According to the managing director, there is still a lot of work to do in terms of the maintenance of ventilation systems: “Since the 1960s, kilometres of air ducting have been installed. These systems hang from the ceiling, which means they actually go unnoticed but that changes when dirt falls to the floor; only then is thought given to these systems. A recent study shows that the capacity of an unmaintained mechanical ventilation system reduces by approximately forty percent over a four-year period. That results in unnecessarily high energy costs and a worsening of the living conditions and working environment. Clean ventilation systems are therefore extremely important. After all, the cleanliness has an impact on (fire) safety, hygiene, air quality and energy efficiency.”

Hamster Cleaning emphasises the importance of reliable cleaning. After all, if your systems aren’t fully cleaned, there’s no point cleaning them at all. Compare this to a dining table that, after a meal, is only partly cleared. When it comes to cleaning, you can’t do half a job. The organisation guarantees that 95 percent of the system will be cleaned: “Our goal is to achieve 100 percent, but it is sometimes found that a small section of the air ducts are located in areas that are difficult to reach. That is why we pay close attention to our range of machinery, comprising all cleaning equipment available on the market. Because of that equipment, we are able to guarantee our customers a clean ventilation system and reliable result. That is essential, because not everyone is able to inspect the condition of the ducting themselves.”

Innovative cleaning method

Unlike in Belgium, in some countries it is mandatory by law to have your ventilation systems cleaned every five years. However, Seppe Thys fails to see the point of this: “That is madness, because there is no rational answer as to when you have to clean. In some production areas, the ducts have to be cleaned annually and in certain public buildings, only after roughly six years. That is why it’s better to arrange for inspections to be performed annually, because that is far more useful and makes more sense. There are two options in terms of inspections. The first is a visual inspection that is required by European standard 15780. You can take a look at what is happening through photographs, videos and inspections performed by robots. This inspection can be performed quickly and cheaply. The second option is an analytical inspection. During this inspection, swipe samples and samples are taken at different points in the air duct. An analytical inspection is much more accurate than a visual inspection, but it is much more expensive.”

Hamster Cleaning developed an innovative inspection method, which assesses the level of contamination in the ducting. “We use our own Smart inspection. This is a combination of two inspection methods. We use both a visual and an analytical inspection. We compare photographs taken at our customer’s premises with images in our own reference database. This enables us to accurately determine the amount of dirt in the ducting and decide which areas require improvement. Our full maintenance approach is based on input by technology and engineering. Using software, reporting, calculation models, sensors and machines, every project can be analysed, calculated and followed up every year. For an optimal result, we use the latest technology, including advanced inspection and cleaning robots. During cleaning of air ducts, an extraction fan is used to suck up the loosened dirt; this device has sufficient power to suck the dirt from the air ducts. The dirt is captured in a filter bag.”

Hamster Cleaning cleans both comfort ventilation and process ventilation ductwork.

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