Monthly Archives: September 2016

Air Quality Report: Woodbridge, VA

Quality indoor air is something that you simply cannot live without. This means that the air around you is extremely important to your daily life. You may think that the air in your home is the cleanest and healthiest that you encounter on a daily basis, but studies have actually indicated that the opposite may be true. In fact, the average home suffers from air pollution that is 3 to 5 times worse than the air outside.

You often hear the term air pollution used in conjunction with another term. “Indoor air quality” is a concept that is often discussed, but rarely truly explained. What exactly is indoor air quality and why should it matter to you? It is important to understand this in order to take the proper steps in maintaining it, including utilizing the services of an air duct cleaning company.

Air Quality Report – Woodbridge, VA

When determining the air quality of your home, you will need to evaluate your air on several qualities. This includes:

  • How well the air is ventilated and how well this ventilated air is distributed throughout the home
  • Well controlled levels of airborne contaminants and particles
  • Acceptable temperature
  • Acceptable level of relative humidity

Essentially, indoor air quality refers to the comfort, cleanliness and health of the air in a particular space such as a home or office. Poor air quality can have many negative consequences, such as

  1. Eye irritation
  2. Frequent headaches
  3. Chronic cough
  4. Increased allergy symptoms
  5. Frequent respiratory infections
  6. Worsened asthma symptoms
  7. Dust buildup on the surfaces of the home
  8. Difficulty concentrating
  9. Irritability
  10. Discomfort
  11. Difficulty sleeping

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Though a tremendous amount of focus has been placed on controlling the pollution outside of the home, indoor air quality has gained attention in recent years as experts realize that the contaminants and debris present in homes that lead to poor air quality actually make the home a less healthy space than the outdoors.

Air duct cleaning services can remove the contamination and debris from your heating and cooling unit and air duct system in order to produce cleaner, healthier air and a more efficient temperature and humidity control system. This can dramatically improve your indoor air quality, therefore easing the negative symptoms associated with high indoor air pollution. Thorough duct cleaning services ensure that the air your family is breathing contains far fewer contaminants and particles, making it healthier and more comfortable so you can enjoy your home more.

Fortunately, there are an increasing number of steps and actions one can take to mitigate the effects of bad IAQ. Foremost, limiting water intrusion into one’s home is a paramount step to prevent feeding mold. Only as recently as the 1980s have builders learned how to keep moisture out of a home. This leaves an unfortunately large number of older homes susceptible to water intrusion and mold problems. Fortunately, there a number of products now available to kill and to prevent mold. AfterShock is the first EPA registered mold-resistant coating. Designed for interior walls and surfaces, Aftershock kills any existing mold and creates a barrier keeping mold off of applied surfaces.

Mold management alone isn’t enough, however. Equally important as keeping water and mold away from living spaces is to source your air from places unlikely to be affected by poor IAQ. Many older buildings take their air from unsealed crawl spaces or basements, where mold, bacteria, and a host of other pollutants may reside. The EPA estimates that people generally spend some 90% of their time indoors; a factor that combined with poor IAQ may account for many of the 17 million Americans with asthma.

Along with respiratory problems, chemical sensitivities are being increasingly reported. Some forward-thinking builders are beginning to shy away from products containing formaldehyde-based resins, in favor of non-toxic materials. Modern homes breathe, and many people that have switched to non-toxic building materials have experienced fewer illnesses; particularly among those with chemical sensitivities.

At Fire and Ice, we have the integrity to give our local Woodbridge HVAC customers the help they need to make an informed decision to improve the Indoor Air Quality of their homes. For an HVAC system Woodbridge locals can trust to support their air quality needs, contact Fire and Ice today.

The Questions Homeowners ALWAYS Ask Our HVAC Technicians (with Answers!)

The seasons are changing once again, and it is time to consider calling your friendly HVAC technician to perform annual maintenance on your HVAC unit. While you always need to be sure to contact a qualified HVAC tech to perform even routine maintenance, there are some the questions homeowners always ask our HVAC technicians that we can answer for you ahead of time.

Common HVAC Questions Answered

Here are some of the most common HVAC questions our technicians get throughout the year:

How often should I schedule routine maintenance for my HVAC system?

At least once a year. Don’t wait until your unit is breaking down to call a qualified specialist, instead keep up a standard maintenance routine for the life of your unit. It will extend the life of the unit, keeping it more energy efficient than a unit that goes without.

How important is it that I get the right size unit for my home?

The answer here is very important. If you don’t get the right size your unit may end up being left over capacity and it will not be as energy efficient as it would be if it were the right size.

What size unit would be the best for my home?

There is not a set answer for this question. It is instead going to be determined by the size of your home, the flow of the interior design as well as the construction style. To make sure you have the right size HVAC unit, call a qualified HVAC technician.

How often should I change my air filters?

Whether you have disposable filters or reusable filters, it is important that you change them or clean them at least once a month. The allergy sufferers in your home will thank you for the routine cleaning as dust and other particles will build up in the filters. A good rule of thumb is if you check the filters and they look dirty, it is time to clean or replace them.

Why is it important that I change the filters frequently?

By keeping clean filters in your HVAC unit, you are helping your air conditioner or heater run at its peak operating performance. It assures your unit has the best air flow and improves the indoor air quality as a whole.

What maintenance can I do myself other than changing the filters?

Make sure the ground the unit remains free of debris. When landscaping, be mindful of any debris near the unit and make sure to clean it properly. If the grass and dirt are clog the outside of the system, it will affect the air flow to the unit causing it to have to work harder to heat or cool your home.

To get the most out of your heating and air conditioning unit, it is important to schedule routine maintenance, while keeping your unit clean. If you need a tune-up or other HVAC service, don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We can answer all of your HVAC questions.