Pollutants in Your Home – Air Duct Cleaning Southeast MI

Indoor air quality is considered to be the fourth greatest pollution threat to Americans by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even if you can never see, and can’t always smell, the chemicals inside your home, they are there.  It comes from cleaning products, drycleaning chemicals, plastic products like computer keyboards, furniture, paint, carpeting and more.

Some tips to help keep these contaminates from polluting your house are as follows:

Look for certifications. Certifications for low chemical emissions are in their infancy, but the more people who buy and request certified products, the more there will be.  Greenguard, part of Underwriters Laboratories, certifies furniture, paint, and other office and household products.  Scientific Certification Systems is another certifier.  And, for carpet, you can look for the “Green Label Plus” created by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).

Choose unscented products. Many manufacturers make both scented and unscented versions of their products.  Always choose the unscented ones.

Avoid pressed wood. Pressed wood and wood composite materials are manufactured using strong glues that often contain volatile organic compounds.

Unwrap. When you buy new furniture, unpackage it outdoors and let it sit outside for at least one week to air out. Similarly, make sure to unwrap your dry-cleaning outdoors before bringing it into your house.

Ventilate. Try to paint in the spring and fall when you can comfortably leave your windows open for ventilation.  Same goes for new furniture or cabinetry.  Keep your windows open for a couple of weeks, if possible.

Paint first. It’s a good idea to paint your home first, then ventilate for several days before installing new carpeting and other textiles.  That’s because these products can absorb chemicals from the paint and re-release them into the air over time.

Buy used. Chemical emissions are at their highest when a product is brand new, so one solution is to buy used furniture that has already off-gassed in somebody else’s house.  (Unless that used furniture has just been refinished.)  Just be careful, because you want the latest safety features in things like baby cribs.  And you should look for furniture built after 1978, when lead paint was banned.

Does Duct Cleaning really work?

duct cleaning workIt happens quite often that customers ask us if duct cleaning actually works. Our answer to them is of course “yes duct cleaning works if it is done correctly” . As many people are aware of and if not should be aware of is the fact that the duct cleaning industry is full of scams. These scams take millions of dollars away from homeowners every year.

These types of companies are known of as “blow and go” companies. This is strictly because they do what they are called, they blow a few vents (if you are watching) and then take your money and GO. The customer pays for absolutely NOTHING. They are left behind with in most cases a much worse situation than they began with. The dirt and dust that should of been removed from their ductwork like they had hoped is now stirred up and blowing into their homes.

When a homeowner contacts a reputable company and the job is done correctly, duct cleaning can have an enormous effect on the indoor air quality for the better. The simple fact about your heating and cooling system is that it is constantly pulling in air to heat or cool your home and then push it back out into your home. Over time dust, dirt, dander, dead skin cells and other nasty things settle into your system and then become dislodged at some point down the road and fly into your air whenever they want. If you remove the contaminants they will not have the chance of becoming something you can breath or have to clean up (excessive dusting).

To not have to worry about breathing who knows whatever from the previous homeowner or recent remodeling project, homeowners have one of two options. Either they can replace all the ductwork with new or clean the exsisting ductwork that is there.

NADCA which stands for the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (www.nadca.com), shows right on their website questions consumers should ask when they are looking for a duct cleaner. It is extremely important that whoever comes out is going to clean the WHOLE system and not just the vents or bits and pieces of the system. Think about it, if you only clean a portion of the duct system once your furnace is turned back on everything will mix back together.

If you were taking your car in for an instant oil change you probably would not pay the company anything if you pulled on the hoist and they went under your car and knocked around but never really drained or replaced your oil. The same goes for duct cleaning. Why should you pay a company to come in your home and blow a few vents but not really do anything? This happens all the time.

If you are considering air duct cleaning or think that it may be a great option for you and your family, get it done the correct way. Duct cleaning works, only if done correctly.