Common Spring Allergies in the Home

Spring is in full bloom! For some of us it’s a welcomed season. For others, they feel more than the extra sunshine, they feel the congestion. Spring allergies come in full force thanks to the fresh pollen in the air, but indoors is where allergy and asthma sufferers might experience it the worst.

What exactly causes indoor allergies? Allergies in the home are made up of a number of substances and can provoke allergic reactions. They are typically small enough to be airborne, making them easily inhaled. The most common indoor allergens come from:

  • Dust
  • Mold spores
  • Fabrics
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Rodents
  • Houseplants
  • Outside pollen

While no home can be completely allergen-free, proper cleaning on a regular basis can help reduce the number of allergens to which you’re exposed.


Proper Dusting. One of the best ways to control indoor allergens is by getting rid of dust. Use a damp or treated cloth that attracts dust rather than scattering it. For those with particularly bad allergies, consider wearing a dust mask when cleaning.

Vacuum to Reduce Allergens. Vacuuming in areas that accumulate more dust, such as carpeting and furniture can help control allergens in your home. Best practice to reduce household allergens is to vacuum at least once a week.

Wash Bedding to Remove Allergens. Dust mites tend to thrive in bedding, pillows, and throw rugs. At least once a week, wash pillowcases, sheets, and blankets. Something to keep in mind when it comes to fabric allergies is the type of fabric and detergents being used. Some people are sensitive to polyester and others need very gentle cleaning solutions.

Reduce Pet Dander. The protein found in the saliva, urine, and dander of our furry friends is a common allergen for many people. Vacuuming frequently and grooming your pet regularly can help reduce pet allergy exposure. If you have someone in your home that is especially prone to animal allergens, it might be a good idea to designate their spaces as “pet-free” zones.

Air Duct Cleanings. Having your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 is recommended, but if you have allergies or asthma, every 3 years is highly recommended. We clean the most unsanitary part of their homes, the air ducts, and our services reduce the amount of allergy and asthma triggers throughout the home. Pollen, pet dander, dust, dust mites, and mold spores settle in the duct work, when it is time to turn on the AC, it kicks up all that debris and makes it airborne, ultimately causing more agitation.

We provide a service that can reduce indoor allergens and provide some relief.


While everyone with or without Spring allergies should be regularly cleaning their home to prevent airborne illnesses, professional help might be next. Hiring on experts in air duct cleaning for mold and allergens will help keep your home’s airways clear of dust and pests. After all, Spring allergies are one thing, but mold can become sinister for respiratory health.

Help protect your home and air quality by putting a plan together for the restoration of your air ducts. For more information on your home needs, contact Air Duct Maintenance, Inc. at (724) 444-4550.

Keep Your Home Clear of Mold

Mold is one of those alarming words that any homeowner fears. While mold is essential to breaking down organic materials outdoors, mold exposure is not something fun for your home.

The Dangers of Unattended Mold

In some cases, mold in your home can make you sick, but especially if you have allergies or asthma. Whether or not you’re allergic to molds, consistent mold exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, possibly causing shortness of breath or respiratory illnesses.

The most common way for mold to cause illness is through airborne spores that can make it into your airways and sinuses. Keeping this in mind, mold loves growing in dark, moist places, making vents and ductwork an ideal breeding ground.

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Air Duct Maintenance: Your Local Air Duct Cleaning Company

The History of Air Duct Maintenance

Air Duct Maintenance is your residential air duct cleaner and ventilation specialists in Pittsburgh, PA. We’ve serviced Western Pennsylvania for two decades and have dedicated ourselves to helping homes breathe better.

Air Duct Maintenance, Inc. was founded in 1996 by Kevin and Debbie L’Herbier. The L’Herbier family has owned and operated this growing organization from the ground up. Being family owned, we know how busy life can be, that is why we have our crews out Monday through Saturday. You can request information any time right from our website.

Air duct cleaning is our specialty, whether it is your heating and cooling system, your clothes dryer vent, your bath exhaust vent, or even your chimney.

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Only You Can Prevent Dryer Fires

It’s a pretty satisfying thing to clear out your dryer’s lint trap of all that fluffy build up from your laundry. Most people clear it out after every now and again, but best practice is to clean a lint trap before each use. Keeping your lint trap clean is only step one to in your dryer. To keep your appliance in tip-top condition, and more import

antly, your home safe from a dryer fire, you’ll need to take care of your entire dryer vent system.

Keeping your dryer vent clean is important for a number of reasons which include energy savings and safety. The purpose of your dryer vent is to exhaust out hot, moist air so that your clothes can dry. A clogged dryer vent does not allow the heat and moist air to exhaust, which causes the dryer to become extremely hot to touch. With the heat building up, and with lint building up and being extremely flammable, that’s how dryer fires start. The heat has nowhere to go, nowhere to escape. With the moisture, it causes your clothes to not dry in one cycle.

Lint is very flammable, and when it builds up in your dryer’s exhaust vent, lint trap, and drum casing, it can actually ignite. In the U.S., 2,900 dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. This statistic can be avoided in most cases with regular dryer maintenance and professional intervention.

The tell-tale signs that it’s time to clean your dryer vents:

  • It takes longer to dry clothes. If you have to run an average load of clothes more than once through a dry cycle, it might be time to check out your ventilation. When you have clear dryer vents, doing your laundry becomes much easier on your clothes, dryer, and energy bill.
  • Clothing is hot to the touch. Few things are as comforting as clothes or blankets fresh out of the dryer. But if you’re noticing your dryer is leaving behind hot clothing, heat might not be exhausting through the vent properly.
  • You smell something burning. It’s the final straw, and it should be taken very seriously. If you smell burning, stop the use of your dryer immediately and completely clear out your dryer vents.

Dryer fires can be prevented by you with regular lint trap clearing and maintaining your ventilation. If you are unsure about how clear your dryer vents are, or think you are at risk of a dryer vent fire, you can get the assistance you need from Air Duct Maintenance, Inc. professional team at 724-444-4550.

Breathe Clean, Healthy Air

The saying goes, “a clean home is a happy home.” Well, clean starts with the air that you and your family are breathing. Fresh, high-quality indoor air is vital to keeping you and your family healthy (and happy) in the long run.

Many people are more concerned with surface sanitation before getting into the nitty-gritty of cleaning their home. When thinking about your routine cleaning, are you fully clearing out every part of your home, top to bottom? You might be a floor-scrubbing pro, but your ventilation and ductwork are probably left to the wayside. With peak allergy season right around the corner, your vents are going to need a little TLC.

Cleaning your air ducts is key to purifying the air in your home.

Clean, healthy air is the ultimate goal of an air duct treatment plan. Custom cleaning developed by specialists have restoration applications, but overall air quality coming from your vents is the main benefit.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates indoor air quality (IAQ) in most homes is five to ten times worse than outdoor air quality. That says a lot given that many states in US, especially Pennsylvania, are considered to have poor air quality. If you’re wondering about the overall air quality or pollution levels of your area, you can check out the EPA’s Air Now Tracker on AQI.

Something of note is that as homes become more efficient for energy and space, overall breathability, ventilation, and airflow can suffer. Luckily, with regular air duct maintenance, you can extend the life of mechanical systems to improve air quality without sacrificing energy efficiency. In some cases, cleaner vents can end up improving overall home energy consumption. Air duct cleaning reduces the chances of “clogging” your airways with mold, bacteria, dust, and other microbes, or even animal nests.

If not treated properly, contaminants in your vent work can become part of the breathing air by being pushed through your heating air conditioning (HVAC) system. Most airborne contaminants are especially harmful to those with continuous allergies or respiratory illnesses. Air duct cleaning can be the relief you are looking for in your home’s air quality.

There are a lot of different solutions in place for air purifications. Filters and dehumidifiers might be the route to go in some cases, and full ductwork maintenance may also be your best answer. It’s hard to say there is a “one size fits all” path, so a consultation might be your next best move towards better indoor air quality. Air Duct Maintenance is here to discuss the air purification options and treatment plans best suited to your home, budget, and needs.

Why Air Duct Cleaning is Not a Scam

When it comes to your home, family, and wallet, you’ll do anything to protect them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of disreputable companies and contractors out there that will do anything to take advantage of you. Unnecessary work is charged to homeowners every day, leaving people skeptical to take on a lot of professional services. Air duct cleaning has sadly been left as a service that property owners are hesitant to pay for.  

We’re here to give you the full picture of air duct maintenance, and how to avoid being scammed by not-so-professional companies.

Why Would Air Ducts Need To be Cleaned?

Air duct cleaning should be a thorough cleaning of the coils, air handler, housings, registers, motors, grilles and fans of the system. Some states require HVAC duct cleaning to be a routine service to public buildings.

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The 101 on Indoor Air Quality

This winter is going to feel like any other: cold and snowy, maybe even icy if we’re unlucky. For most of us, staying inside is the only option, or at least the only one we like the most. Avoiding the outdoors may keep us safe from dangerous driving and cold hands, but you might face another danger from inside.

Your indoor air quality begins to worsen when there is less fresh outdoor air. Increasing the number of people and animals in a building just makes matters worse. Poor air quality is not only uncomfortable, but it can be bad for your health. While you’re already fending off the common cold in public, you might not be fighting off allergies and respiratory infections in your home.

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home?

  • Start from the Ground Up. To keep away dust in your home, you might need to start with sanitizing your floors. Vacuuming old dust and pet dander is essential for allergy prevention.
  • Use Air Filtration and Humidity Products. Some of these devices can be installed in the ductwork of your central heating and cooling system.
  • Avoid Smoking Indoors. It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health. Your vents, walls, and furniture can hold on to residue for years.
  • Humidity. This can make the biggest difference in your home’s air quality and comfort. It’s ideal to keep levels between 30 and 50 percent. *
  • Bring Fresh Air Inside. When the weather starts to warm up, open up the windows to circle out some of the stale air.
  • Replace Your Air Filter. Change HVAC system filters regularly to pull dirt and dust out of the air.
  • Schedule a yearly air duct cleaning. While everything listed here are things you can likely handle yourself, it’s necessary to hire an air duct cleaning company to really improve the quality of the air in your home.
  • Avoid Chemicals. Eliminate as many household chemicals from your home. Anything with harsh fumes should be used well-ventilated areas and store them outside your living space.
  • Have Your Home Tested. If unsafe levels of radon are detected, trained mitigation experts can direct the gas away from your home.

*Importantly, wetter states in the Northeast like Pennsylvania are especially prone to mold growth in homes. Wet summers with heavy rainfall and areas with a lot of wetlands should be much more conscious of their home maintenance against mold.

What is HVAC and Air Duct Contamination?

Due to growing concerns about indoor air quality, residential air duct cleaning is the service to put your mind at ease. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that cleaning is necessary if the HVAC unit is contaminated or in the following instances:

  • Renovation: Ducts should be sealed off during home renovations to reduce large amounts of dust and larger debris from falling down into the duct work. However, it is inevitable dust will settle in the duct work during renovations. To prevent that dust and debris from coming out into your newly renovated living space, we highly recommend to have your air ducts cleaned to remove all the construction dust and debris.
  • Illness and Allergies: If someone in your family is suffering from an unexplained allergy-related illness, it may be time to have your air ducts cleaned to see if the HVAC system was the culprit.
  • Animals: If you or the previous homeowner has had a pet, you better believe their pet dander and hair is still lingering in your air ducts. Even after the pet has passed or moved away, you will still have pet hair and dander circulating throughout the home. In some cases, animal infestations or nesting can occur in your duct work. These animals can leave behind feces, food, and if they get trapped inside, their decaying corpse which over time will produce horrible odors that will be released out into your living space.
  • Mold: Since many homeowners may not know if mold is present in the HVAC system without an inspection, they are often living with mold in their air for months without knowing.

What to Expect When Having Your Chimney Swept

He’s making a list and checking it twice. And when Santa is coming down your chimney this holiday season, he’s going to see if your home maintenance has been naughty or nice.

You probably don’t think about your chimney, but used or not, the chimney of your home needs serviced once or twice a year. But what do chimney sweeping services require?

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Do Indoor Plants Provide Cleaner Air Quality in the Home?

You may have heard that certain houseplants contain certain organic chemicals that essentially “clean” the air in your home.

A little background from states:

“Plants are notoriously adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves. It’s this skill that facilitates photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy and carbon dioxide into chemical energy to fuel growth.

But scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that plants can absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner)  are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate.

These VOCs and other indoor air pollutants (such as ozone) have been linked to numerous acute conditions, including asthma and nausea, as well as chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory illnesses.

An indoor plant’s ability to remove these harmful compounds from the air is an example of phytoremediation, which is the use of any plant — indoors or out — to mitigate pollution in air, soil or water.

Indoor plants remove pollutants from the air by absorbing these gases through their leaves and roots. The microorganisms that live in the soil of potted plants also play an instrumental role in neutralizing VOCs and other pollutants.”

This is backed by research from a 1989 NASA study.

Current Myth on Air Quality Debunked

However, the idea that certain plants can clean the air has seemingly been debunked. While green spaces may in fact improve your mood, there really aren’t any definitive studies that show that having indoor plants can significantly increase the air quality in the home to improve health in a measurable way.

However, there are other ways to get cleaner air in your home without filling it with plants. An air duct cleaning is one of the top ways to rid your home of random debris and dust floating through the air.

There are many benefits gained from cleaning your ductwork, too. A few of them include:

  • Breathing clean, healthy indoor air
  • Decrease allergy and asthma triggers
  • Improve heating and cooling efficiency
  • Increase airflow at the vents
  • More even temperatures throughout your home
  • Reduced utility bills
  • Reduce excessive amounts of dust inside your home or office
  • Eliminate musty odors when operating the furnace/air conditioning

Do you know when it’s time to maintenance your home’s ductwork?

The key signals that an air duct cleaning is an order are:

  • The surfaces of your ducts or other components of your heating and cooling system have a substantial amount of visible dust on them.
  • Uneven temperatures throughout your home.
  • Dusting more often.
  • The ducts are clogged with dust and debris.
  • Dust or debris is being released into your home through your system’s air supply registers.

If you notice any of these signs, then you need to call Air Duct Maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA today. Our mission is to treat your family like ours and we do that by keeping your home clean and healthy.

Breathe Easier in Your Home Today – Contact Air Duct Maintenance!

Areas we service include but are not limited to: Allegheny, Washington, Beaver, Butler, Armstrong, Westmoreland, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Somerset, Greene, Fayette, Cambria, Clarion, Blair, Jefferson, Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson (Ohio), Brooke, Marshall, Wetzel, Monongalia, Preston, Ohio, Hancock, and Trumbull.

We can also clean your clothes dryer vent, bath exhaust fan, and sweep your chimney in addition to your air duct cleaning.

Call today for your free estimate!


Is an Air Duct Cleaning Worth It?

Having a routine air duct cleaning may save your home’s health (& your wallet)

You’ve probably seen many air duct cleaning companies in the Greater Pittsburgh area trying to push a routine cleaning. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (N.A.D.C.A.) recommends to have your air ducts cleaned every three to five years. N.A.D.C.A. is the association for professional air duct cleaning companies nationwide. Seeking a free air duct cleaning estimate should be something homeowners consider right away.

A professional air duct cleaning uses blowers, vacuums, and industrial brushes to clean out the supply, intake, and return ducts throughout your home. A thorough cleaning includes cleaning of the air handler, registers, fans, motors, coils, etc. of the entire air system.

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