On January 29, 2015, the hallways of Southern California Hospital at Culver City filled with smoke, prompting immediate evacuations of approximately 175 patients and 225 staff members. Fortunately, the quick response of hospital employees and the 55 firefighters from the Culver City Fire Department and Los Angeles Fire Department who responded to the scene prevented the loss of lives.
May 27, 2015 was a typical Wednesday evening at the popular Fish Market Restaurant in Downtown San Diego. However, on that particular night, a kitchen fire broke out in the midst of the dinner rush, causing fearful patrons and employees to evacuate quickly. The end result was over $1.2 million in damage to this local eatery. It was determined that the grease buildup in the kitchen hood was the culprit and origin of this devastating fire.
Although most air duct systems in buildings cannot be seen with the naked eye, they are an integral part of a structure and employees’ well being. More often than not, employers overlook the need for commercial duct cleaning, and only when they have a problem or complaint do they look into the option for improving their air quality needs. Choosing to maintain your system with a routine commercial duct cleaning process can lead to better employee productivity as well as profitability for the entire company.
Did you know?…Any restaurant or establishment that cooks food commercially is required to have their kitchen hood system cleaned on a regular basis? Most industrial and commercial buildings neglect the maintenance of their kitchen exhaust systems.
HVAC cleaning should be a regular part of home maintenance to help keep the dwelling safe and to maintain the integrity of the system. Whether you’re a homeowner wondering how to tell when it’s time to call an HVAC professional, or you’re a new to the industry and you want to provide exceptional service by making the most accurate recommendations to your customers, here are five questions you can ask that will help you identify when it’s time for an HVAC cleaning. Continue reading
The redundant household chore of doing laundry has been assimilated into our everyday routine. It has developed into one of those day-to-day tasks that become second nature – we do it without even thinking: piles of clothes, washing machine, detergent, start button… dryer, fabric softener, start button… fold, put away, complete. If you pause to ponder a little deeper into the process, however, you will find there are a copious amount of factors that need to be taken more seriously and require more than what seems to be “programmed” into our schedules. The greatest danger: clogged dryer vents. Continue reading
The Federal Clean Air Act sets standards for maximum pollutant levels. Each state has an implementation plan to reach those levels, with different Air Quality Management Districts (AQMD) responsible for pollution levels within a clearly defined geographic area. AQMDs are responsible for the enforcement of control regulations and implementation of creative methods to help cut pollution. Understanding, adhering to, and demonstrating your knowledge of AQMD compliance is critical for all parties involved in your business, from the community your business operates in, to the owners and employees, to your customers. Here’s a look at the ins and outs of AQMD compliance:
Public Hearings Allow Input on Proposed Laws
Individuals and corporations concerned about the effect a proposed law will have on their particular situation have the opportunity to comment at a series of public workshops and hearings. Workshops are less formal occasions where the public has a greater opportunity to voice opposition or support of a proposed law. A final public hearing precedes a vote by the AQMD board.
Classes Provide Clear Understanding of Compliance Requirements
AQMDs provide compliance classes so company environmental officers can have a complete understanding of how certain laws affect their industry. The classes cover all applicable rules and permit requirements. An AQMD speaker’s bureau also provides experts who will come to your company or civic group and address pre-arranged topics of concern. AQMD’s public information center is a great place to stay on top of proposed new laws and industry trends that will help your business stay ahead of the environmental regulation curve.
Follow the Permitting Process
The two most common permits issued by the AQMD are the Permit to Operate (PO) and Permit to Construct (PC). As their names imply, you must get a PC before either installing new equipment or moving existing equipment to a new location. A PO is necessary before you can turn the new equipment on. Application forms and instructions for all permits are available on the AQMD website. You must submit all applicable fees at the time you file the permit for approval.
Hearing Board has Authority to Grant Variances
If you can show good reason as to why your company should not have to adhere to a particular regulation, the AQMD Hearing Board has the power to grant a variance. The board is made up of an independent group of industry professionals appointed by AQMD. Along with considering variances, the hearing board also considers abatement orders, appeals from companies denied a permit, and third party appeals. Although the hearing board can grant a variance, it cannot modify rules, review violation notices, or grant a variance from compliance with a public nuisance law.
Online Tools Assist in Reporting Process
Some AQMDs have web-based tools that cut down the paperwork involved in reporting emissions, applying for permits and calculating fees. The Facility Information Detail (FIND) tool for the South Coast AQMD provides links to public information about regulated facilities within the district’s boundaries. The Flare Emission Notification System helps refineries and similar facilities report when an event is expected to exceed a particular emission threshold.
Advisory Group Membership Provides Insider Knowledge
One of the best ways to stay informed on the workings of a local AQMD is to join one of the many advisory groups that play a major role in the implementation of new rules. The Air Quality Management Plan Advisory Group consists of members from all walks of life, including large and small businesses and government agencies. Attending AQMD public hearings and regular meetings is the best way to become known and receive an appointment to a working group.
The first day of spring is right around the corner: warmer weather, longer days, and you can already smell the fresh… allergies. Coughing, sneezing, and sniffling are no stranger to people with common springtime allergies; however, a professional air duct cleaning can significantly reduce the agitators lingering in the air.
According to statistics, 55% of the U.S. population tests positive to one or more allergens. One in six causes of allergies are due to the lack of proper care of the ducting system in a building. According to our air duct cleaning professionals, the average building should have their air ducts cleaned once every two to five years. After a prolonged period of use, a system can collect dust and mold particles that may build up on the interior lining.
Included in the duct cleaning process, the filters in your system should be maintained as well. If there is an excessive amount of particle build up, the filter can no longer function properly and can impede airflow as a result. In addition to increasing your springtime allergies, a poorly preserved filter can also cause the air to be overly dry. Overly dry air can lead to irritated mucous membranes and nosebleeds.
A professional air duct cleaning process should take, on average, 3-4 hours for residential buildings. Commercial buildings can be spread throughout multiple days depending on hours of use, size, and the contents within the structure. Airtek Indoor Air Solutions can provide free estimates for more accurate pricing and method options.
The average person spends 90% of their life indoors. Having pure indoor air quality is integral to health. By getting a professional air duct cleaning in your home, school, or office, you can help promote a healthy living environment for yourself and the people around you.
If you’ve noticed that your clothes dryer is not quite working like it used to, it could be due to a clogged dryer vent. When a dryer vent becomes clogged, it will often take much longer to dry clothes and the machine itself can become very hot to the touch.
When lint and other materials get backed up in the vents, it can prevent exhaust gases from escaping the dryer, which creates a very serious fire hazard. In fact, it has been estimated that some 15,000 fires are caused annually by issues related to clothing dryers.
So, if you’ve noticed any issues with your dryer lately, it should be a priority to have it checked out.
Signs of a Clogged Dryer Vent
Here are just a few of the most common signs that your dryer’s exhaust vent is clogged and needs to be cleaned:
- Constant overheating of the dryer.
- Your clothes are extremely hot when they come out of the machine.
- Unpleasant odors come out of the dryer once the cycle is complete.
- Entire loads of clothing are still not dry after multiple cycles.
- A large quantity of lint is consistently found in the lint trap or around the dryer.
- The dryer vent hood flap is not working properly.
What to Do if Your Dryer Vents are Clogged
If you suspect your dryer needs some attention, it’s best to call a certified professional to take a look and get a free estimate on the work. Depending on the make and model of your dryer, different tools and approaches may be needed to repair the problem effectively.
By contacting a seasoned expert, you can rest assured that the job will be completed safely and properly. Attempting to clean a clogged dryer vent yourself is not typically advised because the incorrect disassembly and reassembling of various dryer parts may create more problems than before the repairs even started.
An experienced technician will also be able to point out additional areas of concern, if there are any, regarding your washer and dryer connections.
Preventing Clogged Dryer Vents
There are several actions you can take to prevent a clogged dryer vent:
- Operating a dryer for more than 40 minutes per load of laundry is not advisable. It’s a good idea to allow your dryer to have time to cool off between drying sessions.
- Avoid using too many dryer sheets.
- For larger items like comforters and blankets, dry them outside on a laundry line.
A clogged dryer vent is both inconvenient and extremely dangerous, and it also wastes your hard earned money. A faulty or clogged dryer may work for a while, but the longer the clog goes unresolved, the more money you will spend on utilities.
If you have to run multiple cycles to dry one load of laundry, you may find yourself spending twice the amount of money on electricity to get only half the job done.
Don’t let a clogged dryer vent waste your time and money, or create unnecessary fire hazards in your home. Reach out today to get a free estimate and let a certified and experienced technician handle the problem once and for all.