Your Air Duct System and the Benefit of Having It Cleaned
According to the American Lung Association, Americans these days spend an average of 65% of their time inside their home. People view their homes as a safe haven. Growing evidence is showing that this is not exactly true. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is saying that the pollution generated inside the home can be up to a 100 times higher than outdoor levels. Because of this, the EPA has recognized indoor air pollution as one of the top five urgent environmental risks to public health.
The American Lung Association, on the other hand, says that Legionnaires’ Disease was a leading contributor to the death of 29 people in 1976. Following investigations, it was discovered that the Legionella bacteria which causes the disease spawned inside the air conditioning ducts.
What are factors that Impact Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
The air inside your home is constantly changing, depending on the interaction of different factors including sources of pollution, home design, maintenance, moisture, humidity, and how the ventilation system is operated.
Biological contaminants like molds, bacteria, viruses, pollens, and animal dander can wind their way into your ductwork in a variety of ways. These are the contaminants we as homeowners are trying to prevent our children and family members from breathing. Living in a new home has its advantages, but has some serious disadvantages as well. Indoor air quality is more of an issue with today’s construction practices than it was in the past. Homes built before the 90’s were built fairly “loose”. Fresh air in these older homes is easily introduced to the home through gaps in framing and sheetrock that the house was constructed with. That’s actually a good thing as it dilutes any indoor contaminates, so there is less concentration of them. Homes are built much tighter than in the past to eliminate infiltration as much as possible and the need to heat or cool that air brought in from outside. Homes have become considerably tighter resulting in poor ventilation and a marked increase in pollutants.
Your Lungs and the Air You’re Breathing
If something hazardous is ingested into the human stomach, acids and other chemicals can destroy them. This is not the case for the lungs. The lungs contain some of the most sensitive tissue in the human body. There are no acids or other chemicals to break down potential hazards taken into the lungs.
The air-sack tissue of the lungs and blood capillaries are meshed closely together in order to efficiently absorb oxygen into the bloodstream. Airborne pollutants can likewise easily be absorbed into the lung tissue.
In the nasal area, there are the cilia (hairs) and mucous membranes designed to capture airborne particles before they reach the lungs. This will get larger particles, but smaller particles such as bacteria, viruses, and molds move in and out of the lungs with little impediment. Toxins infiltrate freely.
Another problem with the lungs that relates to pollutants is volume. The greater the volume of contamination over time, the greater the potential damage. The typical person breathes 22,000 times a day. This constitutes an enormous volume of air passing through the lungs.
The immune system protects people from diseases by fighting germs like bacteria and viruses. A properly functioning immune system is designed to identify and destroy many foreign invaders within the body. Allergies are the result of a hypersensitive immune system. The immune system misidentifies an otherwise innocuous substance as being harmful and then attacks the substance with a ferocity far greater than required. These substances that trigger allergic reactions are called allergens. An allergy is the body’s immune reaction to allergens. Allergic diseases are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.
Every person has an individual threshold to allergens. This refers to the load the body can resist allergens. Loads differ depending on genetics, nutrition, etc.
Allergens can be classified into three broad sources: (a) plant pollen, (b) fungi & mold spores and mycelia fragments, and (c) indoor insect and vertebrate debris that become part of house dust.
About 6 % of the U.S. population has developed allergic reactions to cats. The primary allergen generated by cats is a protein produced by glands in the skin of the animal. This same protein is in the saliva of the cat. The protein accumulates in the hair of the animal. As this protein becomes stirred up, it goes airborne to react with the nose and lungs of those people who are allergic to cats. You may not know what is causing all the sneezing in your house, but can you imagine now how these allergens were left behind by the previous homeowner.
Bacteria and Viruses
Bacteria are the most abundant living organisms on earth. They’re so small that they’re unseen except under a microscope. Bacteria are 100 to 300 times smaller than fungi. Animal and humans tend to be the habitat choice for bacteria. Bacteria flourish on organic food, amino acids and moisture. Of the ten major infections that kill people, bacteria cause five.
Viruses are extremely simple life forms and are very small. They are 100 times smaller than bacteria. Viruses have a very simple DNA structure and have no way to multiply and grow outside a ‘host’ cell. Only when they infiltrate living cells can they replicate.
In a sense, viruses become DNA parasites by taking over the DNA cell structure of other life forms. But by doing this, they destroy the cells.
The Process of Air Duct Cleaning in Your Home
As we take off the registers in each of the rooms in your home, we will perform a cleaning process recognized by the National Air Duct Association as Contact Cleaning. Contact cleaning utilizes a 35-foot vacuum hose with a motor at the end of it. The motor has medium firm bristles that bend with the air ducts, yet it strong enough to knock any particles off the lining of the duct. These particles are immediately sucked into the Duct Master cleaning equipment. The dust, debris, mold, and bacteria are then sent to a three-stage filtration process so they don’t reenter your home as we continue to clean. The final stage of the filtration is HEPA certified filtration at 99.99% effective in harboring contaminants while allowing air to still make it through. This allows us to take your unwanted contaminants that are in your ductwork and leave you with almost new ductwork. After we scrub your ductwork, Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning includes a sanitizer and deodorizer onto the surface of the duct lining to really make the air ducts clean!
The Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning in Your Home
The air in your home will be cleaner, fresher, and healthier.
Home furnishing including countertops and tables will stay cleaner, longer.
Trophy cases and awards in your home won’t need to be dusted off as much.
Visitors will notice how clean your home is and the ease of breathing that comes along with your clean ductwork.
You and your family should experience fewer symptoms of illness, allergies, and respiratory problems.
Your HVAC system will actually last longer if the blower wheel and evaporator coils are cleaned along with your air ducts.
Let us Come Out for No Charge and See if Duct Cleaning is Right For You
Believe it or not, not every system would benefit that much from contact cleaning air duct cleaning. Ductwork that is too brittle to contact clean can actually tear and poke holes in the ductwork. Nobody wants that to happen. In that case, the ductwork is probably ready to be changed out with new ductwork with a higher insulation value on it, which saves considerable money on your energy costs. When we come out to inspect the system and give you a quote, Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning will take a look inside some of your ducts. We will take a picture of it and show you what you’re dealing with. We also check your HVAC system for cleanliness. Your blower wheel can become impacted or even thinly lined with a type of fine dust that harbors all the contaminants we have discussed here. Your evaporator coil will also be inspected for these same contaminants. We provide a picture of these components and let you decide if you’d like to have them cleaned as well, for an additional price. After we inspect the duct and HVAC system, we will show you our findings and let you decide what is right for you. No hard sales tactics here! We can advise you, but the decision is ultimately yours.