Aug 10

Want Cleaner Indoor Air? Ask These Questions

Of course everyone wants the cleanest indoor air possible.  You’ve researched and have implemented a number of things that help you get just that in your home.  Air duct cleaning is one of those things that can help considerably.  However, how do you know if you actually need to have your air ducts cleaned?  That is an excellent question.  I’ve found several very important questions that you can ask yourself.  Your answers to these questions will be very valuable in helping you to determine if this is something you should do.

So here goes.

Questions:

Do you have mold, mildew, slime, or other microbial growth?  Do you have debris Beforebuildup that restricts air-flow?  Can you see dust, cobwebs or other debris blowing from ductwork or registers?  Is there evidence of insect or rodent infestation?  Is there an offensive odor from your ductwork or HVAC system?  Does your family of frequent bout of illness or allergies?  Do you know if your ductwork happens to be fiberglass?  If so, it happens to collect contaminants more easily than sheet metal.  Do any of your air another beforeducts have permanent or long-term water damage?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, it could possibly be reason enough to at least check into having your ducts cleaned.  It is an excellent investment in your home and your family.

Let us know if we can help!

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Aug 05

Back To School: Germs and Indoor Air Quality

back to schoolCan hardly believe it’s already back to school time!  However, it really is.  A lot of parents are probably ecstatic while the kids….not so much.  One thing that back to school definitely brings is germs.  All summer we’ve been outside and active and running around in the sun.  We’ve not been all that worried about germs.  With school back in session the time to remember germs is now.  Now, we are all back in confined spaces with lots of people and everyone’s germs.  Isn’t that a lovely thought.  Of course, we try to prevent the germs from affecting our families with cleaners etc.  That’s not a bad thing.  However, we need to be careful what we are using to clean so that we are not attacking the germs at the expense of our indoor air quality.

Should that even be a concern?  Only to the point that harsh chemicals release toxins intotoxic-cleaning the indoor breathing environment.  It’s a matter of paying attention to what you are using to banish those germs. There are lots of organic products and even things you may have right around the house that are far less toxic to use to destroy those germs.

If you are looking for something right around the house white vinegar is a great way to go.  It is not nearly as toxic as chlorine bleach and it is just as effective in wiping out most harmful germs.  I located a site that has some great tips for using white vinegar:  greenopedia.com/sanitize-naturally   Of course, with just a bit of vinegartime you can do your own research and come up with what will work best for you.

If home “remedies” are not really your think there are plenty of great “green” products in the stores for you.  Either way, there are ways to get rid of the germs and still maintain great indoor air quality.  Hope this gives you some food for thought.  Happy back to school time!

 

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Jul 20

Poor Indoor Air? – Open the Windows

You’re probably thinking, “it’s 140 degrees outside, why would I open the windows?”  Can’t blame you one bit for that thought.  It’s late July and it is HOT!  That probably means we’ve had the windows shut tight and quite possibly have contributed to worsening our indoor breathing atmosphere.  But, opening the windows seems drastic.  Perhaps try opening a window or two in the evening when it has cooled off a bit even just for a little while.  It truly can improve the indoor air quality.

open window FallIf you just can’t bring yourself to cozy up to the thought of opening the windows in the middle of summer, perhaps there is something else that can be done.  After all, everyone would like to improve their indoor air.  Another great and simple way to do so is to incorporate plants in your decor. Even if you have allergy issues, non-flowering plants can help your indoor air.  There are definitely some that are better than others.  Here is a list of some of the best ones:  Aloe, English Ivy, Rubber Tree, Snake plant, Bamboo Palm, Philodendron, Spider plant, and Golden Pothos.  I’m sure there are others, just be sure to do your research before you invest.  Of course, if you are similar to me and have absolutely no green thumb you might want to make sure they are also easy to care for.  heart leaf plant

During this very busy yet fun time of year just wanted to offer up some quick and easy options for continuing to stay on top of making our indoor air quality the best that we can for our families.  Enjoy your summer!

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/05/11/improve-indoor-air-quality.aspx

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Jul 07

Saving Your Indoor Air Quality in Summer Heat

The HEAT is definitely on!  Summer is in full swing and I’m definitely feeling it. 90+ summer heatalmost everyday.  WOAH!  It got me thinking how this summer heat could be effecting our indoor air quality or if it even does.  I found some interesting things regarding this subject.

Apparently the heat does effect the indoor air quality but more as it pertains to the humidity involved in the heat.  Too much or too little humidity has a great deal of affect on the indoor air quality.

Too much humidity and the chance of mold and mildew increases immensely.  The spores from mold especially can wreak havoc on the indoor air. High humidity also makes it high humiditymore difficult of the body to keep itself cool. Obviously another downside to high humidity other than poor indoor air quality.

Too little humidity is also not conducive to quality indoor air.  Too little moisture in the indoor air can dry out skin, eyes, and nasal passages.  These things can irritate allergy symptoms and even make folks susceptible to colds and other respiratory diseases.  Yes, I realize that we don’t have too much trouble with low humidity in our neck of the woods.  However, if you are using a dehumidifier make sure you don’t have it set to take too much moisture out of your air.

So, what are the best levels of humidity to have in the indoor air in the summertime?  Well, OSHA says there is no real level recommended.  They say it is a matter of human comfort.  However, it is generally recommended in the indoor air quality  community to have humidity levels somewhere between 40-65% in the summertime.  That is a fairly wide range that will probably accommodate most comfort levels.

So, at least we know that the heat and humidity do have  an affect on our indoor air quality.  Now it’s up to us to help our indoor air quality as much as we can according to our newly acquired information.happy sun

Here’s to summer!  And here’s to great indoor air quality!

Source:  http://aetinc.biz/newsletters/2010-insights/march-2010http://www.speedyacservice.com/blog/indoor-air-quality-service/how-to-improve-your-indoor-air-quality-this-summer/

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Jun 30

Enjoying the Fresh Air Outdoors – Moonlight Fun

We’ve been spending a lot of time discussing the indoor air.  Decided this blog would be dedicated to enjoying the outdoor air especially since the 4th of July is right around the corner.  So, we all spend some amount of time outdoors during the day just going and from all the things we do everyday.  That’s okay.  But do we really stop to enjoy it?   Sometimes as summer gets into full swing we find it too warm to really “enjoy” outdoor activities during the day.  How about enjoying some nighttime fresh air? Or, maybe you’ve been enjoying the daytime outdoor fresh air and just want to keep it going.  Whglow bottlesichever the case, I thought I’d offer some interesting ideas to help you enjoy the nighttime fresh air.

First idea is to incorporate glow sticks, necklaces, balls, frisbees into the things you have always enjoyed doing during the day.  Things such as ultimate frisbee where the participants could wear glow necklaces/bracelets and the frisbee could be one of those cool glow in the dark ones.  Or, lawn darts where you piece together glow in the dark necklaces for the targets and use glow in the dark tape to mark the darts.  You could even use the same ideas with the old croquet set and us glow in the dark kickbglow ring tossalls instead of the balls and mallets.  I’m sure you see where I’m going with all of this.  There is so much more to enjoying the nighttime fresh air than just sitting around a fire pit (which makes the air not so fresh anyway) and swapping stories.  Get up, get moving and get creative.  Use what you have and grab some cheap glow “stuff” at your local dollar store.  Your kids will love it and you might even have a great time too.  Get out there and enjoy the nighttime fresh air!

glow croquet

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Jun 23

Indoor Air Quality – Dryer Vents?

It’s summer…even officially on the calendar!  For me that means a lot of laundry because everyone is home more.  Everyone being home more means more clothes being changed more often (sweat, sports, swimming etc.) which means lots more laundry.  Laundry leads me to think of cleaning the dryer lint trap and leads me to thinking about the dryer vent.  Then, because of what I do, makes me think about indoor air quality.  That’s a long way to say it got me wondering if the dryer vents and/or lint traps have any effect on the indoor air quality of my home.

clean indoor airAnswer. Maybe.  Of course, you see the lint flying through the air when you clean the lint trap.  That may affect the quality of your air temporarily but as soon as the air circulates through you HVAC system and through the high-quality HEPA filters I’m sure you use, that part is taken care of.  But, do you use dryer sheets and/or fragrant detergents or fabric softeners?  If so, those can have an adverse effect on the quality of your indoor air.  Those things are generally created with harsh chemicals that infiltrate your air.  Our bodies aren’t naturally equipped to handle such chemicals and therefore can cause adverse affects on our health. It was definitely eye-opening for me.

The other part that I found, upon doing a little research, was that not only can the fragrance filled products we use for our laundry affect the indoor air it can also affect the outside air.  That never even crossed my mind.  But, when I thought about it, it is very obvious when neighbors are doing laundry.  The fragrance filters right out the dryer vents and into our outside air.  So, not only could we possibly be polluting the indoor air for ourselves and our guests but we could be polluting the outside air for everyone else.  The only true solution  for that particular problem is to opt for fragrance free products or make your own and add only natural fragrance.

Of course, another problem with dryer vents is the fire dangdryer vent cleaninger that they can become if not properly cleaned regularly.  Make sure you are doing that.  My research suggested tht over 15,000 fires a year are started by clogged dryer vents.  Not only that, but clogged vents prevent  your dryer from working properly and can wear them out prematurely.

Who knew simply doing the summer laundry could lead to such questions and possible solutions?  Here’s to cleaner indoor air and properly running dryers!

As always, if you have any questions about indoor air quality or are interested in air duct cleaning or air purification please visit our site or give us a call!

Sources:  http://createyourhealthyhome.com/improve-your-indoor-air-quality/  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226517/

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Jun 10

Clutter? It Can Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Clutter!  Is it really a problem?  Can it really have an effect on our indoor air quality?  In short, yes.  By now we are totally engulfed in the new “normal” of summer.  Kids at home 24/7.  Doors opening and closing more times a day than you can imagine.  Things being left everywhere going from one activity to another.  And, clutter abounds (at least for a lot of us).  Honestly, the fact that it can affect our indoor air quality is probably not even on our radar.  We are, most likely, more concerned with the way it looks and the fact we trip over things more often.  clutter

One bit of research I found suggested that piles of clutter left undisturbed can harbor pet hair and dander, dust mites, pollen and even mold if the area is damp.  These things are especially difficult for those with allergies, asthma or any condition where poor air quality contributes to symptoms.  Quite honestly I was surprised at the number of websites with information correlating clutter with indoor air quality.

I found one site that seemed particularly helpful.  It not only addressed the correlation between clutter and indoor air quality but it also gave guidelines for knowing if we have an issue with clutter, recognizing it and steps to deal with it. That all seemed very beneficial to me.  So, here is the link for that particular site: http://fullercenter.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/default/files/Dealing%20With%20Household%20Clutter.pdf

I hope you find it helpful and that you are working diligently to keep the air you breathe inside your home as clean as possible.

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Jun 04

Indoor Air Quality: Air Conditioning and Filters

It seems these days that we are all trying to do better in a lot of areas.  We want to be healthier, keep things cleaner, be kinder and, especially these days, save money.  Some, if not all, of these areas don’t lend themselves to the saving money part.  It seems you have to spend money to eat healthier and exercise and such.  Even when you are trying to make your home healthier, particularly the air inside your home, its seems it will cost money!  On the surface that is probably true.  But, let’s dig a little deeper.

Good indoor air quality can be achieved with a well maintained high efficiency HVAC system.  That is good for your health.  However, it seems that might not be good for your bank account.  Just like a good high quality HEPA filter in said HVAC system ihvacs also good for your health, but costs a little more than the cheap non-HEPA version.  The bottom line is that spending a little more up front can really save you in the long run.  Spending the money to keep your HVAC system in tip top condition and spending the extra on high-quality HEPA filters will save you in so many areas.

First, well maintained HVAC systems run so much more efficiently.  This will lower your energy usage and thus the bill.  Secondly, high-quality HEPA filters add to the efficiency of your system.  Another win.  Next, by using the high-quality HEPA filters not only do you add to the efficiency of your system but you cut way down on the amount of allergens that float around in your indoor air.  This might very well cut down on the need for allergy medications, doctor visits and, when we get right down to it, the need for an over abundance of tissues (those things can be costly).  We haven’t HEPA filtereven mentioned the non-monetary benefits such as just breathing cleaner air and feeling better.  And how do you even put a price on that!

Bottom line, yes it does cost money to keep your systems well maintained.  And it costs a little more to use high-quality HEPA filters.  But, in the long run the benefits, both monetary and non-monetary, far outweigh the costs.  Give it some thought : )

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May 11

Air Duct Cleaning 101: How Does It Get Done?

Well, we covered why duct cleaning is a great idea in the last post.  Now, we should probably cover how it gets done.  About as many air duct cleaning companies as there are, there are that many ways of doing the job.  However, you want the most effective and efficient job done for your home or business.  Obviously I can only speak effectively about the way we do it at Mr. B’s Air Duct Cleaning, and we truly believe it is the very best way for it to be done.

So, here’s the scoop.  There are three main parts to your air duct system; the trunk line, the vent lines and the return line.  The trunk line is the main line that comes off of your air conditioning unit. The vent lines branch off of the trunk line. First, the trunduct cleaning nozzlesk line is located and an access is carefully cut so that the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum can be attached. This access also allows lighted visible inspection of the line. Once the vacuum is turned on, all of the vents go to a negative air flow (they breath in). At this point each vent line is cleaned using brushes and a variety of air nozzles to scrub and move any potential airborne debris back to the trunk line.

Once all of the vent lines on that system have been completed, it is time to return to where the vacuum is attached and brushes and air tools are used to bring everything in the trunk line to the vacuum. The cleaning occurs from your living space all the way back to the airduct cleaning hoses and brushes conditioning  unit. The opening that was made is then closed and sealed. For instance if a 12 inch hole were cut, it is covered with a 13 inch piece of metal, screwed in place and sealed with foil tape. Then the insulation is resealed over that access.

Next, is the return lines, using basically the same method and tools. The line is cleaned from the living space all the way back to the air conditioning unit. There is not customarily a need  to cut into a return line, there are other ways to access these.

 

The tools used should be very versatile allowing one to work forward or backward.  Also, allowing one to bend and flex into tight places.  This allows customization for all different types of air ducts being used (metal, flex duct and board).  The brushes should be made of the same material used in car washes, strong enough to scrub and gentle enough not to damage.

image2 Watch the brushes in action

This is a description of the best possible way to clean air ducts in our opinion.  We use all of the aforementioned tools and processes.  Our results always speak for themselves.  If you need more information or are just curious, give us a call or visit our site.  Always happy to answer questions and help you make your indoor breathing atmosphere better!

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Apr 28

Air Duct Cleaning 101: Why have my air ducts cleaned?

We cover so much about how to keep the indoor air quality in our homes in the best shape we possibly can.  We usually throw in air duct cleaning at the bottom somewhere just so you remember who is sharing all these great tips and ideas.  Today, however, I wanted to do a little educating on the reasons you probably should consider air duct cleaning.

We rely heavily on our HVAC systems no matter what the season.  Perhaps, we give it more thought in the spring and summer months just because of our comfort factor. Our systems work particularly hard during those months.  Most of us are reasonably good at making sure our systems are maintained properly.  That is the good news.  However, because the ducts are pretty much out of sight they are pretty much out of mind as well.  That is most unfortunate.

According to the NADCA in a typical 6 room home around 40 pounds of dust is generated Beforeannually.  This dust consists of all kinds of contaminants and is circulated through the air duct system in just one year.  Of course, you use filters and I’m sure you are diligent about changing them in a timely manner (wink, wink).  That’s a very good thing.  But, do you really think those filters take care of 40 pounds?  Probably not.  It settles in the ducts and 40 pounds is just one year.  Can you imagine what has settled in your air ducts if you’ve never had them cleaned or not in the last 5 years or so.  I’m thinking you are beginning to get the picture.  That would add up to a lot of dust and other contaminants.

Regular household dust and contaminants are not the only reasons to have them cleaned.  If your home is brand new or if you havducts after a remodele recently remodeled there are even more reasons to have them cleaned.  During a new build or even a remodel lots of things inadvertently make their way into the ducts.  We have seen all manner of construction debris in the duct work as we have helped our customers clean  up their air.  Sawdust, of course, was found but also larger debris even pieces of insulation and wood scraps.

And, of course, another reason could be that in years of use, in and out, whatever goes on another beforeat your house, it is possible that pests and even small rodents could possibly have made their way into your ducts.  Sounds disgusting doesn’t it.

Just because it sounds disgusting is not necessarily the reason to consider air duct cleaning.  Although, it is a reason.  Just consider what all that could possibly be putting in the air that you and your family breathe all day everyday.  That definitely is reason enough to consider having it done.

Give us a call or check out our site to get a free estimate on air duct cleaning.  We can help you have one less thing to concern yourself with.

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