Monday, June 24, 2013

Purifying The Air in Your Home - Part 5

     In the last several blogs I have shared a number of tips to help keep the air in your cleaner, healthier and safe for you and your family. Continuing now are two more ideas from the American Lung Association.
     First: Avoid Pesticides, and Pests, Learn 3 letters: IPM

Pesticides used to curb household pests can allow harmful chemicals into your home, and may cause added health dangers to children and pets. Some pests can even trigger allergic reactions and worsen asthma.
     Solution?: Practice Integrated Pest Management, (IPM) to keep your home free of pests and harmful chemicals alike. IPM includes simple things like blocking holes that allow pests into your home, and keeping food in tightly sealed containers. Cover your trash cans and keep your floors and counters free of crumbs and food particles. Use bait traps if necessary to catch pests. Only use chemicals as a last resort and get professional help.

     Second: Avoid Toxic Products
Consumer products can produce harmful air pollution indoors. Hair and nail products, cleaning products, art and hobby supplies and other common products can increase the levels of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Some of the VOCs in these products include substances linked to cancer, headaches, eye and throat irritation and worsened asthma.
Look for products which are marked "low VOCs" and be sure to open windows and use exhaust fans when using these products.
      In the next blog I will share more of these awesome tips that I know you will not want to miss. Oh, by the way, following the tips given here today will also help you be 'greener' in your life and kinder to the environment. For more helpful HVAC tips check out my blogs at Also go our website at

Friday, June 21, 2013

Purifying The Air In Your Home - Part 4

     I am continuing my efforts to share ideas and tips to purify the air in your home. These tips are based on 25 tips from the American Lung Association. Along with these I add things I have learned over the years that may be of help my readers. Here are the next 3 tips.
     1. Beware of Dry Cleaning  Chemicals

Dry cleaning solvents, and solvents of most any kind are strong chemicals, and can be toxic to breathe. It is good to let dry cleaned items air outdoors before bringing them inside. Hanging them outside for a couple of hours will allow them air out. Who knew?!? I have never done this and never have thought about it. I have friends that leave dry cleaning in the plastic bag until they are worn. This just keeps those toxic chemicals trapped in your clothing.
  2. Be Wary of Old Lead Paint

   Keeping the air clean within the walls of your home starts with the walls themselves. Lead based paint can still be found in homes built before 1978. Any peeling, chipping or chalking of lead-based paint can increase the risk ofunhealthy lead exposure. Young children riskk delays in mental development, lower IQ and beavioral problems from inhaling lead paint dust. Some of those damages can be permanent.
     Remodeling tht requires sanding, scraping or removing walls will release paint dust into your living space. You can reduce the risk by taking proper steps to minimize the danger. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)  has suggestions on their website to protect you and your family.
     3. Vent Your Wood Stove (Or Better, Shut It Off)
Fireplaces and wood or gas stoves in your home can produce carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particle pollution as well as other toxic air pollutants.
     Use a fireplace or wood stove ONLY if you must have it for heat. If you must use a wood or gas stove or fireplace, make certain it is fully vented to the outside. Wood stoves should meet State codes and emission standards, which require cleaner burning stoves.
     I hope this continuing segment of blogs is beneficial for you and that your are enjoying reading them. I have other blogs with awesome information on heating and cooling at or you can go to our website at

Monday, June 17, 2013

Purifying The Air in Your Home - Part 3

     Going 'green' is as much about your health as it is about saving our planet. The more we work toward green living the more we see our overall health improve. This is shown by the past two blogs I have written on the subject of 'purifying the air in our homes'. In this blog I will share four more tips given by the American Lung Association that can improve our health.
      First: There is no such thing as a 'hypoallergenic' pet.
Pet allergies can come from an animal's saliva, urine, feces and dead skin cells, so no pet is truly hypoallergenic. If someone in your family has pet allergies, then you need to keep your pet outdoors. Moving your pet outdoors can reduce exposure to these allergens. If your pet is a cat, cat allergens can stay in place for 20 weeks or more.
     Now I know, some of our four legged babies have to stay indoors most of the time, like mine does. So, in that case it would be good to keep them away from sleeping rooms. Clean your floors and upholstered furniture frequently, (two or more times a week) will help keep allergens at bay.
     Second: Kill Dust Mites

Dust allergies are actually allergies to dust mites - microscopic pests that need moisture to survive. Many authorities have concluded that breathing dust mite allergens can cause asthma in children. Dust mites feed on human skin and live in bedding, pillows, mattresses, stuffed toys, upholstery and carpets.
     To fight dust mites: Keep your humidity level below 50% indoors. Intense vacuuming and steam cleaning of upholstered furniture will help. Remove carpets altogether and replace with hard surfaces. Using dust-mite resistant covers and washing your bedding in very hot water may help as part of a comprehensive approach.
     Third: Don't Disturb Asbestos - Call a Professional
Asbestos is still found in many older homes. Inhaling asbestos fibers can increase the risk of lung cancer and other lung problems. Asbestos is lurking on pipe coverings, flooring, shingles, and roofs. Don't try to remove asbestos yourself. Call a professional. In some cases, asbestos is best, if left undisturbed.
     Fourth: Protect Kids From Bad Air On the School Bus
It is quite easy for our children to be breathing high levels of pollution inside their school bus, including diesel exhaust, fine particles and carcinogens. Older buses often produce high levels of a wide list of pollutants, sometimes higher then outside the bus.
The best thing you can do is to advocate for the use of clean diesel school buses. While all buses emit pollution, buses with cleaner equipment installed, reduce the amount of pollution. Good for our kids and good for the planet.
     I hope you keep following my blogs, and picking up a few tips that you find usefull. More blogs can be found at, or check our website at,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Purifying The Air In Your Home - Part Two

     In my last blog on this subject, I started with the first 3 of 25 tips provided by the American Lung Association, on things we can do to have clean air in our homes. In this blog I will continue to share tips 4-6 plus added information for the benefit of you and your family.
    Number 4: In the last decade or so we have heard more and more about 'VOC's". That stands for "Volatile Organic Compounds". Paints, for instance, release trace amounts of gases for months after application, even though they appear to be fully dried out and the smell of paint is long gone. These VOC's can include highly toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
     If your going to paint your home inside or out, look for "low-VOC paints, varnishes, waxes, and other chemicals. Even better then that, try a No-VOC paint. Keep your room well ventilated while painting. Also, if your going to carpet your home, many carpets are loaded with off gases and that's often why they smell weird for some time after installation. So read labels, ask questions, and use products that have the lowest amount of VOC's. Going no VOC's is... 'going green!'
     Number 5: Fix any leaks in your roof, foundation, windows and basement. Rain and high humidity can bring moisture indoors, creating dampness, mildew, mold and big problems for your health and indoor air quality. Let alone that mold is cancer causing. Now, I know there is low humidity here in Boise, Idaho, but there is still enough to cause mold and mildew. So it's a good idea that once a year, in the spring, give your house a good inspection for leaks or moisture problems and fix them asap. Keeping down, or eliminating mold and mildew is also part of 'going green'.
    Number 6: Because mold and mildew are related to serious asthma problems, it is important also to clean your air conditioning unit. This is especially true if you have window style room air conditioners. I am not talking about just cleaning the little filter, but the unit itself. In the spring before you need to start using it, it is a good idea to first blow the debris out of the unit with your leaf blower or air compressor. Next, take your garden hose and flush out the coils and base pan of the unit. Make sure the drain holes in the bottom are open so condensation can drain properly during use, and water can't sit in the drain pan. If you have central air conditioning, call your HVAC dealer and have them come out and give your A/C unit a good cleaning and tune-up.
    Well, that's enough to digest for this time. I hope you enjoy these tips and added information from @comfortguyjerry, to help you breath easy this summer. Next week I will share tips 7-10, so keep reading my friends. More summer home tip blogs are at  You can visit our website by going to

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Purifying The Air In Your Home

     You might not think that the air quality in your home has much to do with 'going green'. But really, many of the things we can do in our home to improve the air quality, also, at the same time improve the environment. Here in the Boise, Idaho valley we have many of the same air quality problems of bigger cities. So, it's important to see how cleaner air means "greener" air.
     The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that people spend about 90% of their time indoors, but that the quality of the air inside can be two, to five times more polluted then the air outside. Obviously, indoor air pollution can be a threat to the health, and the lives of our family.
     The most effective way to keep the air in our home healthy, is to keep things OUT of our homes that can pollute.The second most important thing we can do is, to make sure we have proper ventilation in our homes to remove stale or polluted air. Using things like bathroom fans, kitchen exhaust fans, opening windows when allowable, changing filters in our HVAC system regularly, or installing a whole-house air purification system.
     In this blog, I will start sharing with you 25 air quality tips from the American Lung Association to reduce the risk for asthma and other lung illnesses in your home. Here is first three of the 25 tips in this series of reminders.

The Three Deadly Pollutants:
Carbon Monoxide: 400 die and thousands get sick every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. At one time I had personal experience with this deadly gas. A simple fix is to install carbon monoxide detectors. Don't let your car or other engines idle in the garage. Fumes can seep into your home quickly and silently.
Secondhand smoke: 7,500 -15,000 children are hospitalized or sickened and we older adults are plagued by cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and other illnesses. Solution? Never, ever let anyone smoke in your home
or auto. The Surgeon General states that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke.

Radon gas: It's oderless, it's silent and found in many homes today. It is the second biggest cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoke. Solution? Test your home for Radon. It's easy, inexpensive and could save your life. Radon detectors can usually be found at your big box home improvement stores.

     I invite you to keep following my blogs at or check our website at