4 Tips to Improve Air Quality & Avoid Mold Growth In Your Home

clean kitchen in houseEveryone knows that mold is bad news, but how many people actively try to prevent it? If you’ve had any experience with mold in the past, then you know that it can severely diminish the air quality in your home and that being proactive about it is the secret to a healthier, happier home.

It doesn’t matter how much mold experience you have or if you’ve never even considered air quality in your home, because today we will outline 4 steps anyone can take to avoid potential issues.

1. Inspect Basements & Attics For Moisture & Leaks

Mold thrives in wet, humid environments; therefore, it is best to start your mold-hunting crusade in your basement and/or your attic. Check the walls, floors, pipes, crawl spaces, fittings, and fixtures for moisture. Since condensation gives birth to mold, be sure to note if the floors or pipes in the basement are particularly cold. If they are, then you should visit them regularly to ensure that you tackle wet spots sooner than later.

Aside from these surface-level areas, it is always important to watch for leaks that may occur inside the walls or underneath the floors. While not quite as easy to pinpoint as a sweaty pipe, there are a few things you can do, like:

  • Read your water meter. If you have a digital water meter, you may need to shine a flashlight on the face to wake it up. Record the first four numbers from left to right; read it again after you’re sure that all of your fixtures are turned off. If the number increases, then you may have a leak. Most digital water meters show an icon if a leak is detected. Check with your local water provider to see if your meter is built with that type of technology.
  • Check for standing water or puddles around the walls.
  • Do a sniff test. If the air smells musty, you could have an issue.
  • Listen for dripping sounds after you turn off the shower or flush the toilet.
  • Rent a moisture reader from a hardware store. These handy gadgets will help you determine if there is moisture inside a wall.

2. Don’t Wait To Dry Wet Spots

Just took a shower? Then remember to wipe up any water that your wet feet leave behind. Did some laundry? Don’t wait all day to transfer your wet clothes to the dryer. Washed the dishes? Make sure that the counter is dry.

The same principles should be applied to spills. When having friends over for a party, most people tend to wait a day before they truly tackle any accidents that happened the night before. As a host, don’t wait: dry that carpet fast! As a guest, be respectful: offer to clean up the mess yourself.

3. Maintain Good Air Flow With Open Windows & Exhaust Fans

Sometimes the appliances you use every day, like your dryer or stove, creates moisture inside. Eliminate this stale, wet air by opening a window, employing AC units, or running an exhaust fan. Proper ventilation and circulation are essential for curbing mold, so let fresh air in and open doors between rooms.

4. Check & Clean Your Air Ducts

Mold can also live in air ducts. Why? They’re damp and secluded. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Don’t let that motto blind you though. Prevent the possibility that mold could even grow in your air ducts by hiring a professional source removal company to come to your home and clean and inspect the air ducts at least annually.

Preferred HD uses customized agitation tools inserted into vent openings so it will loosen up accumulated dust, dirt, and other contaminants and blasts ductwork with almost 200 PSI of air pressure to force out the loose debris.

If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, or you would like your air ducts to be professionally cleaned, then contact us today!    

 

FAMILY AT HOME

Before Heating Season, Clean-up the Air in Your Home

We’ve entered the last few days of summer here in CT. For many homeowners, the time to cover the pool, turn off the A/C and make preparations for winter weather has come. The unpredictable and often brutal winters that plague the northeast make having a fully functional heating system in your home a must.

While you schedule those important HVAC cleanings to get your system in order in advance of the cold don’t forget to also have the air ducts in your home cleaned. Doing so will give your home a nice fresh start to the season and remove any dust, debris or allergens that have accumulated in the ducts over time.

FAMILY AT HOMEHere are some of the reasons to have your air ducts cleaned ahead of heating season.

Clean Air to Breathe

The issue with dust and dirt in the home is that before you have a chance to sweep or vacuum it away, it’s already in the air and making its way into the air ducts. Here it circulates throughout the home over the course of the day and enters the air in particle form as you and your family breathe it in.

To address the issue, a duct cleaning service that uses tools and specialized techniques to reach debris and remove it is necessary. As an added bonus, having your homes air ducts cleaned can help those in the home already suffering from respiratory issues like allergies or other autoimmune disorders.

Savings on Heating & Energy Bills

Another reason to have your home’s HVAC and air ducts serviced before the start of heating season is because an HVAC system that’s clogged up with contaminants is going to have to work extra hard to run. This extra work adds up to more dollars spent on energy usage and a greater waste of pricey heating sources.

If you’re ready to have your home running clean and efficiently this winter, give Preferred HD a call. Our “Source Removal Process” utilizes customized agitation tools inserted into vent openings to loosen dust, dirt, and other accumulated contaminants. We also get to the interior ductwork and blast it with almost 200 PSI of air pressure and use a vacuum hose almost a foot in diameter attached to the duct vents to suction out the loosened debris. It’s our goal to make sure that every corner is left clean and that nothing makes its way into your home’s interior.

Get a free consultation and quote!

4 Tips to Help Save Up to 10% on Your Home’s Energy Bills

ENERGYAs you have probably noticed, your energy bills tend to rise consistently year after year. While this is inevitable and will continue to happen, there are ways you can alleviate some of the costs. Here are just some of the simple steps you can take that will help reduce your home’s energy usage and its impact on your wallet.

HVAC System Maintenance

Keeping a regular maintenance program in place with a professional HVAC company allows your system to operate efficiently year-round, relieving the stress of trying to handle or figure out the maintenance yourself. Between services be sure to check on and change your air filters regularly.

Keep Drafts Out

Keep in mind that if air is able to get in, air is able to get out. Make sure your home is properly insulated and windows and doors are shut and tightly sealed. Any leakage of air during hot and cold months can have an effect on energy costs.

Window Coverings Can Help Control Temperatures

Using window coverings can also help regulate temperatures in the home. Keeping window coverings closed during the day in summer to help reduce temperatures while during the winter months, keeping them open during the day on south-facing windows to allow sunlight and warmth in. During the winter months though, you’ll want to make sure you’re closing them at night to provide insulation between the glass and the interior of your home.

Regulate Thermostat Usage

To help with energy savings, find an optimal temperature that works for both the hottest and coolest months and stick with it.

According to Energy.gov, “You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.“

Another option is using a programmable thermostat which can help with savings by relieving stress on your HVAC system during off-peak hours. The less the thermostat is changed around, the less stress it will put on your HVAC system.

We know there are a number of factors that come into play when trying to save on a home’s energy bills. Here at Preferred HD, we take pride in providing the best in HVAC system services throughout Connecticut.

Contact Preferred HD today to schedule routine HVAC maintenance and to gain improved air quality year round.

home air duct

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

Cleaning the air ducts in your home is an important task to consider when factoring in you and your families overall health. Containments in the air, dust and debris particles and host of other risks could be present in your home that you’re not even aware of.

Cleaning the vents and air ducts lessen those risks by removing particles. You could attempt to do this yourself, and there are DIY videos all over the Internet, but there are also risks.

It’s best to call in professionals for an air duct cleaning in your home if you want to rest assured that any trapped debris is located and removed and that your family is breathing the cleanest indoor air possible.

You should aim to have your air ducts cleaned at least every few years. The National Air Duct Cleaner’s Association recommends every 3-5 years. This, of course, can change and require more frequent cleanings if you’re doing renovations, painting, have pets or are even smoking in the home.

home air ductKeeping your air duct system clean can also be useful for lessening symptoms from allergies and asthma issues if anyone in the home suffers from these ailments.

If you’re not sure when the last time you had your air ducts cleaned was, or if you’ve never hired a professional to help with the task, you can easily take a look at the vent returns around your home. If there is dark, black color dust on them, chances are the air circulating through your system isn’t very clean.

Hire quality professionals to get the job done right. Preferred HD uses customized agitation tools in your vents to help loosen up and remove dirt as well as blasting 200 PSI of air pressure and vacuum hoses to grab up every last piece of dirt in your vents.

We employee the most qualified technicians with all up-to-date training and certifications to be sure homes and businesses across CT can achieve improved air quality.

Get a free consultation today!

commercial kitchen

Commercial Kitchen? Here’s What You Should Know about NFPA 96

commercial kitchenIf your facility has a commercial kitchen, you likely already know there are many standards and compliance requirements necessary to safely run the kitchen at your facility. When it comes specifically to fire prevention and ventilation, NFPA 96 is an important standard to become familiar with.

Here’s why.

Getting to Know the Codes & Standards

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a non-profit trade association in the U.S. that works to create and adopt standards and codes for use by local governments. When it comes to protecting commercial buildings from fire and other risks caused by the cooking of food in a kitchen, NFPA 96 includes standards for fire marshals to follow when ensuring a facility is up to code. This includes safety related to design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance for both public and private cooking operations and more specifically the cleanliness of commercial kitchens for fire prevention.

Why Precautions are Necessary

Responsibility to ensuring you’re up to code typically falls on the property or business owner. You should ensure you have proper rooftop terminations, grease traps, drains and fans and exhausts as well as checking that all electric wiring is functioning. Another important element in a commercial kitchen is the exhaust system and ducts. Keeping these accessible, clean and well maintained will help prevent fires, release dangerous gases and keep air in the facility clean.

Preferred HD has a team of trained technicians with all the proper tools, training and expertise needed to maintain your commercial kitchen’s hood and exhaust system.  If you’re a restaurant or business owner in Connecticut, we’re fully licensed and certified by the ASCS and have some of the most trusted, reputable kitchen hood and exhaust system cleaners in the state.

Set-up a free commercial kitchen hood cleaning consultation today!

men at work

Staying Current with Clean Air and Compliance Standards at Your Facility

Meeting compliance requirements is a must for any business. Not only to avoid hefty fines but to keep their employees safe and productive. When it comes to clean air, there is more than having ventilation in place that’s needed to keep workers safe. Most industries have unique dangers, especially those in industrial processing facilities. Combustible dust created from chemicals, wood, metal and even in food processing facilities must be taken seriously.

men at workTo remain compliant, there are strict rules to adhere to when it comes to cleaning and maintaining equipment and more.

Here are some tips for staying current with all the latest clean air and compliance standards required for your facility.

Understanding Clean Air Requirements

To remain compliant, it’s important to first understand what clean air requirements are necessary for your operations and why. The Clean Air Act is a federal law put in place to govern air pollution and regulates air emissions coming from both stationary and mobile sources. With the law in place, there have been dramatic reductions in air pollution and health effects each year.

The Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with solving air pollution problems via the latest science and technology information. Regular inspections and investigations into compliance mean staying abreast of all the latest rules is necessary.

Maintaining Compliance

Facilities are monitored for compliance by the EPA to include checking for asbestos, stationary and mobile sources, hazardous air toxins, ozone-depleting substances and more.

Facilities must have a risk assessment completed every five years as well to remain compliant. There is also a need to maintain operating emission permits, keep records and reporting and manage any construction or modifications made to the facility, along with a host of other responsibilities to maintain healthy air quality.

Depending on several factors including the type of facility, where it’s located and more, this may change what standards must be met to remain compliant. The EPA’s website contains information on those rules and how to stay compliant as new updates are made.

Having your facilities air ducts cleaned is a great way to improve indoor air quality. With a significant factor of lost time and wages due to illness caused by unclean HVAC coils, it only makes sense to start here.

Preferred HD offers commercial air duct cleaning services along with a detailed assessment of your system’s condition.

Schedule an appointment today!

OFFICE AIR

Tips for Protecting Your Buildings Indoor Air Quality

One of the most important requirements as an employer is that your workforce always remains safe and have a healthy and efficient work environment. This means having training, team building, and maintaining a workplace culture. It also means ensuring the building you operate in gets all the required maintenance.

OFFICE AIRAir quality is an issue that affects more than just the outdoors. In fact, indoor air can be just as polluted and even lead to increased time out from workers being sick which ultimately can hurt the bottom line.

According to the American Lung Association, low-quality indoor air leads to significant lost time and wages due to illness.

In order to remain in compliance with all building and worker health codes, there are things you can do to keep the indoor air cleaner.

Perform all Regular HVAC Work

The first thing you should do to protect the quality of air in your building is to maintain regular HVAC cleanings and repairs. According to the Environmental Protection agency, unclean HVAC coils can result in a 21 percent decrease in system efficiency. During these maintenance visits, expert technicians will clean and inspect air vents and heating systems and can spot dangerous as well as prevent premature breakage or downtime.

Have Vents Cleaned

Performing regular cleanings of your commercial facility’s air duct systems will also save you and your employees time and money. During an air duct cleaning service, we’ll assess the condition of your overall system as well as assurance checks after we’ve completed to job to ensure quality and restore fiberglass installation in the duct system.

Handle Upgrades and Construction Accordingly

It’s important to keep indoor air quality top of mind anytime you’ll be performing upgrades or construction to the building. Dangerous pollutants like radon, mold, particles and other chemicals can create an unhealthy breathing environment. Check that ventilation and moisture are in control and make sure all work is done by professionals who understand the risks of building materials like asbestos especially in older buildings.

Preferred Hood & Duct serves commercial and residential customers across CT. Our qualified professionals have up-to-date training and relevant certifications. When you use Preferred Hood & Duct, you can be sure you’re getting quality service from.

Get a free, no obligation quote.

A/C in Heatwave Overdrive? Have Your Coils Cleaned

As most of the nation endures a heatwave, the hum of A/C units is crowding the air. While home HVAC systems fit to keep them indoors at comfortable temps, the extra work your A/C is putting in is also putting adding strain on the equipment. If you’re having A/C issues or you feel as if your home isn’t cooling as much as it used to, there are a number of possible issues that could be occurring.

One of the main reasons your A/C might not be cooling properly can be due to blocked airways. In addition to routine maintenance, you should always check to be sure filters are clean and airways are not blocked. Other culprit’s such as refrigerant leaks may also be at play so it’s important to have a professional come out to service your system.

Another important step in the routine maintenance of you’re A/C system is a soil cleaning. A/C coil cleaning services are important because they are the main operation allowing for hot air to be removed and cool air to be let into your home. Since it’s outdoors, the unit is also getting exposure to dust and other debris so it’s very easy for the soils to become dirty and not function properly.

With the threat of electricity loss and blackouts greater during a heatwave, it’s important that your system work efficiently. Dirty A/C coils force the system to work harder and waste even more electricity, increasing your utility bill and putting additional strain on resources.

Stay cool and comfortable throughout the hot summer months in Connecticut. Contact Preferred Hood & Duct today to schedule an AC coil cleaning.

We also offer no obligation quotes for services including the inspection, cleaning, sanitizing and service of air ducts, dryer vents, HVAC systems, exhaust systems and more.

clean air home

Healthy Homes Month: How to Keep Indoor Air Clean

clean air homeFor most of us, the place we call home is our sanctuary. Where we go to relax, spend time with our loved ones and somewhere safe. However even with the best security in your home, there are other issues that could be causing harm. Airborne contaminants.

In honor of “National Healthy Homes” month this June, we’re offering tips on keeping your home’s indoor air clean.

Have HVAC System Serviced

The HVAC system in your home is at the heart of how you’re able to keep the temperatures indoors comfortable throughout the seasons. As it works hard to pump our heat and circulate cold air, it’s also picking up debris. For this reason it is recommended that HVAC systems be serviced and cleaned at least once a year. Not only will this help spot potential issues with the system prior to breaking, but it can also lower your utility bills since the system won’t have to work so hard to heat or cool the home.

Clean Air Ducts

Cleaning your air ducts is one of the best ways to improve indoor air quality in your home.  Over the years, the duct ways you don’t see traveling throughout the walls in your home will accumulate with dust, pet dander and other debris and contaminants. Without having it removed, it will only continue to be pushed through the system and out into the air you and your family is breathing in the home. This can also improve allergies as well as reduce system breakage.

Beware of the Products You Use

Even if you keep up with yearly maintenance and cleaning of your air ducts and HVAC system you can be releasing more harmful chemicals into the air through the products you are using. Paints, harsh household cleaners and other pollutants can easily make their way into the air if you’re not careful. Be sure to research the types of products to avoid and proper ventilation when they are in use.

Preferred Hood & Duct offers air duct cleaning services that help to improve air quality in buildings  and homes.

Get a quote today!

 

Spring is Optimal Season for Air Duct Cleanings

The spring season has arrived here in New England and has been an interesting one to say the least. From longer cold days than usual, to random extremely hot days in between – knowing whether you’d be opening the windows, turning up the A/C or even kicking on the heat for the day has been a coin toss.

It looks like we’re finally settling into a more steady temperature this season and as we adjust our HVAC system to bring comfort to our home, we cannot forgot about maintenance necessary for it to continue providing us with that comfort.

Professional cleanings and check-ups ensure your home’s air is clean and safe and prevents premature breakdown by checking for issues before they become larger problems.

If you’ve been thinking about getting your home’s air ducts cleaned, this is the perfect season to schedule the service. Here’s why.

1.      Open windows and fresh air circulating throughout the home optimizes clean air.

With mild weather conditions, Spring is the time of year that we open windows, turn off the heat and don’t need to use A/C. Since fresh air is coming into the home and the cold, stuffy air of winter is getting let out, it’s a great time to clean your air ducts while this air circulation is happening.

2.      You can reduce seasonal allergies by having your vents cleaned.

If you or a member of your household suffers from seasonal allergies they may have found this season to be an especially tough one. High pollen counts, constant rain and debris being stirred up from the ground at this time of year mean sneezing, teary eyes and other symptoms are common. You can reduce some of these pesky symptoms if you rid the air ducts in your home of the offensive dander and debris.

3.      Don’t forget the Dryer Vents!

While you’re having your air ducts cleared of build-up, don’t forget that cleaning your dryer vent is equally as important. Overtime dust builds up inside the vent that not only reduces the performance of your appliance but also puts you at greater risk for a fire.

Preferred HD provides inspection, cleaning and sanitizing services for homes, schools, hospitals and other facilities around Connecticut.  We service residential and commercial air ducts, HVAC systems, dryer vents, kitchen exhaust systems, A/C condenser coils, air vents and have the most qualified employees, with up-to-date training and relevant certifications.

Get a free consultation!