New cleaning business targets heating systems |

New cleaning business targets heating systems

Melinda Dudley

Steamboat Springs — The owners of Air Quality Systems hope they can help Steamboat Springs residents breathe a little easier. — The owners of Air Quality Systems hope they can help Steamboat Springs residents breathe a little easier.

— The owners of Air Quality Systems hope they can help Steamboat Springs residents breathe a little easier.

Dan Zeztman and his wife, Judy, pioneered the business, which specializes in cleaning heating and ventilation systems. They say their business can help the environment and improve air quality for allergy sufferers – like their children.

“Our children suffer from indoor air allergies,” Zetzman said. “Indoor air quality can be several times more polluted than outdoor air, and in the winter, people spend most of their time inside.”

Zetzman rattled off a laundry list of allergens and irritants found in homes, including construction dust, fiberglass particles, pet dander, carcinogens from coal stoves, fungal spores and bacteria from insects and rodents.

Air Quality Systems’ specially equipped vacuum truck uses a 10-inch hose so powerful “it could suck my daughter up,” Zetzman said. The system can clean everything from air ducts for heating and cooling systems to mattresses.

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Zetzman is consistently amazed by what he finds in building air ducts. Last week, he sucked a squirrel’s nest out of a $3.5 million house, and he said finding the remains of dead animals is not uncommon.

Air Quality Systems is the first business of its kind in the Steamboat area, Zetzman said.

“Seeing the trucks coming in from Denver and Grand Junction, I knew there was a need up here,” Zetzman said.

Their services have also come into greater demand as forced-air heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems have become more popular among homeowners, especially in high-end construction. Zetzman estimated between 30 and 40 percent of area homes have forced-air climate control rather than baseboard or in-floor heating. He said these types of systems are already predominant in business and commercial spaces.

Zetzman started up a similar business fresh out of college, but admitted he and his friend were too young at the time to make it work.

More recently, the Zetzmans ran a carpet-cleaning business in Steamboat, after he left his job at the Steamboat Ski Area, where he worked as a building manager on top of Thunderhead Peak for 12 years.

The business prides itself on giving its customers noticeable results. With visible targets like chimneys and fireplaces, Air Quality Systems can get them cleaner than their owners have ever seen them, operations manager Brian Lansford said.

“People definitely walk in and notice the difference,” Lansford said. He met Zetzman more than 20 years ago when he picked him up hitchhiking in town.

Zetzman also recommends having dryer vents cleaned each year to prevent them from becoming a safety hazard.

Lansford and Zetzman go out as a team on jobs, which have ranged from small homes to clearing 150 chimneys for property management companies.

“It’s not a very glamorous job, but the tools and equipment are state of the art,” property manager Joey Rind said. Rind recently contracted with Air Quality Systems to perform work for Mountain Resorts.

“He’s offering a service that’s very high in demand right now,” Rind said. “With the growth in Steamboat, it’s just harder and harder to get subcontractors to come out and do work for us.”

Creating a green business was important to the Zetzmans. In addition to using only environmentally friendly cleaning products such as biodegradable detergent for chimney scrubbing, the services Air Quality Systems offers help make buildings more energy efficient.

Air duct cleaning can increase the efficiency of a heating system by 30 percent, which not only helps the environment, but also helps his customers lower their energy bills in the long run, Zetzman said.

“If we could use biodiesel, we would – but it’s not available yet,” Zetzman said with a smile.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

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