Indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental threats to human health. Considering that most Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, this is a major concern. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the levels of indoor air pollutants may be two to five times higher than the levels of pollutants outside. No wonder your eyes are itching!
Hidden Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Moldy Houseplants and Basements
Wet conditions can cause mold to grow anywhere; those with mold allergies should limit all sources of moisture in their homes.
With clutter comes dust, and with dust comes allergens. It is easier to clean a home if it is not cluttered with items where dirt, dust and dander can hide.
Perfumes and Cleaning Products
Candles, personal care products and laundry detergents smell nice, but they wreck havoc with your air quality. The chemicals in these items are readily absorbed into your skin and lungs.
During a 10-minute bath or shower, you can absorb 100 times more chlorine than you do drinking a gallon of the same water. Without a filter and ventilation, that toxic chlorine becomes airborne and gases throughout your home.
Stored Paint Cans
Paint cans, even sealed ones, often leak airway-annihilating volatile organic compounds, aka VOCs.
Furniture and Flooring
Glues and binders are the culprit here. Pressed wood materials and glues binding carpet and flooring cause VOCs to flood your living space.
Dust and dander collect in carpet fibers, triggering asthma and allergy attacks. Carpets also give off VOCs.
Easy Solutions to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Look for air filters that handle particulate matter, such as dust and dander, as well as chemical matter. Central air cleaners that operate when your furnace fan is on work well. The best kinds of filters for people with allergies are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are specially designed to remove allergens from the air.
Ionize Your Air
Ionic air cleaners generate an electrical charge (negative ions) that makes the pollutants in the air become ‘sticky’. The ions attach to airborne molecules, making them negatively charged and attractive to the positively charged particles nearby. Ionic air cleaners are particularly effective at removing odors. They are also quiet, energy efficient and don’t require replacement filters.
Ultra-violet (UV) lamps installed on your heating and cooling system are extremely effective at destroying pollutants like bacteria, mold and viruses. The UV rays “incinerate” particles as they pass through, making it easier to breathe for those with asthma, lung complications and allergies. The effectiveness of the UV lamps is based on molecule’s direct line of sight contact with the lamp and the proximity (closeness) the molecule has with the lamp.
Keep an Eye on Humidity
Dust mites and mold flourish in humid homes. A properly operating AC unit keep your home’s humidity at an optimal 40%-60% relative humidity level, so giving your AC unit a yearly tune up is important. Fixing leaky plumbing is critical, so moisture cannot escape from pipes and appliance hoses. Venting cooking smoke and clothes dryer exhaust is also important, to reduce humidity as well as particulates in the air.
Clean Your House, but with Environmentally Safe Products
To minimize the chemicals being released into your home, avoid cleaning products, beauty products, air fresheners and candles with synthetic chemicals and bleaches. Stick with fragrance-free/naturally-scented products, use mild cleaners, cut out aerosol sprays, open windows to let in fresh air, bring plants into your home (if you do not have mold allergies) and use lemons, beeswax candles and baking soda to create a fresh scent.
Secondhand smoke contains 4,000 chemicals that can cause cancer, asthma, respiratory infections and allergies. Smoke outside or not at all.
Test for Radon
Radon is a dangerous radioactive gas that is formed from the natural decay of uranium found in soil, and it enters your home through cracks in the foundation. There’s also a correlation between granite countertops and increased radon levels. Radon is colorless and odorless so you must use a radon testing kit to know if it has invaded your home.
Get a Filter on Your Shower
Your water probably contains chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses. But chlorine’s power to kill pathogens comes at a cost; it dries out your skin and hair, it’s potentially toxic and studies have linked it to chlorine in steamy showers to cancer. Chlorine filters can be added cheaply and easily to your shower fixture. But don’t forget to filter your drinking water, as drinking chlorine is as bad as breathing it.
Get rid of any weeds growing right next to your house; they are just another source of pollen and allergens. If you have pollen allergies, ask someone else to do the weeding. Also, avoid planting flowers that are relatives of ragweed—mums, sunflowers, dahlias, and zinnias.
Contact a Professional to Tune Up Your AC, Check Your Plumbing, and Install Air Cleaners
While there is a lot you can do by yourself to improve your home’s indoor air quality, it is best to contact HVAC professionals to keep AC units in top working order, and to install whole house air cleaners and UV lamps. Contact us for advice and free estimates on systems and services that fit your budget and needs.
When preparing to leave your home for extended spring and summer vacations, one of the smartest things a homeowner can add to their prep list is installation of an indoor flood and water damage prevention system. Indoor water damage is one of the most common reasons people make claims on their home insurance, and repairing the leak and then the damage to walls, floors and furniture is a complicated and time-consuming process. The best way to address indoor flooding is to avoid it altogether.
Indoor Floods Can Happen Many Ways
Reasons for indoor floods vary from sump pump failure, water heater leaks, failed washing machine hoses, dishwasher fill valve and gasket leaks, freezing pipes bursting, sewer drain back-ups, and plumbing leaks around tubs, sinks and toilets. Installing a water leak detection and flood prevention system to your home is an easy and affordable way to ensure that floods do not happen while you are home or away.
Repairing Indoor Water Damage is Costly and Time-Consuming
Fixing the damage caused by an indoor flood is a complicated and time-consuming process. Besides the actual repair to the leak, several steps must be taken before and after the repair to get your home back to normal. Before the repair can take place, the main water supply will have to be turned off to put a halt to the flooding. Then all electrical items in the vicinity of the flood will have to be unplugged, and if they cannot be accessed safely, the main electrical supply will have to be shut off. Water is the perfect conductor for electricity and exposure could be lethal. Then a water extraction service may have to be contracted to remove standing water before repairs to the pipe or appliance can be started by a plumber.
After the water leak is fixed, water damage to floors, walls and household items must be repaired. Flooring, furniture and electronics that cannot be repaired will have to be replaced, and irreplaceable keepsakes that are damaged may be lost forever. Then the moisture remaining even after the standing water has been removed must be eradicated, by opening windows, running fans and setting up dehumidifiers. Finally, homes must be tested for mold and mildew growth that the invasive water may have caused. Treatment using disinfectants, deodorizers and replacement of drywall and insulation might be needed to stop the spread of mold and mildew throughout the home and to protect your family from toxins.
Indoor Flood Prevention Systems Prevent Water Damage before it Starts
The best way to address indoor flooding is to avoid it altogether. Flood prevention systems detect leaks before damage to your home is caused, either by shutting off your water automatically, or by allowing you to do it remotely or on site when you receive alerts on your phone. Flood prevention systems incorporate water sensors, cellular based remote access hubs and automatic water shut off valves to keep your home safe.
Even the savviest homeowner cannot anticipate all instances of flooding. That is why insurance companies recommend installing water damage prevention products and alert systems to protect your home and valuables. These systems are affordable and quick to install by Anthony Plumbing Heating and Cooling technicians. They can also be integrated into your existing home automation system, giving you complete control over your home environment while away.
Water Guardian is a Dependable Flood Prevention Solution
Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling’s Water Guardian flood prevention solution gives you peace of mind knowing that you are protected from water damage in your home. Contact us for a free estimate at (913) 353-8444.
Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Voted Best Plumber in Kansas City
Who is the best plumber in Kansas City? Well, if you ask the readers of Pitch Magazine the answer is Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Anthony PHC was voted as “Best Plumber” in The Pitch Magazine’s addition of “Best of Kansas City 2017”.
In response to hearing the news, Steve Burbridge, Owner exclaimed, “We strive to provide the best service experience every hour of every day so it is always great to get validation that I believe our hard working plumbers deserve.”
This award comes on the heals of being recognized as the “Best Plumbing & HVAC Company” in Johnson County by the readers of Lifestyle Magazine as well as “Best HVAC Company” by the readers of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine.
“It’s great to be recognized throughout the entire metro area!”, said Steve Burbridge. “We are very grateful for our amazing customers!”
Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling is an award-winning service company dedicated to indoor comfort, safety, health and energy savings.
Before Replacing your furnace…
1. Bigger is Not Better
A unit too large for your home can lead to the following problems.
- Dramatic High and Low Temperature swings.
- Hot Air moving in short, strong bursts can feel like a warm front blowing through your room.
- Leads to a shorter life of your furnace, and parts may break or crack leading to additional problems such as carbon monoxide leakage.
- Waste of energy, and it will show up on your utility bills.
2. A New Furnace Will Not Automatically Solve Your Problems
- Your Ductwork may need to be sealed or insulated, or you may have connectivity issues.
- Your Attic insulation levels may not be adequate. The biggest air leakage occurs in the attic through electrical and plumbing penetrations, light fixtures, gaps in corners, and recessed lighting.
3. Heat Pumps Really Do Work
- Just like a furnace and AC, – it heats and cools your home.
- Summer: It pulls heat and humidity from inside your home to the outside. Winter: It pulls heat from the outside air into your home.
- Heat Pumps require a back up furnace to heat when temperature drops below 20 Degrees.
4. Humidifiers Aren’t Always the Answer
- Adding a Humidifier to your furnace to solve dry air problems is a band aid.
- The home is not air tight, letting cold dry air into the home.
- A whole-home survey by an Anthony PHC Comfort Advisor will help indicate any leaking air.
5. Electric Furnaces are Not a Better Deal
- Contractors – may recommend an electric furnace because installing a new flu to meet code will take extra work.
- Downside is your utility bill. Electric furnaces will cost 1 to 2 times the money to operate because the cost of electricity is much higher than natural gas.
- Gas furnaces can maintain a higher comfort level and heat your home much faster than an electric furnace.
- Natural Gas is a cleaner fuel than coal powered electricity with lower level emissions.
- In order for you manufacturers warranty on your new furnace to stay valid, annual maintenance is required.
- An Easy Way to maintain annual maintenance is with the Anthony Service Agreement Program (A.S.A.P.) which comes standard with your Anthony PHC furnace installation.
7. Don’t Replace it with a Replica
- Do Not replace with exact same model. Dated units, even if it is brand new, might not meet new efficiency standards or code.
- Replacing the unit with a new high efficiency model will save you money over the long run and allow you to enjoy better comfort and lower utility bills now.
8. Ask for Load Calculations
- Undersized units – Cannot keep up with the comfort needs of the home.
- Oversized Units – Create bigger problems: Short Cycling, dehumidification, shorten life cycle.
- The Correct Size – is based on square footage of your living space, but each home has unique factors such as insulation levels, number of windows and doors, how many people live there.
Whether you live in Lenexa or Liberty or somewhere in between understanding as much as you can about replacing your furnace before you buy will help prevent any type of buyers remorse in the long run.
If you are interested in receiving a FREE ESTIMATE from a Comfort Advisor call (913) 353-8444 or Click Here.
Cleaner Air in Your Home
If you’ve noticed dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and bacteria invading your home, an electronic air cleaner is the perfect solution. Pollution isn’t a curse exclusive to the outdoors. In fact, trapped indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Even though you may have filters in your furnace and air conditioner, these filters only stop about 15% of harmful airborne particles. We’ll go over the different types of contaminants that can enter your home, how these contaminants affect your health, how electronic air cleaners work to combat these contaminants, types of air cleaners, and other ways you can improve the air quality of you home aside from electronic air cleaners.
Types of Pollutants
Before we look at electronic air cleaners, we’ll go over the different types of pollutants that they fight off. Particulate matter might include dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobaccos, or smoke. Dust mites, mold, bacteria and viruses can also fester in your home. Gaseous pollutants come from combustions processes, and can be caused by cooking stoves, vehicle exhaust and tobacco smoke. Building materials, cleaning products, pesticides, paints, and adhesives may also be the culprit. Sometimes lead in house dust, formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon or cleaner chemicals might be the issue. Pollutants can be introduced to the home via a new mattress, furniture, carper cleaners or paint. You’ll need to watch out for all these pollutants in your home and react if you notice signs of their presence.
How Contaminants Affect Your Health
According to the EPA, many health issues can arise immediately after being exposed to bad indoor air quality. You may experience irritated eyes/nose/throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. If you have asthma, your symptoms may be aggravated by pollutant exposure. We often recommend humidifiers for those with asthma, but an electronic air cleaner can do the trick as well. Your age and pre-existing medical conditions play a part in how strongly you’ll react to pollutants in the air. You may become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants due to repeated exposure. Symptoms appear similar to a cold or viral disease, so it may take a while for you to pick up on the fact that your air is the problem. You’ll be able to distinguish the two by checking when and where symptoms occur. If you notice your ailments fading when you’re away from your home for an extended period of time, air quality is most likely the issue. You may experience side effects years after exposure or only notice a health difference after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects can include such serious health problems as respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer. Everyone reacts differently, but you should be sure to remedy the problem with an electronic air cleaner if indoor air quality is harming your health.
Types of Air Cleaners
Investing in an air cleaner will increase the efficiency of your comfort system, reduce odors, lower operating costs and destroy harmful airborne contaminants. The two types of air conditioners are (1) arrestors and (2) non-arrestors. Arrestors physically trap pollutants while non-arrestors alter the pollutant characteristics without capturing them.
Mechanical Air Filters (Arrestor)
Otherwise known as media filters, these air cleaner systems utilize a mesh material, such as fiberglass fibers, to trap particles. They remove dust by capturing it in the filter medium, which is the material that makes up the filter elements. The HEPA (high efficiency particle arrestor) is one of the most efficient on the market. It can trap 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns in size. The effectiveness of a mechanical air filter is measured by MERV ratings (minimum efficiency reporting value). If your filter has a lower MERV rating, chances are it will need more maintenance. Many of these filters are also washable.
Electronic Air Cleaner (Arrestor)
Electronic air cleaners aren’t filters, but rather an electric field that ionizes particles that pass through. These ionized particles are then drawn down to two, oppositely-charged collector plates on the cleaner and are caught there. You’ll need to provide an external power source to get these babies running. Electronic air cleaners are often necessary because they can remove contamination that is too small for a mechanical filter to catch. These types of cleaners require maintenance, since the plates accumulate particles. You should wash the air cleaner’s metal cells every 8 days unless you have an electronically-charged media air cleaner. These specialized units last one year, but require no cleaning at all.
Ionic Air Cleaners and Ozone Air Cleaners (Non-Arrestors)
An Ionic air cleaner generates an electrical charge (negative ions) that makes the pollutants in the air become ‘sticky’. The ions attach to airborne molecules, making them negatively charged and attractive to the positively charged particles nearby. They cling to the ceiling and walls in the room, preventing them from drifting around your home. This may cause dirty surfaces in the area surrounding the air purifier. One downside is that they may produce ozone as a byproduct. Ozone air cleaners create a type of oxygen that combines with pollutants and alters their chemical make-up. They’re used primarily for smoke and odor removal. Large amounts of ozone are not healthy for your body. What makes an ionic air cleaner so tempting aside from that is that they are quiet, energy efficient and don’t require replacement filters.
Ultra-Violet Air Cleaners (Non-Arrestors)
If you choose to go with an ultra-violet lamp, you’ll have it installed in your heating and cooling system to destroy bacteria, mold, and viruses. Performance is dependent on the speed of the air and light intensity. UV air filters can destroy particles without any filtration. The UV rays incinerate particles as they pass through, making it easier for those with asthma, lung complications and allergies. Since UV air filters don’t use actual filters, you don’t have to worry about dirty filters further contaminating your home. UV air purifiers will need new bulbs at least once every couple of years.
How to Keep Your Air Clean
There are several ways you can keep your air clean aside from an air cleaner, but we recommend air cleaners when pollutants are negatively affecting your health. Aside from air cleaners, you can maintain the cleanliness of your floors, keep a healthy level of humidity, keep smoke out of your home, test for radon and regulating fragrances.
1. Clean Floors
One thing you can do to fight pollutants is keep your floors fresh by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, strong suction, and rotating brushes. This will suck up any lead, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and brominated fire-retardant chemicals that may be festering there. Be sure to get the walls, carpet edges and upholstered furniture. And keep in mind that your vacuum filter needs to be cleaned out regularly. Other options for floor cleanliness are mopping with microfiber mops and placing floor mats at your front door to keep dirt from entering your home. You can also ask guests to remove their shoes at the door.
2. Healthy Humidity Level
Since dust mites and mold flourish in humid climates, you should keep your humidity levels between 30% and 50% to snuff them out. Combine a dehumidifier and run your air conditioner in the summer to reduce indoor air pollen. Other tactics for dehumidifying include (1) using an exhaust fan while cooking, (2) fixing leaky plumbing and (3) venting the clothes dryer to the outside.
3. Remove Smoke
Not only does smoking in your home yellow the walls, but it also creates second-hand smoke. This smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals which can increase a child’s risk of ear and respiratory infections, cancer, asthma and infant death.
4. Conduct a Radon Test
Radon is a key contributor to lung cancer (second leading cause in U.S.). Since radon is colorless and odorless, you never know when it has invaded your home. This radioactive gas is formed from the natural decay of uranium found in soil, and it enters your home through cracks in the foundation. There’s also a correlation between granite countertops and increased radon levels. You can check out this guide on purchasing a radon test kit if you suspect radon may be the culprit.
5. Make Your Home Smell Good
It may surprise you to hear that synthetic fragrances in bleaches/detergent and air fresheners can pollute your home air with chemicals. One plug-in air freshener on the market was found to release 20 volatile organic compounds, seven of which were considered ‘toxic’ or ‘hazardous’ under U.S. federal laws. Companies are able to trick consumers into purchasing these products by simply listing ‘fragrance’ on the label. Many don’t realize that fragrances are made from petroleum products which haven’t been tested for negative effects on human health. To minimize the chemicals being released into your home, you can stick with fragrance-free/naturally-scented products, use mild cleaners, cut out aerosol sprays, open windows to let in fresh air, bring plants into your home and use lemons/baking soda to create a fresh scent.
Best Plumbing in Johnson County and Best Heating & Cooling company in Johnson County.
The results are in! Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has been voted by the readers of Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST service provider in two categories! After a record number of votes Anthony PHC was selected as the BEST Plumbing and BEST Heating & Cooling company in the area!
Additionally, Anthony PHC was voted by the readers of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST Heating & Cooling company in the city.
Since 1951, Anthony Plumbing, Heating Cooling is Kansas City’s most trusted plumbing, heating and cooling provider with “The Technicians You Can Trust With Your House Keys!®”.
Anthony PHC has the largest customer referral network in the Kansas City area. All Anthony PHC technicians are drug tested and background checked, and, holding to a strong heritage of expertise and customer satisfaction, AnthonyPHC technicians participate in weekly classroom and hands-on training.
The Anthony Service Agreement Program (A.S.A.P.), extends the life of customer’s heating, cooling and plumbing system with annual preventative maintenance including semi-annual tune-ups and is widely supported by manufacturers and customers. Anthony PHC provides service seven days a week and is always open to attend to our customer’s needs.
Anthony PHC specializes in plumbing, heating and cooling service, maintenance and installation. Furthermore, Anthony PHC is an industry leader in home automation with its Anthony MyHome line of products.
Owner & Home Comfort Expert, Steve Burbridge proclaims, “We are honored to have been voted as the best plumbing, heating and cooling company in the area as we strive every day to provide solutions for our customers to be safe, healthy, and comfortable with the least amount of energy use. We welcome anyone who is not a current customer to see why we truly are “The Technicians You Can TRUST With Your House Keys!®”.
How to Kill Mold
It’s that time of year again when conditions for mold to grow and fester in your home are at an all-time high. Mold survives on mold spores, a food source, darkness, warmth, oxygen, and moisture (water leaks, humidity). In the right conditions, mold can start growing in 24-48 hours. Since humidity is most prevalent in the spring/summer, right now is the ideal time for mold growth. If it rains for several days in a row or you live in a naturally humid environment, mold may start to grow on the walls and benches without you even noticing. This guide gives a breakdown of mold causes, mold locations, types of mold, and the benefits of UV germicidal lamps–the ultimate mold killer.
Lack of ventilation may contribute to your home’s humidity, since moisture in your house isn’t evaporating. If you plan on using a humidifier in your house (possibly to help with asthma), try to keep the humidity below 55% to prevent mold. When high humidity creates puddles of water and damp materials, these surfaces can create mold. Mold might also be caused by leaking pipes, so check behind objects and inside walls to make sure leaky pipes aren’t the culprit. The roof may also be the cause of your mold. Roofs that leak into the attic can go months without detection, so it’s important that you keep an eye out for any signs of water damage on the ceiling.
Besides leaks, condensation is also another factor to look out for. Cold surfaces (metal pipes, concrete floors) create condensation in your home, heightening the chance for mold to develop. Wet clothes can cause mold due to the moisture they release, so it might be better for you to hang up clothes to dry outside. If a dryer isn’t vented outside, you also have to deal with the humidity released for your dryer machine. Flooding is a no-brainer. If you experience flooding in your basement, the likelihood of mold developing multiplies. Some types of toxic molds (like Stachybotrys chartarum—see below) require more extreme conditions, like several days of extreme wetness. Floods are normally the #1 cause of these more dangerous molds.
Common Mold Locations
Basements are a breeding ground for mold due to their high amounts of moisture, lack of ventilation, and lower temperature. Plus, water that leaks into your home will most likely make its way to the basement due to gravity. Since many don’t spend too much time in their basements, this mold growth can go unnoticed for a long time. Check your house’s foundation for mold as well. Water can build up in the yard around the base of your house, especially if the ground slopes toward the house. Ditches and drains are a good solution to this problem, or you can just deal with the problem when it happens with mold killer.
According to the Department of Health, children, those with respiratory conditions, those with sensitivities (allergies/asthma), and those who have severely weakened immune system (HIV, chemotherapy patients, etc.) are the most likely to experience severe reactions from mold.
Types of Mold
Alternaria: This type of mold is typically found outdoors, but it might also pop up in showers or under sinks with leaky pipes. Keep an eye out for this mold in buildings that have suffered water damage or experienced recent flooding. It spreads quickly and can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
Aspergillus: An indoor mold, this type causes allergic reactions, respiratory infections, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It creates very serious effects, such as the inflammation of lungs.
Aureobasidium: This type of mold will most likely show up outdoors. If it is inside, you’ll find this mold on wooden surfaces, wallpaper, and painted surfaces. Damp window frames and caulking may also be a breeding ground for this mold. Look for mold that is pink and black.
Botrytis: You’ll find this type of mold in rooms with poor ventilation and high humidity, like bathrooms. Side effects are allergic reactions and asthma.
Chaetomium: Characterized by its musty odor, this mold type festers on drywall, carpets and window frames that have undergone water damage.
Cladosporium: Common in homes, this type thrives in warm and cold climates. Check for this type in fabrics and on wood surfaces. You’ll notice respiratory problems galore with this type of mold.
Fusarium: This mold can grow at lower temperatures and spreads best in water-damaged carpeting and fabrics. It can cause allergic reactions and respiratory infections. Those with compromised immune systems are especially prone to infection from fusarium exposure.
Penicillium: This mold attacks materials that have been damaged by water and is characterized by how fast it spreads from room to room in your home. It can cause allergic reactions, chronic sinus infection and inflammation of the lungs. It will typically be blue or green. This mold should be dealt with by mold killer immediately.
Stachybotrys chartarum: Known by its scarier name ‘black mold’, this type of mold produces toxic compounds called mycotoxins. When exposed to mycotoxins, people experience health issues like breathing problems, chronic sinus infections, asthma attacks, fatigue, and depression. You’ll know you’re dealing with black mold if you notice a musty odor and mold growth in places that are consistently damp, such as air conditioning ducts.
Trichoderma: Similar to black mold, this mycotoxin-producing mold can cause several health problems. Since many people are allergic to it, you’ll start noticing symptoms right away. This mold is normally found on damp carpet, wallpaper and other wet surfaces.
Ulocladium: This type of mold needs a lot of water to grow, so you’ll often find it in homes that have been flooded. It grows on wet walls, and many are allergic to it.
Mold is identified by cottony, velvety, granular, or leathery texture. It comes in many different colors and may look like discoloration or staining on the surface of building materials at first. Musty/earthy odors are common.
To ensure you and your loved ones are safe from mold, there are some preventative steps you can take. For one, periodically check your plumbing, roofing, foundation, gutters, attic, crawl spaces, and sump pumps. Dry any wet materials in 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth, and insulate/seal air leaks between the attic and the rest of your home. You can divert water away from your home by cleaning and maintaining gutters, sloping the ground and sidewalks away from the foundation pre-construction, and installing a sump pump (pictured below). You can reduce the level of condensation by installing and using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, installing vent appliances outside, insulating cold spots, reducing humidifier use, and raising the temperature/increasing air circulation to the colder parts of the home. Keeping your indoor surfaces as dry as possible is also important. Start by keeping the home’s relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the winter and less than 60 percent the rest of the year. Some devices (found at home supply stores) measure the relative humidity of your home. By preventing mold in the first place, you don’t even have to worry about mold killer.
This mold killer lamp brings sunshine inside, compensating for windowless rooms. The benefits to a UV Germicidal lamp are fewer colds, fresh smelling air and allergy relief! Who can argue with that? They’re easily installed in your heating and cooling system for permanent UV exposure. The bulb kills germs and harmful contaminants, controlling airborne microorganisms in a natural way. You’ll find Germicidal lamps in hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes and child care facilities to kill germs. If you install these lamps in your home, they kill germs that cause viruses, the common cold and influenza. Plus, they take care of mold and mildew so you don’t have to worry about ventilation, humidity and darkness at all! They keep your ductwork clear. As a nice bonus, ultraviolet light keeps the indoor coil of your air conditioner system looking brand new. This translates to better efficiency and lower electric bills. Other benefits include odor reduction, fewer chemical cleanings, and low operating costs.
How It Works
UV-C light is a germicidal, which means it deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and pathogens by damaging the nucleic acid of microorganisms. This damage is caused by covalent bonds formed between certain adjacent bases in the DNA. When these bonds form, they prevent the DNA from being unzipped for replication, thereby stopping reproduction. A 15-watt germicidal UVC lamp will cover 100 square feet, so you can use this formula to determine the wattage your room requires. Lamps should be replaced after two years of continuous use, and they should be checked every three months for cleanliness. These lamps can be cleaned with a dry cotton cloth or paper towel—wear rubber gloves and clean with alcohol! They produce just as much heat as fluorescent lamps and pose no safety risks to the people using them in their home when properly installed, making them a great form of mold killer.
If a mold killer UC Germicidal lamp seems like the best option for your needs, contact us so we can hook you up with the most effective mold preventative tool on the market! We’re open 24/7 and our expert technicians can get the job done on your schedule.
Avoiding Costly Plumbing Repairs
- Check your Bathrooms – Check the toilet for leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If the water in the toilet bowl changes colors after 30 minutes, that is a sign that there is an issue with the components in the reservoir. It is wise to call a licensed plumber to diagnose the problem and repair it correctly.
- Test your Sump Pump – Make sure your sump pump is primed and ready to work. A simple way to check the pump is to pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on and begin removing the water out and turn off automatically when it is complete. If it is discovered that the pump is not working properly, do not hesitate to call a licensed plumber to repair or replace it.
- Protect the sewer line from tree roots – Spring showers may bring May flowers, but they also can cause major issues with tree roots blocking the underground sewer lines. Trees sit dormant during the winter months, but when the weather starts to warm up the tree roots begin to reach out in search of water. It is recommended to have the sewer lines serviced and inspected before the weather heats up and the roots grow into the pipes.
- Inspect Indoor faucets – A leaky faucet does not only make an annoying drip sound, but it can also lead to higher utility bills. Check for moisture around the outside of the faucet. Since a faucet may have leaks hidden from view, it is wise to check under and around the sink for wet spots or warped cabinetry.
- Evaluate Outdoor Hose Faucet – During the winter the outdoor hose faucet is very susceptible to freezing and cracking. Look at the outside of the faucet and down the wall of the home to see if there is evidence of a leak. This can cause damage not only to the outside of the home but if leaking enough; it can also cause damage to the foundation.
An Anthony PHC plumber will know the exact steps necessary to get your plumbing back on track. Our services include faucet repairs, garbage disposers, instant hot water installation, outdoor hose faucet, plumbing repair, sewer and drain cleaning, sump pumps, tankless water heaters, toilet repairs and installation, water heaters, and water softeners. Contact us today if you need fast service and experienced professionals.
Things you should know when searching AC repair near me
Before we get into air conditioner repair, let’s give a brief history of the air conditioner and some vocabulary that should help you out. What an air conditioner essentially does is use energy to transfer heat from the interior of your home to the relatively warm outside environment. Before air conditioners were even a thing, people cooled their home by saving big blocks of ice. When these cooling machines became popular, they were rated according to their capacity by the equivalent amount of ice melted in a day. This lead to the term ‘ton’, which is still used in air conditioning lingo today. A ton is measured at delivering 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour of cooling. Typically, a window air conditioner is less than one ton, and a large home central air conditioner is equal to five tons. Air conditioners are sized to meet a certain ‘load’ on the house and have a certain amount of refrigerant (charge). There’s also a particular amount of airflow that travels across the coils. All of these components work together in a delicate balance to give you a cool, dehumidified home.
1. Fire Hazards
It’s important to consider the consequences of ignoring a necessary air conditioner repair. According to the National Fire Protection Association, air conditioners, fans, and related equipment can be a major cause of fires in homes, resulting in 7,400 home structure fires in 2010 alone. That year, there were 29 civilian deaths and 249 civilian injuries due to air conditioner fires, on top of $207 million in direct property damage. The cause of these fires has to do with mechanical or electrical failures without failure mode specifics. One-third of fire-related incidents began with ignition of wire or cable insulation. The peak month for these accidents is June, July, and August, so early Spring is the best time to invest in air conditioner repair or replacement. The NFPA listed off some ways you can prevent air conditioner accidents, including:
- Safe Use of Air Conditioning
- Select and install cooling equipment for safety and effectiveness.
- Use electric-powered equipment safely, in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
- Inspect and maintain electric-powered equipment regularly for safety.
- Make sure your equipment has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
2. Health Problems
Besides fires, health problems are another issue that factor into air conditioner repair. The Huffington Post did an article on how you can keep your air conditioner from affecting your health by following a few, easy steps. Air conditioning units that are outdated or poorly maintained correlate with poor health conditions and the spread of some diseases.
Air duct cleaning is recommended if you notice a visible mold growth or buildup of dust. Since the indoor section of an air conditioning unit produces condensation during the Summer (the AC is constantly running), this is normally the ideal time for mold to develop. If left dormant over the Winter, the mold can spread to the point where your respiration is affected. You’ll be able to tell it’s gotten to that point if you pick up a dirty sock odor in your home. Blower wheels and motors attract dust as well, so keep an eye out for that.
If you’ve recently renovated your home (especially to remove asbestos or lead-based paint), it’s imperative to follow up on the condition of your air conditioner. Debris can get caught in your ductwork, so perform basic maintenance like changing the filter to ensure airflow is running at maximum capacity. Having a dirty filter invites allergens, pesticides, and outside irritants into your home. A good way to reduce the cost of your AC is to ensure that window units are properly sealed to keep out warm air from outside. It’s imperative to have an HVAC technician perform annual maintenance checks on your air conditioner to ensure your home is safe.
3. Leaky Ducts
If you feel your air conditioner isn’t running at 100%, your system might be suffering from duct leakage. In can sap up to 40% of the energy from an air conditioner, costing you a lot of money in cooling. Outside ducts should be well insulated with mastic, sticky stuff that you can paint on the ducts. You may get an extra half ton of air conditioner capacity just buy fixing the leaks.
4. Clean the Coils
These thin pieces of metal can’t be cleaned by direct touch—there’s a spray you can get that cleans them for you though. The coils help create condensation for cooling, so you have to make sure that they don’t get filled with dust.
5. Purchasing a New Unit
If air conditioner repair just hasn’t done the trick and you’re getting a new air conditioner, take into consideration the climate of your home. If you live in a hot, dry climate, it’s a good idea to look at the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) to check how well the system works in your conditions. You may even need a system that can dehumidify. Drier climates need to pay attention to their indoor evaporator coil, since higher airflow is better than lower airflow. For humid areas, higher airflow isn’t always a good thing. Higher airflow means less dehumidification, so your home will stay as sticky as it is outside. However, airflow that gets too low may cause the evaporator coil to freeze, making performance worse and possibly damaging the compressor. It’s recommended that you purchase high efficiency equipment at a SEER 13 level.
6. Increased Efficiency
You can reduce the pressure on your air conditioner by reducing the internally generated loads that your air conditioner has to deal with. You can help your air conditioning by changing some things about your home as well. For one, you can increase the insulation in your home. Shade the windows. If you’re putting on new roofing, opt for the ‘cool’ roofing that can save half a ton of cooling and energy. Utilize local exhaust fans to remove heat and humidity from kitchens and baths, and buy Energy Star appliances to ensure you’re not wasting energy. Shutting interior doors can cause the central AC systems to go wonky, creating less airflow in the entire house. Keeping doors slightly ajar will help combat this.
One of the key roles of an air conditioner is to ventilate your home. Proper ventilation ensures contaminants generated inside the house are knocked out. The ventilation level should be at the point where the air inside the house is exchanged every four hours. Older homes with leakier walls and ducts don’t always require as much ventilation. Since new homes don’t have these leaks, they require mechanical ventilation to get on the same level.
Condensers (the things outside of your house) should have about a foot of clearance on all sides. That means no invasive bushes that might interfere with air intake. You should also install condensers or window units on the north or east side of the house to protect it from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight on your condenser has been found to reduce air conditioner efficiency by as much as 10%. If you have to put your condenser on the south or west side, consider getting a screen to shield it from the sun.
Installing a timer is a great way to make sure that you’re not wasting energy cooling an empty home. Central units only require a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures when you’re gone (ie: warmer when you’re gone and cooler when you’re home). If you have a newer window unit, chances are you already have a built-in timer and adjustable thermostat. If not, you can buy one at a home store for $10-$20. Don’t shut off the system completely unless you’re going on vacation. It takes a lot out of your air compressor to cool your house once you’ve had it off for a while.
A filter’s job is to load up the particles collected from your home’s air. As it collects more particles, it actually does its job better. However, it also increases the resistance and reduces on airflow once it reaches a certain point. Changing a filter is much cheaper than taking the old one out without replacement and then letting all the particles build up on your evaporator coil (causing it to fail). The lifespan of your filter depends on how dirty your air is and how big the filter is. When a filter becomes too dirty, it even contributes to the pollution. Through us, you can purchase air filters and air cleaners to achieve your home’s air optimal freshness. An air cleaner destroys harmful airborne contaminants, increases the efficiency of your comfort system, reduces odors, and lowers operating costs.
Our air conditioner repair services will ensure you never have to be sweaty or sick in your own home. Our expert technicians go through over 100 hours of training each year to ensure you get the service you deserve. If you’re not satisfied with the results, we’ll do everything in our power to make sure your compensated for any air conditioner repair mistakes. We’re available 24/7, so contact us today for all your air conditioner repair and replacement needs!
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