Modern Robot Duct Cleaning Applications

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By Adrianna Noton

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems accumulate contaminants and pollutants such as dust, debris, mold and bacteria that can have a negative impact on indoor air quality. Most people are now aware that indoor air pollution can be a health concern and the subject has consequently gained increased visibility. Research has also indicated cleaning heating and cooling system components improves their efficiency and is conducive to a longer operating life, as well as energy and maintenance cost savings. The cleaning of the components of ventilation, heating and cooling of forced air systems is what is referred to as duct cleaning. Typically, specialized tools are used to dislodge dirt and other debris that is subsequently vacuumed out with a highpowered vacuum cleaner. Robots are an advantageous tool increasing the efficiency and cost aspects of this process. The advantages of using high tech robot technology in duct cleaning has demonstrated their superiority in operation over other methods not as efficient. Hence, the use of modern robot duct cleaning technology is no longer a novel practice.

A clean air duct system creates a cleaner, healthier indoor environment which increases efficiency and lowers energy costs. Air duct cleaning is becoming a major factor in the cleaning industry as we spend more time indoors. Poor ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels. Health effects can show up quickly or years after long or repeated exposure. These effects can include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer that can be debilitating or fatal. Hence, it is prudent to ensure indoor air quality is not compromised inside buildings. More than 50 million Americans have some sort of allergies. Hazardous pollutants that can found in indoors can exceed outdoor air pollutants by 70 times according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Hence, more time spent indoors and awareness of the pollutants that can lurk indoors has made more people aware of the benefits of air duct cleaning. The result is a booming air duct cleaning industry.

Duct cleaning equipment removes both visible contaminants as well as microbial contaminants, which may be invisible to the naked eye. Active microbial growth can affect indoor air quality and pose a health risk. Air ducts can become host to a variety of health risk microbial agents. Legionnaires Disease is one malaise that has gained public notice as our modern environment supports the growth of the bacteria that causes the affliction and has the potential to cause outbreaks. Typical disease-causing environments include moisture bearing equipment such as those in air-conditioned buildings with poorly maintained cooling towers. In short, in designing and constructing systems to control our environment, we have created ideal conditions for the propagation of Legionella. Those systems must be properly monitored and maintained. That is the key to controlling this disease. The health risk poor duct conditions can lead to in America was highlighted by the outbreak of Legionnaires Disease at a conference of the American Legion in Philadelphia in 1976 ultimately determined to be caused by bacteria lurking in the air duct system.

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Robots allow for the job to be done quicker while saving workers from exposure to hazardous materials. Evidence of the technological advancements in the duct cleaning industry is evident in the wide array of equipment now available for use in air duct cleaning, including the array of robotic equipment. Robots are invaluable in difficult to access areas. Robots first used to see conditions inside the duct, now may be used for cleaning, spraying and sampling operations. The remote controlled robotic equipment can be fitted with attachment and functional features to achieve a variety of application purposes.

A closed circuit television camera system and video recorders can be attached to the robotic equipment to view operations and conditions inside the duct system and for documentation purposes. Inspection devices in the robot inspects inside ducts. Robots can move around obstacles and travel to specific sections of the system. Some fit into small ducts and combine functions that enable cleaning performance and documentation. They lower operating costs and can deliver the lowest duct particle count in the industry. They can deliver a useful view range with models delivering inspection, cleaning, disinfection, coating and sealing capabilities efficiently.

The remote controlled robotic equipment comes in various shapes and sizes for different uses. In the 80s the first use was of robotic video cameras to record conditions inside the duct. Now, robotic cleaning systems have many more uses. These devices reduce labor costs and provide improved access for better cleaning. Recently, areas for the application of small mobile robots have extended purposes in the service industries, including applications for duct cleaning and inspection. These cleaning robots are a useful tool for maintaining the sanitary condition of the ventilation system.

Most commercial duct cleaning robots are controlled manually through the receipt of visual information that can reduce control capabilities and cleaning efficiency in narrow and long ductwork sections. Many advances have been made in robot technology used for in duct cleaning purposes. More advances are still being considered to make a productive tool even more efficient.

If you decide to have your ventilation, heating and cooling system cleaned, it is important to make sure the service provider cleans all components of the system and is qualified to do so. Failure to clean one component of a contaminated system can result in recontamination of the whole system. Methods of duct cleaning vary, although standards have been established by industry associations. Companies in the duct cleaning industry vary their charges based on the services they offer, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region, and the level of contamination.

About the Author: Duct Cleaning Toronto Company servicing residential, commercial and industrial customers. Visit one of our locations at: Duct cleaning Hamilton, Richmond Hill, Duct cleaning Oakville.


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