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ACTS Blog

ACTS staff publish blog articles here to assist residential and business clients and others in learning more about our industry.  Some of the most recent blogs are found below:
MAR
22
0

What is Biofilm? The slime that haunts some mechanical systems.


It’s NOT a documentary about Abe Lincoln…

A biofilm is any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other and can adhere to a surface. These cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix. Biofilm extracellular polymeric substance, which is also referred to as a slime, is a conglomeration composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides. Biofilms may form on non-living surfaces (not just living) and can be prevalent in industrial and hospital environments as well as in nature.

Formation of a biofilm begins when free-floating microorganisms attach to a surface.  If these first colonists are not immediately separated from the surface, they can anchor themselves more permanently using cell adhesion structures such as pili.  

Biofilm

Some species are not able to attach to a surface on their own but are instead able to anchor themselves to the matrix or directly to earlier colonists.  Once colonized, the biofilm grows through a combination of cell division and recruitment.

When a biofilm is established, it may only change in shape and size.  During this final phase, dispersion enables biofilms to spread and colonize new surfaces. Dispersed cells are found to be highly virulent against macrophages.  (A macrophage is a type of white blood cell that cleans the body of unwanted microscopic particles, such as bacteria and dead cells.)  They can be irritants or the source of infections, some even deadly (like Legionella pneumophila, the organism responsible for Legionnaire’s disease).

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DEC
09
0

Clearing the Air: What an HVAC cleaner should really do in your home


 

 

Reprinted with permission: By Robert Rizen, ASCS, CVI & VSMR

Those statistics about indoor air pollution and its relationship to respiratory problems convinced you it was time to get your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) cleaned. You were even looking forward to the increased energy efficiency that a clean system can provide. But $49 and one very noisy service call later, you’re still sneezing and you haven’t seen any dip in your energy bill.

What happened?

“A very low service charge may indicate the service provider isn’t performing a thorough cleaning and maintenance of your home’s entire HVAC system,” said Matt Mongiello, past president of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. “He or she may have done nothing more than blow air through the ducts and clean off vent grills inside the home. A cleaning performed to NADCA standards – which are cited by the EPA as a best practice – encompasses much more than just the ductwork.”

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NOV
17
0

Price Differences for Air Duct Cleaning: Why the Disparity?

Consumers are bombarded by mailed packages with coupons that include duct cleaning specials, and when searching the internet for pricing, they come away more confused than ever about the true cost of duct cleaning. One page has advertisements for $49 specials, and another estimates the cost to be almost $1000. Even the consumer guide websites that refer homeowner to services will give wildly different quotes from three to five different providers. How can this be?

Duct cleaning is duct cleaning, right?  Wrong.

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