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Hygiene of ventilation

The functionality of a ventilation installation is the matter not only of its design and assembly but also of its proper exploitation and maintenance. To ensure the flow of fresh air to the interior of buildings it is necessary to take care of hygienic state of the installation through its regular cleaning and disinfection.

Vita-Vent company, which is engaged in cleaning of ventilation installations and all associated works in cooperation with ALNOR company, the manufacturer and distributor of ventilation systems, developed the most effective program of maintaining the proper hygienic state of ventilation installations – from the design process to the exploitation.

The benefits of maintaining the proper hygienic state of the installation:

  • Clean and healthy air inside a building provides comfort and safety of persons staying therein, 
  • Reduction of the risks of such ailments as allergies, headaches, fatigue, catarrh, eye irritation, nausea,
  • Reduction of the risk of fire,
  • Increasing of the installation life.

Preparation stage of a ventilation system

At the design stage it is important to ensure easy access to the installation by satisfying at least three conditions:

  1. Enabling free movement along the ducts,
  2. Ensuring easy access to the interior of the ducts by mounting access elements manufactured by Alnor while installation of the ventilation ducts,
  3. Minimising any obstacles in the installation which disturb the passage of cleaning tools (lack of fire dampers, silencers, dampers).

Elements enabling and facilitating cleaning of ventilation installations

  • access doors – available in two types, IPR – mounted on round ducts in diameters from 80 to 1600 mm and IPFQ access doors designed for mounting on rectangular ducts. Available in dimensions from 100 x 80 to 700 x 500 mm. Thanks to the used seal they ensure achieving of “D” class tightness according to Eurovent;
  • access bends BPKCL and BPBKCL – used generally in heavily accessible places, allow to get access to the installation in both directions ;
  • end caps with handles – enable blanking off access bends and T-pieces;
  • cleaning dampers – GBL iris dampers which additionally enables a smooth adjustment and measurement of air flow in the system. Also the GK and GKL sliding dampers are available.
  • NCD-S diffusers with the removable main panel which can be placed again after its assembly. This gives the possibility of cleaning both a plenum box and the ends of the installation;
  • TRANS®System – is a set of ducts and round flange-pressed fittings. Thanks to the unique construction, each mounted element can be disconnected without any interference in the remaining part of the pipeline.

Principles of access elements assembly

  • Access elements must be installed every 20 meters on these sections of the ducts which are free from any obstacles (damper, fire damper, silencer), otherwise, the access door must be mounted prior to and after this element.
  • Dimensions of the access door should be at least half smaller than the dimensions of the duct. The duct 400 x 200 mm shall be fitted with the access door 300 x 200 on the 400 mm width wall.
  • The proper selection of the access doors and their assembly while installation of ventilation ducts enable to reduce costs and make further works on the system more efficient. An additional benefit resulting from fixing access doors in the assembly phase is more efficient and faster implementation of periodic cleaning.

Cleaning and disinfection of ventilation system

Removal of impurities and harmful substances from the ventilation system should be carried out every two years or more often, depending on impurities contained in the system. Stages of the ventilation system cleaning plan:

  • timing works
  • securing of machines, equipment and furniture in the rooms,
  • dismantle of access doors,
  • microbiological tests,
  • adjustment of the installation,
  • inspection of ducts with use of a special robot,
  • de-insulation of the ducts which are subjected to balloon cleaning,
  • cleaning of ventilation ducts by brushing and “pulling out” impurities,
  • disinfection by misting with disinfectants recommended by the National Institute of Hygiene,
  • inspection of ducts after cleaning,
  • preparation of post-cleaning documentation.

Regulations related to the need of ventilation systems cleaning

Regulation of the Minister of the Interior and Administration dated 16.08.1999 regarding technical conditions for use of residential buildings (Journal of Laws 74/99) specifies the technical conditions for use residential buildings, together with related technical installations and equipment.

§ 13.1 The conditions and principles of use of technical equipment and installations as well as devices used for their repair and maintenance may not cause deterioration of functional properties of the agent delivered using these devices and installations.

§ 22.1 Ventilation installations and equipment during their useful life should ensure the possibility of efficient air exchange in rooms in accordance with terms foreseen in the project. § 22.2 Ventilation installations and equipment during their useful life should be kept in technical state ensuring their efficiency and reliability of operation.

§ 23. In the period of use of ventilation installations and equipment the following must be ensured: 1). Full flow capacity and tightness of ducts and equipment, 2). Maintaining full required cross-sections of ventilation grilles, 4 Alnor knowledge base | Hygiene of ventilation 3). Implementation of required maintenance and repair works, 4). Implementation of recommendations of audits issued by authorized supervision and control bodies, 5). Inspections of technical state of ventilation installations and equipment, if necessary. According to the provisions of the Building Code (Journal of Laws 2000 No 106 pos.1126), Article 62.1 – gas installations and exhaust smoke, combustion gases and ventilation ducts should be subjected to periodic inspections at least once a year. Ministry of Infrastructure Regulation dated 12.04.2002 on technical conditions for buildings and their localization (Journal of Laws No 75 of 15.06.2002, pos. 690), chapter VI contains the following entries:

§147, pos. 1. Ventilation and air condition must ensure adequate quality of the internal environment, including volume of exchanged air, its purity, temperature, relative humidity and speed of flow in space, with observing separate provisions and requirements of the Polish Standards on ventilation as well as fire safety conditions and acoustic requirements specified in the regulation.

§ 153, pos. 6. Ducts should be equipped with revision openings enabling cleaning the inside of the ducts as well as with other facilities, as far as the design does not allow cleaning in a different way than through these openings and they should not be situated in the areas of higher standards of hygiene.

§ 154, pos.5: In the case of premises of special hygienic requirements it is necessary to use ventilation and air-condition units enabling to maintain higher purity inside the casing, equipped with internal lighting and sight glasses to check the condition of the unit from the outside. § 154, pos. 6: Mechanical ventilation and air-condition devices should be protected against external air pollution, and in specific cases pollutions contained in recirculation air with use of filters (...). From entries of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Regulation (Journal of Laws 2003,No 121 pos.1138)

§30, pos.2 it appears that in premises (...) impurities are removed from ventilation ducts at least once a year, if greater frequency does not derive from exploitation conditions. Standard PN-EN 12097:2007. Ventilation of buildings. Network of ducts. Requirements for components of duct networks enabling maintenance of duct networks makes the recommendations that ventilation system elements must be mounted in such a way that they can be dismantled for cleaning in the future. If such solution can’t be implemented it is necessary to install revision elements enabling access to the ducts.

According to the standard PN-EN 13779 – Ventilation for non-residential buildings - Performance requirements for ventilation and room-conditioning systems. All components of ventilation systems must be adapted to future inspections of hygienic state and cleaning processes.

Acquis communautaire

Legislation binding in the European Union introduces requirements for periodic inspection of hygienic level of ventilation systems and principles of their cleaning.

The EU introduced the standard BS EN 15780 Ventilation for buildings. Ductwork. Cleanliness of ventilation systems. Standard EN 15780 specifies requirements and procedures for evaluation of hygienic state of ventilation systems and methods of their cleaning.

In particular it specifies:

  • methods of evaluation of hygiene level in the installation,
  • rules for qualification ducts for cleaning,
  • the frequency of inspections and cleaning,
  • selection of appropriate cleaning methods,
  • rules for checking of carried works.

The benefits of a proper hygienic state of ventilation systems are enormous. Therefore we urge You to become familiar with this issue. You will receive additional information by contacting the companies Vita-Vent or ALNOR.



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