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Musty Smell in House? Dirty Ducts May Be the Reason.

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Musty Smell in House? Dirty Ducts May Be the Reason

Your home's duct and ventilation system is used year round. It is constantly working to keep your home well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature. However, ducts often go unnoticed and even neglected until an odd odor becomes apparent, such as a musty smell in house. A dirty duct system can be the cause of a musty smell in house.

Professional Inspections of the Duct System

To know if a musty smell in house is coming from dirty or clogged ducts, you need to call an expert to come check your system. HVAC certified heating and cooling professionals like those at Airtek can  inspect the duct work, observing components including:

- Filter

- Cooling Coils

- Drain Pan

- Humidifier

- Supply Main

- Supply Plenum

- Supply Branches

- Main Return

- Access Panels

- Heat Exchanger

- Insulation

Have Your Ducts Cleaned When Mold is Present
Air ducts should be cleaned annually, as some dust and dirt is normal. However, if the inspector finds mold growing on hard flat surfaces in substantial amounts, the ductwork is in immediate need of cleaning. The cause of the mold must be eliminated or it will return. Mold causes a musty smell in house and can present a serious health risk if not removed.

Clogged Ducts

Ducts can become clogged after a rodent infestation, which can result in numerous health dangers due to resultant droppings and fur. Ducts can also become clogged with wind-blown trash and dirt. A musty smell in house is one of the indicators of these problems developing.

Clogged ducts cause the heating and air conditioning unit to work harder than it should, which shortens the life of the heating and air conditioning unit and adds to the monthly bill. No one wants higher bills.

Extra Charges for a New AC

The cost to replace the heating and cooling unit goes well over the price taped on the box. The fees associated with installing a new heating and air conditioning unit include:

- Proper recycling fees required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

- City mandated permits for making home improvements

- City mandated permits for the crane to operate in a residential neighborhood

- Delivery charges

- Charges for hauling the old unit away

Maintaining the unit you own keeps it working for the estimated 10-year lifespan of an average HVAC unit. The maintenance of your unit does should include a yearly duct cleaning.  One of the clearest ways to know if the duct system needs cleaning is if there is a musty smell in house.

Musty smell in house is a good indicator of moisture present somewhere in the duct system. Usually, the moisture comes from a leaking roof or pipe. The water gets in the insulation and mold begins growing. In the right climate, mold spreads quickly. Once it creeps into walls and floors, the danger to health becomes high and your home must undergo serious renovations in the infested areas.

Hire a Trusted Duct Cleaner

If you have a musty smell in house, the time to act is now. Call Airtek for an assessment of your system, as well as an estimate to restore it to proper working order. 

Always check references before hiring a duct cleaning company or any contractor.  Airtek thoroughly checks the background of each potential employee. They have off the chart reviews and years of experience. That is the kind of company to hire for duct cleaning or any clean up after fire, flood, hurricane or other unwanted events.

Fast Action Saves on Water Damage Emergency

Water damage can occur anywhere and is a major problem, not only to the overall quality of the building, but the quality of health for anyone who lives, works or enters into the building. This is exactly why bringing in a professional to look over the water damage is a must. There are a few different tips and tricks you can use in order to help reduce the water damage, but ultimately, this is typically a job that you simply are not able to do on your own, due to the size of the problem or the complexity. Furthermore, if the water damage emergency takes place in your business, you need it corrected right away, otherwise it could be found in violation of different local codes, and the building can be shut down. Due to this, as soon as you discover the water damage emergency, it is time for you to step into action. Contacting Airtek is the first step towards correcting the water damage emergency, although while you wait for the professionals to arrive, there are a few ways you can try to reduce the water damage and save some of the property.

Remove the Water

If you have any item that is going to help you remove the water currently sitting in the room or facility, you need to use it. A wet/dry vac is perfect this. You can use it to remove water out of the rug, flooring or other areas and then dispose of it. While you are not going to have the same, professional equipment as Airtek, you can still do what you can to reduce the water, which should help cut down on the water damage. 

Move Furniture

Try to move everything off the ground and away from the problem area. This is going to help you save some of the furniture and valuables form the water damage emergency, all while making it easier on the Airtek professionals to clean up the situation and return it back to normal. No matter what the item is anywhere from a chair to a book shelf, you need to move it, if possible. The longer it sits in water the more it is going to absorb or be exposed to it. Metal is going to eventually break down and rust as it sits in the water longer, and the wood furniture is just going to absorb it. After a water damage emergency takes place, you need to move everything out of the way.

Air Flow

If possible, try to expose the water damage emergency to air flow. The more air that moves past the water damage emergency location the easier it is going to be to dry, and the harder it is for mold spores to latch onto something and start to spread and develop. Try to open windows and doors (as long as there isn't standing water that is going to escape) to bring in more air, and you might also want to set up fans in the area as well. 

Contact Right Away

After a water damage emergency, contact Airtek right away. The faster you act, the better off the location is going to be after the water damage emergency. With this in mind, you are able to reduce the amount of water exposure, not to mention cut down on the overall cost it is going to be to fix the entire problem. This is exactly why you need to spring into action and why you also need to contact the professionals at Airtek as quickly as you discover the growing water damage emergency location.

Air Ducts: A Hidden Household Danger


Proper Maintenance

Restaurant Hood Cleaning


Restaurant kitchen hood cleaning services are important for ensuring your kitchen remains clean and maintaining your business. Considering the amount of activity in your kitchen, it is highly expected that dirt and grease will build up in your exhaust hood. This can be a breeding site for bacteria and mold, which are undesirable and would negatively affect your business. It is thus necessary that you conduct regular cleaning of the kitchen hood, though this may be a messy affair. Most companies will hire professionals to do it for them.

Annual Airduct Cleaning Benefits


Homeowners who take the time to clean airducts save money in the long run and improve air quality in their home. Well maintained heating and cooling systems are more efficient and last longer than those that are only cleaned when something breaks. This also ensures cleaner air and a reduction in airborne contaminants.

Getting Your Air Ducts Ready for Winter.

Making sure your air ducts are clean and free from debris is an integral factor in keeping your central air conditioning and heating systems running efficiently. This is especially true during winter months when the temperature and humidity comes into play and when most people spend more time indoors.

Dirty air ducts can cause some of the following situations;

  • Inefficient air flow. Your air ducts can become so dirty if left alone that certain parts can become blocked. This can impede air flow causing the system to become less effective. This may cause increased energy consumption as the system may need to work harder to move the air to the desired spaces in your home, which in turn will cause your energy bill to go up.
  • Decreased air quality. All of the debris inside your air ducts could potentially be pushed out and circulated with the other air in your home. As this is the air you breathe, you may be breathing in that debris unknowingly. This is of increased concern for those dealing with breathing problems, such as asthma, emphysema, and so on.
  • Fire. While this is less likely to happen than the aforementioned situations, some debris can accumulate and start to burn when heat is applied to them. Hair is a common perpetrator that builds up over time in your air ducts and can burn when the heater or furnace is on. In rare cases, it can cause a fire. More often than not, it will only cause a burning smell to become circulated throughout your house.

In the case of air ducts 'out of sight, out of mind' does not apply. This is something that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent any of these situations from occurring. Winter air duct cleaning is a simple solution to get your system ready for the cold season.

It is important to find and contact a company you can trust. Asking friends and neighbors is a great place to start. Make sure they are a member of NADCA ( National Air Duct Cleaning Association) Checking their standing with the BBB is also a great tip. If you're satisfied with their work, a helpful idea may be to schedule your next cleaning so that it is already scheduled without you having to remember months from now. Winter air duct cleaning is something that should be at the top of your to-do list to keep your home in tip top shape year round.

You Have a Water Damage Emergency. Now What?

In many areas across the nation water damage is the leading cause of loss for property insurance claims for homeowners and bussiness owners. It is very important to be prepared and have a plan of action in case you become one of the unlucky people that has to deal with this situation.

  • Stop that leak! First and foremost, you need to stop that water if it is still leaking into your house. That doesn't mean repair the pipe, appliance, hole, or whatever it is that is bringing unwanted water into your home or business. It simply means stop the water.
  • Call your insurance company. Call in your claim as soon as possible. The earlier you can start the claim process, the better.
  • Take pictures. Take pictures of everything and then take some more. You may or may not get an adjuster coming out to take their own pictures as well, but you still want to document everything for yourself. This also means keeping all of your receipts.
  • Get the water out! To help speed up the drying out process, the air needs to be dry and circulating. Air movers and de-humidifiers are the normal pieces of equipment used by water mitigation companies.

If you follow these helpful tips, you can reduce some of the stress that goes along with a water damage emergency. There are two parts to your water damage emergency in most cases; mitigation and restoration. Mitigation is the first part of the process where you stop the leak and prevent further damage to your home or business, or mitigate your damages. Restoration is the part where you rebuild your damages to make your home or business like it was before your water damage emergency. Some damages only need a small amount of mitigation and no restoration if you're lucky. There are many companies out there who specialize in water mitigation, restoration, or both.

Don't be afraid to ask questions during the process so that you always know what the next step is, whether it is with your insurance, water mitigation, or restoration company. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to handle the water damage emergency while keeping your sanity in tact. Staying in the know and on top of the mitigation and restoration portions of your water emergency is the best way to ensure that things are completed according to your own personal preferences.

Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage.

Time Is Not On Your Side. 

The number one rule when dealing with water damage; The longer is stays the more it costs. Most rooms can be dried easily however provided that the source of the leak is stopped and the air is circulating. It is usually a good idea to use air movers and dehumidifiers to speed up the process. When the water stays longer than a few days, in most cases, the remediation processes will be much more intensive and expensive. These remedies can include; 
  • Water extraction. 
  • Drilling holes in the drywall or the bottom 2 feet when the drywall is saturated beyond repair. 
  • Removal of baseboards.  
  • Removal of carpet and underlayment. 
  • Removal of wood flooring. 
  • Mold remediation. 
All of the above mentioned mitigation techniques are costly and most require replacement of the affected areas. Your best bet is to act quickly and start drying out the area as soon as possible. 

Anti-Microbial Agents Are Your Friend. 

It's always a good idea to spray a good anti-microbial agent on the affected area or to ensure that your mitigation company does. This simple chemical can prevent the growth of mold under most circumstances. Mold loves water and humidity. The chance of mold developing increases the longer the water sits in the affected area. Anti-microbial agents are quite inexpensive and can usually be purchased at your local hardware store. ALWAYS ask a flooring expert, based on your type of flooring, before spraying chemicals onto your floors. 

Prevention Is Key. 

The most important tips for any type of water damage situation is to mitigate and protect your property as soon as possible. Damage restoration is a very expensive process so anything you can do to prevent damage will save you money. When dealing with insurance policies, it is also a stipulation in almost every homeowner and commercial policy that you must protect your property from further damage. If you are worried about coverage, don't let that keep you from stopping the source of the water. Even if your damage is not covered, the damage and the leak will need to be fixed. Remember to save your receipts just in case. 

Ask An Expert.

When in doubt, don't be afraid to contact a local water damage mitigation company for helpful tips. The good ones will want to earn your business and should be more than happy to give you some useful information. 

How to Recover from Water Damage and Manage Your Insurance Claim.

In most areas water damage is the number one cause of loss for homeowner's insurance claims. These water damage cleanup claims can be some of the most costly and stressful claims for a homeowner as they more often than not involve interior living spaces. It's always a good idea to have some general knowledge and strategies in the back of your mind should you face a water damage situation.

  • Protect Your Property: Act quickly! Stop that leak as best as you can from preventing further damage. If you're concerned about insurance coverage, take pictures along the way. There are clauses in most policies that can negate coverage if you don't protect your property from further damage. So don't wait for an answer on insurance coverage before you stop that overflowing washer or leaky pipe. That doesn't mean repair the problem, just stop that water from making any further damage.
  • Document Everything: Take pictures, keep receipts, take notes, and take more pictures. When in doubt, take a picture. Insurance adjusters love pictures.
  • File Your Claim: Call your insurance company or agent as soon as possible and take notes. It's very common for claims to be handled and transferred to different adjuster during the length of your claim. Don't be afraid to ask questions and always ask,'what is my next step' or 'what can I expect next'.
  • Don't Jump the Gun: Be wary of signing up with an attorney or public adjuster just yet. While they can help in some situations, a call to your state insurance regulation agency is a free and easy way to get advice if you're having a problem with your claim without signing over a percentage of your payout. 
  • Act Normally: Even if your claim is not covered, that swimming pool you used to call your basement will still need to be drained. Act as a reasonable and prudent person would. Don't let that flooded basement turn into a mold jungle because your claim wasn't covered. You've been taking pictures and documenting everything and can consult with your state agency without putting your health in danger.

Many water damage cleanup claims can be quite stress and hassle free with the right strategies. There are many water mitigation companies out there who provide emergency services and do the restoration and rebuild. Whomever you choose, make sure you research their reputation and don't be afraid to ask questions often.

Don't Ignore Mold in Carpet

Mold in carpet is dangerous, and could be quite harmful to the individual who comes into contact with it. It can cause many symptoms/health problems, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Allergic reactions (possibly severe)
  • Lung problems

These issues can be even worse for the very young, very old, and those with compromised immune systems.

There are, however, ways you can prevent the growth of mold:

  • Reduce your home's humidity to between 30% and 60%. Use a dehumidifier if necessary.
  • Never install carpeting in bathrooms, or anywhere else where there is constant moisture.
  • When cleaning carpets with a machine that uses water, ensure the cleaned area dries thoroughly.
  • In the event of a spill or, worse, flooding, the affected area must be dried within 24-48 hours to avoid mold in carpet.
If mold or mildew is already a problem in your home, always wear protective gear when you come into contact with it. Use gloves which come up to mid-forearm. In order to keep mold spores out of your eyes, wear goggles without ventilation holes.

Find the source of excess water or moisture. Be sure to check the roof for any leaks, as well as the plumbing. Keep in mind that air ducts need to be checked as well, since heating/air conditioning/ventilation systems can blow mold spores throughout the home.

If there is mold in carpet, check to be sure the mold hasn't extended down to the carpet padding. If it has, both the carpet and padding must be removed. If the mold is only on the carpet's surface, a steam carpet cleaner can be used - simply mix Lysol in with the cleaning solution.

Mold in carpet is something which can be prevented, but once it takes hold it can be difficult to clean up without removal and replacement. That's why it's important to stay ahead of it and take precautionary measures.

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