Category Archives: Archives

Carbon Monoxide May Travel Through Drywall

Garage door

Image by Mattox via stock.xchng

We’ve all heard about not sitting in the garage with the door closed and the engine running. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill. In fact, carbon monoxide kills about 500 people accidentally every year in the US and causes cognitive impairment in 18-35% of those who suffer carbon monoxide poisoning and survive.

Carbon monoxide alarms have been required by law in homes in 25 states, but 10 of those states exempt homes without attached garages or fuel-burning appliances, in the belief that only homes with those features are really in danger from carbon monoxide, but that may not be the case.

In a study reported in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers found that carbon monoxide may be able to move from one unit of multi-family housing to another without using ventilation systems, stairwells or halls–it must be moving through the walls.

At AirTek, we support monitoring of indoor air quality and hope we are helping our readers become more aware of what may be in the air they are breathing, even at home. Carbon monoxide can and does kill without giving any warning of its own. Does your home share a wall with someone else’s garage? Do the people in the unit below you have a fuel-burning appliance? Or a fireplace? Do you live in a state that requires carbon monoxide detectors? And if so, do you have one?

We hope that you would never take any chances with carbon monoxide yourself, but since you may not be able to control those close by, we hope that you are being thoughtful about the risks that exist of carbon monoxide poisoning and its potentially tragic consequences.

Join Us in Supporting Our Community

we care east LA

Join Us in Supporting Our Community!

At AirTek, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we work. One of our favorite organizations is We Care East L.A., which has been holding a community holiday event annually since 2001.

We Care East L.A. provides toys for children who might not otherwise receive any holiday gifts, as well as boxes of food to help families prepare nourishing meals during the holiday season.

In 2010, We Care East L.A. served over 2500 community members, but unfortunately had to turn away 400 more. And since last year the need has only grown. They are expecting twice as many people in need to come to their doors in 2011.

The We Care East L.A. holiday community event for 2011 will be held on Saturday, December 17th from 10am-2pm at 122 South Evergreen Avenue in Los Angeles. There will be free food, free toys for children and free groceries for families in need, but they can only serve everyone if we work together.

AirTek Indoor Air Solutions will be sponsoring the We Care East L.A. this year in support of their goal to serve every family in need. If you would like to join us, call Viviana Tello at We Care East L.A. at (323) 702-4372 or send her an email at wecareela@yahoo.com.

I would like to take a moment to be thankful for what I have. There are so many in our community who are hungry and need support.

Thank you.

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!

We are Expanding

We are Expanding!

officeAirTek Indoor Air Solutions is opening a new office!

In January 2012 we will be opening a new office in Anaheim, California.

Orange County will then be able to access our many services: Commercial Duct Cleaning; Residential Duct Cleaning; Kitchen Exhaust Hood Cleaning; Dryer Vent Cleaning; and Power Washing.

Our new office will be conveniently located near the 5, 57 and 22 Freeways at 760 East Debra Lane in Anaheim and will be staffed by some of our current salespeople, led by Branch Manager Jimmy Nguyen.

We will be having an open house in January so come back for the details and “Like” AirTek on Facebook to get our updates in your News Feed!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!

Dryer Vent Fires

Dryer Vent Fire? That Could Never Happen to Me!

dryer vent fireDid you know that clogged dryer vents cause 81% of home fires every year?

“Dryer fires account for over 15,000 structure fires, 15 deaths and 400 injuries annually” (FEMA) Dryer fires in non-residential structures like hospitals, schools and stores cause even more loss and injury.

Most dryer fires happen in residences and are totally preventable!

How do vents get blocked?

Lint from laundry is the most common cause of a dryer vent blockage. However, there can also be problems with small bird or animal nests and bends in the venting system.

When do dryer fires happen?

Since people do laundry any time of the day or night, dryer fires can occur at any time as well. Most happen between 8am and 12 midnight, but fires peak between noon and 5pm and again after dinner.

What are the major causes of dryer fires?

Lint is the major fuel for a dryer fire. Lint needs to be removed from not only the lint trap in the dryer itself, but also from the vents and surrounding areas. “Failure to clean” is the official reason for 70% of dryer fires.

dryer vent fire

Other causes are mechanical or electrical failure and improper use of the dryer, for example, if it is too full or there are combustibles stored too close by.

How Can I Prevent a Dryer Fire from Occurring in My Home?

  • Keep combustibles away from the dryer area. These can be cardboard boxes, clothing and cleaning supplies.
  • Never put anything made of plastic, foam or rubber in the dryer. They ignite much more easily than natural fibers.
  • Vent the exhaust directly to the outside. Dryer vents cannot be longer than the equivalent of 25 feet and you have to add length for any bend in the vent. Bends are places where lint can build up and be difficult to clean out.
  • Do not use plastic ducts between the vent and the dryer. Many new homes do use these, but they are dangerous and can provide more fuel to a dryer vent fire.

FEMA recommends that you clean out your dryer ducts and vents every 2 years and whenever a heavy item like jeans seems to be taking an extra long time to dry. Inspecting more often is recommended if your vent goes more than 6 feet from the dryer to the outside or if your dryer is an older model without moisture sensors or high temperature safety limits.

They also recommend that you call in a professional inspector once a year if you are using a gas dryer, to make sure that the lines and connections are still doing their job well.

If your dryer vent system is long or complex and difficult to inspect and clean, you should call a professional to properly maintain your system. Clothes dryer fires are dangerous, damaging and completely preventable. If you need dryer vent maintenance and cleaning, please contact AirTek for information and assistance.

We don’t want a dryer fire to happen to YOU!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!