The air you breathe is directly correlated to your overall health. Whether you’re indoors or outside, pollutants in the air can harm your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory issues.

At Texas Air Authorities, we care about your health and know how important it is to have good quality air inside. Here’s a look at seven spring cleaning tips you can use at home or in the office to improve the air you breathe.

1. Sweep, Mop, and Vacuum the Entire House

This upcoming spring, make it a goal to sweep and vacuum on a daily basis to keep dust and dirt to a minimum. In addition to enhancing the cleanliness and appearance of your home or office, regular vacuuming and sweeping directly impact the air you breathe by minimizing harmful airborne particles.

2. Make the Home Anti-Allergen

Allergies get worse for a lot of people in the springtime. This is why spring serves as a good time to deep clean the house. From the window sills to the baseboards to the crown molding and more, dusting every crevice of the home is necessary for making the whole house anti-allergenic. To ensure all allergens stay outside the home, pinpoint and repair any air leaks. Also, open windows only on days when pollen levels are low.

3. Change the HVAC Filter

HVAC filters play a large role in indoor air quality. The cleaner the filter, the more efficiently and effectively it can reduce airborne toxins. Check your AC filter each spring to ensure it was cleaned or replaced at the end of the last cooling season.

Be cautious when going to the store and buying a filter replacement. The AC owner’s manual will say exactly which filter works with your system. Failing to use a compatible filter can cause unnecessary strain on the AC system. It also compromises the filter’s ability to capture airborne pollutants.

4. Sleep in New Sheets and Covers

Springtime is an excellent time of the year to deep clean the bedroom. In addition to dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down the walls, you can swap out your bed’s sheets and covers. When replacing them, consider sheets and covers made from hypoallergenic material, such as eucalyptus. Eucalyptus bed sheets are carefully engineered to keep allergens at bay. However, even for those who don’t suffer from allergies, these bed sheets are a smart choice because they improve indoor air quality thanks to their hypoallergenic nature.

5. Keep Damp Areas Dry

Damp areas often have higher levels of mold and mildew, both of which trigger allergy symptoms. The spring is a great time to find the exact location of damp spots and fix the problem. These rooms usually consist of bathrooms and washrooms, along with basement areas. An easy way to reduce moisture in these areas is to install ceiling fans and dehumidifiers. There are also certain kinds of paint you can add to these areas to reduce mold and mildew.

6. Get Rid of VOCs

Be cautious of new furniture and appliances that you bring into the home or office. It’s not uncommon for new household and office items to be full of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When you bring them inside, a process called “off-gassing” occurs. It’s during this time that harmful toxins used in the production process of the item start releasing their gases, which often translates into a bad smell and poor indoor air quality.

You can rid your home of these harmful substances by using air filters that capture VOCs. Additionally, don’t bring any new items with VOCs into the house. This is why you should always buy from brands you trust.

7. Consider a Whole-Home Air Cleaner

During the spring, consider installing a whole-home air purifier. You can have the whole-home system connected to your existing heating and cooling system, making it simple to improve overall energy efficiency. If preferred, you can add smart sensors to the HVAC and air purifier units. In doing so, you can automate heating and cooling schedules in the home or office according to individual preferences. Smart sensors can also pinpoint and address poor indoor air quality issues without compromising comfort.

Get More Spring Cleaning Tips for Cleaner Air Today!

Cleaner air inside the home or office starts with creating a cleaning schedule. Use the tips mentioned above to create a schedule that fits your lifestyle. Contact Texas Air Authorities today for more spring cleaning tips and indoor air quality solutions.

As we head into another winter season, many homeowners are concerned with their holiday plans. However, it’s important to realize that your family is going to be spending more time indoors while the days are shorter and colder. You want to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to keep your indoor air quality at an optimal level to keep your family and your home safe.

Change Your HVAC Filter

If you have a forced air heating system, then you have ductwork that runs throughout the various rooms of your home. As air is moved through the ductwork via your blower fan, it can pick up unwanted airborne particles, dirt, and other debris. Your HVAC has a filter that is meant to keep those particulates out of your indoor air, but it can’t do its job without routine maintenance.

As a general rule of thumb, you should be checking your air filter every month and changing it out every two to three months (or as needed). It’s important to realize that a dirty air filter doesn’t just cause your indoor air quality level to drop, but it can also make your HVAC system work much harder to adequately heat your home. If you or another family member have severe allergies or respiratory conditions, you may want to invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter, which can collect up to 99.97% of all airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger in size.

Clean More Often

It can be really easy to get into the routine of putting off cleaning as the days get shorter during the winter season. However, the winner is actually the most vital time of the year to do regular indoor cleaning—since you likely open your windows and doors less during the colder months, there’s less fresh air making its way into your home. You want to make it a habit to clean your house at least once a week, if not more. Make sure that you’re vacuuming, dusting up debris on all surfaces, and so forth. The more dirt and other debris that you can remove from the surfaces throughout your home, the less indoor air is going to be tainted with them.

Consider Air Duct Cleaning

Another great way to help enhance the indoor air quality inside your home this winter season is to have a professional come in and clean your ductwork. Professionals have specific tools that they utilize to reach the various aspects of your ducting that aren’t exposed freely. They’ll use these tools to suck up any debris that is stuck inside your ducting. It’s commonly recommended that you get your air ducts cleaned every three to five years.

Use Your Range Hood

Did you know that cooking can create airborne particles that can impact your health? For this reason, it’s very important that you invest in a range hood that sits over your stove. You want to turn it on every time that you plan on cooking so that you can suck up all those harmful airborne toxins and divert them to the outdoors.

Use Exhaust Fans

Apart from using the exhaust fan on your range hood when you’re cooking, you also want to be using the exhaust fans in your bathroom. Whenever you’re taking a shower, water will naturally penetrate the air. You want to have your exhaust fan on so it diverts this overly humid air to the outdoors. Without a fan running, this high-humidity air can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew to develop. Mold spores can be very toxic to the individuals in your home and will likely flare up any existing allergies.

Consider a Whole-Home Air Purification System

If you’re looking for a step up in air quality after investing in a HEPA air purifier, a great option is to consider investing in a whole-home air purification system. This is installed as a device that goes directly in line with your existing HVAC system. It’s responsible for removing airborne particles like pollen, pet dander, and other contaminants. Depending on the specific air purification system that you purchase, it will either trap the unwanted particles or destroy them completely.

Top Quality Indoor Air Quality Services

Texas Air Authorities offers top-quality indoor air quality services. Our helpful technicians can also assist with all of your heating, cooling, ductwork, zone control, and commercial needs. Simply contact us today to get the assistance that you need.

Candles are trendy among homeowners for a reason. They are a gentle way to add a light scent to your home and overpower any foul odors. Some people enjoy lighting different candles to complement seasons or events. For example, some people will burn gingerbread candles during the winter holidays and switch to an ocean breeze candle for the summer.

However, studies are finding that candles also hurt indoor air quality. Most candles available in stores emit harmful chemicals into the air. A common misconception is that this only happens when someone lights the candle, but even unlit candles can harm air quality.

Comparison of Candle Wax Types

There are many different types of candles, so examining each kind and their impact on indoor air quality is essential to maintaining a healthy home.

Paraffin Wax Candles

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Tropical Disease and Health found that paraffin candles emit pollutants that can have health consequences. This study found that the best practice is to avoid burning paraffin wax candles in interior spaces. These candles are petroleum-based, as paraffin is a petroleum byproduct, and pollution from their emissions can impact home ventilation systems and discolor your walls and ceilings.

Companies make paraffin wax candles by taking petroleum waste and bleaching it. Then, workers remove its natural odors and add fragrance. When someone lights the candles, the paraffin wax that makes up the base of the candle can release toxic volatile organic compounds into the air.

Several known carcinogens are typically released, including:

These elements can also cause allergies, asthma attacks, and skin damage.

Soy Wax and Beeswax Candles

Unsurprisingly, soy wax and beeswax candles are much safer than paraffin wax candles. Soy wax and beeswax rely on healthier natural resources, producing fewer air pollutants. A study from as early as 2002 from the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society concludes that soy wax and beeswax candles generate far less soot than paraffin candles. Soot is one of the negative ways candles can affect health and damage your lungs.

Candle Chemical Fragrences

Unfortunately, the wax composition is not the only way a candle can harm indoor air quality. The chemical fragrances that create the smells you find so delightful can also damage your body. These fragrances are synthetic, utilizing many different chemicals and dyes which emit toxic volatile organic compounds into the air, even when the candle remains unlit.

A few common volatile organic compounds that mass-produced candles emit just from their scent can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory tract infections, and asthma attacks. Here are the ones to watch out for:

Candles With Cored Wicks

Most candles have cored wicks. Companies make these wicks from cotton and surround them with metal to keep the wick from collapsing as the candle burns and melts in a lumpy pile in the wax. Scented candles typically use cored wicks because the oils that provide the scent soften the wax even more. However, these cored wicks have a damaging history of causing health problems.

While no longer allowed, manufacturers used to use lead as the support metal, leading to many lead poisoning reports in adults and children alike. These days, companies use zinc and tin, which can still release tiny amounts of harmful particles. In fact, all metal-core wicks will release slight quantities of heavy metal into the air when someone lights the candle.

If you want to embrace a safer candle alternative, you can try using essential oils instead. They have many of the same fragrances as candles but without the toxic effect on your indoor air quality.

However, it could also be time to consider embracing the smell of clean air. Your home can experience clean, circulating air with an excellent HVAC system. A stale and unpleasant home odor, a problem people try to solve with candles, would vanish with better ventilation from top-rated HVAC services. At Texas Air Authorities, we pride ourselves on our professional and efficient service. We dedicate ourselves to improving your indoor air quality. Since 1999, we have been providing heating and cooling services to Arlington, TX and the greater Tarrant County area. To improve your air quality, we offer ventilation, air purification, humidification and dehumidification, air scrubbers, and traditional heating and cooling services. Contact Texas Air Authorities today to learn more and get clean air flowing through your house again.

Like many people, fall could be your favorite season of the year. After all, this is a time of warm, hearty soups, breads, and stews, crackling logs in the fireplace, and cooler, milder temperatures. Given that frost, ice, and snow have yet to hit the ground in most areas, it’s additionally a time of relatively easy driving. Unfortunately, fall is also a season with a number of serious indoor air quality (IAQ) issues. Whether the interior of your Texas home is plagued with excessively dry, dusty air, or loaded with airborne contaminants, the following four tips are guaranteed to help.

1. Change Out Your HVAC Air Filter

The first step in mitigating many common fall-time IAQ issues is changing your HVAC air filter. If your HVAC system is used on a daily basis, filter changes should be done once each month. During fall, you may even want to start using an air filter that’s rated for capturing and collecting a greater number of airborne contaminants and particulates. Air filters are given minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings of one to 16. Filters rated above 13 are typically reserved for hospital settings, medical labs, and other similar environments. Choosing an option with a rating of 10 to 12 will ensure that the maximum amount of allergens and contaminants are being picked up and retained.

Air filter performance is especially important during the months of fall and winter. Throughout these seasons, people are spending far more time in the home and with all windows and doors sealed shut. Air filters should be able to capture dirt, dust, pet dander, pollen, and any other organic particulates that get tracked into the home. They should also be able to collect residues from any cleaning agents and other sanitizing or deodorizing products that are being distributed throughout the closed space.

2. Schedule Fall HVAC Tune-Up Service

There are many benefits to having your HVAC system tuned up during the fall. Your heating and cooling equipment will work reliably and far more efficiently. It’s important to note that fall isn’t always a progressively cooler season. Temperatures can toggle between moderately cool and moderately warm. As such, you may need your air conditioner on some days and your heater on others. Both should be in good working order.

When it comes to protecting your IAQ, the functionality and performance of your HVAC system definitely matter. This equipment doesn’t just regulate temperatures. It also helps filter or purify the indoor air and regulate humidity. Although the indoor air is often drier in Texas homes during the fall, more indoor cooking and constant indoor entertaining can also lead to dramatic increases in humidity. With a tune-up, you can make sure that your HVAC system is able to extract excess humidity as needed so that common, fall-time woes like mold spore development don’t occur.

3. Take It Easy With Your Fireplace

Who doesn’t enjoy the relaxing, crackling, and popping sounds of a real wood fire? Although building a fire in your fireplace is a sure way to create a cozy ambiance in your home, it’s also guaranteed to drop your IAQ significantly. This remains true even if you’ve recently had your flue cleaned and have burned a few creosote-clearing logs. If you have to have a real wood fire, consider setting up a fire pit in your backyard. Replace your indoor wood-burning fireplace with a gas-fired model. There are many gas-fired options with natural-looking logs. In fact, some even make the distinctive snapping and popping sounds of actual burning wood.

It’s also a good idea to limit the number of candles you burn indoors during a season in which windows and doors are typically sealed shut. Like real wood fireplaces, candles are great at creating a desirable ambiance, but they additionally diminish a home’s IAQ. Look for flameless, battery-powered candles instead. In addition to having a convincing look, flameless candles aren’t a fire hazard.

4. Consider Investing in IAQ Services and Equipment

If you have someone living in your home with a chronic respiratory condition or if your air quality is consistently low, consider having a whole-house air purifier installed. This unit will effectively supplement the work that your HVAC air filter does. To combat dry air, consider the benefits of a humidifier. Regulating humidity will create cleaner and more comfortable living conditions. It can additionally prevent problems like condensation at the windows, moldy and mildewed carpeting and drapes, and many other moisture-related damages throughout the building.

Every home has its own unique air quality concerns, especially during the months of fall. At Texas Air Authorities, we offer a comprehensive range of heating and air conditioning services to residents of the greater Arlington, TX, area. We also provide air purification services, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and advanced air filtration equipment. Call us today to schedule a consultation appointment.

These 5 Ideas Could Improve Your IAQ

You cherish your family dog or cat, but you also value your ability to breathe easy in your own home. Sometimes, the two don’t exactly go hand in hand. Pet hair and dander can fill your indoor air, adversely impacting your breathing—especially if you suffer from allergies, asthma or other upper respiratory conditions.

At Texas Air Authorities, we understand that you would never utter the words, “Get along, little doggie,” or “Get along, little kitty.” So, we are here to remind you that our arsenal of powerful weapons isn’t limited to your heating replacement service in Hurst, TX, or your air conditioning repair in Arlington, TX. We’re also sharpshooters with your indoor air quality, including air filtration, air ventilation and air purification.

In addition to checking out our high-powered services, we offer these tips to improve your indoor air quality and reduce the amount of pet dander that circulates through your indoor space:

  1. Groom your pet regularly. Grooming not only cuts down the amount of dander in your home but also makes your precious pet look and feel better. Pet owners should bathe their furry partners every two weeks or so and brush them at least once every other day. You can use special dander wipes to remove dander from your kitty.
  2. “Groom” your home frequently, too. When you have pets, routine deep cleaning is a must. Regular vacuuming, especially in the areas your pet frequents, can improve your IAQ. Don’t forget that pet dander can settle in out-of-the-way places, too, so it’s important to dust and wipe surfaces throughout your home.
  3. Clean pet cages, beds and litter boxes frequently. These areas are breeding grounds for dander. Clean cages and litter boxes daily if possible. If you have multiple cats, you should try to clean the litter box twice a day. Pet bedding should be washed each time you bathe your pet.
  4. Change those air filters. Your HVAC system’s filter is a workhorse that traps dirt, dust, dander and more before it circulates into your home. Clogged or dirty filters allow garbage to enter your HVAC system and foul up the air you breathe. Clogged filters also adversely affect airflow from your vents. Change your filter at least monthly to help keep dander, hair and more under control.
  5. Consider an air purification or air filtration system. Our systems will help remove dander and other material from your indoor space. Contact us for details!

The good guys at Texas Air Authorities will always have your back when you’re looking for time-tested and innovative ways to protect your indoor air from unwelcome guests. We’re also the team you want on patrol when you need high-caliber heating installation services in Euless, TX, or superior air conditioning repair services in Mansfield, TX. Learn more or schedule your service today. Simply give us a jingle at 817-402-3576 or fill out our online form.

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