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.

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.

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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