Dust Mites: Problems You Never Know Exists in Every Home

The house is the core and foundation of your family. Dirty surroundings can make your loved ones’ immune system weak and prone to many allergens and diseases. It is the reason why cleaning your house every day is a must to keep your home allergens-free all the time. In every home, you can find different types of allergens, but the most common allergens that you can find in your home surroundings are dust mites.

Dust Mite: What are they?

Dust mites are common in any household areas. These tiny, microscopic insect-like pests trigger some allergic reactions to people such as asthma and allergic rhinitis.  You can find hundreds and thousands of dust mites in your bedding, mattresses, some furniture, carpets, curtains, and sofa covers. These tiny pests like to feed on dead human skin cells that are found in dust inside your home.

Dust mites, though treated like pests,are not considered as parasites because they don’t bite people or burrow their bodies to ours. Their fecal pellets and body fragments are the ones responsible for the harmful allergen they create.

Dust Mites: How to Eliminate Them

Dust mites can be a headache; you cannot be able to sleep properly because of them. They may be small, but the stress it can give to you can be troubling. There are many ways to eliminate them and help your surroundings be allergens free.

Here are the ways you can eliminate them:

Take immediate action and fight your allergies with these simple methods:

•    Reduce the humidity in your home

Dust mites love to live in areas with high humidity; it is the perfect temperature for them to be happy and multiply continuously. Keep the humidity of your home below 50 percent to minimize the growth of dust mites. Reducing humidity in your house can help in eliminating house dust because they cannot survive in an environment with low humidity.

Tip: Every morning or every afternoon, you can open your windows for at least one hour per day to help lessen the humidity inside your house.

•    Clean the places regularly where dust mites can grow

Use a clean cloth to wipe the furniture in your house that you think are getting dustier or maybe you can replace it with smooth surface furniture. Wash your bedding with hot water every week, try to minimize your curtains and cover all your mattresses and pillows.

Tip: Remove your carpets if your family is allergic to dust mites. You can also try using HEPA vacuum or HEPA filter if you do not want to remove your carpets at home.

HEPA vacuum contains filters that can trap 99.97 percent of all airborne particles which are extremely small and microscopic in size while, HEPA filters work by absorbing air through a fine mesh that can trap airborne particles such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. Most air purifiers have HEPA filters.

Securing your safety with a healthy environment sometimes can be a hassle, especially if you are working and don’t have enough time in cleaning your house regularly. Fun Guy Inspections can help you, busy people, to test your home for molds, pollens, and other indoor airborne particles by testing the air quality within your homes. Try consulting them now and be free from your allergies today. Visit our website: https://funguyinspections.com/ or call us today: (888) 399-3994.

Hospital Duct Cleaning Requires Extra Care

It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that Indoor Air Quality is important in a hospital.  Mold spores along with bacteria and other contaminants can contribute to deadly hospital acquired infections (HAI), also referred to as nosocomial infections.  Sadly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.7 million nosocomial infections occur each year, with nearly 100,000 associated deaths.  Regular hospital duct cleaning should be part of every institutions infection control and indoor air quality plan.

A hospital’s air conveyance systems pushes up to 30 cubic feet per minute of air through its ducts.  Given the sheer volume of air and need for the exchange of outside air in a healthcare environment, build up of contaminants in the duct system is inevitable.  The collection of debris like human skin cells, hair, linen, and dust inside ducts present an available food source for bacteria to proliferate. That’s why extra care is required for hospital duct cleaning. The physical process to hygienically clean ductwork does not change in the hospital and healthcare environment.  What does change, however, is the process for maintaining a safe environment for the patients and staff of the medical facility.

Communication and Compliance

The most important concern for the facilities engineering department at a hospital is to ensure that contaminants are not spread throughout the building envelope.  To achieve this goal, joint preparation between the facility and Pure Air Control Services is vital to the success of a hospital duct cleaning project.  Communication in conjunction with coordination between the facilities staff, nurses, environmental health and safety as well as other hospital stakeholders is of primary importance.  For example, Pure Air Control Services and the facility staff review the hospital’s Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) together to determine whether those protocols  apply to the project. If required, then additional steps will be taken to comply with the hospital’s specific ICRA policies.

Furthermore, Pure Air Control Services understands the importance of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).  While JCAHO does not currently have a specific hospital duct cleaning standard, it does have standards for the occupied spaces that could be directly affected by the process of duct cleaning if an inexperienced HVAC contractor is used.  To maintain compliance with JCAHO regulations, pre and post indoor environmental testing may be completed to verify the hygienic conditions of the ductwork and adjacent occupied spaces.  Pure Air Control Services’ documentation during each project  is highly detailed. The stakeholders at the facility are provided with  thorough documentation and a report demonstrating proper safety measures were implemented during the hospital duct cleaning process.

Containment and Safety

The key piece of the puzzle for ensuring safety during hospital duct cleaning is establishing proper containment barriers under negative pressurization.  Pure Air Control Services’ containment systems always utilize the highest standard of HEPA filtration.   Mobile containment equipment, also known as “pop-up cubes” are typically used anytime a ceiling tile is accessed or work is conducted outside of the air conveyance system.   In other scenarios, larger containment areas need to be constructed by Pure Air Control Services technicians.  Containment is not just a concept that applies to the occupied space of the hospital environment.  Containment is also occurring behind the ceiling within the hospital ductwork.  The ductwork is placed under a negative 5 Pascal field to ensure the contaminants being agitated are pulled into the direction of the HEPA filtered air collection device.  Sections of the hospital ductwork are sealed off. Then filter media is placed in all supply and return registers . Finally these registers are covered with duct mask to prevent cross contamination.

No disinfectants  are used the hospital duct cleaning process, unless Pure Air Controls Services and facility staff communicate about the type of product requested, review its MSDS sheet and evaluate the  its potential for VOC off gassing.

Little things make the biggest difference for hospital duct cleaning.  Pure Air Controls Services’ IAQ/HVAC technicians are routinely trained on the important details for ensuring safety in the hospital environment.  For instance, our technicians are trained to review their personal and exterior clothing and gear to ensure they are clean before stepping out of containment.  Technicians are also trained to watch every single register in the section of ductwork to be certain no contaminants have escaped.  In addition, our equipment and HEPA filters are routinely checked and upgraded as needed.

The Pure Air Control Services staff is also tested for pre-existing health concerns as part of the background process for working in a hospital.

Common Needs for the Cleaning of Ducts & Interstitial Spaces:

  • Preventive Maintenance for Optimal Environmental Conditions
  • Before & After Air Handler Upgrades, or HVAC Remodels
  • As part of a Remedial Cleanup from Water Damage or Fire
  • After and Environmental Concern or Infection/Disease Outbreak

Before and After PURE-Duct Cleaning

How often should a hospital have duct cleaning?

There is no specified ASHRAE/ASHI standard, nor any guidance from JCAHO for how often hospitals need to clean their ducts.  In our experience, due to the nature of healthcare environments, hospitals should clean their ducts every three to five years.  Pure Air Controls Services’  Building Sciences division can provide HVAC Hygiene Assessments that are done prior to PURE-Duct cleaning to understand the extent of the contamination of the ducts prior to commencing the hospital duct cleaning project. Building Sciences can also monitor the the duct cleaning project while in progress and conduct testing after the project is complete to demonstrate  that good baseline was maintained and improved.

Hospitals are in a state of constant operations compared to other commercial and institutional facilities that are only occupied during daytime hours. They are occupied 24/7. The sole purpose of cleaning the ducts and entire HVAC system is to optimize indoor air quality. That’s why complying with strict protocols, being vigilant with containment, and testing the environmental conditions throughout the process are necessary extra steps to protect the well being of occupants during hospital duct cleaning.

For more information on Building Sciences environmental testing or PURE-Duct cleaning for hospitals please contact the IAQ experts at 1-800-422-7983.

Article Source: https://pureaircontrols.com/hospital-duct-cleaning-requires-extra-care/

Protect Yourself from Allergens, Mildew, and Mold in Your Home

No matter what time of year it may be, or how clean you keep your home, there can be a hidden danger, lurking, waiting to strike.  It can be growing right now, as we speak, threatening to cause health problems for you and your family.  It’s pervasive, invasive, and unwelcome in any home.  Often, you don’t even know you have it, and it can be hard to spot, even while damage is being done.  What is this hidden menace?  Mold, mildew, and common allergens!

allergytestingformoldroachesandotherallergens

Some people are extremely sensitive to common allergens, mold, mildew, bacteria, and other unpleasant things that can develop in your home office, garage, and elsewhere.  Others may not be sensitive to these problems, but can, over time, develop serious health issues as a result. 

In all cases, these hidden dangers should be identified and dealt with, in order to reduce any harm that may come to you or your family members.  It’s especially important for those people who have small children, the elderly, or anyone with high sensitivities or depressed immune systems to deal with these problems promptly and professionally, before they have a negative impact on your life. 

The best way to ensure that allergens, mold, and mildew in your home is identified, treated, removed, and is less likely to reoccur is to have a professional inspection service conduct tests in your home.  In the greater Los Angeles area, FunGuy Inspections is a leading company that performs these tests, and many other related diagnostic and investigative services.  They can help identify what is growing in your home, what’s spreading in the air, and – most importantly – how to get it treated, and steps to take so that it won’t happen again.

Ensure your Home or Office is Asbestos and Mold Free

The first thing that a homeowner or business owner tends to do when they find mold or asbestos is try and clean it up. But then that is not always the best course of action. Asbestos and mold removal is not easy if you are not a professional.  Mold can leave a displeasing mess that smells really bad; but even worse, it can damage one’s home and put your health at risk.

Asbestos, is a well-known carcinogen and refers to six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the ability to resist heat, fire and electricity, it is usually found in most buildings that were built before 1980, and those houses that were built around 1930-1950 usually have asbestos as insulation. Asbestos is still used today in several products frequently used in construction. In response, regulations to protect the health and safety of the employees, occupants and contractors were made.

The Hazardous Asbestos

Before removing any asbestos, it is important to know the safety tips, which is why asking for the assistance of professionals is truly important. Asbestos can cause many health risks, including cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. It usually takes 10 – 50 years from the time of exposure for conditions to develop, making it hard to diagnose in early stages.

These are just two of the diseases that can result from asbestos exposure:

Lung Cancer: Most commonly associated with factors like smoking and radon, lung cancer is also known to be exacerbated by exposure to asbestos. Researchers have found that about 3 – 4% of lung cancer diagnoses are asbestos related.

Asbestosis: This respiratory condition results from the formation of scar tissue plaques on the surface of the pleura lung tissue (lung linings). It can be a precursor to the onset of mesothelioma.

Remember that there is no such thing as safe level of asbestos exposure. Early removal of asbestos is important; prevention is better than cure.

Importance of Mold Removal for the Health


There are numerous benefits of professional mold removal. Mold can spread quickly which makes it hard to find where it originated. But professional remediation will be able to locate the source of the mold where it grows and completely remove it. Just like asbestos, mold can also be hazardous to your health which may cause a wide range of health issues, depending on the type of mold and severity of the infestation. The most common ailment is respiratory infections, which can be especially hazardous to anyone with asthma and other breathing difficulties. The longer you’re exposed to mold, the worse your condition can get.

It surely may seem less expensive to do the removal on your own, but not being knowledgeable will end up costing homeowners and business owners more in the long run. To make sure that the mold or asbestos is removed safely at home or work, it’s best to let the professionals handle the work.

Contact Fun Guy Inspections at 818-674-7541 today.

How to test and improve the air quality in your home — because indoor air is shockingly worse than outdoor air

ndoor air quality (IAQ) probably isn’t top of mind for most people, if any. But it should be because you’re probably not breathing clean air.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.” That means headaches, itchy eyes, and fatigue now, and an increased potential for respiratory complications, heart disease, or cancer later. So yeah, it’s serious stuff.

IAQ is affected by myriad factors, but according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the leading issue is poor ventilation. In theory, you can just open the windows to increase air flow but that might not be a pleasant option in the dead of winter, or even a option at all if you live in an urban environment with poor outdoor air to begin with.

Thankfully, there are different methods to improve IAQ, like testing your indoor air, creating clean oxygen with a houseplant, and even reducing the use of some household products that can lead to high levels of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), which are the gases emitted by everything like nail polish, paint, or even just your stovetop when making dinner.

Here are five ways to test, filter, and improve your IAQ.

Test your space with an IAQ monitor

If you live in a well-ventilated house in a rural area not used for raising livestock, then you may have great IAQ in your home; the rest of us probably have issues.

Using an IAQ monitor gives you a real-time snapshot of the air in your home (or office, school, daycare center — you get it) and can also help get an accurate sense of the air by tracking data over time. That way, you won’t wonder if you just tested the air at a bad time or get a false positive if you happened to test a room while its air was unusually pure.

Test for radon gas too

And while you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to use a radon detector. Radon is a radioactive, odorless, and invisible gas that comes up from the ground, so even a clean home with intentionally-reduced levels of TVOC can be at risk. And radon is deadly; after smoking, it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer.

A good radon detector will give you both current and historical data on the gas levels found in your home. If it’s consistently high, consider hiring someone to help you seal off the bottom of your house and potentially install a ventilation system under your home too.

Detox with an air purifier

A good air purifier isn’t cheap, but a great air purifier is actually kind of expensive. The benefits of clean indoor air can extend throughout your life, so a one-time expenditure now could actually save you a lot in medical bills later — not to mention quality and maybe even duration of life.

The Blueair Classic 480i air purifier ($686.99) uses a HEPA filter and an electrostatic charge to capture harmful particles in the air, and it can be set to automatically adjust fan speed and clean the air faster when sensors detect an increase in air pollution. The Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 air purifier ($550) has a mechanical filtration system and uses activated carbon to capture the smallest bits of pollutant. The system features an Air Quality Indicator Light that tells you the IAQ in real time with five different colors. Blue? That’s high-quality air. Purple? Better set the thing on high and go outside for a walk.

Create your own oxygen with houseplants

Capturing TVOCs, allergens, bacteria, dust, and other unpleasantness floating in your air is a great way to make indoor air less bad. But to make it better, you need to add more pure O2.

And how do you do that? With houseplants.

Plants are pretty amazing. They consume carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and add a lovely aesthetic upgrade all at the same time. At a quick count, my wife and I have 17 houseplants in our home. They vary between pothos plants that are tucked out of sight and allowed to grow as large as they want along with more curated, interesting ones in decorative planters.

Read moreThe best houseplants you can buy online that are super easy to grow

Clean with safer household products

One of the best ways to reduce the harmful TVOCs contaminating indoor air is to never present them in the first place. When shopping for household products you use on a regular basis like dishwasher detergent or dish soap, consider a brand like Lemi Shine, which makes cleaning products with natural citrus extracts instead of potentially dangerous chemicals. Or Aunt Fannie’s cleaners; its glass cleaner, floor wash, and multi-purpose cleaning solution are all vinegar based.

Decorate with zero-VOC paint

And when it comes time to paint the walls of a room, spend the extra money for zero VOC paint. You will be keeping your family safer and, because the paint is also low in odor, you won’t have to deal with that awful smell lingering for days.

Article Source:
https://www.businessinsider.com/improve-indoor-air

7 Eco-Friendly Solutions for Improving Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is much more important than most people believe. The average American spends 87 percent of their life indoors, according to the EPA. If we’re not outside getting fresh air, then it’s essential to do everything we can to improve the quality of the air inside our homes and offices. Here are seven eco-friendly ways to do that without emptying your wallet in the process.

1. Go Green — Literally

Going green, in this case, doesn’t refer to using eco-friendly products or separating your recyclables. When it comes to improving air quality, the concept of going green is a little more literal. Adding plants to your home can help improve interior air quality naturally, at the cost of a bit of water a few times a week. According to NASA, some plants are better than others for this task. To find the best plants for cleaning the air in space, the agency compiled a list of common houseplants that can be used to remove everything from benzene and ammonia to formaldehyde from the air around them.

Most of these plants, from snake plants to English ivy, can be picked up at your local nursery for a few dollars each. Plus, research has shown that keeping houseplants can improve your mental health, so it’s a win-win.

2. Leave Your Shoes Outside

How many of you reading this wear your shoes all the time, even if you’re in the house? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone, but you may also be contributing to the poor air quality within your home. When you wear your shoes indoors, you’re tracking in everything you’ve stepped in during the day, from dust and pollen to dangerous chemicals. These molecules are cast into the air every time you take a step.

Start by leaving your shoes on the porch or just inside your front door. If you need to have something on your feet, keep a pair of slippers or house shoes that you can wear while you’re indoors. This little change can improve the quality of the air in your home without costing you a dime.

3. Call a Professional

If you’re trying to save money, it might be tempting to try to repair your home’s HVAC system on your own. This kind of DIY is only a good idea if you’re an HVAC professional. Otherwise, you may find yourself in over your head with the system’s high voltage power and dangerous refrigerants. One improperly tightened seal could leak coolant into your home, severely compromising your interior air quality and putting both yourself and your family at risk. Releasing refrigerant into the atmosphere is also dangerous for the environment.

Calling a professional, licensed technician might be expensive, but when it comes to your home’s HVAC system, it is the most eco-friendly option available.

4. Eat Organic

Adding organic fruits and vegetables to your diet isn’t just a great way to avoid ingesting pesticides or other dangerous chemicals — it can also help to protect the air quality of your home. The compounds that preserve traditionally farmed produce can permeate the air around them, especially if you leave some of your fruits or vegetables in bowls or on the counter rather than in the fridge.

Going organic might be a little bit more expensive than buying regular grocery store fruits and vegetables, but in the long run, it’s better for your health and the air quality in your home.

5. Fix Those Leaky Taps

Areas that don’t get a lot of foot traffic, like your basement or utility room, might have leaky taps that are ignored. Even minor leaks can be detrimental to your interior air quality, though. The damp environment created by those leaks creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Both of these organisms release spores into the atmosphere that can cause allergies and exacerbate existing breathing problems like asthma and COPD.

Depending on the severity of the leak, you may be able to do these repairs yourself. For anything you’re not sure about, it’s always a good idea to call a professional. As a bonus, repairing those leaks will reduce your home’s water usage, which is also eco-friendly.

6. Quit Smoking or Head Outside

Tobacco smoke is one of the most significant contributors to indoor air pollution. While it is illegal to smoke or vape indoors in public places, no such rules exist for private homes. Quitting is the best thing you can do to improve the air quality in your home, but if that isn’t an option, then taking your habit outside can help keep your interior air cleaner.

Secondhand smoke is dangerous to human health, so keeping it out of your home can help improve the health of everyone who lives there.

7. Limit Products With VOCs

Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) appear in many products you might use every day, from your aerosol hair spray to the cleaning products beneath your sink. To make your home a little bit more eco-friendly while improving interior air quality, limit the number of VOCs in your home. With so many eco-conscious consumers making educated decisions about the products they buy, it’s easier than ever to find green cleaning and beauty products.

Do a quick search for low-VOC products, and you’ll be surprised at how many options are available for you to choose from. They may cost you a few dollars more than the chemical-based alternatives, but when it comes to eco-friendly options that are also wallet-friendly, you can’t do much better than this.

Conclusion

You don’t have to empty your wallet to improve the quality of the air in your home or business. It can be as simple as adding some greenery to each room or swapping out your bleach and ammonia cleaners for green alternatives.

Article Source:
https://blueandgreentomorrow.com/environment/7-eco-friendly-solutions-for-improving-indoor-air-quality/

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