Dirty air ducts have to be cleaned to provide a good level of hygiene, to save energy and to guarantee maximum fire safety. This legal obligation is laid down in the Royal Decree establishing minimum requirements of workplaces (KB Arbeidsplaatsen).
When are ducts considered to be dirty and when is maintenance required?
The acceptable dust accumulation level (g/m²) is laid down in the EN 15780 standard, which stipulates that ductwork must be inspected systematically. In the event that the level of dirt stipulated in the standard is exceeded, air duct cleaning is the next step.
That applies to companies, healthcare institutions, municipalities and all other institutions with ventilation systems. Various methods can establish the level of dirt in the system, such as a visual inspection using robotic cameras with video capability or a swipe sample.
Hamster Cleaning developed the Smart Inspection, an innovative tool allowing the ducts to be inspected quickly, yet accurately. It is also possible to establish the level of contamination with this tool. Photographs are taken in specific areas of the ventilation system. These are analysed digitally and compared to reference photographs stored in Hamster Cleaning’s extensive database. This method enables the level of contamination to be established and Hamster Cleaning can then issue a recommendation.
The European standard EN 15780 states that air ducts have to be inspected annually or every two years. That frequency depends on the type of building, but Hamster Cleaning strongly advises that all air ducts are, in any event, inspected annually.
Experience has shown that an inspection every two years can easily be overlooked and especially that the standard has then sometimes long since been exceeded. Practical exercises demonstrate that, after just one year, ducts can already be recontaminated. That is why annual monitoring is highly advisable.