Detecting a Deadly Killer: January is National Radon Action Month

Today VanKleef HVAC takes a break from talking about furnace issues, and reminds you that January is Nation Radon Action Month. Radon can kill you with its deadly poison, but you may never see it. It can destroy your health rapidly, but you may never detect it. In fact, it has recently been ranked by Harvard University as the number one in-home hazard.

Louisville heating and coolingRadon is by definition radiation. It is an odorless, radioactive, invisible gas that occurs due to a breakdown and decay of uranium in our soil. Countless Americans are unknowingly exposed to this dangerous gas. Sadly, it is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. It also has caused more deaths than carbon monoxide and fires combined.

Because it is considered a national health problem, awareness of this issue is being spotlighted in January and homeowners are being encouraged to take action.

It is estimated that 1 in 15 homes will contain high levels of radon in their home. While one home may contain extra high levels of this dangerous gas, the home right next door may be completely radon free. Radon has been detected in homes all over the United States in every kind of climate and community. Its presence is unpredictable. That’s why evaluation, detection and removal are critical.

If you have a basement in your home, especially if your HVAC is located in the basement, you are at greater risk for spreading this deadly gas. Hire a radon specialist who will use an electronic monitor to detect radon particles in detail. After you have been tested initially, contact EPA online to find out what free, low-cost tests are available in your area. These tests are simple to use and offer an easy remedy to the problem. These radon reducers can lower the amount of radon up to 99% in 90 days.

After you’ve zoned in your radar on radon detection, be sure and have your home tested every two years to prevent the dangers of this deadly gas.

Fixing your Furnace to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Louisville furnaceDo you find yourself this time of year itching your eyes, feeling stuffy inside ,or sneezing each time your walk outside? In the Louisville area, this is a particularly difficult season for allergies including dust, pollen and mold. But did you realize that these particular allergens can also be a prominent problem inside your home?

If you find yourself more tired, itchy, and irritated, you can help to improve your overall allergy symptoms and your overall health with a few basic improvements.

  1. Dehumidifiers – Sometimes the air in our homes can be overly damp due to leaking pipes or wet concrete basement floors. Dampness can promote mold and dust mite population. Dehumidifiers help alleviate the extra humidity in the air.
  2. Humidifiers -Just as you do not want the air at home to be too humid, you also don’t want it to be too dry, which is the tendency this time of year. Overly dry air is irritating to the lungs and can spread dust particles and pet dander that don’t have humidity to weigh them down. Another simple step to help add humidity to the air is to leave out a clean bowl of water or a fresh vase of flowers.
  3. HEPA filters – These filters added to your furnace help re-circulate, clean and dehumidify the air all at once. They also help to trap smaller allergen particles before they hit the air we breathe. Also remember not to sleep with the windows open which brings in more unfiltered allergens from the outdoors.
  4. Use exhaust fans to reduce moisture levels that may come from cooking, showers or clothes dryers.

Other helpful ways to eliminate harmful allergens without spending a penny include: not smoking inside the house, remove all particle board furniture which is made with formaldehyde which is a toxic substance and eliminate any carpeting you can. Carpets collect dust and dander.

Tackle your allergies from the inside out and eliminate harmful items that put you at higher risk. By making a few minor adjustments in the equipment of your furnace, you can breathe a sigh of relief with cleaner air inside your home.

Call at 812-280-0510

How to Avoid Airflow Issues with Your Furnace

Louisville heating and coolingThe cold, brisk winter months are not the time to discover that your  HVAC has shut down or is struggling to work. You may find yourself shivering, layering up clothes, and trying to crank the heat up, all to no avail. Unusual odors may begin to fill the air and unfamiliar noises may sadly signal the fact that your furnace is in trouble. The general reason this happens is usually the same: neglect. Homeowners can neglect a variety of maintenance issues that eventually can lead to system failure.

The indoor unit of the furnace houses the air handler. Inside the air handler the blower, filter, coil, condensation pan, and ductwork extensions are held. Neglect can affect any of these major areas, but here are a few of the most common areas where neglect can cause problems.

  • Dirty Blower – Inside the air handler, dirt can build up and collect on the fan blades and the motor. The accumulated dirt causes friction, which leads to wear and tear on the motor and reduced efficiency. Cleaning the fan blades and motor drastically improves performance.
  • Full Filter- Filters are designed to protect the air handler from dirt and pollutants, but if the filters become overloaded with debris, they will create tremendous problems for the blower and coils. Filters must be changed regularly.
  • Dirty Coil – Inside your handler there is a cooling coil that absorbs heat from the inside of your home, but if it gets dirty, operating efficiency will decrease and there will be much less capacity for proper cooling.
  • Leaky Ducts – Ducts that are not properly connected or insulated allow conditioned air to leak out and become key contributors to poor airflow. Heat and air will continually escape before it reaches your living spaces.

If you want to keep your air toasty warm this winter and blowing in the right direction, let VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., your Kentuckiana heating company, service your furnace and keep your air warm inside.

Call VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc @ (812)280-0510 for furnace repair in the Kentuckiana area.

Benefits of Keeping Your Home Ductwork Clean

Louisville heating and coolingAhhh, breathing in a breath of fresh air. Its refreshing. Its even invigorating to take in the crispness of a beautiful day and be filled with energy. But what if the clean air we breathe was replaced by dirty, dusty, contaminated air that clogged our airway and never got cleaned out? We wouldn’t last long.

Heating and air conditioning systems operate similarly to that of our own lungs. They take in all the elements in the air and in order to recycle it cleanly, they need attention and maintenance; otherwise, they will just spit back out the impurities they are fed.

There are two main reasons to maintain and clean your ductwork at home. You can probably guess what the first one is:

Air Quality In a six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through every day living. Dander, dust, and chemicals collect and are pulled in through your ductwork and re-circulated 5-7 times a day. Eventually, they collect and compound and what you have lurking in your vents and ductwork is a massive clump of dust and contaminants. As your furnace continues to operate, it must push through these elements that often get sent back into your home. This can cause extreme health problems for people with respiratory issues, autoimmune diseases, and allergies. It also creates a struggle for your system to operate, which leads us to the next reason.

Energy Savings The U.S. Department of Energy estimates the 25-40% of energy used for heating and cooling is wasted because it is not used efficiently. Having contaminants clogging your system causes it to work harder to maintain your desired indoor home temperature. Working harder to do its job causes strain on the system and shortens the life of your HVAC unit. Air filters help to a point, but they can’t eliminate everything.

Cleaning ductwork places a continuous negative pressure with a vacuum inside the ductwork, which prevents the spreading of contaminants that are present. Fine particles are removed so that they don’t become airborne back into your home.

Give your Kentuckiana HVAC a clean bill of health and a breath of fresh air by scheduling your next ductwork cleaning. We can recommend a local company that will keep your air clean and your HVAC system running smoothly.