This blog dedicated to help the millions of homeowner and business facilities fight the constant problem of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

You Can Control Sources of Air Pollution
  • Watch for water leaks, which can lead to mold or mildew
  • Don't smoke indoors or outside near doors and windows
  • Keep your environment tidy and dust free
  • Use alternative cleaning supplies instead of harsh chemicals
  • Avoid use of strong perfumes and deodorizers
  • If using an air purifier, clean filters frequently and make sure the purifier does not produce ozone
Improve Air Flow
  • Open windows and doors; most heating and cooling systems do not bring fresh air in
  • Use fans that vent air outside, especially while engaging in hobbies or activities that generate pollutants or moisture, e.g. painting, woodworking, cooking, showering.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Amistee Achieving Superior Service Rating on Angies List!

Amistee Air Duct Cleaning was recently presented an award from Angie's List. This award is for achieving and maintaining a Superior Service Rating on Angie's List throughout 2009 as determined by Angie's List members in the category of Air Duct Cleaning. If you have not read any of the reviews on Angie's List and are a current member of their service. Take a look at Amistee and see why many of the other Angie's List member chose to use Amistee Air Duct Cleaning as their duct cleaner in Michigan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Amistee Air Duct Cleaning in the Novi News

Amistee keeps heating, cooling ducts clean

JANUARY 7, 2010

Web site: us about your business, including types of services and/or products you feature Amistee is an air duct cleaning company, which settles for nothing less than the absolute best customer service and guaranteed cleanings. We only use the biggest and best vacuum trucks in the industry and stand behind everything that we do. We look to consistently improve our customers' indoor air quality by cleaning roughly 20-30 pounds of dirt and dust out of area homes heating and cooling system.

How did you first decide to open your business?

Mike and I saw the affects of dirty air ducts to family members' health first hand. We saw a very high demand for high quality service and cleanings. We opened up Amistee in January 2005 with all of this in mind.

Why did you choose this area for your business?

With both Mike and I growing up in Livonia, we were very familiar with the I-275 corridor. This corridor can very quickly deliver you to any of the major freeways connecting any service company to all of Metro Detroit. Also, we felt Novi was a great place to find commercial jobs because of all the emerging businesses in the city.

What makes your business unique?

Amistee is truly unique because we do exactly what we say we will do every time. So many times in the service industry homeowners will be told many things that do not come true. Our customers know that when they call upon Amistee to perform their air duct cleanings they will receive the very best cleanings, no questions asked.

How has it changed since you opened?

Since Amistee's founding, customer service and quality has always been number one. We first opened the doors with one large vacuum truck and a loan. Now, five years later, we have a fleet of four giant vacuum trucks to perform residential cleanings, a division for commercial air duct cleaning and a sales team.

Do you have a funny tidbit or story about your experience as a small business owner to share with our readers?

Getting into the air duct cleaning business is not an everyday story. When we first got into the business we did not realize how many interesting things we would find inside of homeowners ductwork. We have found dead squirrels, birds, bats, mice, ground hogs, moles, rats and even frogs. We also found guns, bullets, money, family heirlooms and a lot of change. Don't forget about the builders' cigarettes and pop bottles.

How has the recent economy affected your business?

Business is truly all about strong relationships. Although Michigan has been going through some tough times, Amistee has been growing every year since its inception. With many more families growing concerns about indoor air quality, we can help solve some of their problems.

Any advice for business owners?

If you treat your employees and customers as family, that will get you very far in many different aspects. We never take any shortcuts on jobs because you would not take shortcuts in your family's homes. We would not make any employee do anything that we ourselves would not do. This goes a long way and will gain a certain level of respect within a company.

What's in store for the future of your business?

If we continue to provide a quality air duct cleaning service at affordable pricing, we see a bright future ahead for Amistee.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Amistee In Crains Detroit

Referrals, commercial work boost duct-cleaner Amistee

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Mike McCowan (left) and Steve Dickinson started Amistee Inc. in 2005.

Photo credit: Courtesy Amistee Inc.

Amistee Inc. owners Steve Dickinson and Mike McCowan have a history of seeing business opportunities when other people are hunkering down.

While attending Michigan State University together, the pair launched a number of money-making ventures, including lawn care and snow removal.

When 2 feet of snow fell on East Lansing one winter, they knocked on doors and got jobs shoveling snow off the roofs of local homes.

The pair later graduated from MSU with engineering degrees and went their separate ways for a year or two.

Dickinson headed to Connecticut and McCowan to Chicago. But they'd talk by telephone about how their corporate jobs weren't for them.

They quit their jobs, returned to Michigan and in 2005 launched Amistee to take advantage of the opportunity they saw in air duct cleaning.

Amistee has grown each year since then. But its owners, both age 28, saw an opportunity this year to expand the business.

By increasing their marketing budget 56 percent to build relationships with heating and cooling companies for referrals, the Realtors of foreclosed homes, and companies looking to cut energy costs, Dickinson and McCowan expect revenue of $900,000 to $950,000 this year, up from $698,000 in 2008.

The two plan to hire two sales people to help expand Amistee's market and hit $1 million or more in sales next year. Amistee employs 12, including the owners.

Amistee needs “to do more than just place a Yellow Pages ad,” Dickinson said.

Because of the economy, it makes sense to do more business networking and advertising through trade shows, association memberships and events hosted at Amistee's Novi site and restaurants. Increased direct mail advertising is also in the plan, he said.

People buying foreclosed homes and houses that have been sitting on the market empty represent business opportunity, he said.

“If you have construction debris or bacteria in the duct system, that's what you're going to be breathing,” he said.

And companies looking to cut energy costs can shave as much as a third off the cost of their building's compressor energy by having the air-conditioning unit coils cleaned, according to U.S. Department of Energy estimates.

“For the commercial properties, they're interested in trying to save as much money as they can,” McCowan said. “When you get in these large buildings with a lot of coils that get plugged up, for us to come in and clean everything, in the long term, that's going to save them money.”

An increasing number of businesses across the country are getting their ductwork and coils cleaned in an effort to cut heating and cooling costs, said John Schulte, executive director of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association in Washington, D.C.

Between 40 percent and 45 percent of the energy used in a commercial or industrial building typically is tied to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, Schulte said.

“It used to be (companies) cleaned air ducts for better indoor air quality,” he said. “Now we're seeing more (companies) cleaning because they want the energy savings.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Air Filter Installation and Maintenance

Amistee will always check to see what type of filter your furnace requires during our air duct cleanings. Along with this check we will see if you should replace the filter after our cleaning or if the current filter has more life. A lot of times we find that homeowners are installing their air filters improperly or not changing the filters as often as they should.

Every air filter has a different life expectancy. Some of the 5" air filters have a life of anywhere between 6 months to 1 year. The smaller air filters have a life more around 1-3 months.

When purchasing an air filter, any Amistee Air Duct Cleaning employee will tell you that to catch dirt and dust from recirculating throughout your duct system and back into your home you should use a filter that you can not see through. The general rule of thumb is that if you can see through the filter, most dust will go through the filter as well.

The average size of most household dust is roughly the size of sweet and low. If you pour a packet of sweet and low over your filter pretending it is the air from your house, how much of the packet will be trapped in the filter and how much will pass through. This will tell you how good your filter is. We generally tell customers not to get the cheap fiberglass filters and not to get the very expensive pleated filters when replacing their 1 inch filters. Get the middle of the road filters just as long as you can't see the person standing next to you when you look through it.

Installing your air filter is easy to the person who does it for a living but sometimes confusing to the average homeowner. On every filter there is an arrow pointing in one direction. This arrow represents the airflow of your duct system. When you insert the filter into the slot the arrow should be going in the same direction as the air when the system is on. The arrow is pointing TOWARDS the furnace and not away from the furnace. If you have any questions or problems you can call Amistee Air Duct Cleaning and we will give you a free 2 minute phone instruction on how to install your filter. You do not need to be a current customer to get this help. Call 877-349-8877 and ask anyone on staff and they will gladly help you.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NADCA and Amistee

A lot of customers think of NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) as "just another association". It seems like every industry has an association to belong to. With the air duct cleaning industry NADCA is "the" association to belong to. Being a member of NADCA shows that you are serious about providing the best possible cleanings for your customers.

In Michigan, and more specifically the Metro Detroit area of Michigan, being a member of NADCA sets you apart from the hundreds of other fly by night air duct cleaning companies.

One of the most important qualifications for being a member of NADCA is that you MUST be state licensed. In Michigan there are a lot of air duct cleaning companies operating without a state license. When choosing a NADCA company you know that you are getting a state licensed company. Amistee Air Duct Cleaning has been state licensed since our very first duct cleaning and never breaking the law.

Secondly you must be fully insured to be a member of the association. For many this is a given that a company coming into your home would be insured but over HALF of the companies performing air duct cleaning in Metro Detroit are either under insured or not even insured at all!! This means that if they are out at your home and break or destroy your property you may be out of luck. Amistee Air Duct cleaning carries a full 2 million dollar policy to protect you and your family.

Thirdly, to be a member of NADCA the company must pass a series of tests to show that they know how to properly clean ductwork. This may seem like a silly thing but to me it is very important. There are many many companies that are not cleaning ductwork the right way but may think that they are. This eliminates that problem for the members of NADCA.
NADCA is an association to advance the air duct cleaning industry. Amistee Air Duct Cleaning was created to provide only the best possible cleanings for our clients.

Call Amistee today to receive special treatment and see why everyone is using us!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Duct Cleaning

What makes the fall such a great time to clean air ducts? This is a common question that customers are always asking and the answer is simple. Health and efficiency!!! When you are getting ready to come in from the outdoors and button up your home for the winter months, homeowners should think about what they are breathing.

The fall is also a great time of year to change your furnace filter(s) and start out fresh. The furnace filter will stop and prevent future particulates from flowing into your home but will not help what is already there. Air duct cleaning is effective when done properly. The duct cleaning industry gets a lot of raised eyebrows because everyone has heard of the scary stories where a duct cleaner has taken a homeowners money but not done much.

If you are looking to help your furnace run more efficiently, breath better to help your health, and reduce your cleaning time from less dust, then air duct cleaning is for you. The fall is a great time because you are about to enter a time of year where you will spend more time indoors than any other season.