Guys, Just... Don't. Please Don't.

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Mama Fen

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Jul 18, 2012
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#1
Once again, air duct cleaning season is upon us in the Carolinas, and I'm getting hammered with calls daily asking "what can I use to fog my customer's air ducts so I can charge them for disinfection and claim to kill off the mold?"

Answer:

NOTHING.

Please, if you're going to insist on cleaning air ducts, familiarize yourself with THE LAW.

The Law doesn't make exceptions. It doesn't say 'well, you're just trying to make a living, so I'll let it slide' or 'nobody died, so you're safe.'

The Law is precise, it is specific, and it will eat you and your company for lunch if you let it.

It is ILLEGAL, according to Federal regulations, to spray ANY chemical in an HVAC system, particularly in the ductwork, and make any sort of claim to disinfect, sanitize, deodorize, or deactivate mold spores. As written by NADCA, FIFRA, and the EPA:

"The EPA has not registered any products for sanitizing or disinfecting ductwork. Further, no fungicides are registered for use in ductwork. As noted earlier in this document, IT IS A VIOLATIONOF FEDERAL LAW TO USE A PRODUCT IN A MANNER INCONSISTENT WITH ITS LABELING.For antimicrobials, this law is the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Therefore, any claims of sanitizing or disinfecting ductwork would require the use of a product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling, which is a violation of FIFRA. Violations of FIFRA can result in fines and criminal penalties from the EPA."

In other words, it cannot be done.

BY LAW, neither I nor any other distributor should disperse a chemical agent to a "duct cleaning" company with the intention of making a claim that is not covered on the label. If you tell me you're going to spray it in the ducts to kill mold, despite this being ILLEGAL, I will not sell you the product.

I had a guy get mad enough at me for telling him this that he grabbed a gallon of antimicrobial and slung it across the room, knocking other jugs off the shelving and causing a serious problem. I stopped being nice at that point (I had an IICRC class going on, which is the big reason he showed out - he had an audience) and it appears he didn't listen. Shortly afterward, he bought the chemical elsewhere and did the job anyway.

Attached are publications that reference precisely what can and cannot be done, and which government agencies have the legal authority to oversee this work. There is NO excuse, particularly the "I didn't know" excuse, that is going to be acceptable any more. You can complain all you want that it's stupid, or it's Big Brother, but the fact of the matter is IT'S LAW. Stupid or not, it's in effect. Our opinions don't matter.

Please, do your due diligence, follow the rules, and don't be the guy who gets popped on this one.

NADCA/FIFRA paper on HVAC cleaning

EPA publication (should you have your ducts cleaned?)

EPA 2006A Supplement (HVAC and antimicrobials)
 

OldCarpetVet

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Nov 2, 2014
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Richard Santoro
#2
So.....what are you saying....Exactly, Amy? :ROFLMAO:
Just kidding of course. :p
You go girl. (y)
 

Mama Fen

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Jul 18, 2012
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#3
I don't mind ignorance - we're all ignorant. I couldn't tell you how to fix a truckmount or measure a spark plug gap if my life depended on it.

But willful misbehavior infuriates me. Particularly when it relates to playing on unfounded fears and doing things that put people's health at risk, all in the name of making money.
 

Mama Fen

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#4
By the way - yes, Microban Fragrance Free does indeed have instructions on use in HVAC ducts. But if you notice, it calls specifically for the following:

"must only be used in only those cases where visible microbial growth has been detected in the system and then only after removing that growth and identifying and correcting the conditions that led to that growth"

It also says that any system must be clean, free of debris, not contain any dust, rust, or other contaminating particles, must not have any defects or moisture invasion points, must pass all NADCA standards for both operation and condition, and must be repaired if ANY of the previous conditions exist before the chemical can be applied.

It must also be applied every 8 feet, at minimum, and if you don't have registers every 8 feet you MUST cut into the system to apply it. Then you must re-seal the cuts to prevent moisture intrusion.

In other words, by the time you've done everything that would need to be done before you sprayed the Microban, you'd have removed all visible signs of mold and remediated the moisture anyway... so there's no need for the chemical any more. But BY LAW, you must do all those steps first before spraying. The Microban then offers a six months to two-year supression effect as long as the system is maintained appropriately... meaning, no moisture, no debris buildup (and we all know mold can't grow on bare metal or plastic surfaces) and no other means for mold to grow in the first place.


Clever of them, eh?
 

ACP

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Apr 9, 2014
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Bjorn Marshall
#5
Or just leave the duct cleaning to the HVAC companies... after all it's kinda their field, not a carpet cleaners