IAQ, Plenums Focus of New Whitepaper

Regular cleaning, inspections emphasized in effort to reduce health risk in facilities.   January 27, 2023

By FacilitiesNet Staff

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) announced the publication of a whitepaper on inspecting and cleaning open-air plenum methods. 

The paper addresses common contaminants that facility managers find in open-air plenums that can adversely impact the conditioned space and provides guidance for the inspection and cleaning of those areas. 

Open-air plenums in institutional and commercial facilities consist of intended non-ducted air pathways formed in building cavities, voids, and spaces outside the occupied zone of buildings. Plenums are designed to facilitate airflow between HVAC equipment and the occupied space of a building, and often contain building elements such as mechanical (HVAC), electrical, plumbing, gas piping, fire protection, sewer and telecommunications essential to the building operations. 

Open-air plenums are typically unfiltered spaces and may contain dust, dirt, debris, asbestos, lead, animal and insect by-products, microbial contamination and a broad range of hazardous chemicals and materials. Contaminant accumulation in an air plenum can cause indoor air quality issues that potentially pose health risks to the occupants of the buildings. 

The whitepaper calls for regular inspections and cleaning periodically since airflow throughout these spaces can create and increased risk of contamination, doors, condensation, microbial growth and other conditions that may require attention and cleaning. 


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