Monday, July 21, 2014

Do You Really Need to Clean Your Air Ducts?

By: Dave Toht

Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t any health benefits linked to cleaning air ducts, but having a
pro remove gunk can boost the efficiency of your HVAC.

Five to seven times a day, the air in your home circulates through the air ducts of your HVAC heating and cooling system, carrying with it the dust and debris of everyday living.

Your furnace filter catches much of the stuff, but neglect, remodeling projects, or shoddy duct installation can lead to a buildup of gunk inside your ductwork that threatens the efficient functioning of your system.

Are Dirty Ducts Hazardous to Your Health?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asserts no studies have proven that duct cleaning prevents health problems. Also, there isn’t proof that dirty ductwork increases dust levels inside homes.

But some people are more sensitive to airborne dust and pet dander than others. If your nose is getting itchy just thinking about what might lurk in your ducts, the $300 to $600 it costs to clean a 2,000-sq.-ft. home is a worthwhile investment. But before you reach for the phone, take a good look to see if your ducts are dirty.

Get the Picture

Wouldn’t it be handy if you could take an incredible journey through your ductwork to see if cleaning is needed? Using a pocket digital camera equipped with a flash, you can come close. Simply remove a floor register, reach as far as you can into the duct (don’t drop your camera!), and take a couple of shots.

If there’s gunk within a few feet of the register, take heart. It’s easy to snake a vacuum cleaner hose into the duct and remove the stuff. However, if you see a long trail of junk and a thick coat of dust beyond what your vacuum can reach, your house may be a candidate for professional cleaning.

Look for These Symptoms

  • Clogs of dust, cobwebs, and debris, or noticeable particles blowing out of supply registers.

  • Visible mold on the inside surfaces of ducts.

  • Rodent droppings and dead insects inside ducts.

In addition, recent construction inevitably creates dust you don’t want in circulation.

“We recommend cleaning after a big remodel job,” says Scott Milas of Mendel Heating and
Plumbing, St. Charles, Ill. Milas adds that a new home purchase is also a good occasion -- after all, who wants to breathe someone else’s pet dander?

“People get it done after they buy a house,” he says. “It’s like getting the carpets cleaned.”

Good Reasons for Duct Cleaning

  • Cleaning removes accumulated dust so it won’t shed into the household.

  • Removing debris and cobwebs eases airflow and increases the efficiency of the system, in extreme cases as much as 40%.

  • If you have fiberglass ducting, fiberglass gathers more dust than sheet metal.

Reasons to Skip Duct Cleaning

  • Cost.

  • Health benefits are not proven.

  • Dust and debris caught on the interior of ducts isn’t circulating and therefore may not be a problem.

  • Changing furnace filters regularly often does the job, especially when combined with annual furnace cleaning.

How Ducts are Cleaned

Dislodging and removing dust and debris is done with one or more of the following methods:

  • Hand-held vacuuming: Workers use a brush attached to a large portable vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. However, the hand-held method isn’t completely reliable and may leave pockets of dust.

  • Mechanical brush: A rotating brush is fed into the ductwork. A truck-mounted vacuum sucks away debris. The rotary brush may damage older or poorly installed systems.

  • Air sweep: A truck-mounted vacuum system carries away dust and debris dislodged by a compressed-air hose fed into the ducts. Of the three, the air sweep method usually does the most effective job.

Note: Some duct cleaning companies advocate spraying the inside of your ducts with chemical biocides. However, the EPA cautions that the spray may be more hazardous than helpful, aggravating respiratory ailments and introducing moisture that encourages mold growth.     

Choosing a Duct Cleaning Service:

It is all too easy to set up as a duct cleaner; some fly-by-nighters do more harm than good. Ask a reputable heating contractor for recommendations, or go to National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) to locate a certified contractor.

Be wary of unsubstantiated health claims. Resist pressure to clean annually; even cleaning every other year is overkill. Most homes needn’t be cleaned more than once every five years. Also, make sure your furnace will be cleaned as part of the HVAC maintenance service that includes checking the plenum, evaporator coil, and heat exchanger.

( Originally Published: September 10, 2012)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dinosaurs Roam the Desert

Well Not Really ....but this is a very interesting video on the history of what has to be one of the more unusual Roadside attractions near Palm Springs. If you saw the PEE WEE Herman movies years ago it was featured in one of those as well.

If you are driving into Palm Springs California from Los Angeles you know you are almost to Palm Springs when you see these guys!

See Amazing Homes In Palm Springs California!

Come see why everyone wants to be in Palm Springs!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Palm Springs Video Tour

This nice video only covers the highlights of Palm Springs but it is fast paced and shows somethings you might not get to do such as hike in the Canyon or see the Jaguar from the Living Desert up close and personal. The shots from the Tram Car are clear and unobstructed and some of the best I have seen. So even if you have been before give this video a look, I bet you will be impressed.

Searching yourself is always fun but if you want us to do the heavy lifting please let us know. We are happy to create custom searches for you anytime, no obligation. You can always call, text or email us with any questions. 760-408-5300

Monday, July 7, 2014

Palm Springs Market Statistics 2014

scalesShort sales and Foreclosures Drop - Equity Sales Increase

PRICES RISE year over year in the Coachella Valley

Market statistics for May 2014 have been compiled and published.  It shows some interesting facts and a decided change in the Real Estate market in Palm Springs. If displayed on a graph it would also show a steady line up. The trends we are about to discuss below have been steadily developing this entire year, with no retreat.

  • First, the number of homes being sold as foreclosures or short sales has taken another big drop. This category is down 50% from May 2013 when 18% of homes were in this category.

  • Secondly, the number of available homes is rising with about 90 more condos and 90 more homes on average – available each month. This is a wake- up call for sellers because the number of homes selling is dropping in each category and each city.

  • Third and most important however is the marked increase in price. The median sales price for single family homes is now $455,100 whereas in 2013 it was $368,100 and for condos the median price is now at $232,222 VS. the 2013 figure of $182,000.

With these type numbers Pam Springs and the Coachella Valley are outpacing the Riverside County wide statistics, where a higher Risingpercentage of homes are still in foreclosure or short sale and the median price  remains over $100,000 less than Pam Springs.

Obviously, the number of properties selling will drop as prices rise.  The prices will rise as the supply of foreclosed and short sale homes drops.  Notwithstanding that obvious equation - there is no doubt that the market in Palm Springs has returned to a more stabilized mode.

See More Information about the Palm Springs Market Area

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day

July 1 2014 - 
HAPPY 147th Birthday CANADA!

Trivia: Oh Canada - is the national anthem of Canada and it was written by: 
Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier

See our complete page about Canadian Home Ownership in the United States.


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