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FAQs about Equipment for Air Duct Cleaning

Commonly Asked Questions about our Equipment and the Duct Cleaning Business

What about training?

Abatement Technologies vacuums come with a comprehensive instructional DVD that covers the basic principles of source removal duct cleaning and applies those principles to many of the duct configurations encountered in the field. We can also refer you to some excellent hands-on training programs.

Is leasing available?

Yes. We have found that the average monthly lease payment for a complete equipment package is equivalent to the revenue of one residential duct cleaning. Click for the lease rate calculator or contact Ryan Capital at 1-800-541-6370 for specific leasing information.

What is the lead-time to get equipment?

A large inventory of duct cleaning products is available for immediate shipment from our US and Canada warehouses. Well over 90% of all orders are shipped complete the day of the order.

Where do I get my equipment serviced?

Abatement HEPA-AIRE Vacuums are designed and engineered to be essentially maintenance-free, other than filter changes. In the highly unlikely event that a component of the control panel or the motor needs to be replaced, the modular design allows the user to make the change in a matter of minutes. AIRE-SWEEP Compressors are custom-manufactured for Abatement Technologies by a manufacturer with hundreds of authorized service centers located throughout the United States.

What is the warranty on Abatement Technologies equipment?

Abatement Technologies is so confident in our product quality and workmanship that we offer a comprehensive 5-year limited warranty on all HEPA-AIRE Portable Power Vacuums. These are the longest warranties in the industry. The compressors have an excellent 2-year limited warranty.

How many companies use Abatement's source removal duct cleaning equipment?

Abatement's duct cleaning products have been setting the industry standard since 1990. These products are used by more than 4,000 companies throughout all 50 US states, Canada and in more than 35 countries worldwide. It is estimated that these companies have cleaned the duct systems in more than 2 million homes and commercial buildings and have generated over $2.5 billion in duct cleaning revenues.

What should be considered when evaluating performance and functionality of portable power vacuums for duct cleaning?

The performance, quality, and reliability of this product are crucial to the quality of the work and ultimately the success of the business. Some of the most important factors include:


    • Overall quality
    • Airflow with all filters in place (rated by cfm)
    • Vacuum static lift capability (rated by inches of w.c.)
    • Filtration system efficiency and filter replacement costs
    • Weight
    • Overall size
    • Portability
    • Appearance
    • Component ratings and quality
    • Amenities such as corner bumpers, non-marking tires, stair climber, etc.
    • Construction methods and materials
    • Manufacturer's support and reputation
    • Warranty

How long should a HEPA-AIRE Portable Power Vac last?

HEPA-AIRE systems are “over-engineered” to ensure many years of reliable operation. With reasonable care, a useful operating life of 10 years or more can be expected.

Are there industry standards or methods that all duct cleaning equipment manufacturers use when making airflow claims for their products?

Unfortunately, there are no meaningful standards, and published claims and methods used are all over the map. Some manufacturers use the “free air” rating for the blower, or test airflow with the filters removed, methods which obviously indicate a much higher airflow than the equipment is capable of producing under normal operating conditions. A few companies have even begun to publish test results based on air velocity testing, which can be even more misleading. For example, the airflow of a machine that is rated at 3,000 fpm (feet per minute) with an 8" diameter outlet is only producing about 1,000 cfm. All of Abatement's performance claims are based on independent testing under real-life conditions with all filters in place.

How can I compare and evaluate these claims accurately?

Make sure that you are making “apples to apples” comparisons, and that all airflow testing has been done with all filters in place and by a reputable independent testing company. Be very skeptical of any self-testing, and always ask for documentation. Also, use common sense. Like anything else, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Why are a strong vacuum and compressed air needed?

A high-powered compressor is essential for quality source removal duct cleaning. The AIRE-SWEEP nozzle is propelled throughout the entire duct system and used to continuously blast the ductwork with high-pressure blasts of air to dislodge debris and push it into the powerful air stream created by the power vacuum. With a sufficiently powerful vacuum, the debris will be pulled out of ductwork and into the vacuum's filtration system. This “push-pull” technique is the state-of-the-art method that is practiced by a vast majority of reputable duct cleaners.

Why do I need a two-stage compressor with such a high psi rating?

An underpowered compressor can significantly increase job time and reduce cleaning quality. Compressors with a volume output of less than 16 cfm and pressure output of less than 175 psi are simply not powerful enough to effectively clean ductwork. Gasoline compressors with at least 8 horsepower engines or electric models with 5 horsepower electric motors are generally required. However, it is imperative that output specifications of the compressor–not engine horsepower–be considered when evaluating compressor performance.

Can't a rotary brush inside a shop-vac hose be used instead of the power vac and compressor?

These products have limited applications in small, round ducts that are easily accessible. However, real-life conditions often make it difficult if not impossible for “brush with a hose” products to produce acceptable results. In some cases, these products can potentially worsen the situation since the very low airflow (typically only 100-200 cfm at most) is not sufficient to pull contaminants dislodged by the brush out of the ductwork. The 3" to 4" diameter vacuum hose greatly limits their ability to handle the quantity, weight, and size of debris generally found in air ducts. In addition, the configuration of many duct systems makes it impossible to use a rotary brush or a hose without getting hung up on obstructions within the duct. This is particularly true of panned-in returns and other difficult to access ductwork locations.

What is the most effective way to market a duct cleaning service?

Promoting this service to your current customer base is generally the quickest and most productive way to get started. Abatement Technologies has an entire range of professionally produced marketing materials, including brochures, mailers, postcards, door hangers, ad slicks, DVDs, etc., to enable you to begin an effective and successful marketing program immediately.

FAQs about HEPA Filters

Commonly Asked Questions about HEPA Filter Performance & Testing Requirements

What does the term HEPA mean?

HEPA is an acronym for "High Efficiency Particulate Air" or "High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance." This acronym refers to a filter that is manufactured, tested and certified to meet Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) construction, performance and certification standards as currently published in IEST RP-CC001.3.

How long have HEPA filters been in use?

The first HEPA filters were developed for the Atomic Energy Commission during World War II for use in facilities manufacturing components for the Manhattan (atomic bomb) project. These HEPA filters were originally designed to capture microscopic radioactive particles too small for effective removal by existing types of filters. HEPA filters used today are much more efficient and economical than the products made in the 1940's.

Where are HEPA filters used today?

HEPA filters are generally specified for applications where microscopic airborne particles or biopollutants could cause human health or product quality problems. Typical users include military, nuclear, pharmaceutical, electronics, biological and medical facilities.

What is it that makes HEPA filters so efficient?

The ultra-fine, glass-fiber medium captures microscopic particles that can easily pass through other filters by a combination of diffusion, interception and inertial impaction. To qualify as a Type A HEPA filter, the filter must capture at least 99.97% (9,997 out of 10,000) of particles 0.3 microns in size–about 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and 25 to 50 times smaller than we can see. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle (1/1,000,000 of a meter) is like stopping a cotton ball with a door screen.

Are filters this efficient really necessary for IAQ applications?

Laser particle counter measurements typically show that more than 99% of the particles suspended in indoor air are one micron (1/1,000,000 of a meter) or smaller in size. EPA calls these “lung-damaging” particles because they can lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled. The ability of HEPA filters to capture particles this small is what sets them apart from other types of filters. Regulations developed by EPA, OSHA, CDC and other federal, state and local government agencies responsible for human health and IAQ issues specify HEPA filters for asbestos, lead and mold abatement, TB and SARS isolation rooms and healthcare renovation projects.

Are all filters made with HEPA filter media HEPA filters?

Manufacturing a filter with HEPA filter media does not mean that the filter itself meets true HEPA efficiency requirements. Serious filter leakage can go undetected if filters are not individually tested and certified at the end of the manufacturing process. Even the tiniest pinhole leaks in the media or breach of the seal between the media pack and the filter frame can cause the filter to fail IEST requirements. The testing requires very specific procedures using a thermally generated mono-dispersed aerosol and a laser particle counter. Some regulations also require field-testing by the user prior to going into service and periodically thereafter.

Why is the testing done with a 0.3-micron particle size test aerosol?

Filter efficiency studies have shown that 0.3-microns is the "Most Penetrating Particle Size (MPPS)" for HEPA filter media. Efficiency is typically greater than 99.97% against larger or smaller particle sizes. Particles larger than 0.3 microns are typically more easily trapped, or intercepted, by the media. Smaller particles often lack sufficient mass to penetrate the media.

Is a "HEPA-Type" filter the same as a HEPA filter?

No. In fact, the differences are huge. According to the American Lung Association, filters classified as "HEPA-type" filters may capture as little as 55% of 0.3-micron particles (5,500 out of 10,000). By this definition, the true HEPA filter could be more than 1,800 times as efficient as the "HEPA-type" filter.

Does HEPA filter efficiency decrease as the filter gets dirty?

No. Unlike electronic air cleaners and other air purification technologies that experience substantial loss of efficiency as they become dirty, exactly the opposite typically happens with HEPA filters. In fact, the dirtier a HEPA filter gets, the more efficient it can become.

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