When does your Air Duct need cleaning?

Should dust in an air duct be no cause of concern for you? A culprit behind the major IAQ problems is your clogged or dirty air duct. A leak or hole in air ducts can cause expensive and uncomfortable problems which neither of us likes to deal with.
Airborne contaminants, dirt particles or other microbes that fit into your ducts can be found in it. Although it's not always harmful yet some allergic reactions can get triggered due to leaky or dirty air ducts. If you witness any of the signs, you should roll up your sleeves right away.

The 5 disturbing things Canadians discover in their air ducts:

1.     The improper air ducts provide the easiest pathway to the critters. Leaky air ducts attract the mice while appealing to all those rodents who nest out in a moist insulated environment.
2.      It is certain that every animal who manages to get into air duct will leave droppings – very dangerous contaminants. Moreover, the furry animals will leave their danders, if they somehow expire in the air duct, the smell and contamination can spread throughout the home.
3.      Dust in air duct is no cause of concern but excessive debris is surely problematic. Most of the people forget to switch off the Furnace while renovating home. That results in accumulation of drywall dust, construction debris and saw debris ultimately reducing the flow inside the air ducts.
4.      Bacteria are everywhere and the ducts are no exception. Sometimes bacteria are not harmful, yet some viruses and bacteria can still trigger cold and flu in winter seasons. Therefore, cleaning air duct is essential to make it germ-free.
5.      The spots of mould can appear anywhere in air registers, return ducts, and on other parts of the HVAC system. The brown or grey fungus can set off spores that spread throughout the home.

The obvious signs that indicate your air ducts need cleaning:

If you witness signs of people in your home getting allergic attack whenever you turn the AC/Furnace on or notice the dust puffs lingering around the vents, be alert!  This and the below-mentioned signs are clear indications of your air duct needing cleaning.  

·         Reduced or uneven air flow is the first sign. To avoid the issue make sure to check it every month and ensure vents are opened while inspecting the air flow.
·         Sometimes whistling or beep sounds come out of your vents - an obvious sign that air ducts are filled with excessive dust or other contaminants.
·         People who do not clean air ducts for years. Also, a recently renovated place may see a blast of dust whenever the heating and cooling system is turned on. It is a telltale sign that you should avail the services of professionals on an immediate basis.
·         The respiratory problems like feeling mentally foggy, fatigue, coughing or sneezing are signs that you are battling against some allergens. To cope up with such situations, you should immediately hire a professional to stop the problem before it gets worse. 


5 surprising things which can trigger seasonal allergies

Most of the times, so-called “seasonal” allergies comes with winter. Did you ever wonder why this is so? Are you allergic or that’s just a cold? In this article, we will share surprising facts about being allergic or having a cold, as well as things that you should care about during the winter.
The air inside our homes contains a huge amount of microscopic particles, many of which often trigger allergy symptoms throughout the year.

Are you allergic or it is just a Cold?

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), shows in research that 70% of allergy sufferers have symptoms of allergy throughout the year which means that they don’t just have seasonal pollen allergies. If someone is prone to summer allergies, he or she is likely to experience symptoms of allergies in the winter as well.

However, most of us don’t know the potential allergy triggers and tend to attribute the symptoms of winter allergy to the cold virus. Waking up with a sore throat or a runny nose in winter is considered as a cold - not allergy. The first thing to recognize whether you are having a cold or you are allergic is noticing that how long the symptoms last. Cold symptoms are mostly at their worst in the start, but taper off after a few days; but in case of allergy symptoms, they can persist for weeks with slight to zero change.

What Causes Allergies in winter?

In winter, as the temperature falls, we start spending most of the time indoors. This is when we experience indoor air pollution or airborne allergens.
Here are 5 surprising things that may trigger allergies during winter especially in holidays;

1. Wood Smoke

You should know that wood smoke is not a single cause of allergies, but it can irritate your lungs and make the impact on other symptoms even worse. If somebody around you has allergies or asthma, try to use gas fireplace instead of a wood fire (which is cosy plus safer to boot.)

2. Holiday Decorations

In the case of artificial trees, it depends on how you store them. Dust mites on these trees are a source of triggering allergies. It is better to seal your festive decoration items in closed boxes during off-months.

3. Scented Candles

Aromatic candles, sprays and deodorizers contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and tiny particles that may trigger allergic symptoms. Try saving the real candles for special events and decorate your house with flameless candles.

4. Freshly-Cut Boughs and Trees 

Some people are allergic to the evergreen trees, though few may react to the terpenes that give boughs their fresh scent. On the other hand, Christmas trees have a tendency to harbour the mould spores. So, if these trees sit longer outside, there are more chances to attract mould.

5. Dry Air

In our homes, turning up the heat also makes the Winter drier. As the humidity decreases, your throat and nose become more prone to irritation, resulting in sensitivity to airborne allergens.

So keep checking the humidity in your home and if it drops below 35% (check via thermostat or hygrometer). Also, consider installing a Furnace humidifier in order to regulate humidity.