Top Factors That Affect Indoor Air Quality

Having a fresh, clean air to breathe inside homes, offices, and other structures is vital to ensuring the comfort and well-being of people. However, it’s one of the things often neglected, even in commercial settings. Many don’t realize that poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has adverse effects on their health. This can be caused by faulty air conditioning systems and improper ventilation, among other reasons.

5 Items to Add to Your Home for Better IAQ

Most homeowners want to create the healthiest home environment possible for their families. Indoor air quality plays a vital role in keeping your home clean and comfortable. However, sometimes homeowners need a little help maintaining the quality of their indoor air. That’s why we’ve put together this short list of items you can add to your home to improve IAQ:

5 Items for Better Indoor Air Quality

  1. House Plants

Certain house plants can help you purify the air in your home by filtering out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are commonly found there. Different plants work to filter out different VOCs. For instance, aloe vera helps clear out formaldehyde and benzene, while the English ivy works to filter out formaldehyde and airborne fecal-matter particles. If you’ve been considering adding a few plants to your home, now may be the time!

  1. Humidifiers

Controlling the humidity in your home is an important part of maintaining a healthy indoor air quality. Humidifiers can help you increase the humidity in your home to an optimal level, which helps prevent certain concentrations of pollutants. Not to mention, it can improve breathing for those who are sensitive to dry air.

  1. Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Did you know that carbon monoxide poisoning claims the lives of more than 400 people each year? That doesn’t even account for those who become ill after being exposed to this dangerous odorless gas. You can protect yourself and your family from exposure to this pollutant by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home.  

  1. Ultra Violet Lights

Ultra violet lights are another HVAC upgrade that can help you improve the quality of your indoor air. UV lights kill the growth of airborne bacteria, mold, and viruses that can appear in your home, ductwork, and cooling coils. This can help you prevent respiratory issues or other serious illness that results from these contaminants in your home.

  1. Air Purifier

Air purifiers are the ultimate IAQ products as they work to trap and eliminate different pathogens and pollutants that enter your home from the outdoors. Carrier leads the industry in air purifier technology, providing state-of-the-art air purifiers that filter out contaminants in your indoor air to provide a cleaner and healthier home environment.

Indoor Air Quality Testing in La Verne, CA

Are you concerned about your indoor air quality? It may be time to call in the experts at McLay Services. Our HVAC team provides free in-home IAQ consultations and can recommend the right indoor air quality products for your home. Whether you need a new air filter or want to upgrade to something more powerful like an air purifier, our team is ready to help you get the IAQ products you need to keep your home environment safe, healthy, and comfortable. Call us today to set up an appointment: (909) 326-6106.

La Verne Air Duct Cleaning: What Homeowners Need to Know

It’s safe to say that every homeowner wants to create a safe, healthy, and comfortable home environment for their family. That’s why it’s not surprising that indoor air quality is a big concern for many Southern California homeowners. No matter how hard you work to keep your home clean and free of pollutants, dust and other contaminants will start to accumulate in your air ducts over time. Below, we’ll go into a bit more detail about why you need air duct cleaning, and how McLay can help ensure that your air ducts are clean.

La Verne Air Duct Cleaning: What You Need to Know

It is probably no surprise that over time, dust and other particles build up in your air ducts. This not only starts to impact the air that you breathe, but it can also cause your HVAC system to work harder, driving up your monthly energy costs. It is important to keep your ducts clean to prevent a buildup of these contaminants that can start to impact your family’s health, especially if you or someone in your family has asthma, allergies, or a weakened immune system.

Below is a quick guide to what you need to know about cleaning your air ducts and how McLay provides quality La Verne air duct cleaning services:


Southern California Air Duct Cleaning Services

McLay Services loves serving the La Verne community. In addition to Air Conditioning and Heating repair, installation, and maintenance, we also provide Southern California air duct cleaning services for those living in La Verne and beyond. Our indoor air quality specialists will ensure that your home is comfortable and the air inside your home is healthy to breathe year-round.

Since every home is different, it may be difficult for you to determine whether or not your air ducts need to be cleaned, even after taking a quick peek into your ducts. Our team can inspect your air ducts and let you know whether or not this service might be right for you. For more information about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Rancho Cucamonga Air Quality Report

Getting to know the air quality in your city is vital to understanding what air quality issues you may face throughout the year. Though some homeowners may think of air pollution as being a problem outside the home, the truth is that particles and pollutants from outdoor air can make their way into your home and impact your indoor air quality. If you don’t take the right steps to combat these IAQ problems, you may be facing a range of home comfort issues. The key to making sure that the air in your Rancho Cucamonga home is clean and healthy to breathe is understanding air quality issues in the area and taking steps to correct them.

How Air Quality is Measured

There are many different factors that go into measuring a city’s air quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency uses the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) to evaluate toxins in the air across the United States. Using emissions data from 2011, this evaluation method uses models to make estimates about air health risks across different U.S. geographic areas.

The EPA released the most recent update to NATA in December of 2015. This method of measuring air toxins can provide more details than the organization’s previous model, which was based on results from air monitoring stations. The NATA can assess respiratory illness and cancer risk down to the zip code level, making it a helpful assessment for better understanding air quality risks across the United States.

Rancho Cucamonga Air Quality Report

According to the NATA, as of December 2016, the air quality in Rancho Cucamonga, CA is 61.7 on a scale of 100, with 100 being the best. The air quality in this city is better than the national average of 58.4. This rating is based on the number of ozone alert days as well as amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, lead, carbon monoxide, volatile organic chemicals, and sulfur dioxide.

Seasonal changes can significantly impact air quality. In fact, air quality in your city can change day to day. For the latest report on air quality in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, head over to WeatherBug. Each day, the site provides the area’s air quality index (AQI), which tells residents how clean or polluted the air is and what health concerns could be associated with the air quality. The site also provides a list of the area’s major pollutants so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with on a daily basis.

Get Comfortable in Rancho Cucamonga

Pollutants are not the only thing that can impact your indoor air quality and home comfort levels. Factors like humidity, temperature, and airflow can also play a role in how difficult it can be to get comfortable in your home.

If you need help getting comfortable, McLay Services offers a range of quality HVAC services to help you maintain home comfort year-round. When it comes to indoor air quality, we provide free in-home IAQ consultations to help you find the right products to meet your home comfort needs. Whether you need a humidifier, ultra violet lights, or just a better air filter, our team has got your covered.

Call us today to find out which indoor air quality products might be right for you: (909) 326-6106.

The Important Differences Between Humidifiers, Dehumidifiers, and Air Purifiers

Unfortunately, the air inside our homes is not always as comfortable or clean as we would like it to be. Your HVAC system plays a big role in helping keep you and your family healthy and happy. However, sometimes you may need some extra help in controlling humidity levels and filtering out allergens. This simple guide will explain the differences between these three devices and discuss when you should use each to adjust your indoor air quality.

When to Use a Humidifier

Mayo Clinic suggests that ideal indoor humidity is between 30 to 50%. When humidity levels drop below this percentage, the dry air indoors can cause health issues like respiratory distress and dry skin. Low humidity can also cause damage to wooden furniture and cause paper, books, an artwork to warp. A humidifier helps add moisture into the air by emitting water vapor or steam. You can use a stand-alone device to increase humidity in just one room, or add a humidifier as an attachment to your HVAC system to increase moisture levels throughout your home.

Use a humidifier when:

  • Using your heater in winter has caused the air inside your home to feel too dry
  • You are experiencing dry skin, nose, lips, throat, or sinuses
  • Dry indoor air is caused you or your family to have difficulty breathing
  • Dry air has triggered nose bleeds, asthma attacks, or allergy symptoms

When to Use a Dehumidifier

Just as the air in your home can become too dry, it can also become too humid. Increased humidity levels and moisture can also cause health issues. Too much moisture not only impacts the comfortability of your home environment but also provides a perfect breeding ground for mold and other bacteria, which can impact your family’s health. A dehumidifier can help you control humidity levels in your home. This device removes moisture from the air, so that you and your family can relax and breathe easier.

Use a dehumidifier when:

  • Summer has caused humidity levels to increase inside your home
  • The humid air in your home is causing breathing difficulties
  • Humid air has triggered allergies for you or your family
  • You have experienced flooding in your home
  • Your home feels damp or smells musty

Relative Humidity in Los Angeles

Here is a chart for the Los Angeles area (courtesy of

The relative humidity typically ranges from 38% (comfortable) to 90% (very humid) over the course of the year, rarely dropping below 13% (very dry) and reaching as high as 100% (very humid).

The air is driest around December 6, at which time the relative humidity drops below 56% (mildly humid) three days out of four; it is most humid around July 31, exceeding 86% (very humid) three days out of four.

Los Angeles Humidity

The average daily high (blue) and low (brown) relative humidity with percentile bands (inner bands from 25th to 75th percentile, outer bands from 10th to 90th percentile).

When to Use an Air Purifier

The air purifier does not help adjust humidity levels in your home, but it does help protect you and your family against harmful pollutants. An air purifier traps allergens, chemicals, and other tiny particles that can enter your home from outside, triggering allergies, asthma attacks, and other health issues. This device helps you improve indoor air quality to help keep the air in your home or office clean and healthy.

Use an air purifier when:

  • You or someone in your home suffers from asthma
  • Someone in your household has allergies
  • You or someone in your family is sensitive to chemicals
  • You have pets, which increase the level of dander in your home

Not sure which device is right for you? If you need some help adjusting your indoor air quality, we are here to help. Contact us today to speak to an HVAC specialist who can help you create just the right environment to keep your family healthy and comfortable.


The Most Overlooked Part of Your HVAC System

The filter for your air conditioner or furnace isn’t something that most people think about often. It’s usually when the dust begins to pile up as fast as you can clean it, or notice that your vents are gathering little dust bunnies that you remember it needs replacing. Your filter needs to be replaced regularly and if you wait until you notice dust around the house to change it then you’re waiting too long.

Do You Remember to Change Your Coffee Filter Regularly?

Regular replacement of the filters does more than just help to keep your home tidy. For those with allergies it can be the difference between being miserable and being comfortable. Depending on the environment of where you live, you should replace your filter every 2-3 months. Areas with more dust or pollution will require more frequent replacement than areas with less as will homes with pets or large families.

A dirty, clogged, filter can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system by up to 15%. If your average utility bill is $200 a month that adds up to $360 dollars a year, nearly a dollar a day in wasted energy!

Determining when to change your filter will depend on several factors.

  • Type of air filter used
  • Lifespan of the filter
  • Environment
  • Pets
  • Number of people in the home

But a good starting point is once every 2-3 months and adjusted from there based on the points above.

Types of Air Filters

As with most things in life, with air filters you get what you pay for. The flat-panel economy filters that come in bundles of four or five don’t filter the air very much and you will be replacing them once a month or so.

The next step-up from the flat-panel filters are pleated filters. These will remove up to 45% of the pollutants in the air of your home. They cost a little more, but they also have a longer lifespan and filter much better than the economy ones.

High-efficiency air filters are even better at removing pollutants from the air in your home than pleated filters are, easily out performing them by removing up to 85% of airborne pollutants. They do cost more accordingly, but some can actually help to save on operating costs of your system.

HEPA filters are the top-of-the-line in mechanical filtration. You will pay a premium price for these filters however they remove up to a whopping 98% of the airborne pollutants in your home!

MERV Ratings

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV Ratings are a type of scoring system that measures the particle size a given air filter can manage – every air filter is rated according to its MERV. You will see MERV ratings of 8, 11, and 13. With a lower MERV rating, you can expect less filtration and higher particle quantities in your air; with a higher MERV, you can expect better filtration. Be warned – with higher filtration comes lower airflow.

Replacing your filter regularly will not only keep your home clean, and your allergies from acting up, but will save you money on operating costs. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of replacement schedules and filter types.

For more information on saving money and maintaining your HVAC system follow the McClay Heating A/C, Heating & Plumbing blog.

How Extreme Weather Can Affect the Air in Your Home

In threatening weather your home undoubtedly seems like a safe haven. But rain, sleet, snow, fog, wind and excessive heat or cold can have a negative impact on your home’s air quality, putting your health and the health of your family at risk.

Bad Weather Means More Indoor Pollution

Extreme weather can impact the air you breathe in a number of ways. Here are a few examples of the trouble it can cause:

  • Heat waves correlate with elevated pollen counts. When it runs amok pollen is a true misery-index leader that will leave you coughing, sneezing and wheezing, stricken with sinus headaches, chronic itchiness and a sore throat.
  • Droughts cause dust storms, which are often carried far beyond their point of origin by the prevailing winds. Naturally the dust from these storms can enter your home through open windows during the summer.
  • Rainstorms, floods and high humidity can cause moisture penetration in basements, crawl spaces, wall cavities and attics, and wherever there is moisture mold, fungus and mildew can be expected to follow. All are allergens and all can have a negative effect on your family’s health.
  • Prolonged waves of subzero temperatures can leave your home’s air as dry as the Sahara Desert. This can cause chronic soreness and itchiness of the nose, throat and eyes, along with cracked, dry skin that can produce painful open wounds.

Even when extreme weather doesn’t contribute directly to indoor air pollution it can still put you in harm’s way by forcing you to spend longer periods of time inside. If your air was previously contaminated you’ll be stuck breathing that bad air for hours, with little ventilation and no possibility of escape.

Call McLay and We’ll Make the Bad Air Go Away

To protect yourself and your family from the danger of contaminated indoor air, you may want to consider investing in superior air quality improvement equipment. Ventilators, air cleaners, humidifiers and UV lamps can all dramatically enhance the breathability of your home’s air in any weather conditions, as long as you purchase them from a reliable manufacturer.

At McLay Services we understand the importance of only doing business with the best, which is why we carry a full line of air quality improvement products from Carrier, the world’s most respected manufacturer of HVAC equipment. If you live in San Bernardino County, Riverside County, North Orange County or Los Angeles County, please contact us today for solutions that meet your air quality needs.

Please follow our blog for more information about the best heating, cooling, plumbing and indoor air quality management practices.

The Benefits of Controlling Your Indoor Air Quality

The average person breathes in over 10,000 liters of air each day, and about 90 percent of that is indoor air. But there’s a problem. As well as carrying the oxygen your body needs to function, the air you breathe might also be laced with varying levels of indoor air pollutants that could adversely affect the health and productivity of the people breathing it. Those persistent headaches, niggling allergies and feelings of lethargy could be down to the air you breathe, so controlling your indoor air quality has a lot of potential benefits.

Improving Health and Wellbeing

There are many ways that poor indoor air quality could affect the health of the people who spend time there, and the general discomfort it causes has been given the name “Sick Building Syndrome.”

This is when symptoms like airway irritation, congestion, headaches, dizziness and fatigue occur when in a particular building but clear up when you leave. This is particularly common in large open-plan offices, but it can occur anywhere.

Additionally, poor indoor air quality can lead to a build-up of allergens, which cause problems for the approximately 20 percent of people who suffer from hay fever. Improving your indoor air quality often clears up these persistent symptoms.

Improving Productivity

For offices in particular, a huge benefit of controlling your indoor air quality is that it boosts productivity. When indoor air is of poor quality, the physical symptoms it causes have knock-on effects on your productivity. Simply put, you work more efficiently (and happily) when you aren’t battling these symptoms or dealing with allergies caused by poorly-controlled air quality.

Indoor Air Quality, Efficiency and Your HVAC System

It’s estimated that 70 percent of all problems with indoor air quality are linked to the operation and maintenance of your HVAC system. One of the most common issues faced by HVAC systems is the build-up of bacteria and dirt in the fiberglass insulation. When moisture is added to this mixture, mold, fungi and bacteria can thrive and spread around your home or office. Professional cleaning, replacing the system’s air filter and making use of ultra-violet (UV) light – which neutralizes microbial growth – can rectify these issues.

An additional benefit of keeping your HVAC system in tip-top condition is that it will generally improve the efficiency of the system as well as keeping your air clean. This is great for the environment, but most of all, it saves you money too.

McLay Services, Inc.’s Indoor Air Quality Services

Using our indoor air quality testing service and our products – including air filtration products, humidifiers, ventilators, UV lights and carbon monoxide detectors – keeps your indoor air as clean as it can be, and goes a long way towards improving the well-being, health and productivity of everybody who breathes it.

For more information about how our indoor air quality testing and services can benefit you, give us a call on (909) 326-6106 or follow us on social media.

How High Winds Across The US Are Affecting Indoor Air Quality

HVAC vent cleaning performed by a skilled technicianHomeowners may be surprised to learn that the high winds the country has been experiencing lately has likely had an impact on their HVAC and A/C systems. Indoor air quality can easily be compromised when HVAC components become dirty and damaged due to blustery weather conditions. Not only is it a financial concern, due to damage to parts, but it can also become a health issue.

Strong winds kick up dirt and debris, and once the air settles, it is possible to find that debris has been deposited in HVAC system components. This is especially true if elements of the HVAC and A/C unit have suffered any damage as a result of wind. The quality of the air circulating throughout the home can become poor, leading to allergy and breathing problems for family members.

If the A/C unit is turned on and the air that is blowing out of the vents has a musty or moldy smell, it should be checked out right away. A musty smell is an indicator of potential problems, like mold growth. The HVAC system is comprised of many different parts, and an HVAC vent cleaning can be performed by a skilled technician. This is the best way to get dust, mildew, and mold effectively removed.

Taking a feather duster or damp cloth to the vents is a good way to remove surface dust. Unfortunately, you will not be able to reach all areas of the ducts and vents. That is why it is best to reach out to the professionals, as they have the proper equipment and skills to ensure a thorough cleaning.

Don’t allow your home air quality to be compromised. Contact the professionals for duct cleaning, maintenance, and indoor air quality testing, to ensure that your HVAC system is performing well at all times. Protect your home and your family’s health in every season.

The Importance Of Changing The Air Filter In Your Home’s HVAC System

The air filter in your home’s HVAC system but should be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis so that it functions efficiently. It is important to keep in mind that the filter works as a barrier between the outside environment and the inside of your home.

Air Filters are a crucial part of indoor air qualityThe main purpose of the filter is to trap all kinds of dirt and debris and keep it from getting into your HVAC system and inside your home. By preventing dust particles from getting inside your unit, your system is better able to function and perform as it should. Check your air filters condition on a routine basis. Keep in mind, a clogged air filter can prevent your system from running efficiently.

Keep in mind that besides trapping particles from the outside area, it also filters your indoor air. Some may not know it but viruses, mold, dust and bacteria are inside most homes but when your HVAC system is on, these particles are drawn from your indoor air and trapped inside the filter.

Another important reason to change the air filter is that a dirty filter can damage your system’s internal components. In addition, if the filter is clogged, the fan will work harder in order to push air through it. When this happens, the lifespan of the fan is shortened. Clean filters also help those who suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma. There are various types of filters to choose from; if in doubt about what kind of filter you need, talk with a HVAC specialist.

Keep in mind, studies have shown that the indoor air we breathe is more polluted than outdoor air. This puts many of us at a higher risk of contracting a variety of diseases from indoor air pollutants. That is why some suggest changing the air filter on regular intervals such in the spring and the beginning of fall.

Changing the filter can also save you money and increase the efficiency of the system. Most importantly, changing the filter also keeps our environment cleaner, with less pollution. By using less energy, we all can do our part to keep our environment healthy and clean; for our generation and future generations.

To conclude, changing the air filter in your home’s HVAC system is not hard to do. All it takes is scheduling in a certain time to do it or making an appointment with a heating and cooling company.

For help with this or other heating and air conditioning service needs in Los Angeles County, call McLay Services, Inc. at (909) 392-2202.