Using HVAC during a fire

Several years ago my husband and I owned a disaster restoration company.

It required a lot of training in the areas of fire, water and mold restoration.

Soot damage from a fire in a customer’s home was one of the most difficult restoration tasks we would undertake. In addition to having to clean every item in a customer’s home that had been exposed to smoke and soot, we would have to have the HVAC system cleaned also. This is when we would call in the professionals. While we employed professional restoration technicians, HVAC cleaning required a different skill set. Our crews would initially clean the registers and cover them with cheesecloth to prevent additional soot from contaminating the home. The professional HVAC crew would come in and evaluate the HVAC system and, if applicable, clean the ductwork, the return and supply registers, the evaporator coil and the blower. It most cases this professional cleaning by the HVAC technician would remove any smoke odors and prevent soot from re-contaminating the customer’s home. Mold clean-up and restoration was another area that often required the expertise of professional HVAC technicians. In a lot of cases, we would have an Industrial Hygienist perform tests to determine the amount and types of mold spores in the home and the steps required to remove the mold spores. If protocol directed, we would have to have the entire HVAC system cleaned by a certified technician. We were required to have a second indoor air quality test performed to ensure that the mold spores had been removed. We relied heavily on these HVAC technicians to ensure that our customers were able to return to a safe and healthy home.

HVAC professional