Category: Humidity

Defend Your Home Against Zika

Keeping Mosquitoes out of Your South Florida Home

Zika has become a concern for many Miami area homeowners.  The good news is, you probably already have some secret weapons in your home to keep the mosquitoes out and your family safe.


Make Use your AC is Serviced


Zika carrying mosquitoes like to bite during the day time.  This is no time to have an AC emergency.  Make sure car and home air conditioners are  to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes and the Zika virus.

Climate control
Keeping indoor air cool to keep mosquitoes out

Replace or Install Window Screens

Window screens and screened rooms help mosquitoes from making contact with humans and will help to reduce the spread of Zika.

Check screens for punctures.  Ensure window screens are properly fitted and installed and replace anything that isn’t.

Outdoor dining table
Screened windows, doors and rooms help keep mosquitoes out of Florida homes


Use Plants to Keep Zika Carrying Mosquitoes Away

Plants naturally detract or attract different species of insects and other pests.  Strategically placing plants that repel mosquitoes is a good way to help keep them out. You can freshen up your home in the process. The good news is some of these are easy to keep on hand in a Florida kitchen or patio.


Try making a natural mosquito repellent!Basil helps to keep mosquitoes away

Start with seeping basil and hot water as if you were making tea.

  • 1 cup of dried basil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

If you have a tea ball on hand that can make it easier.

Then Add

  • a few drops of basil essential oil
  • 1/2 cup of some sort of alcohol (anything that is safe for the skin will work.)

Basil is easy to grow in a Florida garden, patio or even kitchen window with enough sunlight.  Just make sure you keep it well harvested.


Crushing or chopping a fresh garlic bulb produces a medicinal compound called allicin that works as a natural mosquito repellent.

Try this:Blended garlic helps to ward off mosquitoes and keep Zika away..

  • Blend garlic bulbs with water.
  • Use the garlic water to water plants to repel mosquitoes.

You can use this garlic water anywhere that you want.  The finer that you chop or blend the garlic the more allicin you will produce.




Lavender grows well in Miami.  It does well in the heat and humidity and is easy to grow in pots on a patio.  It is also a great mosquitoLavender is a natural mosquito repellent. repellent.


If growing your own isn’t your thing, you can purchase lavender products that will work just was well.  Lavender lotions and essential oils can work for mosquito repellent.


Plants are not just good for keeping pests away.  They also help improve indoor air quality.

Let us know if we can help you with your AC Repair or if you have any other strategies that you and your family are using to keep those pesky mosquitoes away.


5 Best Plants For Improving Indoor Air Quality

Using Plants to Enhance Indoor Air Quality

Green leaves of alow plant close up

The scientist at NASA discovered in the 1980s that there are several houseplants that can help to purify indoor air.  They began studying houseplants as a way to provide clean pure air to astronauts on the space stations.

House plants provide health benefits to our homes and work place by filtering out compounds in the air that could be dangerous to humans making it much healthier to breathe.  Indoor air compounds can build up, clog ducts and be a strain on HVAC systems. 

Here are a list of 5 of the top houseplants to improve your indoor air quality. These plants are inexpensive and widely available in South Florida.  The plants will filter out harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene and provide you with oxygen at the same time.

Aloe Vera

aloe-vera plant

Aloe Vera is popular because of its healing properties like helping to heal sun burns and cuts. Aloe Vera however, is also a great plant to improve your indoor air quality. It is easy to grow and hard to kill for those who don’t have a green thumb. It helps to keep your home free from benzene which is a common agent in household chemical cleaners and paint.

Peace Lily

peace lily

The Peace Lily reduces level of mold circulating through indoor air.  The Peace Lilly absorbs mold through it’s big leaves and then processes it as food. It is an ideal bathroom plant where it

The Peace Lilly is a beautiful plant and can improve your indoor air quality by as much as 60%.


English Ivy


The English Ivy plant can reduce the amount of airborne fecal matter. It can also absorb formaldehyde, commonly found in some household cleaning products, furniture or carpeting treatments. Studies show that keeping an English Ivy plant on your desk will help to give you better focus because it can also absorb trace amounts of benzene which is a chemical commonly found in office equipment.

Spider Plant

Spider Plant improve indoor air quality

This amazing plant can remove up to 90% of the toxins in your indoor air in just two days.  The leaves grow quickly and help to absorb harmful substances like mold and other allergens so it is the perfect plant if you have common dust allergies. It also helps to absorb small traces of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.  The spider plant is a very popular house plant because it is easy to grow and maintain.


Boston Fern


Ferns are readily available in South Florida and the Boston Fern offers both beauty and health benefits. These plants act as humidifiers and can help to restore moisture in the air so they are perfect for those who suffer from dry skin and other cold weather problems. They can also help to eliminate traces of formaldehyde. Remember to keep them in direct sunlight and mist the leaves with water regularly.

House plants can also help to keep pests away like mosquitoes.

To find out how to improve the air conditioning service of your home or business contact a 40 Degrees Air  indoor air quality expert Today at 305.733.2501.



Indoor Humidity: How to Lower it Naturally

humidityHigh humidity can be one of the most unpleasant climate variables in South Florida.  Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air.  Outside it indicates the likelihood of rain or fog.  The higher the temperature of the air the more moisture it can hold. This makes our sweltering air quite humid.

What Happens When the Humidity Comes Inside Your Home?

High humidity creates idea conditions for pest growth including mold and moths and can rot the structures of your home.  Many people have allergies to the organisms that thrive in moist conditions.   Reactions include rashes, sneezing or chronic allergies.   People often start looking into their indoor humidity when they notice a musty smell or wake up feeling stuffy every day.


Air Conditioning Systems by design reduce humidity in the air.  When moist outside air comes in, it passes through a cold evaporator coil.  This creates a lower dew point, or temperature that the air will sustain a given amount of water.  The excess moisture is released into condensation and colder, dryer air comes into your home.

Even with modern HVAC Systems working at full speed we can find that indoor humidity is a problem.  This can surprisingly be more prominent in the winter when the air conditioner is running less.

Here are some things that you can do to reduce indoor humidity.

Keep the air fresh.

Circulate fresh air.  Stagnant air creates conditions that lead to mold and other problems.  Try to create an environment of good air flow in your home.  Turn on some fans to keep air moving throughout your home.  Try opening a couple of windows to create a cross breeze.

Check Your Ventilation.  Make sure your dryer and oven hood are properly ventilating outside.   Clothes dryers can send the moisture from your laundry back into your house if they are not properly ventilated.   Check the ventilation above your stove and make sure you are always using the exhaust fan when cooking.  Some over-the-range microwaves don’t properly ventilate. They could be installed on the wrong setting to be effective at removing the moisture coming off of the boiling pot on your stove.  The best kitchen ventilation is a hood that is installed to take the exhaust out of the house.

Watch the moisture you are adding to the air.

Trim down the long hot showers.  Long, hot showers are relaxing but they raise the humidity in your house.  If you are trying to control indoor moisture, try shorting your shower, lowering the water temperature or at least keeping the exhaust fan on until your bathroom is completely dry.


Get a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is a great air treatment solution for removing excess moisture from your indoor environment and restoring a healthy humidity level. Dehumidifiers run quietly and can reduce your energy cost by making your air conditioner run more efficiently.  They can even make your bread, fruits and vegetables last longer without getting stale.

Check for standing water.

Don’t over water house plants.  Standing water in the bottom of planters evaporates back into the air leading to indoor humility.  Consider moving plants that need to consume a lot of water outside.

Check the perimeter of your house.  Make sure air conditioning drain lines and drip pans are clear and free of debris.   Check gutters and downspouts to ensure they are draining properly and not obstructed.  Make Sure that rain water is not pooling and sitting around your foundation.

Ask your 40 Degrees Air & Refrigeration Conditioning expert during your next service or installation visit how you could benefit from reducing the humidity in your space or call 954.613.5155 for more information.