Flu virus

Indoor Air and Seasonal Flu

Have you had the flu yet this year? Or a flu shot? There is a really nasty virus going around my circle this last month. I’ve already had it, but I’m still coughing after a month. No fun!

Who is in danger from Seasonal Flu?

Seasonal flu can be deadly to the young, the elderly and the immune compromised. Flu virus spreads from person to person, most often via droplets in the air from a sneeze or cough or droplets that have landed on a non-porous surface which can survive up to 24 hours.

How can you protect yourself from getting the Flu from your Indoor Air?

The Indoor Air Quality Association has put out an informative video about Seasonal Flu and we would like to share it with you.

How to avoid coming down with Seasonal Flu this year?

There is no sure way, but here are some tips:

    • Wash your hands. A lot.
    • Don’t rely on hand sanitizer, use soap and water!
    • Get out of the habit of touching your nose and eyes. Your mucous membranes are a virus’s best route to the rest of your body.
    • If someone is sick at home, be extra vigilant about keeping surfaces, your hands and their hands clean. You might be able to avoid infection.
    • If your doctor recommends it, get a flu shot. It may or may not protect you against the strain of flu you encounter, but it is definitely better than nothing.
    • Make sure your home is well-ventilated. Those droplets in the air are less likely to get into your body if they are quickly moved outside.

We hope you miss the flu this year! I wish I could get rid of the last of it myself!

HVAC Design in the Health Care Industry

health care

  An interesting article about building safe and effective health care facilities by the Consulting Specifying Engineer website. Part of designing a safe and effective health care facility is to design a successful HVAC system to create a healthy and comfortable environment. A questionnaire was done by the website and many project managers, electricians, engineers and director of health care answers questions on HVAC design. They also talk about their experiences with HVAC systems. One of the important subjects they talked about is how health care facilities can achieve optimal HVAC and air quality.

Many had dealt with indoor air quality challenges and each had different ways of resolving it. One of the senior mechanical engineers rearrange the air devices and increased the exhaust air quantity and doing so, was able to improve air flow and odors were not present in the area. Another engineer was facing with a surgical room that needed the temperature of the room to be 68F and humidity levels to be 50%. Different equipment was used to maintain the area clean and the temperature and humidity levels to follow the correct requirements.

A mechanical and project manager each said that understanding the life safety plans is important in determining smoke and fire damper locations. In previous we have talked about how important it is to regularly maintain these areas. Understanding the peak of hours of operation and how many people are in the building during the corse of the day can help those involved with the design of the systems and create a regular air flow through out the building. To read more about the article, click here. If you need maintenance for the health care industry, contact your local AirTek office to set up an appointment.

Gym

Indoor Air Quality at the Gym

You go to the gym to get healthier, right? And when you are exercising you get your heart and respiration rate up pretty high, or you should. You are breathing in a lot of whatever is in the air at your gym–is the indoor air quality at your gym healthy?

What is in the Air at the Gym?

According to a recently released study done by the University of Lisbon in Portugal and the Technical University of Delft in Holland the air at your gym may be pretty bad. There are many common air pollutants that could be present.

The researchers measured two sizes of particulates, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds while people were in the gyms exercising.

The levels of carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds were “exceeding the national limit values.” Levels of these pollutants increased “when the spaces were occupied during classes.” Abstract, Science Direct.

“Results indicated that it is crucial to optimize the HVAC systems, ventilation rates and occupants behavior in order to reduce the exposure to air pollutants in fitness centers and to potentiate the benefits of sport activities.”

What does that mean about Indoor Air Quality?

So in layman’s terms, it is important that gyms and fitness centers keep their indoor air quality healthy by proper maintenance of their ventilation systems–and AirTek can help with that!

Do you go to the gym regularly? Do you ever feel sick after a class or crummy after a workout? It may be time to ask the management about their ventilation, how often their HVAC systems are cleaned and maintained, and how they are optimizing their indoor air quality the next time you go.

If your gym or fitness center does not maintain their HVAC system on a regular schedule, have them contact AirTek. It’s hard enough to maintain a great fitness level without breathing in air pollution while you exercise. Don’t let all that good exercise go to waste!

Clear the Air for the Winter

winter

It is beginning to get chilly throughout this month and we begin to turn on our heating systems. However, mold and allergens can get trapped in the vents over the summer. Right now is one of the best times to service your system if you haven’t so. According to the Air Duct Cleaners Association, the average household collects 40 pounds of dirt, dust and allergens in its air ducts each year.  Over time the build up of mold, dust and debris can affect your health and your wallet. The system does not work the same when the system has not been maintained regularly and even worse the air travels through your house contaminating your air. Your system in addition works harder to maintain the air circulating throughout the home.

PREP YOUR HVAC SYSTEM FOR WINTER

  • Replace filter every month for optimal efficiency.
  • Update your thermostat so you can program it when to automatically be turned on and off.
  • Inspect your system for any cracks, dents or disconnected parts.
  • Make sure the HVAC contractor checks your system’s belts, motors, gas pressure, and motor.

These simple steps can help you prep your system for the winter. Proper maintenance and inspection is the best way to keep your HVAC system working at it’s best. Your HVAC contractor can further give you additional tips on how to help you save money and keep your environment comfortable this winter.Hiring a professional to assist you in maintaining your HVAC system will follows strict procedures to clean your system and also understands the importance of a healthy environment. AirTek technicians are certified by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association and have over 25 years of experience in making homes safer, cleaner and better for your breathing.

cucina professionale

The Ins and Outs of Restaurant Vent Hood Cleaning

While it may seem to be an item of minor consequence to those outside the restaurant industry, keeping the vent hoods of a restaurant clean is actually a quite important task from a variety of standpoints. With this thought in mind, we thought you might like to know the “ins and outs” of properly dealing with your restaurant’s vent hood cleaning. Here they are:

1. First and foremost, clean hoods are necessary to keep the general environment of your restaurant as appealing as possible. Vent hoods remove a variety of adulterants from the ambient air including smoke, particulate matter, grease-laden smells and other offensive odors that would otherwise contaminate your reception, dining and public areas. From a purely customer service aspect, vent hoods are an essential guard against the smells – intoxicating or otherwise – coming from your kitchen and affecting the guest experience.

2. Second, the the Federal and state governments have a whole host of rules – and accompanying fines! – that have to do with the proper cleaning of vent hoods and their proper functioning to limit them from becoming fire hazards. It is simply common sense for a restaurant owner to comply with these regulations before an inspector notices otherwise. The result is a safer environment for everyone – staff, customers and other building occupants.

3. Third, from a cost-benefit perspective, it is clearly in the interest of a business owner to keep her or his vent hood equipment clean. Not only does it prolong the useful working lifetime, but it also aids in keeping other equipment working more efficiently and for a longer period of time.

4. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, from a legal liability standpoint, keeping your vent hoods clean and operating properly prevents a lot of accidents and lawsuits from happening in the first place. As the old adage states, “without smoke, there is no fire.” In this particular case, a lack of noticeable fumes means a lot less aggravation when it comes to customers, neighbors and building inspectors finding reason to fault your way of doing business.

As you can see, there are a host of issues that must be attended to in order to keep your vent hoods clean and operating at an optimal level. And it’s not really as simple as it seems even for a seasoned – if you will pardon the pun – restaurant owner. For more information on commercial vent hood cleaning and other restaurant related maintenance services, please contact us today for a free estimate. You can reach us directly at 877.858.6213.

Make a Healthy Indoor Environment Your Priority

indoor environment

More and more indoor environments are suffering with poor indoor air quality. Modern homes are well insulated but can suffer air pollution. Homes are being built tighter to decrease energy costs. However, poor ventilation leads to an increased in mold, bacteria, viruses, smoke and gases that can in the long run affect your personal health. Pollutants that can be found in your home can cause poor indoor air quality in your indoor environments. Home Ventilation plays an important part in keeping your environment comfortable at all time. The air we breathe indoors is circulated to maintain proper indoor conditions. However, when not maintained fresh air levels decrease. There are several ways that you can ventilate your home.

Whether it is by natural ventilation, infiltration or mechanical ventilation, an effective ventilation system will ensure air quality in your home or business is clean and free of contaminants that produce unclean air. The Indoor Air Quality Association shares a video that talks more about home ventilation and indoor air quality.

 

If you have any questions regarding your HVAC system, we service many areas in California and industries. Contact us with any of your concerns and questions and we will be of assistance. AirTek strives in creating cleaner, healthier and more energy efficient indoor environments and have been doing so for over 25 years.

Happy Veterans Day!

Flag waving at veteran's day parade

Thank you for your service!

 

clogged dryer

Danger of Clogged Dryer Vents

Dryer vents can sometimes be forgotten collectors of dust and debris and many people forget to do a regular maintenance and inspection. A lack of cleaning the debris and lint that builds up over time can make your appliance less efficient and can cause it to become a fire hazard.

According to The U.S Fire Administrators Topical Fire Research Studies report, over 15,000 home fires occur annually and it’s estimated that $99 million are lost annually due to dryer related fires. The U.S Fire Administration recommends that homeowners have their dryer vents cleaned at least once per year so that debris does not build up within the ventilation pipes. Just cleaning the lint trap alone is not enough to prevent a fire from happening.

Here are four ways you can work to decrease buildup in your dryer vents:

  • Keep outside ventilation openings covered with the proper ventilation cap to keep birds from building nests and other animals from entering through the opening.
  • Operate the clothes dryer in small intervals to allow air circulation within the dryer which may result in less lint build up.
  • Limit the use of dryer sheets as the residue from the sheets may clog the dryer lint filter.
  • Schedule regular cleaning with a professional and experienced technician who has worked with many different models of dryers and systems and will know best how to clean the interior components of your particular dryer system.

Having your dryer vents cleaned your dryer vents should be a top priority on your home maintenance checklist to help keep your family safe from fires. Clogged dryer vents are not visible to the bare eye and you may be surprised at how much lint can build up over time. Whether the dryer vent is in a residential home or in a large facility, AirTek has the experience to handle the complexity of any system. In addition, if you would like to check if your dryer is up to code, we can test the performance of your dryer exhaust system. And you can rest assured that our AirTek team follows the NADCA Dryer Exhaust Duct Performance standard for single and multi-family dwellings.

You can Request a Free Estimate, or download a free copy of our Asbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.

Toy Drive 2014 1

4th Annual Toy Drive Is Under Way

One of our very favorite days of the of the year is the day of the We Care East LA Holiday Community Event! This is our fourth year of holding a Toy Drive to make sure every child who attends goes home with an amazing holiday gift.

In 2013, we started collecting toys for our Toy Drive in November and ended up with over 600 toys and 10 bikes for We Care East LA!

CAN WE BEAT THAT? YES WE CAN!

Every year the need is greater, every year the attendance is larger so…every year we need more donations!

If you have started your holiday shopping, please consider purchasing an extra toy to help these amazing kids have a happy holiday season! You can drop off your donation at our corporate offices at 990 West 10th Street in Azusa or call us for a pickup from where you are! We have offices all over California and our team is ready to make your donation happen!

Thank you for helping us bring smiles to so many deserving families for the past three years! And please help us do the same for even more kids this year!

 

 

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

lung cancer awareness month

Thousands are exposed to air pollution every day and the increase of urbanization pose a risk for lung cancer development.In addition, for researchers air pollution is hard to study because it is a mixture of many components. The main sources of air pollution include nitrogen dioxide, ozone gas and carbon monoxide. We can try to reduce the levels of air pollution by creating less of it. We can tackle air pollution by walking, running or cycling. Fresh air is such an important component in our lives that we all should have but sometimes we do not because of our surrounding environments. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and we wanted to share tips on how you can help.

TAKE ACTION FOR HEALTHIER AIR

  • Know when the air is unhealthy: Find your air quality forecast so you can stay safe. If you are exercising, avoid exercising near busy highways and limit your time spending outdoors if the air forecast is unhealthy.
  • Cut the pollution you produce: Drive less and carpool. Use less electricity and don’t burn wood or trash because they are the largest sources of particles.
  • Speak Up for Healthy Air:Get involved locally, share information and stories about why you want healthier air

Keeping the air indoors clean is also important because we can control it.Replenishing your environment with clean air is our top priority when we are working with companies and with all clients. If there are people who are complaining about breathing issues or other health problems they might not be receiving fresh air. When there are employees who are complaining about breathing issues, they might have respiratory issues and that means it might be time to conduct a HVAC check up to create a healthier environment. Take action to fight for healthier air outdoors and indoors. Visit our Airtek website for more information on the services we provide and visit the American Lung Association website for more information on how you can get involve to fight for better air.

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