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Whose air are you breathing?

When moving into a new home, people usually opt to clean it from top to bottom. They have the carpets cleaned, the appliances and fixtures are returned to like-new condition, hardwood and tile floors are scrubbed, and surfaces are dusted to their hearts’ content. We all know that the dust always comes back, and for those of you who are unaware, dust is mainly made up of skin cells, dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold spores. Wait a minute…did he just say skin cells?

Cleaning Air Vents - Nashville TN - CPRNash.comSure did! Since you just moved in, whose air are you breathing? With all the moving families do over the summer, the first few months of a move in are the perfect time to have the air ducts cleaned. Your air ducts are your home’s lungs; you’re going to breathe whatever’s in them. Wouldn’t you rather breathe clean air that’s not filled with the leftover dust particles (remember what’s in that dust) from the family who lived there before you?

Allergy Sufferers

According to recent studies, indoor air quality is actually worse than what you’ll find outdoors. If you’re an allergy sufferer, choosing to keep your air ducts and filters clean can make a big difference in the management of your allergy symptoms, as your HVAC system can harbor and spread mold and other allergens if not properly maintained. HVAC filters are rated according to their efficiency of filtering different sizes of airborne particles. This system rates filters from MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) 1 to MERV 12; the higher the rating, the better the filter is at removing even the tiniest of particles. When dust particles and/or mold spores become airborne, you can breathe them in and experience an allergic reaction. To combat this, it’s important to change filters regularly and follow a regular maintenance schedule.

Electricity Savings and System Longevity

Your home’s HVAC system, much like any piece of machinery, needs regular maintenance to perform at its best. Changing your system’s filters is probably the most important habit homeowner’s can develop. Clogged or dirty air filters can block airflow and cause your system to work harder to pump air throughout your house. Changing or cleaning the filters regularly will help you increase your system’s efficiency and longevity while helping you cut energy costs. An American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) study concluded that maintaining your HVAC system’s cleanliness could reduce average operating costs by 10-25%. According to the EPA, a build-up of 0.042 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in your system’s efficiency of 21%.

Keeping as many particles out of your HVAC system as possible will go a long way to improving your overall indoor air quality while protecting and extending the life of your system. With the right filter and following a regular maintenance routine, you’ll be able to keep your HVAC running better for longer, while also making the air in your home healthier for everyone. If you’re ready to have your system looked at by a professional technician, call Choice Property Restoration – our experienced, trained technicians would love to help!

Air Duct Cleaning for Clean Air

With summertime allergies adding to the sniffing and sneezing throughout the day, you want you air in you home to be as clean as possible.  Even with the humidifiers and air sprays you purchase, there are still particles floating around that are impossible to see.  Your air ducts can help or hurt this situation depending on how well they are taken care of.  If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment with the professionals call Choice Property Restoration today!

Cleaning Your Air Vents - Nashville TN -

When should your air ducts be cleaned?

Even though it sounds like something that should be done often, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that you don’t have air ducts cleaned on a routine basis, but only when it’s needed.  However, if you have a fuel-burning furnace or fireplace, it is important to have the ducts checked out for functioning issues to prevent any chances of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

How do you know that it is time for cleaning?  One of the main warning signs is when you see mold growing inside of the ducts or on parts of your heating and cooling system.  You may not be able to see the mold growing, so your technician will be able to spot any that is hidden during a full inspection.  Sometimes mold that is found is just a false alarm, so be sure that whomever your hire is experienced.  If you have the type of air ducts that are insulated, they will need to be replaced and not just cleaned.  You also need to have checks for insects and rodents, and be aware of any extra dirt that may be coming into your home.  It is important to also make sure that after cleanings and repairs that your ducts are functioning properly.

Can unclean air ducts affect the health of my family?

Even though the average member of your family may not feel the symptoms of dirty air ducts, people with allergies or other illnesses may be more sensitive.  This will worsen as you allow problems to go without being fixed.  This is another reason it is important to hire a professional.  This can prevent mistakes during cleaning and minor repairs from becoming worse later.

Mold FAQs from Homeowners

No one likes mold! Most people know that it can be bad for your health and bad for your home, but not everyone knows how mold grows, why it can be detrimental to your health, or how to get rid of it.

If you’re dealing with mold issues — or think you might have a mold problem — give Choice Property Restoration a call. We’re here to help!

If you’re dealing with mold issues — or think you might have a mold problem — give Choice Property Restoration a call. We’re here to help!

If you live in the Nashville area and think you have a mold problem, we hope you’ll count on the professionals at Choice Property Restoration to handle mold remediation for you, as this is one of our specialties. We would like to provide you with some of the questions we hear most frequently from our customers and our answers to those questions:

Why is mold dangerous?

Not all mold is bad for your health; in fact, mold can be found in some places without much concern. Furthermore, not all people are sensitive to mold. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some types of mold can not only contribute to hay-fever like allergies, eye or skin irritation, and wheezing, but there’s actually a toxic black mold called Stachybotrys that may be especially harmful.

I see mold on my walls, floors, or in my basement. Where does it come from?

Mold is usually the result of excess humidity or water damage. Water and moisture can get into your house in any number of ways, but we most frequently see water damage come from burst pipes, sewage malfunction, dam breaches, an overflowing washing machine, or flooding from excessive rainfall—something Nashville residents know about all too well.

How do I know if my house has mold or where it’s located?

There are certain places in a damp home where mold will naturally grow. Floors and carpets, basements and crawlspaces are prime targets. Basically, the lower an area is, the more likely it is to grow mold; this is why we often hear Nashville homeowners complain of mold on their carpet, tile or grout, and laminate and wood flooring. Walls, however, can also be feeding grounds for bacteria and mold, especially if the leak has originated from the roof.

Though mold is sometimes visible to the naked eye—or apparent to the nose, thanks to its strong musty smell—it just as often is completely hidden from a homeowner’s view, though he or she may see signs of it. If our team determines that the origin of a leak is especially mysterious, we will actually use thermal imaging to locate the source, as our thermal imaging cameras can find mold even behind your walls. We may also use digital hygrometers to test the humidity in your air.

Only a professional will be able to truly determine if you have a mold problem and suggest the best way for you to solve it. Call Choice Property Restoration, located in Nashville, Tennessee, at 615-866-7989 to solve your mold problem.

Cleaning Your Air Ducts

Lower your health and safety risks by cleaning your air ducts. Here's what you as a homeowner should know.

Lower your health and safety risks by cleaning your air ducts. Here’s what you as a homeowner should know.

Studies have shown that indoor air can be anywhere from two to five times more polluted than outside air. Most disposable filters remove about 10% of these pollutants allowing 90% to enter the air system, even during the construction of a new home. The pollutants contain dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander and much more. These materials collect in the furnace, air conditioner and duct surfaces, just as they do on the furniture and floor surfaces.

From Where does the Dirt in your Vents Come?

All inside air was once outside air, so all of the dust, chemicals, pollen, insects and mold spores in the outside air can be pulled into the air system. People shed millions of tiny dead skin cells every hour. Cooking smoke, household insect sprays, personal care products are also a source of pollutants. Many construction materials, carpets, wood products and plastics give off pollutants as well. During construction or remodeling activities, many types of dust are produced and find their way into the ductwork. If the duct components were stored outside prior to construction, they may have collected dust, rainwater and even mold before they were installed in a system.

Clean Systems Use Less Energy

Five to seven times a day, the air in your home circulates through the air ducts of your heating and cooling system, carrying with it the dust and debris of everyday living. There are three major parts to your air system:

  1. The supply and return grills;
  2. The interior surfaces of the supply and return vents;
  3. The furnace/air conditioner air handler.

All three components need to be cleaned. If only one or two of the components are cleaned, the contaminants from the third component will rapidly contaminate the ones that were cleaned. Depending on the amount of contamination and its location, energy consumption could be increased. If the fan blades, evaporator coil or other control components of the system are heavily contaminated, the system may have to run much longer to cool or heat the occupied space, thereby wasting a lot of energy in the process.

Contaminants Lead to More Problems

Your furniture and floors are cleaned regularly but the duct surfaces are hidden from view and can only be reached by specialized duct cleaning equipment. These pollutants can migrate out into the room again, or become a food source for mold and bacteria, which can thrive in this dark comfortable environment from high humidity or moisture from the air conditioner or humidifiers. Biological growth can release mold spores or toxins into the air system.

Once an air system is thoroughly cleaned, it should remain clean for three to seven years if properly maintained. A standard disposable filter only stops about 10% of the airborne contaminants, allowing 90% of the dust in the room to flow back into the air system. To maintain protection against biological growth, you should have a qualified duct cleaning professional apply an EPA-registered biocide every 6 to 12 months.

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