Yes, there are Dust Mites in Phoenix. However, since it’s dry here most of the year, there are less dust mites than in more humid areas. But during rainy weather like our monsoons, the relative humidity increases as does the dust mite population.
Did you catch the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day? Did it make you want to get a puppy? Are you hesitant because someone in your household is allergic to dogs?
Just because you or someone in your family has allergies or asthma, doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog. And they don’t have to hairless either! There are several breeds of dogs that are hypoallergenic – some have hair and some don’t.
One phrase that you may have heard during the dog show is “hypoallergenic” breeds.
A hypoallergenic dog breed or crossbreed is one that has less of an affect on allergy sufferers than other breeds. There are some that will argue that there really aren’t any hypoallergenic breeds – and they may be correct. What some people are allergic to is the dander. Dander is dried saliva that is on their coats. Dogs that don’t shed have lesser of a chance of getting dander into the air.
Obviously smaller dogs have less hair, thus less dander. Also take into consideration that if you take your dog outside, they’ll probably bring in outdoor allergens.
Keep in mind that getting a pure-bred dog will be more expensive than just going to the shelter to adopt. You must also factor in the size, temperament, level of energy, your lifestyle, whether you live in a house with a backyard or an apartment. You can research the breeds here.
Here’s a list of hypoallergenic dogs from the American Kennel Club:
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Poodles (Toy, Miniature or Standard)
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Schnauzer (Miniature, Standard or Giant)
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Xoloitzcuintli – Mexican Hairless Dog
You should prepare your home to keep allergies at bay before bringing home the new addition.
Remove carpeting, heavy draperies, upholstered furniture and other places that could trap dander. Have your home’s air quality inspected and then professionally cleaned to remove the scents of previous pets, allergens and other indoor air pollutants.
Once the dog is home, wash their beds regularly. Groom your dog often especially after being outside. Don’t let the dog sleep in the bed of the allergy sufferer.
AZ Healthy Home
Old-fashioned paints contain VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds – which may cause respiratory illnesses even memory loss. In the midst of the “going green” trend, paint manufacturers are coming out with no VOC paints.
“The new-car smell” – it’s something that we like. What we don’t know is that smell is nothing less than the formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals in the carpeting and other plastic parts of the vehicle.
Formaldehyde is also known as embalming fluid – what funeral homes use to replace blood in a corpse to prepare the body for burial. OK, Halloween is over – enough with the gore.
Formaldehyde and other VOCs can make you sick. Especially if it’s in the brand you carpeting in a house -it’s called “off-gassing” where new carpet and furniture emit toxic gasses. Whether it’s a house you’re purchasing or remodeling, you need to consider the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may be lurking in the carpeting. Formaldehyde and other chemicals are used in the binding, adhesive, backing, padding and coating.
Low VOC Carpeting
Flooring manufacturers are now creating “greener” products that don’t emit toxic chemicals. One that is recommended by “The Green Home Guide” is Mohawk’s SmartStrand made with Bio-PDO – produced from corn sugar. It’s stain-resistant, durable and non-toxic.
Check out their “Zoo Challenge” video below where they tested the carpet in the habitats of a rhino, elephant and camel and had them live in it for 3 weeks.
Unfortunately, not all new homes have low- or no-VOC carpeting. Even apartments with fresh paint and new carpets can have off-gassing. If you find that your new abode is making you ill, give us a call and we can eliminate all VOCs from the house with Ozone Treatments.
AZ Healthy Home
VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds are in a lot of household products. These VOCs affect more than just “sensitive” people. It can cause even healthy folks to have symptoms and health issues like:
Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.
Most are familiar with the formaldehyde found in new carpets and the VOCs in paint and household chemicals, but did you know that the insulation inside your walls have VOCs? The culprit: formaldehyde in standard Fiberglas insulation.
Your home needs insulation in the walls and ceilings to keep the hot air out in the summer and keep the warm air inside in the winter. Proper insulation saves energy and also helps with soundproofing.
Low VOC Insulation
No VOCs foam insulation is an option, but for the do-it-youselfer, installing standard Fiberglas insulation may be a more cost-saving option.
You’ll get superior energy efficiency for the life of your home, and our insulation promotes better indoor air quality and a healthier indoor environment for your family because we’ve removed the formaldehyde. ~Johns Mansville
AZ Healthy Home
I admit it. I’m an HGTV junkie. My favorite shows are “Love it or List it,” “Property Brothers” and the new one “Buying and Selling.” I also like watching the house flipping shows like, “Property Ladder.”
Phoenix leads the nation in house flipping. There is a good market of low-priced houses that are either a short-sale or bank-owned properties which are “priced to sell.” The objective is to buy a fixer-upper, remodel it, then sell it at nice profit.
One thing that stands out in most of these shows are the surprises that are revealed when they break into a wall or remove flooring or ceilings.
Some of these things may be discovered in a regular house inspection, but not all are visible to the naked eye and won’t be until demolition is begun — which is usually after a budget is set. It will also affect your timeline as you’ll need to address the issues before you can go on with the remodeling. Some of these issues will require a city code inspector to approve it. These are some of the things you could find hiding in the walls, ceilings or floors:
- Water damage from flooding, roof or pipe leaks
- Mold, mildew and fungi from said flooding or leaks
- Pests like termites, ants, roaches or rats — yes we have termites in Arizona — desert subterranean, arid-land subterranean, desert damp-wood, western dry-wood.
- Leaks around windows, doors and ducts. The older the house, the more likely there will be drafty windows and doors that let out the cool air and make the air conditioner work harder. In the winter, you lose heat.
- Insufficient or missing insulation. Even though we don’t deal with very cold winters, proper insulation keeps the cool air-conditioned air in and the heat out.
- Dangerous electrical hot spots which are potential fire hazards.
The problem is that the “surprises” were not included in the renovation budget, which now is either forcibly extended or something that was planned has to be cut or redesigned. The last thing you want or need is your contractor calling you with, “Sorry, but I have some bad news for you.”
So what can a house-flipper do to prevent the nightmare?
Get a Thermal House Inspection before you buy or before to start demolition.
One thermal house inspection checks everything listed above. It’s the most thorough house inspection you can get!
It will save you aggravation, frustration, nightmares, time and money.
It’s best to do it before you buy, so you can better decide if the property is a good investment or not worth the effort. If done after purchase and before demolition, it will help you better adjust the budget to cover repairs.
House flipping can yield a decent profit, but it does require hard work and it will behoove you to get a thermal house inspection before you buy!
AZ Healthy Home
It’s called the “Prius Effect” on home sales.
In the most recent study, University of California researchers found that green-certified, single-family homes sold for $34,800 more — or 9 percent more — than comparable non-green certified homes. (Realtor Magazine)
So what does it take to have a “green-certified” house?
In order to meet the National Green Building Standard, a builder or re-modeler must:
…incorporate a minimum number of features in the following areas: lot and site development; energy, water, and resource efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and home owner education. In order to attain a higher level of green certification by the NAHB Research Center, a home must accrue successively higher levels of minimum points in every category – the highest level of certification is dictated by the lowest category score level.
Indoor Environmental Quality
This includes the HVAC – air-handing system. But, in the event of a green remodeling (that is taking an existing house and remodeling it with green products rather than a new build), the house should:
- Be inspected for air or water leaks, mold using thermal imaging that detects water damage, pests like termites or mice, insufficient of missing insulation, thermal leaks around windows, doors and air ducts and dangerous electrical hot spots.
- Then the house should be cleaned using natural ozone shock treatments that remove odors, viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, pet and smoking odors.
- Protect the air quality with microfiltration air filters that only need to be changed every 6 months. (They usually go for a year, but with the dust in Phoenix, we recommend changing it every 6 months.) These are energy-efficient, and keep the home healthy and green.
AZ Healthy Home
Phoenix residents can finally see the end to the long, hot summer and 100+ degree temperatures. Cool nights may tempt many to open the windows and doors, but along with cool air coming in, you get the pollen and allergens that are exceptionally high this year.
Congratulations on kicking the worst habit anyone could have – cigarette/cigar smoking – and starting to live a healthy life!
Now, the problem is that your house reeks of cigarette smoke. You’ve cleaned the carpet, aired out the house, “Fabreezed” the furniture, drapes, cushions and sprayed every deodorizer in the market, but it won’t go away! It’s in the walls! Since you’ve stopped smoking, the last thing you want is to be reminded of it when you walk into your house. But…
Cigarette/cigar smoke odors are the most difficult odors to eliminate. Help! I quit smoking, but I can’t get the cigarette smell out of my house!
AZ Healthy Home has the solution!
We use ozone treatments to remove cigarette odors from every corner of your house – carpets, walls, furniture, the carpet under the furniture, cabinets, bedding, pillows, closets, and the clothes in the closets – everything! Guaranteed!
Your home is left with a sweet smell like after a monsoon rain shower.
Start a healthy lifestyle in a healthy home.
AZ Healthy Home
The study started in outer space. NASA, in attempts to keep the air in the Space Station clean for the astronauts, who live in a closed environment for months, discovered that many common household plants actually clean the air of toxic fumes.
How houseplants help clean the air of pollutants
You learned about it in science class – photosynthesis – how plants take in carbon dioxide and let out oxygen. Well, some plants also capture formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Some work better in cleaning certain fumes more than others so you should have a nice variety. Sorry, but no plant works on cigarette smoke. It’s best to quit or take it outside if you must smoke.
Newer homes are more energy efficient
As you try to make your home more energy efficient by upgrading the windows and doors to keep the hot air out in the summer and keep the cool air in, and with the Phoenix Brown Cloud affecting the outdoor air pollution, the old-fashioned way of “airing the house out” is not very healthy.
That’s where our indoor air quality services combined with houseplants can help clean of indoor air pollutants and keep your home healthy for you and your family.
Here are your steps to help clean your house of indoor air-pollutants and maintain it free from these harmful fumes.
- Contact us for an indoor air quality inspection. We’ll measure the contaminants in your home and point out any air or water leaks which may be causing problems.
- We clean your home with our ozone treatments to remove the air pollutants and odors.
- Install high-quality air filters
- Decorate and fill your house with air-cleaning plants. Some of which you already may have in your garden!
The NASA study recommends 15-18 good-sized plants to clean the air of the average 1800 square-foot home.
A favorite of desert dwellers is the Aloe Vera plant. They’re easy to grow, require minimal light and water and offer a cooling gel to help with burns or sunburn.
Another favorite is the spider plant. This hanging basket is a pretty addition to any corner, again needing little light and occasional water.
Check out this video on the best houseplants to help clean your indoor air.
Having indoor plants takes a bit of watching over them.
- Be careful not to place them where they are hit directly by the air conditioning vents as the cold air could burn them.
- Water more often in dry seasons and less in humid ones. Over-watering a plant can kill it just as much as under-watering can.
- Plants tend to bend towards light sources like windows or glass doors. Turn them around occasionally for even growth.
- Trim dead stems and leaves every so often to encourage growth.
- Soil and roots also help absorb chemicals in the air so cut low-growing leaves to expose the dirt.
- Feed them with food like Miracle Grow every so often.