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Triventek Says Air Ducts Will Be Cleaned
Triventek air duct cleaning equipment division reports on the impact of proposed European standards on the success of its exhibition at the Interclean, Amsterdam
The need for clean air conditioning and ventilation systems has been recognised formally by the European Union in pre-standard prEN 15780 ‘Ventilation for buildings – Ductwork – Cleanliness of ventilation systems’, which lays down cleanliness standards to be met in a variety of situations.
People are spending an increasingly large proportion of their time indoors, and increasingly that indoor climate is controlled by air conditioning systems. The air is carried from central air handling units by networks of ducting, or ductwork, to the terminal diffusers or registers to be supplied into the occupied area. Typically a parallel network of extract ducts take vitiated, warm, air back to central fans for discharge or re-circulation, depending on the design or conditions.
The supply ductwork becomes dirty to at a faster or slower rate, depending on the efficiency of filtration. It should be noted that no filter is ‘absolute’;
The health, comfort and even mechanical efficiency downsides of this fouling of the building’s ‘lungs’ is recognised by a worldwide body of academic research, which underlines the fundamental message that you can’t get clean air out of a dirty system.
The ill-effects of so-called ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ are often minor but chronic fatigue, headaches, lethargy, upper respiratory tract infections and irritation of mucous membranes such as the eyes. These are most significant to health and productivity precisely in the sort of air conditioned buildings where ‘intellectual work’ is done such as banking, insurance, software development, customer service and all forms of administrative work. The astute facility manager needs to look at the ‘intellectual energy bill’ in a building i.e. the staff salaries and costs of employment. What is the cost of a 1% drop in peak performance because the worker is not feeling ‘quite right’? This sort of calculation, besides the moral, litigation/insurance and employee attractiveness aspects, will convince the directors that action should be taken.
Other hygiene-sensitive areas include hospitals, schools, universities, laboratories and many industries such as food, pharmaceutical and electronic. Hotels and apartment blocks can be badly affected by an ‘off’ odour from dirty systems, and are often most vulnerable to the mechanical effects of ‘drag’ or clogging in small-bore bathroom extract systems.
So why are ducts not routinely cleaned like any other surface in the building? It’s probably because they are ‘out of sight and out of mind’.
Triventek Ductcleaning Division was showing a range of equipment to tackle duct cleaning, starting with initial inspection to check system condition through a variety of dust dislodging, extraction and collection equipment, and finally quality assurance testing and ongoing hygienic maintenance products.
“The purpose of all our tools and equipment is to make the duct interior accessible for inspection and cleaning. The keynotes are: Professional, Productive and Profitable. We have the experience over 25 years in the business as a contractor and manufacturer to produce equipment which helps specialist contractors to sell the work in the first place, and to get the ‘reach’ far into duct systems which makes them productive, competitive and therefore profitable.”
Most of the time and cost of duct cleaning is taken up in getting to the duct, i.e. entering the room, moving furniture, setting up a step ladder, removing ceiling panels, finding the duct and opening it up e.g. by using an existing opening such as a spigot to a flexible connection, or cutting a new access hole, and attaching the extraction device. Once the cleaning tool, be it a rotary brush, high-volume compressed air nozzle or a robot, is entered into the duct, the time taken to do the actual cleaning is relatively little.
Triventek explains that this is the reason that more costly, but more efficient, backward-curved extract fans are used in their extractors. “Our fans are the right compromise between air volume and (negative) static pressure to ensure that you can efficiently pull dust from up to 50 metres away from your hook-on point. Less time setting up extractor unit hook-ups means more productive cleaning and pays back the modest, extra capital in a matter of days”, says Craig Booth.
The concept of ‘access to’ the duct being the main time consumer is one of the reasons why it is in fact a lot easier to learn how to estimate duct cleaning than many newcomers think it will be. Nonetheless, Triventek offers technical and commercial training to help new starters sell their work, to evaluate the ‘health’ of air conditioning systems, to carry out the work, and to offer ongoing hygienic maintenance programs to keep systems clean and in top hygienic condition. This can be done at their premises in Denmark or England, or most usefully on site, perhaps including some client visits or informational seminars.
Triventek has had long experience of selling direct to many markets from its Asperup, Denmark manufacturing base, which it says is made easier by the legendary quality of Danish engineered products. One of its aims however in attending the Interclean exhibition was to try to find suitable distributors in Germany and Spain who could help push through the expected growth. Interested parties should first take a look at http://www.triventek-
More information from the author is available at http://ductdoctor.blogspot.com/
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About Triventek: Triventek Ductcleaning is a specialist division of Triventek A/S, based in Asperup, Denmark, with distributors, partners and sister companies around the world.
The company possesses expertise and experience in duct cleaning and indoor air quality contracting back to 1982. It’s range of equipment goes from simple, effective high volume compressed air equipment through innovative rotary brushing to sophisticated multi-purpose robots.