Duct & Ventilation Cleaning

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COVID-19: Reduce the Risk of Exposure Through Ventilation


Ductwork maintenance is something that can often be overlooked by businesses but is crucial in ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of those who use, work, visit or live in the building.

Millions of particles and contaminants travel through your properties ductwork every single day from dust, dirt, debris, tvc’s, yeast, mould and bacteria. Any system can have a build-up of these pollutants over time, and it can lead to a number of problems such as poor air quality, inefficient systems and health issues for those within the building

At Comfort Services Group, we provide cost-effective, professional duct cleaning services that not only ensure that your ducts are thoroughly cleaned but helps to improve and maintain your indoor air quality.

Why Ventilation Duct Cleaning Is Important

It should be understood that neglected ductwork systems have been linked with health related problems such as Legionella Pneumophila, sick building syndrome and toxic mould which have been identified as the cause of numerous deaths throughout Europe. Dust and debris found in uncleaned ductwork, together with temperature and humidity levels, have also been linked to the growth and spread of MRSA and other micro-organisms in hospitals.

“The team at Comfort Services Group were awesome when they carried out the Legionella Control works at our offices, they were very accommodating, Tom and the guys on site were a pleasure to work with. I would recommend the services of Comfort Services Group without reservation. Excellent First impressions with the Office Team, which was mirrored by the guys who did the work. Thanks guys.”


Over time, contaminants, dirt, dust and airborne micro-organisms can accumulate inside your properties ventilation ducts, potentially leading to a number of problems.

  • Build ups of dust and grease over time can be extremely dangerous and a simple spark can easily cause them to ignite, spreading fire rapidly along the ductwork through the building.
  • In cases where legionella bacteria has been left to breed to dangerous levels, contaminated water droplets if aerosolised can be inhaled into the lungs and cause serious illnesses such as legionnaires disease. This very real threat has the potential to make people extremely sick, suffering long term health problems and in some cases can be fatal.
  • There are a number of health issues that can arise or be exacerbated as a result of prolonged 
  • exposure to air from dirty ductwork including – allergic reactions, coughing, sneezing, nausea, headaches and asthma.

Is Duct Cleaning A Legal Requirement?

The Health and Safety Commission states that building owners, operators and employers have a legal duty to ensure that their ventilation systems are clean and do not present a hazard to customers, employees or the public.

Section 6 of the Health & Safety Executive at Work (ACOP 1992) states the following:

  • Effective and suitable provisions should be made in order to ensure that every enclosed workplace is sufficiently ventilated with an appropriate quantity of fresh or purified air.
  • The air that is introduced should be (as much as is possible) free of any impurities which could be harmful or cause ill health.
  • Ventilation systems must be checked, maintained and cleaned on a regular basis to make sure that those within the property are breathing in good quality air.

In the event of a legionella outbreak, illnesses or a fire that can be linked back to dirty ductwork, you will be expected to be able provide clear evidence that the systems have been maintained and cleaned. Failure to do so can invalidate your insurance, make you liable for compensation claims for those whose health has been affected not to mention the potential fines, penalties and in some cases even jail time that can happen if you are found to be negligent.

The Benefits Of A Clean Ventilation System

Fresh air in buildings is the key to safe, comfortable and efficient working conditions and in order for this to happen it is essential that the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ductwork systems are kept clean.

All duct systems can become fouled over a period of time. The rate and severity of contamination can be attributed to a number of factors; however, it is possible to mitigate these issues through sensible hygiene maintenance and regular cleaning.

Often employers, building owners, landlords and facility managers consider things such as ductwork cleaning to be an ‘added and unnecessary expense’ or something that is out of sight and therefore out of mind, making them easy to forget about and neglect. Unfortunately, this can be a costly and potentially deadly mistake which can have severe consequences for all involved.

Professional ventilation duct cleaning can provide many benefits including;

Improved Air Quality – Removing the build-up of dust, dirt, mould, allergens, mildew, pollutants and contaminants can vastly improve the indoor air flow and air quality, creating a cleaner, purer inside space for all those who frequent the building.

A Healthier Environment – The build-up of allergens, dust, spores, viruses and impurities can affect the health of those within the property, especially anybody who is vulnerable, elderly, susceptible to allergies or has existing health issues such as asthma. Cleaning the ventilation ducts helps to greatly reduce the contaminants in the air making it a much safer, healthier place to live, visit or work.

Reduced Repairs – When a ventilation system becomes dirty and contaminated, it can make it harder to circulate and move the air through the ducts, putting extra stress on the system. This can affect the systems functionality and its ability to reach desired temperatures. Under these circumstances the increased wear and tear will likely lead to part failures that require more frequent repairs and replacements parts. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help to improve airflow, lessening the burden on the system and allowing it to function effectively without putting additional stress on vital components.

Reduces Risk of Fires – An important advantage of cleaning ventilation ducts is the reduced risk of fire that comes as a less direct but extremely beneficial side effect. The collection of dust in air vents leading to heat sources such as heating elements or furnaces can be a disaster waiting to happen with a mere spark being all that is needed to ignite the dust build up and cause a fire.

Fire dampers within ventilation systems can help to contain the damage but as with most things when it comes to health and safety, prevention is always better than cure.

Economic Benefits – For heating and air conditioning systems, removing the build-up of dirt, grime and contaminants can make a noticeable difference in the airflow which has a direct effect on the efficiency of the system, reducing the amount of electricity required and therefore lowering overall running costs.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Duct ventilation cleaning is the process of removing potentially harmful build ups of contaminants from inside ductwork. The process itself involves several steps including;

–          Initial inspection of ventilation systems including access points to gain entry where required.

–          Identify vital components such as supply and return ducts, heating and cooling coils and fan housing, motors.

–          Using specialist duct cleaning tools, the ventilation system and components are thoroughly vacuumed, scrubbed, brushed, cleared and cleaned.

–          Ductswabs or DDT (dirt deposit thickness) tests performed to survey and establish the current state of the systems.

–          Internal sections of ductwork can be fogged with associated biocides to ensure microbiological growth is suppressed and kept to a minimum, this also includes COVID-19.

–          Once complete, a quality check is undertaken to ensure that the system is functioning properly and efficiently.

–          Official documentation, photographic records and reporting of the cleaning is provided to be kept as proof of compliance.

Duct ventilation over time will accumulate a build-up of various contaminants which can consist of everything from dirt, dust and debris to mould spores, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.

Not only can the build-up cause the systems to become less efficient and more prone to needing repairs or replacement parts but the circulation of air containing these contaminants can cause serious health problems for those within the property.

As a landlord, facility manager, employer or business owner, you have a legal duty of care to take every reasonable action to ensure that the air within your property is safe and clean and failure to do so can have severe consequences.

How often ventilation ducts need cleaning will often depend on the systems type, complexity, size and the type of premises it resides within.

Typically it is advised that duct cleaning is carried out every 3-5 years, but for those that see more activity and have more footfall such as busy commercial buildings or those in highly dense and built up areas with heavy infrastructure it is recommended to be done every 1-3 years.

There are also situations that arise or indications that can signal the ventilation ducts could need cleaning such as;

–          When you move into a new building.

–          If people within the property are experiencing excess sneezing, coughing or unexplained allergies, asthma, or other symptoms.

–          There is evidence of rodents or insects in the ducts.

–          The property has recently experienced water damage or there are signs of mould contamination.

–          The system makes creaking or groaning noises when it is running, this can be a sign of inefficiency due to a build-up of dirt and grime.