Filter Maintenance Articles

How to Improve Air Quality in Your Home

While air pollution is often thought of as an outdoor issue, we spend most of our time indoors, so it’s important to pay attention to the air quality inside your home. The air inside your home may be polluted with formaldehyde, dust, radon, fire-retardants and other chemicals that may be used in cleaning products, as well as pollutants that are tracked in from outside. Dust mites, mold and pet dander are also common allergens found in the home.

Children, the elderly and individuals with chronic health conditions may be especially sensitive to indoor pollutants, but healthy adults may begin to see the effects of poor indoor air quality after prolonged exposure. These conditions can include severe allergies, respiratory conditions and other illnesses.

Fortunately, a few maintenance tasks and lifestyle changes are enough to reduce contaminants and correct indoor air quality issues. Find out how to improve your indoor air quality and ensure that you and your family are breathing the freshest, cleanest air possible.

Keep Your Floors Clean

Chemicals and allergens can accumulate in dust for long periods of time, but a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help you reduce these contaminants. HEPA filters also get rid of many allergens and toxins, such as chemicals, pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Be sure to vacuum high-traffic areas often, and don’t forget upholstered furniture, carpet edges and walls to get dust that has accumulated.

Mopping also picks up the dust that vacuuming misses. Plain water is enough to clean dust or allergens that are left behind, and microfiber mops capture more dirt and dust than conventional mops.

You should also invest in some high-traffic floor mats for each doorway into your home. This helps collect the dirt, chemicals and pollutants that may be tracked in on shoes, so all you have to do is clean the mat on a regular basis.

Maintain the Humidity Level

Dust mites and mold thrive in moist environments, so it’s important to keep the humidity in your home between 30 percent and 50 percent. A dehumidifier helps to reduce the moisture in your indoor air and control allergens and mold, and an exhaust fan or open window will keep moisture at bay.

You should empty the drip pans in your dehumidifier or air conditioner on a regular basis as well, since this only evaporates and recycles the dirty moisture back into the air.

Stop Smoking

Cigarette smoke is a big contributor to poor indoor air quality. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals that may increase the risk of asthma, respiratory infections, cancer and heart problems. Make your home a nonsmoking space, and if you or a family member smokes, commit to quitting to improve the air quality.

Test for Radon

Radon can be an issue in both new and old homes. This odorless, colorless gas significantly increases the risk of lung cancer due to its radioactivity from the natural decay of radium in soil. Radon is a problem in homes with cracks and holes in the foundation, but it can occur in any home.

Testing for radon is quick and inexpensive. If you determine that you have a radon issue, the Environmental Protection Agency offers a guide to reducing radon in your home.

Use Natural Products

Though you may enjoy the synthetic fragrances found in cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and air fresheners, these products dump plenty of chemicals into the air that may affect air quality. Most fragrances are derived from petroleum products and haven’t been thoroughly tested to check for adverse health effects in humans upon inhalation.

There are a few ways you can protect your home and your family from these chemical pollutants:

  • Use fragrance-free or naturally scented cleaning products.
  • Use mild cleansers that don’t use synthetic scents.
  • Avoid aerosol sprays.
  • If you’re using a scented product, open your windows to allow the chemicals to escape.
  • Keep rooms ventilated with a filtered air-conditioning system.
  • Use sliced lemons and baking sode to clean your kitchen and leave that lemon scent.
  • Keep live plants in your home, which act as natural air purifiers.

Have Your Ducts Cleaned

Air ducts are responsible for distributing hot and cool air throughout your home and maintaining a comfortable temperature. Ducts that are improperly installed or dirty are a possible source of pollutants and particle contamination that affect indoor air quality, however. If your HVAC system has been operating for some time without a duct cleaning, it could be circulating dust, odors and other contaminants around your home.

A professional duct cleaning can reduce the potential for mold growth and eliminate odors in your home from the dirt that accumulates. On top of that, duct cleaning also extends the life of your system and ensures optimal performance.

Consider Indoor Air Quality Products

Many consumers are paying more attention to indoor air quality and its impact on health and wellness. There’s a variety of indoor air quality products on the market to combat common indoor pollutants, such as:

  • Electrostatic filters.
  • Electronic filters.
  • UV antibacterial lights.
  • In-duct odor eliminators.
  • Whole-home humidifiers.

These products offer indoor air quality solutions to suit different home types and needs. Speak with an HVAC professional to learn more about the air quality options that are suitable for your home.

Visit Legacy Air

Keeping the air in your home fresh and clean requires diligence and preventative measures, but it’s worth the effort. Now that you have some tips for improving air quality and reducing pollution in your home, you’re ready to commit to cleaner, healthier indoor air.

Of course, clean indoor air starts with your HVAC system. If your system is in need of maintenance or repairs, or you just want to learn more about indoor air quality solutions, Legacy Air can help. We offer a variety of HVAC services, such as AC filter replacement and duct cleaning, as well as different products to address your indoor air quality. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!

How to Reduce Allergens and Increase Air Quality in Your Home

Spring time just ended and now we’re transitioning into the summer months. It’s been a partially wet and very windy year so far and that doesn’t help the air quality in our homes. There’s good news though, you can take action to clean up the air in your house, and live happier and healthier. Discover six simple ways that you can reduce allergens and improve air quality in your home, and how a professional HVAC service company can help.

Reduce Allergens with a HEPA Vacuum

Many of the allergens in your home accumulate in household dust and the dirt on your floors and in your carpets. Get a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which will suck up the grime, dirt, pollen, dander, dust and other allergens and filter them out.

Choose a vacuum with powerful suction and rotating brushes to be sure that the dirt is sucked up and not spread around. Vacuum thoroughly, going over high traffic areas several times. Vacuum at least twice a week, and clean your filter on a regular basis to reduce allergens in your home.

Mopping those Hard Floors

It never hurts to run your HEPA vacuum over hard floors as well as carpets, but you should also mop them regularly. There’s no need to use harsh chemicals most of the time. Just use hot water and a microfiber mop or dust cloth to capture the maximum levels of dirt, grime and contaminants.

Just like with vacuuming, mopping should be done at least twice a week. The more you keep your floors clean, the higher quality air you’ll have in your home.

No Smoking Inside!

Turn your home into a no-smoking zone. The risks of primary and secondary smoke are well known at this point and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t quit the habit, and prevent others from doing it inside as well.

Get a Radon Test

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Get a radon test done and look into efforts to mitigate the problem if it exists.

Use Natural Cleaners

Avoid harsh chemicals in your efforts to keep clean. If you want fresh scents, use actual lavender, lemon or orange essence, or baking soda. Occasionally open the windows to let fresh air in. Avoid aerosol sprays. Keep house plants around to freshen the air and keep the oxygen levels high.

Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned to Improve Air Quality

You would be surprised as to how much dust and fiber can build up in your air ducts, which is why it’s important, every so often, to have your air ducts clean. Bringing in an HVAC company to take care of your air ducts can vastly improve air quality and reduce allergens. If you’d like more information about air duct cleaning, check out the Legacy Air FAQ and give us a call for an appointment today!

The Ultimate Fall/Winter HVAC Maintenance Checklist

As the winter season approaches, most homeowners are focused on getting their houses ready for the cooler months ahead. While every system in your home needs attention in the lead-up to the cold weather months, it’s crucial that you perform maintenance on your HVAC system.

Fall and winter can be a very stressful time of year for your HVAC system, and if you don’t perform the right maintenance tasks, then you may have to deal with expensive repairs and outages that affect the comfort of your home and family. Follow this ultimate HVAC maintenance checklist and you will be able to help keep your system running throughout the toughest months of the year.

Start with Your Air Filters

Maintaining air flow is one of the most important things that you can to do to ensure the continued functioning of your HVAC system, and the best way to promote proper airflow is by frequently replacing your air filters.

When your air filters become dirty, it can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system and can strain its parts, sometimes causing extensive and expensive damage. To make sure that your system is as efficient as possible, you should check your air filter every 30 to 90 days, and replace filters that have accumulated large amounts of dirt and debris.

Remove Dirt and Debris

Another important task that should be on your HVAC maintenance checklist should be to remove dirt and debris from your system. If your HVAC system features aground level outdoor unit, you will need to examine the unit every week and remove any debris that has the potential to influence its functionality, including dirt, pollen, and sticks.

Anything that may block airflow in your system should be removed. Use gloves, and if necessary, a hose, to clean your outdoor unit. For your own safety, you should make sure your unit is shut down before you start cleaning.

Periodically Clean Your Vents

When you’re getting your HVAC system ready for the cold weather season, it’s also important that you frequently clean the vents (sometimes called registers) in your home. Dirt and pollen can quickly build up on vents, reducing the airflow in your home and also impacting your air quality.

If you want your HVAC system to work the way that you need throughout the year, your vents should be cleaned at least once a week as part of your normal cleaning routine, if not more. Fortunately, cleaning your vents is very easy, and requires only a damp rag. Cleaning your registers will reduce stress on your system so that your HVAC can keep your home at your desired temperature.

Get Help from a Professional

If you follow these simple tasks on your HVAC maintenance checklist, you should be able to keep your system running throughout the year. However, if you want to make sure your HVAC maintenance is done correctly, or if you’re experiencing a problem with your system, you should be sure to get help from the heating and cooling professionals at Legacy Air.

We understand the right way to get your HVAC system ready for any season of year, and can also help you quickly fix any issues that are reducing the performance of your heating and cooling units. Contact us today!

Filters & Filter Maintenance

When choosing a filter there are three things to consider:

  • Cost
  • Purpose
  • Functionality

If you are used to buying a filter at your local hardware store or big box retail stores you are probably thinking that cost is not that big of an issue. You can find filters ranging anywhere from a few dollars to upwards of $20+ for others

Common Filter Types

  • Fiberglass Filters are probably the most common. They also happen to be the cheapest (Go figure). These filters have to be changed at least monthly during peak times during the hottest and coldest parts of the seasons. Let’s be honest with each other. Some of you still have your husband’s mother calling to remind him to change his underwear . Remembering to change an air filter at a specific point every thirty days is kind of asking a lot….Which brings us to…..
  • Pleated Filters which are also pretty common, and still pretty cheap (“Cheap” has gotten a bad name, and we are not afraid to use it here. At Legacy Air we refuse to patronize you with the more Politically Correct term “Inexpensive” when “cheap” does the job just fine). Pleated filters have ridges built into them which serves to increase the available surface area to collect air borne particulate. The increased surface area enables the pleated filter to both collect more particulate, and to last longer
  • HEPA (has to be capitalized not due to its status as a heavy weight in the world of air filtration, which it is, but because for all you English nerds out there it is an “Acronym”).  High- Efficiency Particulate Air filters are designed for those of us with “Oxygenated Special Needs” (O-S-N is actually the Latin term for the better known term “allergy sufferers”). HEPA filters collect 99.97%(source WIKI)  air borne particulate as small as .3 micrometers. Things that are that small that are floating in your household air include pollens and dust mite FECES<<< capitalized because it is my post AND until I researched this, I didn’t know I was breathing dust mite FECES daily. Kind of makes me want to run out and buy a HEPA filter. Expensive to Install, but you will never again breathe in dust mite FECES… Caution!!!! Due to their ability to filter smaller particulate (HEPA Filters are the almighty “Achilles” of filtration) their “Achilles Heel” lie in the fact that the filter box has to be larger because the filters have to be larger. This requires a qualified company do the consult and retrofit on changing out a traditional filter system to a HEPA filtration system…
  • Electronic Filtration Systems can be stand-alone units or integral to furnace, filter box, or duct system. (Disadvantage to using stand-alone/portable units is that they have to be in every commonly used room to be effective) The best thing about these is they make great Mothers day gifts or birthday gifts, as they greatly cut down on household dusting duties. (Just kidding on the gift thing because #1 Men can dust too, and #2 Men can dust too) These systems work far better and household wide when installed as an integral piece of your Heating and Cooling systemCheaper than HEPA more expensive than Pleated/Fiberglass
  • Charcoal filters are (I want to say never but shan’t) extremely and wisely never used alone. They are best for picking up odors, organic materials, and household smells such as (don’t let your imagination get ahead of me) bleach, ammonia and the like.  Note  Charcoal filtration systems can not be targeted to your husband’s side of the bed or any other “masculine” areas of the house; and besides, this being the 21st century ,I would be remiss, un-Politically Correct , if I didn’t say that you ladies smell too

And that about does it for me. I hope it was as entertaining for you to read as it was for me to write.

Should you need help with any of your filtration needs feel free to contact us or call us at 702-453-4229