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork.
While a contaminated HVAC system doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy air, the situation may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
Benefits of HVAC Inspection
HVAC inspectors conduct comprehensive examinations of components and systems to determine whether they are contaminated with a significant accumulation of particulate or microbial growth, or if HVAC performance is compromised due to contamination build-up.
The role of an HVAC inspector is to assess the cleanliness and structural integrity of an HVAC system. Inspectors search for obstructions, excess moisture and microbial contamination in the HVAC system.
NADCA offers a certification geared toward HVAC inspectors, called the Certified Ventilation Inspector (CVI) program. CVI-certified personnel have received training based on the EPA’s structured method of performing inspections, which is also in compliance with NADCA’s standard. The training covers applicable building and IAQ standards and codes, maintenance and housekeeping programs, diagnosing IAQ problems and reporting findings to building owners.
Benefits of HVAC Restoration
Restoration of HVAC system components is the process of preparation, refurbishment, resurfacing, repair, or replacement of any surface common to the air stream. Restoration procedures must only be performed after mechanical cleaning.
Air side surfaces of HVAC systems found to be compromised during the HVAC cleanliness evaluation or during cleaning must be documented for restoration or replacement to industry standards, as required.
HVAC system components subjected to catastrophic events such as fire, smoke, flood, or water-damage must be subject to restoration procedures. Component degradation that results in compromised system performance must be corrected through restoration procedures if possible.
HVAC component replacement must take place if acceptable cleanliness levels cannot be achieved through mechanical cleaning and restoration methods.
CVI Online Training Course
The CVI Online Training Course webinar series provides advanced training on HVAC systems & components, indoor air quality issues, performing inspections, risk management and industry standards. It's a great resource for getting CVI certified.