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Air Pollution Within Your Home

Indoor air pollution is listed today as one of the worst toxic pollution problems we have to deal with. Why?

air pollution in your home is magnified with a dirty filter.Your heating and air conditioning system is on, usually more than nine months out of the year. Since it is on so much it is inevitable for your unit to become full of particles that have been lifted from both your home and the outside air. Your HVAC unit has many filtering devices that aid in making sure no harmful particles enter your home and your lungs. The only thing that homeowners fail to realize is the fact that after more than a month or so, those filters could be extremely clogged. Once your filter becomes clogged, the air passing through them could allow the harmful particles to latch onto the air and be circulated throughout your home. This is indoor air pollution in its purest form.

How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Reducing indoor air pollution is a relatively simple matter. It takes just a little bit of attention and effort to these tasks:

1) Get your HVAC system professionally inspected annually. A properly-maintained and working furnace or HVAC system will filter many contaminants out of the inside of your home or office. Furnace repair and maintenance professionals recommend that you have yours inspected once every 12 months. Inspection is relatively inexpensive and will ensure that you become aware of potential problems (some of which can be deadly) before they happen.

2) Change your furnace filter as frequently as is recommended by the manufacturer. Often this is every 2-3 months, but may be as frequently as monthly, depending on the make/model of your furnace or HVAC system. Filters are inexpensive, and you should be able to do this job yourself without calling in a professional. It’s the easiest way to cut down on indoor air pollution.

3) Consider using a HEPA filter. “HEPA” stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air.” This type of filter is designed to remove more contaminants than regular filters. In fact, they are able to remove 99.97% of particles that are larger than 0.3 micrometers, which goes a long way toward reducing your indoor air pollution.

4) Have your air ducts cleaned regularly. A majority of particles get blown through your air ducts and get caught in your filter. However, some, particularly bigger ones, may settle deep inside your ducts. The only way to remove these particles is by getting the ducts professionally cleaned. Professionals recommend having them cleaned once every 12 months.

5) Clean up after pets. Pet hair can be pesky to keep off your home’s surfaces. However, the longer it remains on surfaces, the more of it that gets into your air filtration system. Dust and vacuum regularly, and brush furniture too, if needed.

6) Don’t allow smoking indoors. It’s no secret that cigarette smoke is packed full of harmful pollutants. When you smoke inside, even if you confine smoking to a single room, it simply blows those contaminants throughout the whole house. All smoking should be limited to outdoors only to cut down on your indoor air pollution, far away from doors and windows (so pollutants aren’t blown back inside).

Call Brown and Reaves Services for an estimate on having air duct cleaning performed at your home or office to help cut down on your indoor air pollution. 843-497-9867. Pollen season is the time to make sure your ducts are as clean as they can be, and believe it our not, we’re just a matter of weeks away from seeing that yellow stuff everywhere. See our related article on Duct Cleaning Helping You Breathe Better.

Don’t forget to grab our 20% off coupon on your next service call by Liking us on Facebook.

7 Tips to Prevent the Flu

The dreaded flu season is a record one this year, with outbreaks everywhere exceeding expectations. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you protect your family from the flu this winter:

wash hands thoroughly and often to help prevent the flu virus from spreadingWash your hands, surfaces and cleaning supplies.
Often. Just 15-20 seconds of hand washing with soap and warm water—or alcohol-based rub—can help protect you from germs. Since human influenza viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours, kitchen and bath fixtures should also be scrubbed down regularly. Sterilize your sponges in the dishwasher.

Take your vitamin C.
Good sources include citrus fruit, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, nuts and kiwi. Supplements can also help shorten the duration of the virus following its onset.

Drink plenty of fluids.
Proper hydration is essential to a strong immune system and overall health. Water and herbal or flavored teas are the best choice. Avoid alcohol, which may decrease your resistance to viruses.

Practice good health daily.
Exercise, manage stress, eat healthy food and get plenty of rest.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough.
Be sure to use a tissue; touching your eyes, nose and mouth can help germs spread.

Don’t smoke.
Smoking cigarettes is a major risk factor for influenza, due to structural changes that can occur in the respiratory tract and a decreased immune response.

Clear the air.
Use an air cleaner or filtration system to capture bacteria and other small particles. A humidifier can also help your family breathe a little easier while reducing the incidence of sore throats and respiratory problems.

(Plus two bonus tips!)

Play “keep away.”
Avoid crowds wherever possible. Put about six feet of distance between yourself and others as much as possible to avoid contracting the virus. Similarly, if you happen to come down with the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks to avoid spreading the illness to others.

Vaccination.
Last, but not least—get a flu shot! The vaccine, available by shot or nasal spray, is recommended for everyone six months of age or older. It protects against infection and illness caused by the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be the most common during the current season. While the vaccine can’t prevent the flu altogether, it helps lesson the severity of the illness in the event onset occurs.

Although Brown and Reaves Services, Inc., isn’t in the medical business, we can help you keep the air you breathe cleaner. Call us today for a free analysis of your duct system. Brown and Reaves Services, Inc., Serving the entire Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area. 843-497-9867. Remember to grab our 20% off coupon on your next service call by Liking us on Facebook.

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