What’s Lurking in Your Air Conditioner?

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You’ll be surprised what can live inside an air conditioner. Cleaning the air conditioner’s filters is not enough, you need to look beyond the filters to see what really lurks.

Air conditioning systems can be much worse for your health than dirty carpets. Contaminants such as mould, fungi, DNA, pet dander, dirt, dust, cigarette toxins, dead and alive animals only to name some contaminants are found in air conditioners and can make you sick. When tenants vacate, the air conditioning systems need to be decontaminated ready for the the new tenant to breathe healthy air and this means cleaning and sanitising all components including the coil fins, barren fan, louvers, drain and chassis.

If you are a landlord (refer Rental Tenancy Act ) or manage a property or workplace (refer Workplace Health & Safety Act) you need to be aware that you have a statutory obligation to properly maintain and provide clean air from the air conditioning systems.

You should consider engaging a professional air conditioning cleaning company to properly maintain and sanitise the air conditioning systems and always schedule a clean and sanitisation upon a tenant vacating. It’s also important you check the professional cleans in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3666.2-2002. – * (HydroKleen air conditioning cleaning and sanitising specialists are the only company approved by the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice Program and they clean in accordance the the AS 3666.2-2002).

Penalties may be enforced for non-compliance of the regulations and can leave the property owner/manager liable for civil action should a tenant or worker lodge a claim for becoming sick from a poorly maintained air conditioning system.

AS 3666.2 Section 59 says in part:

“Clean” means visually free of sludge, slime, algae, fungi, rust, scale, dirt, dust and any deposit or accumulation of impurities or any foreign matter.
Currently it’s the tenants responsibility to keep the filters clean and the owners responsibility to ensure that the air conditioner is kept in a well maintained state.

Department of Commerce extract :

During the tenancy the owner/agent is responsible for the general upkeep of the property including (Residential Tenancies Act s42(b)

Mould/mildew by faults in gutter or fixtures and
Any other repairs to the property that were not caused by the tenant

Carpets get professionally cleaned when tenants vacate so why aren’t air conditioners getting professionally cleaned when there is more at stake? Is it a matter of what you don’t see you don’t think to clean?
Exit condition report
It’s important to ensure the air conditioning systems are left compliant. It’s on the list but is it really left clean?

Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) Exit condition report – general tenancies (Form 14a) – Air conditioners clean/working/undamaged

Under the Building Codes of Australia 2008, it has become mandatory to carry out maintenance to ‘safeguard people from illness or injury’.

Under section 1 entitled “Maintenance” there is also a performance requirement that states air conditioning systems must be adequately maintained to safeguard people from illness or injury.

HydroKleen is Australia’s leading air conditioning cleaning and sanitising company and will ensure that your split systems are cleaned and decontaminated in accordance to the various regulations.

HydroKleen is also the only company approved by the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice Program to clean all types of split system air conditioners.

To find your local HydroKleen technician call 1300 608 318 or click on the link below for a quote or to email.

Smart Tenant

A property manager refused to pay for cleaning of their tenant’s air conditioners by HydroKleen Australia, so the tenant went ahead and paid for it themselves. Take a look at these before and after photos. What do you think? Should tenants band together and pressure property managers to take better care of the health of their tenants? Is your property manager aware of the health risks that could be living inside your aircon?

smart tenant

Exclusively Approved

HydroKleen Australia is Exclusively Approved by the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice Program for the cleaning and sanitizing of Air conditioner units.  As of the 1st of January 2016 HydroKleen Australia is proud to announce that it has now gained exclusivity as a part of this program.  This was no easy feat as we had to clearly demonstrate all of the processes and cleaning agents that we use in order to get the tick from the product advisory panel.

Asthma Foundation

The Product Advisory Panel

Written applications for approval of products and services are considered by an independent (and voluntary) Product Advisory Panel.

Panel membership includes: a respiratory physician, a clinical and academic allergist, an industrial chemist, a general practitioner, a pharmacist and an engineer.

In simple terms, the Panel will assess: •

the likelihood that a product or service may cause harm •

whether the product offers potential benefits to people with asthma or allergies.

In evaluating an application, the Panel considers: •

credible evidence, particularly independently conducted testing •

ingredients for all products containing chemicals •

product samples •  compliance with all relevant Australian or New Zealand laws, regulations and applicable standards •

peer-reviewed research.

 

 

Mushrooms in SEQ Restaurant AirCon!

Aircon Mushro

We do come across some horrific sights within air conditioners and we are pleased that the message is getting around that while it may be clean on the outside its what’s inside that can be making you and your family sick

Check out these images from a SEQ restaurant aircon. Thankfully they did something about it to make sure that their guests are now breathing healthy air. Might be worth a quick look up a the air conditioners at your local restaurant to see what is blowing across your next meal.

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mushroom1

mushroom4

mushroom

 

Reduce Seasonal Asthma and Allergy Triggers

Asthma Triggers

With warmer weather just around the corner, now’s the time to think about spring cleaning. If you are one of the two million Australians with asthma, this is an especially important time of the year.

Over the winter months dust, dirt and allergens such as mould can build up in your home, triggering allergy symptoms and asthma in susceptible people.

Adam Trumble, Partnerships Manager at the National Asthma Council, says that an effective way to manage this is by spring cleaning, which will reduce triggers in the home.

“People with asthma can benefit from a spring clean more than most. A thorough once-over of your home helps control both indoor and seasonal allergens,” says Adam.

With more than eight in 10 people suffering from asthma also being affected by allergies, a clean and healthy environment is an important part of reducing asthma and allergy triggers.

“You won’t completely eliminate allergens, but there are many ways to reduce exposure for you and your family.”

Adam said that those with asthma and allergies also needed to consider their cleaning products, technique and ventilation to ensure that any spring cleaning doesn’t contribute to their asthma and allergy symptoms.

“You don’t want to just move dust around and send allergens and irritating cleaning chemicals into the air – this could have an adverse effect.

“There are many ways to help eliminate allergens in the home this spring. Use a damp cloth to dust hard surfaces; change or clean filters in vacuums, air-conditioners and air purifiers; vacuum drapes and upholstery; and importantly, remove mould.”

Here are Adam’s top tips for spring cleaning to help keep your allergies and asthma under control:

Get rid of old clutter. Clearing out your old belongings reduces dust significantly. Store everything in closets and drawers to minimise dust collection.

Dust forgotten surfaces. Over the winter months, dust will have collected on windows, blinds, curtain rails and skirting boards. Use a damp cloth to clean these areas and then rinse it out well. Don’t fluff the dust up into the air by using a feather duster though; this just distributes dust around the home.

Vacuum thoroughly. If possible, ask someone else to do the vacuuming, as this increases allergens in the air for up to 20 minutes. Use a quality vacuum cleaner that removes particulate matter (these often have HEPA filters).

Remove dust mites from bedding. Ensure that bedding, sheets, pillow-cases and quilts are washed (at greater than 55°C) at least once every two weeks. Encasing the mattress and pillows in protectors will stop the transfer of dust mites.

Clean drapes and upholstery. Because allergens cling to soft surfaces, it’s essential to wash, dry-clean or vacuum drapes, as well as vacuum sofas and chairs to remove lingering allergens, and wash or dry-clean throw rugs. Vertical blinds or roller shades are less likely to accumulate dust than drapes.

Change or clean old filters in air-conditioners, vacuums and air purifiers. Keep the air coming into your house clean and fresh.

Clean up after pets. If you have a pet who has spent a long winter indoors, vacuum your pet’s sleeping quarters well. Wash the pet’s bedding frequently.

Remove mould. Mould is a significant and sometimes overlooked trigger of asthma. After removing mould, take steps to prevent it coming back such as sealing bathroom leaks and treating rising damp as soon as it’s detected.

Allergen avoidance doesn’t cure asthma, but by reducing your exposure to allergen triggers you may improve your asthma control and help make symptoms easier to manage.

For more information on asthma and allergy sensitive products, and tips on removing allergens around the home, visit the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice website: sensitivechoice.com.au.

The Sensitive Choice program helps educate Australians about managing their asthma and allergy triggers and also encourages companies to recognise the health concerns of people with asthma or allergies. Some manufacturers have even been inspired to develop specific new products, such as carpets, for this community.