Why Do I Need To Get My Mechanical Ducted Ventilation System Cleaned? How Can KleenAir Services Help Me?
KleenAir Services is a specialist professional duct cleaning company. We have a duty of care to ensure that an appropriate standard of safety and amenity is maintained in buildings with systems listed in Section 44 of the New Zealand Building Act 1991 and Section 402 of the New Zealand Building Act 2004. These systems include kitchen extraction units, laundry exhausts and all mechanical ducted ventilation or air conditioning systems.
All buildings fitted with a mechanical ventilation system will have a compliance schedule issued by the council. In order for a Building Warrant of Fitness to be issued, a professional duct cleaning company must be engaged to inspect and maintain these systems. A Certificate of Compliance, Form 12A will be issued stating that the appropriate inspections, maintenance and cleaning has been carried out enabling the Building Warrant of Fitness to be signed off under the compliance schedule.
Cost Cutting or False Economy?
KleenAir Services is always happy to offer obligation-free quotes and free advice. In today’s tough economic times, additional compliance costs keep mounting up. Unfortunately, we are finding that more and more companies are trying to dodge or stretch out their obligations under the Act. We understand the harsh economic reality that all businesses face. We pride ourselves on having integrity; we only quote to do work which needs doing. Once we have quoted a price, we will never put our price up for the lifetime of the Service Agreement, thus giving our customers certainty. While all business must operate in a more efficient and effective manner, saving money on getting your kitchen extraction unit, laundry exhaust or ducted ventilation system cleaned is NOT the answer.
Imagine the consequences in a worst case scenario of a fire breaking out in your kitchen extraction unit or laundry exhaust, and your insurance company investigating only to find you have neglected this important preventive maintenance. They may not pay out as you did not fulfill your obligations under the Due Diligence Clause of your Insurance Policy. On a less dramatic scale, how would your business cope if there was an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in your building? While the risk is small, it only takes one person with a weakened immune system to get sick for there to be a major issue.
Kitchen Extraction Units
The majority of ventilation systems we deal with are kitchen extraction units. The main reason for this is that the fire and health risk is obvious to the customer or an inspector when they need to be cleaned - grease will start to ooze out of the joins in the kitchen hood, or canopy and ducting. Kitchen exhaust cleaning, often referred to as hood cleaning, is the process of removing grease that has accumulated inside the ducts, hoods, fans and vents of the exhaust system of a commercial kitchen. Left uncleaned, kitchen exhaust systems eventually accumulate enough grease to become extreme fire hazards. Exhaust systems must be inspected regularly, at intervals consistent with usage, to determine whether or not cleaning is needed before a dangerous amount of grease has accumulated.
The risk posed by a laundry exhaust is less obvious. The first sign that this important service is overdue could be when a duct fire erupts or your fan can’t take the extra strain any longer and the engine burns out. Often, lint will start to build up on the roof around the weather cowl and clog up guttering, but you normally have to be on the roof to see this. Your laundry exhaust should be inspected every six months at a minimum.
Mechanical Ducted Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems
The signs that air conditioning and ventilation systems are in need of cleaning are not as obvious as kitchen extraction units, but they do leave clues that this work is due. The most obvious sign is dark stains on the ceiling around the registers. Another sign is a stale smell in the building and in your curtains. It is important to have these ducting systems correctly serviced to avoid an excessive build-up of bacteria and mould spores that can lead to “Sick Building Syndrome”.
A thorough service of your ventilation or air conditioning system done by a professional will remove dust, debris, mould spores and any bacterial build up. Heating and air conditioning ducts are dark, damp and rich in "nutrients" that provide an excellent breeding ground for mould, fungi and dust mites. Poor ventilation allowing fresh air from the outside indoors, and dirty filters, are major contributors to unhealthy contaminates in the building. Mould and fungi can trigger allergic reactions.
- Indoor air pollution is ranked among the top five environmental dangers to the public (EPA 2009).
- Children, the elderly and anyone with a weakened immune system are especially affected by polluted indoor air (Department of Consumer Affairs - http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidestory.html).
- Volatile organic compounds in indoor air can be two to five times greater than in outdoor air (EPA, 2012 http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html).
- 20% of all illnesses are either caused by, or aggravated by, polluted indoor air (American College of Allergists, 2011).
Ventilation is the key factor to ensure a healthy indoor environment, and may be achieved by natural or mechanical means. It is important that the type of ventilation used indoors does not expose occupants to high levels of other health risks. Natural ventilation may not be appropriate if opening windows regularly exposes occupants to significant levels of noise or outdoor air pollution.