Professional Air Duct Cleaning: Are Chemical Biocides Necessary?
It’s essential to clean your heating and cooling system’s air ducts to control air pollution in your home, and consequently, free yourself and family from related health problems. A professional cleaner may employ any of the several techniques in air duct cleaning including brushing, use of blowguns, application of biocides, and utilization of hand-held vacuums. Most of the methods are generally accepted and have little or no health concerns, but questions and controversies emerge when it comes to the application of chemical biocides.
When Should You Use Chemical Biocides?
An air duct cleaning professional may recommend the use of chemical biocides to kill odor-causing microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. As much as you are looking to eliminate bacteria growth and odor, you need to understand that chemical biocides come in different forms, with varying properties and pose certain health risks when not used correctly. It’s generally agreed that the application of chemical biocides is an effective method of cleaning air ducts as long as a qualified cleaning professional uses the right product properly.
Mild fungistats and bacteriostats remove mold, mildew, and bacteria odor from your ducts, and there is no need to vacate your home during the application. Stronger solutions are good at eliminating both disease and odor-causing microorganisms on hard and non-porous surfaces.
Nevertheless, you will be required to vacate your house during application and wait for about an hour or so for the chemical to dry completely. Additionally, you should never allow a cleaning professional to use the substances if you or any other house occupant is sensitive to such treatments.
What Are The Concerns?
As mentioned earlier, there are health concerns associated with the use of chemical biocides in air duct cleaning. Exposure to the chemicals may result in respiratory, nerve system, eye, and skin problems. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates chemical biocides and does not recommend their application in air duct cleaning unless specifically proven. It’s noteworthy mentioning that EPA has not approved any chemical biocide for use on fiberglass-lined ducts or fiberglass boards. So, check if the materials are present in your ducts before cleaning.
What to Do To Ensure Safety
Although chemical biocides are effective antimicrobial solutions, it’s of utmost importance to verify that the cleaning expert is duly qualified and is using the right product. Before the cleaning service provider applies the product, ask him or her to demonstrate the evidence of microbial invasion in your ducts, and explain why physical means such as brushing cannot be used instead. Moreover, let the professional explain the safety measure they undertake when cleaning with chemical biocides. Check the product’s label to ascertain whether it’s fit for air duct cleaning and ensure the service provider utilizes the chemical as per the instructions outlined on the label.
Chemical biocides are necessary for the elimination and prevention of microbial growth and odor in air ducts. Nevertheless, proceed with caution when applying these chemicals in your home. They are potentially dangerous, and it’s best to ensure that the professional cleaner uses an EPA-approved product to clean your ducts. All in all, chemical biocides are effective in duct cleaning, provided the cleaning provider uses the right product appropriately.