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Building and facilities managers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Associated Code of Practice from the Health & Safety Commission. This states that all mechanical ventilation systems should be regularly and properly cleaned, tested and maintained to ensure that they are kept clean and free from anything which may contaminate the air.
Dirty air ducts can affect buildings and businesses in many ways. They can cause a drop in staff productivity and morale, while also ruining interior decor. They can also result in high levels of expenditure from replacing prematurely-deteriorated air conditioning systems. Poor maintenance of mechanical ventilation systems will lead to problems with airborne particulates, bacteria, uncomfortable humidity levels, and inefficient air consumption.
There is also a secondary risk: fire. Neglected ducts, particularly in kitchens, rapidly become contaminated with a steady build-up of bacteria-harbouring deposits; furthermore, inadequate cleaning (especially in grease extracts) means there is more risk of fire spreading throughout a building via the ventilation system. Again, this is very important for both health and legislative reasons.
BS&E (formerly HVCA) TR/19 not only outlines the best practice for installing access panels into new systems and maintaining them; it also allows specifiers to deal with all aspects of duct hygiene in one publication. TR/19 is also ideal for use by specifiers and building legislators to ensure that ventilation systems are properly maintained, as adherence to the standards in TR/19 will provide detailed, recognised proof that a building's ventilation system is safe and well-maintained, which is vital for securing insurance policies.