mopping the kitchen floor

Clean Air Tips for Radon Awareness Month

The month of January is Radon Action Month and is used as a time to bring awareness to a dangerous gas, that if exposed to in your home, can lead to lung cancer and even death.

In light of this important cause, we’re dedicating this blog post to some key information about Radon in the home as well as some tips for keeping the air indoors clean for occupants.

What is Radon?

The gas, which has no color or odor to it, can sneak its way into the home’s air from underground. The only way to know if it’s present in the home is to have it tested. You can call a professional or use a DIY kit from a hardware store.

If radon has in fact been detected in your home or basement it makes sense to call on a professional and have it remedied quickly.  This may involve sealing cracks in the foundation and walls and running gas-tight pipes from crawlspaces to the roof as a way to vent the gas coming from the soil safely away from your home.

Here are some other tips to help keep the air quality in your home high.

Clean Up

It’s not just something your mom told you as a kid to annoy. Keeping a clean space that’s mopped up and dusted can easily prevent dust, debris, and other particles from making their way into the air you and your family breath.

Ventilate

If you’re using chemicals to clean (try safer alternatives) then you should also be ventilating the spaces in your home. Circulate a fan to dry mopped floors quickly and be sure to open the windows for a few minutes a day to let in fresh air and to let whatever is trapped indoors out.

Remove Moisture

Speaking of speeding up the floor drying, don’t forget that moisture can be a key culprit of indoor air issues. Mold grows easily in constantly damp spaces like bathrooms or there is a drip present. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on crevices or vents and other places where mold spores could grow.

Call in the Professionals

Preferred Hood & Duct offers residential HVAC cleaning services that remove dust, mold, & allergens from the places homeowners can’t see. Get a breath of fresh air in your home with our NADCA-approved residential and commercial air duct cleaning, AC coil cleaning, kitchen exhaust cleaning, and more.

 

Contact us today!

clean air home

Keep Your Indoor Air Quality High with Regular HVAC Maintenance

In the summertime, when temperatures rise, outdoor air quality can often be poor thanks to pollution and smog. Air quality issues don’t disappear in the Connecticut winter cold, however: they simply move indoors, particularly if there are problems in your home’s heating and ventilation system. One of the problems is that indoor air pollutants are often invisible.

“Most of the things that cause problems are odorless,” says Dr. Nicholas BuSaba, associate professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. “So, in many cases, there’s nothing to alert you to the problem.”

Nothing except the symptoms these pollutants and allergens can trigger, such as respiratory problems (including asthma flare-ups), fatigue and sleepiness, nasal allergies or even digestive issues. The problem often resides in your heating and cooling system.

Importance of a Home’s HVAC System

Think of your heating and cooling system as the lungs of your home. The HVAC (or just heating, if you don’t have air conditioning) takes air in and “breathes” it out through the air ducts in your home. Unfortunately, these air ducts are ideal places for indoor pollutants to lurk.

It’s estimated that dirt and dust are recirculated throughout your home five to seven times a day, on average, depending on your heating system. Over time, this can cause a buildup of gunk in the ductwork. These dirty ducts can reduce the air quality inside your home, contributing to health issues, especially in people who already have respiratory conditions such as asthma, autoimmune disorders or allergies.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Keeping clean air in our homes is important for the health of the entire family. Dirty, dusty air ducts can aggravate allergies and asthma by blowing dust, pet hair and other allergens into living spaces. Cleaning the air ducts in your home removes dirt and dust, leading to better indoor air quality. It also helps to install filters in the HVAC system and ensure they are changed regularly. Electrostatic filters can help ensure that dust and other airborne irritants get trapped instead of being recirculated throughout your home. Dehumidifiers and air purifiers can also be installed to help improve indoor air quality.

Get Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned

Preferred Hood & Duct offers competitive rates on all residential air duct, dryer vent, and kitchen exhaust system cleaning. Visit our website to view our services or call 860-613-1130 to discuss how we can help keep your home a cleaner, healthier place, either with a new installation or routine cleaning and maintenance.

girl in school

Can Better Indoor Air Quality Help Students Focus?

Now that summer is over and cold weather is gripping Connecticut and many other parts of the country, children and adults are spending more time indoors. People often think that being outside in cold weather causes illness and consider a warm indoor environment a refuge. The reality, however, is that spending the majority of the day indoors can actually make people sick, which can affect all aspects of life.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality

During the winter, people understandably want to keep cold air out. The problem is that lack of ventilation can keep pollutants inside a building, where people breathe them in all day. The issue is particularly widespread in schools, which are often decades old and not ventilated as well as modern businesses.

Many types of pollutants are found in schools. Academic supplies, cleaning products with phthalates, mold, and allergens students carry to school on their clothes can affect the air quality inside the building. Outdoor air pollution can also make its way into schools. If buses idle outside in the morning and afternoon, the exhaust can affect the air quality around and inside the school. Without proper ventilation, students can be exposed to airborne contaminants day in and day out.

How Poor Air Quality Can Affect Students’ Health

Chemicals in cleaning supplies can aggravate allergies and asthma. If a room or building is warm and damp, that is the perfect breeding ground for mold, which can cause dizziness, headaches, and asthma attacks. School supplies can produce odors and release volatile organic compounds that can irritate children’s noses and throats. Dirt and dust on students’ shoes, chemicals used in the manufacturing of clothing, allergens from pets, and environmental contaminants from children’s homes can affect them and their classmates in a variety of ways.

How Students Can Suffer Academically

Repeated exposure to airborne pollutants for hours a day can have significant and lasting effects on students. In addition to obvious symptoms, such as worsening of allergies, asthma attacks, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, there may be other problems that are not immediately apparent. Students may have trouble concentrating, and their memory, attention span, and response time may suffer. This can lead to declines in academic performance. A child who falls behind may struggle to catch up or may have to repeat a grade. Children may also become frustrated and display behavioral problems.

How to Improve Air Quality in Schools

If you are a school administrator, now that students are spending more time inside, you should think about air quality and how it might affect children’s health and ability to focus. Use cleaners and academic supplies that do not emit harmful chemicals and improve ventilation in the building. Preferred HD can inspect and clean your air ducts and HVAC system to keep your students healthy and ready to learn. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

autumn

Clean Your Air Ducts to Curb Seasonal Autumn Allergies

Allergies cause sneezing, congestion, and suffering for millions of Americans. Those symptoms can interfere with work, school, and regular activities. Many people with allergies find that things get worse in the fall.

What Triggers Autumn Allergies

Dust, mold, and other airborne contaminants can collect in the air ducts in your home’s HVAC system. When cooler weather arrives and you turn on the heat, the warm air travels through the ducts, which have been sitting unused for months and have been collecting contaminants. Those particles can be pushed into your home by the warm air and spread throughout the house. If someone with allergies breathes that air for several hours a day, it can trigger an allergic reaction or asthma attack.

Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

Contaminants are bound to collect in your home’s air ducts over time. You may not realize how bad the situation is until you or a member of your family starts sneezing, coughing, or wheezing. If someone in your household is dealing with allergies this fall, dirty air ducts may be to blame.

If no one in your family is suffering from allergies right now, there might be other signs that your air ducts should be cleaned. If your home tends to collect a lot of dust, or if you have owned the house for 10 years or longer and have never had the ducts cleaned, doing so now, before allergies flare up, is a good idea.

Hire Professionals

You should not try to clean your home’s air ducts yourself. This is a task that requires specialized equipment and chemicals, as well as an understanding of what caused the contamination, how to clean it, and how to prevent the problem from returning.

Be sure to hire a qualified and reputable company. Some businesses promise to clean ducts and remove allergens but do not have the equipment needed to do the job correctly. Some companies use the wrong chemicals or use them in combinations that could produce toxic fumes.

How Air Ducts Are Cleaned

Workers from the company will seal off the HVAC system to prevent contaminants from being blown into your house during the cleaning process. They will use high-powered vacuum cleaners, other tools, and possibly chemicals to remove dust, mold, pet dander, dead insects, and animal droppings from your air ducts.

Schedule a Duct Cleaning Appointment

Using the HVAC system to heat your house can push airborne pollutants into living areas and make life unbearable for someone with allergies. If you or someone in your family has already experienced problems, things will only get worse. If it has been a long time since your ducts were last cleaned, contact Preferred HD now to schedule a cleaning and prevent allergic reactions. We have the necessary tools and chemicals and a highly trained and experienced team to do the job correctly and safely.

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.

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.

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!

Maintaining Top Notch Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air pollution is a serious threat in your home if you’re not persistent and thorough with cleaning and having proper ventilation in place. Contaminants in the air won’t just damage your belongings, but can also cause serious harm to your family members and their health.

Here are some tips on maintaining quality air in your home.

Kick Smokers Out

Advise smokers to light up a far distance from your property. The threats of second hand smoke are well-known. But even smokers who use an open window, patio or garage area can be harming the air in your home. Remnants circulating through the HVAC system and carried around in the form of dust or attached to your pet’s coat can be put into the air and cause what’s known as third hand smoke and it is hazardous.

Remove Harmful Chemicals

If you think you’re doing a good job of keeping your house clean and well maintained by using harsh chemicals, degreasers and updating the paint on your walls frequently, think again. These products are emitting gases called “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) and causing your home’s indoor air quality to diminish. Sings of over exposure even if just in small amounts over a long period of time can be dangerous. Headaches, nausea and dizziness can occur as well as kidney damage and cancer.

Schedule an HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning

In addition to removing harmful products from your home, you should open the windows frequently if you live in an area not threatened by outdoor air pollution to let in fresh air as well as schedule a regular HVAC and air duct cleaning.

Contact Preferred HD for cleaning services that help create a clean heating and cooling system in your home so you can breathe comfortably knowing your family isn’t taking in dust and allergen buildup from your ducts.

Get a free consultation and quote!