December has dawned upon us, and we have entered the final stretch of what can be summarized as a tumultuous year. The holiday season is here, and as we look back on the past year, we can reflect on how we have had to adapt to pandemic life and living in this new normal way of life.
While ’tis the season to be jolly; we must remember not to lose sight of the potential dangers which can prevail over the festive season. December marks Safe Toys and Gifts month and it certainly comes at the right time of the year. During this season, everyone wants to give the gift worth giving, but little do we focus on the implications of the gift to a child, especially if it contains hazardous materials such as lead paint. The first week of December also marks National Influenza Vaccination Week. Flu activity usually increases in October but peaks in December and February. As people move out and about and more mask mandates have been relaxed, there is an increased risk of transmission of the flu, which increases infection, especially to those with weakened immune systems.
In this edition of the newsletter, we commence with the importance of maintaining a safe and clean commercial kitchen. Increased dining out provides a need for food establishments such as fast-food outlets and restaurants to ensure that commercial kitchen hoods are regularly cleaned and maintained. Airtek Indoor Air Solutions can provide proper and efficient service in this regard. For our next story, we move on to the risks of lead paint. As we have become accustomed, lead paint brings about a significant hazardous concern, mainly if the paint contaminates water from a drainage field or a septic tank. As soon as the particles of lead are deposited into the water, there is contamination. Alliance Environmental is an expert in lead abatement and has completed tens of thousands of lead paint removal jobs.
Our next topic of focus shifts towards the need for commercial HVAC systems cleaning and maintenance. Property owners and facilities need to ensure optimal levels of indoor air quality. Mintie, an 80-year-old company, is a leader in commercial indoor air quality solutions and can address any HVAC and IAQ concerns that businesses or property managers may have. Finally, we end off with how air decontamination through air purification can keep patients and healthcare workers within a healthcare environment safe. The impact that Covid-19 and its variants have created has instilled the need for efficient and effective indoor air quality products. Mintie products are leaders in providing global indoor environmental solutions, and the Viruskiller Medi is the ideal choice for any hospital or healthcare institution.
We at Alliance Environmental Group, including all of our subsidiary companies, wish everyone a wonderful festive season.
🎄Happy holidays! 🎁
The Importance of Commercial Hood Cleaning and Maintenance
by Airtek Indoor Air Solutions
From restaurants to casinos to stadiums, everywhere there’s a commercial kitchen, there’s a commercial kitchen hood, and that hood is doing the excellent work of keeping the kitchen clean, comfortable, and efficient. Yet, despite the hard work it does every day for kitchens, hoods are often ignored in the regular cleaning and maintenance of a commercial kitchen, much to the detriment of the owners and workers.
Why clean a kitchen hood?
If you pride yourself on a clean and efficient kitchen, then you need to get your hood cleaned and maintained regularly. There are three primary reasons for keeping a well-maintained and clean hood: cleanliness, cost, and safety.
A clean kitchen hood is an essential part of taking airborne grease away from your kitchen and safely outside. When your hood is unclean and poorly maintained, this grease gets trapped and stays in the kitchen, clogging up the hood and filtering back into the workspace. A dirty and poorly maintained hood leads to kitchen grease settling everywhere, making regular cleaning of workstations extra tricky and time-consuming. It also makes the space warmer.
These last two points, extra cleaning and increased temperature in the kitchen, increase costs – and this is before the hood itself has potentially broken down from neglect. By making the kitchen even more difficult to clean, you are paying more for labor costs to do something for longer than it should take. Next, there’s the heat, which will inevitably lead to increased cooling costs to keep the kitchen within a reasonable temperature.
Besides these costs, the actual expenditure of an unclean and poorly-maintained commercial kitchen hood is the cost of repairs and replacement. Hoods are incredibly simple to maintain, but prices increase when they break down or need to be replaced. So it’s much easier to have a professional come for regular cleaning and maintenance than it is to fix a broken hood or replace it entirely.
Finally, there’s the safety issue. Kitchen hoods that get a lot of greases trapped inside are at a greater risk of causing fires. When this happens, your entire business could go up in flames and be a danger to people inside. So instead of risking safety, choose to connect with a trained kitchen hood expert who can help keep your kitchen clean, safe and efficient.
IKECA – setting the standard for kitchen exhaust cleaning
The International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to certifying and standardizing kitchen hood cleaning. Its members not only represent the best cleaners on the planet, but they are also part of making best practices and procedures the standard and providing the highest level of cleaning to all of their clients.
As proud members of IKECA, we are dedicated to not just following the rules but improving them and setting new standards. We are certified through their programs, meaning you can be confident that you are receiving the best service set by a globally-recognized group.
Kitchen hoods are an essential part of any business, something that needs regular attention and care to work perfectly. While your kitchen team should be cleaning the hood daily, a professional commercial hood cleaner should handle much of the work that needs to be completed. Only the trained professionals can handle the deep cleans and maintenance required to ensure your hood is safe, clean, and keeping your kitchen running as efficiently as possible.
If you own a kitchen and need a regular hood cleaning and maintenance service, Air Tek can help. Our team of IKECA certified cleaners and professionals will perform routine maintenance and cleaning to ensure your commercial hood can do the important work of keeping your kitchen efficient and comfortable.
The Legacy of Lead – Toxicity and the Removal and Remediation from Septic Tanks
by Alliance Environmental
Are you noticing a bunch of old paint flaking off of window and door trimmings at one of your company’s older commercial sites? It might be tempting to think you can scrape it off yourself and let the chips go down the drain. The lead paint could be very harmful to the site’s septic system and adjacent drainage fields.
Although it has been banned in the United States since the late 1970s, lead paint is still turning up and contaminating aquifers and groundwater via septic tanks. This type of contamination, which deposits lead in the water, is entirely avoidable using certified commercial lead abatement methods.
Why older paint should be approached with caution
It turns out that all that lead was a problem when we started dissolving large amounts of lead in the water with the rise of indoor plumbing. In rural areas, where septic tanks are widely used, lead poisoning emerged because of unknowingly sketchy disposal practices. For example, suppose you decide to paint your fence one afternoon. When the job is done, you rinse your brushes under the faucet. The lead particulate in the paint does not go away when it travels through the septic tank – all of the organic waste is treated and harmlessly returns into the groundwater. Still, the lead particulate that becomes dissolved with it is far from harmless. In children, lead poisoning can cause intellectual disability and seizures. In adults, it can cause organ failure and death. Much of the dissolved lead particulate remains throughout the water cycle and ends up in the drinking water.
What all of this means is, if you are at a commercial site that is not connected to a significant urban sewage treatment system, and there are bits of lead lying around (maybe in the form of old chipped paint), do not flush any of it down the toilet or drains. You will ultimately be putting lead in the water that residents or livestock will be drinking. Additionally, lead particles can become suspended in the air when one tries to scrape lead paint. If enough of the particulate is inhaled, it will end up in the bloodstream.
How professional commercial led abatement companies can help
Lead abatement is a general process by which all of the lead is physically removed from a site and then taken away for proper disposal at a specially designated waste depot. Many other firms use the highly inferior renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) model. RRP typically does not remove any of the actual lead from the site; it simply coats it in a membrane that prevents it from being dissolved into water. RRP is a much less expensive solution; however, it will deter the asset’s value in the long run.
Having to re-apply the membrane as it wears off over time is another tedious maintenance task that must be monitored and scheduled, often over several periods of employee turnaround. Then there is also the issue of removal and remediation from septic tanks. Some of that lead is always left behind in the tank itself. RRP will not work if this is the case. Only a commercial lead abatement team that adheres to the requirements of the EPA following SDWA criteria should be used for this kind of job.
The main reason why abatement is the most expensive is that lead is notoriously difficult to remove safely. Therefore, the crew members must be protected in air-tight suits at all times. The site itself requires negative air pressure containment structures to prevent the diffusion of lead dust particulate. Regular bloodwork monitoring must be done to ensure no incidence of hazardous exposure. Additionally, landfills are not safe for disposing of lead because the lead will dissolve into the fluids contained in household waste and leach into the adjacent soil. Because its proper disposal must be carried out and managed by professionals, this is another cost-increasing component involved in abatement.
Sometimes doing the most responsible thing involves spending money. At least some people can ensure that no further damage can be done once a person decides to take action. The main thing to do is to be proactive and make the right plans for proper disposal. All of these kinds of damaging events are preventable with a little bit of foresight. And, if something goes seriously wrong on a site with a piece of equipment, do not worry – the professionals are a phone call away. Contact Alliance Environmental for any commercial lead abatement needs.
Essential HVAC Services for Your Property or Business
by Mintie Service
From routine maintenance to HVAC rehabilitation, Mintie offers high-end indoor air quality services that businesses and property owners need. Here’s a breakdown of what we can do for you.
Many property owners realize that their HVAC systems need to change to meet the new demands of the world. But how does a property owner ensure that their systems meet new standards, running efficiently and keeping them in control of indoor environments? Mintie has solutions and services to help every property and business owner meet the HVAC needs of today.
Here are just a few of the services we offer here at Mintie and how each can help you stay in control of the air quality running through your buildings.
HVAC rehabilitation sounds precise like it is: getting your HVAC system from where it is to where it needs to be. HVAC systems are deeply complicated, but they’re also mechanical systems, meaning they are subject to regular wear and tear. So when things start to break down or run less efficiently, HVAC rehabilitation is required for repairs and to ensure the system is upgraded to meet current needs.
This last part, the upgrading, is what takes HVAC rehabilitation beyond basic repairs and maintenance. As standards for ventilation and HVAC systems change, especially in the past year with the pandemic, many HVAC systems need to be altered to be effective. HVAC rehabilitation can take your current system and retrofit it with the changes it needs for upgraded filtration. That means a better, more efficient HVAC system without completely rebuilding it from the ground up.
HVAC rehabilitation is also vital for reducing the chances of outbreaks and health issues occurring at your business or on your property. To reduce the chances of costly and disruptive building shutdowns instead, ensure that your system is fitted correctly to keep people safe.
What’s involved in HVAC systems cleaning? Essentially, a trained technician will use specialized tools to remove any dust, dirt, or particulates that may be lurking inside your HVAC system. The process includes inspecting and replacing filters, cleaning vents and other key spaces, and performing routine inspections on the HVAC system itself to ensure everything is working correctly and no repairs are needed. The technician will also use tools similar to plumbing snakes to clean out debris that may be trapped deep inside your HVAC system.
HVAC cleaning is essential to the inner workings. It not only reduces allergens and other contaminants, but it also is a chance for your system to get a quick inspection. Therefore, the cleaning is key to keeping a space safe and comfortable, especially for those with acute allergies to dust and mites.
Air Handler Refurbishment
This service is about upgrading rather than replacing since air handlers can be a significant financial investment if bought outright. Air handler refurbishment can address any issues by targeting and upgrading a component instead of the entire system.
But first: what is an air handler? If you have ever seen the HVAC system for larger buildings, you have likely seen something that looks like a giant rectangular metal box. This box is the air handler. Essentially, air handlers do what their name implies: they handle air distribution throughout an HVAC system. It consists of a blower, heating/cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers, all of which aid in pushing conditioned air where it needs to go.
Air handler refurbishment essentially fixes or upgrades these individual parts for improved efficiency and air distribution in your HVAC system. Mintie can inspect and diagnose potential air handler issues and offer cost-effective solutions to boost and enhance your air handler and help your HVAC system work better.
One way that you can improve efficiency in your HVAC system is through duct insulation. Duct insulation can help reduce the costs of heating and cooling almost any space with external ducts or spaces without controlled indoor air environments.
When conditioned air runs through outside or otherwise exposed ducts, the air runs the risk of lowering or raising in temperature beyond what is required. In hotter temperatures, this means your air conditioning units need to work extra hard to keep rooms cool. In cooler temperatures, the opposite happens: heaters work extra hard to keep things comfortable. Duct insulation reduces these issues.
Duct insulation usually involves pinpointing areas where the air temperature is negatively impacted and protecting those vents with fiberglass insulation. Mintie offers customizable insulation to ensure that any duct of any size or shape is completely insulated. The customized duct insulation will help the air in outdoor or exposed ducts keep its preferred temperature more effectively, lowering overall heating and cooling costs while delivering clean and comfortable air to wherever it needs to go.
Your Choice for High-End HVAC Services
Whether you own a business with unique indoor air quality needs, run properties that need upgrading, or need some routine maintenance and cleaning of your HVAC system, Mintie is here to help. Our team of trained and certified HVAC specialists is at the forefront of the latest HVAC technology, and we are well-equipped to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
HVAC systems are the unsung heroes of buildings, and they deserve the attention they need to work effectively and keep the indoor air quality in your spaces clean and comfortable. If you need HVAC services, contact our team today.
What Makes Mintie VIRUSKILLER™ so Effective?
by Mintie Products
With the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of new variants such as the Omicron surfacing as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO), the importance of indoor air quality suddenly came to the forefront of many people’s minds as they worried about airborne infections.
Indoor air quality is essential to everybody’s lives, even though most don’t realize the number of pollutants floating around the air in their homes or affecting them every day in the form of allergies, asthmatic symptoms, and even headaches. However, where indoor air quality is of even more importance is in the healthcare industry.
In hospitals and other healthcare facilities, there are often patients who have weakened immune systems for one reason or another. As a result, they become far more susceptible to infections and other ailments that could be picked up from the indoor air or exacerbated by airborne pollutants. While most health facilities have proper air filtration through their central air systems, some need extra filtration for specific rooms, such as isolation rooms or older buildings. The need for improved filtration is where Mintie VIRUSKILLER™ comes in.
Before getting to the specifics of Mintie VIRUSKILLER™, it’s essential to know the role air purifiers play in keeping indoor air clean.
Indoor air purifiers generally have a multi-step process by which they intake air, pull out pollutants through one or more steps, and then expel the purified air. Depending on the indoor air purifier quality and the number of steps, you will get a certain level of purification.
Indoor air purifiers most often have a limited space in which they are effective, as constant airflow needs to happen to purify the air fast enough to matter for people in the room.
When indoor purifiers intake air, it will often go through a HEPA filter. HEPA filters have micro-passages that will filter out larger particulates, as well as some VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and allergens. HEPA filters trap contaminants, so they need to be regularly changed out (for some purifiers, this can be as often as every few weeks or every month.) For higher-end purifiers, a UV chamber will usually be included as well, as UV light is a great way to kill organic contaminants, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. UV light can work quickly, thus not slowing down the flow of air and significantly increasing any air purifier’s effectiveness.
Mintie VIRUSKILLER™ is a high-quality indoor air purification system that is portable and capable of neutralizing airborne pathogens and gathering particulates for large open space areas, up to 100m2 for certain models. Mintie VIRUSKILLER™ Medi is excellent for any healthcare facility, whether needed for common areas or isolation wards. It also has low running costs and is easy to install and maintain, with specific models being able to quickly integrate into negative pressure rooms for uncompromising indoor air filtration.
Mintie VIRUSKILLER™ has high-quality filters to remove any number of airborne contaminants such as pollens, VOCs, allergens, mold, particulate matter, spores, etc. The filtration section of the purifier has three parts. First, the intake air will be put through a pre-filter to grab the largest of particles. Next, the indoor air will go through a certified HEPA filter that can quickly grab allergens and other smaller particles. Finally, the indoor air gets sent through a carbon filter to capture even more particulates. The filters are easy to replace and should be replaced monthly or after a certain number of active hours; check the manual for specific model recommendations.
Once indoor air has been filtered through the high-quality filtration system, the air is then sent through Mintie VIRUSKILLER’s™ proprietary technology, the reaction chamber. In the reaction chamber are several UV-C lamps, which pump out UV-C rays capable of neutralizing a large number of pathogens, from bacteria and viruses to molds, spores, and even negating certain hazardous vapors and fumes by breaking them apart. UV-C is highly effective because of the amount of energy it outputs. In addition, it gives the molecular bonds of many pathogens and vapors the energy needed to break apart into less harmful base components (which won’t harm patients and may be caught in the purifier’s filters on the next pass through).
Healthcare and Hospital Uses for Indoor Air Purifiers
Indoor air purifiers are a must in healthcare facilities and hospitals. Hospitals are known for housing people with weak immune systems and could be contagious with any number of pathogens. As well, many chemicals, such as cleaners, found in hospitals could be harmful to patients. For example, an indoor air purifier can neutralize the threat before it can harm sensitive patients.
Indoor air purification is a must in any isolation ward, but also in common areas of hospitals. Large waiting rooms can have dozens of people in them, raising the threat level.
Air Purification and Mintie VIRUSKILLER™
With a high-quality indoor air purifier like Mintie VIRUSKILLER™ being deployed at any healthcare facility, doctors, staff, and patients alike can breathe much easier knowing that the indoor air is clean. Dirty air can cause many health issues or complicate health issues already in a patient. Using an indoor air purifier ensures that the best air is available for more speedy recoveries and lower risks to patients and healthcare staff alike.
Striving to Ensure Total Client Satisfaction
“I had a water leak in my mobile home that was misdiagnosed. By the time the actual source was found, I had water damage to my kitchen, dining, and living room areas, and my insurance company was refusing to cover any of it. I called Alliance Environmental (Fresno, Ca. office), hoping that they could help me without costing me my life savings. Branch Manager Brian McGrath answered my call and when he came to assess the damage I knew that I had called the right place. He was so straightforward and truly concerned about US. He gave me invaluable advice on how to get our claim approved and even called the adjustors himself on our behalf. We did get our Claim approved and Brian sent Project Manager Jesus Valenzuela to us. I cannot say enough about the personal service we received from him. He was there for us 24/7, walking us through every detail of the job. Then once their part of the process ended he referred me to a General Contractor who has ALSO been a Godsend. The whole experience with Alliance has been amazing-they are my heroes! They truly go above and beyond and I recommend them with 100% confidence.”