5 Reasons To Use A Humidifier During Flu Season

Flu season is a dreaded time of year, especially if you’re a parent of young children. Not only can the flu be miserable to suffer through, but it can also be quite dangerous to your health. There are a variety of ways in which you can combat the flu. A humidifier is a trusty piece of equipment that will prove to be very helpful.

At Lion Home Service in Fort Collins, CO, we can help you determine if a whole-house humidifier might be right for you. In some cases, a portable, misting humidifier will suffice. Regardless of which type is used, a humidifier can help you survive flu season for a number of reasons.

1. Prevents Spreading the Flu Virus

Medical professionals have determined that the flu virus spreads quicker and more effectively in dry climates. During the winter months, your home will be dryer than normal because it is closed off from the outside and warmed by a furnace. A humidifier can boost the humidity in your home in order to thwart the virus.

2. Offers Relief for a Sore Throat

The flu can cause a sore throat, and dry conditions will only make it worse. A humidifier can create a climate that provides hydration for your throat and nasal passages, spelling relief for that soreness.

3. Helps You Get Restful Sleep

The flu can cause enough pain and discomfort to keep you up all night. With the relief that comes from a humidifier, you will likely be able to achieve a more restful sleep, which will prove effective in helping you recover from the flu.

4. Breath Easier

When you’re suffering from the flu, mucus and congestion can make it tough to breathe. The moisture from your humidifier can break up phlegm and make respiration much easier.

5. Create a More Comfortable Environment

Dry air can cause a number of problems that will only compound your suffering. These might include dry, flaky skin, nose bleeds, sore throats, itchy eyes and more. A humidifier is one solution to help address all of these problems at once.

Rely on Trained Professionals

Lion Home Service covers all your HVAC needs, including installations, repairs, and maintenance of heating and cooling equipment. We also work with water heaters, electrical systems, roofing, septic cleaning and more. Our company is available for customers in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont and Windsor. Call us today.

How to Prepare for Fall Allergens

As the summer ends, many Fort Collins residents think about their heating systems. It’s also important to think about the air quality of your home in the autumn months. The fall season brings a unique set of allergens and irritants into your home air supply.

Ragweed and Goldenrod

Goldenrod and ragweed are common plants throughout the United States. Many fall allergy symptoms are the result of exposure to the pollen of these two. While much of this pollen is outdoors, it can also make its way inside as people enter and exit your home. As the season progresses, the amount of pollen in your indoor air increases if it is not addressed.

Dust and Dust Mites

Due to the changing seasons, there may have been some time when you did not need to heat or cool your home. During those weeks, dust and dust mites collected in your ductwork. Now the evenings are getting colder. Soon, your heating system will kick on, spreading dust through the vents. It is very common for sensitive to people to have an allergy attack at the beginning of the heating season.

How to Prepare for Fall Allergens

Getting dust and irritants out of your home is key to improving your air quality. A basic step you can take is increasing the amount of vacuuming. You will want to use a vacuum with a strong filter that will pick up pollen, dust particles, and other small irritants. You might want to consider a robotic vacuum that can help you do this on a daily basis.

Another way to address the problem is to have duct cleaning performed by professionals like those at Lion Home Service. We can get the dust out before the heating season begins. You also want to be sure to change your furnace filter regularly or talk to one of our service experts about adding an air purifier to your duct system. These filtration systems remove dust as it travels through your heating and cooling ductwork.

In the Fort Collins area, Lion Home Service is ready to help you with all your heating, cooling, indoor air quality, electrical and roofing needs. We have the knowledge and skill to improve your home comfort. Contact Lion Home Service today for more information.

Do Salt Lamps Really Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?

Pink salt isn’t just for your dinner table anymore — this popular culinary addition has now found its way onto your bedside table, too. But do salt lamps really work to purify the air in your home? Or do these novel decorations offer nothing more than aesthetic appeal? While salt lamps have enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, their air purification claims may be nothing more than well-marketed hype. Let’s take a look at the claims and determine if there is any truth to the salt lamp health craze.

Salt Lamps Claim to Ionize Air

The benefits of air ionization are well documented, ranging from reduction of chronic depression symptoms to improvements in seasonal affective disorder. However, it is unlikely that salt lamps are capable of providing significant air-ionizing benefits. Proponents of salt lamp air purification claim that negative ions released from the lamp’s pink salt work to remove harmful pollution and dust particles from the air.

While negative ions are indeed capable of eradicating dust mites and binding to other particles, this process requires an extremely high-powered ion generator. Because a salt lamp is essentially a light bulb inside a hollow chunk of salt, its ion-generating capabilities are minimal, experts believe.

Negative Ions Make for a Dusty Home

Even if salt lamps are somehow capable of generating negative ions, this phenomenon can negatively impact air quality, experts believe. While negative ions are indeed capable of reducing harmful particles in ambient air, they do so by binding to such particles, causing them to stick to various surfaces throughout your home. The benefit, proponents claim, is that these bound particles make dust cleanup and removal much more efficient. However, many experts believe that the accumulation of these particles can trigger allergy symptoms in more sensitive individuals.

Science Says Salt Lamps Are Bunk

Beyond the ionizing claims, proponents also assert that salt lamps are capable of attracting water vapor toward their salty surfaces. The idea is that pollutants in the ambient air are attracted to water, and as this vapor adheres to the lamp’s surface, pollutants dissociate and dissipate, thereby improving air quality. However, there is little scientific evidence to suggest that water vapor does indeed attract airborne pollutants or that the scant heat produced by a salt lamp is capable of dissociating them.

Your Air Quality Professionals in Fort Collins

When it comes to maintaining high-quality air inside your home, one of the most effective things you can do is work with a knowledgeable HVAC company. At Lion Home Service, we know your home is an investment, and you deserve to enjoy that investment in good health. Whether you need heating and cooling service, duct cleaning, and repair, septic service, roof installation, and repair or certified electricians, we provide the service you need. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact Lion Home Service today for more information.

4 Helpful Indoor Air Quality Tips

The quality of the indoor air in your home determines how well you breathe each day and the cleanliness of your surroundings. Many residents struggle to protect their air from contaminants, pollutants, and allergens that enter the building. Here are a few indoor air quality tips to utilize that should prove to be helpful for your Fort Collins home.

1. Use Green Cleaning Products

Many people don’t realize how many chemicals and toxins circulate throughout the building when they clean their home. Due to the different types of cleaning products that are used to wipe down various surfaces, harmful chemicals can spread. Opt for using green cleaning products that are made from natural ingredients to protect the air quality in the building. You can also rely on household cleaners like vinegar and baking soda to remove grime throughout the space.

2. Ventilate the House

Proper airflow is necessary to improve the quality of the air. Proper airflow also lets dust, particles, and allergens exit the home. Open the doors and windows throughout the day to remove stagnant air and refresh the space. If you live in a downtown area or a busy city, be specific about the time of day when you open your windows and doors to prevent pollutants from entering the home.

3. Replace the Air Filter

Many people forget to replace their air filters every few months, which can cause dust, pet hair, and allergens to circulate after the particles are trapped. Replace the air filter every two to three months, depending on how much the HVAC system is used. The filters can also be regularly cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Purchase a Salt Lamp

Salt lamps are increasing in popularity because they fight positively charged ions that lead to allergies. Residents can also experience relief with their respiratory issues or asthma.

Quality AC Repair

Contact Lion Home Service in Fort Collins today to learn more about how you can improve the quality of the air in your home with the help of one of our service experts. We also offer heating, cooling, electrical, roofing and water heater services.

How Candles Impact Indoor Air Quality

Ideally, the air that you breathe in your home will be clean and fresh. However, there are many things that people do that can make it harder to achieve this goal. Burning candles indoors is one such culprit that can impact your indoor air quality.

Paraffin Candles May Cause Health Problems

Any portion of a paraffin candle that has been burned will turn into soot that may be released into the air. In small quantities, you may not notice any negative impact on your health. However, if you regularly burn such candles indoors, it might result in a higher risk of cancer or other health problems. Those who have asthma or COPD may find it harder to breathe when a candle is burning.

Candles Can Release Smoke Into the Air

Regardless of what a candle is made from, it can release smoke into the air that may be difficult for some to breathe. The smell of smoke can linger in the air for hours or days after a candle has burned. In addition to making air quality worse, smoke can cause damage to furniture or other surfaces. If you’re concerned about the air quality in your house, Lion Home Service in Fort Collins can help. We can do duct cleanings and inspect all HVAC components to ensure that they’re not circulating dirty air around your house.

Scented Candles Can Create Strong Odors

Even if you aren’t bothered by smoke or the presence of other potentially harmful particles in the air, scented candles can create strong odors that may be hard to handle. In some cases, you could be dealing with the scent of vanilla or lilacs long after the candle has burned. This can be problematic for those who have sensitive noses or are allergic to certain scents.

If you’re struggling to breathe in your own home, call Lion Home Service in Fort Collins today for help. In addition to heating and cooling services, we can install boilers or help with any electrical problems that your house may experience.

Reducing Air Pollution in Your Home

At Lion Home Service, we understand how dangerous it can be to have high levels of air pollution in your home. There are many sources of air pollution that can be minimized to improve the quality of the air that you’re breathing. You can also take steps to remove pollutants from your air once they have entered your home.

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution can come from a variety of sources and cause health issues. Whether you’re worried about asthma getting worse or getting sick from bacteria or viruses, keeping air contaminants out of your home is important.

Harmful pollution can come from:

  • Cleaning products
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Fireplaces
  • Smoking

Contaminants can get into your HVAC system and circulate throughout your building and degrade the air in a building. Indoor air pollution tends to be worse in the winter when windows and doors are closed and air circulation is minimized.

Steps to Minimize Exposure

Here are a couple of ways that you could minimize your personal exposure to harmful pollutants.

Maintain Your HVAC System: Keeping your air filters clean can keep dirt from getting dislodged and entering the air stream. You can also have a professional install an air purifier in your home to clean the air.

Ventilate Your Home: Keeping windows and doors open whenever possible will allow fresh air in your home and prevent the buildup of harmful chemicals or particles in the air. In the winter, open a window whenever it’s warm enough to encourage airflow in your home.

Our Trusted Indoor Air Quality Services

At Lion Home Service, we’re proud to offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee on all of our services. We’re fast and reliable, and we care about the well-being of all of our customers. Our service experts are highly experienced and friendly.

Call us at Lion Home Service today to see how we can help you reduce air pollutants in your Fort Collins, CO, home. Call us for other services, too. We offer heating, cooling, duct cleaning, electrical, insulation, and drain repair services.

Benefits of Air Filter Subscriptions

It may be hard to believe, but the air filter for your HVAC system is its most important part. The filter traps the airborne particulates that could harm your air handler if they collected inside it. Having a subscription with Lion Home Service in northern Colorado makes it easy to remember to change the filter. Even better, you’ll always have the correct filter for your system.


Home deliveries of just about everything that you use on a routine basis are a major convenience, especially for filters. Big box stores, home improvement centers, and grocery stores do stock some filters, but if they don’t have the type and size you need, then you’ll have to go somewhere else.

Indoor Air Quality

New filters are also a reminder to check and change the old filter, a household chore that’s easy to forget but so important for indoor air quality. A dirty filter distributes lots of airborne particulates that contain typical allergens, like pollen, mold spores, dust and dust mite waste, pet dander, and hair. If anyone in your family suffers from allergies, then a filter delivery subscription will help to ensure that your filter will be changed on a regular basis, which enhances everyone’s ability to breathe naturally.

Besides improving your indoor air quality, clean filters prevent a buildup of dust and debris inside the ductwork. Excessive debris in the ductwork can slow down the air flowing through them and drive up your energy bills.


When you sign up for a subscription for air filters, you’ll benefit from the expertise of the professionals. They will advise you on the best types of filters to use for kinds of dust and particulates common in the northern Colorado environment. They’ll also verify the best kind of filter the HVAC manufacturer recommends, and you’ll always have the right size.

Besides the considerable convenience an air filter subscription with Lion Home Service in Fort Collins, CO, gives you, your home’s HVAC system will run more efficiently and deliver cleaner air. You’ll also have more time to spend on activities your family enjoys. Call us today to see for yourself.

Cleaning your home’s air ducts every few years reduces dust and allergens

It’s not terribly pleasant to think about where dust comes from — an accumulation of dirt, dead skin cells, dandruff, pet dander, mites, smoke particles and other pollutants. This detritus circulates through the air in your home, where you and your family unavoidably breathe it in on a daily basis. And because dust is heavier than air, it settles into vents and ducts just like it does onto flat surfaces. Think about how often you dust your furniture, and how much dust would build up if you neglected this chore for weeks, months or years. Now ask yourself, when’s the last time you had your air ducts cleaned?


How dirty are your air ducts?


Air ducts act as the lungs of your home, and they affect the actual lungs of the residents. To function most efficiently, they need to be kept clean and clear. Too much dust can contribute to literal respiratory problems, particularly for anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies.

If you live in a newer home that wasn’t properly cleaned before you moved in, construction dust and debris have probably been collecting in your ducts and circulating throughout the house whenever the furnace or air conditioning kicks on. Or, if you’ve recently undergone a major remodeling project, it’s likely to have generated additional dust that’s settled into the system.

No matter how often you dust and vacuum, you’re usually just moving particles around, stirring them up into the air before quickly resettling. Cleaning out your air ducts and HVAC system every now and then gets to the real root of the problem, removing dust before it has a chance to circulate. Another benefit, air duct cleaning may help your HVAC system operate more efficiently by preventing clogs and improving overall air flow.


When to clean your air ducts


Indications that it may be time to clean out your air ducts can include heavy dust accumulation on your furniture, frequently occurring respiratory problems among the residents in your home, visible mold in vents or other HVAC components, and signs of mice or insects that can infest and contaminate the system.

It’s a good idea to have your air ducts and related HVAC parts professionally cleaned every two or three years; more often if circumstances merit. Because air duct cleaning requires specific tools and a thorough understanding of the mechanical duct/HVAC system, it can be a difficult task for homeowners to try to tackle on their own. Even the longest attachments on a regular vacuum won’t work for deep air duct cleaning. Professional cleaners use a negative pressure system to vacuum dust out with a hose and a spinning soft brush that dislodges the debris. Air duct cleaning also requires taking protective steps homeowners may not be familiar with, such as making sure the furnace coil is blocked off to prevent dust and dirt from pushing through, which can create extra stress on the blower motor and cause potentially expensive damage.

The cost of air duct cleaning depends on the size and complexity of your system, but the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that professional service for an average-sized home typically ranges between $450 and $1,000.


Air duct homework


In between air duct cleanings, the best thing you can do to keep dust levels down is to change out the furnace filter on a regular basis. If excessive dust is a problem in your home, don’t skimp on quality. The higher the MERV rating is, the more effective the filter will be.

Another helpful hint — pay close attention to areas of your home where excess debris may be entering the system. For example, flat vents on the floor next to a dog bed or kids who tend to kick off their shoes next to a vent as soon as they enter the house may be inadvertently introducing extra dirt into the ducts.


Filters make a big impact on air quality and furnace efficiency

Imagine what would happen if you tried to brew your morning coffee without using a filter. The end result would be full of coffee grounds, and the whole process would clog up your machine.

A furnace filter functions in much the same way as a coffee filter. These humble household heroes are important for two main reasons — they strain out debris from the air in your home, and they support your furnace by protecting its inner workings.


How clean is your air?


It’s not pleasant to think about, but household air is full of dust, bacteria, smoke, pet dander and pollen — all of which carry the potential to detrimentally affect the health of those who live in your home. Filtering out this debris can make a big difference in the quality of the air you and your family breathe every day.

When dirt and dust get sucked into the furnace unit, they can weigh down the blower wheel and other moving parts, throwing everything out of balance and wearing out the overall system much more quickly. If you can’t remember the last time you changed out your furnace filter, chances are you’re overdue.


Get to know your filters


All furnace units include a filter with size and complexity depending on your individual system.

Disposable filters are the most popular variety, fairly inexpensive to replace and can readily be found at most hardware stores and home retailers. For any filter you’re buying, make sure to take note of the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating on the packaging. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter will be. Low MERV ratings between 1 and 4 will filter out most garden-variety dust, mites, pollen and carpet fibers; moving up to a 13 to 16 rating at the top end of the scale will also remove harder-to-catch smoke particles, bacteria, germs and viruses.

Available in a wide range of sizes, disposable filters should be changed out every 30 to 90 days depending on the amount of dust and debris in your home. A good rule of thumb that’s easy for most homeowners to remember is to change your furnace filter at the start of each new season.

Washable filters don’t need to be frequently replaced like disposable filters — maybe once every three to five years, but they do require regular cleaning at the same 30- to 90-day intervals to do their job effectively. Electrostatic features in both disposable and washable filters electrically charge the air as it passes through to help trap more dust and debris.

If you have pets that shed heavily or family members who suffer from allergies, you may want to consider a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter to sift out a greater volume of potential irritants from the air. However, keep in mind that these filters can sometimes be so dense, they actually wind up restricting the airflow into your furnace with negative impacts its functionality.


Which filter is right for you?


Deciding what kind of filter is best for your home depends on your specific needs and how much you want to spend. A simple disposable filter that you change out once a month can control the dust and debris in your household air quite nicely, but if you want to significantly improve your indoor air quality and/or the life of your furnace system, you might find it well worth upgrading to a higher-end product.

Basic disposable filters usually start around $20 and can run up to several hundred dollars for the most sophisticated models. Most average homeowners can expect to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 to $50 for a decent disposable filter that will meet their needs just fine.

Changing out your furnace filter isn’t a difficult task. Just locate the filter rack on your furnace system, remove the old filter and slide in a new one. Make sure the arrow on the filter is pointing in the same direction that the air flows into the unit, and you’re good to go until it’s time for the next replacement.

No more dry skin and ruined wood furnishings with an ideal humidity level

Maintaining proper humidity levels in your home offers a number of benefits including improved energy efficiency and indoor air quality, longer life for your hardwood flooring and furniture, and even added protection against airborne cold and flu viruses. The ideal humidity level usually ranges somewhere between 30% and 50%. It’s easy to find out exactly where yours clocks in by using a basic hygrometer device, available at hardware stores and big-box retailers.

Why do you need a humidifier?

Like the human body, your living space requires a certain amount of water to thrive and function at its best. If the air in your home is too dry, you may notice frequent static shocks, cracks forming in wood furnishings and floors over time and possible health issues such as dry skin, sore throats, chapped lips, respiratory problems and bloody noses. These problems can become more noticeable in the winter when your furnace kicks on for the season, because heat saps air of much-needed moisture. Daily living activities like showers, cooking and laundry do introduce some water vapor back into the atmosphere, but often not enough to keep homes and those who live in them comfortable during the drier months of the year.

Humidifiers can add moisture to the air of a room or an entire home to reduce these and other adverse conditions. Another tangible benefit to note — humidity helps the air in your home feel warmer than it actually is, which can help residents feel good about leaving the thermostat turned down and keep energy bills low.

Humidifier options

There are several types of humidifiers to consider on today’s market — whole-house models that attach to a furnace, free-standing portable units and small vaporizers that you can buy off the shelf at drug stores and retail outlets.

Whole-house humidifiers work in conjunction with your furnace to add moisture to the air throughout the entire home at regular intervals automatically whenever the furnace comes on. A more involved purchase than simply plugging in a portable unit, whole-house humidifiers must be professionally installed, and they can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 depending on the size and sophistication of the unit. If maintained correctly, whole-house humidifiers generally last 5 to 10 years.

By comparison, portable units and vaporizers are easy for homeowners to set up and move around themselves, relatively inexpensive and effective for adding moisture to individual rooms or small spaces. However, they don’t last as long as whole-house humidifiers, and portable units do require the use of a hose to discharge water into a nearby drain.

Maintenance recommendations

Homeowners don’t usually spend a lot of time thinking about their whole-home humidifier until it stops working. Some signs that may indicate a problem include noticeably drier air in the home, or water and moisture leaking around the unit.

The hardness of the water in your home plays a significant role in how well your humidifier works and can affect its shelf life over time. When hard water calcifies inside the unit, it leaves behind scale and debris that can reduce its operating power and efficiency. To keep whole-house humidifiers running smoothly, homeowners should plan to clean the unit and change the pad inside every two to three years, and as often as every year if the water in the home is especially hard. Water also runs through a metal or plastic grate in the unit where calcification can build up, leading to occasional replacement of that part as well.

Whether to tackle whole-home humidifier maintenance yourself or call a professional to do the job depends on the nature of the problems and your own skill and comfort level. Scheduling a professional service for your whole-home humidifier at the same time you have your annual furnace tune-up is an easy way to get ahead of any potential issues and keep both systems working in optimal condition for as long as possible.