Indoor Environmental Solutions: Cleaning up the air where the sun doesn't shine

By Tracy Kaler  | July 24, 2012 - 1:14PM

In this week's Real.Est. List Spotlight, we’re freshening things up with Indoor Environmental Solutions.  IEC keeps NYC apartments free of unwanted odors, pests, and the occasional dryer fire by cleaning out HVAC systems, dryer ducts, trash chutes and more.

Generally speaking, says IES president Maria Vizzi, foul air complaints crop up a lot in post-war buildings, where rooftop ventilation is often compromised because of poor maintenance, construction projects, or something as simple as city dirt. In the summer months, trash chute odors reach their rancid heights.

IES solves all these problems with a pesticide-free power wash for the trash chute, and inspection, cleaning and sanitizing of the HVAC systems.

"People are amazed they were breathing all of that soot for all of these years," says Vizzi. 

She offers a few more tips:

  • If your dryer isn’t at its best, get the ductwork inspected before purchasing new. “I’ve seen people buy new dryers, and they don’t work either. Often, the ducts need a good cleaning,” says Vizzi. Dryer inspections start at just $89 and should be done at least every other year to prevent fires like the one that engulfed Robert De Niro's Central Park West apartment last month.
  • Many of the more recent dryer models come equipped with an igniter shutoff, so add that feature to your wish list when shopping for your washer/dryer.
  • Just because your building’s laundry room has been serviced doesn’t mean the ducts have been cleaned.  Double-check that with your super. If not, IES is up to the task.
  • If you live in a postwar apartment, check whether the ventilation system is working properly by holidng a tisuse up to the wall or ceiling vent and letting go.  It's a good sign if the tissue stays there when you let go rather than dropping to the floor or being blown back.

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