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Dec042015

7 Ways Your House Is Making You Sick

SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com

It often starts when someone retires, says Jeff May. All of a sudden, the retiree is spending a lot more time in his homethe home he has lived in for yearsbut he finds he cant breathe. Hes wheezing and sneezing and uncomfortable all the time.

How can this be?

Because now the retiree is spending more time in a house where something is triggering an allergic or asthmatic reaction. And while it may sound surprising, your house can actually be making you sick, says Jeffrey May, author of "My House Is Killing Me."

Where Indoor Pollution Lurks

The whole concept of indoor pollution is pretty new, says May, an expert in the dangers of mold and other home pollutants. For a long time, our focus was on what was going on in the environment outside our homes. But in the last decade or so, weve realized that the indoor environment can be making you sick.

So what kinds of click here things happen to make you feel this way? May says dust mites, mold, and other microbial growth are usually the culprits. Where do they lurk? Read on to find out.

1. Heating and Cooling Systems

air vent



HVAC is probably the biggest culprit, May says. When air-conditioning cools your home, for example, it often leaves traces of water in the ducts that become the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. That microbial growth is often the cause of respiratory issuesasthma, allergies, coughing, and headaches. But it should also be said that not all air ducts become contaminated, and not all people become symptomatic from those that do.



Solution: Have your air ducts professionally cleaned at least every couple of years. And be sure to service your heating system, as well, to make it operate more efficiently and cleanly. But the Environmental Protection Agency says scientific evidence is scant on whether this cleaning will solve your health problems. May disagrees. Most of the time, most people get better after cleaning, he says. Most people get a lot better.

2. Indoor Leaks

leaky pipe wrench

Unseen leaks may be causing mold growth in your home, which can be problematic for people prone to asthma and allergically-induced breathing problems.

Solution: Check pipes, closets, basements, and attics to ensure all is dry. If you find any leaky areas, clean and dry where the water has accumulated, and contact a plumber or roofer to fix the situation. Its the stuff you cant see that can really hurt you, May explains.

3. The Bedroom & Your Furniture

pillows

Do you have a favorite chair? Or a favorite pillow? Have you had your mattress for a long time? These may be places where dust mites live and wreak havoc with your system. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that thrive on the humidity and warmth provided by our bodiesand they live in every home, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But for someone who has asthma and allergies, they can set off a reaction that is uncomfortable and debilitating.

Solution: Wash your sheets and towels weekly in hot water and make sure theyre thoroughly dried. Vacuum and dust weekly to rid your environment of them in carpets, curtains, and furniture. May says most important is to encase your mattress and pillows in covers designed to keep dust mites from getting through. Visit nationalallergy.com to see their mattress and pillow covers.

Note: All people have dust mites in their home, but not all people have symptoms from them. Your need to deal with the issue will depend on whether or not you or someone in your household is suffering symptoms.

4. The Bathroom

bath mat

Quick! When was the last time you washed the bath mat in front of your tub or shower? If you remember vaguely doing it before last Christmas, better go throw it in the laundry now. Bath mats tend to be breeding grounds for dust mites, mold, and bacteria, especially if you step out of the shower and dry yourself on top of them. (Hint: better to dry yourself off before you step out of the tub.)

Furthermore, if you sprinkle with yourself with corn starch (some people hvac use it because they fear a connection between talcum powder and cancer) when standing on your bath mat, you may be creating a perfect breeding ground for yeast, bacteria and dust mites, May says. Because corn starch is a food, youre actually feeding the dust mites. I had one client whose bath mat was like fermenting pizza dough, May says.

Solution: Towel off in the tub to avoid exposing your bath mat to excess water and moisture. Clean it regularly, and avoid corn starch if possible.



5. The Refrigerator

refrigerator

Yes, yes, you clean the inside of the refrigerator, but are you remembering to clean the coils and the tray below it? Frost-free refrigerators (by far the most common) contain an electric coil in the freezer that melts frost every four hours, according to May. The resulting water drips into a pan, which evaporates with the help of warm air produced by the refrigerators compressor. But if that pan is filled with dust, your refrigerator is blowing that dust into your home. (Not to mention, the tray also catches anything thats spilled in your refrigerator, so there may be mold on it if you havent cleaned it.)



Newer refrigerators may not have a tray underneath, but their coils on the back of the machine need to be dusted off regularly. If you have a built-in refrigerator, you should be able to lift off the grill and vacuum the coils of the condenser from the front. Be sure to turn off the power to the refrigerator before doing this, and according to SubZero, the refrigerator manufacturer, wear gloves to avoid hurting yourself on the sharp edges of the coils.



Solution: Clean behind your refrigerator regularly. Check your manufacturers instruction manual to determine whether there is a tray and to learn the best cleaning methods.

6. The Vacuum Cleaner

vacuum cleaner

This essential household item, which we are recommending to take care of most household allergens, could actually be spewing them all back into the air. The best vacuum has a HEPA filter, says May. HEPA stands for "high efficiency particulate air" and filters more than 99 percent of the particulates in air. Some brands boast a HEPA-like filter, May says, but that wont do the trick because when you vacuum, the machine sucks in air and then filters the dust and expels air. But if the filter isnt really collecting the dust, youre just releasing particles into the air.



Solution: Be sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. And if you use a cleaning service, make sure they use a HEPA-filter vacuum, as well, so your home isn't being contaminated from allergens in previous houses.

7. Cleaning Productscleaning productsThose products youve been buying for years may cause eye irritation, headaches, breathing problems, and at worst, be carcinogenic.On top of that, many people clean with them, but dont take precautions against their harmful effects. When you clean with chemical-laden cleaners, be sure to wear gloves, open windows, dilute the product, and do NOT use more than is recommended on the label.The Environmental Working Group recommends that you avoid products with any hvac of the following seven compounds in them because they are hvac website known to be dangerous: 2Butoxyethanol Alylphenol extholytes Dye Ethanolamines Fragrance Pine or Citrus oil (which can react with airparticularly smoggy airand turn into formaldehyde) Quaternary ammonium compounds

Solution: Mix vinegar and water to clean glass, use baking soda as an abrasive scrubbing product and soap and water for many other household chores. Alternatively, look for cleaning products marked green and be careful not to confuse natural products for those which are safer to use.

Read more from Grandparents.com:

8 best remedies for spring hvac website allergies

Is your toothbrush making you sick?

5 most commonly overdiagnosed conditions


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Dec042015

Keeping the air on with Champion AC

Air conditioning is a luxury that many people take for granted until their HVAC system breaks down. Having a reliable HVAC company to call is necessary for quickly fixing problems with an air conditioner. Champion AC is a veteran-owned and operated company that provides hvac services to San Antonio, TX customers. Working at Champion AC allows employees to take satisfaction in knowing that they are providing a public service that is much needed, especially in the sweltering heat that summers can offer in Texas.





There are different positions that one can hold at Champion AC. This isn't just an air conditioning repair company it also provides other services, including AC hvac tune-ups, AC replacements, duct repair, duct replacement click here and heater repair. These services are performed by the individuals that are hired to work as technicians click here for Champion AC. The technicians at this company are also taught to provide energy efficiency services to help Texas customers save money on their electric bills throughout the year.



An average day for technicians at Champion AC would consist of repairing air conditioners and heaters of brands and hvac models. Troubleshooting problems with air conditioners and heating systems is also required. Some jobs may require air ducts to be repaired or replaced if the HVAC system isn't the problem. In the event that an air conditioner isn't repairable, it will need to be replaced. Technicians may be asked advice regarding the best air conditioning system to purchase for the replacement. It is ideal for the technician to know of energy efficient models, in case the customer wants to upgrade to one.



Working for Champion AC can be fun and interesting, given the different types of people employees are bound to meet each work day. Being able to overcome different challenges that HVAC technicians commonly face is necessary. In some cases, technicians will travel in twos, so that jobs can be performed faster.

The typical day for Champion AC workers would consist of answering calls for broken ACs, heaters and ducts. Some homeowners may want to make their properties more energy efficient by having it insulated. Providing fast services that are satisfactory to the customer is required. Upselling is also something that is a plus, since Champion AC offers a variety of products that can make homes more comfortable. This includes air conditioning and heating systems, air ducts, rooftop packaged systems, attic insulation, ductless air conditioners and indoor air quality systems. Learning about the products that Champion AC has to offer is mandatory, so that technicians are able to answer questions that customers may have. This will also boost the technician's ability to sell products on behalf of the company.



Some of the challenges one may face while working at Champion AC would include misdiagnosing an HVAC system, having a hard time diagnosing an HVAC system, property structure issues and others. It's good to have problem solving skills to overcome any obstacles that may be faced while on the job.




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