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Cleaning a commercial HVAC air vent

The Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

There is a lot of talk out there about the benefits of HVAC air duct cleaning. There’s also a fair amount of misinformation and confusion, but the fact is, cleaning your air ducts is an important part of maintaining a clean, effective HVAC system. That said, you should definitely make sure you know the facts about why air duct cleaning is so important, and then choose a reputable company – such as City Duct Cleaning – for your duct cleaning needs.

IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

The biggest reason that you’re going to want to get your air ducts cleaned is for the overall indoor air quality of your home. Think of your heating and cooling system as the lungs of your house. Your HVAC system will bring air in, and then expel it back warmed up or cooled down, depending on the time of year. In an average home, over 40 pounds of dust can be accumulated. Combine that along with dander and household chemicals recirculating through your home’s lungs, and you’re going to want to get your home’s breathing system cleaned out from time to time.

Even if your home’s ducts have been cleaned recently, you might want to consider having them cleaned again, particularly if you or someone you live with has allergies, asthma or some other type of respiratory problem. Contaminants being recirculated through a home’s HVAC system can be more harmful in these cases.

REMOVE CONTAMINANTS

There are several specific cases where you’re going to want to ensure you’re keeping your home’s air ducts clean. If your home is newly constructed, for example, or has just undergone renovations, there’s going to be a lot of dirt, dust, and debris from the construction work in the ducts that you’re going to want to get taken care of, no matter how much care the contractors took to keep the jobsite clean.

If you’ve had a flood or a plumbing leak, cleaning your ducts is going to be extra important to ensure that mould doesn’t start to form. If it’s already started, you’ll know… it will smell awful and it will be terrible for you to breathe in. Mould is one of the worst things that you can have in your duct system.

SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY

It’s been estimated that between 25 and 40 percent of the energy used to heat or cool a home is wasted during the process. When there are contaminants in your air ducts, or anywhere in your HVAC system, the system will be bogged down and it will have to work harder, costing you even more energy and more money. If your ducts are clean, it can help your system operate more efficiently.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CLEANING COMPANY

Like in any other industry, there can be some scam artists out there when it comes to duct cleaning – and sometimes they attract attention for the worst reason. They’ll promise great prices, fast service, and try to scare you with all the dangers of avoiding duct cleaning, but a lot of times they won’t even have the right tools for the job, and they certainly won’t get it done right.

What you want is a company that you can trust. References are everything. A company like City Duct Cleaning, for example, has won the Consumer Choice award eight times for Toronto and the GTA.

The experts at City Duct Cleaning have years of experience and expertise. They’ve got the best equipment in the industry, and they charge fair prices for excellent service. City Duct Cleaning prides themselves on integrity, trust, and earning repeat business, and are the farthest things from scam artists that you’ll find in this industry.

Contact City Duct today and make an appointment – your home’s lungs will thank you.

House Dust

What Is House Dust?

What Is House Dust?

Dust contains pollutants, viruses, and micro organisms that can stimulate allergies. The air ducts in your home retains moisture and provides a breeding ground for molds and mites.

Dust particles, hidden in your home’s ductwork, contribute to household odors that even commercial room air fresheners just can’t find.

They can also be the source of hay fever-like symptoms out of season.

The best possible way to rid your home of this indoor pollutant is to have your air duct system professionally cleaned.

The only way to have this done thoroughly is by using a truck-mounted vacuum system and high pressure compressed air. Leaf blowers or such low-quality duct cleaning equipment will not suffice, unless you are looking for a very low-quality job. A low quality duct cleaning is what you can normally expect from someone who offers a “whole house special”.

If you’re looking for a quality duct cleaning job for your home, call City Duct Cleaning Inc. today!

(416) 293-1800

Related Information:

Residential Duct Cleaning
Cleaning the Dryer Exhaust and Ducts In Your Condo

Why Air Quality Matters

Cleaning Air Vents

Cleaning your air vents and duct system is a maintenance item that should be done in every home or business at least once every two or three years.

The proper cleaning and maintenance of your air filter is also crucial. A clean air filter will allow the proper amount of air to be supplied to your furnace fan, which in turn helps your furnace to run cooler. A clean air filter also allows the occupants of the structure to breathe cleaner air.

Your dirty air filter is a good indication of the amount of dust that has collected inside the return air portion of your duct system.

Cleaning the air vents in your home is a small part of the overall job. It is advised that every homeowner remove and clean the vents and vacuum whatever dirt and dust that can be reached by hand. Return air grills should be removed, cleaned, and any accessible parts of the return air ducts should also be vacuumed at least once every six months.

These simple procedures will go a long way towards keeping your air duct system cleaner for longer.

The entire air duct system should be professionally cleaned by a highly-skilled duct cleaning technician using a truck-mounted vacuum system and compressed air. If your service provider does not use this type of equipment then it is very unlikely that he will be able to do a very thorough cleaning of your system.

For a guaranteed, quality job, whether this is for your home or your business, call City Duct Cleaning Inc. We have been cleaning all types of air duct systems for decades, and although every home is unique in its own way, there is not any type of system that we have not cleaned before.

Related Information:

Residential Duct Cleaning
Commercial Air Duct Cleaning
Beware of whole house specials

Are you really allergic to your pet's fur?

Pet Dander Allergy – You’re Not Really Allergic to Your Pet’s Fur

If you are allergic to pet dander, and if having a fish for a pet doesn’t really do it for you, then you really have your job cut out for you finding a pet that won’t to get your pet dander allergies started.

Most allergic reactions to things are caused by little protein molecules called allergens that are found in all kinds of substances. Since proteins are important building blocks of every life form on earth, and since most pets are large animals that have proteins all over – in their fur, their skin, their saliva and their pee – there’s really no way to completely guarantee that you won’t have problems with a given pet.

Some people believe that if they could just get a pet that had short fur, then it wouldn’t be a problem. They feel that they will probably sneak past their pet dander allergy if they could only make sure that all the pets in the house had really short fur.

Of course, allergies aren’t that simple. You see, dander isn’t just hair. It’s anything that a pet sheds regularly – including skin flakes. When you see pet hair all around, you start to believe that it’s the hair that you’re allergic to. In fact, you’re allergic to the skin flakes that stick to the hair and that just fall about the house. You aren’t allergic to hair, mostly .

Basically, getting a pet with short hair isn’t really going to help you much. Getting a pet that doesn’t shed much hair – now that might help. Because when there’s less hair lying about, there’s not as much skin flakes lying around either.

If you have a pet in your home you would be amazed to see how much fur actually makes it into your air duct system. Whether you are the original owner of the home or if you bought the house used, air duct cleaning is a must! At a minimum, keep your air filter clean or consider upgrading to a more efficient filtration system. There are tons of options here.

Check out this helpful video about how to minimize pet dander in your home:

103mmx allergies at home

Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can vary tremendously from person to person, allergen to allergen and place to place. In one person, the symptoms of allergies might be the typical sneezing, stuffy nose and runny eyes. Another person might suffer a general feeling of illness or malaise or stomach problems that they don’t understand are related to allergies. The human immune system is extremely complicated, and there are many different ways it can become disturbed and overreact to allergens. Getting your allergy symptoms under control can take months or even years.

If you or anyone in your household suffers from allergies then you should consider having your ducts cleaned, and especially, check out a HEPA filter.

These come in portable or whole-house systems that are attached right on your furnace, and can make an immediate improvement to your indoor air quality.

Allergies can be controlled and treated. So if you have any of these symptoms for more than a week you should seek the advice of a doctor. To learn more about the five most common allergy symptoms, take a look at the video below.

They do not mention anything about dust allergies specifically, but they do refer to and explain about the problems related to seasonal allergies, which can be just as bothersome.   Some good advice regarding avoidance of allergy symptoms is provided.

 

83mmx technician doing lab tests

How Can I perform an Air Quality Test?

There are many things that may cause you to become concerned about your indoor air quality (IAQ). Most people take IAQ for granted most of the time, until something noticeable happens.

Common problems of poor IAQ can include:

  • Too much dust in the air
  • Too much moisture
  • Not enough fresh air
  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Radon
  • Sewer gases
  • CO, CO2
  • Chemical off gassing (VOC)

These problems may cause symptoms such as:

  • Repeated headaches
  • Breathing difficulties, asthma, or respiratory infections
  • Excessive coughing or the feeling of not getting enough air
  • Repeated congestion or sinus infections
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Strange odours
  • Skin irritations or rash
  • Eear and eye infections

If you notice a potential IAQ problem inside your home or workplace, it would be prudent to do a bit of investigating yourself before you consider doing any air quality testing.

Air Quality testing used to involve hiring a professional IAQ specialist or environmental company to come in and conduct several tests, and this would generally cost in the range of $2,500 to $3,000. They would take samples from key locations inside your home and then have these analyzed by a laboratory.

There are, however, several less costly do it yourself test kits that are now available and they have been shown to be 80-90% as accurate as having a professional doing the work for you.

The test kits range in price from $80 to $200 depending on what it is you want to specifically test for. There are different test kits available for each of the following items: formaldehyde, VOCs (gases), mold, allergens, etc. Figuring out which one(s) you really need may not be all that easy, and for the average homeowner this may be hit or miss.

So what you would do once you have your kit is follow the simple instructions, take some samples with the sticky tape provided, and then mail those all back to a laboratory. The cost of the lab testing is normally included in the price of the kit.

It is also important to keep in mind that not every air quality investigation will necessarily turn up anything wrong, even after expensive lab testing. The results will also not tell you where the cause of the problem is, or what to do about it.

This is why we would suggest doing that investigative work yourself before looking at the air sampling. Is the problem something new? Has it been going on for a long period of time? What has changed in your home or office lately that may be causing you to have symptoms?

This summer we had a customer who told us that whenever she walks through her front door she smells a musty odour. It was not something that she would smell always, but just when she came into the house.

That one didn’t take long… did you just start using your central air conditioner? Yes, she had. I told her we’d come over and wash her air conditioning coil for her. We did that and also cleaned her ducts. That problem was easily solved.

It won’t always be just so easy to figure out. It depends on what the problem is.

Consider these items as well…

1.  Do you or a family member have allergies, asthma, or any respiratory ailment?
2.  Is your home new, energy efficient, or recently weatherized (new windows, insulation, caulk)?
3.  Does anyone in the house have hobbies that involve chemicals, glues, paints or fragrances?
4.  Is there a smoker in the house or do you burn candles?
5.  Do you have concerns about airborne dust, pet dander, pollen, bacteria, viruses, etc.?
6.  Do respiratory illnesses cost you and your family time and money?
7.  Does your home ever smell stale or musty?
8.  Do you have pets in the home?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, talk to your City Duct Cleaning trusted advisor for a customized indoor air quality (IAQ) solution.

Note that we do not do indoor air quality testing ourselves. We generally refer this to an outside company as the need arises. We do, however, provide many of the solutions to the problems that are being caused and in many cases we can help you narrow down what is causing the problem in the first place and then figure out a plan to deal with it.

The video below explains that the EPA breaks down potential indoor air quality issues into 5 danger levels, and what those are. It can help you to learn more about what is in the air and what could possibly cause an indoor air quality problem in your home.

Eelectrostatic air filters

What is so GREAT about an electrostatic air filter?

  • Permanent – This filter is designed to last a lifetime. You should never have to replace it.
  • High Efficiency – Designed to “eat” 95% of the dust and debris in your system.
  • Washable – Easy to maintain. Wash or vacuum. Feel free to put this filter in your dishwasher to clean it. It can be cleaned 100’s of times without damaging any of the media inside.
  • Resistance – Your HVAC system is able to draw air through this filter much easier than a disposable filter.
  • Cost –This filter will easily pay for itself over and over. It will save you time and money. Never buy another filter.
  • Sizes – They come in all standard sizes and can be custom made as well.

There are all types of air filters, and they have a huge range in both price and efficiency.

If you want the absolute best air filtration system you can have, then that would be an electronic air cleaner combined with a whole house HEPA system. And if you also add in an Ultra Violet light to the system too, then that’s killing it! There’s the best combination you can get right there!

I personally have that system minus the UV light but the wife is quite happy with that, and that’s all that matters, I guess. I’m not allergic or sensitive to dust anyway… I am an air duct cleaner so I am immune.

The best air filtration systems still need to be kept clean in order to do their jobs at peak efficiency.

The HEPA filter runs all the time, and that thing really pulls out alot of invisible dust from the air. You can see it on the prefilter when you open the case of the air cleaner.

The electronic air cleaner does a really nice job of keeping the furnace, the furnace blower and the air conditioning coil clean. But it also needs to be cleaned every once in a while too. The HEPA has obviously been helping to keep the prefilters of the electronic air cleaner clean, so that means I have to actually clean my cells less often. This is a good thing. I certainly don’t mind taking care of this for other people but it sure seems like such a chore when I have to do it at my own house.

This is why many people abandon their electronic air cleaner. I go into so many houses and see the electronic air cleaner cells sitting beside the furnace. What they’ve done is replaced the cells with either a 4″ disposable filter or with an electrostatic air cleaner. It is way easier and faster to clean one of those than it is to take care of the bulky cells.

An electro static air cleaner costs about $100 and is a permanent filter. It fits into a standard 1″ filter rack and comes in all standard sizes. It can also be sized to your furnace. If you ever move you can take it with you, if you remember.

Some Electrostatic air cleaners claim to remove up to 95% of the dust in the air but with my experience in the field I would say that is not true. 35% – 40% would be a much more accurate number. There are ways to manipulate the numbers, and here’s an example… let’s say an air filter is so full of dirt that almost no air can pass through it any more. All of a sudden, that means the filter is way more efficient at cleaning the air. You would definitely not put it back in your furnace in this condition but that just goes to show one way to play with the numbers.

The electro static filter is still much more efficient than a regular disposable one. To clean it you can either vacuum it or take it outside and hose it off using your garden hose and a strong spray. Just watch the air flow arrow on it though… if the air is meant to flow one way, start spraying it from the other side. That way you will not be pushing the dirt deeper into the filter.

If you would like to try out an electro static air filter, call our office for more details. We also have a service plan available where we will come to your home or office once every three months and replace your filter with a new one. This also gives us the opportunity to do a quick check on your furnace and advise you of any potential problems. Our customers who use this service find it quite valuable.

Why Is It Important That the Air Stream Side of the Furnace is Cleaned

At City Duct Cleaning we always clean the air stream side of the furnace with each and every duct cleaning. We will clean out the filters, fan, fan compartments, heat exchangers, the air side of the plenums and the coils. This service is included in our base cost, as we find it one of the most important jobs to complete in a home.Anyone can just clean the duct system in your home. Great, the inside of the ducts may be cleaned, but once your system becomes active again, your ducts are just as dirty when you started. The key is to clean the above components as part of the job.During the procedure, we block off all the vents in your home, and our powerful truck-mounted vacuum puts your duct system under negative air pressure. We then supply 250 psi of air pressure to the actual vents as well as inside the main ducts. There is no where for the dust to escape.

If the air stream components are not cleaned as well, then they could possibly re-infect your heating and cooling system as soon as you start using your heating or cooling again. There should never be an extra charge to have this section completed.

There are, however, some exceptions to this rule such as when a coil is extremely plugged. This means the coil has collected so much dirt that it will no longer allow air to pass through it. Plugged coils require a lot of time to clean properly and if this is the case then there will always be an extra charge. Otherwise, a normal cleaning as part of our service always completes the job.

 

House Dustx

Dust – How Does It Contaminate Your Home?

Dust is sneaky. Without even looking for it, it forms so you can see it. Dust is everywhere, and it is unavoidable. We allow dust to freely enter our homes on a day to day basis. Having windows open, opening doors to go in and outside, sneezing, animals, walking across carpeting, unrolling paper towels or toilet paper, folding laundry, shaking mats or scratching our skin all creates day to day dust.

Your duct system recycles this contaminated air throughout your home every day all day. How does this affect you?  When these contaminants find a hiding place in/on any of your furnace components such as filters, fans, fan compartments, heat exchangers, and air conditioning coils, they make your furnace tired. Just like when you go for a hike with only the stuff that you’re wearing, then your friend asks you to carry their backpack too, more weight, less movement.  When this happens to your system it causes it to work harder and run continuously which in turn is costing you much more in energy costs. As if that is not enough in itself, the fan in your furnace is now blowing all this extra dust around your home.

Unfortunately there is no way to get rid of dust entirely, but there is a way you can gain control over the amount of dust and that is by properly cleaning out your air ducts. You are cleaning out the systems that allow all air to pass through your home and thus cutting down on the air borne pollutants that are invading your home.

Please call us at City Duct Cleaning for a free quote. We are your best choice for Toronto Duct Cleaning.