May 12

What Might Be In My Duct Work? – Indoor Air Quality Hazard

There are a few things that probably make sense when they accumulate in the duct work of our homes and businesses. These things might include dust, pet hair and dander, pollen.  Perhaps even some degree of mold or mildew.  Slightly disgusting to think about but not unusual.  These things are reason enough to consider duct cleaning.

Consider the possibility that there are things in there that don’t make sense.  The first thing that comes to mind is construction/remodeling debris.  For whatever reason the leftover wood, sheet rock, nails, carpet remnants, screws etc. have been found in the duct work. It doesn’t seem like an ideal location to deposit said items but they have definitely been found and removed on occasion by many duct cleaners. Another unusual find has been the remains of rodents.  I know, gross! But, it has happened.  Mice are the usual finds but some duct cleaners have actually found rats, squirrels and even one reported finding a fox.  Of course, there are also bugs and an occasional reptile.  
One of the most unusual finds that I can think of hearing about was a stack of VHS tapes and books that had apparently been missing from the home for months.  Not exactly sure how it happened but they were there.

Obviously none of these things belong in duct work.  And, yes, the presence of these things in your ducts can cause your system to run inefficiently and wreak havoc on the quality of your indoor breathing atmosphere.  The good news is, all of these things can be located and removed by an expert duct cleaner.  So, don’t waste time worrying about what might be in them and contact an expert, especially if you’ve never had them cleaned or if you haven’t had them in cleaned in the last 5-7 years.

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Posted in air duct cleaning, improving indoor air quality, indoor air quality, residential air duct cleaning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Apr 20

Top 5 Reasons to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

There are a lot of things we already know are important in maintaining our homes.  Most of them we are very aware of and do on at least a regular basis.  However, there may be at least one you are either unaware of or just have never really given much thought.  As you might have guessed, I’m referring to air duct cleaning.  Quite honestly, a lot of folks have never even thought about it once.  I get that.  But, here are five of our top reasons that you should not only give it some thought but actually do it.

5.     Cuts Down on Household Dusting.  Seriously you could actually save valuable time by not having to dust nearly as often.

4.     Vermin and Insects Could Have Taken Up Residence in Your Ducts.  That’s really not even an exaggeration.  There have been vermin found in ducts.  Also, insects love dirty ducts.

3.     Up to 40 Pounds of Dust is Circulated through the Average Six-Room House in a Year.  One can only imagine how much of that just settles in the ducts.

2.     Saving Money.  That one probably grabbed your attention.  It is true.  Dirty ducts cause your heating and cooling system to have to work much harder than it should.  Dirty ducts affect the efficiency of the heating and cooling of your home which can cause increased utility bills.

1.     Giving Your Loved Ones the Best Quality Breathing Atmosphere Possible.  We all want the best for those we love.  Cleaning those air ducts removes all of the aforementioned issues and allows everyone to breathe easy.

These reasons only scratch the surface for all the excellent reasons to have your air ducts cleaned.  With summer fast approaching it would be an excellent time to cross this maintenance issue off of your list.

We’d be happy to help!

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Mar 10

Indoor Air Quality, Does Remodeling Affect It?

It’s almost spring and our minds go to refreshing things, cleaning things, perhaps allergies and pollen and such.  And, maybe even remodeling something in our homes to freshen things up a bit.  That all sounds great.  However, we need to still be mindful of our indoor air quality.  Let’s concentrate on the remodeling aspects for now.

Some of you already understand the dust and mess that remodeling can bring.  It always seems as though the actual remodeling takes at least twice as long as they say.  In the mean time you see the effects.  There is just dust and mess and yuck everywhere.  It’s affecting your feelings of how clean your home is and what you are breathing in everyday.  You just want the job to be done.  Not just so you can enjoy the finished product but also so you can FINALLY clean up.  Once you have gotten to do that it seems as though everything is right with the world again.  But, what about what has gotten into your ducts during this time. It’s absolutely amazing what gets trapped in there during even the shortest of remodels.  Of course, there is dust and dirt etc.  Honestly, there is probably even some construction debris.

What I’m trying to get at is that even though the job is done, you love the results and you’ve gotten to clean up, there is another step you should seriously consider.  I’m talking about duct cleaning.  A thorough duct cleaning after any remodeling project can restore your home to breathing easy again. Thorough duct cleaning removes the dust, dirt, and even the construction debris that was quite possibly left behind.  Think about how much less dusting you will have to do and how much better your indoor air quality will truly be.

 

Source: http://www.addicted2decorating.com/remodeling-depression-its-a-real-thing.html

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Feb 11

Colds and Flu – Does Indoor Air Quality Play a Part?

This is definitely cold and flu season!  Wow!  Schools have even taken days off because so many students and teachers have been affected.  We have probably all been affected by it one way or another.  So, the question is, how can we avoid the colds and flu?  Or, at the very least, reduce the symptoms and duration if we can’t avoid it altogether?  Those are huge questions and there is no one answer.  However, there are a few things we can put in place to at least give us a fighting chance.

First, the quality of the air we are breathing in our homes does play a part.  Obviously once the viruses which cause the colds and flu come into our homes it gets tricky.  Air purifiers are the best bet here.  Just be sure they are quality purifiers made to filter out the smallest pollutants.  Of course, as we generally suggest, get some fresh air introduced as well.  And, always make sure to keep the air filters clean/changed.  If the colds/flu keep recirculating through your family perhaps consider air duct cleaning as well.  Especially if you’ve not had the ducts cleaned in the last five to seven years.

After that it’s the stuff we really already know.  Wash your hands constantly! Try to avoid tight spaces and/or close contact with those who are already sick.  For those of you with kids in school, give those backpacks and lunchboxes a good scrub. Perhaps even consider sending the coats, gloves, hats etc. through a good wash. Remind your kids also to keep their hands away from their eyes, noses and mouths.  I definitely know that is easier said than done.

Of course, if you already feel that cold/flu coming on get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.  Those words of advice have not changed for eons and won’t anytime soon.  Here’s to doing our best to protect ourselves and our families from the cold/flu season!!

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Posted in air duct cleaning, air filters, HEPA filters, improving indoor air quality, indoor air quality, residential air duct cleaning | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment
Jan 25

New Year – Cleaner Indoor Air

Well it really actually is a new year.  Last year went by way too fast.  All those things that we had planned to do this time last year we are either celebrating their completion or lamenting the fact we didn’t quite get to them.  No worries if we didn’t quite get to some of them.  New year, fresh start, clean slate, another chance.  Fortunately that goes for all the things we had the best intentions of doing to improve our indoor breathing environments.  Let’s try and simplify those things this year into four categories.

First, lets do our best to make it a priority to check/change our air filters on a regular basis.  Set the day.  Set a reminder on your smartphone or on your calendar.  Just make it a regular part of what you do every month.

Second, call and schedule the regular maintenance on your system.  Twice a year is optimal.  Go ahead, stop reading this and call right now if that’s how you’ll make sure it happens.

Next, perhaps consider switching to natural air fresheners.  We all like for our homes to smell nice, clean and inviting.  However, some of the things we use are destroying the quality of our indoor air.  There are all kinds of natural alternatives out there and most smell as good or even better than what we use now. It’s just a thought, but particularly important if your family suffers from allergies or any kind of breathing difficulty.

Lastly, consider a system upgrade. Or, consider adding a whole system purification system to your existing system.  Either or both of these things can improve your indoor breathing atmosphere considerably.  And, of course, duct cleaning is always a great way to improve the indoor air quality.

That’s just four simple things to think about.  Start off the new year with the best indoor air quality you can acquire.  Here’s to a fresh, clean 2017!!

 

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Oct 26

Holidays? – Cleaning and Indoor Air Quality

The thought that next week we will be in November nearly has me hyperventilating.  This year has literally flown.  One of the things that has me reeling at the moment is that the holidays are approaching and I can’t slow it down.  I’m feeling really behind this year mostly because it’s been so very warm here still.  That being said.  It’s time to clean. I’ve been searching for what the “experts” have to say about the most important things to pay attention to and how to go about tackling said things.  They have lots to say, of course. There were a couple of major themes that seem to run through most.

The first major theme was to declutter.  Almost every post I looked at had decluttering near or at the top of their list of things to do.  Clutter most definitely happens in almost every home (and office for that matter).  All I can say is go through and either get rid of it (my suggestion) or put it where it actually goes. If it doesn’t have a “home” decide whether it needs one or not and then find it one if it does.  Lots of sites will tell you to do this a little at a time.  However, with the holidays fast approaching I say strap on a large cluttered living areatrash bag and go after it now.  (Of course if it’s months or years of clutter you might want to pace yourself.)

What on earth does this have to do with indoor air quality?  Great question since it was in the title.  One of the major causes of poor indoor quality is dust and debris.  One of the major culprits of dust and debris is clutter.  Clutter is a dust and debris.  Getting rid of the clutter will cut down significantly on the dust and debris in your indoor breathing atmosphere.

holiday-sanityThe other major theme was to do a thorough cleaning once and then clean and wipe up as you go.  Wiping the counters in the kitchen, bathroom etc each time you notice the need will go a long way in keeping things nice and tidy.  Swiping the mirrors when you notice the problem and wiping the toilets down every couple of days is a great idea as well.  Doing this will help with your sanity when the holiday doorbells start ringing.  We all need help with our sanity during the holidays.

Hope these items got you thinking.

 

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Sep 23

Ahhh Fall: What About Indoor Air Quality Now?

I love Autumn, fall whatever you prefer to call it.  I just love the change and the entrance of cooler temperatures.  Although it is welcomed it can cause some issues with indoor air quality.  This can be particularly true for allergy and asthma sufferers.  So, why is the change to cooler temperatures a problem for indoor air quality?  For the most part it is a question of humidity.

As the temps begin to fall (pun intended) the use of our air conditioning systems gets less and less.  Believe it or not our air conditioners help keep the humidity levels in our homes at good levels. So, when we don’t use them as often the humidity levels can get out of whack.high-humidity-2

If the humidity levels get too high, above 50%, it can lead to mold and mildew growth and even more dust mites.  All of these things lead to the symptoms that allergy and asthma sufferers have to deal with.

With less use of air conditioners and cooler temps the air in our home actually starts to dry out, less than 30%.  This an also wreak havoc on our health.  The drier our indoor air is the more the mucus membranes in our nasal and sinus cavities dry out.  This is a problem because those membranes are what filter our bacteria and debris.  With these being dry we have a higher risk of becoming sick.

That being said we should definitely pay more attention to the humidity levels in our homes and places of business as fall begins.  Of course, making sure your system is well maintained is important as well as using high quality HEPA filters and changing them at appropriate times.  All of these will help keep the indoor air quality in your homes and businesses the best possible.  All who breathe that air will appreciate it.

As always, if you have questions or we can help in any way with your indoor air quality give us a call!

Sources:  http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspection/Articles/Fall-is-Here-A-Season-for-Indoor-Air-Quality-Problems/2217http://www.westmichiganheating.com/blog/fend-off-fall-humidity-boost-your-indoor-air-qualityhttp://www.marshheating.com/a-guide-for-managing-fall-allergies-and-indoor-air-quality/

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Sep 14

Air Duct Cleaning: Is Now a Good Time?

Interesting question.  Is now a good time for air duct cleaning?  Well, that depends on several factors.  Being in the air duct cleaning business you would think I would say yes it’s always a good time for air duct cleaning.  However, the truth is a little different from what you might expect.

First, if you’ve had your air ducts cleaned in the last five years you probably don’t need to have them cleaned right now.  Also, if you’ve recently had the entire system (including ductwork) replaced you don’t need them cleaned right now.  If your house is relatively new and you are not noticing any specific issues with your air, such as: dusting a lot, strange odors coming from vents, or even black lines appearing on the edges of your carpeting, or more trouble than usual with allergies and/or asthma symptoms, your are probably not in need of air duct cleaning right at the moment.

However, there are things that would indicate that this is a good time for air duct cleaning.  If you have recently remodeled anything in your home it is a great time to have the ducts cleaned because of the amount of dust, saw dust and perhaps even construction debris that has most likely gotten into your air ducts.  Also, if your house is brand new, ducts after a remodelbelieve it or not it is an excellent time to have your air ducts cleaned.  That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at first thought.  I get that.  Sadly, for many of the same reasons as it makes sense after a remodel, it makes sense for new construction.

Other reasons that it is a good time for air duct cleaning is that we are in a time before the holiday rush.  I know, I really shouldn’t even mention the “h” word but they are coming and having the ducts cleaned ahead of all that entails is a fantastic idea.  Not having had them cleaned in the lasts five to seven years is a great reason also. Noticing strange odors coming from the vents, dusting way too often, suffering from allergy/asthma symptoms more than necessary and even noticing black lines at the edge of your carpeting are all signs that now is a very good time for air duct cleaning. If you’ve read through all of this and still aren’t sure, please give us a call and discuss  your concerns and we will be happy to help.

BeforeAfter

 

 

 

Before Cleaning                  After Cleaning

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Posted in air duct cleaning, new construction, remodeling, residential air duct cleaning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments
Aug 31

Back In School! What About the Indoor Air Quality There? Part 2

back to school

In our last post we discussed many of the reasons that indoor air quality is important in our schools.  As stated we are now going to go further into what can be done to ensure that our schools maintain quality indoor air.

The EPA is very helpful in this area.  It’s as if they really do actually care about the air our students, faculty and staff are breathing.  In 2014 there was a survey taken by the National Center for Educations Statistics that discovered that the average age of our nations schools was 55, meaning they were built around 1959.  As you can imagine the standards for indoor air quality since that time have increased dramatically.  You can also imagine that  a great deal of our buildings are in need of improvement.

That being said, where do we start to make sure our kids are breathing the best air possible in their schools?  The first thing to do is to find out if your schools is even concerned with the indoor air quality.  Ask the question.  Once you’ve gathered that information, get involved.  Particularly if your child has allergies or is asthmatic this should be of concern to you.  Being vocal and wanting to be part of a solution or action plan is a great way to be involved in your local school and care for your child.  The EPA has many valuable resources including an  IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit that can give you helpful information to get you started.  Educating ourselves, our students our teachers and administrators will go a long way in helping improve the air quality. Of course, that’s just one place to look. I’m quite sure that there are many other valuable resources out there.

Bottom line is we all want the best possible air quality in our children’s schools.  The ways in which it can positively affect them are many.  Improving the air quality in our schools can have a positive impact on test scores, retention, attendance, teacher satisfaction and retention and even the overall energy efficiency of the building.

Of course, there is a lot that goes into achieving and maintaining high quality indoor air.  However, addressing the issue is the first step.  If you are thinking about it take the next step and ask the pertinent questions.

Here’s to better breathing for our kids at school!

Source:  https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/take-action-improve-indoor-air-quality-schools

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Aug 18

Back In School! What About Indoor Air Quality There?

back to schoolBelieve it or not just about everyone is back in school.  Where did summer go?  Hopefully it went wonderfully spent with family and friends making awesome memories. But, back to school.  We have discussed at length the indoor air quality in our homes and all the things we can do to make it as clean and healthy as possible.  Should we be concerned with the indoor air quality in our children’s schools as well?  In a word, yes!  It is especially important if you have kids who suffer with allergies and asthma. I believe that this is so important and there is so much information about it I will address it in several blogs.

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality in schools is so important the EPA has even said that doing so can enhance student and staff productivity, improve test scores and maybe even reduce absenteeism.  There is a lot more that the EPA has to say about it.  I’m going to start this with the reasons why it is import.

Asthma and allergies are among the leading causes of absenteeism in schools.  Making sure schools’ indoor air is clean and healthy can rid help reduce the allergens and other allergies-sneeze-sick-TS-93539744things that trigger symptoms in sufferers.  The EPA lists problems that can occur if indoor air quality is not maintained at a high level.  They say the problems can:

  • Impact student attendance, comfort and performance.
  • Reduce teacher and staff performance.
  • Accelerate the deterioration and reduce the efficiency of the school’s physical plant and equipment.
  • Increase potential for school closings or relocation of occupants.
  • Strain relationships among school administration, parents and staff.
  • Create negative publicity.
  • Impact community trust.
  • Create liability problems.

There are also symptoms that come with inadequate indoor air quality.  Although not all of these symptoms can be directly related to the indoor air quality they are still problematic and could be helped by improving the indoor air.  The symptoms are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinus congestion
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • and irritation of the eye, nose, throat and skin

“Children breathe more air, eat more food and drink more liquid in proportion to their body weight than adults. Therefore, air quality in schools is of particular concern. Proper maintenance of indoor air is more than a “quality” issue; it encompasses safety and stewardship of your investment in students, staff and facilities.”

We’ll further discuss this issue in the next blog.  We will take on the issue of what actions we can actually take to help.

SOURCE:  https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/why-indoor-air-quality-important-schools

 

 

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