Improve Indoor Air Quality by Removing Clutter

indoor air qualityMany homeowners blame indoor pollutants on mildew, mold, cigarette smoke, pet dander, etc. indeed, these are all common forms of pollutants. However, typical household clutter may affect indoor air quality as well.

How Clutter Creates Poor Indoor Air Quality

A cluttered space provides more surface area for pollen, dust, pollutants and other airborne particles to cling to. Excess clutter also means more hard-to-reach areas. Homeowners often ignore these spots, thus allowing more particles to accumulate over time.

A cluttered room also has less circulation. Of course, a clean air duct is essential for adequate circulation. However, even a clean ventilation system can only do so much if the room is littered with dust-covered junk.

Air quality aside, researchers have also linked clutter to numerous other health problems. Neuroscientists at Princeton University, for instance, discovered that clutter inhibits one’s ability to focus on cognitive tasks. If you believe in feng shui, some say that clutter also disrupts the flow of chi energy. Continue Reading →

Protect Your Home with Regular Flue Cleaning

Flue CleaningHere is a fact most homeowners are unaware of: the home requires a regular chimney cleaning – even if you don’t have a chimney. Confused? Let us clarify: more specifically, you need a flue cleaning. The flue is similar to a chimney, and it requires regular maintenance much like the air ducts in your home.

What is a Flue?

Modern chimneys have a flue. This is an inner metal lining that shuttles soot, gas, carbon monoxide, and other byproducts out of the home. Flues aren’t just found in chimneys; they are also attached to furnaces, boilers, and HVAC systems. Continue Reading →

Is There Black Mold in Your Air Ducts?

black moldMold thrives in damp and dark environments. Air ducts are both moist and dark. Unfortunately, since the inner parts of the ducts are out of sight, mold spores often go undetected for many years. So, how do you know, then, if you have black mold growing in your air ducts?

Why Black Mold in Air Ducts Is Dangerous

Due to the constant change in humidity levels in the ducts, HVAC systems are the ideal breeding ground for mold. Humidity levels change as owners alternate between the AC and the heater. The AC blows the mold spores into the air where they eventually rest in the ducts and have a non-visible environment to incubate.

How to Detect Black Mold in Air Ducts

As mentioned, the mold is out of sight. You may, however, experience the common respiratory symptoms associated with mold growth. These are wheezing, eye irritation, throat mucus, migraines, and skin inflammation. Even then, most people just shake these off as common spring/summer allergens. Continue Reading →

How a Dirty Dryer Vent Can Cause a House Fire

dirty dryer ventWhat causes a house fire? Common culprits include faulty wiring, unsupervised candles, and cooking equipment. Unbeknownst to most homeowners, a dirty dryer vent also causes house fires. We’ll explain the dangers of an uncleaned dryer vent and how it’s a typical contributor of residential fires.

Dryer Vents as a Fire Hazard

Dirty dryer vents contribute to an average 5000 U.S. house fires every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This occurs when a clogged dryer vent causes the appliance to overheat.

Is your dryer vent at risk? We compiled this list of warning signs that your dryer vent is clogged and in danger of overheating. Continue Reading →

4 Common Causes of Airflow Problems in Residential Air Ducts

airflow problemsPoor indoor air quality is often due to airflow problems with the air ducts. What causes restricted air flow and how can homeowners remedy the issue? We’ll go over the common causes and the solution. In most cases, an air duct cleaning is in order.

1. Air Leaks

Modern air duct systems consist of multiple sleeves screwed together. The section where they intersect isn’t always airtight, causing air to escape at the joints. This can be fixed by using a sealant or mastic specifically designed for air duct use.

2. Dirty Fan Blower

Air conditioners and furnaces have a fan blower that distributes air through the ducts. Dust accumulation on the blades compromises the fan blower’s ability to allocate air. The fan blower should be cleaned with every air duct and AC maintenance. Continue Reading →

The Hazard of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

carbon monoxide poisoningCarbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that is impossible to see or smell. Burning fuel or other types of carbon-based materials releases this compound. CO can occur in or near your home when you don’t properly maintain or vent items that burn carbon-based materials. Since CO cannot be detected by our senses, carbon monoxide poisoning is a potential hazard in our homes.

Potential Sources of Exposure to Carbon Monoxide

There are a number of ways you or a member of your family could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Poorly maintained furnace
  • Clogged chimney
  • Blocked heating exhaust vents
  • Improperly vented natural gas water heater or stove
  • Using gas-powered tools indoors, or outside close to windows, doors or vents

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Exposure to CO can cause a number of symptoms. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If the level of exposure is high enough, the affected person will lose consciousness and may die. Continue Reading →