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Here we try to provide helpful tips and education on everything important to your family. Whether it's keeping you warm in the winter, cool in the summer or clean air quality year around. Read the Campeau Blog Today!

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Advice from the Professionals
April 2022

5 Pet-Friendly Indoor Air Quality Tips For a Healthier Home

Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario, offers 5 tips for improving your indoor air quality with pets.

5 Pet-Friendly Indoor Air Quality Tips For a Healthier Home

Our pets are our family. They live in our homes, sleep on our couches, walk on our carpets and snuggle in our blankets. But did you know that owning a pet in your home also comes with health risks?

If you own a cat or a dog, then you already know how much of a nuisance their hair can be when cleaning your home. 

And although not something we would trade in, the effects pets have on our indoor air quality is something we need to consider. 

We might be able to vacuum the hair off the carpet and mop away the dirt tracked in on their paws, but what about the pet dander floating in the air? What we don’t usually think about is how this hair and dander are affecting our indoor air quality.

In this article, we take a closer look at the indoor air quality affects our pets have on our homes. 

 

What Is Pet Dander? How Does It Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Like many of the allergens and pollutants in our indoor air, pet dander is not something we can see. 

That is, not without a microscope. 

Pet dander is microscopic and easily transported from one place to another. It can be airborne or even attached to fabrics (carpet, bedding, furniture etc.)

Where does it come from? Your furry friend, of course! Or any mammal with fur, feathers or hair - such as rabbits, hamsters, birds or guinea pigs.

When your pet sheds their coat (hair, fur or feathers), they release tiny particles of skin, called dander. And this dander can trigger an allergic reaction, affecting your breathing and hurting your health.  

Common Pet Dander Allergy Symptoms:

  • Coughing 
  • Congestion 
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, throat or roof of the mouth
  • Swollen under-eyes
  • Hives 
  • Irritated eyes 
  • Chest tightness 
  • Wheezing 

But dander is not the only contributing factor to poor indoor air quality from your pet. 

Although harmless alone, pet hair can easily track other allergens and air pollutants in your home.

Pollen, mildew, bacteria, faeces and dust mites are just a few pollutants that can walk right through your front door without you noticing. 

And each of these pollutants has its own set of health risks to watch out for as well.

So, what are some practical ways to minimize these pollutants in our homes? 

Glad you asked!

 

5 Tips To Manage And Protect Your Indoor Air Quality With Pets

Below are some simple ways to manage pet hair, dander and other allergens at home to help protect your indoor air quality.

1. Change Your HVAC Filter regularly.

The #1 tip we have for improving and managing your indoor air quality is changing your HVAC filter regularly. 

Why? Because it is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways of cleaning your air!

This filter traps airborne particles before they have the chance of reaching your airways.

At Campeau Heating, we usually recommend changing your furnace filter or AC filter every 90 days. But if you have a pet or several pets, you should change your filter way more often. 

Ideally, pet owners should change their filters every 40-60 days. And these filters should feature,

  1. A high MPR (micro performance rating) and 
  2. A high MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value) of 12-14. 

2. Install an Air Purification System.

Installing an air purification system is another effective way of cleaning up your air. These systems use a variety of technologies to not only filter but cleanse your air.

There are 5 types of air purification systems you can choose from:

  • HEPA Filters (high-efficiency particulate air)
  • UV Air Purifiers (ultravoilet) 
  • Negative Ion Air Purifiers
  • Ozone Air Purifiers
  • Activated Carbon Filters

Each produces a similar result but uses a unique form of purification to do it. 

For example:

A HEPA filter can remove particulate matter with a size of 0.3 microns. It can filter out dust, pollen, bacteria, VOCs and mould (of this size) with 99.97% success. 

A UV air purifier does not remove particulate matter. Instead, it deactivates or kills it. A UV air purifier can effectively deactivate microorganisms and pathogens by destroying the DNA and RNA structures. Essentially, it prevents these pollutants from growing. 

Not sure which air purification system will be most effective in your home? Our air quality experts at Campeau Heating can help you choose the best option for you!

3. Install a Whole-Home Ventilation System.

Another HVAC installation that can hugely benefit your indoor air quality is a whole-home ventilation system. 

If you have been tracking with our blogs for a while, you may remember us mentioning the importance of good home insulation more than once. This insulation helps keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. 

But good insulation can also trap stale air, moisture, odours, allergens and contaminants inside your home.

The solution?

Installing whole-home ventilation! This system pushes stale air full of pet dander and other pollutants outdoors and replaces it with fresh, clean air. 

4. Clean Your Air Ducts Regularly.

When was the last time you looked at your ductwork? Chances are, your answer is pretty much never. 

And that is not uncommon. 

Like your air filters, it is easy for your ductwork to go unnoticed. After all, out of sight, out of mind. Right?

Maybe not.

Your ducts might be out of sight, but they should never be out of mind. Ignoring them will only worsen your indoor air quality!

Answer this: 

How often do you vacuum your floors? Once a week? Twice? 

You know that, with pets, if you do not keep up with the hair and dirt on your floors, it will keep building up. 

Now, picture your ductwork as if it is the floors in your home. If you do not keep up with the dirt, grime and contaminants being circulated in your ductwork, it will also keep building up! 

And the sneezing, wheezing and coughing will point it out. 

Turns out, your ducts (or at least their effects) may not be so out of sight after all…

To help reduce the pollutants in your ductwork (pet dander, dust etc.), we recommend scheduling a professional duct cleaning. 

5. Get On a Cleaning Schedule.

Pet dander, pet hair, dust bunnies and dirt can accumulate in your home without proper cleaning.

You can find this accumulation, 

  • Along your baseboards.
  • In the corners of each room in your home.
  • Behind furniture.
  • On or inside your couches.
  • In the crevices of your staircase etc. 

To help minimize this accumulation and improve your indoor air quality, we recommend,

  1. Keeping a regular cleaning schedule and
  2. Investing in a HEPA vacuum cleaner. 

Implementing a Regular Cleaning Schedule

Keeping a regular cleaning schedule means frequent mopping, vacuuming, washing and airing out. And it includes your floors, walls, furniture and linens. 

Pretty much everything your pet touches or goes near regularly should be cleaned as often as possible. 

Investing in a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

As we learned earlier, HEPA technology has incredible air-purifying abilities. It is almost 100% effective in removing particulate matter sizing at 0.3 microns - including dust, pollen, bacteria, VOCs and mould.

HEPA vacuum cleaners use HEPA filtration and activated charcoal filters to help remove pet dander and unpleasant odours more effectively. 

 

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality With Campeau Heating Products

Pets are a great addition to our families, but they don’t come without downsides. 

If you have begun to see the effects of poor indoor air quality in your home, get in touch with our air quality specialists at Campeau Heating today! Our selection of air purifying products can help monitor, control and improve your air quality fast and effectively.

Call us at (705) 560-2441 or Fill In This Form for more information on our air quality products.

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9 Most Popular Spring HVAC Problems To Watch Out For This Month!

Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario, discusses 9 of the most common spring HVAC problems and how to fix them.

9 Most Popular Spring HVAC Problems To Watch Out For This Month!

Everyone is ready for a fresh start - including your air conditioning unit! With spring poking its way out of the cold, there are a few spring HVAC problems that you need to start watching out for.

Spring has always been the season of new beginnings. The season when we tuck away our many insulated layers, open the windows wide and allow the crisp air to freshen up our homes. 

It’s the season of reviving our indoor air quality, brightening our mood and reviving our spirits!

But as we begin cleaning for spring, we often discover the harsh effects of a long, cold winter.

Broken fences.

Clogged drain spouts.

Cracked driveways.

Suddenly our spring cleaning turns to spring repairs as we fix up, tune up and get our homes back into shape.

But as you work your way through your spring cleaning checklist, don’t forget to give your cooling unit the attention it deserves. It has also survived a long winter tucked away and may need some TLC to get back up and running properly this spring.

Keep reading for the nine most common spring HVAC problems you should watch out for in your air conditioning unit.

Psssst….And don’t forget to ask for a FREE QUOTE on your spring air conditioning service with Campeau Heating this spring!

1. Dusty Air Filters.

One of the most common spring HVAC problems is a long-overdue air filter replacement. This is one of the top issues we’ve seen in the HVAC business.

Why? Because air filters usually go unnoticed.

Hidden away by your cooling unit’s air handler, the air filter can become clogged with a year’s worth of dust and debris without you noticing!

That is until you do...

Are you noticing more dust than usual in your home?

Are your spring allergy symptoms worsening?

Is your home filled with the smell of burning dust?

These are all telltale signs of a dirty AC filter that needs replacing as soon as possible.

2. Dirty Evaporator and Condenser Coils.

Another spring HVAC problem we see frequently lies in the coils of your AC unit.

Your air conditioner has both an outdoor condenser coil and an indoor evaporator coil that need regular maintenance.

The condenser coil on your outdoor unit can become clogged with leaves, branches, dirt and grime over the winter and spring months. And the evaporator coils on your indoor unit can also become clogged with dust and dirt over time.

This clogging can cause damage to your compressor, increased humidity in your home and poor indoor air quality if left unchecked.

But we never recommend checking the coils on your own.

These parts are delicate and not easy to clean. In fact, an untrained hand could cause even more damage in trying to clear the debris away.

Do you suspect a clogged coil on your AC unit? Give your trained HVAC technicians at Campeau Heating a shout!

3. A Clogged Condenser.

Don’t forget to clean your outdoor condenser unit too!

Because this unit is outdoors, it can become clogged just like your coils can - with the leaves, grass clipping and dirt blowing into it and the debris surrounding it.

Your condenser unit is one of the vital components of your cooling unit. If it breaks, your air conditioning unit may break down entirely.

Not an ideal situation as you’re preparing for the hot season ahead.

To prevent this expensive and untimely problem, we recommend clearing away all debris from the condenser. This includes overhanging branches and nearby bushes too. Try keeping a clean 3-5 foot radius around the condenser unit to prevent anything from accidentally falling into it.

4. Refrigerant Leaks.

Is it a refrigerant leak or just condensation?

The sudden temperature change from winter to spring can cause condensation on or around your condenser unit. Moisture on the ground or even dripping from the coils is a clear sign of this condensation in action.

If condensation is the case, there’s no need to contact your HVAC technician.

But what if that moisture is actually a sign of a refrigeration leak?

Other common warning signs of a refrigerant leak include warm air instead of cool air coming from your vent or strange noises and smells.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact your Campeau HVAC technician right away!

5. Leaking, Clogged or Fractured Ductwork.

Have you noticed a rise in your energy bills lately? Although the cost of living has increased, hefty energy bills could also point to a duct problem - like a leak, clog or separation of ductwork.

Besides a rise in energy bills, you may also notice:

  • Strange smells and noises
  • Poor airflow
  • Mould and mildew
  • And dust

Have you noticed any of these above warning signs? If so, we highly recommend scheduling a professional duct cleaning service before turning your air conditioner on this spring.

6. A Malfunctioning or Inaccurate Thermostat.

Thermostats are the brains of the operation. But what happens when they start to malfunction? Or start giving you inaccurate readings and inadequate temperature control?

This could mean that the thermostat is:

  • Outdated
  • Low on batteries
  • Improperly installed
  • Defected
  • Or even broken

If you’re not sure how to troubleshoot your thermostat or are unsure of its age, our team can help!

7. A Faulty or Broken Start Capacitor.

How long does it take your cooling unit to respond when you change the temperature setting on your thermostat? Are you experiencing any temperature changes at all?

If not, you might be experiencing a faulty capacitor issue.

A start capacitor on an air conditioning unit delivers the necessary starting energy to the unit’s motor. It’s what allows the cooling cycle to begin in the first place!

If this component is malfunctioning, your air conditioning system will be less effective. In fact, eventually, it might not even be able to turn on at all.

We want you to start your summer off with effective and efficient home cooling. If your start capacitor is acting up, give us a call right away!

8. A Broken Contactor Switch.

Condenser and air handler not turning on? This could be due to a broken contactor switch - the component of your cooling unit that operates both the condenser and air handler.

Is your contactor switch broken? Call your Campeau HVAC technician for a quick repair! Although it’s an easy fix, it isn’t something we recommend homeowners tackle by themselves.

9. A Tripped Circuit Breaker.

When was the last time you looked at your breaker box?

During the winter months, circuit breakers can often trip - causing them to automatically shut themselves off.

If this happens, try resetting your breaker.

Is your cooling unit continually turning on and off each time you reset the breaker? It might be signalling a deeper issue.

It could be that it detected something worse and has shut off power to your HVAC system for safety reasons.

Give our team a call today! Our professional HVAC technicians can help troubleshoot the issue and provide you with a speedy solution.

 

Schedule Your Spring Air Conditioning Service With Campeau Heating Technicians

Keeping your home HVAC system in top condition all year long is what we do! Whether you’ve noticed one of the above spring HVAC problems or other related issues with your heating and cooling system, give us a call!

We’re happy to come out, troubleshoot the issue and discuss the solution that works best for your needs.

Book your pre-season tune-up or air conditioning service with our trained HVAC technicians today! You can reach our office at (705) 560-2441 or request a FREE QUOTE on your maintenance needs!

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