How Duct Cleaning Can Improve Air Quality in Schools

How duct cleaning can improve air quality in schools

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We know, we know, summer has really only just begun for many Canadians. But for school administrators, the summer means getting ready for the upcoming school year. Polishing floors, ordering supplies, and giving your school a thorough cleaning are all on the summer to-do list. But is there something you could be forgetting? 

There’s a complicated hidden system of air ducts running throughout your school, and over the course of an academic year, they get pretty dirty. When you have locker rooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, and lots of classrooms to clean, dealing with dirty ducts probably seems like the least of your worries. But debris in your ductwork can actually be very damaging to your school’s indoor environment. 

How Dirty Ducts Affect Your School

Dirty ducts lead to decreased HVAC efficiency. Why? As dust, debris, allergens, and even mold build up in your ducts, they reduce airflow through them. This means that in order to circulate hot or cold air, your HVAC system has to work harder, and use more energy. Your energy bill will be higher, and you won’t achieve good temperature regulation. 

There are few institutions where staying on budget is more important than a school. Creating efficiencies by improving the functioning of your HVAC system can be a valuable investment to save money for other student needs or enrichment programs.

HVAC functioning isn’t only about costs—it can also improve the comfort and safety of your students and staff. The school will be more effectively heated and cooled so everyone is able to focus on learning. In fact, achieving the right temperature has even been linked to productivity. A comfortable temperature is one of the tools your students need in order to succeed. And clean ducts improve indoor air quality, reducing exposure to allergens and other irritants. 

When you ignore your ducts, the accumulations can also contribute to more dust being distributed throughout your school, collecting on surfaces more quickly than it otherwise would. This means extra work (and probably a little frustration) for your custodians. 

What’s Inside Your Ducts?

Now let’s get to that stuff inside your ducts. Dust, debris, allergens, animal waste, dust mites, and even mold are a few of the most common culprits. And let’s be honest, in a school, all kinds of strange things could have ended up in your vents and ducts over the years. As air blows through your ducts, it picks up all of the contaminants and blows them through the air. Dirty ducts mean a significant reduction in the quality of indoor air. 

This can cause all kinds of problems for students and staff. If you work for an elementary school, it’s important to note that children are especially sensitive to air quality. Unnecessary exposure to allergens and pollutants can lead to irritated, symptomatic children. 

And these irritants won’t just bother younger kids. 40% of people have pollen allergies and 27% of people have dust mite allergies. Ducts that are full of these allergens are sure to make for a sniffly and miserable group of students and staff. People may even begin feeling generally ill just from being in a building with poor ventilation, and dirty ducts can exacerbate existing conditions. 

Schools are already known for spreading germs and sickness but dirty ducts can add to this issue. When there is poor airflow, germs are also more likely to stick around in classrooms and hallways, and bacteria and viruses can recirculate through your HVAC system.   Students and staff will call in sick more frequently with allergies or illness. This will diminish your school’s overall performance, while you instead focus on catching students up, finding substitutes, and getting back on track. 

So, what can you do about dirty school ducts?

The solution for dirty ducts is thorough and professional duct cleaning. Depending on the size of the school and the number of students it has, ducts should be cleaned every three to five years. However, extreme environmental factors like a severe allergy season or wildfires may mean you want clean ducts a little sooner. 

It’s important to invest in your students, and one of those investments should be high quality air. Cleaner air will mean a more comfortable environment for students and staff. This will help them to function better and feel more comfortable in what can already be a stressful environment. 

In the Winnipeg area, Whyte Ridge Furnace & Air Duct Cleaning is your reliable source for home and commercial duct cleaning. No matter the size and complexity of your school’s duct system, we have the tools and expertise to ensure that your school will be ready to welcome students and staff back with clean indoor air this fall.