Dirty Ducts Contribute To Sick Building Syndrome

Dirty Ducts Can Contribute to Sick Building Syndrome

There are many reasons to have industrial ventilation and commercial air ducts cleaned on a regular basis. These reasons include increasing HVAC efficiency, maintaining the ventilation equipment, avoiding contamination of the manufacturing process, and avoiding accumulation of combustible dust. Yet one important reason is often overlooked: indoor air quality. And with flu season right around the corner, making sure your building’s dirty ducts do not contribute to an illness known as Sick Building Syndrome is critical to the health and safety of your employees.

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome will range from person to person, and a building’s dirty ducts are home to a wide variety of germs, which can only make the issue worse. So what’s living in your dirty air ducts that could be causing you and your employees to feel sick?



Dust mites are prevalent in dirty ducts, where they feed off of organic matter within dust. There can be between 100 and 500 dust mites living in just one gram of dust (the same weight as a standard paperclip). These tiny dust mites cause severe allergic reactions in some people, caused by the excrement and dried shells of the creatures being blown through the ventilation system.


Mold & Mildew

Many people have mold in their HVAC system without even realizing it. Mold and mildew thrive in dark, humid, dirty areas, and dusty and inefficient ventilation is a perfect spot for them to grow. Mold and Mildew produce spores to reproduce, and these spores become airborne and are passed throughout the building’s ventilation system. Inhaling these spores can cause a range of health issues including asthma, allergic illness, respiratory infection, and in severe cases toxic poisoning. Reactions to these mold spores can be headaches, coughing, and Irritation of the eyes or throat.


Bacteria and Viruses

Certain types of bacteria and viruses can travel through the air to spread infections. Damp and dirty spaces allow for accumulation and breeding of many of these bacteria and viruses, and ventilation systems easily spread these disease causing organisms around. Poor or stagnant air circulation can cause the bacteria and viruses living in air ducts to thrive and cause infection more easily.


One of the main solutions to curing Sick Building Syndrome is to make sure the ventilation system and ductwork is properly cleaned and maintained. Unfortunately, a building’s ductwork system is out of sight, which means it is often out of mind and may not regularly be cleaned. This is what allows dirty ducts to become the perfect breeding ground for these dangerous pollutants, which will spread and cause people to become ill, especially those who have a weakened immune system. Therefore, making sure your building’s air duct ventilation is dry and moving clean, filtered air is a key component to help prevent the spread of these diseases, and prevent employees from becoming unnecessarily sick.


Worried your building’s ventilation system might be contributing to Sick Building Syndrome? Contact Us Here or call 888-845-3952