Sep 16, 2021 10:15:00 AM / by Freya Stevenson

Preventing Dust Explosions How Duct cleaning Can Help Blog Image

We all know dust collected in visible areas or accumulating on high surfaces is a well-known source of industrial fires and explosions. However, when thinking about how to prevent dust explosion hazards, commercial duct cleaning is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.

A facility’s ductwork is typically hidden, so they may not necessarily be on your mind when looking around making sure your facility is clean. However, ducks are not the only thing above a facility’s ceiling. There are mechanical systems, structural elements, wires as well as other things that would be hidden from your view. And daily work from the processing of materials such as wood, plastics, fossil fuels, food, paper, textiles, metals and chemicals can generate dust quickly.

Dust can stay in the air for days, depending on its size, and over time will be brought into the ventilation ductwork as air flows through the building. The dust will begin to settle in sections of the ventilation where there is anything that might begin to snag the dust flowing past. This can lead to significant accumulations of potentially explosive dust, even if the rest of the building appears clean and safe.

Accumulated dust in the ductwork can pose as a fire hazard. Dust is flammable and a fire can start from a spark of energy, or an extremely hot surface. The more dust builds up there is, the more chances there are for a fire to happen.

You would think since the ducts are covered; they would be safe from an ignition source. But in fact, the flowing air actually causes potential ignition sources to be drawn into the ductwork. Sparks and embers can stay hot for a long time. And once sucked into the HVAC system, they can come into contact with dust, or a piece of metal traveling through the ductwork. This will create an ignition spark. The dust moving through the ventilation also creates a buildup of static electricity, which can have the potential to create an explosion. The pressure builds with the initial explosion, and the confinement forces the flames to travel down the ductwork, consuming the collected dust along the way. It acts much like the barrel of a gun or cannon, and builds up immense pressure until it hits something that blocks it, where it then exerts the pressure to force through the weakest point. This is where the explosion becomes dangerous to employees, because the force of these dust explosions can blow entire roofs off buildings, buckle concrete floors, or throw heavy machinery through a building.


We can’t stress enough the importance of making sure your facility’s commercial HVAC system is cleaned and free of any combustible dust accumulations. However, there are many benefits to performing regular commercial HVAC systems cleaning services, especially in an industry that produces a lot of dust. Here are several other reasons why your facility can benefit from commercial HVAC systems cleaning service:

  • Help control fungal, bacterial and insect growth of contaminates
  • Prevent fire hazards to make sure your systems run efficiently
  • Prevent quality control issues with routine maintenance
  • Prevent loss of energy required from most industrial facilities
  • Removal of all debris, dirt, dust, or sludge that cause blockages or potential health concerns


Looking for commercial duct cleaning to help prevent a dust explosion from happening? Contact Us Here, or call us at 888-845-3952 to learn how we can help you avoid fire & explosion hazards in the workplace.

Tags: Combustible Dust Remediation, HVAC Systems Cleaning, Hughes Environmental, Commercial Duct Cleaning

Freya Stevenson

Written by Freya Stevenson

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