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CleanAir Solutions Blog

November 2019

Is Your Dryer Vent Letting All the Hot Air Out? How to Fix It Fast

dirty outside dryer vent

Dryer vents are not high on most home maintenance to-do lists. In fact, they rarely even get on such lists in the first place unless something dramatic goes wrong!

But these simple and usually well-hidden accessories bear a surprising share of the responsibility to keep your home warm, dry and safe, especially during the long and arduous winter.

Dryer vents are not only linked to home fire outbreaks across the continent, but they also play their own sneaky role in increasing your winter heating costs.

In this post, find out what you need to know about your dryer vent that could be costing you in more ways than just dollars and cents!

2 Warning Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Maintenance

These two common warning signs of a neglected dryer vent are often overlooked by even the most vigilant homeowners. Often, this is simply because most of us don’t really think or talk about dryer vent function, so we don't know what to watch for.

1. Your dryer could double as an extra freezer

Does your empty dryer feel icy-cold when you open it up during the winter? If so, you may have assumed this is just because it is cold outside.

As it turns out, the real reason is likely due to an unsealed or poorly sealed vent that is letting the cold winter air back into your home. This, in turn, transforms your dryer into one of the least energy-efficient appliances in your whole house.

2. Your dryer starts spitting lint balls like a champ

When you start finding soft fluff on top of, inside and behind your dryer, you can know for sure there is a dangerous amount of accumulated lint inside the dryer vent and deep inside the dryer appliance itself. But by the time this occurs, it is also important to recognize you have a fire risk brewing.

Ideally, you want to take preventative action before you start seeing lint balls appear, by keeping your lint traps clean and inspecting behind the unit.

3 Essential Dryer Maintenance Tasks

If you just read through the previous section here and found yourself unconsciously nodding, your dryer and its vent system need your help. But what exactly should you do to remedy the issues you are now aware of?

Follow these steps to have your dryer functioning better, drawing less heat to do the same job and operating much more safely for the rest of the winter.

1. Schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning service

Is a professional dryer vent cleaning really necessary? This is a normal and smart question to ask. Our answer is yes, and we will tell you why.

In addition to the front-access lint trap that you probably clean out after each dryer cycle, there are other lint traps deep in the recesses of your dryer that you can’t readily access.

If you think there is a lot of lint in your accessible dryer lint trap – the one you clean out at least every week or so – just think for a moment about how much trapped lint must be inside the inner vents you have never cleaned!

Here, it is easy to see why poorly maintained dryer systems are responsible for so many home fires each year.

A professional dryer vent cleaning service uses the same negative-pressure commercial vacuum technology that is used to clean out your air ducts.

This system safely and securely removes all trapped matter and sanitizes the duct system, erasing the home fire threat and restoring your dryer to optimal performance.

2. Reseal your dryer vent exhaust vent tube

When was the last time you checked the seal on your dryer vent? Most dryers are vented to the outside (although some may be temporarily rerouted back indoors in winter for an extra dose of warm humid air).

In either case, if the seal that is supposed to ring the dryer vent tube is missing or has degraded, this is absolutely going to cause cold winter air to backdraft its way inside your dryer and out into your home again.

If your vent tube has flaps on the portion that vents to the exterior of your home, these may not be heavy enough to withstand the force of winter winds, especially during seasonal storms. If you find this to be the case, you may need to secure them with something stronger to keep them in place.

3. Clean out your dryer vent exhaust vent tube

Finally, if you can’t think back to the last time (if ever) you cleaned out the lint in your dryer vent exhaust tube, now is definitely a good time to do it!

Lint, dust and trapped debris build up inside and around the edges of the tube, often to proportions that homeowners are stunned to discover.

This is especially the case if your existing vent tube has any kind of filter on the end that runs from the dryer itself. Sometimes the filter can get so clogged with lint it refuses to let any more pass through, which means potentially flammable lint is now backing up into the dryer itself.

This is so dangerous! You can take apart your vent tube yourself if time permits and give it a good dusting and washing outside. Or let our dryer vent cleaning professionals do it for you during your vent cleaning service.

Get in Touch

Is your hard-working clothes dryer overdue for some much-needed, well-earned professional maintenance and cleaning? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.

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Meet the UV Saber Light - An Air Purifier That Can Vanquish Dirty Sock Syndrome!

ultraviolet light

Have you ever heard of the UV saber? Most people answer this question with a resounding – but curious – “nope!”

It definitely wins the coolest name award, doesn’t it?

But you don’t need to be a highly trained Jedi to use this saber. You need only to become aware of all the airborne toxins in your indoor air and understand their potential health consequences to suit up, saber up and get your clean on!

In this post, learn about what the UV saber light can do to clean up your indoor air.

What Is a UV Saber Light?

At its most fundamental, an ultraviolet saber light harnesses a synthetic version of sunlight to stop potent toxins in their tracks.

Our sun produces three bands of ultraviolet light – A, B and C. Band C is by far the most powerful of the three, which means it is a good thing it is blocked by the ozone layer that surrounds Earth!

A UV saber light focuses synthetically generated UV-C light on your A/C coils.

The A/C coils become progressively dustier and dirtier each time your HVAC system cycles on and off. As dirt, dust, mould, mildew, pollen, pet dander, bacteria and fungi, viral and microbial matter accumulate on the coils, your whole system operates less efficiently.

Even worse, as the pileup continues, a portion of the trapped particulates gets dislodged and propelled back out into your indoor air supply with each air cycle. Gradually, your indoor air becomes less clean, less pure, less breathable.

Worst of all, as this process inevitably continues, your home will eventually start to smell like...dirty socks.

What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

"Dirty sock syndrome" might sound like a laughing matter, but unfortunately it isn't.

Everyone knows what dirty socks smell like (and for the record, we haven’t yet met anyone who likes this scent).

And just as with any fragrance, often there are a number of chemicals that combine together to produce the signature scent.

With eau de dirty socks, those chemicals are primarily mould, mildew, bacteria, dust, microbials, dirt and moisture.

Yuck!

As bacteria, mould and mildew spores settle onto your A/C coils, they make a happy discovery. There is plenty of organic matter and moisture to foster their new colony. The spores have found a new home and they couldn’t be more pleased.

Over time, the spores grow, replicate and spread, sending out new spores to find other favorable locations to colonize – perhaps inside your air ducts, out into the drywall, insulation or woodwork and anywhere else that dust, dirt and moisture come together.

Soon, that toxic concoction begins to stink. This is about the time we often get a call from a concerned homeowner who worriedly informs us that their house smells “a lot like dirty socks.”

While dirty sock syndrome is not always dangerous, it can be, depending on what type of spores your coils have attracted. And this is where your UV saber light comes into the picture.

How Can a UV Saber Light Fight Dirty Sock Syndrome?

As we mentioned earlier, a UV saber light takes synthetic UV-C light and focuses it on your A/C coils.

The reason a saber light does this is that UV-C light can change the molecular structure of toxic matter – liquid, gaseous or particulate – and neutralize it so it cannot cause harm.

For example, if a molecule of liquid or gas carries DNA inside instructing it to replicate itself and colonize, after coming into contact with UV-C light, that DNA will be damaged so it cannot do its job.

Often saber light purifiers also use a magnet along with UV-C light. The magnet attracts solid particles to it and literally pulls them out of the air so they will not be blown back into your indoor air supply.

In this way, a UV saber light tackles air toxicity on multiple levels by working directly on your A/C coils, stopping toxins before they ever get the chance to enter your indoor air supply.

Why You Want an Indoor Air Duct Cleaning + UV Saber Light

While a UV saber light can have a beneficial impact on indoor air quality all on its own, there is only so much even the strongest air purifier can do if your air ducts are clogged with toxic matter.

Air ducts really are an “out of sight out of mind” component of a home’s structure. Most people never even think about them until someone in the family starts coughing or wheezing and cannot stop.

Dirty air ducts are havens for the same mould and mildew and bacterial spores that often colonize the damp and welcoming A/C coils in your HVAC system. Once the spores have spread beyond the A/C coils and into your ducts, it’s going to take more than just an air purifier to get them out.

An indoor air duct cleaning and sanitizing service is your ticket to eradicating hidden colonies of bacteria, mould and mildew that are spreading through your air duct system. So often, persistent cases of dirty sock syndrome are those that have gone beyond the A/C coils and into the air ducts.

When you pair an indoor air duct cleaning and sanitizing service with installation of a UV saber light purifier, you not only remove existing bacteria, mould and mildew from your home but you also keep them from coming back – ever!

Get 10 Percent Off an Air Duct Cleaning OR a FREE UV Saber Light

This month, Clean Air Solutions Hamilton wants to give you an early holiday present your whole family can enjoy.

Choose between a 10 percent discount on a professional air duct cleaning OR a free UV saber light purifier!

Get in Touch

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.

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Static Electricity: What Those Shocks Are Telling You About Indoor Air Quality

girl with static hair

Zap, zap, zap. Does anyone like static electricity?

Your locks are flying about like Einstein’s on an especially bad hair day.

Every time you touch a doorknob, you get zinged again.

Your clothes won’t leave you alone...literally.

But static electricity has a more important message to deliver than just wardrobe malfunctions or tactile discomfort. When static electricity is on the rise inside your space, this also means humidity is on the decline.

Along with drier indoor air comes a whole host of indoor air quality issues that can affect your health and home safety. Find out what to do to stop the shocks and keep your family safe.

What Dry Indoor Air Can Do to Your Health

Though winter storms may sometimes temporarily elevate humidity levels, for the most part, winter here in Canada tends to fluctuate between dry, drier and driest.

Everything gets parched both inside and outside. When you combine overly dry air with constant indoor heating, this becomes a recipe for all sorts of health symptoms.

These are among the most common patient-reported symptoms associated with very dry air:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Irritated nasal passages and respiratory symptoms
  • Increase in seasonal bronchitis, colds and flu
  • Dry, cracked, irritated skin
  • Eczema and acne breakouts
  • Constant chills no matter how much you turn your thermostat up
  • Increase in allergies and asthma symptoms

What Dry Indoor Air Can Do to Your Home

It is bad enough to suffer through yet another super-dry winter with chapped lips, cracked skin, chronic cough and constant chills.

But what can make you feel even worse is when your home starts to show the telltale signs of being too dry inside too.

If you have natural wood furnishings and flooring, these are often the first to succumb to cracking as the wood dries out and becomes increasingly fragile.

Musical instruments will become harder to keep in tune.

Paper-based artwork, books and furnishings can also start to grow brittle and warp.

But the most concerning issue by far is the static electricity we mentioned here earlier. That uncomfortable zap actually represents a potent micro-electric charge – one that is perfectly capable of igniting any nearby flammable matter under the right set of circumstances.

So when you start getting zapped repeatedly in your home, it’s time to take corrective action to avoid a home fire risk.

Optimal Humidity Range for Human and Home Health

In the winter, sometimes humidity levels can drop to as low as 15 or even 10 percent. This is far below the optimal U.S. Department of Energy-recommended indoor humidity range of 30 to 50 percent.

When your indoor air stays between 30 and 50 percent humidity on a consistent, year-round basis, the majority of the health and home safety issues we just highlighted will decrease or cease.

You will feel better. Your home will look better. You won’t have to worry nearly so much about a seasonal home fire.

How a Whole-Home Humidifier Can Help

Installing a central (whole home) humidifier may sound like a daunting prospect, but in fact it is far easier than most homeowners think.

In fact, other than selecting the model of central humidifier you want, we will do all the heavy lifting – literally!

There are two types of whole-home humidification systems: bypass flow-through humidifiers and steam humidifiers.

Bypass flow-through humidifier

A central (whole home) bypass flow-through humidifier connects to your home’s central HVAC system and works with your furnace and air conditioner to continually balance the humidity levels inside your home.

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