Archive for November, 2013

The History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

Thursday, November 28th, 2013 by Lisa Pixley

Thanksgiving began in 1621, but didn’t become a national tradition until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared it as such in hopes of bringing a divided nation together. We have many Thanksgiving traditions in this country, from turkey as the meal to the annual Cowboys and Lions games on television. But one of the most beloved is the annual Presidential turkey pardon, in which the U.S. President “pardons” a turkey, allowing them to live the remainder of their live freely roaming on farmland. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we thought you’d like to know a little more about the history of this fascinating tradition.

Farmers have sent turkeys to the White House as far back as the 1800s, hoping to have the honor of providing the President’s annual meal. There have been scattered stories of individual turkeys being “pardoned” throughout that time, including one in which President Lincoln’s son Tad successfully convinced the president to spare a bird intended for the family’s Christmas dinner.

Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation became the official supplier of the President’s Thanksgiving birds. The White House arranged for an annual photo op that year with the President receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden. Sadly, there was no pardon as yet; those birds all ended up on the Presidential table.

The push for an official pardon picked up steam in 1963, when President Kennedy asked that the bird be spared, just a few days before his assassination. President Nixon opted to send each of the birds he received to a nearby petting zoo after the photo op, though there was no formal pardon attached.

But it wasn’t until 1989 that the pardon became official. On November 14 of that year, President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and sent the bird to a Virginia game preserve to live the rest of its life out in cranberry-and-stuffing-free bliss. Since then, every President has held an annual pardoning ceremony, with the lucky turkey spared the axe and sent off to live in peace. Since 2005, the pardoned birds have gone to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where they have lived as part of a petting zoo exhibit in Frontierland.

No matter what traditions you enjoy this holiday, or who you enjoy them with, all of us here wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

How a Professional Cleans Ducts

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 by Lisa Pixley

You should schedule duct cleaning in Minnesota annually. It only takes a year for dust, dirt, debris, and even less welcome contaminants to build up inside your home’s ductwork. If you leave the ducts without regular cleaning, it will lead to a negative impact on your indoor air quality, spread dust across your furnishings, and cause your HVAC system to work harder and wear down faster.

Duct cleaning should stay in the domain of professionals. You don’t have the tools or the access to your ducts that will allow you to clean them effectively—and neither will any amateur who offers to do the job for “a bargain” (it won’t be a bargain if your ducts receive damage and they get even dirtier because of it). Contact experienced duct cleaners like those at Alpha Air Corporation.

The professional way to clean your ducts

The contamination inside ductwork is both harder to reach and more difficult to cleanse than the dirt you encounter in places like your kitchen or bathroom. Professionals use a variety of special equipment to access the interior of the ducts and remove pollutants.

Two important pieces of equipment duct cleaners use are power vacuum systems and rotary brushes. The power vacuums are much more effective at drawing in dust and debris than any commercial system, and they use long hoses that can snake safely through your ducts. The vacuums place large sections of the air ducts under negative pressure, which helps dislodge contaminants. Rotary brushes connected to air compressors remove caked-in dirt from the walls of the ducts without damaging the ductwork itself. The brushes also run along lengthy cables to reach deep inside the ductwork system.

To make sure the ducts receive complete cleansing, professional duct cleaners use powerful deodorizers and sanitizers to eliminate bacteria and other growth. These special sanitizers take care of the pollutants without posing any danger to you or the rest of your household.

For serious cases of mold in the ducts—unfortunately a common problem in Minnesota—professionals will use UV germidical lights to eliminate the problem. These lamps destroy the cellular structure of bacteria using ultraviolet light. This also discourages the microbacteria from returning.

Leave it to Alpha Air Corporation

At Alpha Air Corporation, we are concerned about your indoor air quality. When you hire us to perform your annual duct cleaning, you can trust that we won’t use chemicals that will leave toxic hazards in your home. We use a special sanitizing agent with a low toxicity rating from the EPA (Category III) that contains no active chemical residue or volatile chemical to leave behind.

We take the same level of care with all parts of your duct cleaning. When you’re ready for cleaner living through cleaner ducts, contact Alpha Air Corporation today.

Why Are My Heater’s Ducts So Dirty?

Friday, November 8th, 2013 by Lisa Pixley

Ducts help to distribute hot or cool air from a central HVAC system throughout your home. Once the heater creates the warn air, a blower sends it into your ducts, which move it throughout the home safely and efficiently. We see their use every day during our cold Minnesota winters, and in towns like Woodbury MN, heater duct cleaning becomes as much a part of home maintenance as vacuuming and changing the light bulbs. Ducts get dirty, after all, and if you don’t clean them then the very system that distributes heat throughout your home can spread dust and debris as well. “How do my ducts get dirty?” you ask. The answers say a lot about the need to keep them clean.

Dust gathers on any appliance, especially when it sits unused for a significant portion of the year. Minnesota summers are often hot and muggy, and we have little use for our heaters during that time. It’s easy for dust and debris to accrue in the system itself, as well as in the duct system. As air circulates throughout your home, it pulls dust along with it, distributing it throughout the ducts. Eventually, the build-up is so great it can affect your health: irritating your nose and throat, and triggering allergy attacks in those susceptible to them.

Dust and dirt build-up gets worse if you don’t change your heater’s air filters. They keep contaminants out of the system and reduce the frequency which you need a maintenance session for your heater. The frequency with which you should replace your filters varies – anywhere from once a month to twice a year – but should go up if you have a lot of pets or a family member who suffers from allergies.

For answers to questions like “how do my heaters ducts get dirt?” and for other Woodbury, MN duct cleaning services, contact the experts at Alpha Air Corporation. We understand the needs of most heating systems and provide high-quality repair services as well as maintenance sessions to clean every inch of your ducts. Pick up the phone and give us a call today.

Why Do I Need Duct Cleaning?

Friday, November 1st, 2013 by Lisa Pixley

The ducts in your home or business do their job mostly out of your sight, hidden in walls, floors, and ceilings. Because you can’t see them, you probably won’t know when they become dirty… until the contamination begins to cause you difficulties. What problems can you run into because of dirty ductwork, and why should you schedule cleaning? We’ll go over the three main reasons to have your ducts regularly cleaned, starting with the most serious problem.

Duct cleaning requires professionals to handle, especially for commercial ductwork. If you think you need duct cleaning in MN, contact Alpha Air Corporation today.

Protect your indoor air quality

The EPA lists poor indoor air quality as one of the primary threats to health in the U.S. According to the EPA’s website, low quality indoor air can lead to “irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue” after only short-term exposure. More serious illnesses can result from continued exposure.

Contamination inside vents is a major source of reduction in a home’s air quality: dander, pollens, dust, and animal hair that gather in ducts are all allergens that will affect people in your home, regardless of whether they have allergies or not. One of the most worrisome of contaminants that can get into your ducts is mold. Microbacterial infestations are difficult to remove, and require professional assistance to remediate.

Improve the performance of your HVAC system

The furnace/heat pump/air conditioner hooked up to your ducts can suffer a reduction in effectiveness because of dirty ducts. A buildup of dust will clog up the filter, reducing the air flow and possibly leading to damage inside the unit. The dirtier an HVAC system becomes, the harder it will have to work, which will cause an increase in your power bills.

A cleaner home

Ducts that are filled with dusty contamination will continually blow those irritants around your home or workplace. Aside from polluting the air that you breathe, this dust will settle around the house or office. You’ll find that even the most thorough cleaning job will only keep the dust away for a few days. If you’ve noticed that the standard broom and vacuum aren’t doing the job, then it’s probably time for professional duct cleaning.

You need to take the cleanliness of your ductwork seriously; don’t take your ducts for granted just because you can’t see them most of the time. Alpha Air Corporation has provided Minnesota with duct cleaning for over 30 years, so when it’s time to cleanse out your home or business’ ducts, just give us a call.