Professional-Exhaust-Hood-Cleaner

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-aggrivation

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.

air duct cleaning

The Importance of Cleaning Air Vents

Over time, grime can build up in your home’s air vents, creating a breeding ground for viruses, rodents, insects, allergens and mold. If you would like to enhance the health and comfort of your home, cleaning air vents once and awhile will certainly help. Take a few moments to evaluate a few of the reasons cleaning air vents is a good step to take toward improving indoor air quality for your family and friends to enjoy.

Improves A/C and Heating Efficiency

When air ducts become clogged with grime and debris, your A/C unit has to work much harder to circulate air throughout your home to compensate. If cleaning air vents is put off for too long, air conditioning units can develop mechanical problems or overheat.

You can avoid an expensive repair or A/C replacement by investing in an air vent cleaning service on a regular basis. Residents in homes with clean air vents will likely enjoy lower energy costs as well since warm or cold air can move uninhibited from room to room, consuming much less energy to bring your house to the desired temperature.

Reduces Risk of Fire

Cleaning air vents can drastically reduce the chance of a fire in your home due to the ignition of highly flammable dust particles in your ventilation system. The fibrous grime that can become caked to the lining of air vents is extremely flammable and, if a spark is present, disaster can occur.

The longer air ducts go without being cleaned, the bigger this risk becomes. The main culprit for fires can be traced back to a dirty heat exchanger on the furnace or faulty wiring causing a spark somewhere in the air ducts.

Changing out air filters on a regular basis can help prevent many particulates from entering your vents but duct cleaning may be advisable if the problem is systemic.

Cleaner Air, Healthier Home

Removing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), allergens and dust from your air ducts can make your home smell brand new. You can rest assured that family, friends and pets are breathing in clean, healthy air for years to come following a thorough air duct cleaning.

Many homeowners may not realize just how many unwelcome pests and contaminants can be found in dirty air vents. Here are just some of the pollutants that are often found in a ventilation system that has not been cleaned in long time:

  • Pesticides
  • Pollen
  • Fungus Spores
  • Animal Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold

When you turn on the heater or air conditioning, dirty air ducts can easily deposit these contaminants into the home onto carpet and upholstery which can contribute to allergy problems or even illness.

Pets and children are especially vulnerable to the myriad of contaminants that can be found in low quality indoor air. It is import to note however that cleaning air vents should always be done by certified professionals only.

Cleaning your air vents incorrectly may potentially release various allergens and pollutants into your indoor air. Special equipment used by trained professionals must be used to perform an air duct cleaning service safely and effectively.

If you’d like to learn more about how cleaning air vents can improve the comfort and quality of your home environment, contact the experts at AirTek today to get answers to all your air vent cleaning questions.

AirTek completes all jobs in compliance with strict safety and operational standards put forward by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association. And with more than 75,000 completed air duct cleaning jobs spanning 25 years of outstanding customer service, we’ve positioned ourselves to be a leader in the industry, making us a name you can trust to get the job done right.

 

dryer vent clean

Keep Dryer Ducts Clean! Not Just a Bunch of Hot Air

Our 21st century clothes dryers are highly-engineered and finely-manufactured pieces of equipment. And although they’re intended to be used under a variety of situations, they definitely work best under certain conditions.

Chief among these is the need for a constant and steady flow of air into and out of their innermost workings. This fact means that the dryer must be located in a suitable spot and that its exhaust vents be properly placed.

To the average homeowner, it may seem like a very minor thing, but it’s important to understand that keeping dryer ducts clean and unobstructed benefits you in several ways. Here are three reasons why the old advice to keep your dryer vents clean is NOT just a bunch of hot air:

Monthly Electric Bills are Lowered – As mentioned, a clothes dryer works most efficiently when it’s allowed to “breathe” in the easiest manner possible so that the equipment doesn’t have to labor as hard to achieve the required drying effect. This, in turn, results in less energy being expended for a given job and a lower utility bill at the end of the month.

The Appliance Will Last Longer – In a similar vein, a clothes drying appliance with clean and unobstructed vents does not have to work as hard or as long on each task which means less strain on the machine. This translates into a longer working lifetime. Your clothes dryer is an investment in your home and should be treated as such. You can get the biggest return on your investment by keeping those ducts as clean and unobstructed as possible.

Your Clothes Will Look Better and Last Longer – Another advantage to keeping your dryer vents clean comes in the way of less wear and tear on your clothes. Simply put, the heat from a dryer puts stress on all clothes to a certain degree, no matter how carefully they are designed and how well they are manufactured. Simply put, unobstructed vents mean faster evacuation of the dampness and less time that your clothes will have to remain in the dryer in the heat.

As you can see, there are several compelling reasons to keep your dryer ducts free and clear of any dirt or debris. We recommend that they be checked on a semi-annual basis by a licensed, professional technician. Feel free to request a free estimate or reach out to us by phone at 1-877-858-6213 if you have any questions on dryer duct cleaning services in general.

air duct cleaning

How Often Does Ductwork Need To Be Cleaned?

The air you breathe makes a difference in your quality of life. Unfortunately, the indoor air quality (IAQ) of many homes and apartments is suffering due to the airtight nature of today’s energy efficient construction. Contaminants such as dust, dander, pollen and chemical residue from everyday cleaning products are being trapped in your living spaces, sucked into your ducts and circulated throughout your home. Worse still, these contaminants are building up inside your ductwork, ensuring your long-term exposure.

Duct cleaning removes unwanted contaminants from your home, enhances IAQ and can help lengthen the lifespan of your heating and cooling systems. But it’s not something that should be done every month or even every year. In fact, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) says that the frequency of duct cleaning may vary depending on the conditions of your home. With that in mind, here are five factors that will affect how often you may want to consider duct cleaning.

New Home or Remodel

It may sound counterintuitive to recommend duct cleaning in a new home, but new ducts can house a number of unwanted contaminants. Heating and cooling systems are often used during the latter stages of construction, introducing a wide variety of contaminants into your ductwork before you even ever step foot in your home. These contaminants can vary depending on the type of work that was done, the chemicals used in during the construction process, and the season in which the construction took place. The same holds true for household remodeling projects.

Mold and Mildew

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold and mildew can grow on any organic substance, as long as oxygen and moisture are present. The nearly constant flow of oxygen and moisture through your HVAC system makes your ductwork an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. While a do-it-yourself visual inspection may turn up results on occasion, it’s much safer to call in a professional if you suspect a problem with mold and mildew in your ductwork. If your concerns turn out to be valid, duct cleaning may be the best course of action.

Insects or Rodents

Ducts aren’t just an ideal breeding ground for mold. Insects and rodents also enjoy the cozy confines of ductwork, and they bring their own unique brand of damage. They build nests that block airflow, and often shred flexible ducts in the process. What’s worse is they leave behind waste products that end up in the air you breathe. If you’re experiencing a problem with insects or rodents in your ductwork, have the pests professionally removed, and follow up with a certified duct cleaning service.

Living with Pets

We all love our pets, but it’s hard to deny their effect on the cleanliness of our homes. Depending on the number and types of pets you have, their bathroom habits and natural shedding tendencies, varying levels of unwanted contaminants are being introduced into your indoor air – and your ductwork. If you’ve ever had a Himalayan cat, for example, you’re probably familiar with the sight of fur rolling through your home like tumbleweed. This fur is hard enough to pick up from the floor with a vacuum, so imagine how difficult it is to remove from your ductwork. Luckily, professional duct cleaning provides a solution.

Asthma and Allergy Sufferers

If someone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies, you probably understand the importance of air quality more than most. While routine cleaning and the removal of irritants from the home can help alleviate asthma and allergy symptoms, there will always be leftover residue in your ductwork. Duct cleaning removes these contaminants and prevents them from spreading through the air in your home.

If you suspect the ductwork in your home or apartment is in need of cleaning, contact us today to get a free estimate. With over 25 years of industry experience, our NADCA-certified technicians are qualified to help you determine the best course of action.

clogged dryer vent

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 a several things you can do to prevent a clogged dryer vent:

  1. 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.
  2. Avoid using too many dryer sheets.
  3. For larger items like comforters and blankets, dry them outside on a laundry line.

A clogged dryer vent can both inconvenient and extremely dangerous, but 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’ll be spending on utilities.

If you are having 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 on work and let one of our certified and experienced technicians handle the problem once and for all.

radon levels

Lowering The Radon Levels In Your Home

We are exposed everyday to different pollutants when we are outdoors.  Radon can be found around our homes and testing the area can avoid many problems. If radon is found it is important to lower the radon levels.

January is “Radon Action Month,” and we wanted to share why it is so important to test your home for radon.

Henry Slack, EPA Indoor Air Coordinator wrote an article about radon and how it can affect your health. Testing your home for radon is the only way to know if there is radon in your home. Testing is inexpensive and easy. Radon reduction systems do work and are not costly.

Important Facts About Radon

  • You cannot see, taste, or smell radon.
  • Radon is the #1 cause of Lung Cancer for non-smokers.
  • Elevated radon is found 1 in 15 homes nationally.
  • Radon kills 21,000 people a year in the U.S.
  • The only way to know if a home has high levels is to test it.

You can fix a radon problem and can reduce radon levels in a home by 99%. Radon not only affects the indoor air quality around a home but can also affect your health. We recently blogged and shared tips on how to test your area for radon. These tips were provided by the EPA.

Start the year by protecting your home and your family and test your environment for radon. Radon is a health hazard with a simple solution.

If you need assistance in improving your 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.

Word cloud for Sick building syndrome

Does Your Building Have the Flu? Sick Building Syndrome

Have you ever had headaches, but only at work? Or felt like you were coming down with something day after day, but it turned out to be nothing by the time you got home? You might have been suffering from Sick Building Syndrome: a real medical condition.

Difficult to diagnose and sometimes assumed to be psychological, biological and chemical contaminants and even gases in a building can cause severe health problems that go away after a short time away from the location: Sick Building Syndrome.

Health Problems that are signs of possible Sick Building Syndrome

  • Headache
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose or throat
  • Itchy skin
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Acute odor sensitivity

It is very difficult to identify the actual contaminant causing Sick Building Syndrome symptoms and some of these same symptoms could be put down to stress, allergies or job dissatisfaction. However, if enough people who spend time in one building complain of the same kind of symptoms, the indoor air in the building may be at fault.

What are the causes of Sick Building Syndrome?

  1. Inadequate Ventilation–Ventilation requirements were lowered during the energy crisis of the 1970′s to very low rates to save energy by keeping heated and air conditioned air recirculating. These levels were found to be inadequate, however, and today’s recommendation is 3 times higher and higher still for buildings which have a lot of air pollution due to their use. Unfortunately, many buildings constructed in the late 20th century still have the lower ventilation rates.
  2. Indoor Contaminants–Indoor air pollution can come from many materials and products used in building interiors: carpets, upholstery, adhesives, pressed wood, copiers, cleaning products, paints and pesticides are only a partial list. The chemicals given off in particles or VOC’s are a pretty dangerous bunch including formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.
  3. Outdoor Contaminants–Garages and high vehicular traffic can cause a high level of combustion exhaust to enter a building through vents and windows. High levels of outdoor contaminants get trapped indoors when there is not enough ventilation.
  4. Biological Contaminants–Mold, pollen, viruses and bacteria can accumulate in a ventilation system and cause allergic reactions and disease. Biological contamination can cause symptoms like: fever, coughing, muscle aches, irritation of mucous membranes, chest tightness, chills and upper respiratory congestion. Legionnaire’s Disease can be deadly and comes from bacteria which grow in ventilation systems.

What can you do about Sick Building Syndrome?

  • Building owners should make sure that their buildings are ventilated according to local building codes.
  • Ventilation systems should be cleaned regularly and tested to make sure they are functioning well.
  • Air filters should be replaced on schedule and smoking moved outdoors.
  • Any stained carpeting or ceiling tile should be replaced.
  • Any visible mold is a sign of much more that cannot be seen. Any signs of mold must be investigated and remediated right away.

If you suspect your building is “sick,” call in professionals to test your indoor air. Clean your ventilation systems including ducts and vents, and replace all air filters and start a maintenance schedule. You want your tenants or employees to be happy, healthy and productive. Don’t let your building make them sick!

AirTek hopes that all of the places where you spend your time, at home, at work, at play, are healthy and well-maintained!

smoke

Smoke Can Affect the Indoor Air Quality in Buildings

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.

AirTek air duct cleaning

3 Signs of a Great Air Duct Cleaning Company

Homeowners across the nation are becoming more and more concerned with improving indoor air quality and one of the best steps to take in creating a healthier indoor living environment is to have your home’s air ducts thoroughly cleaned.

Although a number of companies may offer this service, it is important to trust in only the most qualified air duct cleaners to get the job done right. Here are three attributes that top-notch air duct cleaning companies have in common:

1. They’re Staffed with Experienced, Certified Professionals

Air duct cleaning should always be performed by experts with years of hands-on experience in the field. Since ventilation systems can harbor a dangerous variety of contaminants, including dust mites, bacteria, mold, fungi and volatile organic compounds, strict guidelines have been put in place for air duct cleaners to follow.

It is essential to ensure the air duct cleaning company you hire conforms to the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association) regulations and standards at all times. If less experienced air duct cleaners do not complete the job properly, or leave some dislodged dust in the ventilation system, the air in your home may become less healthy than it was it begin with.

2. They Have Outstanding Customer Reviews

Air duct cleaners with few or no bad reviews will likely be the top company to hire. It may also be best to avoid hiring air duct cleaners with little or no customer reviews as this could be an indication that their experience is limited.

It is also a good idea to check a company’s website before hiring and look for awards or accolades that they may have acquired over the years. Air duct cleaners that have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau should be at the top of your list of choices as well.

3. They Use Top Quality Equipment

A combination of portable vacuums, pneumatic devices and hand tools are used by air duct cleaners when they’re on the job. The special vacuums used should come equipped with HEPA filters to properly collect and dispose of all unwanted materials found in your air ducts.

Pneumatic devices use compressed air to agitate dust and grime buildup in the ventilation system to help dislodge debris from the lining of your ventilation system prior to vacuuming. Tools like blowguns or air skippers are used to help deliver pollutants and dust to the vacuum along with more simple tools like hand-held brushes. Depending on the type of ventilation system you have, different techniques will be used.

For instance, duct work lined with fiberglass should be cleaned with extreme care to prevent causing damage to the fragile material. Air duct cleaning companies that do not have the right equipment to perform the job according to NADCA standards should not be permitted to clean air ducts as it may reduce indoor air quality and potentially cause illness to loved ones or pets in your home.

If you have any questions about which equipment should be used for your home, please don’t hesitate to request a free estimate from one of our certified and licensed technicians.

Over the last 25 years, we’ve completed more than 25,000 air duct cleaning jobs and continue to provide outstanding customer service to every single client. Protect the health and well-being of your family by hiring the best air duct cleaners in the business.

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