IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Validation of the criteria for initiating the cleaning of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems under real conditions


The cleanliness of a ventilation system invariably affects the quality of the air that it distributes. However, it is difficult for building managers to assess the relevance of having their systems cleaned and to choose from among all the proposals from cleaning specialists because no objective method exists for evaluating the dustiness of systems. In the context of a previous project, the researchers developed a method for collecting surface dusts in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts and identified criteria for initiating cleaning. The method was validated in the laboratory and compared to those methods mentioned in the scientific literature [Association pour la prévention et l’étude de la contamination (ASPEC), of France, and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), of the United States]. They all proved feasible by using their corresponding cleaning initiation criterion.
In a new study, which this report describes, the same team validated the criteria for these methods in the ventilation systems of occupied non-industrial buildings. Once again, the results were conclusive. Building managers can now rely on the objective criteria of the offered methods, rather than basing themselves solely on visual inspection, which is subjective.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-6370
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2010