The whole point of an air conditioning system is to provide a safe, comfortable and healthy atmosphere within your office, home or factory. Centralised equipment to heat, cool, dehumidify filter air that is then distributed around a building through ductwork can be a much more convenient, safe, controllable and cost-effective method than giving each room stand alone heaters, fans or noisy air filters. However, it needs regular maintenance.
Your duct system consists of a network of tubes, either concealed in ceiling, floor and wall voids or in some cases just suspended from the ceiling. Ducts can be created from many materials; some are metal, some fibreglass, some are made from flexible reinforced paper or plastic, and others consist simply of sealed pathways running between joists, battens or rafters.
In many cases, it also re-collects air from the rooms through one network of ducts and returns it to the central unit for reconditioning through another.
Your central HVAC system pumps conditioned air into a central plenum, and from there it’s fed to a variety of outlets through a branching duct network, passing through a panel filter at each key point (see https://www.dustspares.co.uk/filters/panel-filters/Card-Case-Pleated.html).
Leaks are a major cause of energy inefficiency and can lead to a lack of heat, cooling or airflow reaching particular locations. Because they cause your pumps and heaters to work harder, they also reduce the lifespan of mechanical and electrical components.
When systems run inefficiently, cold spots or warm spots can encourage the growth of other problems in the building. When ducts aren’t cleaned regularly, dust can accumulate which can harbour moulds or bacteria, or even pose a fire risk.
The importance of maintenance
The Workplace Health, Safety & Welfare Regulations of 1992 imposes a duty of care to ensure “every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air”. Additional requirements are imposed by the Occupiers Liability Act, COSHH regulations, and the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Regular monitoring of the system’s performance, and maintenance to fix any developing issues, is very beneficial in numerous ways. In cost terms, it provides substantial long-term savings in running and part replacement costs. In health terms, it ensures the air you, your family or workforce breathe continues to be as healthy and productive as possible.