Cleaning and disinfecting ventilation systems with air duct cleaning products: statutory regulations
The importance of air duct cleaning products and cleaning ventilation ducts in general is reflected by the existence of special regulations. The most important cleaning regulations for ventilation systems include VDI 6022 — a guideline for the maintenance of ventilation systems issued by the VDI (association of German engineers), which was adopted in Switzerland as regulation SWKI VA104-1, as well as the maintenance regulations for ventilation systems published by the VDMA (German mechanical and plant engineering association). The maintenance of the ventilation systems must therefore be carried out in accordance with specific maintenance protocols.
Ventilation systems cleaning: Part 1 – Inspection
Ventilation systems and air-conditioning system components do not become contaminated at a uniform rate. The quality of the outside air, the type of filter system/dust collector, the design of the ventilation ducts, as well as the type and frequency of use combine to produce varying results in terms of the contamination rate and thus the required cleaning intervals.
The first step to ensuring a hygienic ventilation system is therefore to create a hygiene plan, which stipulates the type and frequency of ventilation systems cleaning and air duct sanitizing / disinfection as well as regular inspections (visual and/or endoscopic).
Cleaning ventilation systems: Part 2 – the actual cleaning with air duct cleaning products
Depending on the condition of the ventilation system, either wet or dry cleaning with air duct cleaning products is possible. Wet cleaning with active foam and flushing is very effective, but not especially common. More often, mechanical cleaning methods such as compressed air, rotor brushes and/or vacuuming are used to clean the ventilation pipes as thoroughly as possible and remove the dirt once it has come off.
Disinfecting cleaned ventilation systems: spray disinfection
Once the ventilation ducts are clean, it is advisable to disinfect the cleaned parts of the ventilation system. Spray disinfection is recommended here, whereby air duct cleaning products i.e. disinfectant is compressed through a hose/nozzle and directed onto the surfaces as a spray mist.
For example, Sanosil S010 and a turbine sprayer (a part of the duct cleaning equipment) for surfaces and pipeline disinfection can be used to disinfect surfaces and pipes.
Disinfecting cleaned ventilation systems: aerosol disinfection using duct cleaning equipment
Alternatively, aerosol disinfection is possible, whereby a finely atomised disinfectant is directed into the ventilation ducts as a dry mist. Naturally, all openings must be sealed beforehand to prevent the aerosol disinfectant from escaping.
Suitable duct cleaning equipment and materials include air duct cleaning products such as Sanosil S010 HC or S015 and ventilation duct cleaning equipment like Sanosil Q-Jet.
This device – an air duct sanitizing fogger – is particularly useful when it comes to disinfecting ventilation systems that contain many inaccessible (but previously well-cleaned) components, including pipes and elbows.