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Maximize Your Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Productivity

Posted by Peter Haugen on Tue, May 08, 2012 @ 03:43 PM


brushing medium size duct  brushing insulated duct

Productivity is the key to maximizing your profits on commercial air duct cleaning projects because 95% of your cost is for labor.  One of the best ways to maximize your productivity is to have the right equipment and tools for these types of projects.  Let’s look at the equipment and tools that can help you maximize your productivity on these large and complex HVAC systems: 

Vacuum Collection Systems: 

  • Electric portable systems let you position the collector where you need it to minimize the number of hook-ups.
  • Systems that deliver better performance (suction) means you can clean longer duct runs with one hook-up. 
  • Systems with cleanable pre-filters eliminate the cost associated with replacing pleated bag filters.
  • Systems with high capacity HEPA filters, which last longer than standard HEPA filters, save you time and money.
  • Systems with larger collection capacity mean fewer stops to clean them out maximizing your up-time.

Cleaning Smaller Ductwork: Typically 6”-16” in size.

  • Flexible cable brush systems work well in this size ductwork when there are turns and drops. Plus the brushing action gives you the best cleaning results.
  • Solid core cable brush systems work well in this size ductwork when there are straight runs.  Plus the brushing action gives you the best cleaning results.
  • Whip systems work well in this size of ductwork and they don’t require a final air wash which saves time.

Medium Size Ductwork: Typically 12” to 22” high and 12” to 48” wide.

  • Brushing systems (pneumatic or electric) with different size brushes and the ability to center the brush height wise in the duct (so it is hitting both the top and bottom of the duct) will give you maximum cleaning effectiveness and productivity.
  • The longer the reach of these brushing systems the fewer the access opening you need.  Gone are the days of cutting access openings every 10’ and reaching in and contact vacuuming.
  • Brushing systems with cameras and robotic brushing systems let the operator see the brushing operating to maximize cleaning quality and productivity.

Cleaning Large Ductwork:  Typically larger than 24” x 24”.

  • Putting a person inside the ductwork and cleaning by contact vacuuming or with a blow gun and shop brush gives good results and productivity (because the technician is right there and can see everything).
  • If crawling the ductwork is not practical or safe brushing systems or robotic systems with large brushes (24” and up), centering devices, and long reach capability will give you the best productivity.

Cleaning Insulated Ductwork or Duct Board: Assuming the insulation is not friable and in good enough condition to clean.

  • Brushing systems with nylon brushes that you can spin at a slower rpm does a good job of cleaning medium size insulated ductwork without damaging the insulation.
  • Contact vacuuming is also a good option on large insulated ductwork.
  • After cleaning, coating is highly recommended because it locks down any remaining loose fibers and give you a more durable surface that is more resistant to air erosion and moisture.  This extends the life of that ductwork.
  • Cleaning and coating is much cheaper than replacing the ductwork.

 Air Handler/Plenum:

  • Cleaning by contact vacuuming or cleaning with a blow gun and shop brush gives good results (because the technician is right there and can see everything) and maximizes your productivity.

No one tool can magically make you more productive in every situation but a tool kit with the right equipment and tools will give you what you need to maximize your cleaning quality (for greater customer satisfaction) and productivity (for greater profits).


Link to cleaning tools         Link to vacuum collection systems

Tags: commercial air duct cleaning, maximize productivity