How to Recognize the Signs of Carpet Mold

carpet moldMold is quite resilient and can grow on most surfaces, including upholstery, wallpaper, insulation, and painted walls. Because carpet is another such area, homeowners must learn to recognize carpet mold. A visual inspection is often insufficient.

Why Carpet Mold Is Hard to Detect

On smooth surfaces, mold is easy to spot with its black or greenish splotches. However, in a carpet, the mold typically grows below the fiber strands’ surface. Furthermore, if the carpet is darker in color, the mold blends in.

Without the visual signs, homeowners need to rely on other symptoms to recognize that something is amiss with their home flooring.

Musty Odor

A musty smell is one indicator of carpet mold growth. As the homeowner, you may have become accustomed to the smell and not be aware of it. However, it will be apparent to visitors. Continue Reading →

Does Your Home Need an Air Purifier?

air purifierThe EPA estimates that indoor air can be two to five times dirtier than outdoor air. While not a cure-all solution, one way to promote a cleaner indoor environment is by using an air purifier.

Air Purifier Vs Humidifier

First, let’s examine how an air purifier differs from a humidifier because many homeowners confuse the two. Humidifiers add water to the air, increasing humidity levels. This can prove to be helpful since the air tends to dry during the  season.

An air purifier, on the other hand, removes harmful pollutants like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. It does nothing to change the air’s humidity level.

Does an Air Purifier Work?

Fortunately, scientific studies are available and show that air purifiers may be effective for reducing allergies and improving cardiovascular health. Researchers, though, point out that any improvement in health is modest at best. Some of the existing research has also been disputed due to the disparity in methods. Continue Reading →

Is Your Home Afflicted with Sick Building Syndrome?

sick building syndromeSick building syndrome is usually a term associated with workplace spaces, offices, and other public facilities. However, it’s also applicable to residences. Is your home at risk and when do you need to take action? Could your home be the source of your illness?

What Is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome is a condition recognized by the Environment Protection Agency. It’s a condition in which your personal illness is linked to the building you’re occupying. The specific causes vary, but include the presence of airborne allergens, mold, pollen, or dust mites. Occupants experience a range of symptoms, such as migraines, fatigue, eye irritation, and trouble focusing.

Implications of Sick Building Syndrome

In the workplace, sick building syndrome results in $60 billion in lost productivity every year, according to the EPA. Since most people spend more total hours in their homes than they do in their workplace, it stands to reason that your own residence can cause sickness as well. Continue Reading →

Four Common Clothes Dryer Mistakes

clothes dryer mistakes, dryer mistakes

Dryer fires account for 15,000 home fires in the U.S. every year. This is mainly due to clogged dryer vents. This is why dryer vent cleaning is so important. There are other clothes dryer mistakes, though, that increase the odds of needlessly damaging your dryer. Are you making these mistakes?

1. Drying the Wrong Items

Remember to empty out the pockets on all your clothing before throwing them into the washer. Items like pens and paperclips that are left in clothing can cause a fire if they make it into the dryer. Other items, such as door mats and rugs, though seemingly dryer-friendly, may not be so. Consider air-drying these items instead.

2. Ignoring the Dryer Sensor

Dryers have a moisture sensor that prevents clothes from over-drying or remaining wet after a dry cycle. We suggest cleaning the sensor as part of your maintenance when you remove the lint from the trap. Chemical residue can build up on the sensor, especially if you frequently use dryer sheets.

3. Not Cleaning Around the Dryer

Keep the floor around the dryer clean. This is important because the dryer draws air from the immediate area. Regularly vacuuming will remove dust and fallen lint. We also suggest keeping the area free of obstructions. Store items like the detergent and bleach on overhead shelves.

4. Ignoring the Dryer Vent Pipe

Lint gradually accumulates inside the dryer vent pipe. This slows down the drying process, decreasing the appliance’s efficiency. Lint buildup obstructs airflow. This creates heat buildup and increases the risk of a dryer fire. Arrange for a professional dryer vent cleaning at least once a year.

Avoid Dryer Use Mistakes for Improved Home Safety

As we head towards the latter end of summer, be sure to call Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning for home maintenance. This includes air duct cleaning and furnace cleaning as well. Avoiding common dryer mistakes minimizes damaging an expensive appliance.

Residential Dryer Vent Cleaning

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King County,
& South Snohomish County

Summer Furnace Maintenance: How to “Store” Your Furnace While It’s Not in Use

summer furnace maintenance, furnace maintenance

With summer in full swing, your furnace is probably the last thing on your mind. This is exactly the season to maintain the unit to ensure that it is ready by late fall and early winter. Follow these summer furnace maintenance tips so your furnace remains efficient when you need it most.

1. Turn Off the Pilot Light

Most modern furnaces activate the burners via electronic ignition. However, if you have an older system, then it may use a pilot light. Leaving the pilot light on adds unnecessary heat to the home, and it stresses the furnace. Follow the furnace’s operator manual to find out how to switch off the pilot light.

Along with the pilot light, we also suggest shutting off the gas supply to the furnace for the summer. This maintenance technique prevents gas buildup inside the unit.

2. Clean the Furnace

Dust and debris can accumulate inside the furnace even when it’s shut off. This impedes airflow, forcing the unit to work harder when you resume use in the fall or winter. In addition, a heavy layer of dust also creates a fire hazard. We suggest scheduling a furnace cleaning during this time.

3. Replace the Air Filter

The air filter can still collect dust even when the furnace is not in use. A dirty air filter leads to dirtier indoor air. Mold may also grow inside the furnace during the summer, polluting the air further. To check the air filter, hold it up to the light. If light can’t pass through, then you need to replace it. Replace it now instead of waiting until fall.

Schedule Summer Furnace Maintenance this Season

Take care of your furnace now while the unit is dormant. Call Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning to schedule servicing in conjunction with an air duct and dryer vent cleaning. Summer furnace maintenance ensures that you have ample heat when fall comes around.

Summer Furnace Cleaning and Maintenance

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King County
and South Snohomish County

Why Summer Air Duct Cleaning Is Important

summer duct cleaning

It’s no surprise that we receive more calls and book more appointments during the summer. This is the season of peak HVAC use for combatting summer’s heat. This is the reason to schedule a summer air duct cleaning

The Importance of Summer Air Duct Cleaning

HVAC use often declines in households after winter and picks up again in summer. That is a whole season for dust and other particulates to accumulate in the air duct. This dust includes a lot of allergen particles like pollen, which is circulated into the home when you switch on the AC.

Even just a thin layer of dust is enough to impede airflow and force the HVAC to work harder. Aside from increasing power consumption, this also causes premature HVAC wear, such as a motor or compressor burnout.

How Dirty Is an Uncleaned Air Duct?

The dirtiness depends on the last time you scheduled an air duct cleaning, if ever. Americans spend about 60% to 90% of their time indoors, according to the American Lung Association. That means you’re breathing the air with its recirculating particles. 

How does this affect your health? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be up to 70% more polluted than outdoor air. Furthermore, a report from the American College of Allergists state that roughly 50% of all illnesses are related to indoor air.

We suggest a cleaning if more than two years has elapsed since the last cleaning. You can see how dirty the duct is by opening a vent and snapping a picture. A black colored interior means a cleaning is in order.

Clean Your Home This Summer

When we say clean your home, we mean a functional cleaning that improves occupant health and safety. Call Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning and schedule an air duct, dryer vent, and furnace cleaning. Summer air duct cleaning is especially important for eliminating allergens.

Air Duct Checkup and Cleaning 

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King Countyand South Snohomish County

What to Do if Your Dryer Catches Fire?

dryer fire

An appliance fire is a dangerous scenario, one to which you must respond quickly. What do you do if your clothes dryer catches fire? Should you try to put it out? How would you do that? Find out what to do should the dryer erupt in flames.

The Dryer Catches Fire: What Do I Do?

First, let’s talk about what NOT to do. While your natural inclination might be to open the dryer door, please DON’T. If a fire has started or you see smoke, the handle may be hot; so it could burn your hand. Opening the door could also send smoke rushing to your face. Smoke carries residue from the burning plastic inside the dryer and contains toxic fumes. 

If you only see smoke but no fire, unplug the appliance. Cautiously open the door using a towel and keep as much distance between the opening and yourself. If a fire has started, use a dry chemical fire extinguisher, which we recommend you keep in the laundry room. We also recommend having a fire blanket nearby, which you can use to smother fires.

When to Evacuate

If the fire has engulfed the entire appliance, then alert other home occupants and flee the home immediately. Once everyone is safely outside, call 911. Resist the urge to grab any valuable possessions. Your bodily safety comes first. Call 911 even if you manage to put out the fire. Some smoldering may still be going on inside the dryer and can cause the fire to return abruptly.

Prevent Dryer Vent Fires

To reduce the risk of dryer vent fires, schedule a dryer vent cleaning every year. Most of our clients do this as part of a more inclusive cleaning effort that also involves air duct cleaning and furnace cleaning. Call Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning for maintenance. This drastically reduces the chances of the dryer catching fire.

Dryer Vent Cleaning and Maintenance

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King Countyand South Snohomish County

Why the Dryer Vent Length Matters

dryer vent length

People often ask us how often they should clean the dryer vent. We can’t provide a uniform answer because the answer depends on multiple variables. One factor is the dryer vent length. This affects cleaning interval more than homeowners might realize.

How Long Is Your Dryer Vent?

Some people think the longer the dryer vent the more frequently it requires cleaning. After all, a lengthier vent means more surface area to clean, right? Actually, the opposite is true. The shorter the vent, and the less wide it is, the more often it requires cleaning. A shorter and narrower vent is more prone to clogging. It also undergoes more pressure as dryer pushes lint out. 

Generally, we recommend a dryer vent cleaning once a year. With shorter vents, aim for two to three cleanings annually. Regardless of length, schedule a cleaning if you notice that clothes are taking longer than normal to dry. This is a sign of impeded airflow. 

An initial inspection will determine whether you have a short vent in relation to the frequency of usage.

Dryer Vent Length Requirements

The dryer vent needs to fall within a certain length as outlined by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). The exhaust duct cannot exceed 25-feet and should be as straight as possible. For every 90-degree turn in the vent, reduce the total length by five-feet. This does not include the length of the transition duct. InterNACHI does not establish a minimum length requirement.

We Make Dryer Vents Lint-Free

Too much lint in the dryer vent is a fire hazard. We recommend at the minimum an annual cleaning, along with an air duct and furnace cleaning. Begin the process by contacting Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning. The dryer vent length will partially determine cleaning intervals.

Dryer Vent Lint Removal

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King Countyand South Snohomish County

Best Indoor Plants for Air Purification

plant air purification

A clean air duct is one of the keys to clean indoor air. However, homeowners can further rid the home of allergens by adding indoor plants. Here are some of the best indoor plants for air purification and why they work as natural air improvers.

How Do Plants Purify Air?

Leaf surfaces contains pores that absorb gasses. This is part of the natural photosynthesis process. Researchers have long known plants absorb carbon dioxide. However, recent studies suggest they can absorb other gasses harmful to people. This includes many verified volatile organic compounds, such as benzene and formaldehyde. This process is known as phytoremediation, and more homeowners are exploring it as a means to natural air purification.

Best Plants for Indoor Air Purification

Let’s explore the top plants that double as air purifiers and exuberant décor. 

  • Garden Mum: NASA highly recommended this plant as an air-purifying powerhouse. It’s also inexpensive and readily available at your local garden store. Garden mums remove indoor pollutants, such as benzene, ammonia, and xylene.
  • Dracaena: With over 40 varieties, you’ll find one that is agreeable with your home or office. The dracaena plant helps eliminate pollutants such as formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. 
  • Peace Lily: The peace lily has powerful purification abilities despite its relatively small size. While it removes harmful pollutants, it does emit pollen. You may want to avoid this one if you have allergies.
  • Aloe Vera: This plant is renowned for its aloe, a natural gel-like substance with various medicinal properties. While mostly an outdoor plant, you can bring it inside for use as a purifier. 

We Restore Air Quality

For complete safe and breathable indoor air, contact Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning. Components like the dryer vent and furnace all release contaminants if not cleaned. Plants that purify air keep the home’s interior clean but should not be a homeowner’s only resource.

Indoor Air Improvement

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King Countyand South Snohomish County

Why Dirty Air Ducts Are Bad for Your Heath

dirty air ducts, air duct cleaning

Having a dirty air duct means that more dust, pollen, and other impure particles will be in the air you breathe. This certainly does your health no favors. How exactly does a dirty air duct affect your health? What kinds of illness can arise?

What’s in the Air Inside the Home?

First, let’s examine common indoor contaminants and their sources. Pollutants, after all, don’t just enter the house from the outdoors. 

  • Pet dander
  • Volatile organic compounds from paint
  • Carbon monoxide and byproducts from gas stoves
  • Phthalate emissions from electronic plastic casings
  • Mercury fumes from broken compact fluorescent bulbs 

These can collect inside an air vent and later blow into the rooms when the AC or furnace comes on.

Common Illnesses from Dirty Air Vents

The most common illness is an allergic reaction. This includes all the mainstay symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, and respiratory-related problems. Sinus infections are also common. Particles in indoor air will come into contact with your nasal passage. This can cause inflamed sinuses from contact with even benign air particles. 

That’s not all; for those with sensitive skin, exposure to pollutants can cause rashes, hives, and eczema.

Prevention

Spring is not far off. This means the arrival of spring allergies. We suggest you make a head start on your spring cleaning by scheduling an air duct cleaning. This eliminates years of accumulated debris in your residential ductways. We also suggest investing in a dehumidifier. This prevents the spread of mold inside the ducts and in the air. Breathing mold-infested air is especially detrimental if you have a sensitive respiratory system.

Don’t Let Dirty Air Ducts Affect Your Health

End winter with an air duct cleaning from Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning. We also suggest a dryer vent cleaning in the process as a safety measure. Dirty air ducts affect your health more than you realize; don’t ignore this part of home maintenance.

Residential and Commercial Air Duct Cleaning 

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, King Countyand South Snohomish County