indoor air quality info graphic
We tend to think of air pollution as something outside — smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially in summer. But the truth is, the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside.
Changing your HVAC air filter regularly is an important first step, but consider the indoor air quality impacts of the products you buy. Everything from cleaning products to furniture, rugs, and carpets can release volatile organic compounds. Furnaces and stoves pollute the air with carbon monoxide. Dust and pet dander can collect in all sort of places. At a minimum, a periodic airing out of your home will help clear some of these irritants and health hazards out.
Spend some time with the information below, and then give some thought to what you’re already doing to keep clean air in your home. What more could you be doing? Share your thoughts, and tell us what you do to make sure that your family is breathing indoor air that’s as clean as possible.by
5 Common Steps To Help Solve Poor Air Flow Problems
Proper air flow is one of the most critical things your air conditioner needs to do its job properly. Even if the system is properly removing heat from the air that flows through the unit, it doesn’t help your comfort if the conditioned air doesn’t make it to the space that needs heated or cooled.
We are entering the dog days of summer, and already we’ve seen high humidity & sweltering 90+ degree temperatures. It’ times like these when people everywhere are either thankful for their air conditioners or are sweating and sleeping in the basement because their air conditioners don’t work! Weak airflow is one of the most annoying air conditioner problems there is, not only because it’s uncomfortable but also because you can’t immediately be sure of what’ wrong with it. There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing weak airflow, some are easy fixes, some require the help of a service professional.
Dirty Fan Blower
Within the furnace cabinet there is a fan-blower which distributes the air. Overtime dust and debris builds on the fan blower blades reducing its ability to grab and distribute the air. By routinely cleaning the furnace you can improve your homes airflow.
Distance from the Furnace is too long
As the HVAC system is in operation, it blows and draws air through a series of air ducts to condition each space of the home. While there is a strong force of air pressure as the air is blown from the HVAC unit , the strength of the airflow dissipates as it reaches the furthest points of the ventilation system. More often than not this airflow problem relates to poor design in the architecture of the home or poor installation practices of the HVAC system. Sometimes modifications can be made to the ventilation system to provide a greater volume of air with less restriction. A booster fan is a good solution if you have a heating run that’s too long. A booster fan will give you that extra push so the air can get to where it needs to go.
Lack of Return Air
Proper airflow within a home is always related to the circulation of air flow. Your home relies on supply air vents which blow conditioned air into the home, and return air vents which draw the air back to the furnace or air conditioner. A lack of return air vents decreases the circulation of airflow within a home, adding additional return vents in areas with poor airflow will help improve a homes air circulation.
Plugged AC Coil
Regardless of it being the heating season or cooling season, air still has to be able to blow through the coil. If the coil gets dirty , it restricts air greatly. A regular cleaning of the evaporator coils on an regular basis can improve your homes airflow.
Seal up Ducts
Leaking air ducts are more common than you might think, in fact, they’re among the leading causes of weak airflow! If you think you have leaky ducts, shine a flashlight in one of your vents and see if you can see any light coming through. If you can, call a Duct Sealing contractor to come out and seal them up, duct sealing will improve your air conditioner airflow, making you more comfortable and saving you $$$ on your heating and cooling bills!by
50 years old or 18,250 days young!
50 years ago Power Vac began an epic journey that would ultimately bring our company to the forefront of the Duct Cleaning Industry.
We are humbled as we look back at the journey we have taken. At the same time, we realize how profoundly indebted we are to our loyal customers and partners . We could not have reached this important milestone without your commitment to the company. So we are honored to celebrate this anniversary with you .
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve and we look forward to serving customers for the next 50 years and beyond.
We Vacuum, we dust but despite our best efforts dust always seems to come back. Dust happens. It’s a universal truth that as soon as you dust your furniture, more dust will collect. But, that doesn’t mean that the battle has to end there. Dust can be – and should be – fought. Why? Dust creates lots of problems, from eye irritation to lingering colds and allergies to that annoying itchy or runny nose. More importantly, it makes a house dirty and that attracts more dust. Not only that, but with newer construction practices our homes have become more air tight – which can lead to indoor air quality concerns.
Some rooms have more dust than others too. The bedroom, with all its fabric in the mattress, pillows, bedding, curtains, blinds, and carpeting is one giant dust magnet, making dusting in the bedroom especially important. Have you ever noticed that when you go to bed, your nose suddenly gets stuffy and you reach for the breathing strips or antihistamine . A lot of people have this same “problem.” But the problem probably isn’t your sinuses, it’s house dust.
What is Dust ? – Dustology 101
Dust is a hodgepodge of all sorts of things . As a general rule, the majority of household dust — about 60% — comes from outside, through windows, doors, vents and, significantly, on the soles of your shoes. Smaller dust particles — from 28 to 49 microns, or thousandths of a millimeter — tend to stay on your shoes. The rest is shaken off inside.
Dust is made up of a variety of things from blowing dirt, bacteria, pollen, pollutants, molds, animal dander, hair, decomposing insects, fibers, dryer lint, insulation, dust mites and their excrement, and mostly, skin flakes that humans shed.
Where does dust come from?
It comes from a variety of sources including plants, roads, wind, clothes dryers, electronics, attics, basements, air conditioning and heating ducts and vents, pets, pollen, insects, carpeting, knick knacks. If you live in the south, coastal states, desert, or Southwest, you have more than your fair share of dust due to excess pollen, windy, and dry conditions. But not matter where you live you can not hide from dust.
How to cut down on house dust
Keeping your home dust free is one thing, keeping it dusty free is quite another. Dust seems to accumulate so quickly and keeping on top of it can be a losing battle. There are some great ways to combat the piling particulate blues. The following useful steps will go along way in battling the war on dust!
Ask people to remove their shoes before entering your home. Dust is tracked in on the bottom of shoes.
Use quality filters in your furnace and air conditioner. Cheap fiberglass filters don’t prevent fine particles of dust from passing through, allowing dust to scatter throughout your home See filter info Pleated air filters catch more dust particles, and some are electrostatically charged to attract pollen and other allergens. Make sure the filter is ranked for the blower capacity of your system. Use the air conditioner to reduce humidity; dust mites love a moist environment.
Humidify your home if you live in a dry area. Dry air creates static electricity, which attracts dust. Try to maintain a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent. Purchase a whole-home humidifier that attaches to the furnace, or use a portable humidifier in your home. For more information see our humidier blog
Wipe dust with a cleaning rag or a microfiber duster, rather than using a feather duster. Feather dusters scatter dust, which sends it into the air, just to settle again in your home. Microfiber cloths attract and hold dust.
Clean your air vents. Hire a Nadca Certified duct cleaning company to clean out your heating and cooling vents to remove any accumulated dust.
Floods can affect your HVAC system
Flooding can happen at any time of the year. Whether there is a heavy rain fall, snow has melted causing ice damming or a pipe bursts within your home. Considering the cleanliness of the HVAC system after a flood should be a high priority because that system will be circulating the conditioned air throughout the structure. If a dirty HVAC system has been contaminated by water and humidity, microorganisms have the potential to grow and multiply as soon as 48 hours after contamination.
All surfaces of an HVAC system and all its components that were submerged during a flood are potential reservoirs for dirt, debris, and microorganisms, including bacteria and mold. In addition, moisture can collect in areas of HVAC system components that were not submerged (e.g., air supply ducts), and this also can lead to the growth of microorganisms. Therefore, all flood water‐contaminated components of the HVAC system should be thoroughly inspected, cleaned of dirt and debris by a professional duct cleaning constractor . If HVAC systems are not properly cleaned and disinfected to prevent the dissemination of mold and other debris throughout a building, bioaerosols of mold and other microorganisms might exists and can cause a variety of adverse health effects to the building’s occupants. To prevent cross contamination during remedial activities, the HVAC system should be shut down .
Call Power Vac if you suspect that there may be microbial growth within your HVAC system, or if your HVAC system was compromised during or after a flood. We have 50 years experience helping Canadians with their IAQ and dust concerns
heating system will introduces humidity in the form of water vapor into the air that travels through heating ducts. The level of humidity
is then monitored and controlled by your thermostat, just like the temperature is, and an even level of moisture can be released into your
house all year long.
The Advantages of a Furnace Humidifier Include:
- Reduced static electricity
- No more dried out nasal passages
- Reduced susceptibility to colds and flu viruses
- Fewer respiratory-related problems
- Financial benefits (reduced heating costs)
- Houseplants survive longer
- Hardwood floors crack less
What To Know Before you Buy
Compare Different Types of Units
Furnace humidifiers come in three basic designs, with each offering its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Drum-style units are the most
affordable, but also require the most maintenance according to Cornerhardware.com. Flow-thru models help to prohibit mold growth,
but require a built-in floor drain for proper drainage. Spray mist humidifiers are efficient for use with oil or gas-powered
furnaces, but are not intended for use in electric furnaces.
Makeup air units- What every condo owner should know
Make-up air units supply fresh air to buildings to compensate for air lost through exhaust fans and other sources. Simply put,
they “make up” for lost air, which helps to ensure good indoor air quality for everyone.
With 48 years of service excellence in the condominium marketplace, the Power Vac Cleaning team has the experience to properly
address and complete any commercial residence job. This means cleaning spaces shared by all tenants, including hallway air
make-up systems and, especially, laundry exhausts — an area often prone to fire hazards due to the materials that build up
inside of high-use dryer vents. Cleaning such areas on a regular basis helps reduce costly repairs and improves the efficiency
and lifespan of your building’s equipment.
For more information condovoice – fall 2013 – make-up air units – what every unit owner should knowby
Your Air Filter Just Got Smarter
Wouldn’t it be great if your air filter could send you a text
when it became clogged and lost its efficiency?
For many of us, changing air filters is an easily forgettable chore.
Who has time to think about something that is hardly noticed on a daily, or even weekly, basis? Typically, central air conditioning and heating system filters are changed randomly or when it “feels” right.
A new air filter monitor removes this guesswork by sending an email or text alert to your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer when the filter becomes clogged so you can enjoy cleaner air, lower electric bills and an efficiently operating HVAC system.
And, it’s not just convenient. Regular filter changes can help save $300 annually.
Just like your automobile’s gas gauge, the CleanAlert FILTERSCAN WiFi shows how much ‘cleaning power’ remains in your home’s air filter. The monitor continuously tracks the condition of your home’s air filter, and the AirFilterSentry™ Notification Service instantly alerts you of an efficiency-robbing clog. This way, you or your HVAC contractor know exactly when your air filter needs to be replaced.