In June 2012, NADCA (The National Air Duct Cleaners Association) has officially released its position on this matter. “The EPA has not registered any products for sanitizing or disinfecting ductwork. Further, no fungicides are registered for use in ductwork,” states the position paper. “Therefore, any claims of sanitizing or disinfecting ductwork would require the use of a product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” As a general rule, the recommended method for cleaning duct work is not chemical application, instead, NADCA clearly states in its publication ACR 2006 that source removal is the best and most effective way to clean air duct systems. This position by NADCA does not mean that certain products do not have a use in HVAC duct systems, but instead states that any claims made that a chemical treatment will sanitize or disinfect the system are illegal as there are no EPA registered products that are labeled for such.
Therefore, if source removal is best, what is the recommended method of source removal. According to the ACR 2006, it is recommended that the air duct system be placed under negative pressure utilizing a negative air machine, either truck mounted, gas powered (outside,) or electric with HEPA filtration (inside.) Once the system is under negative pressure, the next step to an effective air duct cleaning is agitation of the air ducts. Agitation can be accomplished utilizing a variety of brushes (both handheld and auto-mechanical,) compressed air (fittings, whips, and other devices,) among other agitation tools.
DuctClean, a division of MoldStoppers, is a NADCA certified company that strictly adheres to the standards set forth by the ACR 2006. Although the EPA does not register a product for use in HVAC systems, it does register many products for use on hard, non-porous surfaces including metals. As such, DuctClean uses Benefect disinfectant as part of the air duct cleaning process. This product is registered by the EPA as a decontaminant suitable for disinfecting hard, non-porous surfaces including metals.
This is why it is very important to screen who you will choose to clean your air duct systems. Many air duct cleaners will recommend this as a method of cleaning. Although using a product as part of an air duct cleaning may be useful, any company claiming that it will sanitize or disinfect your air ducts using a chemical application only is breaking the law. When possible, only use a certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist designated by NADCA. Always check a company against NADCA’s database at nadca.org.
DuctClean is a national corporation in over 35 states and has the ability to serve the entire continental United States. We specialize in restoration and cleaning of commercial, multi-family, medical, and residential HVAC air handler systems. Our corporate offices are located in Southern Pines, NC. Visit us at www.ductcleanus.com for more information.