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Indoor Air Quality

Seven Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality During the Winter

By | Indoor Air Quality, Uncategorized | No Comments

Seven Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality During the Winter

  1. Clean your floors and carpets regularly using a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
  2. Choose non-toxic cleaning products.
  3. Avoid fragrant products.
  4. Maintain humidity around 35-45%.
  5. Introduce fresh air at least once a week.
  6. Use low-VOC materials during home improvements.
  7. Inspect your HVAC ducts and clean when appropriate.

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

COVERING UP THOSE NASTY ODORS?

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

Growing up, that was the solution.  Something smelt bad, we were taught to spray it with a fragrance.  Then the fragrance market got smart and added disinfectants.  So, we bought fragrant disinfectants and sprayed the nasty smell till it went away.  And, when it returned, we knew it was time to spray it again.

Indoor Environmental Professionals are spreading the word:  Don’t ignore that odor or cover it up.  Odors are our best indicator of a real problem.  Mold, bacteria, the wrong mix of products or chemicals, smoke, gas leaks, sewer leaks, rodent infestations, improper air circulation . . . are just a few of the culprits behind odors.  The odors indicate a deeper issue.  Rather than covering up the odor, eliminate the source.  Ultimately, eliminating the source yields a healthier environment.

A simple example:  Mrs. K complained of an intermittent foul odor that gave her headaches while she worked in her shop.  Upon investigation, we removed all the chemicals from under her utility sink and placed them on the back porch.  She stopped having headaches.  She was unaware that the product containers release vapors.  The use of equipment in her shop circulated the air releasing the vapors into her work area, causing the odor and the headaches.

BEST RESOLUTION TO ODORS:  Eliminate the source!

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

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.

BUSTING MYTHS ABOUT RADON

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Myth:         Scientists disagree on whether or not radon is a real problem.

Fact:           The dispute is not whether or not radon is real. Scientists are in agreement that radon causes lung cancer. The dispute is over the number of preventable lung cancer deaths every year.

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Myth:         Radon testing is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

Fact:           Testing is easy. You can do it yourself. Average cost to test ranges from $20-150.

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Myth:         Radon only affects homes with basements.

Fact:           Radon can be a problem on all types of buildings.

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Myth:        The test results on the home next door are a good indication as to whether or not our home/building has radon.

Fact:         Many factors play into how radon infiltrates a building. The only way to know for sure is to test.

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

 

WHAT IS RADON & SHOULD I REALLY BE WORRIED?

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Radon is a radioactive gas that cannot be smelled, seen, or heard.  It moves up through the ground to the air above and into our buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation.  Buildings then trap the radon gas inside where it can build up.

Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the US is estimated to have elevated radon levels.  Elevated levels of radon have been found in buildings in every US State.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Start by testing.  It’s quick, easy, inexpensive, and can save the lives of your building occupants.

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

Four Considerations When Purchasing an Air Purifiers

By | Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

 

Four Considerations When Purchasing an Air Purifiers:

  1. Cost of replacement filters: typically filters will need cleaned or replaced every 6-12 months.
  2.  Certifications:
    • The Energy Star certified purifiers are 40% more energy-efficient than standard models.
    • AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) Verified which provides clean air delivery rates and room size guidelines on the seal.
  3. Room size: if in doubt, size up.
  4. Noise: test to make sure you can live with it.

To get the most out of your Air Purifier:

  1.  Clean or replace filters regularly.
  2. Establish its location wisely.
  3. Keep the air purifier running 24/7.

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

 

Nine Tips for Reducing Indoor Air Pollution

By | Indoor Air Quality, Indoor Environmental Quality | No Comments
  1. Install energy efficient windows and doors.
  2. Establish air purifiers/sanitizers in heavily used rooms.
  3. Change the filters in the HVAC unit as soon as they appear dirty.
  4. Vacuum regularly with a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
  5. Confirm all exhaust fans are exhausting the air to the outdoors.
  6. Use the kitchen exhaust fan while cooking.
  7. Use the bathroom exhaust fan while showering, and then for an additional 20 minutes.
  8. Do not smoke indoors.
  9. When using chemicals, ventilate till vapors and gases have been diluted or exhausted.

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

Let me tell you a Radon Story for NATIONAL RADON ACTION Month!

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Over the Summer Pete and Sue had the neighborhood over for a huge barbeque.  The neighbors to the east of them brought potato salad and chips.  The neighbors to the west of them brought burgers and hot dogs.  The neighbors to the north of them brought chicken and fries.  And the neighbors to the south of them brought an assortment of desserts.  Everyone had a great time.  Little did Pete and Sue know that the neighbors to the east of them would save their lives!

Pete and Sue mentioned that they were considering getting a radon test taken in their basement.

  • The neighbors to the south thought it was just a waste of money . . . another thing to get homeowners to spend their hard-earned dollars.
  • The neighbors to the north said that they had a relative that was diagnosed with lung cancer, and the doctor had said it was directly related to exposure to radon. They had their home tested and the radon levels were very low.
  • The neighbors to the west said they too had a test done about a year ago and the levels were very low.
  • The neighbors to the east said their radon test showed high levels of radon, and they had a system put in very economically. They strongly recommended that everyone have their home tested.  For a little bit of money and time, lives could be saved by testing and taking action if appropriate.

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless radioactive gas that currently penetrates one out of every 15 homes in the United States.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in our country today.

Now it is January, Pete and Sue get up from the news to fix a drink.  When they return, they hear a commercial about January being NATIONAL RADON ACTION month.  Pete looks at Sue and says, “Let’s do it.”

Shocked to see that the radon levels in their home were extremely high, they spent a total of $1,500 to have a radon mitigation system installed.  By February, their radon levels were very low, and they had peace of mind.

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

EIGHT TIPS TO PREVENT “SICK BUILDING SYNDROME”

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

Sick Building Syndrome is a situation in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.

1. Check out the EPA’s AirCompare tool. Learn about the outdoor air quality in your area and the times of the year that may be unhealthy to leave doors and windows open.
2. Make your building as air tight as possible and follow-up by taking control of your indoor air and environment.
3. Establish your ventilation system to ensure that fresh air gets brought in and properly filtered. By doing so, any allergens, VOCs, or indoor air pollution is now being filtered and diluted.
4. When possible, use chemical-free, toxin-free products indoors. When chemicals have to be used indoors, properly exhaust and ventilate during and immediately after use.
5. Clean with damp clothes and a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Avoid dry-sweeping and dry dusting since this practice stirs dust and pollutants that can linger in the air for hours.
6. Test for radon. Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless natural-occurring radioactive gas that seeps into our buildings from the uranium in the soil. The only way to know if it is infiltrating your building is to test.
7. Install carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, fatal gas that is produced any time fuel is burned.
8. Connect with Nature! Studies show that the more time we spend outdoors and with nature, the better our wellbeing is. Consider ways to bring nature into your living space.

Odor Control

By | Indoor Air Quality, Mold | No Comments

Mold has many smells.

 

Step One: Find the Source!

Air freshers, disinfectant sprays, candles etc. only cover up the source of a mold issue. You may think your house is clean after smelling the Sea Breeze candle, but the cause of that mystery odor must be found and eliminated or the environment is unhealthy.

Mold is very good at hiding.

Mold can grow inside walls, under carpets, inside heating and ventilation ducts, and more.

Step Two: Remove the Source!

You just found mold under your carpet? Rip it out! Some areas contaminated with a mold colony can be cleaned to remove the mold, but some materials must be thrown away. These include porous materials such as:

  • Carpeting
  • Cardboard
  • Mattresses
  • Box Springs
  • Padding
  • Stuffed animals
  • Upholstered furnishings

Other materials:

  • Paper products such as books and albums
  • Food

Step Three: Clean the Air!

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. A visible mold colony can be removed but the spores are still in the air. The spores can survive in harsher, drier conditions than a colony, and if moisture returns, the spores can regenerate a colony. A mold contamination is not remedied until the spores have been eliminated.

If you can’t find it, remove it, contact us for an investigation or mold removal:

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