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indoor air pollution

6 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

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Did you know that the air in your home can be up to ten times more polluted than the air outside? Household air pollution can have a variety of side effects ranging from allergic reactions to lung cancer, so it is important to keep your contaminant levels in check.

Here are six things you can do to improve the indoor air quality in your home:

Invest in a HEPA air filter.

If you want to clean up the air in your home, purchasing an air filter is a good place to start. Don’t buy just any filter though – HEPA products are tested and proven to remove at least 99.97% of the particles in the air.

Ditch the commercial cleaning products.

You may think those store-bought products are cleaning your home, but they are actually just filling it with harmful chemicals. Natural ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and salt do just as good of a job for half of the price and no negative health effects.

Implement a strict no-shoes policy.

Wearing shoes around the house doesn’t just track in dirt, it also tracks in pollen, pesticides, and all other sorts of pollutants. Place welcome mats outside of all your entrances and make family and guests take off their shoes at the door.

Add more plants around the home.

Houseplants aren’t just for looks; NASA actually determined that they can help improve your air quality. Certain plants – such as aloe vera, english ivy, and peace lilies – can remove harmful particles from the air and act as a natural filter!

Keep the moisture to a minimum.

Excess moisture almost always leads to mold growth, which can not only make you sick, but also compromise the structural integrity of your home. Keep your moisture levels in check by using a dehumidifier in problem areas and running your exhaust fan for 15 minutes after a hot shower.

Have your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years.

Over time, the air ducts in your home accumulate allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold. Once these particles are in your ducts, they can use them as a transportation system to spread throughout your entire home.

Professional equipment is necessary to adequately clean air ducts, so it is a job best left to the experts. Residents of Pueblo County, Colorado can depend on Patterson Plumbing for a professional duct cleaning at an affordable price. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to schedule your appointment today.

What’s Hiding in Your Air Ducts?

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When was the last time you grabbed a flashlight and took a peek inside your home’s air ducts? Probably never.

Air ducts are an afterthought for most homeowners, but they are an important component of your home’s HVAC system. Over time, particles can begin to collect inside of your air ducts, limiting your heating and cooling efficiency and polluting your air supply.

Take a look at some of the contaminants that could be hiding in your air ducts right now:

  • Dust. The average three-bedroom home generates more than 40 pounds of dust every year; much of which collects in your air ducts.

  • Mold. The moisture inside of your air ducts makes it a common breeding ground for mold. Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, trigger asthma attacks, and lead to long-term respiratory problems.

  • Pet Dander. Even if you don’t have pets, dander can still be found in your duct system from the previous owner.

  • Pollen. Think you’re safe from outdoor allergies inside your home? Think again – pollen can enter through your fresh air intake vent and spread through your house.

  • Thirdhand Smoke. We all know about firsthand and secondhand smoke, but if you smoke inside your house, you could also be exposing your family to thirdhand smoke. This happens when harmful chemicals from cigarette smoke stick to surfaces in your home and remain long after the smoking has ceased.

Once these pollutants enter your air ducts, they use them as a transportation system to circulate throughout your entire home. To keep your air ducts clean and clear of pollutants, experts recommend having them cleaned every 3-5 years. Cleaning your air ducts requires specialized equipment, such as industrial-sized rotary brushes and truck-mounted vacuums, so it’s a job best left to the professionals.

If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, or the surrounding area, trust Patterson Heating & Cooling with all of your air duct cleaning needs. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to schedule your service today.

How the Air in Your Home is Making You Sick

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Many of us think of our homes as a sanctuary – a safe haven from germs and air pollution. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Read below to discover how the air in your home could actually be making you sick.

What is indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is just what it sounds like. While most people think of smoggy cities when they hear the word “pollution”, the fact is that the air in our homes and offices is polluted too. In fact, the EPA states that indoor air is often 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside.

What are the health effects of indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is nothing to sneeze at – no pun intended. Exposure to indoor air pollution has many negative impacts on your health, both in the short and long term. Short term effects include allergic-like reactions such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, and dizziness.

Long term effects are much more severe. The World Health Organization has linked indoor air pollution to serious diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What causes indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution can come from many sources, including everyday items we think are completely safe. Some household products known to emit harmful toxins include: carpeting and furniture; paint; cleaning products; candles; heating equipment such as stoves and furnaces; and most ironically, air fresheners.

What can I do to improve the air quality in my home?

There are many steps you can take to promote better air quality in your home. Start by changing the air filters on your HVAC system every month. Switching to homemade cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda, and regularly mopping and vacuuming your floors are good habits as well. Always use paints and strippers labeled as “low VOC”, and keep your windows open when the weather permits to promote better air flow.

Another little-known place that pollutants are known to hide is inside of your air ducts. Allergens such as animal dander, dust, mold, and pollen can all be found here in high quantities. Your air ducts act as a transportation system for these particles, circulating them throughout your entire home. For this reason, experts recommend cleaning your air ducts every 3-5 years.

Proper air duct cleaning requires specialized knowledge and equipment, so it is best to leave this job to a professional service. Homeowners in Pueblo County, Colorado can count on Patterson for a thorough duct cleaning at a reasonable rate. Contact us online to schedule your service or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

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Indoor air pollution is a problem in most of our homes – about 96% of them to be exact according to the EPA. One of the biggest reasons for indoor air pollution is the lack of awareness about it. Americans don’t know that it is an issue, and don’t understand that everyday products can cause it.

Here are a few of the most surprising sources of indoor air pollution.

  • Cleaning Products. Those store-bought cleaning products under your sink are full of harmful chemicals – even the ones labeled “all natural”. Replace these commercial cleaners with real natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and salt.

  • Carpets. Even if you vacuum regularly, your carpet could be harboring all kinds of pollutants. Common ones include dust mites and pet dander, but pesticides can also be tracked into your home if you wear your shoes indoors. New carpets are just as dangerous; many of them emit formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical used during the manufacturing process.

  • Air Fresheners. Air fresheners may have the most misleading name out of any consumer product in the world. They don’t freshen your air at all, they just mask it with chemicals and toxins. If you are looking for a quick, powerful way to eliminate toilet odors, just light a match.

  • Paints. Lead paint has been outlawed for decades, but it’s still present in older homes across the country. As this paint begins to chip and peel, lead particles are released into the air where they can be inhaled. Even newer paints emit toxins as they dry – next time you buy paint, make sure it is low-VOC.

  • HVAC Ducts. Did you know that the average three-bedroom home generates more than 40 pounds of dust every year? Much of this dust accumulates in your air ducts, where it can circulate through your whole house and trigger allergic reactions. Other pollutants known to hide in air ducts include mold, pet dander, cigarette smoke, and rodent droppings.

When was the last time you looked at the air ducts in your home? Experts recommended having them professionally cleaned every 3-5 years. If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, look no further than Patterson Plumbing & Heating for your duct cleaning needs. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to get started.

Get The Facts About Indoor Air Pollution

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When you think of “air pollution”, you probably picture an overpopulated city clouded with smog. But did you know that the same type of pollution is happening inside of your own home, right now?

It’s true. In fact, the air in most of our homes is worse than even the dirtiest of cities – up to five times worse. It’s not getting the national attention that it deserves, but indoor air pollution can have some serious side effects on your health.

Just take a look at some of these facts and figures:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency listed indoor air pollution as one of their top five environmental risks to public health.
  • 96% of homes tested in North America had at least one problem with air quality.
  • Whether in the office, at school, shopping, or at home, we spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Common sources of harmful chemicals include cleaning products, pesticides, paints, candles, and ironically – air fresheners.
  • Indoor air pollution is linked to health conditions such as COPD, pneumonia, heart disease, and lung cancer.
  • The World Health Organization states that more than 4 MILLION people prematurely die every year from symptoms associated with indoor air pollution.
  • Biological pollutants such as pet dander, mold, dust mites, and pollen all promote poor indoor air quality.

One of the most surprising places in your home that many of these contaminants hide is inside of your HVAC ducts. If you haven’t had the air ducts in your home cleaned within the past five years (or ever), they could be contributing to your indoor air pollution.

Patterson Plumbing & Heating offers professional duct cleaning services to Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area. Contact us online or call (719) 544-4922 today.