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Indoor Air Quality Hazards – VOCs

Indoor Air Quality Hazards – VOCs

ndoor air pollution

Did you know that every time you use certain household or commercial products you are releasing potentially harmful compounds into the air?  These compounds are referred to by the EPA as VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds and can be reeking havoc on your indoor air quality.  Today, the team at American Services wants to give you some facts about VOCs and also some ideas on how to eliminate them from your indoor environment.

Facts about Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs:

  • VOCs can be found in cleaning products, paints, chemical strippers, waxes, pesticides, candles, and many other common products around your home and workplace.
  • VOCs can also come from floor coverings, furniture, electronic equipment, air fresheners, and dry-cleaned clothing.
  • The VOCs from these products are not just emitted into the air during use.  They are also releasing potentially harmful VOCs while simply being stored due to natural evaporation.  This makes the source of VOCs harder to pinpoint.

How to control and eliminate VOCs from your environment:

  • Adequate ventilation needs to be in place when using VOC-containing product.  This includes when you are painting, using cleaning products, or any other activity that could expose you to VOCs.  The best way to ventilate in these situations is by opening windows and/or using exhaust fans.
  • Read the manufacturer recommendations for all products to make sure you are properly using, storing, and getting rid of these products.  For example, many cleaning products can not be mixed with other chemicals.  If the chemicals are combined you can cause a reaction that will cause harm to the user.
  • Ask your Maryland Heights area heating and cooling technician about adding equipment to your system that will clean the pollutants out of your indoor air.  These units can help tremendously in eliminating odors from your space and can even help to control allergy issues that may be of concern.

Contact the American Services team today for a free quote!

Tips To Keep Your Indoor Air Quality Safe During Construction

Tips To Keep Your Indoor Air Quality Safe During Construction

indoor air quality modelDuring a construction or remodel project many don’t realize that their building’s indoor air quality could suffer.  This disruption in satisfactory air quality can cause a number of issues including respiratory problems and other more concerning health issues. For this reason it is very important that all business owners who undergo a construction or remodel project consider the impact such a project can have on both their employees and customers.

So, what unhealthy substances do you need to be on the look out for in this situation? The most common of these irritants include hidden mold growth, excessive dust, bacteria, lead paint, harsh chemicals, and asbestos.  As you can see, some of these substances are simply irritating, while some can be very dangerous.  Let’s take a look at how you can keep your building’s air quality safe from these issues.

Tip #1 – Talk to your contractor before your project begins and voice your concern about keeping these irritants at bay.  Come up with a plan that tackles excessive dust, harmful substance removal, and other issues that may occur.

Tip #2 – Avoid spreading any contaminants to other areas of your building by sealing off all HVAC registers in the construction zone.

Tip #3 – Have your HVAC technician put a new filter in at the start of construction and then replace that filter once construction is complete.

Tip #4 – Use fans to remove irritants from the building during construction.

Tip #5 – Be sure that you and your contractor are mindful of any manufacturer instructions concerning harmful irritants in the materials being used.

Tip #6 – Call in a professional to make sure your ventilation system is able to handle the removal of irritants that may accumulate during the project.

Tip #7 – Don’t forget to protect your building’s existing systems during the remodel, especially your HVAC units.

If you have an upcoming project and need help understanding how to protect your Wentzville area commercial heating and cooling system during the construction project, call American Services.  Our team understands indoor air quality and can help you make sure your HVAC unit is ready and able to handle the project you have in mind.

Keep Your Ice Clean With Ultraviolet Light

Keep Your Ice Clean With Ultraviolet Light

Three ice cubes Ice machines can be a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and other biological contaminants.  That’s why it is so important that all businesses that work with ice machines and/or water filtration understand the importance of how to keep the products they serve clean and hazard free.  One of the options you have when looking to serve cleaner, better tasting ice is in the form of ultraviolet light.  Choosing to keep your ice clean with UV light is fairly inexpensive, easy to install, and offers a safe alternative to chemicals used to clean in a more traditional way.  Using ultraviolet light can also improve the performance and extend the life of your ice machines.

So, how does ultraviolet light work?  In the ice machine setting, UV germicidal lamps are first installed in your machine by a professional refrigeration expert.  The lights then go to work killing off all the biological hazards by using UV-C rays to damage the structure of bacteria, virus, and mold cells.  When the structure of these cells is damaged, they are killed off and leave your machine 99.9% free of contaminants.

Keeping the ice you serve as clean as possible is a must for anyone who serves cold beverages.  That’s why more and more St. Louis area businesses have turned to the experience provided by the American Services team.  At American Services, we not only serve Florissant area heating and cooling clients, but we also serve those in commercial settings that require water filtration and other food service equipment.  Our long list of specialties includes cooking equipment, ice machines, refrigeration, industrial equipment, and beverage systems.  This long list of provided services means we can fully serve our area clients in a complete and quick manner.  Don’t risk down time and waste money on a service provider who cant meet all of your needs.  Call American Services for a free estimate now.

 

 

Being Mindful Of IAQ During Winter Months

Being Mindful Of IAQ During Winter Months

contact usThe IAQ or indoor air quality in your commercial building is something that can suffer during the winter months as many try to create an airtight environment to help reduce winter heating costs. Yet, the practice of sealing out the cold air needs to be in balance so that the environment you and your employees are exposed to isn’t compromised.  Use these tips that take the eliminate, isolate, and ventilate principals into account when considering your IAQ this winter.

First, you need to think of ways to eliminate contaminants from entering your indoor environment.  Some simple ways to do that include: choose cleaning agents that are not made with chemicals that can be harmful to you and your employees; be sure to outfit your building with carpeting, furniture, and other finishings that are free of harmful chemicals; and make your indoor environment a cigarette smoke-free area.

Next, you will need to think of ways to isolate your indoor environment from contaminants.  A few ways to isolate include: keeping any pollutant containing chemicals in an area separate from you and your employees; sealing any appliances in sealed combustion units; and inspecting all natural gas units for proper ventilation.

Finally, check for and ensure proper ventilation.  This can be achieved by opening windows as the weather permits or by contacting your Bridgeton Area HVAC dealer about having a mechanical ventilation unit installed in your building.  These units need to be sized and installed by a professional HVAC technician to ensure proper ventilation according to your building size.

Start taking your indoor air quality seriously and contact the team at American Services now!  Our team can help you determine your IAQ needs for the winter and get all of the proper equipment installed quickly and at an affordable price.  Contact our team at 314-733-1776 for more details about a free estimate today!

Benefits Related To Cleaning Your Heating & Cooling System

Benefits Related To Cleaning Your Heating & Cooling System

Man Looking Into Air DuctHaving a clean environment for your employees and customers is always a top priority and that’s why adding regular heating and cooling system clean-ups is so important.  This type of cleaning process will ensure that the indoor air quality is optimal for those whom you serve.  Here are the top two reasons why you should consider cleaning your heating and cooling system.

Energy Savings – When your heating and cooling system is clear of contaminants, it can work more efficiently with less energy.  In fact, it is estimated that a dirty system contributes to the 25 to 40 percent energy wasted by the average unit.  Regularly cleaning your system will allow it to work less, do it’s job better, and will even add life to your equipment.

Air Quality – Your indoor air quality matters.  Dander, dust, and chemicals are just a few of the contaminants that build up over time.  When you don’t consider this build-up, occupants will start to notice the indoor air quality diminishing.  The only way to effectively remove this contaminated build-up is to have a professional properly clean your system using a negative pressure approach. Keeping up with this cleaning process is the only way to keep those with respiratory conditions, autoimmune disorders, or environmental allergies comfortable and free of symptoms.

Don’t miss this important step when serving your commercial heating and cooling system near Overland.  In fact, the team at American Services can visit your place of business and help you with a number of HVACR services that will benefit your bottom line.  We offer 24/7 service, a full lineup of specialties, and free estimates. This means we can take care of all your needs, save you time, and save you money.  Don’t worry with the condition of your heating and cooling equipment any longer. Contact the American Service team now and get the peace of mind you deserve.

Use Your HVAC System To Improve Indoor Air Quality

Use Your HVAC System To Improve Indoor Air Quality

dangerous substances emissions The quality of the air we breath can be affected by a number of different factors including those that are both inside and outside of the office environment.  That is why it is important to take some simple steps aimed at keeping the air you and your employees breath as pure as possible.  At American Services, we understand that the first defense you have against any unwanted pollutants is to keep your HVAC system well-maintained and serviced regularly.  In fact, one of the least expensive things you can do to improve air quality is to make sure your air filter is changed regularly.  In addition to changing the filter, you will want to make sure the new filter is of high quality and rated to eliminate the most pollutants, dust, and other elements as possible.

You can also do some other inexpensive things to help improve the air you breath.  These include:

  • House Plants – House plants like English Ivy, the Peace Lily, and Boston Fern all have the ability to  rid the air of toxins and other potentially harmful contaminants.  Plus, having plants in your office are appealing to the eye and fairly inexpensive.
  • Increase Air Exchange – As we use chemicals to clean and disinfect our environment, we also emit harmful chemicals that can contaminate the air and make us sick.  To help reduce the amount of chemicals being released into the air, you can simply open windows to increase the air exchange rate in your building.  This will help flush out the potentially harmful chemicals and bring new, cleaner air in.
  • Air Purifiers – You can also consider investing in an Air Purifier that is used in conjunction with your HVAC system.  These units vary in their abilities to clean the air and it is best to have a trained professional recommend and install such a unit.

If you are interested in improving the indoor air quality in your commercial building, simply call St. Louis City’s HVAC service experts at American Services for a free estimate today!

Indoor Air Pollutants and Your Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Pollutants and Your Indoor Air Quality

Pollution Free SignYour commercials building’s indoor air quality is measured by the combined comfort your HVAC system provides in the areas of temperature, humidity, and air cleanliness.  Last time, we discussed the topic of humidity and outlined some facts that can assist business owner’s in achieving the right relative humidity for maximum comfort.  Today, let’s cover the basics regarding indoor air pollutants.

As many have already heard, the air within a structure can often be much more contaminated by pollutants than the that which we breath outdoors. Within a building’s air there are particles, chemicals, and tiny organisms that cause a decrease in overall quality.  One of the most common pollutants found indoors is Radon.

If these factors are bad enough, the health effects one experiences are referred to as Sick Building Syndrome.  You will know if you are experiencing Sick Building Syndrome because your symptoms will only be present in a certain building and will dissipate once you leave.  Symptoms of this type of sickness include eye irritations, nose, irritations, throat irritations, allergic reactions, headaches, various cancers, fatigue, issues with concentration, and sensitivity to odors.

So, how do your improve your indoor air quality?  First, minimize the amount of household chemical you use, don’t allow smoking indoors, and  limit the use of any unvented appliances.  Next, improve your overall ventilation by replacing some of the building’s inside air with fresh air from outside.  Finally, look into air cleaning methods that remove chemicals from the air with activated charcoal.

Thank you for joining us for our discussion on pollutants and indoor air quality.  The team at American Services hopes this information will assist you in creating that most comfortable environment within your commercial building.  For more information concerning heating, cooling, and refrigeration services near Belleville, contact your American Services customer service representative today!

Maintenance of Wood or Pellet Heating Appliances

Maintenance of Wood or Pellet Heating Appliances

fireplace heating maintenanceAmerican Services, heating maintenance service in St. Louis, knows that when selecting a wood burning or Pellet heating appliance for your commercial space, it’s vital to choose the correct size for the space you plan to heat.

Also, wood burning and pellet heating appliances can cause many pollutants and chemicals in the air such as; nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, organic gases, and particulate matter which could result in health hazard when toxins reach a certain level.

Therefore maintenance performed regularly to your wood or pellet burning system is vital to the safety of your commercial environment and air quality.

It is advisable to have a certified chimney sweep-certified by the “Chimney Safety Institute of America,” inspect your chimney each year before the heating season.  This is important in order to check your appliance, all of its connecting pipes, air inlets and other parts in order to ensure they are all in proper working order.

Catalytic stoves and inserts should be inspected even more frequently-up to 3 times each year according to the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Maintenance to the outside of your heating appliance is also important.  Removal of just 1/10th of an inch of soot can improve efficiency of your unit to as much as fifty percent of the heat transfer efficiency of the metal.

Cleaning the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically will also help your wood-burning appliance heat your home efficiently. Even a one-tenth inch of soot can drop the heat transfer efficiency of the metal by 50%.

If you have a pellet burning appliance, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the maintenance regime.  Be sure to regularly check the motors and fans, and remove any unused pellets from the stove and the feed system at the end of every heating season.

To learn more about heating maintenance or to get a quote on maintenance for your heating system, contact us today at American Services.

Cleaning Commercial Refrigerator Systems

Cleaning Commercial Refrigerator Systems

restaurant refrigeration in MOAmerican Services commercial refrigeration repair service in Missouri is committed to offering tips for business owners to keep their refrigeration equipment in the best possible working order.

Be sure that your machine is unplugged before you begin any cleaning of your unit.

Note that there are several parts on a unit that need to be cleaned regularly including;

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is located in various spots and can usually be found by checking the owner’s manual or asking our technicians to point it out when we are doing regular maintenance checks.  The coil needs to be cleaned monthly.

Remove lint and dust with a commercial condenser coil cleaner you purchase from your local kitchen equipment retailer. After cleaning the fins, straighten any bent fins with using a comb.

Fan Blades and Motor

The fan blades and motor on commercial refrigerator both needto be cleaned on a regular monthly basis, with a soft cloth on the motor as well as the blades.  Be sure to cover the motor with a dry cloth when you clean the fan blades to prevent moisture from entering and causing damage.

Interior

Refrain from using steel wool, or harsh cleaning chemicals (including bleach) when cleaning the interior of your unit, which could damage the finish and leave strong smells which could affect the food.  Use warm water and mild soap instead. On a weekly basis remove the door gaskets and allow them to soak in warm water and soap for around a half an hour.  Then remove the gaskets, dry and replace.  Make sure they still create a good seal once you have reattached them.  Remove and clean the shelves once a week as well.

How Geothermal Heating Systems Work

How Geothermal Heating Systems  Work

commercial heating services in MissouriAmerican Services Heating systems installation in Wentzville knows that geothermal heating systems work in a very unique way to “naturally” provide a heat source to commercial buildings or other environments. The earth stores heat within it. In fact, it maintains that heat at about 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a stable figure, meaning it is completely renewable when it is tapped into, and it is a natural source, there are no chemicals or side effects from using this type of heat source. Yet it is powerful and plentiful enough to heat an entire building without furnaces or boilers.


In order to utilize the geothermal heat that is underground, scientists have found that they can literally pump it out with the use of a geothermal heating system. A heat pump is used.

It is a  mechanical device that transfers the heat from one place to the next. In this scenario it’s as simple as pulling up the heat from the Earth’s soil and then transferring it directly into the building installation. The heat is transferred by using a network of tubes throughout the building connecting to the heat source. These tubes are called closed loops and are filled with a liquid such as a refrigerant, water,  or occasionally antifreeze. The liquid that is within these tubes will travel into the ground, absorb the earth’s natural heat source and then it is recirculated through the system back into the building. The heat is then released from the liquid element and is transferred into the building. In this continuous circuit the liquid element then travels back down to the earth’s heat source and the process just keeps repeating itself. This loop system allows for geothermal heating systems to provide a constant flow of heat to the buildings.

Heat That Cools

Not only can geothermal heating systems provide heat to a building, but it can actually cool the area off as well. The system is quite the same in that the same loop is used, only this time it is in reverse. The valves within the system allow it to be switched to cool instead of to heat. Now the heat from the building is absorbed through the tubes containing the very same liquid elements and cycled out of the building. During the summer months this allows for an additional benefit because the earth does not need to be heated and there is still a large amount of heat in the liquid, Energy can be tapped into in order to have it heat the water for the building. This eliminates the need for a hot water tank or heater operations which saves significant energy efficiency and utility costs.