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Duct Cleaning Methods

Don’s Power Vac uses three methods of duct cleaning:

  1. Standard Method. This method cleans the duct system using forced air and a strong vacuum. The standard method is recommended for removing dust and debris from the ducting systems of brand new buildings only. Once a building has been occupied, moisture in the air causes the dust to stick to the interior of the ducts, so the building must be cleaned using a more advanced technology.
  2. Power Whip/Wiper Method. This method is suitable for most cleaning tasks. A power whip cleaning tool is used along with forced air and vacuum to dislodge dirt and debris from the ducts. All commercial, industrial, and institutional cleaning involves either the Power Whip or Pneumatic Brush method (described below).
  3. Pneumatic Brush Method. This is the most advanced of the three cleaning methods, giving superior cleaning results. In the pneumatic brush method, hi-tech rotating brushes and a strong vacuum are used to clean the ducts. The use of this technology is common in hospital and institutional cleaning, where very high standards of cleanliness are required. White-glove testing of the ducting should detect no dust residue after this method of cleaning has been used.

Disinfecting and Deodorizing Ducts

After cleaning, Don’s Power Vac disinfects the ducts with a mild antibacterial and antifungal compound. The compound, commonly used for cleaning in hospitals, has no harsh side chemical effects.

Unlike many other air cleaning companies, Don’s disinfecting procedure does not use fogging to disperse the disinfectant. Instead, disinfectant is sprayed onto brushes that rotate through 360 degrees of direct contact with the ductwork. This hi-tech method gives a more even coating of disinfectant, for a higher standard of disinfection.

After disinfection, duct cleaning is completed with a fresh, mildly lemon-scented deodorant that gives the ducting a light clean smell. If no residual smell is desired, the ducting can be disinfected without deodorizing to provide clean, scent-free air.

For ongoing air disinfection, an Ultraviolet (UVC) light (link to Products page) can be installed in the return air duct. Studies have shown that UVC is effective in killing or crippling bacteria and other micro-organisms.

Measuring Duct Cleanliness

There are several accepted ways to measure duct cleanliness. In the most common standard, duct cleanliness is established visually – no visible dust can be present after cleaning.

A higher standard of cleanliness is the white-glove test. For a duct to pass the white-glove test, there must be no visible residue on a cloth used to wipe the duct after it’s cleaned.

In the highest standard of cleaning, common in hospital applications, the freshly cleaned duct walls are tested to find out how many micro-organisms remain on the surface. The test result is expressed as the number of colony forming units (CFU) detected. Hospitals and other high-cleanliness areas typically specify the maximum number of CFUs that may be present after cleaning and disinfection. It is not unusual for Don’s Power Vac to significantly surpass the CFU specifications on institutional cleaning projects.