Tag Archives: allergies

Considering Improving Your Home’s IAQ by Using UV Lights? Here’s What to Know

Considering Improving Your Home's IAQ by Using UV Lights? Here's What to KnowYou may not spend a lot of time thinking about the quality of the air inside your home. However, clean air can help keep everyone in the home healthy. It has even greater benefits for allergy sufferers and for those with breathing difficulties. Improving your indoor air quality, or IAQ, is a fairly easy task that offers a great return on your investment.

What Affects IAQ?

The quality of your air can be affected by many factors. If you have smokers or pets in the home, if you have pollen-bearing plants in your yard or neighborhood, or if there’s a major roadway nearby, your air may not be as clean as you’d want it to be. Other factors affecting IAQ include having lots of dust in the air or high levels of humidity that might encourage mold growth.

What Improves IAQ?

The first, and simplest, fix for your IAQ is a good filter for your HVAC system. If you replace it regularly, a filter will catch many of the larger allergens and contaminants that get into your home.

Filters aren’t sufficient to catch the smallest particles, however. They also don’t do much about mold or mildew growth inside your ducts or around your A/C’s evaporator coil.

To take care of these contaminants, many homeowners opt to install UV, or ultraviolet, lights inside their ducts or near their evaporator coils. These lights work at a wavelength that attacks bacteria and mold spores. The lights disrupt the contaminants’ DNA, preventing them from reproducing and shortening their lives.

Since UV lights are installed within the HVAC system, they have no effect on the people or pets living in the home. These lights are remarkably effective. They have been shown to improve IAQ in less than an hour after being turned on, and they continue to clean the air as long as your HVAC system is on. Paired with a high-quality filter, UV lights can give you the indoor air quality your family needs to stay healthy.

For more information about using UV lights in your Portland area home, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Helpful Tips for Allergy Season

Helpful Tips for Allergy SeasonSpringtime means it’s also allergy season. Since the Portland area gets hit pretty hard when it comes to grass and pollen allergies, taking steps to reduce allergens in your home is crucial. Use the following allergy tips to get started.

Use New Air Filters

The air filters in your home’s HVAC system are supposed to trap allergens and other debris, but they can’t do that effectively when they’re dirty. One of the first things to do this spring is take out your current air filters, and replace them with brand new ones. This helps ensure that your filters are able to catch allergens and prevent them from being blown around your home when your HVAC system is running. Keep in mind that switching to high-efficiency air filters means that you’ll have even fewer allergens in your home.

Clean Return Vents and Registers

Dust, allergens and other debris can end up covering your registers and return vents. When your HVAC system is on, these particles are blown around your home, which lowers the indoor air quality and triggers allergy symptoms. Wipe these down with damp rags to remove allergens and other debris that has built up.

Clean Indoor and Outdoor Units

Keep allergens and dust off of your indoor and outdoor HVAC units by doing a thorough cleaning this spring. When these units are dirty, the allergens and other debris on them are circulated throughout your home.

Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance

One of the most effective allergy tips is having HVAC maintenance done. This helps ensure that your system is free of blockages, as well as allergens and other debris that can make it harder for it to run. Making sure that your HVAC system can run efficiently can go a long way toward reducing indoor allergens.

To schedule HVAC maintenance to improve your indoor air quality and reduce allergies this spring, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer HVAC maintenance and installation services for homeowners in the Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Allergies Getting Worse? It Could Be Dust Mites

Allergies Getting Worse? It Could Be Dust MitesIf you are suffering from allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose and itchy or watery eyes, locating the source of your allergies and making efforts to reduce this source could bring you a great deal of relief. Dust mites are among the most common household allergens and can trigger severe allergic reactions in sensitive people.

Dust mites are actually members of the arachnid family which also includes spiders and ticks. These tiny eight legged creatures thrive in warm, moist environments and eat skin particles that accumulate in mattresses, pillows, couches, etc. Although they do not bite, specific proteins present in the bodies and fecal matter of these mites can trigger allergenic responses in many people. A number of simple steps to reduce the population of these uninvited house guests include:

  • Keeping your household humidity levels below 55 percent. Since mites cannot live in a dry environment, reducing humidity is one of the most effective ways of minimizing exposure to dust mites. Running a dehumidifier and using ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to vent humid air directly outdoors can help keep humidity in check.
  • Replacing wall to wall carpeting with smooth flooring in as much of your home as possible, especially bedrooms. This will allow for nearly complete removal of the dust particles which accumulate on the flooring within all homes, as smooth floors can be vacuumed with a HEPA type cleaner, leaving behind a much cleaner surface compared to carpeting which tends to hold dust particles deep within its fibers even after cleaning.
  • Using “mite proof” mattress and pillow covers and being sure to change your sheets and pillow cases frequently.
  • Replacing your HVAC filter regularly with a filter having a MERV value of at least 11.
  • Consider using UV light air filtration to reduce dust mite population.

If you would like more information on reducing dust mites in your Portland area home, the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling would love to help you; we have been serving the area since 1976!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Negative Effects Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Have on Your Oregon Home

Negative Effects Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Have on Your Oregon HomeWith so much focus on climate control and outdoor pollutants, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the quality of your indoor air. Truth be told, the negative effects of poor indoor air quality can be just as damaging to you as outdoor air.

Respiratory Problems

Individuals who struggle with allergies, asthma or both usually show the first symptoms of poor indoor air. They will have difficulty breathing or experience raw, scratchy eyes, nose or throat. With the absence of other common triggers, air quality is likely the culprit. Cleaner air often brings relief.

Prone to Illness

The same contaminants that trigger allergies and asthma also make individuals without those conditions more likely to experience illness. Sinus irritants like mold, dust and debris may develop into sinus infections or bronchitis. Hospitals use commercial size air cleaners to purify the air patients breathe.

Mechanical Issues

From a house maintenance perspective, the negative effects of poor indoor air quality involve the function of your heating and cooling system. Dust and debris builds up on the components of your system and bog down the mechanical workings. Over time, this shortens the life of your system because it forces your system to work harder to accomplish the same results. Cleaner air leads to cleaner systems and vice versa.

Energy Costs

Similarly, when the system is forced to work harder, it requires more energy to do so. That extra energy usage takes a direct hit on your wallet. In addition to having to replace your system more often, you’re paying more to run the system while you have it. Clean air costs less.

For information about how to improve the quality of your indoor air, contact the HVAC professionals at Roth Heating and Cooling. We’ve been serving the air needs of the Portland area for over 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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