finger using home heating thermometer

3 Signs It Might Be Time for a New Furnace

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, also commonly known as “HVAC,” are the lifeblood of a home. This technology keeps the home at a comfortable temperature despite the weather outdoors and keeps air in the home fresh and safe for breathing. But these systems don’t last forever. Outside of mechanical breakdowns or other unexpected issues, normal wear and tear will eventually put your homes HVAC system out of commission.

Scheduling routine maintenance on your system is a great way to keep it performing at optimal levels and to lengthen how long it lasts. Still, your system could unexpectedly give out on you – even on the hottest or coldest day of the year.

Here are 3 signs that it might be time for a new furnace.

1. Age

Most furnaces are made to last about twenty years if they are given proper attention and care. If you do the math, you may realize your system has been doing its thing for that amount of time, or longer. If you’re moving past quite a few years later, it might be time to think about a discussion with your HVAC service company about the condition of your current system. Even if there aren’t any problems arising yet, it’s a great time to start saving money for when that due date finally comes.

2. Noise

A telltale sign that your furnace might be on its last leg are the sounds exuding from it. If you’ve all of a sudden started to become very aware of when your furnace is kicking on or off because of the loud sound it’s making, this could be a warning sign that it’s starting to go. Always report new or unusual noises to your HVAC tech so they can perform any extra checks or recommend a next course of action.

3. Increased Utility Bill

While colder winters might mean your furnace is working extra hard to keep the house warm, this should be one of the only reasons that you have a large spike in your utility bill. If you notice your monthly bill is increasing even without this factor, then you may be running into a malfunction problem, or worse, a system that’s about to go.

HVAC tech working in ceilingWorking with professionals skilled in installation and HVAC cleaning is the only way to be sure that your system is performing properly.

Preferred Hood & Duct offers inspection, cleaning, sanitizing, and service of residential and commercial air ducts, HVAC systems, dryer vents, kitchen exhaust systems, A/C condenser coils, air vents, and more.

Schedule a free, no obligation quote today!

Kitchen exhaust cleaning services in Connecticut

How Often Should You Have Your Kitchen Hood & Exhaust System Cleaned?

Keeping things clean in your home or business is important for aesthetics and also to prevent possible disasters. Keeping your space free of clutter or other fire hazards is essential.

When it comes to the kitchen, the need to be clean is even more important for food safety. Commercial kitchens even have strict codes and rules they must follow to remain compliant. These dictate how a kitchen is set-up, which appliances are used and how, and many other specifics.

Kitchen hood and exhaust systems are an important element in these rooms. They work hard to keep the air fresh, fumes and smoke out, and fire hazards at bay. Regular cleanings are necessary. Do you know how often you should have your kitchen hood and exhaust system cleaned? Continue reading “How Often Should You Have Your Kitchen Hood & Exhaust System Cleaned?”

An illustration of a house with a magnifying glass on top.

Essential Home Maintenance Work You May Have Overlooked

Owning a home is a great feeling. You have something to call your own. An investment and an asset you can be proud of. But what most people don’t realize are all the hidden costs and maintenance required to keep this dwelling in good shape.

Sure you can cut the lawn and have your furnace serviced each year as part of regular maintenance, but there are lots of other things you might not think about checking and by the time you do, it’s too late.

Suddenly you learn you’ll need to replace an entire septic tank or that your AC unit is now out of commission. And these fixes are not quick or cheap. Don’t fall into this trap. Here are some essential home maintenance tasks you may have overlooked. Continue reading “Essential Home Maintenance Work You May Have Overlooked”

clogged dryer vent

DIY Dryer Vent Cleaning: Why It’s Better to Pay a Professional

One of the easiest ways to prevent fire in your home is to keep dryer vents cleaned and clear. We hear this advice given so many time and yet the leading cause of fire in most homes is still clogged dryer vents. Knowing this information might make you check and triple check your dryer’s lint catcher and vent before you add in your next load of wet clothes, but is that enough to stop a fire from occurring?

Just keeping the lint trap cleared and emptying the vent cover from time to time, while a great way to keep the dryer functioning, isn’t the only thing that’s needed to keep your vents cleaned  – especially if the duct work is long and there is far more space that can hold and catch lint and dust and create potential for a fire.

Rethink DIY

Consider yourself lucky if your dryer vent is short and leads to the outdoors easily—in these cases you might be able to get away with cleaning your dryer vent on your own using a brush kit and following careful instructions. But for most of us, going the DIY route for dryer vent cleaning is a big mistake. Can you afford to make that kind of a mistake with your home at stake?

The National Fire Protection Association reported that in 2010, almost 17,000 fires were caused by washers or dryers with 51 deaths and $236 million in damage. A main culprit being failure to properly clean the dryer vents.

Leave it to the Professionals

It’s better to pay a professional to come out and get the job done properly to ensure that your dryer vent is clear from possible fire hazards in the future. This service can be included with other routine heating cleanings in your home or done on an as needed basis.

During this dryer vent cleaning, the HVAC professional will be able to work through miles of duct work in the home including turns and bends in the duct work to ensure the passageway is clear. You simply cannot achieve that with a DIY brush kit.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Doing this regularly is also necessary. Just because you’ve had the service done one time doesn’t put you in the clear. You should remain aware of how much laundry you’re drying and use that as a gauge for how frequently you’ll need to have someone come out and ensure the vents are cleared. (On average, dryer vents should be cleaned every 6 to 24 months depending on how often you do laundry, whether you have pets, and other factors.)

Contact Preferred Hood & Duct for all your air duct and cleaning service needs in Monterey from residential to commercial and even kitchen duct cleanings.

An illustration of a suburban home seen from the outside.

Can Air Duct Cleaning Cause Damage to Your Home?

Keeping the homes we live in clean and free of toxins is pretty high up on the to-do list for most homeowners. Concern for the air we are breathing and keeping our loved ones safe is an ongoing struggle. Even if you don’t smoke and are pretty safe about using products with toxic fumes, there are other ways that pollutants can enter your home.

If you love to cook, and even clean, you could add to the probability that your home’s air ducts are dirty. Dragging outside dirt and debris and stirring up dust while cleaning, can all reduce indoor air quality.

For most people, the solution is to call someone to have the air ducts in their home cleaned. But is that the safest route? Or can cleaning those ducts cause damage to your home? Continue reading “Can Air Duct Cleaning Cause Damage to Your Home?”

A New York City firetruck.

5 Simple Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Home

Mistakes happen and disaster is sometimes inevitable, but few things are more terrifying than a house fire. Aside from the fact that it could take the lives of loved ones and pets, it can also destroy years of memories and change lives forever.

Some preventive steps can go a long way in protecting your home from the threat of a fire and they are simple enough to start doing right away. Continue reading “5 Simple Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Home”

A man repairing an air conditioner.

Celebrate National HVAC Technicians Day with Preferred Hood & Duct

air duct cleaningLet’s show some appreciation for the HVAC technicians that help us stay cool through the summer heat by celebrating National HVAC Tech Day, recognized on June 22, 2017.

Many of us are already cranking our central air conditioners to stay cool through this year’s already sweltering summer heat. The luxury of being able to stay in the comfort of our air-conditioned homes wasn’t always around. Heating and cooling systems came into existence during the 1900s, but continue to improve. HVAC technicians help to clean, maintain, repair and replace HVAC systems to improve air quality, energy efficiency and more.

Summer would be a lot less comfortable without them!  Continue reading “Celebrate National HVAC Technicians Day with Preferred Hood & Duct”

hands forming the shape of a house against a green field background

Top 3 Reasons to Get an Air Duct Cleaning in Your Home

hands forming the shape of a house against a green field background


Keeping up with home maintenance tasks is one of the not-so-fun aspects of being a homeowner. Things like painting, clearing leaves and mowing the lawn will always make their way to the to-do list. But there are some other maintenance items you should think about having a professional come handle to improve how your home is heated and cooled and the air you and your family are breathing in daily.

Here are the top 3 reasons to get your air ducts cleaned: Continue reading “Top 3 Reasons to Get an Air Duct Cleaning in Your Home”

combustible dust

Combustible Dust. The Hidden Menace.

Combustible dust is basically any ultrafine material which can ignite and explode once combined with air. It is not given its due as it happens more often than is realized. Built-up dust, even in minute amounts, can cause extensive damage.

What is Combustible dust

combustible dustThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines combustible dust as the following, “Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air in certain conditions.”

That being said, the vast majority of natural and synthetic materials, including some metals, can create combustible dusts. This often overlooked potential hazard is more common than you may think, and yet combustible dust explosions, accompanied by fires, are often one of the most ignored risks in the workplace.

Five critical factors must be in place for ignition to occur. The first three are the obvious – heat, fuel (in this case the dust), and oxygen, known as the “fire triangle.”  Distribution of particles, in ample quantity and concentration, can cause rapid ignition defined as deflagration. However, two additional factors added to the “fire triangle”, dispersion and confinement, create what is known as the “dust explosion pentagon.” This amalgam of conditions and factors can lead to a catastrophic explosion.  However, if but one of these factors is not in place, there cannot be an explosion.

There does exist an additional threat should a primary explosion occur. If there are additional dust particles dislodged after the initial explosion, the primary explosion could ignite a secondary, more powerful explosion, which is often more catastrophic and more often results in the loss of life, injury, as well as physical building damage.

Sited in A Guide to Combustible Dusts, the North Carolina Department of Labor, in collaboration with OSHA and Commissioner of Labor, Cherie Killian Berry, OSHA State Plan Designee, many natural and synthetic organic materials in many of today’s manufacturing processes can contribute to the formation of combustible dust. They are as follows:

  • Food products (e.g., grain, cellulose, powdered milk, sugar, flour, starch, cocoa, maltodextrin)
  • Pharmaceuticals (e.g., vitamins)
  • Wood (e.g., wood dust, wood flour )
  • Textiles (e.g., cotton dust, nylon dust)
  • Plastics (e.g., phenolics, polypropylene)
  • Resins (e.g., lacquer, phenol-formaldehyde)
  • Biosolids (dried wastes from sewage treatment plants)
  • Coal and other carbon dusts

Combustible dusts can also be formed from inorganic materials and metals including:

  • Aluminum
  • Iron
  • Magnesium powder
  • Manganese
  • Sulfur

These are but a few, with almost every facet of our modern industrial society prone to this destructive phenomenon.

Prevention of Dust Explosions

To keep this insidious hazard from occurring, OSHA recommends following some precautionary rules of thumb to aid in the prevention of an explosion. Steps to help lessen the probability of a, combustible dust explosions could begin with examining the processes in place at many manufacturing facilities which use any of the materials listed above in their production processes that could produce dust particles.

Another important precaution would be noting the presence of ignition sources such as, flames, sparks, hot machinery, stoves, welding arcs, etc.  The areas surrounding these sources should be free of accumulated dust, especially in hard to see, confined areas.

Housekeeping, in general, is another area of concern. Is there a housekeeping schedule to regularly remove dust? Is there a dust collection system in place and in good working order, and does it conform to local fire code requirements?

Regular, scheduled cleaning of hoods, air ducts and vents, as well as unseen accumulation areas, is the preeminent measure for safety. HVAC is the most reliable way to remove most traces of fine particulate dust.

Be sure to have your HVAC Ducts and Vents Thoroughly Cleaned

Knowledge and prevention are key to understanding the potential hazards associated with this paradox. For commercial combustible dust cleaning and control, contact Preferred Hood & Duct, Inc.. For questions and to find out more information, fill out our online form, or contact us directly at (860) 613-1130.

Black Cat/Brown Dog

Help Relieve Pet Allergies in Your Home with HVAC Cleaning

Fido and Fluffy making you stuffy? Pets are basically your best friends, but if you suffer from allergies or asthma, they can be your worst adversary. Pets produce dander in abundance. Dander is a combination of hair and dead skin cells that can bring about allergic reactions and asthma attacks to those who are sensitive to these allergens.

Black Cat/Brown DogWhy Clean your Home Ducts with HVAC Cleaning

The heating and cooling system of your home is basically its lungs. Air is taken in and pushed out. Household pets produce a plethora of airborne contaminants and pollutants that are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated several times during a typical day. This causes an eventual build-up of contaminants throughout the duct system making it difficult for your home to “breathe.”  HVAC cleaning eliminates the build-up in the ducts opening the airways for a more efficient and cleaner home.

A basic rule of thumb is if your home’s duct system looks dirty, it most likely is. It is recommended by the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) that dirty HVAC systems should be inspected by a reputable, certified HVAC professional.

Some Factors to Consider when deciding to utilize HVAC Cleaning

Although we love our pets, poor indoor air quality can cause a variety of respiratory illnesses and can be the cause of serious problems for individuals with respiratory issues, autoimmune disorders or other underlying health conditions due to pet allergens. Several factors include:

  • Cleaning and dusting as often as possible to keep allergens at a minimum. Using a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) is the best way to go.
  • Try to minimize contact with pets. Keeping a pet outdoors as often as possible will help to reduce the build-up of dander, as well as does keeping them off commonly used furniture.
  • If available, try to restrict pets to rooms with wood floors. Wood floors trap less dander than carpet and are far easier to keep clean.
  • Closing some forced-air registers in rooms not in use will help reduce the amount of animal dander that can circulate throughout the home.
  • Regularly replacing the filters in the air conditioning and the furnace units can help as well.
  • Individuals who suffer from asthma or other allergies should avoid touching or petting animals.
  • Regularly bathing a pet can reduce dander and other allergens by up to 85%, but returns to unhealthy levels within three days, suggesting that Fido or fluffy need a bath at least twice a week.
  • Cleaning cages, litter boxes and pet beds thoroughly will also help in the reduction of allergens in the home. 

Energy Savings Bonus

The U.S Department of Energy states that 25-40 percent of energy used in heating and cooling a home is actually wasted.  All the dust and contaminants that accumulate cause the HVAC system to work harder, thus shortening its life. Even with filters the system still gets dirty through everyday usage.  When an HVAC system is clean the most comfortable temperature can be maintained and as a result, less energy is used precipitating enhanced cost-effectiveness.

Get Your HVAC Ducts Cleaned Regularly with Preferred Hood & Duct, Inc.

Want to learn more about HVAC Cleaning and other services that Preferred Hood & Duct provides? Reach out to a certified professional at (860) 613-1130 or contact them online.