Monthly Archives: February 2014

Innovative Air Monitoring Equipment

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(Image Source: indiegogo.com)

One of my favorite things to do is research and read news about the industry and learn more about the industry. I found two stories that I thought was neat to blog about. We know that different industries use different tools to measure or test certain objects. In the Indoor Air Quality Industry, there are several air monitoring equipment that several professionals use in order to test the indoor air quality in a environment and different equipment to measure the indoor air. Researchers from Saarland University in Germany have been working on developing a sensor system to monitor airborne contaminants. The sensor system will be able to detect air contaminants and the system will be able to adjust the intensity of duration and ventilation. The main object of this research project is to learn more about ventilation patters to learn how to better ventilate indoor environment to give individuals great indoor air quality without increasing costs.

Another innovative monitoring equipment that is in the making is called, Alima.This product is intended for consumers who are concerned of their indoor air quality and overall for individuals who want information on their indoor air quality and health conscious individuals. So how does it work? The smart device will be able to monitor indoor air quality and send you messages about pollution levels and information on upcoming events of the indoor air quality industry. According to indiegogo.com:

alima has responsive sensors embedded in a unique, airflow designed cylinder. Made for indoor use, it forwards data to the cloud and pushes results and advice to your connected devices.

The sensors detect an array of matter (pollutants):

  • VOC: total Volatile Organic Compounds measurement, (including gases such as Formaldehyde, Benzene, Ethylene glycol and Acetone)
  • PM: Particulate Matter (fine particles)
  • CO2: Carbon dioxide
  • CO: Carbon monoxide
  • T: Temperature
  • RH: Relative Humidity

You will be able to receive this information by using your phone and tablets. You may read more information on this innovative device by clicking here. These two monitoring devices are not only going to be great for consumers but for the indoor air quality industry. Knowing the latest trends in the industry will help us understand how to help consumers who are concerned about the indoor air quality in their homes.

The Human Microbiome and Air Quality

microbiome project

Did you know that you are an environment all by yourself? You are the Human Microbiome! There are more non-human than human cells on and in your body and more non-human DNA, too.

Here is a very cute video that we found at Indoor Air Nerd that we thought you would enjoy:

http://youtu.be/RVhwSwslwts

The bacteria on and in your body help you deal with many of the pollutants we encounter every day, including those in both our indoor and outdoor air. If we didn’t have any of them, we might thing we would be healthier, but we would be wrong.

From the New York Times:

“Not only do the bacteria help keep people healthy, but they also are thought to help explain why individuals react differently to various drugs and why some are susceptible to certain infectious diseases while others are impervious. When they go awry they are thought to contribute to chronic diseases and conditions likeirritable bowel syndrome, asthma, even, possibly, obesity. ‘Humans,’ said Dr. David Relman, a Stanford microbiologist, ‘are like coral, “an assemblage of life-forms living together.’”

While we at AirTek are committed to protecting you from harmful bacteria and other indoor air contaminants, we know there is a health balance that must be reached. The Human Microbiome has to be considered when we build, when we drive, when we clean, when we live.

Cleaner Indoor Air for Spring

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(Photo Source:healthychild.org)

Spring is just right around the corner but it feels like spring already. The great thing about spring is the rain and it will rain the weekend. Not only will the rain help the drought in California but clean out the air from all the smog and the contaminants floating in the air. The purpose of spring cleaning is to revamp and de clutter things that we don’t need in our home. We can do the same, for our indoor air.Spring cleaning and doing regular maintenance in our heating and cooling systems can help our indoor air quality be better for our health and comfort. One of the things that one can do to get better indoor air quality is to get those filters clean. Changing and cleaning the air filter each month can save up your electricity bill and have great air flow through out the space. Commercial properties also need this spring cleaning and the air filters can also help trap bad indoor pollutants. Some examples of several pollutants that can both be found in homes and in commercial properties are:

  • Pollen/dust/smog
  • Mold spores/mildew
  • Pet dander/odor
  • Pesticides

Another list on the spring cleaning to have better air quality in your environment is have the coil in your AC clean. You might have not thought about cleaning this part of your system but it is important to have the coil clean so that your system wont have to run that long and last longer. In addition, it is important to clean the coils so that your bill wont increase. These are two ways that you may start with your spring cleaning to improve the indoor air. 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.

Radio Interview with Carlos & Matt: Dinner with Friends

Carlos and Matt on the radio

Carlos Sanguinetti and Matt Teeter did this great interview about the Dinner with Friends on “Scott & BR on the Mighty 1090” last week. Their segment starts at 03:50:

The Dinner with Friends is now less than one week away–March 1st is this Saturday!– but you can still buy tickets or make a donation.

Buy tickets at Eventbrite

Let us know you’re coming on the Facebook Event Page

Learn more about the Auction Items

Learn more about Ronald McDonald House of San Diego

Slideshow of last year’s Dinner with Friends

We hope to see you there!

Ventilation and Air Quality in Ships

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(Image Source:en.wikipedia.org)

Just like homes and commercial properties, these type of properties need maintenance on their complete HVAC systems and so do sea vessels and ships.The cleanliness of a ship is important in maintaining good ventilation and great air quality. According to The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) all ships and yachts should have a regular ventilation system and air duct cleaning preventative maintenance program. Since the sea air provides a moist environment, bacteria and fungal can grown. Poor air quality in ships can create problems that can cause allergies to individuals. To eliminate any risk on allergens, the HVAC system must be maintained on a regular basis. How do those who manage for example ships know if the ship is up to code and healthy for passengers? The Vessel Sanitation Program at the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) conduct a sanitation inspections. The Vessel Sanitation Program also contribute to providing and making sure that ships have a healthy environment by:

-Inspecting cruise ships, including sanitation inspections and scheduled construction inpections

-Investigate or respond to outbreaks

-Train cruise ship staff on what are the best public health practices to use to maintain a healhty environment and help keep the air quality in a comfortable condition

A clean HVAC system is key to ensuring that your vessel operates both properly and efficiently. With six NADCA Certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialists and one NADCA Certified Ventilation Inspector on staff, AirTek is the industry-trusted choice for clean air on your vessel.

Improve Air Quality in Multi-Family Buildings

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(Image Source: continuationeducation.construction.com)

In our Alliance Blog, we have talked about how bed bugs can travel to one area and travel to another. Whether you keep your area clean, you may go to a hotel and the hotel may have bed bugs and you bring them back to your home and now can have an infestation. The same scenario can happen with air quality in multi-family buildings. You may be doing a great job in keeping your home clean and use methods to keep your home’s air quality fresh but pollutants can transfer between units. In order to improve indoor air quality in multi family buildings reduce emissions, seal exterior and between units and educate tenants and staff on the importance of maintaining the great air quality. Also making sure that the properties ducts are clean.

According to Air Doctors Inc on Twitter, “Clean ductwork translate to better indoor air quality and up to 40% increase in your HVAC efficiency.” The pros of maintaining your tenants air quality is that you are giving your tenants a comfortable living area and also healthy indoor environments attract tenants who are looking to rent and condo buyers. If you have invested in a multi family building property and need assistance in improving the indoor air quality for your tenants we can help. AirTek offers air duct cleaning and indoor air quality services. Below is a video provided by IAQ Network that has additional information on air quality in multi family buildings.

More Auction Items for the Dinner with Friends

Ronald McDonald House of San Diego LobbySince last week’s post, we received a long (and exciting) list of auction items for the Dinner with Friends benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego. Don’t you want to see?

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon – 1 Race Entry

Narrative Images Family Photo Shoot – One Hour Family Photo Session at the location of your choosing in San Diego, all images available online, $30 gift credit towards prints

Mission Brewery Beer Tasting Certificate – This certificate entitles the bearer to a Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting for up to 4 guests at Mission Brewery.

Cinnabar Acupuncture Clinic & Spa – 60 Minute Service – 60 Minute Acupuncture, Massage, Endermologie, or Facial at their beautiful zen spa location in San Diego

Birch Aquarium At Scripps – 4 Complimentary Passes

Yoga Six 4S – Ranch Gift Certificate, 1 Month Unlimited Yoga.

The Verant Group Gift Cards – $1000 in gift cards.

Jersey Mikes Gift Cards – 8 Free Regular Sub and Free Drink & Chips cards.

Cohn Restaurant Group – $50 Gift Card

South Coast MedSpa – $1500 Laser Hair Removal

Inspired Skin Studio – $100 gift certificate, good for any service and with no expiration date

Gymboree – Gift Certificate + Gift Bag One: free month of classes, membership fee and unlimited Open PlayGyms, Bumpy Ball, Bubble Oodles Kit, Gymbo Doll and GymMag toy

Moto Restaraunts – Catering for Event

Vintage.Shop.Rentals – Lounge Furniture

These are in addition to the Southwest Airlines tickets, passes to Disneyland and custom made guitar that we wrote about last week. We are sure there is something on this list that appeals to you!

The Dinner with Friends is coming up quickly, March 1st, and tickets are still available HERE. If you cannot attend the event, you can still make a donation to support the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego’s mission to be a home-away-from-home for the families of critically ill or injured children being treated at area hospitals. Won’t you join us?

Carbon Monoxide destroys Air Quality

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We spend most of our time indoors whether we are at home or at work. Most of the time, we spend most of our time at home. Indoor air pollution is becoming a problem that many are starting to understand since we spend a great amount indoors. We start to notice these problems either when we smell odors or feel several symptoms that can link to unhealthy indoor air. One substance that is dangerous for our indoor air is carbon monoxide. Carbon Monoxide destroys air quality. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. Low levels and high levels of carbon monoxide inside a home can cause flu like symptoms to headaches and can cause death.Since carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas and you cannot smell it or see it, it is important to have a carbon monoxide alarm.

In California, the Carbon Monoxide Detection Act of 2010 made it possible for all homes to require a carbon monoxide detection device. As of last year, all multi-family units were required to install Carbon Monoxide detectors, even if the property is listed as a rental property. If you are a rental, by this time you should have this device installed in your home. It is important to have this device in your home because it can save a life. If you are a property owner, installation of these devices in every unit is an important addition to the smoke detector in all units.

The California building code standards require that all new constructions, mandate that the detector must be, “Installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s) in dwelling units and on every level including basements within which fuel fired appliances are installed and in dwelling units that have attached garages.” Even though all units should have the carbon monoxide detectors inside homes, not all alarms working well or have been maintained. You can detect your device by finding a test button and holding it for a few seconds and a loud beeping noise will go off. Remember to test your device and if it is not working change the batteries or replace the device.

 

Carbon Monoxide, A Silent Killer

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

US Presidents and Tobacco Use

Presidents smoking

Photo from nytimes

This Presidents’ Week, we checked on the statistics: the US Presidents and tobacco use. Tobacco, especially in the form of cigarettes, cigars and pipes, is a huge air quality issue, not only to the smokers themselves, but their families, friends, and employers. How did the Presidents do?

US Presidential tobacco use chart

Tobacco is a tough addiction to kick, any way you use it. But it is worth the attempt. Not only do you put yourself at risk for lung and other cancers, you put your family and friends at risk with secondhand and even thirdhand smoke.

We didn’t know the dangers of tobacco use fully until the 1970’s but today the dangers are clear. In fact, when considered an indoor air contaminant, tobacco smoke becomes an even bigger issue, with recent studies linking air pollution to not only lung cancer, but also cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The top 4 noncommunicable diseases which kill humans? Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases.

As we make our way through National Indoor Air Quality Month, if you are a tobacco user, consider making this important–though difficult–change to your own indoor air quality: Quit smoking.

We may not give gifts on Presidents’ Day, but you can give yourself and your family the gift of clean air and a healthy indoor environment.

Don’t Let Your Dryer Start A Fire

DryerFire

 

(Photo Source:thedryerfires.com)

You might have heard several times the saying, “Where there is fire there is smoke.” The smoke may be coming out of a dryer vent. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimate more than 15,000 fires associated with clothes dryers annually. These fires account for more than $100 million in property damage annually. The interior of the dryer and venting system should be cleaned by qualified service personnel. If you notice the time of drying is taking longer than usual the air flow in the system may not be working well and the vent needs to be clean. When you load and before you load, make sure to clean the filters. Every dryer has a lint screen to capture lint . The lint that is capture in the lint screen can easily be cleaned and disposed. However, any lint that is left behind can be trapped in the dryer system. Lint can accumulate in places like the thermostat and near the burner box. Any lint that is not cleaned and also left behind the dryer can ignite.

Who needs their dryer vent cleaned?

  • Commercial laundries
  • Apartments
  • Town homes
  • Single Family Homes
  • Hotels
  • Duplexes
  • Condominiums

If you are not sure if your dryer is working properly or have not maintained and cleaned out the vents and ducts of your dryer contact a professional. Air-tek can help you by cleaning the vents and ducts of your dryers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more tips on fire safety and of our services.

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