Dust Mites

Fungus on Air Duct

Air Duct Cleaning in Houston, TX

By | Air Duct Cleaning, Allergies | No Comments
Houston Air Duct Cleaning

Allergens in air ducts, Houston, TX

Ah!!!!!!!   Air conditioning it’s what makes Houston’s weather bearable! Touted as the air conditioning capital of the world, Houston gets hot and trying to make it through a hot humid summer without A/C is a scary thought. (Gray, 2012) I’ve heard people say it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Yes, definitely it is probably a combination of both. Take both the heat and the humidity and put them together with the mold, mildew, pollen, and pollution, and boy do you have a recipe for disaster! As a Houstonian your A/C system is going to get more than a workout. With the moisture build up in your system along with the mildew, fungus, and pollen spores, your air ducts can become moldy and full of allergens. During the winter we just don’t get a break either. The weather waffles back and forth between warm and humid to cool and dry, giving our sinuses and lungs a run for their money.

One preventative step you can take is to have your air ducts cleaned and cleared of dust, dirt, mildew, mold, fungus, pollen, and any other contaminants that might be setting up shop in your air duct system. Definitely make sure you deal with a sound reputable company and don’t allow them to use unfounded scare tactics. Yes, some systems can become really foul but most of the time the mildew and other gunk that grows in your system can be taken care of and for extremely reasonable fees.

Air duct cleaning, Houston

Having the air ducts in your home cleaned is one way to fight back allergies and breathing issues.

C&E Carpets and Vents performs a complete service including sanitizing and cleaning the plenum with out flowing vents, and returns if they need to be cleaned as well. Occasionally our customers also choose to have Ultra Violet lights installed inside their system in order to kill any future spores and to help prevent regrowth. Ultra violet lights do eventually burn out and if you choose to use these lights as a preventative, you must replace them periodically.

When the technician arrives he should do a thorough walk through and inspect the plenum box

air duct cleaning vent cleaning Houston

Removing vent covers is one way the technician can visually inspect and demonstrate the cleaning and mildew removal.

where all of the ducts are attached as well as taking off the vent covers and inspecting inside the air ducts. You should be able to see what the technician sees and a qualified technician will be able to give you a firm quote on how much it will cost and how long it will take to clean your air ducts.

So don’t get taken to the cleaners and don’t get in a panic over your dirty vents and air ducts. If you are not comfortable with a company don’t be bullied. It’s ok to get a second opinion and to have the technicians show you the issues and explain to you how they are going to solve them. Our technicians are courteous and we value your time. Feel free to call and ask about our air duct cleaning service in Houston, TX  today! 832-512-5719

Dust Mites and Allergens

By | Allergies | No Comments

We’ve all seen this guy before, Dermatophagoides farinae Hughes, the infamous and terrifying dust mite. He lives anywhere that there is organic matter for him to feed on. Organic matter can be dead skin we slough off during the day. (People shed about a pound of skin a year.) Let’s see, there’s also pet dander if you just so happen to have pets. Hair that is shed is also organic matter that dust mites could feed on.

Dust mite allergies

Dust mites thrive on our dead skin and pet dander.

Apparently the mites like to target matter that has been predigested by fungi. Yes, there is a fungus among us! Fungus and bacteria find the skin and other particles we leave behind and begin to break that matter down. This predigested matter is much easier for mites to eat and this is what they target.

What is the harm or danger of living with dust mites?

Dust mites don’t bite us or suck our blood. (That’s the good news!) Dust mites do produce waste and can multiply to billions. Dust mite poo, (yes, poo) when produced in overwhelming amounts in closed spaces can tax our immune systems. Some, more than others, have sensitivities to these allergens. A little immune response is good, and we want our immune systems to be in good shape to fight off illness and infection. Too much immune response can be a bad thing and excessive inflammation can lead to asthma, hives, severe itching, sneezing, and sinus problems.

The average life cycle for a male house dust mite is 10 to 19 days. A mated female house dust mite can last up to 70 days, laying 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life. In a 10-week life span, a house dust mite will produce approximately 2,000 fecal particles and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme-covered dust particles  

So the good news is that they don’t bite and are relatively harmless, but the bad news is that they multiply like crazy and can be a source of allergic flare ups and allergic reactions.[pullquote-left] How can we keep their numbers down and keep the amount of dust mite carcasses and feces to a minimum?[/pullquote-left]  First off, we can target and clean the places where most of the dust mites are going to be living in our homes. The favorite living spaces of dust mites include

 

  • Carpets
  • Upholstery
  • Mattresses
  • Pillows
  • Bedding
  • Rugs
  • Dirty Laundry

Anywhere we leave stuff for dust mites to eat, they will find and set up shop. Regular washing of bedding and pillows in hot water with detergent and thoroughly drying on high heat is one way to cut down on the dust mite population. Steam cleaning mattresses, carpet and upholstery is another. When vacuuming make sure to use a hepa filter or some other kind of filter that will capture microscopic particles. Most standard filters are not able to keep dust mites trapped inside and you just end up blowing the dust and mites all over your home. Regular cleaning and airing out of our living space is one of the best measures to help control mite population. Keeping the humidity down inside your home also helps to keep the environment less than favorable for dust mite procreation. Apparently dust mites like damp humid spaces, and living in Houston, TX it is difficult to keep the humidity down. One way to decrease the humidity in your home is to run your air conditioner. Houston is the most air conditioned city in the U.S. so most everyone has and uses their A/C.

Some professionals in the air duct cleaning industry state that there are dust mites living in your A/C air ducts and this can lead to allergic reactions and respiratory issues. However; there is debate about whether or not mites actually do live in your air ducts because there may not be enough organic material for the mites to feed on. Theoretically it could be possible for dust mites to set up shop in your air ducts if there was a food source and conditions were conducive to dust mite breeding. In any case there are lots of other reasons to clean out your air ducts because of bioaerosols that can contaminate your ducts and cause adverse reactions like sneezing, itching, coughs, and the like. (But that’s a story for a different post!)

So clean your bedding, mattresses, clothes, carpets, and upholstery on a regular basis and keep your home cool and the humidity down. We may not be able to rid ourselves of all the dust mites but we can certainly keep their numbers down and keep our allergies from making us miserable! Give us a call today and have your furniture and carpets professionally cleaned. Professional steam cleaning not only kills the mites but also viruses and bacteria that can live in your upholstery and carpets.

832-512-5719

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_dust_mite

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/dust-allergies

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/mold.html

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