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Helpful Ways to Reduce Household Dust and Improve Indoor Air Quality

Helpful Ways to Reduce Household Dust and Improve Indoor Air QualityGiven the San Diego area’s arid climate, some dust will inevitably find its way into your home. Because this common air contaminant lowers your indoor air quality, however, dust should never be ignored. There are plenty of simple ways to get rid of it.

Stop Dust at Its Source

Bed linens accumulate dust quickly, so wash yours once a week. Shake out your blankets weekly, too. If you have clothes that shed or collect dust, store them in boxes, drawers or garment bags.

Clean Thoroughly

Start by keeping your home’s surfaces clutter-free so dust has fewer places to hide. To clean up dust instead of just redistributing it, use microfiber or electrostatic dust cloths and mops. Vacuum carpets with an agitator (brush) attachment, and use a brush-free attachment on hardwood or tile floors. Take your area rugs outside at least monthly and beat the dust out with a rug beater or broom.

Enlist Your Heating and Cooling System

Thin fiberglass HVAC air filters trap very little dust. For better indoor air quality, equip your system with an air filter of Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 5 to 11. If you have allergies or asthma, go for MERV 10 or 11 filters. While you’re cleaning your house, switch your heating and cooling system to “fan only.” This pulls your home’s air through the system’s filter, trapping the dust and other particles kicked up while you’re cleaning.

Increase Your Ventilation

If you have only exhaust fans for ventilation, consider having a balanced whole-house ventilation system installed. These systems draw out dusty indoor air and replace it with fresh outdoor air that’s been filtered to remove contaminant particles.

Air Seal Your Home

Tiny cracks around windows and doors let in dust, pollen and many other air contaminants. These leaks also waste your heated and cooled air. To keep your air clean and save energy, seal the leaks by applying caulk to non-movable surfaces and weatherstripping to movable surfaces.

For more ideas on improving your indoor air quality, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning in the San Diego, La Costa, and Oceanside areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “lanych/Shutterstock”

How Can Professional Duct Cleaning Benefit Your San Diego Home?

How Can Professional Duct Cleaning Benefit Your San Diego Home?The wind in the San Diego, La Costa, and Oceanside areas does its part to keep the air outdoors clean, but maintaining good air quality at home takes some extra effort. In some cases, professional duct cleaning should be part of that effort. Having dirty ducts cleaned can benefit you in a number of ways.

Less dust in your air: A little dust isn’t harmful to most people, but when it reaches a certain level it can cause coughing and sneezing, not to mention add to your housework load. If your home seems unusually dusty, remove an air register cover and peek inside the duct. A buildup of dust and debris there suggests your whole duct system could use a cleaning. After remodeling is also a good time to schedule a duct inspection. Enough sawdust, carpet fiber, and other debris can accumulate in the ducts to make thorough cleaning necessary.

Reduced exposure to mold spores: Mold favors warm, moist locations so ducts with moisture problems are prone to mold growth. The tiny reproductive spores this fungus produces circulate via your ductwork through your home. Once in your air, they can trigger asthma attacks and allergy symptoms, as well as increase your risk of respiratory tract infection. Check inside your ducts for patches of brown, white, orange or other discoloration, which is likely to be mold that can be removed through professional duct cleaning. Moisture inside the ducts also warrants a call to a technician.

Protection from pest debris: Mice, bats, cockroaches, wasps and other pests that commonly invade ductwork leave behind debris that can end up in your home’s air. This debris aggravates asthma and allergies as well as spreads harmful bacteria. If you find droppings, hair, nests or dead bugs in your ducts, contact a heating and cooling technician. The technician can advise you on whether or not to call an exterminator or simply have the ducts cleaned if the pests have long since vacated.

For more information on professional duct cleaning, contact our professionals at Sherlock Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Csehak Szabolcs/Shutterstock”

5 Ways to Keep Dust at Bay in Your Vista Home

5 Ways to Keep Dust at Bay in Your Vista Home Finding dust in your home is both annoying and frustrating, and it often seems like no matter how often you clean, it keeps coming back. Dust is made up of dead skin cells, animal dander, dust mites and many other elements that are dangerous to your health, especially if you have asthma and allergies. You can keep dust at bay with these simple tips:

  • Humidity & filters: Change the air filters in your HVAC system once a month, as creased filters catch more dust. Some are even electro statically charged to attract pollen and allergens. The ideal humidity in your home should be at around 45 percent. Get a professional to test your home’s humidity level and advise you on how to use your air conditioner effectively.
  • Keep closets tidy: Closets are stacked with fibers from clothes covered in dust. Store your clothes in plastic bags or containers to minimize shedding, and keep the floors of your closet clear, so you can vacuum or dust mop over them when cleaning. You can also store shoes on racks or wire shelves to keep your floors clear.
  • Use the right equipment: Feather dusters and dry rags only move dust from one place to another. Use a microfiber or electrostatic cloth to capture dust properly — even a wet rag will do the trick. Ensure that you clean frequently to keep dust at bay.
  • Frequent bedding change: Dust mites love to live in linen and mattresses. Encase your pillows and mattresses with allergen free cases and wash your linens once a week.
  • Eliminate carpeting: Carpets are high maintenance and attract dust mites easily. If you have carpets, vacuum them daily. However, there’s no guarantee you’ll totally get rid of all the dust mites. Rather, stick to hardwood or tile flooring.

For more expert advice on how to keep dust at bay, of if you have other issues related to home comfort, please contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We serve all of San Diego and Southern Riverside County with more than 100 years combined experience.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “preenutPN/Shutterstock”

Soothe Spring Allergies in Six Simple Steps

Soothe Spring Allergies in Six Simple StepsDealing with seasonal allergies is a headache, in more ways than one. A high pollen content in the air can cause a runny nose, watery eyes, and coughing. Fortunately, keeping your spring allergies at bay can be accomplished with six simple steps.

First, keep your windows and doors closed. An open house allows more pollen in the house, which only aggravates allergies.

Equally important is the humidity level of your home. When humidity levels are kept at or below 50 percent, mold is less likely to thrive and your allergies will be more under control. Consider using a humidifier or dehumidifier that controls the humidity of the whole house, and not just one small area.

Keeping a clean home can also soothe your allergies. Dust can cause spring allergies, so make sure you regularly dust your home. It is easy to overlook certain areas, so go the extra mile and make sure you dust the blinds and other hard to reach areas.

After dusting, it is important to vacuum. At least once a week, clean your carpets with a vacuum that has a high efficiency particulate air filter. The filter will catch allergens and reduce irritation.

If you have any pets, vacuuming is not the only step to limiting particles in the air. Clean any pet bedding frequently, and ask your veterinarian how you can limit shedding.

Lastly, keep your air in the home as clean as possible. Regularly clean the filter on your air-conditioner, and consider investing in an air purifier. Ensure that your air ducts are dust free, or hire someone to clean them out.

Enjoy the spring without the burden of seasonal allergies. For more information about controlling your allergies, contact us at Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning. We proudly serve the North County and the San Diego area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about allergies and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

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