Signs of Dryer Lint Accumulation and What to Do About It

Most people don’t consider their clothes dryer to be anything but an ordinary appliance. However, the reality is that clothes dryers are a source of considerable danger in many homes, as they are responsible for numerous fires in the United States.

In fact, clothes dryers cause around 15 thousand fires per year, and the most common identifiable factor in those fires is dryer lint ignition. Dryer lint is extremely flammable, and it can be easily ignited by the heat of a clothes dryer.

Below are the warning signs of dryer lint accumulation as well as what can be done to minimize the threat through prevention and cleaning.

Warning Signs of a Potential Dryer Lint Fire Hazard

It is crucial for homeowners to understand the warning signs that lint may be building inside their clothes dryers. Ignoring these signs can lead to catastrophe, as a deadly fire may be the end result. Here are four signs that lint is becoming a hazard inside your dryer and will need to be removed before a fire occurs.

Clothing Is Still Wet After Cycle Is Finished

If you notice that clothes are damp when the cycle finishes, then there is a strong possibility of lint accumulation inside the dryer or vent. Lint prevents the moisture from exiting the dryer through the vent and prolongs the time necessary to dry a given item of clothing.

The Lint Screen Has Not Been Regularly Cleaned

While the lint screen doesn’t prevent the need to have a dryer cleaned on a somewhat regular basis, it does capture a significant amount of lint during a cycle. Failing to clean the screen can allow lint to escape into the system and may cause damage or overheating.

If you know the lint screen hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, you can safely assume that lint has infiltrated the vent network in large amounts and will need to be removed.

Dryer Exhaust Is Restricted

                Another warning sign of excessive lint accumulation is airflow restriction at the exhaust vent. While other things can clog dryer vents, such as pests and mechanical damage, there is a high likelihood the decreased exhaust flow is due to lint blockage.

The Dryer’s Cabinet Is Noticeably Warmer

Lint accumulation inside the dryer will interfere with heat leaving the dryer, and the cabinet will become noticeably warmer as a result. As the cabinet becomes hotter, you should recognize the increasing probability of a fire.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Lint-Related Fires

If you own a clothes dryer, the good news is that you can often prevent lint-related fires. Below are a couple of strategies that will help keep your dryer, home and its occupants safer.

Clean the Lint Screen Before Every Use

As mentioned, a dirty lint screen can lead to a possible fire, so cleaning the lint screen is an important part of the clothes drying process. Take a few seconds to remove the screen and pick off any accumulated lint.

If the lint screen develops a rip or hole, immediately look for a replacement screen, as a ripped one can allow lots of lint to pass through into the dryer. Be sure to never run the dryer without its lint screen, as its use is critical to keeping lint levels low.

Have Your Clothes Dryer Professionally Cleaned

While homeowners can and should clean the lint screen prior to every use, a clothes dryer and its related vent system can be tricky to clean. That’s why it’s important to find a reliable company that can deep clean the interior of your dryer. If done correctly, professional cleaning will restore the interior of a dryer to its nearly original condition in many cases.

Proper HVAC Care and Your Allergies

With pollen polluting the air in the Northeast, it’s common to hear those around you complain about their allergy symptoms. However, did you know that your symptoms could be stemming from more than just the outdoors? Your heating and air conditioning filters could be playing a big role in how your allergies are making you feel.

Since we spend so much time indoors, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that dirty filters can make your allergies symptoms worse. Indoor air is actually four to five times more polluted than the air outside. To make things worse, dirty filters and ductwork can hold onto pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and mold, all of which can trigger allergy attacks.

Not only can your HVAC system inside of your home hold onto these allergens, but they can also spread them throughout your entire house. It’s important that you change your filters about once every two months. Aspen Air Duct Cleaning can give you a variety of filter options to best suit your home and allergies.

If you suspect that mold may be growing in your air conditioning system, Aspen Air Duct Cleaning can help with that as well. Our air conditioning service professionals can help to get your vents cleaned or replaced to give your allergy symptoms some relief.

By Mr. Duct

Keep Out Rodents and Pests in Your Home with Duct Sealing

BY AGENCY-IT

A top concern for most homeowners is to keep rodents and pests out of their homes. As much as you may keep your home clean, use pesticides, or set out traps, rodents can still penetrate the property via vents in your HVAC system. A small gap in your vents is an entryway for mice, insects, cockroaches, and other annoying pests. When they enter your home, they get a perfect hiding spot and breeding ground where pesticides will not be able to reach them.

Air duct sealing is an effective way of keeping these annoying rodents and pests out of your home. During the sealing process, air ducts are insulated from the inside, covering up holes, leaks, and other vulnerable areas of your home.

The process of duct sealing

Duct sealing mainly involves identifying gaps, cracks, and other spaces in your vents so they can be sealed. At Aspen Air Duct, our contractors will typically begin by temporarily shutting off your HVAC unit and removing vent covers. They will then carefully inspect the vent and air duct system to identify any gaps and leaks.

Vulnerable areas will be appropriately sealed from the inside to prevent any entryways that pests can use to gain access to the home.

How duct sealing keeps pests out

Your air duct system is a comfortable and convenient channel for rodents and insects to enter the home. They can sneak into gaps that are present in the air ducts and form nests and breeding grounds within these areas. Rodents such as mice also reproduce very quickly, and an infestation can begin within your walls.

Methods such as pesticides and traps have limited potential for eliminating an infestation. Using poison can cause rodents to die in your vents and spread foul odors throughout the home. Air duct sealing controls pest populations by preventing them from accessing your vents from the outside. After air duct sealing, a series of traps can be laid out within the vents to capture any existing rodents that had already penetrated your property.

Additional advantages of duct sealing

In addition to keeping rodents and pests out, air duct sealing benefits are widespread. It ensures comfort in the home through better air circulation, air quality, and efficiency of your HVAC unit.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling?

Are you having trouble choosing the most suitable heating and cooling option for your home? If you own a home, you might have faced this question. When you start to question which system would be most beneficial for your home, then it’s definitely time for a change. Here are a few reasons why you should consider central air conditioning and heating!

Fighting Off Humidity with Proper Cooling

Depending on where you reside, central air cooling is the most efficient way to regulate humidity within your home with expert performance. The central air conditioning system will help eliminate allergens and pollutants, in order to control the humidity that may accumulate inside your home. Humidity introduces a few issues if you are considering a window air conditioning unit. This system tends to create more humidity, due to the moisture it creates. You won’t be the only one sweating!

Even Your Cooling System Deserves a Hug (From Insulation)

Is your home insulated well enough to handle a window air conditioning unit? Believe it or not, this is a very important aspect when deciding which system to implement into your home. During the summer months, a poorly insulated home can cause damage and discomfort. Central air conditioning creates the perfect balance between the temperatures inside and outside of your home. Insulation creates the base for proper cooling processes. Not only is insulation vital inside your walls, but attic as well. If you don’t possess proper insulation, then your unit will cause your attic to heat up drastically. No matter your insulation a central air unit will be most effective.

Cost Effective Way to Maintain Heat

If you are questioning the effectiveness of the current cooling system in your home, then you should be equally worried about heating. You aren’t the only one worrying about this vital aspect of your home. The classical baseboard heater may not be the right solution for you. Unfortunately, this approach may hurt your wallet more than improve your home’s heating. This is due to the amount of energy it utilizes to run throughout your home. With the issue of high cost, follows the inconsistency in temperature levels. Often times, baseboard heaters have a difficult time regulating and staying put at a certain temperature. A central air unit will maintain heat in your home without a hassle.

Easy Is Better with Your Central Air System

Central Air is not only easy to control with a click of a button, but it is much more compact and visually pleasing. While window air conditioning units and baseboard heaters may get the job done, they come with their share of unforeseeable issues. They have to be placed separately in many rooms of your home to have any effect on the cooling and heating instead of having the ability to control them in one, convenient space. Additionally, when using baseboard heaters, you must always be careful what you place in front or above, as they can be a fire hazard.

By Mr. Duct

Getting Your House Ready for Winter

No matter what climate you live in, your home needs some TLC when the seasons change. Northern climates brace for bone-chilling cold and winter storms, while Southern climates may still enjoy warm, sunny days, but cooler nights. When the temps start dropping outside, it’s time to look at what you can do inside to help your home get ready for winter. Having a winter preparation plan for your house not only helps keep an eye on your home’s energy efficiency, but also on your health.

Energy Efficiency Matters

According to the United States Department of Energy, heating and air conditioning systems account for most of the energy use in a typical home.  Whether you’re firing up the furnace or just cranking down the air conditioning, winter is prime time to think about how you can save some money—and help the planet—with a more energy efficient home. There are many factors that impact the cost to heat your home over the winter. Two top considerations affecting your energy expenses related to your furnace are the type of fuel used to power your furnace (electricity, natural gas, oil or another type of fuel), and the size of your home. A large home will require more power to heat, driving up costs.

One way to keep heating costs under control is to maximize your system’s efficiency. Help your furnace run better by replacing the filter and cleaning the ductwork. Removing built-up dirt and dust helps air move through the system easier, requiring less energy to operate.

Breathing Better Air

In addition to controlling energy costs, a clean heating and air conditioning system improves the overall quality of the air you breathe inside your home. Dirty systems can contribute to poor indoor air quality and health issues, especially in people with respiratory conditions, autoimmune disorders or certain allergies. Dirt and dust are pulled into the heating and air conditioning system and recirculated through the home up to six times a day. The buildup in the ductwork creates continuous exposure that only duct cleaning can address.

While you’re gearing up for winter, don’t forget to prepare your home by maintaining your home’s heating and air conditioning system. It can save you money and help keep you and your family healthy!

By NADCA

Facts About Your Air Ducts that Will Gross You Out

As a leader in air duct cleaning, the professional cleaning staff at Aspen Air Duct Cleaning isn’t surprised to see dirty air ducts on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many of our clients are shocked – it’s extremely unsettling for many people to see just how dirty your air ducts can become. Before you turn on your ventilation system today, read over these surprising air quality facts:

  • Did you know your indoor air quality is linked to your overall health?

Asthma patients, individuals suffering from seasonal allergies, children and the elderly are all susceptible to poor indoor air quality. Regular air duct cleaning can help everyone in your home by reducing the amount of bacteria, dirt, and mold in the air. Regular cleaning can alleviate asthma symptoms and aid in allergy prevention.

  • Poor indoor air quality can keep you sniffling and sneezing throughout the whole year.

If your ventilation or duct system hasn’t been professionally cleaned recently, it’s likely that your vents are harboring bacteria, dirt, and mold. Before you blame your workplace or child’s school for getting you sick, consider that your dirty vents and air filtration systems are likely the culprits.

  • Dirty vents could easily lead to pest problems.

Dirty and damaged vents could easily be harboring pests in your home without your knowledge. When you see a spider on a second or third floor, remember that ventilation and air duct systems are often to blame. If your system is dirty, you could be providing a haven for pests to invade your home.

  • Clean Your Air Ducts Today

We here at Aspen Air Duct Cleaning don’t want you to be frightened of your air ducts. If you’re unsure about what you might find in your air ducts or think you need air duct sealing, we’d be happy to take a look. Call us today at 978-681-5023 to schedule a professional cleaning appointment.

Written by Collin Creek Home

What to Expect During Duct and Dryer Vent Cleaning

Hiring a professional duct cleaning service is something that you should do on a regular basis. Your ducts can get very dusty and dirty over time, which can result in the air quality of your home diminishing. When a buildup of dust and dirt gets into your air, it can also result in issues for anyone that suffers from asthma, respiratory illness or even simple allergies. The following are some of the tasks that a professional duct cleaning service will perform:

They will open all of your access ports or doors in order to inspect and clean your entire duct system.

Before they begin cleaning your duct system, they will do a thorough inspection to make sure that there are no materials that contain asbestos present, such as register boots or insulation. If they find any materials that contain asbestos, a specially trained and equipped contractor will need to be hired in order to remove them.

Once the inspection is completed, they will use vacuum equipment in order to exhaust dust and debris particles out of the home. If the vacuum exhausts are within the house, then they will use HEPA (high efficiency particle air) vacuuming equipment.

They will make sure that your carpeting and furnishings are protected as they clean.

They will dislodge dust and other particles by performing well-controlled brushing and contact vacuum cleaning on the duct surfaces.

Any fiberglass duct boards and sheet metal ducts that are lined with fiberglass will be cleaned using soft-bristled brushes. They will most likely replace accessible flex ducts since this is more economical than cleaning them – although they can be cleaned with the use of soft-bristled brushes.

They will seal and re-insulate any holes that may have been made – on purpose or on accident – during the cleaning process in order to protect the duct work and make sure that it is airtight.

They will follow the NADCA’s standards for air duct cleaning as well as the NAIMA’s suggested practice for cleaning ducts with fiberglass lining.

Written by Daffy Ducts

Little Things That Can Affect Dryer Safety

Most people tend to take their dryer for granted. They don’t realize that their dryer can pose a risk if they don’t use it properly. It’s why we emphasize the use of dryer safety tips when using your dryer at all times. The following are a few of the smaller things that you may have considered to be harmless that could actually affect dryer safety:

Using too many dryer sheets – Dryer sheets are meant to reduce the static-cling in the dryer. For the most part, they are safe to use – as long as you use the recommended number of dryer sheets. The problem is that some people will forget how many they’ve added or add too many out of pure negligence. The chemicals that dryer sheets contain are designed to soften fabric. Too many dryer sheets will result in too many of these chemicals leaving residue within the dryer, which can lead to a clog. Make sure you find the dryer sheets you’ve used after doing a load and throwing them away afterwards.

Not providing enough space – Don’t try to squeeze your dryer into a small space where it has no room. Dryers need space around it so that the air around it can circulate properly. Without the necessary space, your dryer could overheat and cause a fire.

Don’t use vinyl tubing – You should use vent duct tubing instead. Vinyl tubing does not meet current fire codes.

Drying the wrong things – Dryers are designed to dry fabric and nothing else. This means throwing wet toys, wigs or purses into your dryer is not a good idea; you could potentially damage it.

Be sure to keep these dryer safety tips in mind on your next laundry day, and don’t forget to call us at Aspen Air Duct Cleaning to keep your dryer vents safe and clear of lint!

Written by Daffy Ducts

Which Type of Air Purifier Should You Get?

If you’re at all concerned about indoor air quality, then you’ve likely thought of purchasing an air purifier. But shopping for the right one is no easy undertaking. There are a variety of makes and models on the market, some designed for a very specific purpose.

Here, we break down the differences between the five most common filters.

  • HEPA Filter

A High Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA) is free-standing model with a cartridge that captures particles as air passes through it. If the aim is to reduce the amount of dust and dander floating around your home, it’ll do the job. Just be sure to do your research. The HEPA rating gets bandied about as a marketing ploy. Look for products labeled “True HEPA” to ensure you’re getting the best filtering technology. True HEPA filters meet standards set by the U.S. Dept. of Energy to captures 99.97% of particles as small 0.3 microns. Other terms you’ll come across include “HEPA-Like” “HEPA-Type.” There is no minimum standard set for these products.

  • Air Ionizer

Unlike the HEPA filter, an air ionizer does not capture airborne particles with a filter. Instead, it emits negatively charged particles which cling to positively charged particles, such as dust, allergens, bacteria and smoke. The neutralized particles then precipitate to the floor and furniture. If you don’t mind dusting, this could be the machine for you.

  • Electrostatic Filter

Similar to the air ionizer, an electrostatic filter charges particles to remove them from the air. Unlike the ionizer, an electrostatic filter traps the particles within the unit, sparing you from using the feather duster so much.

  • Activated Carbon Filter

Another odor-busting machine, an activated carbon filter tackles unpleasant aromas through chemical absorption. The unit contains a bed powdered charcoal which traps impurities, including those produced by common household chemicals and VOCs, leaving only fresh air behind.

  • UV Light

Typically affixed to your HVAC system, a lamp zaps passing air with germicidal UV rays, rendering contaminates inert. This is also a good defense against mold, which grows in dark, damp places, i.e. your ducts.

Bottom line: Depending on your needs, anyone of these filters could be a good supplemental purifier to your HVAC system’s filter. Still, the best way to maintain good indoor air quality is to have your ducts professionally cleaned. To schedule an appointment, call 978-681-5023.

Written by Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning

What is a HEPA Filter and Why it is So Important.

During the hot summer months, you often hear more about outdoor air quality – especially in areas that have higher levels of pollution and smog in the air. In their recent State of the Air 2014 report, the Heart and Lung Association found that 147.6 million Americans live in areas where particle pollution or smog are at levels that make breathing the outdoor air dangerous. When the air outside is dangerous, you need to focus on providing cleaner, healthier air quality inside your home. One of the most efficient ways of doing so is to use whole house HEPA filters.

  • What is a HEPA Filter?

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. Originally introduced and developed during WW2 as a “top secret” method to protect against biological, radiological, and chemical warfare, these filters are designed to filter the air you breathe to reduce the number of allergens and pollutants. There are two different categories for HEPA filters that determine their effectiveness at removing harmful pollutants:

True HEPA – True HEPA filters go through a testing and certification process to make sure that they provide a 99.97% filtering efficiency for removing pollutants and allergens in the air.

HEPA Type – HEPA type filters do not go through a testing process to prove their efficiency. These filters are typically cheaper than True HEPA filters, and only remove around 85-90% of the allergens that pass through them.

  • Why are HEPA Filters so Important?

Did you know that the air in your home is considered to be one of top five health risks in the environment by the Heart and Lung Association? Your indoor air is filled with dust, pet dander, molds, bacteria, cigarette smoke, dust mites, and other particles. These particles pose significant health risks, including:

  • Increased Allergies
  • Higher Risk of Asthma Attacks
  • Breathing Problems
  • Heart Disease
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Cancer

HEPA filters are designed to trap pollutants as small as .3 microns, which are considerably smaller than the particles that your nose and throat can actually filter. If these tiny pollutants are not filtered out of the air in your home, they end up deep in your lungs, where they can cause significant damage and health risks.

While proper cleaning can help to lessen the amount of these pollutants and the health risks associated with them, it cannot get rid of them completely. Additionally, the poor quality outdoor air also enters your home as well, which can make these issues even worse. This is why HEPA filters are so important.

Whole house HEPA filters remove the allergens and harmful particles in your home’s air, creating a much healthier indoor environment for you and your family. If you want to make sure that the air you breathe inside is as clean as possible, a whole house HEPA filtration system is the best option.

Original article written by Mr. Duct Cleaning