Mold

Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold

Keep Your Home Free of Bacteria and Mold

Keep Your Home Free of Bacteria and Mold

Mold and bacteria growth in your home is more than just an annoyance — it's a health risk. Both of these issues can make your family sick, and that's why you need to take the time to understand the cause of these problems and the best prevention measures to take.

What Causes Mold and Bacteria Growth?

Growth of mold in your home is not a sign of a dirty home. Spores for a number of molds are naturally in the air, no matter how clean a home is, and if they find a dark, warm and damp area, they will take root and start to grow. If you have an area in your home that is constantly damp, such as the area around a water leaked, the air conditioning system or in your bathroom where moisture in the air is almost always present, molds will start to grow.Bacteria is also naturally present in your home. It comes in on your shoes, food and even skin. This, unlike molds, can be combated by cleaning. However, if you are not cleaning the air as well as the surfaces in your home, you may still have a bacteria concern.

What Measures Can Prevent These Problems?

If you find that your family members are having respiratory concerns in your home, or if you notice signs of mold, such as visible mold spots or a musty smell in the home, then it's time to take measures to stop these problems. First, make sure your home is cleaned well to prevent bacteria growth. Next, take measures to stop unnecessary moisture. Exhaust fans in bathrooms, professional water damage repair when you have a leak and prompt attention when you have standing water are all important measures you can take. Finally, consider installing an air purifier to remove bacteria and mold from the air.

If you have further questions about mold and bacteria and your Broken Arrow home, the team at Air Assurance is here to help. Give our home comfort specialists a call today to discuss your concerns.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ClkerFreeVectorImages/Pixabay”

Mold, Ventilation

Eliminate Black Mold From Your A/C Vents with These Cleaning Tips

Eliminate Black Mold From Your A/C Vents with These Cleaning Tips

Finding black mold on your A/C vents isn’t a reflection of your housekeeping habits. Often damp with condensation and supplied with continuous airflow circulating airborne microorganisms, air conditioner components offer the perfect environment for black mold growth, as well as common mildew. Since dormant spores that spawn mold are in continuous circulation through your ductwork, occasional outbreaks on your A/C vents aren’t unusual. Here’s how to get rid of them:Before getting to work, put on protective clothes, gloves and a high-efficiency face mask. You don’t need to be breathing black mold spores in if you can avoid it.

  • Unscrew the vent grille of your A/C unit and place it in a large basin or tub. Then, add a few sprinkles of laundry detergent and enough water to completely submerge the vent grille.

  • Vacuum the inside of the exposed duct to remove any dust within reach.

  • After 15 minutes, remove the vent grille from the basin, rinse with clean water and allow it to air dry.

  • Spray the interior of your duct with water to prevent spreading the dry mold dust around. Then, wipe down the duct surfaces with soapy water.

  • Because simple mold removal is not sufficient to stop mold growth, you'll need to disinfect the vent surfaces to prevent recurrence. Make a simple cleaning solution, and use a mop or other long-handled cleaning instrument to swap the duct with the mixture. Also, don't forget to apply disinfectant to the blades of the vent grille.

  • Let all components thoroughly dry before reassembling, and then re-attach the intake vent cover.

  • Lastly, discard all rags and other cleaning supplies that may be contaminated with mold spores in a sealed plastic bag.

For more information on preventing mold growth on A/C vents and any other HVAC components, contact Air Assurance in Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Joe Belanger/Shutterstock”

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold

How to Keep Mold and Dampness at Bay This Winter

How to Keep Mold and Dampness at Bay This Winter

As a homeowner, you've probably encountered some mold and dampness in your living space. Mold can be a concern year-round, but the fact that your home is closed up all winter long is a reason to increase vigilance when you detect damp conditions.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a natural substance, a kind of fungus that grows indoors and out, but flourishes in warm, humid environments. It reproduces by means of spores.Some common types that occur indoors include Penicillium, Alternaria, Cladosporium and Aspergillus. Mold can be white, black, green or yellow and can look like a stain or discolored area. Although most molds don't develop into problems, excessively damp conditions can cause them to get out of hand.

Where Mold May Be Found

Look for mold infestation in leaky roofs, flooded areas, backed-up sewers, damp crawlspaces and basements, around leaky pipes in cabinets, in showers and wherever there's pooling water. If you use a humidifier or even steam cook food too much, you may increase mold growth in your home.

Harmful Effects

Some of the problems mold can cause are asthma attacks, irritated noses, throats or eyes, wheezing, coughs and worsening allergies, Seniors and young children, as well as those with respiratory ailments and compromised immune systems are particularly at risk. Mold can also cause infestations in a sensitive person's lungs.

How to Control Mold

Inside a home, get rid of whatever mold is growing on -- carpet, bedding, upholstery or materials, such as wood, fabric and paper. If mold is just on a non-porous surface, clean it with mold cleaner or detergent, as well as hot water and a brush.

Also, fix any leaks and ventilate the shower and kitchen areas. If you discover mold infestations in a sewer or if it's contaminating water, a professional should be called on.

For more information, contact Air Assurance in Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: "lculig/Shutterstock”

Mold

Mold In The Drain Pan Of Your A/C: Your 3-Step Preventive Strategy

Mold In The Drain Pan Of Your A/C: Your 3-Step Preventive Strategy

As your air conditioner works to keep the inside of your home cool, it also removes moisture from your indoor air. The water collects in the unit's drain pan and is drained away, but the constant presence of moisture creates an increased chance for mold to develop. Not only can this mold cause problems with water overflows, but it can also contribute to allergies and respiratory problems.You can tackle the problem of mold in the drain pan using the following three steps.

  1. Keep your home's inside environment clean: A clean home reduces the amount of dust, microorganisms, pollen and other contaminants that circulate through your air conditioning system. By limiting the presence of these substances, they are less likely to get into your cooling system's ductwork and make their way into the air conditioner's drain pan. Since these contaminants contribute to mold growth, reducing their presence reduces the likelihood of mold in the drain pan of your A/C.

  2. Maintain clean filters in the air conditioner:Filters are important for capturing dust and airborne contaminants in the air flowing through your air conditioning system. They keep your indoor air clean and prevent microorganisms and particulates from accumulating in the air conditioner's drain pan. Filters also help keep mold spores from other parts of the house from establishing themselves within your air conditioning system. Check filters every month and change them if they are dirty. Filters should be changed every three months as part of regular maintenance.

  3. Watch for drainage problems: Regularly check the drainage system and drain pan to make sure water is being effectively removed from the system. If there is standing water in the drain pan, there is probably a clog somewhere within the drain pipes. Keep the drain pan clear of excess water and call for repair of drainage problems when you notice them.

Air Assurance has more than 30 years of professional experience in the HVAC industry, which means customers in Tulsa and the Broken Arrow areas can count us for reliable, expert service. Contact us today for more information on controlling mold in the drain pan of your air conditioner.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air ducts, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold

Effectively Eliminate Dust From Your Home With These Five Tips

Effectively Eliminate Dust From Your Home With These Five Tips

Dust is a problem in every home. In Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, dust is tinged red, which can present an aesthetic problem as well as minor health risks associated with the presence of dust. Too much dust in the home leads to dust mites. The average home has at least 10,000 dust mites per bed. Dust mites can cause serious respiratory issues, especially for those with existing breathing problems. Lower the amount of dust mites in your home by eliminating dust at the source.There are five simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of dust in your home:

  • Capture dust rather than spreading it around the home. Use a damp rag when dusting to gather the dust on the rag rather than sweeping it back into the air.

  • Use the right vacuum for the job. Use an upright vacuum for carpets and a canister vacuum for hard floors. Vacuums are more effective at removing dust than brooms, and vacuuming should be done at least once a week. While vacuuming, turn on the fan setting on your air conditioning system. This will gather some of the airborne dust into the ductwork filtration system.

  • Upgrade the filtration system in your forced-air heating and cooling system. For allergy sufferers, an advanced pleated filter or air cleaning system will provide the maximum benefit. For households with fewer allergy sensitivities, a regular HEPA or disposable accordion-style filtration system will help control dust.

  • Dust remains in the air in low humidity levels. One way to control dust is to employ the use of humidifiers to keep humidity levels between 50 and 60 percent. You can install a whole-house humidity system or use individual units in bedrooms and the main living areas.

  • The use of air purification systems, such as electronic air cleaners, can help eliminate dust in your home. For maximum benefit, place one air purifier in each room of the house, or better yet, have a professional whole-home model installed.

For more information on how to control and eliminate dust and dust mites from your home, contact us at Air Assurance. We provide the residents of Broken Arrow Oklahoma with expert HVAC service including air filters, humidifiers and air cleaners.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our websiteto see our current promotionsand get started today!      Photo courtesy ofShutterstock.

Air Conditioning, Air ducts, Dehumidifiers, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold

Humidity Control With Dehumidification Systems Gives Oklahomans Comfort

While the summer is winding down, humidity levels remain high. As your air conditioner struggles to keep up with the heat and humidity, you may notice your energy costs rising and your household comfort suffering. What’s worse, as excess moisture begins to accumulate in your household, you may experience the growth of mold or even water damage to the structure of your home.Instead of putting your family’s respiratory health at risk, consider the benefits of dehumidification. Whether you choose a portable unit or a whole-house dehumidification system, you can alleviate the burden that excess moisture puts on your home, family and HVAC system.Keeping humidity levels between 35 and 50 percent is easy with a whole-house system. While room dehumidifiers can be successful within their indicated capacity, whole-house systems often provide as much as four times the efficiency. Plus, you have control over the humidity of your entire household, making it easier to keep consistent levels of comfort throughout the home. Other benefits of whole-house systems include:

  • No wasted space – Integrated into your HVAC system, a whole-house dehumidifier doesn’t impose on your floor space.

  • Quiet operation – Where room dehumidifiers are hard to miss due to the noise they produce, whole-house units offer quiet, distraction-free operation.

Whatever option you choose, be sure to consult with a professional regarding the proper sizing of your dehumidification unit. As with any HVAC component, dehumidifiers must be matched to the unique needs of your home. Larger rooms need larger capacity dehumidifiers. You can also look at the units EF, or energy factor, to determine the level of efficiency it will provide for the level of energy it will consume. More efficient systems carry a higher EF rating.It’s also important to look at temperature specifications when comparing dehumidification units. Some units are better suited to operation during lower temperatures, while others may be apt to freeze when the temperature drops below 65 degrees. Look for models that feature anti-frost sensors to prevent potential freeze-ups.If you’re having humidity issues in your home, don’t suffer quietly. Contact the experts at Air Assurancetoday.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!      

Air ducts, CO Detectors, Electric resistance, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold, Water Alarm

Water Alarm: One Of Several Devices That Can Help You Keep Your Home Safe And Sound

With owning a home comes a great deal of responsibility. Not only do you have to worry about the safety of your family and possessions in the case of a theft or accident, you also have to worry about the possibility of failing systems, such as a stove or air conditioner, wreaking havoc on your household.Luckily, there are a number of devices designed to reduce the likelihood of such occurrences in the home, including:

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Security cameras and motion-sensitive alarm systems

  • Dusk-to-dawn and other motion-sensitive lighting systems

  • Whole-house surge protection

These are just a few of the more common home detection and accident prevention devices being used by Broken Arrow/Tulsa area homeowners today. Unfortunately, when it comes to home detection and prevention devices, the water alarm is often overlooked.A device capable of detecting moisture produced by leaky pipes, washing machines, or other water-related items, the water alarm provides a means of early detection designed to prevent such issues as household mold and water damage. It can also help alert you to more sudden issues such as a broken pipe or a weather-related basement flooding. Long-lasting and simple to operate, a water alarm can be used wherever moisture-related problems are likely to occur.Whether you’re dealing with a known moisture issue or simply playing it safe, the key to prevention is early detection. For more information on how a water alarm can benefit your household, contact Air Assurance today for expert consultation.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air ducts, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold, UV Lights, Ventilation

How To Determine The Kind Of Air-Cleaning Equipment You Need

The process of selecting air-cleaning equipment is not something that you should have to think about on a daily basis. But  that decision impacts your everyday life, so it's important to make the right call. If you spend some time evaluating your home's needs, you'll enjoy peace of mind -- and cleaner air -- year 'round. The first step in improving your home's air quality is to determine which pollutants are present in your home. Indoor air pollutants break down into two categories.

  • Particulate matter includes dust, animal dander, pollen, tobacco smoke and the presence of small organisms like dust mites, bacteria, molds and viruses.

  • Gaseous pollutants include fumes from gas stoves, paint, varnishes, tobacco smoke, cleaning products and pesticides.

Once you have a good idea of what pollutants affect your house, the next step is to pick out an air-filtration system that meets your needs.For particulate matter, you'll want a filter system that is either built into your ducts or functions as a portable, standalone unit. Gaseous pollutants can be removed using a gas-phase air filter or a PCO cleaner. The latter relies on UV light and chemical conversion.  Remember, portable units are only designed to do the area in which that unit is located, while whole-home cleaners are designed to take care of the entire structure.Since there are so many different pollutants that can affect your home's air quality, a professionally-administered air quality test can help pinpoint a solution. Much like a doctor works backward from a patient's symptoms to find a treatment, a fitting air cleaning solution can be found by correctly identifying the pollutants present in your home.If you have questions or concerns about your home's air quality, the staff at Air Assurance is happy to answer them, and to provide expert advice. We can set you up with the best air-cleaning equipment for your situation and your budget.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air ducts, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold, Service & Maintenance, UV Lights

Suspect That An Old HVAC System Is Making Your Breathing Problems Worse? Have Your Indoor Air Quality Assessed

Much of the air pollution that we are exposed to today doesn't come from external sources.  It's inside of our homes.  In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that poor indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental risks in the country.  If you are suffering from allergies or breathing problems, could your old HVAC system be to blame?  Here are some things to consider:

  • Improper Ventilation. A building that isn't properly ventilated won't have enough fresh air coming in to move contaminants out of your home, and your health can be impacted. Make sure that you always use kitchen and bathroom fans. Have your basement, crawl space and attic checked to ensure that each is properly ventilated. When using household cleaners or chemicals, open windows or doors to remove pollutants as quickly as possible. Following these simple steps will make a big difference in your indoor air quality.

  • Age of Your HVAC System. Over time, dust and debris can collect in air ducts. Heating and cooling coils may become dirty or collect moisture, which encourages mold growth. Having your older HVAC system inspected and maintained annually will ensure that it is operating efficiently and make you aware of any problems that might negatively impact your home's indoor air quality. If you need a more efficient system to help address specific problems, your HVAC technician will be able to point you in the right direction.

  • Duct Maintenance. When the flow of air coming into or out of air ducts is obstructed, or when moisture begins to collect in the system due to a leak or a damaged duct, the air inside of your home will be affected. An HVAC professional can quickly assess the health of your ducts and identify if any repairs need to be made. Properly sealed and insulated ductwork, especially in non-air conditioned spaces, is a must.

If your HVAC technician discovers a problem, there are great products on the market to help.  Get expert advice on heating and cooling systems, as well as indoor air cleaners, from your friends at Air Assurance. We're happy to help.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold

Improving Indoor Air Quality Can Combat Spring Allergies

Indoor air quality in Oklahoma residences is on average, 10 times worse than outdoor air, reflecting a national trend. Your home may be sealed up to make the most of energy savings, but this compounds poor air quality, especially in the spring, when allergy season starts up. Allergens can get into your home, but have a hard time getting back out again. One of the most important steps to take in combating spring allergies and improving health year-round, is raising your indoor air quality.Allergens are found on many household surfaces, but the kinds that cause severe reactions are typically airborne particles. Some of the most common symptoms experienced in Oklahoma are hay fever, asthma and respiratory problems caused by grass, tree pollen, mold spores and flowers. Other common irritants that reduce indoor air quality include:

  • Dust (Dust is the No. 1 way germs and microorganisms enter your body, and for every 1,500 square feet of space the average home has 40 lbs of dust!)

  • Pet dander

  • Off-gassing from building materials and carpets

  • Fumes from cleaners and air fresheners

  • Radon (the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US after cigarettes)

It’s important to keep air circulating in your home, as well as keeping it filtered. During the spring, an open window will only compound your allergy troubles! Devices such as energy recovery ventilators keep fresh air coming and in push stale air out and can filter the air as they do so. There are also high efficiency filters, such as HEPA filters, that can dramatically improve indoor air quality by removing up to 99.9 percent of airborne particles, including many allergens. Keeping humidity levels balanced by adding or removing moisture from the air can also improve your air. Particles remain airborne longer in dry air and humid environments foster mold.If you would like more information on how to improve your indoor air quality, reducing the effects of spring allergies and improving overall health year round, call Air Assurance. We'll be happy to discuss your options and find a solution that's right for your home and health!Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air ducts, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Mold, Ventilation

What Is Microbiocide (BBJ) And How Can It Help Indoor Air Quality?

Operating costs for heating and air conditioning systems continue to rise year after year. So, we make sure our homes are sealed and insulated, weatherstripped and caulked, in order to reduce the infiltration of outside air and the loss of our precious, indoor conditioned air. That saves us money; but, it also creates another problem.Indoor air quality in homes is the new problem. The air we use gets circulated and filtered and we think all is well. Filtration is a tremendous help; the problem is that mold, mildew and bacteria can live in our homes with us. As they breed, their presence can cause allergies to flair and can contribute to other, more serious, respiratory conditions. Poor indoor air quality has become the price we pay for keeping our homes tight, more comfortable and for reducing our energy costs.When pollutants and contaminants leave our home to be filtered they travel through the duct system. Not all bacteria and mold spores go to the filter. Many cling to the ducts and other components in our heating and air conditioning system. As they breed, their numbers increase and they become unwelcome guests in our homes. They can live on anything that provides a comfortable, humid environment. The biggest example of where mold growth can occur is in our air conditioning evaportator coils.  This is most likely the darkest, wettest, area in the home, which provides an ultimate safe harbor for these culprits to live, eat, and reproduce.  A product that can fight mold and mildew in our home air ducts and coils is MicroBiocide.Microbiocide is a harmless chemical thats been approved by the EPA, to help reduce mold and other contaminants in our home comfort system. A treatment with this approved organic chemical can substantially improve the indoor air quality of any home.Reducing microbial irritants in the ducts can reduce duct odors, inhibit the spread and growth of mold colonies and greatly reduce allergens in the indoor air.  Not only that, but by reducing these things that attach themselves to the coils, airflow and temperature transfer is less inhibited, therefore allowing your system to cool or heat more efficiently.Get more information on reducing mold and mildew and increasing the healthy level of indoor air quality by going here. For other information regarding the maintenance of quality indoor air for your family, log onto Air Assurance. We want everyone to enjoy both home comfort at the lowest possible cost and clean, healthy indoor air.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.