Are Your Cleaning Products Affecting Indoor Air Quality?

cleaning products indoor airWe’re going to let you in on an inconvenient truth: most cleaning products do more harm than good. Sure, that brand-name spray will clean the countertop, but the chemical ingredients can induce bad reactions in anyone with sensitivities. Cleaning products affect indoor air more than one realizes, so we recommend exercising caution.

How Do Cleaning Products Affect Indoor Air?

Common window, upholstery, and countertop sprays emit chemicals, such as glycol and terpenes. These are harmful endocrine disruptors that can exacerbate allergies. Such chemicals are also found in other everyday items, including:

  • Floor polish
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Air fresheners
  • Toilet bowl cleaners

When buying cleaners, carefully read the label and avoid products with any of these compounds:

  • Ammonia
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Triclosan
  • Perchloroethylene, usually abbreviated as “PERC”
  • Phthalates, mainly found in air fresheners

How to Improve Air Quality

We recommend switching over to all-natural cleaners. You should also avoid products with lemon or pine scent, especially during spring allergy season. When applicable, try sticking to warm water and soap. This is nothing fancy and is as basic as basic gets, but it gets the job done in most cases.

Ventilation must also be adequate. Aside from opening windows and doors, your air ducts should also be in good operating condition. We also recommend refraining from the use of ionizers, electrostatic precipitators, or other home purifier devices during cleaning. These devices produce ozone, which may react with the cleaning chemicals in the air and produce harmful fumes.

We’ll Improve Your Home Air Circulation

What you can’t see often does the most harm. Call Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning to maintain your air ducts, furnace, and dryer vent. With allergy season here, take steps to improve the air in your home. Most cleaning products affect indoor air, so a properly running ventilation system is crucial if you plan to do some spring cleaning.

Air Duct Cleaning for Better Indoor Air Quality

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King County and South Snohomish County

Why You Should Never Clean a Dryer Vent with a Leaf Blower

dryer vent cleaningAir ducts and dryer vents are very complex systems. This is why DIY cleaning almost never works. Over the years, we’ve met dozens of homeowners who have attempted all sorts of crazy DIY cleaning tricks. One such wild idea is dryer vent cleaning with a leaf blower. In case you’re contemplating such an idea, we’ll explain why this practice will likely end in failure.

Dryer Vent Cleaning With a Leaf Blower: What’s Wrong With This?

Some people try to remove lint with a powerful blast of air with a leaf blower. This actually does not remove the lint. All it does is push the debris towards the opening without actually expelling the lint. This results in a clog that prevents clothing from drying properly.

When homeowners use a leaf blower, they disconnect the dryer and insert the leaf blower’s nozzle into the vent line. The air blast is supposed to push the lint out of the vent to the outside. The process sounds simple enough. Unfortunately, the results often don’t work out as expected. Continue Reading →

Does Your Ventilation System Have A Transite Duct?

transite ductYour ventilation system may or may not have a transite duct. If it does have one, then it requires regular cleaning along with the rest of the air duct system. We’ll explain how transite ducts work and why cleaning them is vital for healthy air circulation.

What Is A Transite Duct?

A transite duct is a PVC tube that runs under a home and extends to the house’s exterior. The structure consists of a single elongated tube that runs along the walls. A transite duct operates differently than conventional ductwork. The latter utilizes an upflow furnace that pushes air upwards to the ducts to provide air and heat to the home. Transite ducts, on the other hand, use a downflow furnace that pushes the air downwards to the ducts below. Continue Reading →

Weird Items We Found Inside Air Ducts

air ductsOur technicians often discover the usual during a routine air duct cleaning. This includes swaths of dust balls, cockroach parts and droppings, and the occasional dead mouse. On rare occasions, we find weird items inside air ducts. This ranges from strange to downright gross stuff. To cap off 2017, we’ll share some of what we and other related companies have discovered over the years.

Strange and Weird Items Inside Air Ducts

We heard of a company that went to a house where the homeowner was complaining of poor airflow. A slab of sheetrock was inhibiting the air circulation. The technician broke through the sheetrock to discover a hidden storage area full of old VHS tapes. The homeowner misplaced the tapes months ago and couldn’t recall how they ended up in that location.

Air ducts also make great hiding places. Homeowners and/or their children may stash away items of a “sensitive” nature. This includes bags of weed, adult magazines, and other similar items that we’d rather not specifically mention.

Wildlife Inside the Ducts

At times, we discover animals, both living and long dead. We once serviced the home of a woman who took in homeless cats. One entered the ductwork and wouldn’t leave. Another incident included a 4-foot long python that entered the duct after escaping its terrarium. This was beyond our expertise, so we called animal control. Other times, we found dead animals other than the common house mouse. This includes opossums, raccoons, and other small wildlife common in the Pacific Northwest.

We’ll Clear Out Your Ductwork

End 2017 with a complete duct and dryer vent cleaning. We also recommend cleaning the furnace now that winter is around the corner. Contact Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning for an inspection. You never know; we just might find some weird items inside your ductwork.

Full Air Duct and Vent Cleaning

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King County and South Snohomish County

Can You Run Cables Inside the Air Ducts?

cables inside the air ductsAt times, when servicing a client’s ventilation system, our crew discovers cables inside the air ducts. This is becoming fairly commonplace, since the ducts provide an out-of-sight location for the tendrils of lengthy cords. However, is this really a wise practice?

The Problem with Running Cables Inside the Air Ducts

Air ducts are meant as a conduit for air, not wires. Putting cables inside the ductwork may even be a building code violation.

The main reason we’re against this practice is because a technician can damage your cables during an air duct cleaning. This could render your phone lines, Internet, and cable television inoperable. When we clean ventilation shafts, we use a rotary brush. The brush spins continuously in a single direction. This can catch, twist, mangle, and shred the cords, causing extensive damage—both to the cables and the rotary brush. Continue Reading →

Which One: Whole-House or Portable Humidifier?

Whole-House or Portable HumidifiersThe air is beginning to dry up in the Pacific Northwest now that fall is here. This can adversely affect your breathing if you have allergies. A humidifier inside your home can improve the indoor air and keep allergen levels in check. As a homeowner, should you buy a whole-house humidifier or a portable humidifier?

Whole House or Portable Humidifier: The Pros and Cons

Whole-House Humidifier

A whole-house humidifier is a permanent installation mounted to the home furnace or HVAC system. Continue Reading →

What Air Conditioning Odors Says About Your HVAC

air conditioning odorsAir conditioning odors may indicate a number of issues. In most cases, there’s no need for alarm. Nevertheless, you may need to clean the HVAC and air duct system. We’ll go over some of the common smells and what they mean.

Types of Air Conditioning Odors

Musty Odor

Do you detect a musty smell similar to sweaty body odor? This is usually a sign of mildew or mold inside the HVAC. During the dehumidification process, moisture collects in the air filter and ductwork. Mold can develop in as little as 24 hours if the water does not completely evaporate.

Remedy this problem by bringing in a professional to replace the filter and checking the drain pan to make sure it’s emptying properly. Continue Reading →

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 →