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Indoor Air Quality (13)

With the mild winter weather we have experienced the spring allergy season is expected to arrive early this year. If you or someone in your family suffers from seasonal allergies, there are steps you can take to reduce the level of allergens in your home.
  1. Keep the windows closed. On warm spring days it's tempting to open up windows at night to let the cool air in while sleeping. When pollen counts are high, keep the windows closed and use the air conditioner instead.
  2. Change your clothes after being outside. Because pollen will stick to everything, including your clothing and hair, changing your clothes and washing your hair after being outdoors for an extended period of time will lessen the contamination inside the home.
  3. If you have pets, keep them out of bedrooms. This will lessen the amount of pollen and pet dander you are exposed to at night.
  4. Clean carpet, rugs and bare floors with a HEPA vacuum cleaner regularly. 
  5. Encase beds, mattresses, and pillows in microfiber covers. These covers are designed to reduce dust mites and pet dander. Wash your sheets weekly in hot water and dry on high heat.
  6. Consider installing a whole house air cleaner. High efficiency air cleaning systems are installed directly to your heating and cooling system, each time the system runs the air in your home goes through a sophisticated media filter capturing and removing dust, pet dander, mold spores, dust mites, viruses, pollen, bacteria, smoke, odors and much more.
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are chemicals that emit gases inside the home. There are many ways VOCs find there way into our homes, here are some of the most common sources:
  • Household cleaning products
  • Paints and varnishes
  • Wood preservatives
  • Wax that contain organic solvents
  • Disinfectants
  • Cosmetics
Any of these household products could be releasing organic compounds into the air while in use, and even when they are in storage. The possible health effects of exposure to VOCs include:
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination and nausea
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Some VOCs are also suspected carcinogens.
The extent of the health effects depend on many factors such as the level and length of exposure. According to the EPA, concentrations of VOCs indoors can be more than 10 times higher than outdoors. So what can you do to limit your family's exposure to potentially harmful VOCs? The EPA recommends taking the following steps:
  • Provide ample ventilation when using products that emit VOCs
  • Read and follow product labels carefully
  • Store opened containers of unused products in a safe location and ensure they are tightly sealed and not leaking.
  • If a container is leaking, safely dispose of it as directed. Do not transfer the contents to a different container.
  • Plywood furniture and flooring should be sealed to reduce potential exposure to formaldehyde.
If your concerned about the air quality in your home, call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We offer a full range of indoor air quality systems that can improve the air inside your home.
Monday, 30 January 2017 18:02

4 Furnace Air Filter Tips

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One of the most common questions we receive from our customers is, "How often should I replace my furnace filter?" The answer is usually once a month. Although, this will vary depending on the type of filter and whether there are air quality issues in the home such as pets and other factors. Here are a few other things to consider:

1. Buy filters in bulk and keep them near your furnace.

Having filters always ready near your furnace will reduce the tendency to procrastinate and wait too long between filter changes. Also, buying a package of filters is usually less expensive than purchasing individual filters.

2. Always use the correct size filter.

An poor-fitting furnace filter allows dirt and debris to get around the filter and contaminate the air in your home. It can also lead to clogged air conditioner coils, reducing the efficiency of the unit and shortening the lifespan of the compressor and other components.

3. Install the filter facing right direction.

Most filters have arrows indicating the direction of air flow. Putting the filter in backwards can cause the filter to work less efficiently and in some cases may cause the filter to buckle, allowing air around the filter.

4. Furnace filters are not air cleaners.

While most furnace filters will keep larger particles of dirt and debris out of air ducts, their primary purpose is to keep your furnace clean. They are not designed to keep the air in your home clean. If your home has excess dust, pet dander, smoke or other contaminants, consider installing a high quality home air filtration system. HEPA filters are designed to capture the smallest particles that can pass through most 1" furnace air filters.
As the cold weather settles in a whole house humidifier can help make the air in you rhome healthier and more comfortable. However, as with the heating system, a humidifier needs regular maintenance to ensure it operates reliably. Here are some items to check:
  1. Drain Line – Ensure it is clean and free of obstructions. Over time minerals and algae can buildup and clog the line.
  2. Replace the media panel. The media panel, or water panel, works by mixing water with the flow of hot air from the furnace. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the panel at least twice a season. If you allow the media panel to stay in the humidifier for too long, it will reduce the performance of the unit and potentially harbor unhealthy mold and bacteria.
  3. Clean the humidifier’s fan. Also clean off the fan’s intake vent and enclosure.
  4. Solenoid Valve – The solenoid valve allows water to flow through to the humidifier. When the unit is operating, ensure the the valve is opening and that water is flowing.
Finally, when the warm weather returns in the spring, remember to turn off the humidifier and discard the used media panel.
Dry air can be a big problem during the winter heating season. Viruses that cause colds, flu and other upper respiratory ailments thrive in low humidity. Drier air can also aggravate allergies and asthma.

Low humidity can be hard on your home and furnishings. Expensive electronics can be damaged by static electric charges. It also causes dry skin and make your home feel colder leading you to turn up the thermostat creating higher utility bills.

When properly controlled, humidity offers many proven benefits. The best solution to dry air is to have Gibson’s install an Aprilaire Whole-Home Humidifier.

Gibson’s Heating & Plumbing is here to help you control the humidity levels in your home. One of our indoor air quality experts will visit your home to evaluate the inside air to determine the right Aprilaire humidification system that will deliver the perfect amount of moisture in your home.

Installed directly to you homes heating system, a whole-home humidification system properly controls the humidity level throughout your entire home providing dependable whole-home comfort and energy savings.

Benefits of a whole-house humidification system:
  • Humidity at optimal levels maintain the value and extend the life of your home and furnishings
  • Protect your family’s health
  • Provides maximum comfort throughout your entire home. No more dry skin and unnecessary damp chill
  • Adding moisture to the air reduces static electricity, helping to eliminate those annoying shocks and protects your electronic devices
Tired of dry, winter air? Give Gibson’s Heating and Plumbing call today.
There several different types of home fans, each with a different purpose. All fans play an important role in maintaining comfort and indoor air quality. The four main types of fans are:

Whole-House Fans

This type of fan is designed to circulate air throughout a home's ductwork. It is sometimes confused with an attic ventilator fan (see below), which exhausts hot air from the attic to the outside through an opening in the roof. In some cases, a whole house fan can take the place of a home's air conditioning system by circulating air during times of the year when it's not too hot, particularly when combined with ceiling fans.

Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are designed to remove stale, humid air from bathrooms, laundry rooms and other enclosed spaces with high humidity. They improve air quality and reduce the chance of mold and mildew growth. When installing an exhaust fan it's important to ensure that the fan is ducted to the exterior of the house and not just into an attic.

Attic Fans

Also called an attic ventilator, attic fans regulate the heat level of a home's attic by exhausting hot air. They are usually controlled by a thermostat that automatically turns the fan off and on, or less frequently by a manual switch. An attic fan can be gable mounted or roof mounted.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a popular choice for improving airflow in rooms, as well as serving as lighting fixtures and enhancing room decor. While a ceiling fan doesn't actually lower the temperature, it circulates the conditioned air where it's needed most and provides evaporative cooling.

Have questions? Give Gibson's Heating and Plumbing a call. We're here to help.





The air inside most of our homes is 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. How’s that possible? The simple explanation is, Mother Nature. Thunder, lightning and ultraviolet energy from the sun continually clean the outside air. Indoor air isn’t so lucky.

The combination of cleaning products, deodorizers, paint, mold and other pollutants in today’s tighter homes all contribute to unhealthy indoor air.

This can result in increased symptoms of asthma, allergies, longer lasting colds, and more. So what can we do about it? The first option is to replace your traditional air filter with a polarized media air cleaner. This advanced air cleaner captures up to 97% of particles and allergens in the air.

The second option is to use dual wavelength ultraviolet energy light. Just like the sun’s ultraviolet rays, these sterilize germs, viruses, bacteria and control gas odors in your home without the use of any harsh chemicals or sprays.

Last, adding a whole home HEPA filter is the optimum air cleaner. HEPA filtration can remove 99.97% of particles in the air, clearing smoke, dust, pollen, and pet dander. 

There are lots of options for cleaning the air inside your home. If you need more information on these products, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you out.

As the spring arrives, many allergy sufferers take refuge inside their home from the tree and plant pollen that can make life miserable. While the pollen levels are lower indoors, overall air quality can actually be much lower indoors. The reason is our home's are tightly sealed, trapping allergens like dust, pet dander, mold, cooking fumes and household chemicals. Dirty air ducts and furnace filters can make matters even worse.

The Benefits of a Whole House Air Cleaner

High efficiency air cleaners work with your heating and cooling system, employing a sophisticated media filter to capture and remove dust, pet dander, mold spores, dust mites, viruses, pollen, bacteria, smoke, odors and more.

The key to effective air filtration is the use of a polarized-Media electronic air cleaners. As microscopic sub-micron particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) enter the filter, they become polarized. The polarized particles get larger as they join together with other polarized particles and collect on a disposable low-static polarized media pad with an activated charcoal center screen.

UV Air Cleaners are installed inside the air duct where they expose the air to UV radiation, killing biological pathogens like viruses and bacteria that can cause illnesses.

This allergy season start enjoying the cleanest air possible, with a whole house air filtration system installed by Gibson’s Heating & Plumbing. Call today for an in home consultation.
Maintaining ideal indoor humidity during the winter months is important for your family's comfort and health. However, excessive humidity and moisture can damage your home and also cause health problems when mold and mildew begin to form.

To maintain comfort Indoor humidity levels should be in the 30-50 percent range. You can measure humidity with a hygrometer, or by using a weather station available at many home stores.

Proper Ventilation

Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are the primary sources of excess humidity in the home. It's important to ensure that these areas of the home are ventilated with exhaust fans if needed, and that the fans are vented out of the home and not just to the attic.

Excess Condensation

Condensation occurs when humid air comes in contact with cold surfaces like windows and doors. Having a barrier layer between the indoor and outdoor surfaces is the key to preventing moisture accumulation on cold surfaces. This can be accomplished by installing storm doors and ensuring windows are triple or double paned.

Leaving doors open to allow air to circulate and opening drapes and blinds on sunny winter days can also reduce the buildup of excess moisture in the home.

Have questions about controlling humidity in your home? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We're here to help.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015 23:52

What's Polluting the Air Indoors?

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As colder weather approaches and we begin to spend more time indoors, it's a good time to consider the air quality in our homes. According to the EPA, these are the most common indoor air pollutants found in U.S. homes:

1. Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. In the U.S. it is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Because it is not detectable to human senses, your home should be tested using an EPA approved radon test kit. If your home has unhealthy levels of radon, sealing cracks in the foundation and ensuring proper ventilation can reduce the levels or radon gas.

2. Biological Pollutants

These can include mold, bacteria, viruses, pollen, pet dander and dust mites. Biological matter can cause allergies and other health problems. Having your ducts cleaned and changing your furnace filter regularly can reduce the amount of biological matter in the air. The most effective way to remove biological matter from the air is with a whole house air cleaner that uses a high quality HEPA filter.

3. Combustion Pollutants

Sources include: fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters and other appliances that use oil or natural gas for combustion. These appliances can produce two harmful gases – carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – that are colorless and odorless. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: fatigue, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. The best way to prevent combustion pollution is to make sure your furnace is professionally maintained annually and to ensure your water heater is properly maintained and vented.

Have questions about the air quality in your home? Call Gibson's, we can help.

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