Hazards of Operating a Dryer Without a Vent

dryer vent hazardsSome homeowners who buy a new dryer don’t know how to hook it up to the vent. Instead of calling in an installer, they just use the dryer like normal without ever attaching the hose. Is this acceptable? No. There are hazards to operating a dryer without a vent.

Dryer Operation Without Vent Attachment; Yay or Nay?

In spite of what some people may say, the answer is an emphatic “no.” Operation in this manner can cause premature damage to the dryer; it is also creates safety hazards.

When the dryer is in operation, it emits moist air. The air has to go somewhere. Without a vent attachment, the air circulates into the home interior. Humid air combined with hot summers is the perfect recipe for mold growth. The air also contains microscopic lint particles, which you don’t want to breathe in. Continue Reading →

Cleaning Your A-Coil This Summer

A-coil cleaning, evaporator coil cleaningSummer is when homeowners really turn up the air conditioning. Before use, though, we recommend cleaning the air ducts and furnace. This also includes a thorough wipe-down of the A-coil—also known as the evaporator coil. Most homeowners overlook this component. A-Coil cleaning is necessary as part of routine HVAC maintenance.

What Is the A-Coil?

The A-coil/evaporator coil, is a triangular-shaped tube located above the furnace. Air passes over this component before exiting the vents and into the living space. The air flows across this coil whether you’re using the AC or heater.

Due to the constant shuttling of air, the coil surface is susceptible to contaminant buildup. It can accumulate dust mites, pet hair, insect parts, and microscopic allergens.

Does the A-Coil Require Cleaning?

You can perform a visual inspection if the coil is accessible and not encased. You can easily spot signs of debris buildup and grime. A dirty A-coil is usually also a sign that the filter is equally dirty. A clogged filter enables larger debris to slip through and cling to the coil. If the A-coil is filthy, then you need to schedule a professional cleaning. Continue Reading →

Dryer Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

dryer safetyWhen you think about house fires, you may think about the stove or electrical wires as the most likely culprits. The dryer, though, is another fire hazard. We’ll discuss dryer safety and some alarming statistics.

Dryer Fire Statistics

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released some startling figures regarding dryer fires. Both washers and dryers are capable of erupting in flames. However, in 92% of instances involving dryer and washer units, the dryer was the sole culprit. In 2017, 15,970 U.S. homes sustained damage as a result of a dryer fire. Those instances resulted in 440 injuries and $238 million in damage.

How Dryers Cause Fires

Fires often arise from the ignition of accumulated lint, dust, and other debris. The NFPA estimated that roughly one-third of dryer fires are due to failure to clean the vent. Dryer vent fires also peak during the winter. Nevertheless, the danger is present year-round. Continue Reading →

Do You Have Leaky Air Ducts?

leaky air ductsHomeowners often think of the pipes or the roof when a leak comes to mind. Did you know, though, that air ducts are also susceptible to leaking? Not a leak of water, of course, but of air. In fact, according to one estimate, 10% of indoor air loss is due to leaky air ducts, thus contributing to energy waste.

Signs of Leaky Air Ducts

Higher Utility Bills—Is your utility bill gradually increasing month by month? If your household shows increased usage, then the ducts may be to blame. Air loss causes the HVAC unit to work harder compared to a unit hooked to a well-sealed air duct system. The effects eventually take a toll on your wallet.

Inconsistent Temperatures—Where does the escaped air go? Much of it escapes outside or into the attic. This also prohibits the air from reaching certain rooms. If you were to switch on the AC, you might feel the full effects in the living room but not in the personal bedrooms. Continue Reading →

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 →