INSPECT YOUR DUCTS
Air duct cleaning is a misnomer. In actuality, the entire HVAC system should be cleaned. Failure to clean all components of the system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus minimizing the benefits of cleaning. Just as you wouldn't only clean half of your living room floor, you also would not want to clean only part of your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. It is recommended that you clean the entire HVAC system, including the following components:
There are two key components to HVAC cleaning: Breaking contaminants loose, and collection of contaminants.
Breaking Contaminants Loose
Properly cleaning HVAC systems requires removing the sources of contamination. Source removal begins with use of one or more agitation devices designed to loosen contaminants from the surfaces within the heating and air-conditioning system. Examples of agitation devices include brushes, air whips and compressed air nozzles. Agitation can also be achieved through hand-brushing or contact vacuuming.
Collection of Contaminants
During cleaning, the entire HVAC system is placed under continuous negative pressure or HEPA-Filtered vacuum to prevent the spread of contaminants. Continuous negative pressure and HEPA vacuuming allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released in to the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning. This negative pressure and HEPA vacuuming also serves to extract the loosened contaminants, which are collected and removed from your home.
HVAC system cleaning is not a complex process, but each job is unique. Where possible, access to duct interiors should be made through existing openings such as supply diffusers, return grills, duct end caps, and existing service openings. Cleaning technicians may need to cut access holes in the duct work in order to reach inside with various cleaning tools. Creation of these service openings, and their subsequent closure, requires craftsmanship and professional skill.
Antimicrobial treatments include sanitizers, disinfectants and deodorizers can be applied to non-porous surfaces in HVAC systems to address microbial contamination and help control odors. Only solutions registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used. These products should only be considered after mechanical surface cleaning has been performed and if the need for such a treatment has been deemed necessary.
There are a few things that you can do to maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of your HVAC system:
■ Get good filter. Ask your National Air Care technician for a recommendation.
■ Clean / change the filters as needed (at least every two months.)
■ Even with properly cleaning and changing quality filters, the HVAC system will still become dirty over time. Have your system inspected every two years to determine whether your system needs to be cleaned again.
There are several factors that affect cost and time estimates: type of ductwork, size of system, system accessibility, the number of crew members, level of contamination, and even microbial factors. The national average for properly cleaning an HVAC system in an average-sized home may cost upward of four hundred fifty to one thousand US dollars according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
If you suspect you have mold in your home or building:
Do not touch mold or moldy items with bare hands
Do not get mold or mold spores in your eyes
Do not breathe in mold or mold spores
Contact a certified mold mediator if you suspect a mold problem
We perform visual surveys in the home or building to check the fungal ecology or problems in a specific area as directed.
The survey takes about 30-45 minutes and includes the following:
Walking around the suspected problem area(s).
Walking through and to the areas of concern.
Viewing the area with a flashlight to highlight the suspected mold contamination or condition.
Taking moisture readings of the structure such as walls, floors, and/or ceiling surfaces to detect moisture intrusion.
Taking temperature and relative humidity readings to determine if they fall within ASHRAE recommendations.
Providing an estimate for remediation by industry standards [S-520]
We will visually survey and test for mold contamination at a reasonable rate. Always remember that the young and elderly are more susceptible to the effects of mold and indoor pollutants. If you suspect that there may be a problem in the home or building, call us for an indoor evaluation.
There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment -- The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture!
Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
If mold is a problem in your home or office, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by:
venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning
Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth
Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced
Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation
In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e. bathrooms with leaks or frequent condensation)
Molds can be found almost anywhere. They can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. Molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
CLEAN YOUR DRYER VENT TO HAVE A SAFE HOME
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a special report detailing the fire hazards related to lint in clothes dryers and dryer vents. Approximately 15,000 fires per year are attributed to excessive lint in dryers and dryer vents. Additionally, dozens of deaths and millions of dollars of property damage occur as a result of these fires. Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive build-up and can result in a fire in dryers and where they are located.
EXCESSIVE DRY TIME? If your clothes take more than a single cycle or are taking longer and longer to dry.
CLOTHING IS HOT? Clothing is hot and damp at the end of the cycle or after a significant amount of time.
DRYER IS HOT? The top of your dryer feels hot to the touch. If it does, stop the dryer and call a professional.
LINT OUTSIDE THE DRYER? You notice substantial lint build up around the back and sides of the dryer.
MOLD OR MILDEW SMELL?You smell mold or mildew near the dryer
Clothes Dryers are one of the most expensive appliances in your home to operate. The longer it runs, the more money it costs you. The way a dryer works is really quite simple. Hot air is forced through a turning drum. Wet clothes are placed in the drum and are dried by the hot air. A full load of wet clothes may contain one to one and a half gallons of water. As that water is removed, lint is created from the clothes. Much of this lint is trapped in the dryer’s lint filter, which should be cleaned after every use as stated in your dryer’s care and use guide. However, lint filters do not trap or catch all lint. The lint that remains is carried through your vent system along with moist air.