Air Duct Cleaning

You would be surprised and even shocked by the harzardous and unhealthy buildup in your air ducts. Read the information guides below to find out why air ducts should be cleaned regularly and why The Tu's Group, Inc. is the company to clean your air ducts for you. Call us today at 703-481-1261 to schedule your FREE estimate.

You Should Clean Your Dryer Vents

Alert: clothes dryers could cause fires, lint build-up is often overlooked.

Fires in dryer exhaust ducts pose a serious risk to consumers. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a consumer product safety alert. According to CPSC, annually there are 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 310 injuries due to dryer exhaust duct fires. These fires result in millions of dollars in property loss.

As more homes have clothes dryers and are built of tighter construction, the proper operation of the dryer becomes critical. Dryers are exhausting air from the house while they are in operation. Gas dryers are also venting the products of combustion in addition to the moisture from the clothes. Lint in the exhaust system can easily become fuel as temperatures rise and the duct becomes restrictive. Dryers may be located in an area where they must compete for combustion air with gas-fired water heaters and furnaces or boilers. This can lead to life threatening malfunctions on the part of the heating equipment.

Because the dryer duct is usually a 4" diameter, the slightest amount of deposit can greatly reduce the ability to exhaust. When its starts taking longer to dry the clothes, the problem is not usually the dryer, but rather the exhaust system. Optimum airflow is the key to effective dryer performance. When clothes are given the appropriate amount of air, they dry quicker and are subject to less tumbling. This results in less wear on the clothes and less use of electricity or gas - saving you money.

Whether it's your home or rental property or even a large apartment building, we can handle the job. We use state-of-the-art equipment for all types of dryer vent cleaning problems. Don't let your lint problems burn you up! Call us for more information, or to set up an appointment.

A Dryer Vent Cleaning Test

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Indoor Air Quality and House Plants

Ahhh... A Breath of Fresh Air. It's a long-held belief that talking to your houseplants can help them to thrive. But, did you know that they in-turn can return the favor, even though you may refuse to carry on a conversation with your coleus?

The benefit of filling your home or office with houseplants isn't myth. Research continues to demonstrate the ability of plants to improve the quality of indoor air.

The energy crunch of the 1970's led to changes in building technology. Homes and office buildings are insulated and sealed to increase energy efficiency. The downside of lower heating and cooling costs, is the concern about indoor air pollution. The tightening of buildings means less fresh air is allowed into the structure.

Many offices re-circulate air, with no opportunity for opening windows to bring in a fresh breeze. The air quickly becomes stale. Humans exhale carbon dioxide, contributing to the worsening air quality. Plants, giving off oxygen, do just the opposite. Architects and building designers are beginning to include plants as important parts in the design of new buildings, often circulating air through plant-filled atriums.

Besides giving off oxygen, some plants have even proven their ability to remove harmful chemicals and pollutants from the air. Among them, the common spider plant was proven by NASA scientists to be able to absorb and remove formaldehyde - a common chemical used in many building products, including carpeting - from the air.

During the last 20 years, more than 40 plants have tested successfully in removing various indoor air polluting chemicals.

Experts recommend using as many plants as practical in the home and office, mixing different varieties, since it's not certain which combinations of plants work best together. The list of house plants suggested by researchers include spider plants, dracaenas, palm, ficus, Chinese evergreen, golden pothos and peace lilly.

There is no such thing as a bad choice when selecting house plants - some are better than others at improving the air we breathe - but all plants, due to their natural beauty, will help improve the morale in your home or office.

Houseplants make great houseguests too. They don't eat or drink much, won't track mud in from outdoors, and never dump over the garbage. Have you ever heard of a dog's-tooth violet having an accident on the living room carpeting?

So, take a deep breath of fresh air, thank your thalia and tell your yuca plant that you love him.

Is Your Home Making Your Family Sick?

Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health, but may not know that indoor air pollution can also have significant effects. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times, and on occasion more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants are of particular concern because it is estimated that most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors.

Over the past several decades, our exposure to indoor air pollutants is believed to have increased due to a variety of factors, including the construction of more tightly sealed buildings, reduced ventilation rates to save energy, the use of synthetic building materials and furnishings, and the use of chemically formulated personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.

In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by EPA and its Science Advisory Board have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. Poor indoor air quality is a leading cause of allergies in humans and pets.

Allergies are an over reaction of the immune system to foreign substances. This over reaction weakens your immune system, draining your energy and leaving you more susceptible to infectious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.

Allergic reactions can range from mildly uncomfortable to life threatening, as in a severe asthma attack. Health experts are especially concerned about people with asthma. These people have very sensitive airways that can react to various irritants, making breathing difficult. The estimated number of people with asthma has risen over 59 percent since 1970, to a total of 9.6 million people. The number of related deaths has increased by 68 percent.

The largest source of indoor air pollution is from the common household dust mite. In February, 1993, John W. Maunder, Ph.D., Director of the Medical Entomology Center at the University of Cambridge, UK, published a paper entitled "Carpets, House Dust Mites and Asthma" in which he states, "There is no longer room for serious doubt about the dominant role of the house dust mite in both the initial induction of asthma and in the subsequent triggering of wheezy attacks. Asthmatics are not allergic to living mites but to the airborne feces of mites and, to a much lesser extent, to dead mites." Dr. Maunder states that although living mites are difficult to remove from carpet, their feces are readily removed from carpets by proper cleaning. "A carpet regularly cleaned will not and cannot contain enough allergen to affect people. The proper maintenance of carpet completely prevents trouble from that source."

A recent study concludes that carpets may benefit indoor air quality by acting as a filter for indoor air, trapping and holding dust mites, pollutants, and allergens like pollen, pet dander and molds, which play an important role in allergic diseases. The key to maintaining good indoor air quality in a home is to remove these pollutants regularly.

As you can see, regular cleanings are important not just to maintain the appearance of your carpets, but for hygienic reasons, as well. Contaminates in your carpet that need to be removed on a regular basis.

Waiting until your carpet looks dirty is waiting too long. In fact, the EPA recommends having carpets and upholstery cleaned at least twice a year, more often if you have children or pets.

Properly cleaning your entire home can also go a long ways in the battle to control dust mites and other indoor pollutants. You cannot see a dust mite with the naked eye, (dozens of them will fit on the head of a pin) but you can help keep their favorite breeding grounds dry and clean.

Controlling dust is very important. Besides carpeting, dust mites also thrive in upholstered furniture and bedding. Vacuuming will not remove them, but will help to remove dust. Make sure that you use a vacuum cleaner that filters the exhausted air. Get in the habit of vacuuming your carpets and furniture thoroughly, at least a couple of times a week.

For more information on this subject, visit the EPA website @ www.epa.gov and enter "indoor air quality" in the search engine. Another good source of information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website @ www.cdc.gov. Or, talk to your physician.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why clean my air ducts?

No filter is 100 percent effective at filtering out contaminants from your duct system. As a result, every time your system turns on, the dust, pet dander, mites and other contaminants that settle in the ducts gets blown back into your home and into the air that you breathe. In addition, the process of heating or cooling your home creates the kind of temperature and humidity changes in your ducts that enable the growth of unhealthy mold, fungus, and bacteria. The result being poor indoor air that can lead to increased symptoms for allergy sufferers.

When should my air ducts be cleaned?

When anyone in your home or office has breathing difficulties such as asthma, allergies, or emphysema. Before moving into a new or pre-owned home. Whenever you notice discolored areas around your vent covers. When you notice excessive dust on your furniture. If unusual odors are present when the furnace or air conditioning is running. After a fire, water loss, or flooding, and after remodeling or construction.

What are the health benefits of duct cleaning?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust and debris. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.

Will duct cleaning reduce my energy bill?

Research by the U.S. EPA has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span, and generally operate more efficiently than dirty systems. For more information about how our duct cleaning services can improve your homes air quality, call our office today!

How do I really know what's in my duct?

Call us today and we will give you a free video inspection of your air vent system. Here's what it includes. Our technicians will remove one of your cold air vent covers. We will insert our special camera lens into your air vent. On our television monitor, you will be able to see for yourself what's inside your system.

Before Cleaning

After Cleaning

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Our Service Areas

The Tu's Group, Inc. provides services in the following areas: Northern Virginia, Loudoun County VA, Prince William County VA, Fairfax County VA, Arlington County VA, Sterling VA, Ashburn VA, Vienna VA, Great Falls VA, McLean VA, Reston VA, Herndon VA, Fairfax VA.