Indoor Air Quality posts

Who Needs Air Duct Cleaning, When and Why?

Your air duct system helps keep your living space comfortable by distributing conditioned air into every room of your home. The air inside your home contains tiny particles like dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and other debris that can build up inside your air ducts over time. If this debris builds up too much, it can start to restrict air flow in your living space. Sometimes it can even re-circulate the particles throughout your home, impacting indoor air quality.

When performed by HVAC professionals, air duct cleaning services help eliminate this buildup of debris in your duct system. But duct cleaning may not be necessary for every home. Read on to find out what air duct cleaning is and if you need it in your home.

When do air ducts need to be cleaned?

Frequent air duct cleaning is not a necessity for most homes. However, there are a few serious issues that may indicate your air ducts need to be cleaned by HVAC professionals:

  1. There is visible mold growth in your ducts.

If you notice mold growth in your air ducts or on other parts of your HVAC system, it’s time to get it checked out by a professional. An HVAC technician will be able to inspect your system, determine if you have mold growth, and suggest the best next steps for cleaning your air ducts. Remember, if you don’t get rid of the conditions that caused the mold, it will come back! So if you find mold growth in your ducts, you will still need to find the source of the issue and remedy this as well.

  1. Your ducts are infested with rodents or insects.

If you find that vermin have started to camp out in your air ducts, then it’s time for a cleaning. Not only can rodents and insects in your ducts impact your indoor air quality, but they can also cause damage to your air duct system that can become costly to fix.

  1. Your HVAC system has become less efficient.

Research shows that cleaning your air ducts and other HVAC system components can help improve the efficiency of your system. Similarly, it can help you prolong the life of your HVAC equipment.

If you notice that your HVAC system has become less efficient, it may be time for duct cleaning. However, other issues may also be causing the decrease in efficiency so make sure that you consult with your HVAC technician first.

  1. Debris is re-circulating through your home.

A little dust or dirt in your air duct system is normal. However, if you start to notice that debris or particles are being released into your home through your supply registers, then it’s definitely time for an air duct cleaning. At this point, the debris has starting to impact your indoor air quality and can have consequences for your health.

  1. Your system won’t maintain ideal temperature or airflow.

If your HVAC system is struggling to keep your home comfortable or you notice a change in airflow, dirty air ducts may be to blame. When debris accumulates in the ductwork, it can restrict the airflow throughout your home, making it harder for your HVAC system to maintain home comfort.

It’s important to note that these issues could also be the result of damage to your HVAC system. You will need to get an HVAC technician to inspect your ductwork and diagnose your system needs.

Riverside CA Duct Cleaning Services

If you are experiencing any of the issues above or it has been three to five years since your last air duct cleaning, it’s time to call in the ductwork experts at Sheldon’s Heating and Air Conditioning. Our experienced HVAC technicians will inspect your air ducts and HVAC system to determine if you need an air duct cleaning.

Call us today to schedule an inspection: (877) 411-9888.

Sheldon’s Top Resources for Riverside Indoor Air Quality

You work hard to maintain a safe and healthy home, so why compromise that safety and comfort by allowing pollutants and contaminants from outdoors to enter your home and affect your family? Instead, you should aim to monitor and improve your indoor air quality to make sure that you and your family can breathe easy year-round. And we’ve made that easy by providing you with the very best resources from deep in our blog archives.

Top Resources for Riverside Indoor Air Quality

Whether you’re living in Riverside or one of the beautiful nearby cities, you can use the resources below from Sheldon’s Heating and Air Conditioning to keep the air inside your home safe and healthy for every member of your family.

What Pet Owners Need to Know About Home HVAC

Do you have a furry friend at home? Many homeowners may not realize that man’s best friend can have a significant impact on the air that they breathe. There are some special indoor air quality concerns that pet owners should consider in order to ensure that they and their family can breathe easier. This is a must-read if you have a pet and definitely a great article to share with friends and family who have one or more fuzzy friends at home.

Do I Need a HEPA Air Filter in My Home?

You may have heard about high-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters. Though using these filters are one of the best ways to protect your family from breathing in dust, pollen, pet dander, pollutants, and other particles, HEPA filters are not right for every homeowner. Read this one if you are concerned about indoor air quality or have a family member at home who suffers from asthma, severe allergies, or other respiratory issues.

3 Ways to Reduce Allergies & Improve Home Comfort

If you or someone you know suffers from allergies, then you know that it can be hard to get comfortable at home with allergens and other particles making their way inside the home. This article provides helpful tips for improving your indoor air quality and maximizing home comfort by reducing allergens in the home. Share this with a friend or loved one who suffers from allergies. They’ll thank you later!

How Can I Detect Carbon Monoxide in My Home?

Carbon monoxide is no joke! Without proper ventilation, this odorless and tasteless gas can build up in your home and put you and your family in serious danger if it starts to build up in large quantities. This very important article is a must-read for all. It breaks down the producers and effects of carbon monoxide as well as provides information on how to detect CO in your home and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Stay In-the-Know!

Want to learn more about HVAC, home improvement, and indoor air quality? Be sure to check our blog regularly for monthly articles on all you need to know about home comfort. While you’re at it, follow Sheldon’s on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ to stay up-to-date with the latest in Riverside HVAC products and services.

Top 4 HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

Your HVAC system has worked hard this year to keep your Riverside home comfortable no matter what the weather. Don’t you think it’s time that you’ve put a little work into being good to your heating and cooling system? With the top 4 HVAC New Year’s resolutions below, you can make sure that your furnace and air conditioner are in peak condition throughout the year for optimal home comfort.

  1. Check your air filter at least once a month.

A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict air flow, which reduces your HVAC efficiency and can also have a significant impact on your indoor air quality. Most standard air filters need to be changed or cleaned once a month. Make a habit of checking your air filter at the same time each month. If the filter is dirty or clogged, then you need to replace or clean it. You may also want to set yourself a reminder, so that you don’t neglect this important monthly task.

  1. Schedule an annual HVAC maintenance visit.

There is more to adequate HVAC maintenance than just changing your air filter each month. Your heating and cooling equipment needs to be cleaned, lubricated, and inspected at least once a year by an experienced Riverside HVAC technician. During your annual maintenance visit, the tech will make sure that your HVAC system is running smoothly and that your equipment has no immediate repair needs. This annual maintenance visit will help you optimize energy efficiency and get the most out of your HVAC equipment.

  1. Seal any leaks in your ductwork.

Leaky air ducts can cause you to lose a significant amount of energy. The start of the new year is the perfect time to inspect your ductwork and search for leaks. Look for tiny leaks, larger holes, damage, and gaps between ductwork. If you find any leaks or gaps, quickly fix them with sealant or tape. This will help you avoid energy loss throughout the year, which can affect your energy bills.

  1. Purchase a more energy-efficient HVAC system.

If you are serious about saving energy this year, you may want to invest in a newer, more energy-efficient HVAC system, especially if your current air conditioner and heater are getting a bit old. Not all HVAC systems are created equal. That’s why it’s important to do your research, and consult with a trusted HVAC company before choosing a new system. An experienced HVAC technician can help you determine the best size and type of equipment to meet your indoor air quality and home comfort needs.

If buying and installing a new HVAC system is on your To-Do list for 2017, the HVAC experts at Sheldon’s are ready to help you find the best new system for your home and budget. Check out our line of quality Carrier heating and cooling systems and products, or give us a call for more information about our energy-efficient HVAC equipment: (877) 411-9888.

What Pet Owners Need to Know About Home HVAC

Pets make great companions, and many homeowners enjoy the company of their fuzzy pals. Yet, pet owners have a lot to consider when thinking about home HVAC. A home’s Indoor Air Quality can be directly affected by the addition of one or more four-legged-friends to the home, but can be controlled by keeping these things in mind:

Cleaning the Home:

When it comes to owning pets, the most important thing to remember is to make cleanliness a top priority. Be sure that when you are vacuuming or sweeping your home, that you pay extra close attention to baseboards, corners, and underneath furniture. These areas can trap dirt, dust, pet hair, and possibly the most problematic of all, pet dander.

Dander is troublesome because of its tiny—oftentimes microscopic—size, which can find its way into small spaces that are hard to clean. Dander is the leading cause of pet allergies among people, much more so than pet hair. It’s important to keep on top of accumulating dander, not only for those who suffer from pet allergies, but for the general health of everyone in your household. Even though you may not see the dander, if it exists in excess in your home, it will cause a direct impact on the Indoor Air Quality of your home.

 Cleaning Your Ductwork:

Another thing to keep in mind is the dander that may get trapped in difficult to clean places, such as your home’s ductwork. Since the dander is so small, it, along with other dirt and debris, can get sucked up and trapped within your home’s ductwork. When this happens, your home’s ductwork acts as a collector of pet debris; and when your HVAC system runs, that trapped dirt and debris gets recirculated within the ductwork and ultimately distributed throughout your home.

One of the best things you can do to take care of existing dander within your ductwork is to have your ducts cleaned. This simple process can go a long way in ridding your home of dander buildup, leaving a clean slate for dander prevention in the future. Through duct cleaning, HVAC technicians are able to open up your home’s ductwork and loosen the dirt, debris, and dander that clings to the interior walls of your air ducts. From there, high–powered vacuuming is used to clear out the debris, making your air ducts once again able to distribute clean air throughout your home.

HVAC Maintenance:

Pet owners should also note the importance of regular HVAC maintenance. In general, homeowners should have their home’s HVAC system serviced at least one time per year, but if pets are also living in the home, twice a year is best—typically during Fall and Spring before heavy usage of your HVAC system begins. By performing regular maintenance, a technician can make sure that your HVAC system is running smoothly, and notify you of any potential concerns within your system—preventing long term damage down the road. Homeowners can also help their HVAC systems by changing the air filter regularly. Typically, air filters should be checked monthly and changed whenever they get dirty. Dirt can accumulate quickly in homes with one or more pets, so pet owners should be extra vigilant about changing air filters. This easy action can go very far in keeping the air quality of your home top notch.

If you share your home with pets, be sure to keep these things in mind to maintain excellent air quality throughout your home. If you need duct cleaning or maintenance on your HVAC system, give us a call today! We can help you get your pet-friendly home clean, and dander free, which will greatly improve the Indoor Air Quality within your home.  Call us: 877-411-9888

Do I Need a HEPA Air Filter in My Home?

Air pollution affects more than just the air you breathe while outdoors. When you enter your home from outside, you can bring with you a variety of contaminants including dust, pollen, and other air pollutants. When these pollutants enter your home, it can impact your indoor air quality, affecting the air that you and your family breathe.

HEPA filters help add an extra layer of protection for you and your family, helping to filter out more of the pollutants in your indoor air. The question is, do you really need a HEPA air filter in your home or is a standard air filter enough to keep your family breathing easy year-round?

What is a HEPA Air Filter?

High-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, help filter out harmful pollutants in the air like dust, pollen, and pet dander. In order to be considered a HEPA filter, U.S. government standards require the filter to remove at least 99.7% of particles from the air. HEPA filters are often found in air purifiers and vacuum cleaners and are used to help improve the indoor air quality of homes, hospitals, and commercial buildings.

Benefits of HEPA Air Filters

HEPA filters can provide many benefits to business and homeowners. These filters are specially designed to trap more of the harmful pollutants that enter the home or building, keeping more contaminants from entering the air and impacting indoor air quality. These filters are a great option for those with weakened immune systems who may feel a more significant impact from air pollution, such as small babies and elderly family members. They can also make it easier for those with respiratory conditions or issues breathe easier year-round.

Do You Need a HEPA Air Filter in Your Home?

When it comes to HEPA air filters, the decision depends on your needs and the needs of your family members. For most homeowners, the typical air filter filters out enough contaminants to provide sufficient indoor air quality. However, those who suffer from asthma, severe allergies, or other respiratory issues may benefit from upgrading their indoor air quality products since they often have trouble breathing and can be affected by the slightest number of particles in the air.

If you decide that you want to use a HEPA filter, it is important that you learn more about your options and the capabilities of your current HVAC system. Most standard HVAC systems are not designed to handle HEPA air filters, due to the way that they restrict airflow. Homeowners may want to opt for a standalone air purifier with a HEPA filter or contact their HVAC company to install a whole home system.

If you would like to learn more about HEPA filters and whether or not they may be right for your home environment, contact Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning today. Our HVAC experts would be happy to discuss your home comfort options and suggest the ideal air filters and HVAC upgrades for your home comfort needs.

3 Ways to Reduce Allergies and Improve Home Comfort

If you suffer from allergies, then you know how hard it can be to get comfortable even in your own home. Though you may not be able get rid of your allergies completely, there are ways that you can make improvements to your home to reduce allergy triggers and make your home more comfortable.

How to Improve Home Comfort

If you or a family member have allergies and find it hard to get comfortable, here are just a few ways that you can reduce allergy symptoms in your house and improve home comfort levels:

  1. Keep your home clean with natural cleaning products.

One of the best ways that you can reduce allergy symptoms is to keep your home clean. No matter how much you try to avoid it, dust and dirt find their way into your home one way or another. By cleaning your home regularly, you can prevent these allergens from building up in your house and affecting the air you breathe.

When it is possible, try to use natural cleaning products when dusting, mopping, and cleaning up around the house. Many standard cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can circulate in your home air and affect your ability to breathe easy. To avoid introducing new contaminants into your home, try to avoid using chemical cleaners.

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Part of keeping your home clean and allergen free is making sure that your carpet, drapes, and furniture are free of dust and dirt. Vacuuming regularly helps keep your home and your air much cleaner by preventing the build-up of allergens like dirt, pollen, dust, and pet dander. However, the most effective vacuum cleaners are those that use powerful filters to trap these particles rather than releasing them back into the air.

Those who suffer from allergies should use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. A high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA filter, helps trap 99.97% of particles that pass through the air. Vacuums with these filters trap more dirt and dust that a standard vacuum cleaner to help make sure that this material does not end up back in your home.

  1. Purchase an air purifier.

For many homeowners, a standard air filter is enough to provide sufficient indoor air quality. However, those with asthma, severe allergies, and other respiratory issues may find it difficult to breathe and maintain comfort with just a standard air filtration system as even the smallest amount of pollutants may cause symptoms to flare up.

An air purifier provides an added layer of protection from air pollution. Whether you use a standalone air purifier or an air purification system in conjunction with your HVAC system, these devices use strong filters to filter out a majority of the dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and other indoor air pollutants that affect your breathing. Using one of these devices can help significantly reduce the build-up of allergens in your home, helping you breathe easier.

At Sheldon’s Services, we know how important it is to create a comfortable home environment. If you or someone in your family suffers from asthma or severe allergies, contact us today to learn more about our selection of indoor air quality products.

Does Your Home Need a Dehumidifier?

Cold weather will arrive soon, and with it, allergies and respiratory issues may arrive. For these issues and other reasons, your home may benefit from a dehumidifying system. Although people use dehumidifying systems in bathrooms, attics, or basements most commonly, they can be beneficial in all areas of the home.

How Does Humidity Affect My Allergies?

If you live in a naturally humid climate, you know how annoying it can be. Humidity makes the air feel wet and heavy; it’s unpleasant to go outside, exercise, or do many normal activities. In addition, humidity adversely affects the inside of your home. Allergens (including pollen, dust, and dander) love humid areas. Bacteria, molds, and other hazards often thrive there, no matter how clean your home is.

Even if you don’t live in a naturally humid climate, humidity easily builds up in certain areas of your house. Bathrooms are big offenders, because hot water, steam, and the droplets of water left after you drain the tub or turn off the shower add humidity to the environment. Attics and basements are hotbeds of humidity too, especially if it is naturally moist or if your area gets plenty of precipitation.

Will Humidity Harm My Health?

Yes, you can develop serious health problems from an overly humid environment. Some problems (think itchy, watery eyes) might be mild at first but become a real hindrance to daily life. Other issues, such as respiratory infections and mold-borne diseases, are much more serious. They could require hospitalization, and if you don’t handle the problem quickly, you might have to leave your home indefinitely.

Benefits of Buying a Dehumidifier

First, a dehumidifier will do plenty to reduce the allergens, molds, and other dangerous organisms in your house. Dehumidifiers drastically reduce humidity levels so allergens can no longer survive. Dehumidifiers also help water and steam dissipate more quickly, reducing the chances that mold will grow on your fixtures, curtains, bedsheets, and even clothing.

Dehumidifiers keep your home cleaner and your food fresher. Running a dehumidifier reduces dust, so you can enjoy your furniture, fixtures, and knickknacks without constant cleaning. It also prevents mold, bacteria, and viruses from breeding in susceptible foods like breads and yogurts. This makes it easier to tell whether foods are still fresh even after several days, and can keep you from accidentally eating something that will make you sick.

Some people are hesitant about dehumidifiers because they think they are noisy or waste energy. In reality, dehumidifiers are usually quiet; if you hear much noise, it’s a sign the machine needs repair. Additionally, dehumidifiers reduce the energy costs associated with HVAC systems. The less humid your home’s air is, the easier it will be for your HVAC system to operate, reducing the need for repairs and replacements.

Signs You Need A Dehumidifier

Certain signs will let you know whether you should purchase a dehumidifier immediately. These include:

  • Water stains on floors, walls, or fixtures
  • Constant condensation on windows, mirrors, and other surfaces
  • Rooms that feel especially stuffy or humid

To learn more about dehumidifier systems, please contact Sheldon’s Heating and Air Conditioning online or by phone.


HVAC Ductwork Information and Advice for Homeowners

Ductwork is extremely important to a HVAC system, it’s what allows the air to go from unit to room. Without it you would need to be sitting right next to the unit and never enjoy going from room to room. Make sure your ducts are in perfect working order today, give us a call and we’ll send a tech out to make sure you have no leaks and they are clean inside.

Sheldons Ductwork Facts For Homeowners

Ways to Improve The Air Quality In Your Home

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified indoor air pollutions as one of its three greatest environmental concerns.

Most of us spend 80-90 percent of our time indoors, at home or at work, breathing air that has been contaminated by chemical traces from cleaning products, exhaust fumes from nearby highways or factories, mold spores, airborne bacteria, crumbling insulation, decaying books and magazines—the list goes on and on.

What Are Ways You Can Improve The Air Quality In Your Home?

Here are a few suggestions that will help you improve the air quality in your home or place of business.

Develop A Cleaning Routine

Clean weekly in the areas you occupy the most and monthly everywhere else (basements, attics, garages, store rooms, etc.). Dust with a damp cloth, use non-chemical cleaning solutions and don’t neglect any areas where dust or debris might accumulate.

Get The Air Flowing Throughout The House

Open windows instead of turning on the air conditioner. Put in screen doors and use them when the weather is good. Install ceiling fans or a whole-house fan to boost your home’s ventilation. If you’ve been closing off some rooms open them up again, and open the windows to air them out.

Bathe And Groom Your Dogs And Cats On A Regular Basis

It’s especially important to do this in the wintertime. Of course you don’t need to put your cat in the bath tub (good luck with that if you try), but both cats and dogs should be thoroughly brushed at least twice a week.

Ventilate Damp Areas

Mold and mildew are your enemies and they thrive on excessive moisture. Fans in bathrooms or basements or other spaces where moisture is prevalent will help, and you may want to purchase a dehumidifier for those locations as well.

Eliminate Sources Of Dirty Smoke

Don’t smoke indoors, and if you use candles purchase the non-toxic types. If you have a fireplace keep the chimney and flue as clean as possible and only burn dried or cured wood.

Wash Your Drapes, Blankets And Fabric Shower Curtains

Dust collects everywhere in our homes and these sources are frequently overlooked.

Stop Using Commercial Air Fresheners

They often contain potentially harmful contaminants. Get vaporizers or diffusers that use essential oils instead, or boil a pot of cinnamon and let it simmer in a central location for a few hours.

Remodel For Cleanliness And Better Air Quality

If you have the opportunity to remodel choose hardwood floors over carpet, add windows and wall vents if you can, remove any walls that restrict air flow and build additions that can be used to store any sources of airborne pollution you’re currently keeping in your home.

Get Some Plants That Filter Out Airborne Toxins

Did you know some houseplants can do this? Some good choices include English ivy, peace lilies, snake plants or chrysanthemums.

Replace Your Hvac Air Filters Every Other Month Or As Needed

Most people forget to do this, and as a result their air filters get so clogged they can barely function at all. When you buy new air filters don’t get the cheap fiberglass kind, they’re ineffective and need to be changed constantly.

Purchase Air Quality Improvement Products

Air purifiers, ventilators, humidifiers and UV lamps can eliminate prodigious amounts of indoor contaminants. Contact your HVAC contractor will be glad to consult with you and help you choose air quality products that meet your specific needs.

Breathing Bad Indoor Air? Act Now And Don’t Delay

If you’re breathing contaminated air it can and will make you sick. A passive approach to the problem is a losing strategy, and the sooner you get proactive with your indoor air quality the better off you and your family will be.

The Sheldon’s Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help, please call us today so we can make sure your air is the highest quality in your home.

The Adverse Effects of Poor IAQ

The air inside our homes and other buildings isn’t good for our health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4.3 million people die each year due to household air pollution. The American Lung Association estimates has estimated that 164 million Americans are breathing air that is not healthy. When you consider that that Americans spend the vast majority of their time indoors (90 percent), the likelihood of exposure to unhealthy air is very high.

Poor Indoor Air Quality a Serious Problem

Most people have no choice but to spend the vast majority of their time inside buildings. They are unaware that they are in an environment that is between two and five times (and sometimes more than 100 times) more polluted than the air outside, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Spending time in this environment can lead to a number of issues, such as:

  • Health problems
  • Poor student performance
  • Discomfort inside homes
  • Reduced employee productivity

Research has shown the effects of poor IAQ end up costing the US economy $168 billion per year.

Causes of Indoor Air Quality Issues

The quality inside our homes or a commercial building can be relatively clean or full of particles, gases and contaminants. There are a number of reasons for this buildup that lead to poor IAQ, which include:

  • Failure to adequately maintain HVAC system
  • Not enough ventilation in home or building
  • Excess dampness or moisture due to high humidity, leaks or flooding
  • Construction activities
  • Mold spores, which can become airborne
  • Pet dander

If there isn’t sufficient ventilation in the building, the level of off-gasses from contaminants will build up. Sources of these contaminants are:

  • Carpets and flooring
  • Furniture and fabrics
  • Paints, finishes and sealants
  • Construction materials
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Our clothing
  • Chemicals from using toiletries (soap, shampoo, shaving cream, cologne, etc.)

The Adverse Effects of Poor IAQ

The effects of unhealthy air in our homes, schools and commercial buildings has a number of adverse effects on our health.

  • Allergies, asthma, coughs and headaches
  • Skin irritations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Nausea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
  • Damage to the kidneys, liver and central nervous system
  • Issues with the nervous and endocrine system

Household air pollution also includes the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide, which can be deadly at a high enough dose. At lower doses, it leads to headaches, drowsiness and lack of energy. A moderately high concentration can lead to a significant impairment of a person’s decision-making ability.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Thankfully, there are things you can do to improve the interior air quality in your home. Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers a number of indoor air quality services to give you the clean, pure air you want. Contact us today to schedule your personal consultation.