Envirotech Air Quality Services Blog : Archive for December, 2014

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Envirotech Air, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

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Why Is Mold Potentially Dangerous?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Mold develops in a home when mold spores, which can travel through the air doing little harm for the most part, meet an area with a lot of moisture. This allows it to grow rapidly until it poses a threat to your health. With too many mold spores in the air, some people may begin to feel ill and it could even lead to some major renovations in the future. Mold is a dangerous occurrence in homes, so you should seek the services of trained contractors for remediation at the first sign of trouble.

First, mold can affect people with specific sensitivities. Asthma sufferers and those with allergies will be the most obviously afflicted, with frequent wheezing, irritation, itchiness, soreness, coughing and sneezing. People prone to lung infections or chronic lung illnesses may have a severe reaction or an additional infection. Additionally, those with immune disorders can have serious health issues with mold exposure.

But mold can cause health issues in people who were previously healthy. It may lead to a respiratory tract infection or persistent coughing and wheezing and can develop into something much worse. You see, your body cannot function correctly when the air in unclean, which is why some researchers have linked the spread of mold to depression.

There are a few things you can do to try and prevent mold from growing indoors. Be sure there is no carpeting in moist areas like the bathroom or basement and replace carpeting in the home after a flood. Do what you can to keep the home properly ventilated. Run the air conditioner on humid days and be sure to have it regularly maintained for proper dehumidification.

But most importantly, you should call a contractor for mold removal in Wellington for the safest remediation techniques. Mold usually hides away from view, but professionals have the right tools to detect mold behind walls, in corners, underneath carpet, and atop of air conditioning equipment. At Envirotech Air Quality Services, we use infrared diagnostic imaging to find mold and water leaks or wet spots that may lead to mold growth. We’ll make sure not only to help you get rid of the mold but also to keep it from returning again. Give us a call immediately when you spot the signs of excess moisture.

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When Is the Best Time to Schedule Duct Cleaning?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

When it’s time for an intense home cleaning session in your house, you can reach most of the hidden nooks and crannies with a step ladder, an extendible dusting wand, and a little bit of patience. And while you may believe you can take care of the most problematic areas of your house for dust and debris buildup, cleaning the ductwork is a bit more difficult than, say, dusting a ceiling fan or wiping off the top of a bookshelf.

Duct cleaning is a service that should be left to professionals, for several reasons. First, it’s vital to have clean ductwork since you breathe in the air that circulates through these ducts every day. And with professional duct cleaning, allergy and asthma symptoms may be reduced and you could immediately notice the difference in your air quality. But, an amateur job can leave much to be desired, as you can miss some key portions of ducts. Plus, most homeowners don’t have access to materials that will completely and safely target all types of pollutants. Besides having non-toxic materials at their disposal, experts also know how to clean in such a way that even the most delicate flexible ducts won’t suffer damage.

Professional duct cleaning is important not only for the quality of your air, but also for the longevity of your heating and air conditioning system. A layer of dust in the ducts means your AC or heater has to work a bit harder, resulting in higher energy bills. Although professional duct cleaning has so many important roles, it’s clearly not a job to be done every week. So how do you know it’s time to schedule duct cleaning in West Palm Beach?

It’s hard to tell when your ducts are in need of a thorough cleaning. But most experts recommend that your ducts get cleaned once or twice a year—especially if you run your home HVAC system frequently. Professional duct cleaning involves the use of professional-grade vacuums and cleaning agents to ensure the job is done properly and that any type of contaminant cannot survive in the ducts.

Contact Envirotech Air Quality Services to make sure your duct cleaning in West Palm Beach is completed properly and safely. Give us a call now!

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Are There Ways I Can Take Care of Duct Cleaning on My Own?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

If you’re worried about the air quality in your home, one of the best things you can do to improve conditions indoors is to clean out the ducts. There may be contaminants hiding in the lining of the ductwork used to condition the air in your home that are making you ill. With professional duct cleaning, dust, pollen, dander, bacteria, and even mold gets cleared from the ducts so that you won’t have to breathe in these harmful contaminants every day. And while it may seem as though you can do some duct cleaning on your own, this isn’t always safe for the ducts, and you may simply be unable to eliminate most of the pollutants you’d like to.

One of the key reasons to choose professionals for the job is that they have the right tools for the job. The items professionals use for duct cleaning include soft brushes and vacuums that are safe even for delicate flexible ductwork. The powerful vacuums create negative pressure in the ducts so that debris loosens from the duct lining. Another reason to choose professionals for duct cleaning is that many of the contaminants you want out of your home aren’t visible to the naked eye. Though you may try to access the ducts and scrub debris free, you may miss portions of bacteria or spores that are particularly harmful to the lungs. And technicians never use cleaning chemicals that are unsafe to breathe in.

Besides, with professional duct cleaning, your technician can even let you know if there are any leaks or cracks in the ducts that require immediate repair. When there are leaks in the ducts, your air conditioner or heater simply cannot run as efficiently as it is meant to. Instead, you continue to spend money on energy costs to cool or heat an unoccupied area of the house, such as an attic or crawlspace. This causes your unit to become overworked and could lead to repairs or premature failure. If technicians find a leak during inspection, they can let you know so that you can schedule the proper services as soon as possible.

Envirotech Air Quality Services offers duct cleaning in West Palm Beach with professional tools and expertise to make sure the job is done right. Give our office a call today!

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