When you think of air pollution, you’re probably thinking about factories and cars, sending dangerous emissions up into the ozone layer. You may not immediately consider indoor air pollution, but if you think about it, it’s definitely a threat to your well-being. The contaminants inside our homes and offices put us at risk for allergic reactions and illnesses that include stroke, heart disease, COPD, and lung cancer. Fortunately, you can improve your indoor air quality by following a few simple guidelines.
- Know the culprits. What are the causes of indoor air pollution? In developing countries, dangerous indoor air quality is the result of people cooking indoors, using inefficient stoves with fuel like kerosene, biomass, or coal. In the United States, though, the sources are more likely to be things like fragrances, cleaners, smoking, or pets. Taking a critical look at your home and work environments in order to determine what could potentially cause problems is the first step toward cleaner air.
- Keep your smoke outside. Smoking cigarettes causes a wealth of health problems, both for the smoker and for those who breathe in the second-hand The best thing you can do for your health and your environment is to quit, but if you must smoke, do it outside. Other sources of smoke should be used with caution, too. Don’t overdo it with candles, and if you use a wood-burning stove, make sure it’s installed properly and well-ventilated.
- Maintain proper ventilation and moisture levels. You can often improve air quality the old-fashioned way, just by opening a window. When you cook, use the fan above the stove, and when you shower, use the fan in the bathroom to reduce moisture in the air. You might also consider a dehumidifier or an air purifier with high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) air filters.
- Cut down on chemicals. Every day, we use all kinds of chemicals without giving them much thought. From air fresheners and candles to household cleaners to personal care products, to paint and solvents, there are a host of pollutants in your home that you probably don’t even realize are a problem. Many of these products contain phthalates, which are used to make the fragrances bond to the product in which they’re being used. Unfortunately, phthalates have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system. Does this mean that all fragrances are bad? No, but if you really love giving your house an extra boost of scent, you’re better off sticking to essential oils or simmering some spices on your stove.
- Clean the house. How will you clean the house, while eliminating chemicals and fragrances? It’s easier than you might think. Look for all-natural, non-toxic cleaners, or make your own cleaners, using ingredients like borax, vinegar, and baking soda. Ditch the carpet, if possible, and clean your floors with a steam mop: steaming your floors requires only water. Dust frequently, and keep clutter to a minimum. Wash your bedding and any washable stuffed animals regularly, cleaning these items once a week in hot water, and vacuum your upholstered furniture when you clean your floors. Skip curtains and drapes, opting for window treatments that can be wiped clean.
- Keep contaminants out. Make a rule in your home that people remove their shoes at the door. If you’re not comfortable doing this, at least have a sturdy doormat that can scrape most of the contaminants off before they’re tracked into your house. If you have pets, keep them well-groomed, and vacuum frequently to reduce pet dander in the house.
- Be smart about safety. Have your home tested for radon, a colorless, odorless gas that can significantly raise the risk of lung cancer. Many items give off radon, including granite countertops, so it’s important to know that your home is safe. Radon is not the only dangerous chemical that may be in the air, though, so install a carbon monoxide detector, and keep your household appliances in good repair, so that they don’t leak any fumes into your atmosphere.
- Bring in some greenery. Plants are great for improving indoor air quality, and studies have shown that they even reduce levels of formaldehyde in the home. The roots and the foliage work together to absorb chemicals released from synthetic materials in your home, while the plants themselves give off oxygen, improving our air quality.
- Maintain your HVAC system. Change your filters regularly, and call in a professional when the seasons change, to give your system the maintenance it needs to keep it running efficiently.
If you need to find a professional to check your HVAC, or you’re in the market for air duct cleaning, repair, and replacement services in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, please feel free to call Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982. Since 1946, our family-owned business has been providing superior service at unbeatable prices, offering heat and air conditioning repair services, new HVAC system installations, and more for homes and businesses. The service team at Air Rescue Air Conditioning consists of 75 expertly trained and licensed technicians, who work quickly and efficiently. Our service and pricing guarantee ensures that we always arrive on time, offer you the lowest price in the industry, and leave you 100% satisfied. Schedule your service visit today, and we’re confident that you’ll make us our HVAC company for life.
Most people give little thought to their HVAC system’s ductwork until something has gone horribly (and expensively) wrong with it. This is a huge mistake as a little preventative air duct maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your system running efficiently and preserving the indoor air quality of your home or business.
Let’s face it. Here in Tampa, air conditioning is something you just can’t live without. With average highs in the low-to-mid 90s in the summer and an average daily humidity of around 74 percent , life in Tampa becomes quickly unbearable without a properly functioning air conditioning unit.
Your air ducts are important infrastructure for your HVAC system. Your ducts provide a conduit for the cool or heated air produced by your HVAC system to flow into the various rooms of your home to achieve your desired temperature. When ducts are obstructed or have leaks, it can cause your system to lose efficiency, running up your energy bill and increasing wear and tear on your HVAC unit.
Air conditioning repair experts recommend duct cleaning every few years to dislodge dirt and other debris in the ducts. If your ducts haven’t been cleaned in a while, here are a few signs that cleaning is needed immediately.
Warning Signs Your Ducts Need Cleaning
- Unexplained spikes in your energy bills – If your bills are climbing and there’s no good explanation for the hike, such as increased usage or mechanical problems with your unit, you may have clogs or leaks in your ducts that are reducing the system’s efficiency. Air conditioning repair services can inspect your ducts to see if this is the problem and take steps to clean and seal your ducts as needed.
- Signs of rodent or insect infestation – If you see or smell evidence that rodents or insects may be living in your ducts, it’s definitely time to have your ducts cleaned. Debris from these infestations can cause damage to your HVAC system, reducing its efficiency. Over time, the smell from droppings and other debris can also become highly unpleasant. Also, having contaminants from rodent or insect droppings and shells and husks from insects circulating through the air that you and your guests breathe can cause sickness. A rodent or insect infestation in your ducts represents a big health threat, and one you should deal with immediately.
- Dirt and debris around your vents – If you’re noticing dirt and debris around your vents, there’s a very good chance that your ducts have developed blockages or have a high amount of contaminants circulating through the system. High levels of dirt and debris circulating through your system can exacerbate allergies and other respiratory problems, so it’s well worth your while to have your ducts cleaned.
- Unexplained respiratory problems – If you or members of your family are having unexplained allergy, sinus, asthma, or other respiratory problems, excessive dirt and debris circulating through your ducts may be the problem. Air cycles through your home about seven times a day, and if your ducts have high levels of dirt and debris, it can have a big impact on indoor air quality. If sneezing and wheezing have become a problem in your home, and if it’s been years since your last duct cleaning, you may want to call an air conditioning maintenance company out to inspect your ducts and clean them.
- Visible mold growth – Because of Tampa’s humid climate, mold growth is a huge problem here. Mold exposure in homes has been linked to many health issues , some of them very serious. Mold can often cause respiratory issues, eye irritation, throat irritation, and even skin irritation. People with compromised immune systems or chronic lung illnesses may develop serious infections if exposed to mold.
If you see mold growing around your vents or inside your ducts, do not hesitate to call an air conditioning repair company to perform an inspection and cleaning of your ducts. Mold is more prevalent in Florida than most parts of the country, so homeowners must be constantly vigilant against this serious health threat. Catching mold infestations early before they can spread throughout the home and become difficult to eradicate can help reduce the cost of remedying this problem.
- Dusty air filters or air return grilles – If your recently installed air filter is covered in dust, chances are that your ducts are clogged and need cleaning. Return air grilles with thick, fuzzy coatings of dust are also indicators of a duct problem.
How Ducts Are Cleaned
Professional duct cleaning services can provide a thorough cleaning far beyond what the average homeowner can do on his or her own. Air conditioner maintenance service technicians have specialized tools and training that allow them to remove nearly all dust and contaminants from duct work, even in the most hard-to-reach places.
When duct cleaning services visit your home, they’ll often inspect the unit and ducts. Technicians will use small cameras to check the more inaccessible areas of the ducts. After inspection, technicians will use specialized brushes and tools to loosen debris within your ducts.
Next, they will use a vacuum to remove dirt and debris from the ducts. They will also likely clean the cooling coils and the blower unit. Your technician may also decontaminate your ducts with germ and odor-killing compounds. In addition to cleaning the ducts and other parts of your unit, your technician will also clean grilles and vents.
If your technicians detect leaks in your ducts, they may offer to seal these leaks. It’s well worth your while to have leaks sealed, as the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through your home is lost through leaks in your duct work. A properly sealed duct system can reduce air loss, thus reducing the amount of work your HVAC system must do to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home.
Taking care of your ducts can reduce your power bills and increase the longevity of your HVAC system by reducing its workload. As new HVAC systems can cost thousands of dollars to install, keeping your system running efficiently for as long as possible can save you lots of money. Regular cleaning of your HVAC ducts can also greatly benefit the indoor air quality in your home or place of business.
Poor indoor air quality is being increasingly linked to a variety of illnesses , and modern home design has made maintaining good indoor air quality difficult because new homes are so tightly sealed for energy efficiency purposes. Cleaning your ducts can help keep mold and contaminants from constantly recirculating through your home and giving rise to respiratory and other illnesses.
When hiring a company to perform air duct cleaning services, make sure you hire a professional company with the tools, training, and experience to do the job correctly. Check online reviews and ask your friends and neighbors who they use for air conditioner service. Talk to prospective service providers about their professional credentials and experience. Also, don’t be afraid to ask prospective providers for references.
Air Rescue is a Tampa-based air conditioning repair and maintenance company. In business since 1946, Air Rescue has experienced staff and a well-earned reputation for excellence. Air Rescue also is committed to staying abreast of the latest changes to the HVAC industry—the company’s technicians regularly train with the newest HVAC technologies. The company has several affordable maintenance options available to customers, including a club membership program that provides discounts on important repair and maintenance services.
Your HVAC system includes your air conditioner, heater, and the air ducts that run throughout the house. By scheduling regular air duct cleaning and air conditioning maintenance in Tampa, you can keep your entire system in good condition. This is important to reduce your energy bills, future maintenance costs, and keep your family healthy. Here is a better look at why it is important that your air ducts be in good condition:
Keep Energy Bills Low
If your air ducts are slowly leaking air, then you are gradually losing money. As your heated and cooled air leaks through the ducts, your energy bills are rising every month. By keeping your air ducts in good condition—with regular inspections by qualified HVAC personnel—you can keep your energy bills low throughout the year. Sealed and quality air ducts keep the air contained and flowing in the directions it should be. This will make your home more comfortable and reduce your energy bills.
Reduce HVAC Strain
The more your heating and air conditioning units must work, then the more strain and use is being put on them. If your air ducts are leaking, rusted, or broken, then your HVAC units must compensate for the leaking air. By overcompensating, these units will work much more than normal, which will cause unnecessary strains and repairs. You may have to replace your air conditioner and heater or schedule costly repairs sooner, if your air ducts are not in good condition.
Prevent Air Contamination
Part of your system’s job is to filter the exterior air before it reaches the inside of your home. Filtering removes dust, dirt, pollen, and other air contaminants so that you will have a healthy and comfortable interior. If the air ducts are leaking, then these contaminants are also leaking into your house. This can cause allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, and other potential health concerns. Ensure your air is healthy by keeping your air ducts in good condition.
Air duct repair and duct cleaning are necessary tasks to keep the indoor air quality of your home comfortable and healthy. Your ducts are an essential component of your air conditioning and heating appliances, and they contribute to the airflow and air quality that enters your home. Continue reading to learn more about your home air quality and how air duct repair and air conditioning service in Tampa, FL, work together.
Your air ducts handle both your heating and cooling air flow, which means they are almost constantly bombarded with dust, dirt, mold, and other damaging influences. Duct cleaning every two to five years is crucial to keeping this dust and mold from entering the rest of your home and damaging your family’s health. However, your air ducts may be leaking, which warrants air duct repair. If your air ducts are leaking or damaged, then they could be pulling in even more dust and contaminants, which can then enter your home. If these contaminants are not caught by your air conditioner or furnace filters, then you risk possible health concerns for you and your family.
You may think your air ducts only need an occasional cleaning, but there are times when you will need to call your HVAC contractor for a duct replacement. Let’s look at the answers to some common questions about duct replacement and other AC maintenance in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL.
Should my ducts be replaced or cleaned?
Determining whether your ducts should be cleaned or replaced is up to your HVAC contractor. A duct cleaning is often sufficient to solve any duct problems. However, there are times when a contractor will suggest a duct replacement over a cleaning. If your ducts show significant damage—from mold growth and other factors—or ducts have collapsed, then your contractor will likely suggest a duct replacement. If your ducts are found to have been improperly installed or designed, then you may need a replacement instead of a cleaning. A replacement can ensure that these problems do not return and that the installation was done correctly.
When should my ducts be replaced?
If your ductwork or your house was constructed several years ago, then you may need duct replacement. Even with proper cleanings, ducts can eventually degrade, or past materials may not be as efficient as newer materials. Your HVAC contractor should inspect your ducts to determine if they need to be replaced. He can also look for signs of extensive mold growth, which may be another sign you should have your ducts replaced. Dirt, dust, and some mold is to be expected in all ductwork. If it is extensive, however, then you could risk further damage to the ducts or health problems for your family.
When should my ducts be inspected?
Your ducts should be professionally inspected and cleaned every two to five years. However, there are some signs that can signal the need for inspection. If you notice your utility bills are rising, or your HVAC system is degrading quicker, then you may have leaky ductwork. Watch out for these signs to call your HVAC company for a professional duct cleaning and inspection.
Your HVAC system is designed to keep your home at an even and comfortable temperature, throughout every season of the year. If you have recently noticed that your home’s heating and cooling bills have increased, but your HVAC unit is functioning properly, the problem could lie in your air ducts. A company that offers HVAC repair in Tampa can help you decide whether air duct cleaning or sealing could help boost the efficiency of your HVAC system. Aeroseal duct sealing is a terrific service that could dramatically benefit your home. Read on for a look at the benefits that Aeroseal can offer you.
Reduced Heating and Cooling Bills
One of the top advantages of Aeroseal duct sealing is that this service can help you cut back on your monthly heating and cooling bills. If your air ducts are leaking, they could be wasting significant amounts of climate controlled air. After your Aeroseal duct sealing service is complete, you can expect your system to be up to 20 percent more efficiency. This improved efficiency will translate into reduced heating and cooling bills over time.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
When your HVAC ductwork is leaky, it could invite airborne allergens, dust particles, and other contaminants into your system. As your HVAC system delivers heated or cooled air throughout your home, these particles could contaminate your indoor air. The Aeroseal duct sealing procedure will completely seal off your ducts from outside contaminants. As a result, your indoor air will be cleaner, fresher, and healthier for you to breathe.
Enhanced Household Safety
Safety is a top concern when you have gas heating appliances in your home. Leaky ducts can create the ideal conditions for carbon monoxide and other toxic gases to enter your indoor spaces. When you take the time to schedule Aeroseal duct sealing services, you can rest assured that your ducts are completely sealed and protected against the dangers of carbon monoxide contamination.
Are you wondering if you need HVAC repairs in Tampa? If so, then it’s important to realize that heating and cooling problems can sometimes be related to your air ducts. Continue reading to learn if your heating and cooling issues could be due to a leak in your air duct system.
Signs of an Air Duct Leak
When there is a leak in your HVAC system’s air ducts, there are a number of warning signs that can manifest. First, you may notice that the unit has trouble heating and cooling your home. If your heating and air conditioning are running for longer periods or more frequently despite the unit working efficiently, then you may have an air duct leak. Other symptoms of leaky ducts include an unusual increase in energy bills and rooms that feel stuffier or a different temperature than the rest of the house. Finally, if you can see that an area of the ductwork is kinked, crushed, or tangled, then there may be perforations along with the visible damage.
Problems Associated with an Air Duct Leak
The most obvious issue related to a leak in your air duct system is that some of your conditioned air escapes outside instead of getting circulated through your home. This can lead to increased energy costs and, because you may find part of your home uncomfortable, you may adjust your thermostat and force your HVAC unit to work even harder. Also, leaks in your ducts can allow pests to enter you home and, if water gets into the system, this can lead to mold growth that sends mold spores into your house every time the HVAC system turns on.
Solutions for an Air Duct Leak
When there is a problem with your ductwork, your best option is to call a professional. These individuals can perform a full inspection of the system, repair damaged connections and ducts, and properly seal up any holes or leaks. If you suspect that you have a leaky air duct, then contact a duct repair professional as soon as possible.
Considering how hot it can get in the Tampa area, a reliable air conditioner is a must. However, you may not have the ductwork necessary for a traditional HVAC system, or installing it is too difficult. Fortunately, you can still get the cooling you need with a ductless air conditioner installed by an AC installation team in Tampa .
This video from Angie’s list offers a look at how ductless air conditioners work. Ductless models are similar to traditional HVAC systems in that there’s an outdoor condenser—however, ductless AC units don’t rely on ducts for air distribution. Ductless models are generally more efficient than other air conditioners, and are very easy to maintain. It’s important to have a professional install your ductless system, as they have different considerations than other systems.
Air ducts connect your HVAC system to each room in your house. When they are first installed, your air ducts will transport air effectively and efficiently. Over time, however, the ductwork that is connected to your HVAC system may become clogged, leaky, or otherwise compromised. A company that offers air conditioner repair in Tampa will be able to help you boost the performance of your heating and cooling system with duct cleaning or replacement services . To help you decide whether it is time to call in the professionals, here is a look at some of the signs that it is time to replace your ducts.
Your Ductwork Is Getting Old
To determine whether your ducts are eligible for replacement, you may want to look at their age. A newly installed duct system will last for up to 15 years before it needs to be replaced. When you have been relying on the same ducts for more than a decade, you will be ready to start planning a replacement with your HVAC contractor.
Your HVAC System Is Losing Efficiency
The efficiency of your HVAC system is directly impacted by the overall condition and quality of your air ducts. When you find that your HVAC system is consuming more energy than usual, it may be time to start thinking about an air duct replacement procedure. Brand new air ducts will be able to efficiently deliver climate controlled air to each room in your home. With brand new air ducts, you can improve the overall efficiency of your system.
Your Ducts Fail a Blower Test
Your HVAC technician will be able to examine the performance of your air ducts through a procedure that is called a blower test. During the blower test, your ductwork will be hooked up to a special testing device. As air travels through your ducts, the testing device will measure how much air leaks out of the system. In the event that your ducts fail the blower test, you will need to set up a replacement.
While many of us are familiar with the dangers of outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution can also have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing without you even knowing it. If you have been experiencing allergies, respiratory issues, or other health symptoms when you are at home, you may be suffering from poor indoor air quality. A company that offers heating and cooling services can help you improve the cleanliness of your indoor air. During your next air conditioner repair in Tampa, you may want to ask your heating and cooling experts about whether you are eligible for an air filter replacement or duct cleaning.
There are several steps that a heating and cooling company can take to help you improve your indoor air. By replacing the air filters in your air conditioning unit, your technician can remove dust, pollen, and other particles that may be clogging up your indoor air. A company that offers duct cleaning can also thoroughly clear out your HVAC ducts and eliminate traces of mold, dust, and harmful contaminants.
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