How Often Should Schools Have Their Air Ducts Cleaned?
As the school year kicks off, student health and safety should be everyone’s top priority. Good indoor air quality (IAQ) is a vital part of providing students with a healthy learning environment. Routine cleanings of the HVAC system are essential to maintain high IAQ at schools and commercial buildings.
Why is Routine Air Duct Cleaning so Important?
Dust and debris are constantly making their way into a building’s airflow. Air ducts and HVAC systems have filters to remove as much dust and other harmful particles from the air as possible, but they can only hold so much. As the HVAC system’s air filters periodically reach maximum capacity, they become far less effective and will push more particles back into circulation than they can filter out. Airborne dust particles and other debris can pose a risk of health issues to anyone exposed to them frequently or for long periods of time. Children typically attend school for at least eight hours a day, five days a week, which constitutes routine, long-term exposure. Kids who are young enough that their lungs aren’t fully developed are more at risk, especially if they have preexisting health conditions like allergies or asthma.
Dust particles are bad enough, but there are also other contaminants to worry about that can put both students and faculty at risk. These contaminants include dander, mold spores, chemical residue, allergens, and more.
Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
A decrease in air quality will also affect the performance of students and faculty exposed throughout the school day. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the quality of the air. One study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that participants across many countries and fields of work found that “increased concentrations of fine particulate matter and lower ventilation rates were associated with slower response times and reduced accuracy.”
A school’s primary focus is to help students learn vital information that will help them later in life and increase their chances of success. So it makes sense to do everything possible to optimize their learning experience and increase the chances they will retain and understand their lessons.
Students aren’t the only ones who can be negatively impacted by neglected poor indoor air quality. When air filters reach maximum capacity, air conditioning and heating systems must work harder to do their jobs. A slowed system takes more energy to achieve the desired temperature, which negatively impacts the school’s finances.
How Often Should Air Ducts Get Cleaned?
Air duct cleaning should take place regularly, but the recommended frequency will vary depending on a number of variables. In general, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends that any structure’s air ducts should have a proper cleaning every three to five years. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends getting air ducts cleaned as needed.
A few factors that may shorten the interval for how often a school should get an air duct cleaning include local environmental factors, the number of students, or circumstances such as construction, which can introduce more debris and contaminants into the air. There are some indicators to watch for that mean you should get your air ducts cleaned very soon. These indicators include (but are not limited to) musty smells, noticeably worsened HVAC efficiency, and insects inhabiting the vents.
The Benefits of Routine HVAC Cleaning and Maintenance
In summary, getting a school’s air ducts professionally cleaned on a regular basis improves student learning capabilities, increases staff performance, reduces the risk of health issues in individuals, and can save schools significant money over time by improving system efficiency.
Call AdvantaClean for Commercial Duct Cleaning
Whether it’s a routine cleaning or a more pressing concern, AdvantaClean can help. We’ve got years of experience and air duct cleaning is one of our many specialties. We also handle fire damage restoration, water damage cleanup, mold remediation and more. To schedule a consultation, click here or call 877.800.2382 to get started.