Category

HVAC

Considerations When Doing HVAC Ductwork

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Indoor Environmental Quality | No Comments

A space quite often forgotten and left unprotected during renovations is the HVAC ductwork or mechanical equipment. Sawdust is biodegradable but if it gets into the ductwork, it can become moist making it the perfect nutrient for mold growth. When the HVAC unit kicks on, it spreads the mold spores throughout the building.

If replacing the ductwork, avoid duct board and flex duct. When duct board becomes moist, mold will root into it. The best option to remove the mold is to remove the duct board so the roots are eliminated. Flexible ducts are not easily cleaned. Solid metal ducts are the best option.

Properly insulate ductwork in attics and crawlspaces. Otherwise, condensation may occur when there are changes in temperature. Moisture and dust in the ductwork create a perfect environment for the propagation of mold. Ductwork should be insulated on the outside of the ductwork, not the inside. Otherwise, it cannot be adequately cleaned.

Use filters recommended by the manufacturer. Initially, filters should be checked monthly to determine the replacement timing required for the building. All buildings will be slightly different depending on the use and occupancy of the building.

Before re-occupancy after renovations, consideration should be taken to have the HVAC system professionally cleaned.

Many IAQ investigations end in the identification of poor indoor air because of dirty or contaminated ductwork. Protecting the ductwork during renovations is crucial.

The amount of ventilation will be determined by the size of the area being renovated and the amount of construction dust and off-gassing that will occur. It is crucial to have the air pulled from the area and exhausted to the outdoors rather than forcing fresh air into the work area. Doing so will cause polluted air to enter areas adjacent to the work area. 

Cleaning should occur daily along with a deep cleaning after the demolition and a final deep cleaning upon completion of all construction and renovation. Proper deep cleaning must be employed, including HEPA vacuuming, damp wiping, and a final HEPA vacuuming, and when applicable, cleaning of the ductwork.

Material encapsulation is the process of placing a barrier between the material of concern and the indoor air. This reduces the number of gases or particles emitted into the indoor air from the building component or the products used to perform their installation. Although some encapsulation occurs automatically as a result of the work plan, it is usually safer to specify the use of materials that do not off-gas or that are low-VOC instead of attempting to encapsulate all surfaces.

Encapsulants typically include high-pressure plastic laminates, factory-applied coatings or films, and coats of water-based polyurethane lacquer.

So if you are planning to do ductwork anytime soon, keep these points n mind and contact Baxter Environmental Group, Inc. if you need help making sure your indoor air quality stays healthy!

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY ebook.

SHOULD WE GET OUR AIR DUCT CLEANED?

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

SHOULD WE GET OUR AIR DUCT CLEANED?

  •  Is there visible mold growth on the hard surface ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system?
  • Are the ducts infested with vermin such as rodents or insects?
  • Are the ducts clogged with dust and debris or are particles actually being released from the supply registers?

If any of these are true, the EPA recommends the air ducts be cleaned.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

DIRTY DUCTS – MYTH BUSTER

By | HVAC | No Comments

MYTH:  Ducts should be cleaned once a year at minimum.

FACT:  Dirt in air ducts adhere to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space.

Ducts should be cleaned under the following circumstances:

  • There is substantial visible mold growth on hard surface ducts or on other components of the heating and cooling system.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin.
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from the supply registers.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

Trapped With Contaminants

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Indoor Environmental Quality, Radon | No Comments

Save on the Energy Bill or Save on Your Health Bill?

New homes, schools, office buildings, and more are being built as airtight as possible in an effort to save on energy, and to be able to better control the indoor environment.

But if the indoor environment isn’t properly controlled, contaminants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), and radon can build up and circulate throughout the house.

Read More

Air Quality & Your Air-Conditioning

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

Can Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect an A/C System?

In the tristate area July is the hottest month of the year. Averaging at 85°F, air conditioning units are working their hardest.

Small particles like dirt, animal dander, tobacco smoke, dust, pollen, bacteria and more are constantly circulating throughout the A/C unit and hopefully getting caught in the filter. But the more particles captured, the more chances the filter has of getting clogged.

This creates an unhealthy indoor air quality by reducing the airflow throughout your building. The HVAC system is forced to work harder to maintain the same temperature throughout the building and that means something bad for the energy bill –

A/C units also have various cooling parts inside that can be affected by clogging particles.

 

How to keep A/C units running cool?

One crucial task is to frequently replace air filters. Don’t let make it work twice as hard because it’s going to call it quits.

For areas in which the filters get dirty quicker than normal, one may want to consider adding an air purification system to the problem areas, whether it’s a small portable air purifier like Airfree or a whole-house system like those from Aprilaire.

National HVAC Tech Day

By | HVAC | No Comments

SHOW A LITTLE LOVE FOR THE HVAC TECHS!

In 2016, National HVAC Tech Day was created by ARS/Rescue Rooter to show appreciation for all HVAC technicians in the industry.

A lot of their work takes place outside so the office environment of a HVAC tech is whatever the weather wants it to be. Extreme heat to rain to cold.

Though it’s not much better if they get to go indoors- From crawl spaces to attics, they may be crawling over debris, dead pests, and mold.

They stay up to date on the newest HVAC technologies and provide regular maintenance to save you from a horrible electric bill. Maintaining efficient HVAC systems help reduce your carbon footprint!

Duct Sealing

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

Does your home have hot or cold spots?

Excessive dust?

High utility bills?

Does your building fail specifications for duct tightness?


These are signs of an air leak in your HVAC duct work. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) says that 75% of all ducts in commercial buildings leak 10-25%. That’s 200-700% higher than ASHRAE’s recommended standard of 3%. Leaks in the return duct spread contaminants throughout the rest of your home or your facility. Leaks in a facility’s ventilation shaft reduces the efficiency of exhaust fans.

Duct Sealing improves indoor air quality from the inside out, repairing leaks with a non-toxic sealant.

Benefits:

  1. Saves energy.
  2. Improves comfort and ventilation.
  3. Helps businesses comply with building codes.

To learn more, visit Total Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning.

National Healthy Homes Month

By | Asbestos, Home Improvement, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon, Safety | No Comments

Celebrate National Healthy Homes Month!

 

June 2017 is the Second Annual National Healthy Homes Month.

Indoor Air Quality has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the five most urgent environmental risks to public health. HVACR manufacturers, distributors, and contractors are installing more indoor environmental products noticing that IAQ plays a large role in employee health and performance.

People spend most of their time indoors; National Healthy Homes Month offers concepts and tips for keeping those inside spaces healthy and safe.

The theme for this National Healthy Homes Month is Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home. Each week in June; NHHM will focus on the “Principals of Healthy Homes” with associated set of activities:

  1. Childhood lead poisoning prevention
  2. Residential asthma intervention
  3. Injury prevention
  4. Smoke free public housing
  5. Safe indoor pest control
  6. Radon Safety
  7. Disaster Recovery

A series of webinars will also be happening throughout the month.

For resources and activities updates, visit the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.

Download the NHHM Planning Guide from the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes

Download

Introducing Jason Young, Indoor Environmentalist

By | Baxter Group, Inc., HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold | No Comments

Baxter Group, Inc. welcomes our new Indoor Environmentalist, Jason Young.

Baxter Group, Inc. welcomes our new Indoor Environmentalist, Jason Young. With nearly 20 years of experience with indoor environmental quality and air filtration, Jason takes our indoor environmental division to a whole new level. He’s tested emission sources in oil refineries, trash to steam facilities, medical waste facilities, printing facilities etc.…

He’s tested and certified entire production facilities mostly in the Semi-conductor or pharmaceutical industries, has performed HEPA filter leak testing, Laboratory Fume hood testing, Laminar flow device and Biological Safety Cabinet testing and certification.

Jason is here to help with all your indoor environmental quality needs. He’ll work with you to identify the problem and provide the proper remediation resources.

Services we offer:

  • Global Harmonization Establishment and Maintenance
  • Odor Investigations
  • Comprehensive Indoor Air Quality Assessments
  • Testing for TVOCs, PCBs, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, dichloroethene (ethylidene chloride), carbon tetrachloride, asphalt fumes, ammonia, ethanol, nicotine, new rug odor, total petroleum hydrocarbons, silica, endotoxins, mycotoxins, PCR – ERMI, bacteria, and so much more.
  • Dust Sampling
  • Drinking Water Analysis
  • Testing for Sick Building Syndrome
  • HVAC Cleanliness Inspections
  • Preventative Maintenance Programs