The Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Air Quality Score & What That Means for You

Have you ever wondered how clean the air you breathe really is? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has created a system for rating air quality called the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI lets you know how clean and safe the air in your area really is.

Regularly monitoring the air quality in your area can help you better understand your risks for exposure to pollution. Below, we’ve put together a basic summary of the air quality for the Dallas and Fort Worth metro areas.

Dallas-Fort Worth Air Quality Report

Currently, the AQI in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area is 157, which is considered unhealthy. While ozone levels are good, fine particulate matter levels (PM2.5) are elevated. PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air that can make it more difficult for some people to breathe and can also impact visibility. This poor air quality is due to African dust that is spreading inland and raising particle levels across the state.

Remember, this air quality report is as of June 2018, and AQI changes over time. (In fact, it may have changed between the time when this was written and when you’re reading it.) While there may be particles moving across the state at this time, impacting air quality, these particles will eventually pass, making it safer to breathe freely again. Therefore, it’s important for you to routinely check air quality reports to help protect you and your family from exposure to pollutants.

What does this mean for you?

An unhealthy AQI can mean different things for different populations. According to the EPA, sensitive groups, including those who have heart or lung disease, older adults, and children are the most vulnerable. People who are a part of this population should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. It is better for those who are sensitive to spend more time indoors and cancel or postpone lengthy outdoor activities.

Those who are not considered part of a sensitive population can still experience impacts from unhealthy AQI levels. Everyone should reduce any prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors. If you do have to perform activities outside, make sure that you take multiple breaks indoors. If possible, try to postpone any outdoor activities for another time.

Improving IAQ for Dallas and Fort Worth Homeowners

If you are living in the Dallas or Fort Worth metro areas, you may be concerned by air quality reports above. While it may be alarming that the air outside can be unhealthy for sensitive populations, there is good news. While you don’t have control over the air outside, you do have control of your indoor air quality.

Advent Air Conditioning Inc. provides a range of quality indoor air quality products such as air purifiers, UV lamps, and ventilators that help keep the air inside your home clean and safe to breathe. Adding these types of IAQ products to your home can help combat some of the effects of poor air quality in your area.

If you’re ready to start breathing healthy, fresh air in your home, give us a call: (469) 240-5456.

3 Common Duct Issues & How to Avoid or Repair Them

When is the last time you thought about your air ducts? Though most homeowners don’t have air ducts on their mind very often, they do play an important role in your home comfort. Air ducts are the pathways that help heated or cooled air make its way through your home. And though you may not think about them, you will most likely start to notice when something goes wrong with your ducts.

Below, we’ll discuss the top 3 common air duct issues and how you can avoid or fix them:

  1. Your air ducts are dirty.

One of the most common air duct issues is that air ducts become dirty. Debris can build up in the middle of the duct or the walls of the air duct become caked in dirt over time.

When your air ducts get dirty, this can impact your HVAC system’s performance. You may start to notice that your heating and cooling system isn’t working as well as it once did. Or you may even notice that your energy bills start increasing because the system is no longer as efficient.

In addition, this build-up of dirt and debris can also impact your air quality. When the dirt starts to circulate through your home, you may find it harder to breathe.

How to Avoid and Fix:

If you notice these problems occurring in your home, it may be time to get your air ducts cleaned. Keeping your air ducts clean throughout the year is the best way to avoid these issues, which can impact both your home comfort and indoor air quality.

  1. Your air ducts aren’t properly sealed.

When your air ducts aren’t properly sealed, this can spell disaster. Leaky air ducts can cause air leaks in your home. When air leaks from the ductwork, this makes your heating and cooling system work harder to keep your home comfortable, making your system less efficient. The less efficiently your system works, the more money you waste on energy costs.

Not only does air duct sealing impact energy efficiency, but it can also affect the lifespan of your unit. Any gaps or cracks in your ductwork leave room for insects, critters, and debris to make its way into your ductwork, causing costly issues later on.

How to Avoid and Fix:

The only way to avoid these issues is to make sure that your ductwork is sealed. If you have already experienced issues with debris building up as a result of leaky ductwork, you’ll want to make sure that you have your ducts cleaned before making sure they’re sealed.

  1. Improper Ductwork Design

When it comes to the design of your HVAC system ductwork, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every home has different needs when it comes to ductwork. These can vary based on the size of the home, the number of rooms, and how spaces are designed within the home.

If your ductwork was not designed and installed by a professional HVAC contractor, this can cause issues. It may be harder to keep your home comfortable or you may find that the system is running inefficiently and driving up your energy costs.

How to Avoid and Fix:

If you think that your air duct design may be impacting your home comfort, you need to call a professional HVAC company to evaluate your system. Your issues may be due to other problems with your system that don’t relate to the design. An experienced HVAC technician will be able to diagnose the issue and provide effective solutions.

Tired of Air Duct Problems? Go Ductless!

If you’re tired of dealing with pesky air duct problems, it may be time to check out ductless cooling and heating systems. The all-in-one ductless HVAC system provides you with the same home comfort without the need for all that bulky ductwork.

Ductless HVAC systems are ideal for smaller spaces where ductwork can take up valuable square footage, but they also work for larger homes with more space to heat and cool as well. Ductless systems also provide for more easy zoning, allowing occupants to choose their own comfort levels in each room.

To learn more about our ductless systems, call: (469) 240-5456.

Houseplants Better Indoor Air Quality

4 Houseplants to Add to Your Home for Better IAQ

Spider Plant

This plant is commonly found in homes and offices because it is as resilient as it is beautiful.

If you tend to neglect all your houseplants, this one is a great choice as it tends to be hard to kill. Spider plants boast a great deal of rich foliage and therefore help combat airborne pollutants such as benzene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde as well as a common solvent called xylene. It also happens to be a pet friendly plant, in case your cat or dog likes to nibble on your indoor greenery. Another great benefit of these plants is that it is easy to make spider plant “clones”. Simply snip off a small baby plant (the mini ones that look like the main plant) and place it into nutrient rich soil and then water as usual. Spider plants prefer slightly cooler home temperatures, bright indirect light, and for the soil to dry in between watering.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an excellent plant to have around the home as it not only helps clean the air by trapping pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde, but the gel inside the succulent leaves can also be used as a topical solution on sunburns, scrapes, and more. Aloe loves direct sunlight and thrives in slightly warmer temperatures.  This plant is also easy to “clone”. The “baby” aloe plants will appear at the base of the main plants and detach easily. Simply replant and water sparingly to encourage growth.

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

This plant is also known as the “snake plant” and is a very popular houseplant due to its beauty and the level of care it requires. This plant is among the very best houseplants for filtering out formaldehyde, a common ingredient found in many household products that often finds its way into your home’s indoor air. Since these plants release an abundance of oxygen during the nighttime, they are especially well-suited for bedrooms. Although this plant works well in all areas of the home, it actually thrives in humid conditions, so a bathroom is a smart spot for these plants as well. These plants may be toxic to pets, however, so place only in areas where pets cannot access.

English Ivy

English ivy is a very common houseplant that is easy to grow and care for. Another great choice for any room in the home, as it is shown as a great filter for a variety of airborne pollutants, such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. It is also said to reduce mold spores as well. This plant does well with low light, so if you have a room with little to no windows, English Ivy would be a great addition.

Indoor Air Quality Services in the Lewisville Area

If you’re looking for more indoor air quality solutions for your home, then call the experts at Advent Air Conditioning. We offer exceptional HVAC services in the Lewisville area, and our technicians understand how to keep you comfortable in your North Texas home. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you improve your indoor air quality, contact us today.

Cause Polluted Indoor Air

6 Causes of Polluted Indoor Air

Indoor Air Quality, otherwise known as IAQ, is a big deal when it comes to the health of you and your family. On average, Americans spend approximately 80-90% of their time indoors, and a good portion of that time is spent at home. It’s important, then, to make sure that your family is breathing air that is pollution-free.

Most people don’t consider their home’s indoor air to be polluted; but, did you know that the air indoors can actually be several times more polluted than outdoor air? It’s true! Mainly due to stagnant air and the buildup of airborne pollutants, indoor air can become quite a health hazard if left unchecked.

Here we list 6 common causes of polluted air in the home:

  1. Outdoor Air Pollution

While all air can be polluted indoors (even if you live in the beautiful countryside), it is much more likely to have issues if you reside in a major city, or a place that experiences a great deal of outdoor pollution. To prevent outdoor air from affecting your indoor air, be mindful of the condition of the air outdoors by checking local weather channels. On high smog or pollen days, keep the windows and doors closed as much as possible.

  1. Deficiencies in Ventilation System

Improper ventilation can cause big problems for the quality of your home’s indoor air. Most HVAC systems have built in ventilation controls (which is what the “V” stands for), but there are many things you can do as well to improve home ventilation. Use exhaust fans when cooking in your kitchen and while bathing. Change your HVAC air filter regularly, and clean vents and registers around your home as needed. Also, at least 3 times weekly, air out your home by opening all windows to allow fresh outdoor air to replace stale stagnant indoor air.

  1. Overcrowding

Too many people in a space can create indoor air quality problems. This is due to the various products and such that individuals use on a daily basis (such as cologne, nail polish, hairspray, etc.) which can build up quickly in improperly ventilated areas.

  1. High Temperature

Heat can cause problems for indoor air quality as it tends to help release harmful fumes from various areas of your home. This is particularly apparent with wall-to-wall carpeted homes, where high temps can create harmful VOCs in the air.

  1. High Humidity

Humidity in the home, and especially standing moisture, is bad for IAQ. Excess moisture in the air (anything over 50%) can breed problematic airborne pollutants, like mold and mildew. Left unchecked, mold and mildew can create health problems for you and your loved ones, not to mention, cause bad smells and damage your property.

  1. Improper HVAC Maintenance

Ignoring your HVAC system is a surefire way to end up with bad indoor air quality. Your heating a cooling system needs checked on at least annually, to make sure that there are no existing problems with the units, and to catch any small problems before they become costly fixes. If you live in the Plano area and are in need of a maintenance check, give us a call to schedule an appointment.

Trust Advent to Help Improve Your IAQ

We offer a plethora of indoor air quality products that will help you achieve better IAQ in your home, including Air Purifiers, UV Lamps, and Ventilators. Give us a call today to learn more or schedule a consultation 469-240-5456.

IAQ Roundup

Indoor Air Quality 101: Advent’s Top Articles on IAQ [Round-Up]

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the analysis of the quality of the air inside of buildings and homes with regard to the occupant’s health and comfort. With how much time is spent in such a confined space, dust, bacteria and other pollutants can quickly build up inside of homes and other buildings, making the air inside of these buildings much more polluted than even outside air.

This is especially concerning for those who are prone to react to airborne contaminants such as those with asthma. In order to promote a happier and healthier Lewisville, Advent Air has compiled our top blogs covering everything you need to know about IAQ. Read through these blogs to make sure that you are doing everything you can to give yourself and your family the cleanest and most comfortable air possible.

IAQ: Facts You Need to Know

This blog is a great introduction into IAQ. It covers some of the basics of indoor air quality, who is at risk and what common household items, or habits can cause poor indoor air quality. It can be hard to believe how easy it is for pollutants and contaminants to be released into the air, however, as we spend so much time indoors, it’s only a matter of time before these pollutants are released and then inhaled.

How do Air Purifiers Work?

The HVAC industry’s solution to poor indoor air quality is the use of an air purifying filter within your HVAC system. This blog covers the solutions that air purifiers provide as well helpful tips to get the most out of your air purifier. From the function of air purifiers to cleaning tips to maximize your home’s air quality, read on to discover what an air purifier can do for your home’s air quality.

Best Air Purifier for Allergies: An Introduction to Carrier Indoor Air Quality Products

If you or a loved one has allergies, this is a must read! The need for clean, pure air in a household with one or more allergy sufferers is obvious. However, choosing your first air purifier can be extremely overwhelming and difficult. Where do you begin? What brands can you trust? Are there products that are more suitable to my family’s habits or my geographical location? Carrier has been a leader in HVAC industry for decades and offers three great air purifier products for all needs and income levels.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors vs. Carbon Monoxide Monitors

Every homeowner should be aware of the serious threat that is carbon monoxide. This silent killer is one of the greatest threats to your indoor air quality and the safety of your home. This blog covers the advantages that carbon monoxide monitors have over detectors for keeping your home as safe as possible.

How to Control Dry Air in Your Home

Aside from keeping your home more comfortable, this blog discusses the health benefits of maintaining a stable humidity level in your home.

For more homeowner tips and HVAC expertise, regularly follow the Advent blog. To help improve your family’s comfort and health, contact Advent Air Conditioning to schedule an indoor air quality consultation or HVAC system maintenance today. 

 

best-air-purifier

Best Air Purifier for Allergies: An Introduction to Carrier Indoor Air Quality Products

Did you know that indoor air, due to airborne particles and poor ventilation, can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air? If your household is like many in the United States, you may have one or more allergy sufferers living in your home. Whether you or your loved ones face seasonal or pet allergies, maintaining good indoor air quality is incredibly important.

The good news is that we can help! Advent Air Conditioning offers a great selection of indoor air solutions, including three different series of Carrier brand air purifiers, which can improve the quality of your indoor air above and beyond keeping your home and HVAC air filter clean.

By using an air purifier in your home, you can eliminate common contaminates, such as germs, mold, airborne vapors and chemicals, harmful compounds, and even airborne viruses. There is a suitable air purifier for every home, and we can help you determine the best one for you and your family’s needs.

Infinity Series Air Purifier

This is the very best unit you can get if you’re looking to prevent allergy attacks and get your indoor air as clean as possible. It offers standard filtration as well as germicidal air purification.

The award-winning Infinity Series Air Purifiers is an incredibly powerful, yet virtually silent, option that harmonizes with your current HVAC system, enabling your indoor air to be cleaner and healthier.

With a patented “Capture and Kills” technology, the system can trap and destroy up to 95% of pathogens. It works great for allergies because it is effective against pollen and animal dander, as well as smoke. Also, independent testing has verified that the Infinity series is effective at destroying 13 common pathogens as well as indoor fungus.  

Performance Series Air Purifier

The Performance air purifier is also a great way to improve indoor air quality for allergy sufferers as it is proven effective against viruses and other pathogens. It also works in conjunction with your home’s current HVAC system. While the Infinity series can eliminate up to 95% of pathogens, the Performance series air purifiers can destroy up to 75% of organisms, which is still a great improvement for your indoor air quality.

The Performance Series Air Purifier is also a smaller-sized air purifier (under 8 inches wide), so it works perfectly for smaller homes or in tight spaces. This air purifier is a great choice for those who need better flexibility for homeowners as far as installation of the unit.

Comfort Series Air Purifier

Carrier also offers a lower cost option that is suitable as a whole home air filtration system. It utilizes a high efficiency air filter to remove up to 65% of airborne pollutants, and its unique filter design encourages air to continuously flow throughout your home while purifying your air.

The Comfort Series Air Purifier is effective at reducing the number of allergens within your home’s air, whether you have pet dander or seasonal pollen that you’re trying to combat. This may be the best option for homeowners that are looking for an affordable air purifier that will help improve indoor air quality in their homes.

Advent Air Conditioning specializes in home comfort. Whether we’re helping you and your family maintain the ideal temperature or finding ways to improve your indoor air quality. If you have any questions about our indoor air quality products and how they can help improve the quality of your air, give us a call today: 469-240-5456.

How to Save Money and Keep Your Home Comfortable This Winter

Your home should be one of the most cozy and safe environments in your life. Whether you want to come home to relax, spend time with family, or get more work done, creating a comfortable home environment is important to health and happiness.

We know that finding ways to stay comfortable can be difficult, especially in the winter-time. What’s more is that home comfort can also get expensive if you’re not working to stay efficient. That’s why we have rounded up some of our top articles on home comfort to help you cut costs while keeping your home safe and comfy in the wintertime.

Money-Saving HVAC Tips

Your HVAC system uses up a lot of energy, especially when you’re running your heater in the winter. This energy usage can have a significant impact on your monthly energy expenses. If you want to keep your home comfortable this winter without breaking the bank, check out these blog posts on energy-efficiency:

  • Carrier Cor Thermostats: A Guide for Homeowners tells you all that you need to know about Carrier’s smart thermostats. These devices are great for gaining better control over your home comfort, but they can also help you save energy and cut electricity costs by allowing you to remotely monitor and control your home temperature, no matter where you might be.
  • In 5 Common Home Heating Myths, we take on some of the biggest mistakes that Lewisville homeowners make when it comes to heating their home. By avoiding these mistakes, you can work on cutting down your energy costs while safely and effectively keeping your family cozy this winter.

Controlling Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality plays a big role in your home comfort levels. You want to make sure that you and your family are breathing safe and healthy air while also enjoying a comfortable home climate. Here are just a few articles that offer helpful advice for maintaining indoor air quality in winter:

  • Winter means colder weather, which also means drier air. Our article, How to Control Dry Air in Your Home discusses the impacts of dry air in the home environment. This post also offers affordable solutions for controlling the dry air to create a more comfortable home environment for you and your family this winter.
  • Our post, How Humidifiers Can Help Relieve Allergy Symptoms describes the power of this popular indoor air quality device. If you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies, you may want to take a look at this informative article to find out if a humidifier might be right for your home.

Carbon Monoxide in Lewisville, TX

An important part of keeping your home environment comfortable is making sure that the air inside your home is safe to breathe. Carbon monoxide can significantly impact your health, making it the most costly of indoor air quality issues. Here are a couple of articles that help you better understand what Carbon Monoxide is and how it can impact your home environment:

  • Our article, HVAC Safety Tips: Residential Carbon Monoxide Leaks discusses some common signs that you may be dealing with a carbon monoxide leak in your home. The article also offers other important information such as what to do if your carbon monoxide detector goes off, who you should contact, and what your HVAC contractor can do for you.
  • In Carbon Monoxide Detectors vs. Carbon Monoxide Monitors, we delve a little deeper into the differences between detectors and monitors. You can also listen to an informative interview with owner Mike Douglas who appeared on the Chris Krok show to talk more about carbon monoxide and how it impacts Dallas families.

Want to learn more about home comfort, energy efficiency and HVAC? Read more helpful articles on our blog, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

What Is Indoor Humidity, and How Can I Control it?

If you’ve ever felt sticky inside your home or experienced dry eye and breathing problems, you may have poor indoor humidity levels. Moisture can make the air feel heavy outside, but at the right levels, it contributes to greater comfort inside.

What Is Indoor Humidity?

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air. Indoor humidity always differs from exterior humidity. Depending on your heating and air-conditioning, humidity levels may rise and fall inside your home throughout the year.

Overwhelming humidity inside a house may make the air feel thick, but even slightly elevated levels can contribute to mold and insect infestations. Black widow spiders, cockroaches, and other uninviting creatures thrive in moisture-rich environments. Humidity can contribute to rot, peeling paint, and unsightly water stains.

Poor humidity can cause wooden floors and furniture to contract and feel uncomfortable. Dry air contributes to dryness in the nose, throat, eyes, and skin, creating uncomfortable sensations and increasing the likelihood of illness.

Measuring Indoor Humidity

Both low and high humidity levels can affect musical instruments and cooking. The optimal indoor humidity level hovers between 40% and 60%. You can purchase a hygrometer at big box stores or online to find out your home’s actual levels.

Humidity may vary throughout your home. The kitchen, bathroom, and basement will likely be more humid than other rooms. To gain an understanding of your home’s general humidity, measure the levels in the most-frequented rooms before you try to adjust it overall.

Controlling Indoor Humidity

Some humidifiers work as complementary systems to HVAC systems. These built-in or attached solutions monitor and adjust humidity to maintain the optimal range. If you do not have a humidifier connected to your HVAC system, however, you can take these steps:

  • Purchase a humidifier or dehumidifier. Depending on the humidity levels in your home, you may need a humidifier, dehumidifier, or both. Dehumidifiers use cooling coils to pull water out of the air. The drier air moves back into the room, while the moisture moves into a removal container for emptying. Humidifiers, on the other hand, add moisture to the air using vibration technology or heat to produce water vapor. In the South, you may need a humidifier for winter and a dehumidifier for summer.
  • Install exhaust fans. To remove moisture from the air, you may also want to install exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom, and other humid areas. Fans direct moisturized air outside the home to keep humidity levels within optimal ranges.
  • Boil water. If you need some instant relief from dry air, put a big pot of water on the stove on high heat. Watch the stove to prevent the pot from burning, and enjoy the humidifying benefits of warm water vapor in the kitchen.

Humidity can contribute to or take away from your airflow experience. If you’re curious about your own home’s humidity levels, add a hygrometer to your shopping list and talk to your HVAC provider about possible built-in humidifying solutions.

Advent Air would be happy to help you better understand your home comfort options when it comes to monitoring and controlling indoor humidity. Contact us today for more information.

air purifiers

How do Air Purifiers Work?

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality For Better Health

Most people are aware that air quality can have a significant impact on personal health, but what many may not know is that the air inside a home is typically more harmful than air from outside. Every year, Americans spend millions on home air purifiers, but how these devices work and their beneficial impact can be difficult to determine. Some air purification systems can actually cause more harm than good.

Indoor Air Contaminants

The air inside a home carries far more contaminants than outdoor air. Indoor air collects moisture, pet hairs, and dander that can circulate through the home’s heating and cooling ducts, and outdoor allergens and other particles can blow in through open doors and windows, and get trapped inside. Smoking indoors directly spreads toxic smoke throughout the home.

Moisture is a major area of homeowner concern, as excessive moisture can encourage the growth of dangerous molds. Mold spores can be highly toxic if aspirated, so your home’s air quality and moisture levels definitely play a role in your overall health. Moisture, mold spores, tobacco smoke, allergens, pollen, and pet dander can be trapped in carpets, furniture, and linens, creating even more health hazards.

How Air Purifiers Function

Most home filtration systems clean the air circulating through the heating and cooling ducts. Filters are usually cotton, fiberglass, foam, or other synthetic fibers. The density of the filter’s fibers dictates how well the filter performs: Dense filters have very small gaps, meaning they can catch some of the smallest contaminant particles.

These filtration systems require diligent maintenance. While some filters can be cleaned and reused, most need to be replaced after a time. Filters also reduce the overall efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling systems, and they inhibit airflow even more if they aren’t replaced regularly.

Some people invest in standalone units that filter the air; you can move them from room to room, anywhere in the house. However, some of these are more harmful than helpful; air ionizers can circulate ions back into the air and stain furniture and other surfaces. Unless the air purifier is HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) certified, it isn’t worth the investment and may cause more problems than it solves.

Tips For Healthier Indoor Air

Before you commit to an air filtration system, there are a few things you may be able to change around your home to get the most return on your investment. First, clean your home thoroughly, especially areas that are dusty, rarely used, or collect moisture. Smoking should take place outside. Not only does this improve air quality inside the home, but smoking indoors is a fire hazard.

If you have pets, make hygiene a part of your routine to help eliminate pet dander and hair. Vacuum your carpets often and try to circulate fresh air through your home. Open a few windows to allow fresh outdoor air inside and blow out some of the stagnant indoor air. Once you’ve done these things, it’s time to consider an efficient air filtration system installed and serviced by professionals.

Advent Air is the highest-rated heating and cooling company in Lewisville since 1981. We provide residential and commercial air conditioning, heating, and air quality services, as well as preventive maintenance to ensure your system operates efficiently and doesn’t cost you more money than it should. Visit us online to read about some of our success stories and happy clients and reach out to us for professional assistance in making your home’s air healthier.

Advent Air -- Infographic Banner -- IAQ -- 07-15-16

Facts and Statistics About Pollution and Indoor Air Quality

So you have a home, that you spent the extra money to make sure the cool or hot air stays in or out. Now your home insulantion keep your home comfortable all year long right? Its also keeping in all the allergens inside, call us today and we’ll make sure your home has good indoor air quality.Advent Air -- Infographic MAIN -- IAQ -- 07-15-16