The days slowly get longer and warmer. And we start to see those tiny bright green sprigs of brand new grass, fresh buds on the trees, and colorful flowers popping out their heads after a long, cold winter.
But there’s a side of Spring that’s tough for millions of Americans – allergies. With all the sneezing, sniffling, and itchy eyes, we load up with antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, and headache remedies to fight the dreadful symptoms, sometimes to no avail.
When it comes to allergies, most people consider their home a safe haven, where they can escape the atrocious effects of allergies. Unfortunately, our homes and apartments harbor all sorts of indoor allergens – with many causing year-round suffering. Regardless of how well we clean, pet dander, dust mites, mold, mildew, and more contribute to poor indoor air quality and trigger bothersome allergy symptoms for so many people. Asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly, tend to be even more susceptible.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an allergic reaction happens when your body’s natural defense system — the immune system — releases antibodies as it tries to fight off a substance it thinks is harmful. Those antibodies are responsible for allergy symptoms like swollen, itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; runny noses; and even skin rashes. For some people, a sensitive immune system might mistake harmless things, like pet dander or mold, as evil invaders. Others who are exposed continuously over long periods of time may even develop chronic issues like asthma.
Prevent mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can lurk all around your home. To help combat it, ensure your home has sufficient ventilation, use mold inhibitors in your paints, and clean your bathroom and kitchen with mold-busting products. Also, running your air conditioning and using dehumidifiers and air purifiers will help eliminate mold, bacteria, and viruses that thrive in warm, moist conditions.
Get serious about air system filtration. Change air filters every month to ensure your family is breathing clean, fresh, healthy air. Air filters can trap pollutants such as pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. They work by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps those harmful particles. While they cost more, use HEPA filters if possible – they’re designed to be even better at catching the tiniest particles of dust, dander, and more.
Schedule air duct cleaning. Just as the surfaces in your home become dirty over time, so can your air ducts. Through everyday life, our homes generate all sorts of contaminants and air pollutants like pet dander, dust, mold, and chemicals. All of those contaminants are pulled into your home’s HVAC system and recirculated an average of five to seven times per day. Dirty air ducts can contribute to health issues, especially for those with respiratory conditions, auto-immune disorders, or asthma and allergies. Just like those outdoor seasonal allergens, indoor air pollutants can lead to irritated eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
Having your air ducts properly cleaned can greatly improve your indoor air quality and reduce health problems.
We are proud to unveil our recent project with a Central Florida landmark. The Orlando Science Center recently commissioned us to install state-of-the-art bi-polar ionization air purification systems in their facility.
If you are interested in adding Bi-Polar Ionization technology to your facility
click here to speak to one of our Air Purification experts.
If giving a warm welcome to cooler weather and festive times with family and friends means turning up the heat in your house, there’s something you should know: You may need to clean your home’s air ducts. Air ducts and ventilation systems can get stuffed with dust, pet hair and other contaminants that get blown through your house when you kick on the furnace for the first time in the fall. Whether you notice a burning smell when the heat turns on or experience an increase in allergy symptoms, dirty air ducts may be to blame.
The debris that builds up in your home’s air ducts throughout the year can foster mold and bacteria growth, and even invite vermin into your home. Homes exposed to extreme weather conditions (like this year’s record-breaking hurricanes or the heat and ash from wildfires) are particularly at risk of developing hazardous mold and bacteria. However, extreme weather isn’t the only thing that can dirty your ductwork. Even homes in regions that are going through the normal seasonal changes see a build-up of allergen-producing spring pollen or mold caused by a humid summer. Daily living with pets and people coming in and out of a home can introduce pet hair and dirt into your home’s air ducts, causing allergic reactions when air starts flowing through the ducts and blowing the dirt through the home.
And now, with flu season on the horizon, it’s especially important to ensure the air in your home is free of common irritants that can worsen symptoms or even cause illnesses. Older people, young children and anyone with asthma or other respiratory diseases are all especially susceptible to illnesses caused by impurities in the air.
The good news is that having the ducts cleaned can save you money on energy costs in the long term. Research by the EPA has demonstrated that air duct cleaning and removing debris from your home’s heating and air conditioning system can improve efficiency and the overall quality of indoor air. And, if your health wasn’t reason enough to get your air ducts cleaned this fall, clean, efficient HVAC systems are less likely to break down and will have a longer lifespan and generally operate more effectively, saving you money and the hassle of dealing with a broken-down
To many of us, our pets are equal members of the family. But even though we adore Fido and Bella, the shedding and constant vacuuming can become a daily nuisance, especially for those with pet-related allergies. Sure, the fur clinging to your favorite pair of black pants may be annoying, but did you know the pet dander circulating throughout your home may be causing bigger problems and even affecting your family’s health?
What Exactly is Pet Dander?
According to the American Lung Association, pet dander is made up of microscopic flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. Because of their tiny size and jagged shape, these allergens easily stick to furniture, bedding, fabrics, and many items carried into and out of the home.
How Does Pet Dander Affect Health?
For those with allergies or asthma triggered by pet allergens, breathing in pet dander can make respiratory symptoms worse. Even though sensitivity levels may vary from person to person, individuals who experience reactions may have symptoms including:
How to Combat Pet Dander
Even though you love your pet, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your family’s health or comfort. So how do you deal with pet dander? Here are a few methods you can add to your weekly cleaning routine to lessen the presence of pet-related allergens in your home:
How Air Duct Cleaning Can Help
Did you know that the air in a home—along with those pesky pet allergens—typically circulates through the HVAC system and air ducts 5 to 7 times a day? During the circulation process, it’s also common for allergens and other airborne contaminants to settle in the air ducts. Eliminating pet dander from your home entirely can be a nearly impossible task, but by having your air ducts properly cleaned, you lessen the opportunity for dander to accumulate and be redistributed back into the air you and your family breathe.
So, who can you turn to for your air duct cleaning needs? It’s important to be aware of deals that seem too good to be true. These companies, known as “blow-and-go” or “bait and switch” air duct cleaners, often advertise a drastically discounted rate and then convince customers that the job will require additional cleaning, leaving the unsuspecting homeowner with a hefty bill and poorly cleaned air ducts. To make sure the job is done right, use the Find a Professional tool on the NADCA website to locate a reputable air duct cleaning company in your area. NADCA members have advanced training and follow a higher standard of customer service and cleaning.
Ready to take the next step towards reducing pet dander in your home?
As a homeowner, it’s important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of mold presence. Undetected or ignored mold growth can turn into a serious issue, not only for the structure of your home but for the health of those living under its roof. Reduce your risk by knowing the signs of mold to keep your home and family healthy.
Signs of Mold
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. If any of these signs appear in your home, it may be an indicator that mold is lurking somewhere nearby.
Although mold and its spores are everywhere, active mold growth requires moisture. Whether on visible surfaces or hiding behind drywall, in attics, or under carpets, indoor mold grows in the presence of excessive dampness or water.
2.) Humidity and Condensation
Humidity or water vapor in the air can sometimes supply enough moisture for mold to thrive and grow. If your home feels humid, or you notice an abundance of condensation, that is a prime environment for mold. The EPA recommends that indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60 percent, ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible. Use a hygrometer to easily measure humidity and if your home is outside the ideal range, there are several steps you can take to get that moisture under control:
Is there a strange, earthy smell in your home that won’t go away, no matter how much air freshener you spray? Mold may be at the root of the issue. Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs) are gases produced by mold. The musty odor that you smell from mold is caused by MVOCs. These odors are chemicals that are produced by molds during parts of the mold's growth cycle.
4.) Health problems
Mold allergy symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of other allergies. Mold triggered allergy symptoms include:
How to Prevent Mold Growth
Knowing the signs of mold in your home is important, but what if you can prevent the growth of mold altogether? Here are just a few things you can do to stop mold in its tracks:
In general, prevention is key when it comes to dealing with mold. Along with running a dehumidifier and increasing the airflow within your home, consider scheduling an air duct inspection and cleaning to help ensure no mold is hidden in your home’s ductwork.
Improving energy efficiency is a priority for many homeowners—it helps reduce monthly bills and benefits the environment. By making small changes in your daily living, you can experience the benefits of:
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Are you looking for ways to cut down on your energy consumption and reduce energy-related costs? Here are a few ways you can make your home more energy efficient:
How Air Duct Cleaning Can Help Energy Efficiency
So how does air duct cleaning help energy efficiency exactly?
While making the home more energy efficient, many homeowners often overlook one of the biggest sources of energy, the HVAC system. Your home’s source of heat and air is the lungs of your house, taking air in and breathing it back out through a series of air duct pathways. As your home goes through the seasons, dirt, dust, pet dander and more contaminants build up in your system’s air ducts, making it harder for the unit to reach that desired comfort level. As a result, more energy is required to function which adds to your energy bill.
Maintaining your HVAC system doesn’t just help you cut back on your energy costs, it also helps avoid expensive repairs and replacements in the future. The harder your system works to circulate air throughout your home, the more likely it will break down from overuse.
Even with regular air filter changes, your air ducts will need to be cleaned to ensure maximum efficiency in the long run.