Your ducts are free of dust and debris, but are they really clean? Unless you have ultraviolet sanitizing light bulbs distributed throughout your HVAC system, probably not.
Your AC unit dehumidifies the air and pushes it through your ventilation system. Viruses thrive in low humidity. When winter comes and you turn up the heat, the humidity in your vents drops even more.
If you shut off your AC and let the humidity rise above 60%, bacteria, mites, and mold will grow rapidly instead. These can not only lead to illness but also chronic allergies.
When you run your air conditioning in Florida, you’re circulating the same air throughout your home or business. Unless you open windows or doors for an extended period of time, the air pollutants continue to push in and out of the vents and around your living space, reducing your air quality.
Those pollutants include microorganisms and air duct sanitizers can get rid of them.
Reasons to Sanitize and Disinfect Your Air Ducts
Hospitals need regular ventilation system sanitization because of the bacteria and viruses that run through HVAC systems. They understand that illness often hangs in the air and can transmit to others in this way.
If your family or business team has ever caught the flu or a cold and it made its rounds through everyone more than once, your air was likely to blame. Besides health concerns about viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms lurking in your vents, other reasons you might want to get your air ducts sanitized include:
- Water damage in your ducts that could lead to mold
- Strange odors coming from your vents
- Pet dander allergies
- Pests (like rodents) that defecate as they travel through air ducts
By retaining a humidity between 40 and 60 percent, using air filters that catch microorganisms, and changing that filter every 90 days, you can usually keep your HVAC system relatively clean. But if you need more help, call on professionals to clean your HVAC and perform an air duct sanitizing service.
Are Air Duct Sanitizers Safe?
For a while, the EPA was hesitant about air duct sanitizers for HVAC use, and you may have heard that they are bad for your health. But in recent years, multiple manufacturers have diligently engineered an EPA and OSHA-approved HVAC system air duct sanitizer.
These products include:
Look closely at your chosen professional air duct sanitizer products. It’s important to check that they are registered and approved for HVAC use by the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This ensures that they are safe for use in residential homes and commercial properties as well as environmentally friendly in general.
How Are Air Duct Sanitizers Used?
According to the EPA, “an HVAC&R system needs to be inspected, cleaned, and/or ductwork needs to be repaired to ensure that the system is in sound mechanical condition prior to treatment with an antimicrobial product.” Once that’s taken care of, it’s time to sanitize those air ducts!
There are a few methods for air duct sanitization. Some companies use an automated spray system that travels through the ventilation via programmed machinery (robots).
But most licensed contractors use a ULV (Ultra Low Volume) misting sprayer. Since a spray can only reach so far into the vents alone, they carry out additional steps to increase its efficiency:
- An antimicrobial product with a fogger that forces the product to form an aerosol.
- A negative air pressure machine is attached to the HVAC system to act as a vacuum and pull air through the entire ventilation system.
- Once the suction begins, the sanitizer “fog” is applied to open vents so that it can be pulled through the air ducts and into the vacuum.
- As the sanitizer is dragged along the inside of the ventilation system, it coats the inside surface, leaving behind a thin layer of sanitizer that will dry within 10 to 15 minutes.
Once the sanitization process is complete, nothing further needs to be done. The product doesn’t need to be rinsed away.
Since many products approved on the market are 99% natural, there is no reason to fear its presence in your vents. Once it is no longer in concentrated amounts or in the air, it’s perfectly safe. Even the smell will disappear within a few hours.
Even though this process seems easy, sanitization should only be performed by trained and qualified professionals who know how to use the equipment and chemicals properly. Improper use can result in injury, illness, or death.
Despite being EPA and OSHA-approved (and in some cases even USDA-approved), they are only allowed to be used by licensed contractors. Sanitizing air ducts is not a do-it-yourself project. Even though some products have low toxicity (category 3), due caution must be used when handling them.
Please, keep you and your family safe by leaving this job to the pros at Action Air Conditioning.
How Long Does the Sanitization Last?
Air duct sanitizer treatment typically lasts 6 months. But it isn’t a service that needs to be repeated regularly unless you or someone in your home has severe allergies, asthma, or are otherwise immune-compromised. Usually, air duct sanitization is performed when a viral, bacterial, or fungal problem is suspected.
Do you have any additional questions about disinfecting your ventilation system? Get in touch with a representative at Action Air Conditioning! We would love to help you to understand what products we use, our methods, and your options!