August 1, 2023

Safety King Helps Residents Breathe Easier: Indoor Air Quality and Air Duct Cleaning Benefits After the Recent Canada Wildfires

The recent wildfires in Canada have left a lasting impact on our environment, with smoke and ash spreading far and wide. While the immediate concern is the safety of those in affected areas, it’s important to consider the long-term effects on our indoor air quality. As we spend more time indoors, ensuring that the air we breathe is clean and healthy becomes paramount. One way to achieve this is through air duct cleaning, a process that offers numerous benefits for both our health and the environment.

Indoor air quality is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, and it can be greatly affected by external factors such as wildfires. The smoke and pollutants from these fires can seep into our homes, settling in our air ducts and circulating throughout our living spaces. This poses a potential risk to our respiratory health, especially for individuals with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. By investing in professional air duct cleaning, we can effectively remove the harmful particles, dust, and debris that may have accumulated during the wildfires. This not only improves the air we breathe but also reduces the risk of respiratory issues and ensures a healthier living environment for ourselves and our loved ones.

Apart from the health benefits, air duct cleaning also has positive implications for the environment. Clean air ducts contribute to better energy efficiency, as the HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to circulate air throughout the house. This leads to reduced energy consumption, lower utility bills, and a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, clean air ducts help prevent the spread of pollutants and allergens, which can have detrimental effects on indoor air quality when released into the building envelope. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) is currently near completion of a multi-year, multi-region global study which is expected to confirm and quantify these benefits.  By taking proactive steps to maintain our indoor air quality, we are also making a positive impact on the environment, mitigating the effects of the recent wildfires.

In the aftermath of the Canada wildfires, it’s crucial to prioritize our indoor air quality. Air duct cleaning offers a multitude of benefits for our health and the environment by ensuring that we breathe cleaner and fresher air in our homes. By removing the harmful particles and pollutants that may have entered our air ducts during the fires, we can safeguard our respiratory health and create a healthier living environment. Moreover, air duct cleaning promotes energy efficiency and reduces our carbon footprint, making it a win-win situation for both ourselves and the planet. Don’t wait until the air quality is compromised – take the necessary steps today to breathe easy and protect your well-being.  While air duct cleaning benefits and frequency are dependent on the individual circumstances of a particular building and it’s occupants the professionals at Safety King have found that full system cleaning are typically warranted every 3-5 years.

PRESS RELEASE:  Air Duct Cleaning Pioneer Hosts 1000th Student

June 2023

June 4, 1990 is an important date in Safety King Air Duct Cleaning history. That was the day we officially hosted our first Technician Student. Anthony was from Louisiana. He was new to the air duct cleaning business and wanted to get some insight on how to operate his newly purchased vacuum truck on job sites. He found us by networking through the National Air Duct Cleaners Association and reached out to NADCA founding member and President Michael S Palazzolo. He made arrangements to visit and stay at a local hotel in nearby Rochester Michigan. Anthony showed up bright and early on that Monday morning ready to work. He was so enthusiastic and involved that, by the end of the week, we wished we could hire him to stay and work with us. We had previously hosted some unofficial students for visits over the previous five years. These were mostly local folks or people from around the Midwest. They would come in for a day or maybe two, grab some lunch with Mike and talk some business. A few of them visited job sites or spoke with our office team or our technicians.   These were the beginnings of something great.

Late last year we surpassed our 1000th technician-student.  Randy from Kentucky had retired after a full career in manufacturing and was looking forward to starting a new venture with his son.  He came to us with a lifetime of experience but as a blank slate regarding air duct cleaning.  Over the course of his weeklong visit Randy saw and participated in residential and commercial cleanings as well as dryer duct cleanings, component cleanings, and duct sealing services.  By the end of the week he was putting his newly acquired skills to work and practically running the cleaning projects while our trainers fell back into a support/supervisory role.

Over the past 4 decades we have had the good fortune of hosting students from all over the United States as well as Canada, Australia, the Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore, and Bermuda.   We’ve trained people from small owner operated companies all the way up to the largest national franchises.  Through these guest visits and the relationships that we formed we have made many friends who continue in the industry today.  We have had the opportunity not only to share our knowledge and experience, but to learn from each and every one of our guests. “It’s pretty cool to run into guys at NADCA events that you trained in air duct cleaning 25 or 30 years ago and see that they’re still thriving in the industry.  It’s truly rewarding to be able to positively impact their lives and their business success.” says President Michael (MJ) Palazzolo.

In conjunction with MSP Sales and Marketing, Safety King Inc continues to offer the popular week-long hands-on technician training as well as a Marketing and Business Training/Consulting program at our headquarters in Shelby Township Michigan.    https://safetyking.com/air-duct-cleaning-training/

Contact:  Michael MJ Palazzolo   mj@safetyking.com   1-800-AIR-DUCT or 586-731-4720

February 1, 2020

Safety King is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2019.

“Service pros that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network, who are consistently making great customer service their mission,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros have provided exceptional service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2019 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade.

January 15, 2020

Allergies & Dust

We get a lot of calls about allergies and dust. Dust is the biggest trigger of allergies worldwide. Anyone who is allergic to dust reacts to either mite constituents or animal allergens with complaints such as sneezing, eye irritations or asthma. An often overlooked factor for dust control are indoor humidity levels. The indoor air humidity plays a major role in the extent of dust turbulence. Experiments show that the adhesion of “moistened” dust to smooth floor surfaces increases dramatically above 30 to 40 percent. In this area, the weight of the dust particles also increases drastically due to water condensation. They stick together, form clusters, and quickly fall to the floor again.

The optimal humidity range for minimizing allergy complaints is therefore between 40 and 60 percent.

Maintain 40-60% Relative Humidity

The most crucial way to protect electronics from dust build-up is to enforce consistent humidity control. By using a whole-house humidifier you can manage interior temperatures and humidity levels far more efficiently. Keeping your relative humidity (RH) between 40-60% is important, as it minimizes the amount of time dust can spend airborne, forcing it to settle more quickly. Additionally, proper humidity control can minimize brittle components, reduce de-soldering occurrences and mitigate instances of electrostatic discharge (ESD).


While it is not a cure-all, regular cleaning of your entire air duct system including the supply side ductwork, return side ductwork, blower, and components like your evaporator coil can have a dramatic influence on the dust levels you experience in your home or business. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association ACR Standard (Assessment, Cleaning, and Restoration) residential air duct systems should be inspected every other year and commercial systems annually! Our 50 years of experience show us that under normal conditions duct systems begin to show significant accumulations of dust and warrant consideration for cleaning in about 3 years. Remodeling/remediation work makes the need for cleaning immediate.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Indoor Air Pollution and Health

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns.

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate Effects
Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated or worsened.

The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors including age and preexisting medical conditions. In some cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high level exposures.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from the area, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air coming indoors or from the heating, cooling or humidity conditions prevalent indoors.

Identifying Problems in the Indoor Environments
Long-Term Effects
Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.

While pollutants commonly found in indoor air can cause many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time.


How Much Do Dirty Coils Cost You?

The short answer is PLENTY! Dirty coils, or anything that blocks the free flow of air into or out of the evaporator and condensing units can cost you in several big ways:

It will cost you more in electrical energy to run all of the system’s components longer and harder, especially the compressor.
Your refrigeration system may not be able to keep up and a too high temperature may prompt you to call for expensive emergency service.

Your equipment may fail prematurely due to the increased strain dirty coils place on its operation. Refrigerant can return to the compressor as a liquid and cause it to fail due to “slugging”. Replacing a compressor is a capital expense that you would probably want to put off until another day.
Unfortunately, cleaning evaporator and condenser coils is one of the most overlooked maintenance jobs there is. Although your coils are always getting dirtier, even right now as you read this, it is much easier in the short run to just ignore the problem and hope it won’t catch up with you. However, given enough time, it always will. The longer you go between coil cleanings and the dirtier they get, the more it can cost you. It is much smarter and cheaper in the long run to institute a regular preventative maintenance program with coil cleaning being one of the top priorities. How often is regular? Cleanings should certainly happen at least yearly and perhaps more often, depending on how dirty the environment is in which the coils are operating.

Having clean coils makes your system more efficient. Evaporator coils pick up heat from the air circulating inside the building. Condenser coils transfer that heat to the air outside the cooled space. Just by having the evaporator and condenser fans operating and pulling air through the coils, dirt and dust is deposited on them. Dirt and dust are poorer conductors of heat than bare metal, so it takes air passing through dirty metal fins that are attached to the coils of the evaporator and condensing heat exchangers for a longer time to exchange the same amount of heat as clean fins. Dust, especially, can build up over time and reduce the spaces between the fins, so that less air is able to pass through the fins with the same amount of fan power. Let the crud build up as badly as the condenser shown above which is just like an evaporator coil covered with frost that chokes off the airflow, the efficiency of your system will suffer due to increased compressor and evaporator run time.

Without accurately testing the electrical energy going into and the heat coming out of your particular refrigeration system, before and after a coil cleaning, it is impossible to state for certain how much those dirty coils are costing you. Based on such testing of several randomly selected residential and commercial systems industry studies estimate that dirty condenser coils alone are costing the owner of a typical commercial refrigeration unit between $220 and $625 a year in electric energy waste. Assuming an average of $400/unit/year that amounts to a total of $9.7 billion annual loss for the estimated 27 million commercial systems in the U.S. That’s a lot of wasted energy and money!

Many energy-related organizations warn of the danger of neglecting coil cleaning. The U.S. DOE advises that “a dirty condenser coil can increase compressor energy consumption by 30 percent.” and recommends inspecting coils a minimum of once per year. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) also suggests an annual coil cleaning to its commercial customers as part of its ongoing efforts to promote energy-efficient HVAC-system operations.

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) did a study that had some specific findings: “A dirty condenser coil that raises condensing temperature from 95°F to 105°F cuts cooling capacity by 7 percent and increases power consumption by 10 percent, with a net (compressor) efficiency reduction of 16 percent. In a 10-ton unit operating 2,000 hours a year, this wastes about $250 per year in operating costs. A technician can clean the condenser coil in about 1 hour, which typically costs about $150. In this example, the payback takes just over 7 months.

To make matters worse, dirty condenser coils are perhaps even less than half the story. That is because there are two types of heat exchangers in almost all refrigeration systems that collect dirt from the air passing through them: condenser coils, located outside the cooled space, and evaporator coils, located inside the cooler. Evaporator fans usually run all of the time, or about twice as much as a typical condensing fan, so they have twice the amount of time to collect dust and dirt from the air passing through the fins. And, unlike air conditioning systems, evaporators for refrigeration systems do not have filters that can be replaced, so the dirt builds up on, and in between, the coils and fins themselves.

While also delivering less air, all types of evaporator fan motors themselves consume more energy whenever the airflow is constricted. The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) performed tests in which the airflow through an evaporator unit’s coils was blocked in varying amount by sheets of styrofoam to simulate blockage by dirt and dust, frost, or boxes of product stored too close. They found that an old-fashioned shaded pole motor’s used 104 watts when air flowed freely through the unit, but that it increased 20% when they completely shut off the flow of the air, like what one might see with a totally frosted evaporator. An energy-efficient ECM evaporator motor of the same size fared even more poorly, relatively speaking, by burning 43 watts with clean coils and 60% more, or 69 watts, with the styrofoam covering all of the coils. Blocking the airflow in by 75% and an ECM used 23% more energy. Even blocking the flow of air out of an evaporator by only 50% increased the power consumption of either kind of motor about 16%.

What can we advise from this data?

Raise the evaporator temperature by efficiently moving as much air through the evaporator coils. This can be done by regularly (at least annually) cleaning the evaporator coils, straightening any bent fins, being sure that the coils are completely unrestricted, and not blocking the flow of air into or out of the evaporator.
Lower the condenser temperature by efficiently moving as much air through the condenser coils. This can be done by regularly (at least annually) cleaning the condenser coils, straightening any bent fins, and not blocking the flow of air into or out of the condenser.

So the question is: When was the last time you had your coils cleaned?

AC Coil Cleaning

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