Smoke Can Affect the Indoor Air Quality in Buildings

More in this video: Best Essays

The smoke from cigarettes can diminish the indoor air quality for the person who is smoking and those adjacent to the individual who smokes. Smoke can easily pollute the indoors air and can also be considered an airborne contaminant.

A new study conducted by the Boston Houston Authority compared the indoor air quality in multi family buildings that were connected to buildings where tenants smoked. In addition, they also did a study of multi house units where smoking was prohibited.

Can Smoking in Multi-Family Buildings Affect The Indoor Air Quality?

Results were seen significantly high in multi family building units that were adjacent to the smoking unit.

Particulate matter was high indoors but particulate matter was not high in areas and inside buildings where smoking was prohibited.

According to the study, “Particulate matter rose in adjacent units of non-smokers whenever smoking residents indulged in tobacco usage.” Smoke goes through the vents and once air conditioning is turned on and can distribute through out the entire building.

Smoke in a home adds to al the dust and other particulate matter in the air. Cigarette smoke will also shorten the life span of a filter.

Not changing the filters in your home can cause your air conditioning system to work harder causing an increase in your energy bill and poor indoor air quality.Avoid smoking indoors and keep your air conditioning system working properly by maintaining its service regularly.

If you need assistance in improving the indoor air quality, AirTek provides commercial and residential air duct cleaning and indoor air quality services. You may contact your local AirTek Office for additional information on the services we provide.

hvac system

How Commercial Duct Cleaning can Prevent Liabilities and Save Money

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.

Continue reading

Hvac cleaning

5 Indicators It’s Time for HVAC Cleaning

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.

Are you constantly dusting?

Over time, an HVAC system will collect dust and debris, and if not properly maintained on a regular basis, that dust negatively affect the ventilation system. This is easily noticeable in several ways:

  • the vents will spew out excessive debris or cobwebs when the blowers are turned on
  • an accumulation of particles will circulate through the system.
  • you’ll notice that you are having to dust more frequently than normal
  • there are more cobwebs or hanging dust clouds building up, especially where the vents are located

Do you hear critters crawling around?

Any type of animal or insect pest is a sure sign of a HVAC cleaning that is long overdue. The lack of maintenance allows for the bugs or rodents to find ways to get in through vents and air ducts that have deteriorated over time.

The more time that goes by without HVAC cleaning or upkeep, the more likely the problem will escalate. Your air quality is compromised when the system is infested and these pests can cause holes or leaks that are costly to repair.

Have you noticed any mold growth?

HVAC systems are the perfect breeding ground for mold and even though it is inevitable, if you have regular HVAC cleanings, it can be controlled. If you are noticing mold growth, your local HVAC cleaning company should be your next call.

Mold is not only a poor variable when it comes to air quality, it will continue to grow until it is removed. If the mold spreads, this is a sign of moisture collecting without proper ventilation. This could also be the result of air duct problems causing a buildup of condensation.

Mold is the most serious of all indicators that it’s time to schedule a HVAC cleaning and should be dealt with immediately.

Are you seeing any moisture damage?

Moisture damage only means one thing…leaks. There is always natural moisture that will condense, however once that moisture starts collecting in the wrong area, it typically indicate there is a problem with water or moisture constantly leaking, dripping, or draining.

Damaged or failing equipment can sometimes cause excess in condensation as well as non-proper defrosting which results in overspill. Leaking could be as simple as collection pan corrosion.

Moisture damage is expensive and can quickly lead to mold problems. Neither issues are to be taken lightly.

Is there a change in air quality in the dwelling?

Have you noticed any new allergy symptoms? Are your eyes watering excessively? Are you sneezing more often than normal? Or perhaps just suddenly having symptoms of unnatural breathing? These are all important indicators that it is time for your HVAC system to undergo a professional and comprehensive cleaning.

Without proper maintenance, the buildup of dust and air pollutants in your system will continue to circulate and further cause problems with poor air quality. Since air contaminants are not able to be properly flushed out, it can cause a low air exchange rate, further leading to compromised issues with air quality.

clogged dryer vents

Could it be Time to Clean Your Clogged Dryer Vents?

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.

The average person does not even notice dryer vents– they are hidden within the walls and beneath floors. While dryer machines are typically stored in closets, garages, against walls, and in large numbers at businesses, the vent system is often overlooked. If there is one thing you don’t want to let fall between the cracks, it’s the hazard of clogged dryer vents. Unfortunately, the lint traps in a drying machine are not foolproof and are unable to catch everything. Only a professional dryer vent cleaning can capture all of the particles that can clog vents.  Typical dryer vents should be cleaned every two to three years. Why it is essential to keep these vents clear? The answer is because it becomes a fire hazard. The arid environment within the narrow passageways in combination with the highly flammable lint debris from your dirty clothes is the culprit for many structural fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), clothes dryer fires are involved in almost 17,000 structural fires a year – 92% of which are caused by dryer lint buildup.  Of the leading causes of clothes dryer fires a whopping 32% are due to failure to clean the dryer vents. Further statistics show that in 2010, drying machines accounted for 4.5% of all reported home structure fires and resulted in $236 million in direct property damage.  Businesses that use machines for commercial purposes or have multiple machines are at an even higher risk due to their high usage.

In addition to ensuring that dryers are operating safely, we also need them to work efficiently.  Cleaning the vents is one way of increasing the efficiency of your machine and saving money on electric or gas bills. 

The process of a professional dryer vent cleaning is not complex, but it is imperative that the process is completed correctly and thoroughly. Dryer vent lining is fragile and using professional and proper equipment is crucial. Some methods include the use of mechanical brushes, a “Viper Whip System,” gas and electric high-powered vacuums, and video inspection robotic software. Airtek Indoor Air Solutions is a professional indoor air quality company that can help provide this service and aid you with your clogged dryer vents to prevent the risk of fire hazards in your structure. Airtek is certified by NADCA (the National Air Duct Cleaning Association) and is compliant with their Dryer Exhaust Duct Performance Standard (DEDP). You can visit Airtek’s website for a free quote and more information on the dryer vent cleaning processes.

It is not uncommon to ignore clothes dryers until they stop working; but they require upkeep and maintenance similar to a vehicle or kitchen appliance. A professional cleaning to eliminate those clogged dryer vents is a small price to pay when it comes to the safety of your home, business, or more importantly, the people within those structures: Isn’t it time to clean your dryer vents?


What to Know About AQMD Compliance

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.


spring air duct cleaning

Prepare for Spring Allergies with Air Duct Cleaning

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. 



How to Prevent a Clogged Dryer Vent

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.


What to Consider When Searching for a Professional Exhaust Hood Cleaner

Americans lose property worth an average of $246 million every year due to fires. Kitchens are responsible for at least 50% of these fires, with damages resulting in around $82.2 million. As a homeowner or an apartment manager, you can prevent a kitchen fire by ensuring that your kitchen exhaust system is in working order. Kitchen exhaust hood cleaners remove the accumulated grease that causes extreme fire hazards.

When evaluating which hood cleaner is right for you, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Must be a member of IKECA

Every member of International Kitchen Exhaust cleaning Association is given a certificate to show that he or she has fulfilled all the conditions for professional exhaust system cleaning. Whenever an exhaust hood cleaner approaches you to hire his or her services, first ask for the certificate. IKECA has been working to ensure that all its technicians maintain high standards of exhaustive hood cleaning services. It regularly provides training and certifications to keep its members updated with any new information regarding professional kitchen exhaust hood cleaning. The certificate is a proof that he or she is a member of IKECA, and has all the relevant skills.

Various cleaning methods

The most basic cleaning method that is a do-it-yourself is hand scrapping. If a hood cleaner approaches you for their services and this is the only method they have, let this be a red flag. Hand scrapping does not require any training or certifications. Those who are trained and certified are taught other complex methods that will keep your kitchen safe and grease-free. One such professional method is steam cleaning, which ensures that exhaust ducts and exhaust hoods are left sparkling clean. A professional cleaner will also have all the tools required for the job. They will be concerned with the levels of grease deposits even after cleaning.

Inclusive service for the whole air control system

Before hiring an exhaust hood cleaner, investigate whether they offer comprehensive services for the air control system. A professional exhaust hood cleaner will be interested to leave your exhaust fan in a working condition. Some of the cleaners ignore such details simply and only engage in cleaning the exhaust hoods and ducts. However, an exhaust fan, for example, should always be in a good condition. When in a good condition, it will blow the greasy air out of the kitchen to avoid fast accumulation on the exhaust hood. Through this, it will highly reduce the occurrence of a fire in the kitchen.

Maintaining a clean and risk-free kitchen will reduce air pollution on your property. Keeping your exhaust hood, exhaust duct, and the whole air control system effective and risk-free will ensure your safety and bring you peace of mind.


Save Money and Aggravation with Timely Vent Cleaning

Though usually given very little thought by homeowners, the vents located in and around a home are integral to the efficient functioning of home appliances. Vents require regular cleaning and maintenance to perform properly. Here are the three most important vents to keep clean in your home and why you should have them checked on a semi-annual basis:


1. HVAC Vents

Unbeknownst to most homeowners, a modern HVAC system has two sets of vents – also known as ductwork – that operate independently. Each is important in the overall functioning of the system. First, the inflow vents bring fresh air into the furnace for proper combustion. Then the vent sends the poisonous – and potentially deadly – exhaust gases outside via exhaust ducts.

Another completely isolated set of ducts in the HVAC system distributes the heated air to the interior spaces of the home. Both sets of vents must be clean, free of obstructions, and not limited by crimps or other malformations.

2. Appliance Ducts

Similar to HVAC systems, clothes dryers and water heaters must have access to unobstructed vents. The lint produced by clothes in a dryer is a common obstruction, but vents can also be clogged by culprits such as leaves, branches, and other natural debris. A semi-annual inspection by an experienced technician will reveal any problems and prevent hazard. One the problem with your vent is identified, you can clean the it yourself, or let the tech handle the task.

3. Attic Vents

Attic vents usually take two forms – lateral or horizontal. The lateral ones are powered by exhaust fans and the horizontal ones use the passive power of the wind to do most of the work of aeration. In both cases, leaves and other small debris can build up over time, and either obstruct the flow of air, or completely block the movement of the aerator. Regular inspection and cleaning is the easiest way to solve this problem.

Timely air vent cleaning improves the overall efficiency of your appliances and lowers your utility costs. It also provides a more comfortable and allergen-free environment. For more specific information on air vent cleaning and preventative HVAC maintenance, please request an estimate.

Page 1 of 5412345...102030...Last »