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Allergens

Allergens

Posts Tagged ‘Allergens'

 

How to get rid of dust

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

 

Every home carries dust, but how much dust lives in your home depends on a number of factors, such as the climate you live in, if you have pets, smoke cigarettes, or even cook certain types of foods. In addition to being a sight for sore eyes and often a trigger for allergy sufferers, dust can contain toxic chemicals.

Living in Arizona, we're no strangers to dust and it's not just something that affects air quality during monsoon. During winter in the Phoenix metro area, a layer of cooler air becomes trapped by a layer of warmer air just above it, forming what's called an inversion. An inversion traps pollutants from all kinds of sources and this increases the chances of carbon monoxide. That is why it's necessary to take care of the system that circulates the air in your house on a regular basis to prevent these toxins from getting into your home.

Here's our list of effectively and safely:

  • Fit your air conditioning system with high quality filters and change them frequently to make sure they're doing their job. At John's Refrigeration our air cleaner installation experts can work with you to make sure that the air quality in your home is safe. We also take care to ensure the new filter in your home doesn't impede the balance of air pressure in your home or reduce the efficiency of your system.
  • Caulk cracks and crevices to prevent dust from getting into those hard to reach areas.
  • Vacuum frequently, using one with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. If you are prone to allergies or suffer from asthma, you may want to consider investing in a vacuum that has high suction and high dust removal capability. Make sure to clean out and replace the filter regularly.
  • Clean with microfiber cloths; their smaller fibers cling to the dust particles. Avoid synthetic sprayers and wipes, as they only add unwanted chemicals to the air.
  • Mop uncarpeted floors regularly with water and the manufacturer's recommended cleaning products.

If your home has an excessive amount of dust and you're worried about the toxins your family is breathing in, call John's today to schedule a peak performance home evaluation. We will be able to look at not only your air conditioning and heating system, but also the way you live in your home and then offer recommendations to keep the air in your home dust free and clean.

What's That Brown Cloud on the Horizon? How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

 

Living in the desert, Arizona homes can experience higher levels of dust and other contaminants than homes in other climates. As a result, it's important to consider your home's indoor air quality and learn what you can do to ensure a healthy environment for your family.

Those who suffer from allergies can be especially susceptible to issues from poor air quality in the home. Other signs your home may have poor indoor air quality include:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea

Many symptoms resulting from issues with indoor air quality appear similar to the flu and often go undiagnosed.

To help improve your indoor air quality, start by contacting John's Refrigeration to learn about our air quality services. There are a number of simple steps to take to help insure healthier indoor air quality:

  • Check the duct system: Air contaminants like dust, pollen, and other environmental toxins can get into your home and circulate through dirty, leaky ducts. Getting ducts cleaned, checked for leaks, and repaired is a valuable first step for protecting the air you breathe.
  • Install an air filter: After checking and sealing the duct system, John's can install our Fresh Air Filter System that will help continue to keep the home ventilated with clean air. Air filters catch pollutants before they enter the indoor air.
  • Beware of carbon monoxide: Carbon Monoxide is an odorless but poisonous gas that can come from your heater, furnace, fireplace, or other gas appliances and tools. Undetected, it can cause a number of health issues and can be fatal. When we conduct a heating repair service, we check for things like cracks in the heater, where carbon monoxide can leak.
  • Add a humidifier: Our dry climate leaves the indoor air lacking moisture, causing skin issues, potential respiratory problems, and increased dust. Adding a humidifier to the system can help alleviate these issues and allow homeowners to manage the humidity levels in the home.

To schedule an inspection to check on the quality of your indoor air, contact John's Refrigeration at (480) 718-1172.

Preventing Illness at Home During Flu Season

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Whole Home Air Purifiers: They Help You Breathe Easier

It's that time of year. Kids are bringing home nasty germs and inevitably, everyone in the house will take their turn at being sick. Obviously washing your hands and cleaning surfaces with disinfectant will help. But what if you could have a whole home solution? One that worked for you all year around? One that would strip the germs right out of the air so that you don't have to worry?Well we have the solution for you. Our whole home air purifier. (more…)

Air Ducts

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Our homes breathe, believe it or not. And our HVAC systems help control that process. How do air ducts figure into this equation, though?

Dirty air ducts cause the HVAC equipment to work harder and less efficiently. Having your ductwork inspected can mean you'll have improvement in air quality and less dust inside your home. Clean air ducts help the entire HVAC system worked more efficiently. A full cleaning of the air ducts in your home can yield long-term energy savings, but hiring certified professionals to do the job is vital. In fact, a poor cleaning job is worse than no cleaning at all, as it can kick up harmful particles or even break portions of the HVAC system.

Air duct cleaning should involve a thorough cleaning of the air handler, registers, grilles, fans, motors, housings, and coils of the HVAC system, not just the ductwork. John's NATE Certified technicians will also perform an inspection of the ductwork and let you know if there are any problems that need to be addressed.

If you're not sure if you need to have your air ducts cleaned or inspected, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you renovated your home in the past few years? Ducts should be sealed off during remodeling projects, so if they weren't, dust and debris may have become lodged inside the ductwork. Or the air ducts could have been moved, causing them to leak airflow.
  • Could there be animals in your air ducts? There may be evidence of animal infestation or nesting in your air ducts or HVAC system, which can greatly affect the air quality in your home. Whether those animals are living in your ductwork or have died, they don't belong there.
  • Do you see mold on your vents? If there is visible mold growth on your vents or inside the ductwork, the air quality in your home has been compromised and is likely affecting the respiratory health of everyone who breathes the air in your home.
  • Have you noticed pet hair, odors, or dust being released into the room through the vents? Once again, these are signs that your air ducts need to be inspected and possibly cleaned.
  • Does anyone in your family suffer from allergy or other respiratory-related illnesses? If so, you may want to consider having your air ducts cleaned to see if the HVAC system is the reason.

People often report using their air conditioner less in the summer after having their air ducts cleaned because of the improved airflow. That means less money paid to the utility company and more money in your wallet. Plus, your family will be more comfortable and breathe easier. Just Call John's to see how we can help you with air duct inspections and cleaning.

Mold vs. Dust Allergies in Phoenix

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

When was the last time you sneezed or had a sinus headache? If you're in Phoenix, you may be suffering from mold or dust allergies. Desert air is dry most of the year and when it's more humid, like during monsoon, it is the perfect environment for mold to grow.

Dust Allergies in Phoenix

Have you been outside or driving in a dust storm? You can feel the grit on your teeth and in your hair. That's dust and if you're sneezing, you may have a dust allergy; one of the most common allergies. Even if you're not in a dust storm, you may notice your throat is scratchy on windy days or you're sneezing at certain times of the year. It's probably when there are higher counts of pollutants, including dust, in the air.

Stop Dust in Your Home

To prevent dust from entering your home, we recommend removing shoes at the door. If you work outdoors or in a dusty environment, we also recommend taking your clothes off and washing them as soon as you get home. This will keep dust, pollen, and other contaminants from entering the air of your home.

Mold Allergies in Phoenix

When you think of Phoenix, mold allergies may not be top of mind, but it's a common allergy. Mold grows in dark, humid environments indoors and outdoors. Most commonly found indoors in bathrooms or basements, mold sheds tiny spores and it's these spores that trigger allergic reactions.

Mold allergy symptoms include coughing, wheezing, rash, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and redness of the eyes. While allergy medications can help fight these symptoms, getting rid of the source – the mold – is key to feeling better. Controlling the humidity in the home using a whole home humidifier will also prevent mold and mildew from growing.

If you're concerned or curious about the indoor air quality of your home, Just Call John's at 480-718-1172 to schedule an appointment.

Improving Indoor Air Quality with a New Unit

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

There comes a time in the life of your HVAC unit that we have to recommend a new one. Don't worry. We won't surprise you. We will do everything we can with your existing unit in terms of maintenance and repair to keep it running efficiently as long as we can. The reality is that it's a machine and machines wear out.

There is a good news. A new unit will improve indoor air quality.

  • New SEER ratings requirements effective January 1, 2015 make units more energy efficient than ever before. In addition to saving you money, the unit will also improve indoor air quality.
  • When you #JustCallJohns, you can expect that we will not only install the actual unit, but will also inspect and repair (if needed) the entire duct system of your home. It is estimated that as much as 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost to leaks and improper installation. We want to prevent leaks that cause pollen, dust, and other contaminants to enter your home.
  • Consider adding a humidifier to your air conditioning system to keep your home comfortable and your family healthy. When indoor air is too dry, it causes our mucous membranes to dry out and causes us to be unable to fight bacteria and viruses effectively. Very dry air can also exacerbate allergic reactions and chronic respiratory disorders like asthma.
  • Keeping a home sealed tightly can actually cause more problems than letting in some fresh air. The team at John's Refrigeration will balance the air in your home to include some fresh air. They may also recommend a purification or air filtration system, especially if you're prone to allergies and asthma. These systems will filter and prevent dust, pollen, and various allergens from getting and staying in your home.

A new unit is an investment in the health of you and your family that will not only keep you comfortable, but will improve indoor air quality. Contact us today to learn more.

 

Wind and your HVAC System

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Monsoon is not the only time the wind blows here in the Valley of the Sun. Sometimes the wind kicks up and dust devils toss not only dirt and debris, but other pollutants, into the air. Where there are strong winds, there is blowing dust when you live in the desert. The dust creates a thick haze, affecting visibility while driving. Not only do high winds and dust make it difficult to drive, but they also make it difficult to breathe if you have respiratory issues like asthma or allergies.

Here are a few tips to help you get through these windy days and still be comfortable:

  • Since a home's a/c unit filters the outside air, dust storms can strain it, making your system work harder and less efficiently. Learn more about how winds and monsoon affect your home's ability to keep pollutants out of your home by reading “Monsoon”.
  • Because the EPA ranks indoor air pollution as the fourth largest environmental threat to our country, it's imperative to keep the air we breathe while inside our homes as fresh as possible. An efficient HVAC unit can provide that. Read more about how to prevent dirt and dust from invading your home at “Indoor Air Quality.”
  • Pollen is the most difficult allergen to avoid and it's almost impossible to do so when the wind starts blowing. Learn how, with proper air balancing, duct sealing, and using the correct filter, you can prevent pollen and other allergens from getting in your house at “Pollen and your HVAC system.
  • Pollutants increase the chance of upper respiratory infections and cause adults to miss work, children to miss school, and often require multiple visits to doctors' offices and sometimes even the emergency room. “Asthma, Allergies, & Indoor Air Quality” discusses this topic in more detail.
  • Your heating and air conditioning system can either be contributing to asthma symptoms or causing asthma attacks by harboring and spreading pollen and other allergens. “HVAC and Asthma” mentions how a properly functioning HVAC system can help reduce indoor allergens in part by maintaining a consistent indoor environment free from external, airborne irritants.
  • Air filters are vital at keeping pollutants from infiltrating your home. Wind picks up dust and that dust makes it into your home if you have a dirty air filter. Read what else a clean air filter can do for your family's health in our upcoming article, “The Importance of Changing Your Filter Regularly”.
  • Cleaning the air in your home so that your family is able to breathe easier is a priority at John's. We install home air cleaners that will help you breathe easier and we talk about them in “What is a Home Air Cleaner.”
  • Whole-home air filtration systems make the air in your home as clean as possible by removing annoying particulates and allowing you to breathe cleaner, healthier air. Not only will your health improve with this system, but a significant energy savings can also be realized. To answer the question, “Do You Need A Home Air Filtration System?” read our blog.

John's Refrigeration Heating and Cooling takes the way you breathe while inside your home seriously. If spring winds, monsoon, dust, pollen, and other irritating pollutants are interfering with your health, just call John's.

Why is it important to regularly change air filters for home?

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

All of the air that flows from your HVAC unit into the living spaces of your home must pass through an air filter before it gets to the air conditioning or heating unit. If the filter is clogged with contaminants, the air will filter through those pollutants as well. Air filters for home don't just help improve the air quality inside your home, however; they also protect your heating and cooling system from being damaged. The Environmental Protection Agency cites changing your home's air filter as the most important maintenance task that you can do to optimize your HVAC system's energy efficiency.

By changing the air filter in your home, you're not just allowing the unit to breathe easier; you are also doing the same for your family.

 

There are a host of health problems that can occur as a result of airborne contaminants inside your home. Change your air filters on a regular basis to keep your home comfortable and to avoid the many respiratory difficulties, allergies, and illnesses that can occur because of the circulation of bad air in your home.

Most air filters trap contaminants including dust mites, tobacco, bacteria, dust, pet dander, pollen particles, and particles that carry viruses, which can help keep your family healthier, too. The amount of contaminants captured by the air filter increases over time and it will eventually become so dirty that it will restrict airflow. The HVAC system is then forced to work harder to move the amount of air necessary to maintain the desired temperature in your home. The amount of additional energy your unit has to draw under these conditions is significant and often results in higher utility bills.

Buying the correct size filter is also important; you want the air to move through the filter, not around it. Please read our article on what type(s) of filters to use. Change the air filter on a regular basis in order to keep your unit working as efficiently as possible. Air filters should be replaced (or at least checked) every month, especially in the winter and summer when your system is used the most.

In order to get the most efficient use of your system, change your air filters regularly in order to enjoy the coolness of your home when temperatures reach 110°. It's the easiest, yet most important way to keep your HVAC unit running efficiently and keep it running when you need it.

 

Common Allergy Triggers in Arizona

Friday, February 28th, 2014

If you have a green lawn in Arizona, you have a lawn that was imported from outside our desert environment. Adding plants like this to the desert air has created a variety of allergic reactions, sometimes called Arizona Nose. If you're feeling pain between your eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, and congestion, you might be having an allergic reaction to the desert in bloom.

This year, allergies are in high gear early due in part to the warmer winter. Plants are blooming sooner than normal; they think it is springtime already. Our friend's orange tree is quite confused. There's fruit ready to be picked and orange blossoms ready to bloom all at the same time. Orange blossoms are a common allergy trigger; they smell delicious, but cause a lot of us to sneeze.

 

Other common allergy triggers in Arizona include:

  • Palo Verde Trees – found near desert washes and other flats; the trunk is grayish green and shiny. Thorns often appear at the base of leaves.
  • Red Fescue and other desert grasses commonly used in pastures and in desert landscape.
  • Date palms are the shorter, stockier palm trees. The male plants produce pollen, which is an allergy trigger.
  • Orange, peach, and other fruit tree blossoms produce pollen, which attracts bees and keeps the desert looking pretty, even if they do make us sneeze.

There are a variety of other triggers. While some of these plants and trees are native to Arizona, there are many that we have brought here, creating a high potential for allergies for many of us. Visit our blog post 5 Natural Remedies to learn ways to treat allergies without taking over the counter medication.

To learn more about the products and services offered by John's Refrigeration to help with your allergy symptoms, call us today!

Benefits of Air Duct Sealing

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Air duct sealing is a great way to keep dust and allergens out of your ducts, which ultimately protects your entire home. The video below features Andrew John of John's Refrigeration offering expert explanation of the benefits of air duct sealing in comparison to duct cleaning. John's Refrigeration offers both services and wants to ensure you are informed about why we recommend certain services over others based on the unique circumstances for each home owner.

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