Blog #5 – DUCT-PRO®: Cleaning the Return

Abatement Technologies® is the industry leader in quality duct cleaning solutions. Our high-performance DUCT-PRO® packages utilize HEPA-AIRE® equipment to clean HVAC duct systems faster and more efficiently than other methods. Abatement Technologies’ equipment uses our exclusive source removal duct cleaning process, meaning our equipment captures dirt and debris to provide complete air duct cleaning and decontamination. Our source removal duct cleaning process is designed to work with the tools and procedures professional duct cleaners need to follow the NADCA recommended steps for cleaning air duct systems effectively.

We have created a blog series based on our official DUCT-PRO® training videos to guide users through the proper DUCT-PRO® processes and procedures. In our last post, we covered the proper steps for agitation to remove debris and dirt from the ductwork. Here we’ll cover the procedure for cleaning the return.

Attaching the Vacuum

Check the power vacuum filters after the supply system has been cleaned and clean or replace them if necessary. It’s also a good idea to check the moisture filter and drain it if needed. After examining these areas inspect the ductwork and furnace layout to determine the best locations for hookups. Taking the time to complete this step now will save time later in the process.

To attach the vacuum, the duct cleaning professional will cut a hole in the return plenum on the upstream side of the filter and then attach the quick connect collar. The filter should be removed if it is upstream from the vacuum hose. Then the zone bag can be put in the main duct above the coil, preventing air from being pulled through the previously cleaned supply side of the system.

Cleaning the Return 

The return duct system should be cleaned using the same procedures that were used on the supply side. Duct cleaning pros should keep in mind that return systems are typically much dirtier than the supply side and require more brushing and air sweeping. It’s important to properly clean the equipment after use. Place the air hose from the power vacuum in the blower compartment and air wash the blower compartment with the DUCT-PRO® air booster gun when all the duct work has been completely cleaned.

Sanitizing can begin once the return is clean, it’s important to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s directions accurately before using any sanitizer. Be certain the product has an EPA registration for its intended purpose, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding personal protective equipment (PPE), and ensure all grills and registers are covered before sanitizing. Adding a drop cloth around the work area to prevent damage to the flooring surfaces is also a good idea.

Air Duct Sanitizing 

These instructions are for non-porous duct systems. Due to the porosity of the material, there are no sanitizers with EPA registration for use in porous ductwork such as duct board or lined duct. 

The sanitization process is generally conducted using a ULV fogger which produces a variable flow from light fog to a heavy mist, adjusted at the nozzle. The correct output is a mist that will quickly wet the entire surface without creating puddles. 

A good practice is to fog the branch runs with slight negative pressure in the duct system. This not only helps pull the fog through the ductwork but also helps to prevent the sanitizer from entering the room, and can be accomplished by attaching the vacuum to the original hookup point. If the duct system is small, adjust the airflow of the DUCT-PRO® HEPA-AIRE® vacuum for better coverage before fogging. Allow all surfaces to dry before restarting the air handler. 

Want to learn more about our DUCT-PRO® equipment and packages? Click here - https://abatement.ca/duct-cleaning-process/

Blog #4 – DUCT-PRO®: Agitation

Abatement Technologies® is the industry leader in quality duct cleaning solutions. Our DUCT-PRO® source removal cleaning packages utilize our HEPA-AIRE® equipment to clean HVAC duct systems faster and more efficiently than other methods. Abatement Technologies’ equipment uses our exclusive source removal duct cleaning process to capture dirt and debris and provide complete air duct cleaning and decontamination.

Our source removal duct cleaning process is designed to work with the tools and procedures professional duct cleaners need to follow the NADCA recommended steps for cleaning air duct systems effectively. We have created a blog series based on our official DUCT-PRO® training videos to guide users through duct cleaning processes and ensure the equipment is used properly and efficiently. We’ve looked at the methods for duct cleaning and air sweeping in our previous posts.
In this installment, we’ll cover agitation—a process for dislodging the extreme buildup of debris prior to air sweeping.

Methods for Agitation

Manual brushes or whips with add-on rods are some of the most used tools and methods for agitation. The procedure is similar to chimney sweeping, with the brushes swept horizontally instead of vertically. The DUCT-PRO® power rod system is used with compressed air and has lengths of connected rods with three different flexibilities. Each rod has a special fitting that connects to various whip heads.

The DUCT-PRO® power brush system is a powerful method of agitation in large ducts and for commercial applications. This system is driven by its own power source and enables the use of both compressed air and brushes for optimal performance. The remote-control setting allows cleaners to
operate the compressed air, rotation, and speed functions. The brushes can be turned both clockwise and counterclockwise to clean both sides and bottom corners.

There are many advantages to the system, including brushes of different sizes and bristle stiffness designed for various duct types. The softer brushes should be used for inline duct and duct board and stiffer bristles for metal. It is important to do a thorough examination prior to cleaning to determine the condition of the ductwork. The DUCT-PRO® power brush system offers contractors the unique capability to use both forward and reverse compressed air, allowing cleaners to brush and air sweep at the same time. Power brushing eliminates the need for an extra access hole and speeds up the cleaning process while producing excellent results. We’ll explore the proper steps for cleaning the return side of the ductwork in our next blog.

Want to learn more about our DUCT-PRO® equipment and packages? Click here - https://abatement.ca/duct-cleaning-process/

Blog Series #2 – DUCT-PRO®: Cleaning the Supply

Abatement Technologies® is leading the duct cleaning industry with our quality equipment and innovative solutions. Our DUCT-PRO® source removal duct cleaning packages provide the tools professional duct cleaners need to follow the NADCA recommended steps for cleaning air duct systems effectively.

Our DUCT-PRO® cleaning process has been designed to create new business opportunities for contractors. It is faster and more efficient than other solutions on the market, and our customizable duct cleaning packages can accommodate each contractor’s unique requirements. We have developed a process to ensure duct cleaners select the right package for their needs and can customize everything from the vacuum to the AIRE-SWEEP® portable air compressor, agitation devices, and accessories.

It’s important to understand the role each piece of equipment plays in the process to ensure their efficiency and proper use. Our team of Aire Guardians at Abatement Technologies have® created a video series to provide users with the information needed to clean HVAC duct systems quickly and efficiently, leading to a profitable indoor air quality business. 

To accompany the training videos, we’ve created a blog series to help break down the steps and process for using DUCT-PRO®. In our last post, we covered the proper protective equipment and prep work needed to efficiently clean ducts. Here we'll discuss the proper steps for cleaning the supply side of the ductwork. 

Steps for cleaning the supply

The duct cleaning professional will prepare to clean the supply side by cutting a 12-inch access hole.  If cutting a 12-inch hole is not possible, the largest possible size should be cut, keeping in mind that the larger the hole, the better the airflow. If the duct is constructed with duct board instead of sheet metal, it's important to hold the hole cutter blade at a 45-degree angle (similar to cutting the top off of a pumpkin) to achieve a good fit when replacing the piece at the end of the project. 

This access hole is typically cut into the plenum, as high above the coil as possible. Sometimes, the hole is cut into the main duct close to the plenum. It’s important to cut the hole high enough that the cutting doesn’t damage the coil. It’s a good idea to protect the coil by covering it with a tarp or piece of plastic to prevent debris from falling into it during the cleaning process. 

Once the access holes are made, a quick connect adaptor is screwed over the holes using zip screws to hold it in place. The contractor will then use flexible ducting to attach the quick connect collar which will be held in place using the locking collar. Duct tape can be used in this step to attach the quick connection to the duct board. 

The contractor should check all damper settings in the branches and main ducts before beginning the cleaning process to ensure they are all open. With the DUCT-PRO® power vacuum connected to the supply, the duct system can be turned on to create a strong airflow through its supply.

In our next post, we’ll share how to properly conduct the push method in duct cleaning. 

Want to learn more about our DUCT-PRO® equipment and packages? Click here - https://abatement.ca/duct-cleaning-process/

Blog Series #1 – DUCT-PRO®: Preparing for the Job

Abatement Technologies® is the industry leader in quality duct cleaning solutions. Our high-performance DUCT-PRO® packages utilize HEPA-AIRE® equipment to clean HVAC duct systems faster and more efficiently than other methods. Abatement Technologies’ equipment uses our exclusive source removal duct cleaning process, meaning our equipment captures dirt and debris to provide complete air duct cleaning and decontamination.

Our source removal duct cleaning process is designed to work with the tools professional duct cleaners need to follow the NADCA recommended steps for cleaning air duct systems effectively. Abatement Technologies® DUCT-PRO® equipment is designed for contractors looking to expand their existing business. DUCT-PRO® enables professionals to offer duct cleaning as an add-on service, which can lead to more business opportunities and higher revenue. 

It’s important to understand the role each piece of equipment plays in the process before starting a duct cleaning business. Our team of Aire Guardians at Abatement Technologies® has created a video series to provide users with the key information needed to safely start using DUCT-PRO®. We’ve created a blog series to accompany our training videos and help break down the process for using DUCT-PRO®. In this blog, we’ll discuss the proper accessories and equipment needed for the job as well as the necessary prep work for their optimal performance. 

DUCT-PRO® Accessories & Equipment 

We recommend beginning any duct-cleaning project with personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety glasses and respirators. Additional recommended PPE includes cut-resistant gloves and sleeves to reduce injuries when reaching through ductwork with sheet metal cutouts. 

Once the proper PPE has been identified, it's time to identify which duct cleaning method is right for the job. Our  DUCT-PRO® system uses the state-of-the-art source removal duct cleaning push/pull method. The “push” mechanism is achieved with high-velocity compressed air tools while the “pull” mechanism is accomplished by creating powerful airflow through the air conveyance system with the use of the HEPA-AIRE® portable vacuum included in the DUCT-PRO® package from Abatement Technologies®.

Duct Cleaning Prep Work

Next ensure the furnace, AC, and duct systems are turned off and will remain off for the duration of the project. It’s also good practice to turn off the air handling unit at the thermostat as well as the circuit breaker to prevent accidental startup. It’s important to be aware of, and adhere to, all local regulations regarding gas pilot lights and other utilities before beginning any project.

The duct cleaning professional should conduct a thorough inspection of the project site to identify any potential safety concerns and determine the layout of the ductwork once the systems have been turned off. During this process, the duct cleaning professional will examine the condition of the ductwork and determine the type of air handler used so they can develop a plan for hookup points and air sweeping procedures. It’s important to understand how to clean the supply and return duct networks to avoid pulling debris through the heat exchanger and coil. To separate the supply and return, simply pull out the furnace filter and insert an inflatable zone bag into the air handle to isolate the supply and block airflow. 

Grill masking tape should be used to seal off the registers and increase airflow through the branch being cleaned. It’s important to keep the furthest two or three vents uncovered during this step to allow air into the ductwork to create airflow. The airflow will be inadequate for transferring debris to the power vacuum if all vents are covered.

Our DUCT-PRO® HEPA-AIRE® portable vacuums are designed to pull large volumes of debris through the duct system and filter all of the contaminants before exhausting clean air from the vacuum. For optimal performance, the vacuums should be placed as close to the furnace as possible. 

When the filters become dirty, audio and visual alarm cues will signal that airflow has been reduced and it’s time to change them. Most operators prefer to change the HEPA filter every one to two years of use. 

Check out our next blog post to learn more about duct cleaning with our DUCT-PRO® specialty tools!

Want to learn more about our DUCT-PRO® equipment and packages? Click here - https://abatement.ca/duct-cleaning-process/

Managing IAQ in Commercial Building During Wildfire Season

Managing IAQ in Commercial Building During Wildfire Season

Topic: 2023 Central Canada Wildfires

The 2023 wildfire season is here and has already had a devastating impact across central Canada. As hazy and dangerous fumes make their way south across the US border, most of the Northeast coast is experiencing serious air quality issues that are affecting millions of people. And, because smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gasses and fine particulate matter, it is highly inhalable and can cause respiratory and cardiovascular health effects. 

But, when a smoke event occurs, it can take days to weeks for air quality to improve. If not properly addressed, smoke can get inside of buildings and negatively impact indoor air quality (IAQ).  Building owners and facility managers need to know the best practices for reducing exposure to smoke inside offices, schools, and housing facilities.

Facts about IAQ

Outdoor air, including the fine particles from wildfire smoke, can enter a building in a few ways, including: 

- Natural Ventilation: Open windows and doors

- Mechanical Ventilation: Bathroom fans, kitchen fans, and HVAC systems with fresh air intake 

- Infiltration: Openings, joints, cracks

When smoke events occur, local and state health departments may issue air quality alerts notifications when specific actions are needed to protect the public. Building managers should use these notifications to know when to initiate mitigation measures in their smoke readiness plan, which should include these steps: 

1. Evaluate the HVAC Systems

To minimize occupant exposures and health impacts from smoke during wildfire events, facilities should first address any issues with their existing HVAC systems. In buildings where the HVAC system uses air-handling units that bring outside air into buildings or recirculate indoor air, facility owners and managers should follow a planning framework, like the guidelines set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).  This includes: 

- Performing maintenance on HVAC

- Upgrading filters

- Optimize system airflows 

- Adding supplemental filtration 

- Limiting areas for smoke intrusion 

- Adding the ability to monitor particulate matter

- Assessing how to create cleaner air

2. Stock up on portable air scrubbers

Additionally, those in areas prone to fires may consider purchasing equipment to improve IAQ during the duration of a smoke event. Portable air scrubbers, like  our PRED750, are self-contained air filtration devices that can be used alone or with central air filtration to effectively remove harmful particles from the air.The portable air scrubber should be equipped with a high-efficiency HEPA filter and be the right size for the room. It’s important to secure these crucial devices before a fire occurs in order to act quickly during a smoke event. In the event of emergencies, it’s important to find an air scrubber supplier that has the ability to ship orders as quickly as possible.

3. Choose the right filter 

Some air scrubbers are compatible with activated carbon filters.These filters are available for  all of Abatement Technologies’ HEPA-filtered equipment, including the PRED750 mentioned above. Activated carbon is a unique material that is often used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odor, and other pollutants from the air, making it the optimal solution for smoke filtration. The benefits of activated carbon filters include their ability to adsorb a variety of vapor contaminants, organic molecules (especially solvents), and chemicals, as well as their large capacity to catalytically destroy ozone, a major component of smog. 

In addition to smoke, Abatement Technologies’ portable air scrubbers and carbon filters have been used to filter out a number of odors from buildings including chemicals, cleaning solvents, mildew, mold, and biohazards. 

Want to learn more about how Abatement Technologies can help protect your building during wildfire smoke events? Get in touch with one of our Aire Guardian experts.

5 Years Later – How Abatement Technologies Aided Hurricane Maria

September is historically the time of year with the most optimal conditions for the formation of hurricanes in the mid-Atlantic region. Because of the high amounts of humidity and warm air in the Caribbean, its geographical location houses the perfect conditions for catastrophic hurricanes. In fact, this year marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated the northeastern Caribbean in September 2017.

As a result of Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico lost most of its essential services’ infrastructure, communities were leveled, many were displaced, and thousands of lives were lost. Five years after the disaster, the reconstruction and restoration efforts on the island are still ongoing. Following the immediate devastation in 2017, Abatement Technologies customer and restoration expert, Pat Dooley, was contracted to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to do an assessment of the flood damage in the Mall of San Juan, a 1,580,000 square-foot shopping mall that first opened its doors in 2015. Upon initial assessment, Pat and his team discovered that nearly 18 inches of water had flooded the mall.

As a result of the hurricane, there were travel and equipment delays that prohibited Pat and his team from arriving in Puerto Rico until 14 days after the hurricane had already passed. Because mold incubates from a spore for 12 to 24 hours, and starts showing visual signs of growth in 48 to 72 hours, the team was challenged upon arrival with remediating severe mold growth. When remediating mold, it’s important to remove every spore to prevent regrowth. Because of this, workers had to cut and remove drywall and other materials, which lead to dust and other potentially harmful particles in the air.

In order to safely contain the mold, Pat and his team decided to bring in 100 of Abatement Technologies’ air filtration devices. These devices were situated throughout the mall to help remove any harmful particulates, bioaerosols and volatile organic compounds that were released into the air during the project. By leveraging this equipment, the team was able to help protect the short and long-term health of those involved and helped ensure that they were breathing the cleanest air possible. 

As a remediation and restoration expert, Pat is an IICRC Instructor and is the founder of what is known today as the Applied Structural Drying Course. Leveraging his education and experiences, like the project in Puerto Rico, Pat has carried out water restoration projects with a total value of nearly $14.7 million and has participated in numerous natural disaster restoration projects. With a passion for helping and protecting people, Abatement Technologies is proud to work with remediation and restoration experts, like Pat, to deliver the best solutions available in the market. 

Contact our team today to learn more about our air filtration devices and other restoration and remediation products! 

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