Why Consider Duct Sanitizing?
Bacteria, mold, mildew and other biological growths can thrive in ductwork due to its cool, dark, moist environment. While a professional duct cleaning can remove mold and mildew, it doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be another occurrence of growth, nor does it eradicate the biological contamination. To truly remove biological contamination, and to protect against further growth, you may want to consider duct sanitizing for your air conditioning system.
What Is Duct Sanitizing?
Duct sanitizing is a multi-step process in which an EPA-registered chemical sanitizer(s) is thoroughly applied to the inside of your ductwork to eliminate germs and biological growth, and prevent the development of new growth. Each vent is treated individually, and the application of the sanitizer usually needs 10-15 minutes to cure.
What Types of Sanitizers Are Used?
There are 3 main types of sanitizers that can be used on your ductwork:
EnviroCon – EnviroCon is used to eliminate odor-causing microorganisms and contaminants such as mold and mildew; it can also treat bacterial growth. EnviroCon eliminates odors via a chlorine dioxide release-process that destroys organisms at the cell level. EnviroCon has low toxicity and a good safety rating from the EPA.
Microban – Microban is used to eliminate most fungi, bacteria and viruses. Microban kills allergy and disease-causing germs, odors, and growth like mold and mildew. Microban is only available through professional cleaners and restorers. It is labeled as safe by the EPA.
F.P. sanitizers – F.P. sanitizers are concentrated liquid sanitizers used for sanitizing pre-cleaned surfaces in air ducts and air conditioning systems. They contain surfactants (compounds that act like detergents) that give them additional cleaning power. These types of sanitizers are labeled as safe by the EPA.
Benefits of Duct Sanitizing
- Healthier air – your ductwork is the delivery system for all the air in your home; if it’s clean, you air will be, too.
- Keeps ductwork clean – sanitizers have a lasting effect, so they help keep your ductwork free of contamination after application.
- Reduction of allergens – allergy-inducing particles are eradicated during sanitizing, helping to reduce allergic reactions to the air in your home.
AirDuct Specialists, Inc offers three anti-microbial treatments for your HVAC system, EnviroCON, OXINE and Sporicidin. EnviroCON and OXINE are manufactured by Bio-Cide International Inc. and Sporocidin is manufactured by Contec, Inc. All are EPA registered products..
EnviroCON is a mild bacteriostat and fungistat that we use when the primary objective of the treatment is to remove odors associated with mold, mildew or bacteria. EnviroCON is unscented and is NOT a perfume, cover-up or masking agent. It works by oxidizing the causes of these odors, not by adding its own scent to the air coming from your ducts. EnviroCON is an effective bacteriostat and fungistat that inhibits the reproduction of odor-causing microorganisms such as mold and mildew. Its active ingredient is Chlorine Dioxide (0.1%). This product is completely safe for building occupants including children and pets. No evacuation is necessary during or after application. When the product dries completely (in an hour or two), there is almost no residue and what little is present is inert and has no further chemical action.
However, please note that, even with a product as mild as EnviroCON, if you or other building occupants have a history of sensitivity to chemical treatments, it is wisest NOT to have us apply this treatment in your air ducts.
OXINE is a true sanitizer and much stronger than EnviroCON. We apply OXINE in the air ducts of our customers when the primary objective is a 100% kill of all mold, mildew and viruses/bacteria that may still persist at a microscopic level even after a thorough duct cleaning has been carried out. OXINE has been shown to be effective even against microbes such as Stachybotrys chartarum, Mycobacterium bovis (Tuberculosis), Aspergillus fumigatus spores, Legionella pneumophila, Mucor sp., Penicillium roquefortii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
OXINE is often the sanitizer product of choice for those among our customers who have family members with asthma or severe allergies. In many cases, these customers are intent on removing from their ductwork any and all possible triggers of allergic reactions.
Our technicians use respirators while they apply OXINE. All building occupants are required to evacuate during the treatment and for at least one hour afterward. Like EnviroCON, however, OXINE becomes entirely inert and odorless after it is dry. Its active ingredient, Chlorine Dioxide (2%), provides no residual action at all after drying, which means no off-gassing of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are infamous for causing greater distress to highly allergic people than the microbes they are supposed to target.
Even though this product is strong and effective, it’s toxicity is so low that the EPA assigned it a Category III toxicity rating (category IV is the lowest). However, as with EnviroCON, if you or other building occupants have a history of sensitivity to chemical treatments, it is wisest NOT to have us apply this treatment in your air ducts. The price for this treatment is $150 when applied as part of a full system cleaning.
Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution is also a true sanitizer and provides a 100% kill of disease and odor-causing organisms on hard, non-porous surfaces. Unlike most other anti-microbials, Sporicidin is EPA registered to provide up to six months of continuous residual bacteriostatic activity after it is applied to surfaces.
Our technicians use respirators while they apply Sporicidin. All building occupants are required to evacuate during the treatment and for at least one hour afterward. The active ingredients in Sporicidin, Phenol (1.56% by weight) and Sodium Phenate (.06% by weight) are powerful anti-microbials. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) shows no inhalation risk but if you or other building occupants have a history of sensitivity to chemical treatments, it is wisest NOT to have us apply this treatment in your air ducts.