What does the dust in your home mean for your health?

You vacuum it, sweep it and wipe it off your furniture. But do you know what it actually is – and how it may affect your health?

Don’t feel bad if you’re clueless about your dust. Scientists are not that far ahead of you in terms of understanding the sources and health risks of indoor air and particles.

That’s an issue, because people spend a lot of time indoors. Indeed, the average American stays within four walls for almost 90% of their day. So knowing more about how your indoor environment affects your health is vital.

To better quantify environmental influences on health, researchers have begun using an “exposome” approach, which considers every last environmental exposure an individual experiences over a lifetime. Your own exposome includes everything from secondhand smoke when you were a baby to lead exposure in your childhood to particulate matter if you grew up near a major roadway or industrial facility. 

CLICK HERE to read more from this article by Gabriel Filippelli on Apple News

Cleaning Air Conditioners

Mother and daughter enjoying air conditioning, cleaning air conditioners

It’s summertime. And if it isn’t that hot yet, it will be really soon. If hot weather isn’t in the forecast right now, give it time… it will warm up.

When hot weather strikes, most people work hard to be comfortable, and that means turning down the air in the home, using their trusty air conditioning system. For some, that means 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For others, 70. Others… like it even colder. It’s all about personal preference.

But when your air conditioner doesn’t perform adequately, or even worse, stops completely, panic strikes as the heat and humidity increases.

How can you avoid a sluggish or broken air conditioner? A few preventative maintenance steps can help tremendously. What do you know about cleaning air conditioners?

Keep it simple — and clean!

Any part of your air conditioning unit, whether it is a portable window variety, mini-split, or central air, it’s important to keep all working parts, filters, everything clean of dust and debris.

Cleaning air conditioners mostly means regular inspections, perhaps twice a month, and taking steps to clean dirty areas. If your air conditioner is portable and has a water collection tank, empty it regularly.

What comes in handy for removing dust and debris, especially from filters you can’t remove and aren’t washable, is a can of compressed air, such as you might use for your computer. But remember that when you blow dust off one surface, it will land on another.

And, if you aren’t sure about filter location or any aspect of your AC unit, ask a professional and take notes so you can refer to them in the future.

Call the pros for cleaning air conditioners

As with any electronic and complex piece of equipment, there are limits to what you can do yourself. Consider calling a professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company come in annually and perform an inspection. These are usually very inexpensive and, if you ever need repair service, they will respond faster if you are a regular customer (usually).

Once in a while, an air conditioning unit malfunctions or spills over, making a big mess. If that ever happens, it’s time to call your favorite cleaning company to take care of the issue. After all, it pays to call a pro!

Breathe Easy with Better Indoor Air Quality

protecting kids and adults from allergies through improved indoor air quality

Can you tell what the indoor air quality is like? In the Tri-Valley, allergies are running really high. Do you want to spread that into your home.

As you start reading this, do a quick exercise. Breathe in, really deep… go ahead, fill your lungs. Feels good, right?

Taking a deep breath of air, especially outdoors after a thunderstorm or when the air is crisp and clean, smells and feels good. It’s refreshing.

But taking a deep breath of air inside, such as in a home or commercial building, can be a different matter altogether. Indoor air quality in building can differ dramatically.

The air you breathe, you innocently assume, is clean and healthy. That may not always be the case, as reports of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) prove that not every indoor environment can be considered healthy.

When indoor air quality is poor, there can be issues for many people. Especially those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses, among others. The list can be quite extensive.

Poor indoor air quality doesn’t just mean “stuffy” air, like can build up in a home that doesn’t have sufficient air exchanges. Although that can contribute to poor health, what really causes health concerns is excessive dust, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other pollutants. While these pollutants are often indoors, they can also be outdoors, and you must recognize the effect they have on your health. You may decide to stay indoors after a poor outdoor air quality report on the news.

What you can control, though, at least to some degree, is the indoor air quality in your home.

What can you do? It’s simple. Keep things clean. Change your furnace and air conditioning filter on a regular basis, according to the manufacturer. Use a quality vacuum for your carpet and furniture and use it weekly, and more often if you have a busy household. Those hard floors? They need cleaned as well, as dust can easily build up and become airborne from those surfaces. When you dust surfaces, use a soft cloth that will hold the dust instead of pushing it off onto the floor.

And, of course, have your carpet and furniture cleaned based on the recommendation of your favorite cleaning company. In fact, isn’t it time you had your carpet and furniture cleaned… right now? For a healthier, cleaner home free of allergies, have your flooring and furniture regularly cleaned by a professional.

3 Best Ways to Kick Off Spring Cleaning Tasks

spring cleaning tasks, carpet cleaning, stain remove, allergy relief

As winter rolls into spring, you may want to concentrate on fixing, organizing, and cleaning what’s outside — after all, most say that working in the sun is better than working under a light bulb — but there are some tasks inside that just shouldn’t be ignored as part of the annual ritual we call spring cleaning.

Here are a few that will help your indoor air quality the minute you handle them through the course of your spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Tasks Worth Doing

Dusty Decisions

A cold, hard winter means the house has been closed up and not aired out. The natural tendency is to think there is no dust coming in. That’s not true. Spring cleaning is a good time to thoroughly dust your entire home, picking up small items off table and desktops, cleaning off the tops of window frames, and don’t forget the baseboards.

Dust the entire home. Be sure to use rags or towels that will collect the dust, instead of spreading it around or pushing it off surfaces onto the floor, where you will just walk on it and kick it around.

All this work means you will be rewarded with less exposure to indoor airborne allergens.

Ducts and Vents

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system works hard to keep you comfortable, and while it does that, the ductwork gets dusty and dirty. You don’t see it, so the tendency is you don’t worry about it.

Take off a vent or two and inspect. Get out the flashlight. Take a white towel and push it into the ductwork. Does it come out brown? While you can clean the vents, it’s virtually impossible to clean the ductwork yourself. You need to call a professional for the duct cleaning work.

Vacuum and Sweep

This is a good time to get out your vacuum, inspect it thoroughly and clean it up, and start vacuuming everything. Every square inch of carpet you can get to and move as much furniture as you can. You would be amazed how much dust can build up under furniture over the winter.

Besides vacuuming the carpet, get a vacuum tool that can handle the hard floors as well. If you use a regular broom, you may stir up the dust and put it up in your breathing space. If you must sweep, find a tool that doesn’t “whisk” the dust up.

A Real Clean

When you realize the job is tough and need a professional cleaning company for your spring cleaning needs, look towards an experienced, knowledgeable crew. It ensures your house is not only clean but healthy especially with all the spring allergens.

The Dreaded Litter Box

Cute tabby cat using a red, closed litter box.

It’s part of the home that you try to hide. It’s one that you hope no one stumbles across and, of course, hope no one sniffs and notices it is there.

If you have cats, you know exactly what we are talking about. If you have cats, you either train them to go outside (unlikely) or use the toilet (as seen on YouTube) — but most resort to the standard litter box for their feline friends to do their “business.”

As much as you would like anyone else but you to take care of cleaning and maintaining the litter box, if you are the owner of the cat, it’s probably your job to do.

Here are some simple tips to do it faster — and better — and keep things a little more sanitary as well.

Keep it contained

One thing most hate is when the cat (or cats) leave the litter box and bring those tiny litter particles with them, tracking them all over the home.

Placing a cat litter mat under the cat box and some type of carpet remnant where the cats step out on helps reduce the amount of litter tracked through the home.

Protect yourself

Litter boxes are festering tubs of bacteria and other contaminants that need to stay right there in the box. But a cleaning must happen, usually every day, to keep the clumps from taking over and becoming difficult to scoop.

Wear a proper pair of gloves, and even a dust mask, to keep yourself healthy and safe when doing the scoopin’.

Fresh is best

Besides daily scooping, adding some litter every few days is smart. When the litter gets low, add a little more to keep the litter box sufficiently full so your cats can easily cover over their “deposits”. You don’t want to give them any excuse to skip the litter box for a more convenient area to use, if you know what we mean. And each month, empty and completely wash the pan, and add fresh litter.

The inevitable

One thing that cats may do from time to time is “miss” the litter box, creating nasty odors, especially in carpet. That’s when you need some real help, from your favorite cleaning service. Do the right thing. Give them a call today. After all, it pays to call a pro!

Carpet Traps Allergens