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New Study Shows Effectiveness of Steam Cleaning HVAC Systems

Posted on April 04, 2013
by Wendy Stackhouse
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Image by b heyer via stock.xchng

Dirt, bacteria and other contaminants in HVAC systems affect our environment in many ways.

First, they cause us to use more energy to run heaters and air conditioners. The more difficult it is for air to flow through the system, the more energy it takes to do so.

Second, they can cause particles like mold spores and soot that get into the system to circulate throughout, triggering allergy or even asthma attacks in sensitive people.

Third–and possibly most important–they can spread disease. The Legionella bacterium, for example, can be found everywhere and Legionnaries’ Disease is only prevented by keeping air and water systems clean and well-maintained. Luckily it can be prevented by these measures.

These accumulated contaminants restrict the air flow pathway and cause excess energy consumption, while contaminants like bacteria and mold (fungi) adversely impact human health by causing allergies and other infections or diseases.

The new study by the Continental Automated Buildings Association ( determined that steam cleaning of “clogged debris from on or within evaporator coils” was effective in reducing microbial and other contamination.

How did the study work?

“A dusty, rusty and clogged HVAC coil was treated with steam generated at 350ºC through a proprietary jet covering an area of 4’’ X 1” vertically at a time. Environmental bulk samples for microbiological (bacteria/fungi) evaluation were collected before and after steam sanitization from the front central face (fin) area of the coil. Light perforation and air flow tests of the coil were undertaken before and after the treatment.” TransWorldNews

The results were conclusive. Cleaning HVAC coils with steam is 99.99% effective in removing bacterial material and other debris including lint. Circulation was significantly improved as was performance of the system. Read the research paper here.

AirTek is proud to provide steam cleaning services for coils, ducts, and HVAC systems for both commercial and residential customers. Contact us to prevent the potential for lost work hour and health problems caused by poor indoor air quality!

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