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NADCA ACR Standard & Guidelines

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Introduction Awareness of indoor air quality has increased substantially in recent years, and the systems that supply air to our living and working spaces are critical to the maintenance of a healthy indoor environment. As the global industry's leading advocate and trusted resource for reliable information, The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) is uniquely qualified to provide guidance for consumers and the industry on the best practices for inspecting, cleaning and restoring HVAC systems. One topic that has generated both substantial interest and concern is the use of chemicals, cleaners, sealants and coatings inside air handling systems. Currently a broad diversity of information exists regarding the use and efficacy of these chemical products. In working with all parties associated with indoor air quality, NADCA recognizes the need to provide direction in this complicated and evolving area. It is generally agreed that source removal of contaminants remains the single best method for cleaning and decontaminating HVAC systems. However, chemicals may be applied within HVAC systems for a variety of reasons. This position paper provides an overview of the products and associated techniques utilized in and around HVAC systems. NADCA's goal is to provide sound guidance for all parties (consumers, regulators, and remediation professionals) that can be useful when evaluating specific structures and situations. Although the following information reflects the current state of the art for the use of chemicals in HVAC systems, readers should recognize that new developments regularly occur and should familiarize themselves with the most current information when determining the appropriate steps to take. Readers are encouraged to review NADCA's ACR Standard for Assessment, Cleaning & Restoration of HVAC Systems, for information regarding best practices related to cleaning and restoring those systems. NADCA POSITION PAPER on Chemical Product Applications in HVAC Systems Disclaimer NADCA recognizes that differences in opinion will exist as to how to manage the use of chemical products. NADCA also recognizes that industry professionals will decide whether or not a chemical application is appropriate for a given HVAC system, based on the unique circumstances surrounding that system. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to apply a chemical product in an HVAC system, and the selection of that product, rests with the owner of the system. This document was written in the United States of America and is intended primarily for use in this country. This material may also prove useful for industry professionals and others operating outside of the USA. All users of this document are encouraged to refer to applicable federal, state/provincial, and/or local authorities having jurisdiction over the subjects addressed within this document. HVAC Contamination Numerous types of contamination may be found within HVAC systems. Depending on the environment and conditions, these contaminants may contribute to mold/ mildew (i.e., fungal growth) and other microbiological growth. Other contaminants may include debris from outside air sources, fire damage residue, dust, vermin, etc. Source Removal Source removal is defined as the physical removal of contaminants and debris from internal HVAC system surfaces. Complete HVAC system cleaning removes the contaminants that may contribute to mold and other microbiological growth. Cleaning can also reduce household dust, increase energy efficiency, increase equipment life expectancy, and improve overall indoor air quality and comfort. It is not necessary to apply chemical products to achieve source removal within an HVAC system. However, applying appropriate cleaning compounds may enhance the cleaning process (e.g., coils, hard surfaces, blowers).

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