IAQ: Increase Airflow with Duct Maintenance
To increase airflow, technicians can start by cleaning air ducts. Build-up of dust and other particulates can cause turbulence, which reduces air volume. This activity provides a benefit beyond limiting turbulence. It also eliminates a source of pollution — the reintroduction of particulates into the air when they break off the duct walls.
If ducts contain moisture, technicians can get rid of hidden mold by cleaning the ducts with electric brushes and vacuuming the residue. Adding ultraviolet lights to the area in which water forms in the duct can eliminate the mold problem.
Finally, high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters can resist most particulates, but technicians will have to make sure an adequate volume of air flows through the filters.
Thomas A. Westerkamp is president of the Work Management Division with Westerkamp Group LLC.