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Allergies

Allergies

Posts Tagged ‘allergies'

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.

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.

Air Filtration for Good Health

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

If you suffer from respiratory problems like asthma and allergies, an air filtration system might be what you need to improve your family's health. Air filtration is often overlooked by many homeowners. But it is a simple solution to many issues found within the home.

A home's HVAC system needs to have unrestricted air flow in order to work properly and efficiently. An air filtration system that is clogged with dust from your home is not filtering out the harmful pollutants found in just about every home. Since your a/c unit needs to breathe well in order to keep you and your family breathing well, it's best to take the simple actions needed to make sure you are comfortable in your home.

Remember to replace your air filter every month. Replacing the air filter allows your HVAC unit to run correctly. Clogged filters can lead to an overworked system that requires replacing sooner than necessary. A new unit can mean an expense that most homeowners simply cannot afford. If you have an electrostatic air filter, clean it once a month to optimize airflow. Electrostatic air filters don't need to be replaced – just cleaned regularly – which saves you money, too.

Additionally, your home might be a great candidate for the installation of a whole-home air filtration system. A whole-home air filtration system cleans the air in your home by removing the particulates that often cause respiratory distress. When the air in your home is cleaner, you can breathe cleaner, healthier air. Some of the particulate matter that can be found in your home includes dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobacco smoke, particles generated from combustion appliances such as ovens, and particles associated with tiny organisms like dust mites and bacteria.

If you would like to have your home checked to see how you can improve the air your family breathes every day, Just Call John's.

Plants That Trigger Allergies (and how a whole home air filter can help)

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Are you experiencing sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion, a runny nose, or itchy, watery eyes? You might be experiencing allergies associated with the plants, flowers, grasses, trees, and weeds that are currently in bloom. While we need rain in the desert, it is making for a terrible allergy season. What can you do at your home to prevent triggering allergies? You can start by avoiding plants that trigger allergies.

What are allergies?

When you have an allergy, you have a heightened sensitivity to an allergen – a foreign substance. Common allergies include dust, pollen, and pet dander. Your body overreacts when it encounters allergens, causing the immune system to go into overdrive. When this happens, you experience runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and other symptoms.

Arizona Plants that Trigger Allergies

Arizona, especially the Phoenix area, is a place where native and non-native plants that trigger allergies exist together. If you can avoid some of these, you will experience fewer allergy symptoms. Native plants include a species of ambrosia called triangle lead bursage, mesquite, and Palo Verde. Non-native olive, white mulberry, Russian thistle, and common grasses including Bermuda, fescue, and perennial rye all trigger allergies.

Tips for Dealing with Allergies

Being uncomfortable during allergy season is bad enough, but if allergens in your home are causing you to sneeze, have itchy eyes, or experience other symptoms, it's time to make a change.

  • Keep the house at a normal level of humidity to keep allergens like dust mites from reproducing.
  • Close windows and doors during high pollen days.
  • Obey the no-burn days.
  • Avoid down comforters and pillows.
  • Replace carpeting with tile or laminate flooring.
  • Take shoes off at the door so you're not tracking dust, dirt, and other contaminants into the home.
  • Keep pets off your bed or out of bedrooms.
  • Regularly bathe pets to cut back on allergy inducing dander.

At John's Refrigeration, we often recommend installing a whole home air filter that will decrease the dust, pollen, and other contaminants in the home. Kitchen and pet odors will be nearly non-existent and the air in your will be clean and allergen free. Just Call John's today to learn more.

Ways to Raise Awareness about Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

May is the height of allergy season, making it the perfect time for Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America promotes the education and increased awareness of allergies and asthma across the nation. Their mission is to help communities understand the impact of environmental and food allergies to their citizens.

While John's Refrigeration isn't an expert on food allergies, we know a few things about creating a healthy environment in the home. Dust, pollen, dirt, and other contaminants can make it a struggle for many people to be outside. We make it our mission to help our customers breathe easy in their homes.

Did you know….the air in your home can be dirtier than the air outside?

It's true. Your home can actually suffer symptoms of difficulty breathing, a sort of asthma attack inside the home. This occurs when the ducts are not sealed properly and/or when you're not using a properly sized air filter. These conditions cause the system to work harder – breathe heavier. You see the effect of this extra effort in the form of higher utility bills.

What can you do to treat the asthma of your home?

The simple answer is to Just Call John's. Our team of certified technicians will come to your home, assess the current system, make recommendations for repairs and upgrades, and get your home breathing easy. We also perform valuable services to make sure your home is breathing easier:

  • Test Indoor Air Quality to understand if there are allergens and contaminants making you or your family feel less than healthy.
  • Perform an Energy Audit to determine where your home is costing you money and energy efficiency.
  • Join the Peak Performance Club, which provides annual maintenance to the entire system of your home. We can catch repairs before they become replacements.

Raise awareness about Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month this May when you Just Call John's to have the air in your home tested. Here's to your health and comfort!

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.

Consider a Humidifier to Help with Allergies

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

How Can Humidifiers Help Your Allergies?

Do you suffer from allergies living in Arizona? You're not alone. The heat and lack of humidity causes dry sinuses and skin, pressure, pain, and bloody noses. Humidifiers can help and here's how:

What's humidity?

It's the amount of moisture in the air. When it rains and the air feels “sticky” or heavy, you're feeling humidity and it's needed to keep sinuses moist and functioning in a healthy way. When the air is too dry, you're more susceptible to getting sick, having bloody noses, and feeling sinus pressure. Using a humidifier, even just one used at night, can help you feel relief from these symptoms.

Types of Humidifiers:

  • Steam vaporizers like the ones you may use when you or your children are sick boil the water into a cold or warm vapor. Vaporizers keep sinuses moist throughout the night to prevent bloody noses and coughing.
  • Impellar humidifiers rotate disks, flinging water into a cool fog.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use frequency vibration to create droplets of cool water.
  • Wick systems use a fabric wick to draw water from the reservoir while a fan blows the vapor into the air. These self-regulate depending on the amount of humidity in the air.
  • Whole Home Humidifiers are built into a home's HVAC unit, keeping humidity at equal levels throughout the home at all times of the day and throughout the year.

In addition to humidifiers, we recommend the following to decrease allergens found in your home:

  • Pollen can aggravate allergies. If you spend a lot of time outside, we recommend taking your clothes off right when you enter the home, rather than tracking pollen, dust, and other contaminants through the house.
  • Take off your shoes at the door. Leaving shoes at the door when you enter means less allergens are brought from the outside and spread throughout your home.
  • Less carpet, more wood and tile flooring. While you might like the soft, warm carpet under your feet, it's one of the worst things to have in your home, especially if you have allergies or asthma, because it holds dirt, dust, pet dander, and other allergens.

Just Call John's at 480-718-1172 to learn how we can help you decrease allergens and increase humidity in your home with humidifiers.

Reduce Indoor Dust and Five More Ways to Make Your Home Healthier

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

For about half the year, Phoenix, Arizona homes are closed to keep the air conditioning inside and the hot air outside. While this keeps us cool, it can also wreak havoc on allergies and asthma. Dust, pollen, and other contaminants can get into our homes through leaks in the duct system and unsealed doors and windows. Reduce indoor dust and you can reduce the allergies and asthma symptoms associated with unclean indoor air.

The team at John's Refrigeration will come to your home and perform a whole home inspection to see where allergens are getting into your home and offer solutions such as a whole home air purifier, air humidifier, and sizing and sealing of the duct system.

Other ways to make your home healthier include:

  1. Carpets. Dust and other particles can get trapped in the carpets of your home, causing allergic and asthmatic reactions. The best option is to get rid of them and replace with tile or hardwood floors, especially in common areas. If you can't do that, have carpets cleaned on a regular basis; every three to six months is ideal.
  2. Pets. If you have pets, you're inviting allergens into your home. Dander, dirt, and dust can be causing breathing and other health problems. Before you decide Fido and Fifi have to be re-homed, try bathing them regularly and installing an air purifying system in your home that will trap dander and other allergens before they can make you sick.
  3. Shoes. Take your shoes off as soon as you enter your home. Ask guests to do the same. This will reduce indoor dust, bacteria, and environmental allergens that enter the home.
  4. Pests. No one wants to talk about unwanted house pests, but they are a reality, especially here in the desert. Wash your sheets and other bedding frequently and vacuum the bed to reduce the number of dust mites. If you see cockroaches, call an exterminator immediately. Cockroaches carry bacteria and disease and move as fast as three miles an hour, spreading germs throughout your home.
  5. Mold. Check under sinks and around windows for leaks that can eventually grow mold. As soon as you find mold, get rid of it, as it can cause a variety of breathing and other health problems.

If you're worried about indoor dust and other allergens in your home, Just Call John's for an inspection of your HVAC system including the unit and the duct system of the entire home. We'll help you reduce indoor dust and keep you healthy!

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.

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