The National Air Duct Cleaners Association is urging industry professionals to practice energy management when cleaning the coils of air-conveyance systems. 

The association cited a recent study where researchers found that proper maintenance and cleaning practices in compliance with NADCA’s Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration standard would result in at least 11 percent energy savings.

NADCA worked with the University of Colorado-Boulder to develop a field-testing protocol to assist industry professionals in measuring the pressure drop in HVAC systems and estimate possible energy savings in restorations. 

“Dirty or contaminated filters and poorly maintained air-handling systems can reduce air flow and efficiency and increase energy,” said Matt Mongiello, president of NADCA. “It’s important to properly clean and maintain the entire HVAC system in order to see significant energy savings.”

Based on the total cleaning of heating and air-conditioning systems in accordance with NADCA’S ACR standard — which includes replacing the filter, cleaning the ductwork, blower, coils and other air-side system components — researchers developed a computer model to help quantify the energy savings that could be attained through proper maintenance of indoor air systems. Field trials and a laboratory analysis led researchers to say that cleaning even lightly soiled systems would produce substantial energy savings and improve overall indoor air quality. 

NADCA officials said a similar study conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy found that regular air filter replacement can contribute to as much as 30 percent annual energy savings and improved indoor air quality.

“Air-conveyance systems are the largest sources of energy within a home or building, so it’s extremely important to maintain and clean the units whenever needed, in order to avoid increased costs and system failures,” Mongiello said.