1.) Dust, Hair or Debris are Trapped Inside Supply Vents.
If you can clearly see any of these particles on or inside of your supply vents, there is most definitely an issue and they need to be cleaned ASAP. Once these unwanted particles are present, you can be sure that you have dirty air being circulated inside your home posing a threat to you and your family.
2.) Air Filter is Dirty or Dusty Shortly After You Change/Clean it.
Assuming you change or clean your air filter regularly, most people actually forget to maintain theirs sometimes for weeks or months. This will be apparent if or when you change/clean your filter and it goes right back to being dirty quickly. Being sure to replace your air filter often will prevent germs, mold and bacteria from floating around inside your home’s air.
3.) Air Flow is insufficient and Weak.
Testing your air vents to make sure they are producing proper air flow is the best way of checking to see if you may have debris stuck in there or possibly a blockage. If you happen to feel your air not blowing sufficiently, then you need to make arrangements for a professional to come in and clean them.
4.) Dust is Coated on Return Vents.
The difference between return vents versus supply vents is that they are the only vents in your home without levers to open and close. Supply vents allow you to open and close them. So, if your return vents are also covered in dust, debris or hair you need to have a scheduled cleaning by a professional.
5.) Mold Growth.
Are you starting to see signs of mold around the property? This can be a sign that there is too much moisture in the area. You will want to look at the root cause, which can be on the list of potential issues to resolve as a property owner. If you are dealing with any mold growth, you will want to take immediate action. The more you delay, the more you will see the mold spread throughout the space. It is best to solve this problem by removing the mold and cleaning the air ducts.
6.) Rodents & Insects
Insects can start spreading throughout the property because of the dirty vents. It is essential to clean out the vents and ensure the air ducts are not becoming a central point of concern for pest infestation. If you are dealing with this issue, it’s essential to call a qualified air duct cleaning company as soon as possible. This is the root cause of the problem and must be fixed before looking at pest control. If you refuse to clean your air ducts, you will have this issue arise again down the road. It’s better to nip the problem in the bud by getting the air ducts cleaned on your property.
If your home’s air conditioner is not performing as well as it should for this upcoming Spring and Summer seasons, it could be due to dirty ductwork and a clogged unit. Dirty ducts account for almost 40% of poor airflow in the average home and if you haven’t had your system cleaned in a while, it is definitely time to call ABC Cleaning, your local professionals to come out and have it serviced.
Why Dirty Ducts Cause Bad Performance
When the ductwork in your home is filled with dust, dirt and debris, the air is unable to flow smoothly throughout the vents and can cause your home to become dirty, unhealthy and a health hazard. Although your air filters are able to catch SOME of these particles, the rest is recycled back into the ductwork and flows into your home. Your home’s air conditioning unit then has to work twice as hard to pump out the same amount of air through the vents, causing it to wear and tear faster and decrease the lifespan of the unit.
Unhealthy Indoor Air During the Spring & Summer
A dirty AC system can produce unhealthy or even toxic air that fills up your home’s interior. Although you may not notice the polluted air at first, you may feel the effects overtime. This is especially true if you have allergies, asthma or any respiratory condition. Along with an air purifier, having your home’s air conditioning unit and your ductwork professionally cleaned will solve many of the issues in your ducts.
How Often Should Your Ducts be Cleaned?
According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), you should have the air ducts cleaned every three to five years. If your HVAC system needs cleaning more than once a year, there may be a problem with the system that is allowing dirt to infiltrate the components.
What Causes Air Ducts to Become Dirty?
There are several contributing factors that determine how dirty the duct systems will get. The climate in which you live may determine what type of substances clog your vents or build up in your ducts and other indicators of what is causing the ducts to get dirty may include:
- Dusty build-up around the outside of the vent
- Excessive debris around the filter
- Visibly thick dirt in ducts
- Noticeable bursts of rubbish exiting supply registers
- Mold or mildew smell present in the airflow from vents
- Visible Vermin or Pest Infestation
While many environmental factors can make asthma sufferers worse, having air ducts that are dirty can also be the cause to many upper respiratory illnesses. Dirty air ducts typically encompass dirty filters, clogged or poor ventilation and much time in between cleanings. If you are experiencing or noticing heightened asthma symptoms, and you know you haven’t had your home’s ducts maintenance in some time, it is a smart decision to call a local and trusted professional to take a look.
Why Dirty Ducts Are a Threat to Your Respiratory Health
- When a home’s ductwork becomes dirty, the air that passes through the vents, which is spread directly into your home is full of pollutants, dust and unhealthy particles. If the filter is dirty as well, the air that recirculates and that is being sucked into the vent, will also be redistributed through your home, landing directly onto surfaces and into you and your family’s lungs.
- When dust, dirt and possible dander (if you have a pet) settles into your home, this not only creates an unhealthy environment, but will build up over time and make the air in your home become unbreathable. Even if you regularly clean and dust your home, the dirty, poorly filtered air will eventually cause problems and will not allow for a healthy upper respiratory system.
Other Threats to Your Breathing Hiding in Your Home
Besides dirty air ducts, the home you live in is most likely is filled with items that create toxic air and produce chemicals. It is common in every room of your home and can be coming from your appliances, cleaning products, aerosols, furniture, pet dander, fragrances, smoke, etc. Occasional exposure to these items is not the biggest threat of them all, what really matters is making sure the air you are breathing in, is filtered and circulated properly. Because the items listed above are also threats, it is important that your home’s ductwork is cleaning the air these items are held in. If for some reason your air ducts are not doing its job, these items can become even more of a risk than they already have. Make sure to have your AC, ducts, dryer and vents serviced regularly to ensure a safe home. Here at ABC cleaning, we can help purify your home’s air which will help you breathe easy and stay healthy.
Helps to Remove Odors
If you have pets living in your home, you may sometimes walk inside and immediately smell their presence. Despite using air purifiers, deep cleaning, steaming your carpets, wiping off furniture, etc., you may find yourself unable to really remove that lingering pet scent. The reason for this may be because the scent is coming through and from your vents. When hot or cold air is pushed through air ducts, it can carry a scent from one room to the other, and keep distributing it throughout your entire home. However, when you have your ducts cleaned, you are able to remove the dirt, dust, debris and pet dander which is the culprit of that stubborn smell.
Helps Your HVAC Work Better
When air ducts are full of dirty particles, hot and cold air have a harder time traveling through the system, making its job to produce a certain temperature of air harder and less efficient. As a pet owner, your ducts get dirtier faster than those without pets and your pet can be one of the leading causes of dirty air. Your pets can cause the ducts to fill faster with outside dirt, pet dander, and hair, in addition to the allergens, pollens, and dust that normally settle in the ducts. Cleaning the ducts helps to remove all of this debris, increasing the efficiency of your heating and cooling unit.
Cleans the Air in Your Home
The last reason why pet owners need their ducts cleaned more frequently is to help improve the quality of air blowing into your home. When your ducts are dirty, the air that is blown into your home is also dirty. Pets can affect the quality of the air you are breathing in which determine how frequently you need to dust, mop and vacuum your home. Having your ducts cleaned regularly, improves the quality of air blowing into your home and into your lungs.
Tips on How to Reduce Dander in Your Home
There are a few steps you can take in order to reduce the amount of dander in your home. Some of the most useful tips for pet owners include:
- Clean your carpets – A thorough steam cleaning of your carpets will help to remove a huge portion of your pet’s dander.
- Give your pet regular baths – Removing excess dander down the drain, instead of into your air vents, will reduce the required frequency of it building up in vents.
- Use a HEPA filter in your home’s air vents – These filters are designed to more effectively capture pet dander from the air. They do, however, generally need to be changed more often. But they can be a big help in preventing dander from accumulating in your vents.
- Order professional air duct cleaning from our trusted cleaning service – ABC Air duct cleaning professionals can help to remove dander build-up from the surfaces of your ducts. This provides a level of dander removal that is simply not possible from just filtration or air purification.
There are many simple ways to help make your home a healthier place for you and your family. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends these healthy home practices to get started.
- Keep it dry. Prevent rainwater from entering your home through leaks in roofing systems and poor drainage. Also, check your interior plumbing for any leaking.
- Keep it clean. Control the source of dust and contaminants, creating smooth and cleanable surfaces, reducing clutter, and using effective wet-cleaning methods.
- Keep it safe. Store poisons out of the reach of children and make sure they’re properly labeled. Secure loose rugs and keep children’s play areas free from hard or sharp surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep fire extinguishers on hand.
- Keep it well-ventilated. Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens and use whole-house ventilation to supply fresh air and reduce the concentration of contaminants in the home.
- Keep it contaminant-free. Levels of contaminants such as lead, radon, carbon monoxide, asbestos, secondhand smoke, and other chemicals are often much higher indoors. Test your home for these contaminants and take the appropriate action to remedy any problem areas.
- Keep it pest-free. All pests look for food, water, and shelter. Seal cracks and openings throughout the home, and store food in pest-resistant containers. If needed, methods to rid your home of pests that have already gotten in are available.
- Keep it temperature controlled. Homes that do not have balanced and consistent temperatures may place families at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold, heat, or humidity.
- Keep your home maintained. Inspect, clean, and repair your home routinely. Take care of minor repairs before they become bigger problems.
Many contaminants keep the air in your home from staying pure and safe and often times these contaminants make your home’s air unhealthy and a hazard to breathe in. This dirty air can trigger your allergies, as well as asthma and other upper respiratory issues. Making sure to have your HVAC cleaned, will make a noticeable difference in air quality and ensure your home is safe and healthy. Here is a list of some of the worst air contaminants lurking in your home:
1. Second-Hand Smoke
If a smoker lives or used to live in your home, or you recently quit smoking, get your HVAC cleaned. We all know second-hand smoke is harmful, and stale smoke is an awful smell.
2. Biological Pollutants
Biological contaminants include these and more: animal dander, cat saliva, dust mites, cockroaches, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. It is also necessary to control the humidity level in your home to keep these things under control, because high humidity levels create breeding grounds for these invaders.
3. Carbon Monoxide
This deadly contaminate is far more common than most people consider. Carbon Monoxide is found in unvented gas, kerosene space heaters and can come from leaky furnaces or chimneys. Other sources include: furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, gas stoves, generators, automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke, and combustion devices.
While this may be a necessary evil, sometimes it can just seem pure evil to those with allergies to the residue from pesticides. The contaminant level in the home isn’t only from household use. Time and again, it’s been shown that household pesticide levels are increased due to outside contaminants. Possible sources include:
● Soil tracked in from outdoors
● Dust entering the home from an exterior source
● Surfaces that collect contaminates externally then release them internally
Nitrogen consists of two most prevalent forms: nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide. These corrosive, toxic gases often come from combustion processes such as:
● Tobacco smoke
● Kerosene heaters
● Defective vented appliances
Here in Central Florida, summer-like temperatures typically start pretty early on in the year. And as we all know, even in the dead of winter we can have our A/C’s on and running. Making sure you stay comfortable in your home by constantly having the A/C on can be costly and irritating, and if you find that your A/C is running all the time, there could be an issue with your HVAC system or an issue in your home. It is best to have a professional come and take a look at your HVAC to ensure your system is running smoothly and efficiently. But in the meantime, here are some troubleshooting tips you can keep in mind when trying to find out what’s really going on…
Check Your Filters. If you can’t remember the last-time you changed your HVAC system’s air filter, then it could likely be the cause of your A/C constantly running. Because of constricted air flow, when your filter becomes clogged, cool air is unable to be produced and reached throughout your home and without air flowing over the coils, your system cannot remove any humidity in the air. This makes your HVAC constantly have to run longer and harder in order to try and cool your home to the set temperature, especially during the daytime hours. This is one of the more common reasons A/C systems tend to break down and overheat. Make sure to clean and replace your air filters once a month or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Improper Installation. Every so often we may encounter a home that has had previous installation issues. Some companies will install the wrong size units and ducts, posing a threat to HVAC’s which can be damaging and costly.
Too Large. If your HVAC unit is in fact too large, it will not be able to remove moisture from your home’s air resulting in damp air posing risks of mold and mildew. If your unit does not fit, it will also have shorter run times but use higher amounts of electricity resulting in costly utility bills every month.
Too Small. If the HVAC unit installed is too small, it will end up having to work harder to cool the air in your home and may never actually be able to do so. This constant and hard running will over time damage and deplete your HVAC system’s life span and without a doubt breakdown.
Duct Size. Taking into consideration the sizes of your air ducts can help your find the root of the problem. Air duct size should be comparable to the size of your HVAC unit. If ducts are the improper size, they may not be able to distribute air flow efficiently and to all parts of your home.
Air Leaks or Faulty Insulation. If your home was poorly sealed or insulated this can for sure cause your HVAC system to run constantly and wastefully. You can be losing cool air that summertime demands in your home through the small holes and cracks from non-insulated walls, attic or roof. If your home happens to be losing cool air this way, there is no other fix then to have your home properly and efficiently sealed and insulated.
When springtime rolls around so is the hype for cleaning and clearing out your home. It is time to get ready for a new season and start off to the warmer weather again. You can scrub the floors, polish all the furniture, and clear out all the cabinet, but if you do not clean the air in your home, you may find that all your “spring cleaning” is simply a waste of time. ABC Cleaning offers complete air purification through our many ducts and HVAC cleaning services, which can make your home smell fresh and allow you breathe easier this upcoming spring season.
HVAC Cleaning for Your Entire Home
- HVAC Cleaning. We will scour your central unit as well as all other components in your HVAC system. We will search for pests, clear out all the dirt and dust, and fully restore your system back to looking like new again.
- Duct Cleaning. When the air leaves your HVAC unit, it goes into the ducts. The ducts force it into your home interior and then back into the unit. We can clean the ducts so that pure air is once again circulating through your house.
- Vent Cleaning. The last stop before the air enters your home from the HVAC unit is the vents. They often get clogged with spider webs, dust, and pollutants. We offer vent cleaning.
Air Duct Cleaning Year Round
During the winter time, rats, snakes, mice, insects, and other pests may find a way to get into your home. They like to burrow in the air ducts where it’s nice and warm. Once pests get in, they have a difficult time getting back out. They either die in the ductwork or end up somewhere in your home. Rather than running into one of these pests, call your local professional to complete a full inspection of the house and make sure there are no pests anywhere in your HVAC system including the ductwork. Make sure your home is pest-free, so that you don’t have to worry about what is crawling around in the ducts, unit and possibly your home. If you want your HVAC system to run efficiently year after year, then schedule an annual cleaning. Our annual cleaning includes every inch of your HVAC system including the ducts and the vents. We’ll even look at your dryer vent to make sure it is cleaned out. We provide quality professional service for homeowners in Central Florida.
When it comes to mold and mildew, most people are puzzled about the differences between both and wonder if there even is one. The fact of the matter, is that there are a few simple differences between mold and mildew, and it is critical to know that difference when treating your home or space. Both mold and mildew, can have a negative impact on your health and learning how to prevent/treat these hazardous elements, is vital for your health and home.
What is the difference?
Mold. Simply, mold is a type of fungus that grows from spores which float around in the air. These different types of molds can be found anywhere in nature, especially here in Central Florida due to the tropical weather and high percentage of humidity. When we hear the word “mold” we automatically assume something negative, however mold plays a vital role in the environment and is a very important factor in the ecosystem. Mold acts to decompose organic matter, which then allows nutrients and natural material to be released back into the ground, providing living organisms with food. Although mold is very beneficial to other living beings, when indoors, mold poses a hazardous risk for humans. It can cause significant health issues, and when it comes to a building or home, it can bring it down and cause structural damage.
Where does mold grow?
Mold can be carried indoors from outside through your clothes and even your pets. Mold is more often found as a result from an in-home flood or a home with high humidity levels. Your home’s bathroom, attic and even bedroom are all common places mold can be found because it can thrive in dark, warm and moist places. It is important to know how to notice and smell mold in your space, due to it being able to grow so quickly, which get out of hand fast. If you happen to see fuzzy, colored spots in your home and smell a musty type of odor, call a professional immediately to avoid health and home issues.
Mildew. Mildew is a type of mold, but basically mold in their early stages. Combined, they are found in the same environments and spread very easily. Mildew is more cosmetic, and is very destructive to food crops and plants. Mildew can still pose a health risk to humans, but not to the extent of mold. You may be wondering, since mold and mildew are one in the same, if there really is any difference between the two? There are certain characteristics that separate these two fungi, but regardless they are equally hazardous to your health and home.
Where does mildew grow?
Mildew often grows on window sills and in showers. It needs the same elements and environments as mold in order to thrive, but can be treated fairly easily. It is still as important to be able to detect mildew as much as mold, and of course sight and smell are the only ways. Mildew looks powdery in texture and can also be different colors and it also smells of a musty scent similar to mold. Either way, call and have a professional come out and inspect and clean as soon as possible.
Spring is the season known for rebirth, regrowth and refreshment. It is also associated with “spring cleaning”, from clearing and renewing what you have to sprucing up your space and clearing your energy. With the process of clearing your own energy, comes time to reevaluate your home’s energy system as well. You may reflect on your energy bills and exactly how much you may be spending, using and possibly wasting. If you are unaware of where to begin, here are some energy-saving quick fixes to assist you in saving.
- Upgrade your appliances.
- If your appliances seem to be or are outdated, this is one of the best ways to increase your energy savings. If your model is old, it can be consuming up to 50% more energy than modern day units. Newer appliances tend to be an investment at first, but save time, money and the environment in the long run.
- Use ceiling fans.
- Ceiling fans tend to cool your home more efficient than not. When you pair your air conditioner with your ceiling fan, you can raise your thermostat a few degrees and still keep a comfortable temperature.
- Ventilate & circulate.
- When you have your space properly ventilated it contributes to healthy and safe air. It provides quality to your home’s indoor air and will for sure save money on your energy bills. Make sure to also open your windows and recirculate the air in your home. This helps prevent mold and mildew growth and refreshes the oxygen inside.
- Readjust your thermostat.
- As the weather starts to shift into cooler seasons and provides cooler weather, you are able to set your thermostat a few degrees higher and still be comfortable. The lower the temperature you set your thermostat to, the more you will pay in energy bills. Also, opting for upgrading your thermostat to a “Smart thermostat” allows you to adjust your home’s temperature anywhere from a smartphone; Invest upfront and save big later.
- Adjust your water heater.
- To get the most savings out of your water heater, you can set the temperature at about 120 degrees. This will decrease energy costs without having to take a cold shower! Also, consider opting for a tankless water heater when replacing your water heater.
- Schedule an HVAC system maintenance. Having an HVAC tune-up gives your HVAC system the maintenance, cleaning and inspecting it needs to perform at its best. During the summer season here in Central Florida, HVAC companies are busier than any other season. When the hot temperatures hit, air conditioners are bound to break and/or need maintenance. Having your HVAC tuned-up now, gives your A/C the help it needs to stay strong all summer long.