Studies show that indoor air is up to 5 times dirtier than the air outside. We have changed our homes in such a way to accelerate growth of microorganisms. Self defrost refrigerators, air conditioned and energy tight homes, are a few examples for environments that provide breeding grounds for accelerated growth of mold and bacteria that mix with the air we breathe. Airborne house dust is a by-product of our living indoors, from dead skin, to hair, to paint flakes, to dust mite feces. Since we now live indoors up to 95% of the time, more house dust is produced. Comfort Air Cooling and Heating LLC. offers many products to help with the air quality in your home. These are examples of a few we offer. Give us a call to talk to a comfort consultant about indoor air quality.
UV lights are a great way to jump into indoor air quality without breaking the bank. UV lights installed in air handlers and in the supply plenum can be used to keep the coil and fan free of mold and other biologicals. UV lights destroy mold and bacteria on anything that the light is shining on. Benefits of HVAC UV lights include: mold and bacteria control, reducing cold and flus by killing germs before they re-circulate back into the home, reducing smells/odors and maintaining a cleaner coil, improving efficiency and reducing electricity costs.
Two studies point to the effectiveness of UV light in killing mold and bacteria, one in hospitals and the other in a commercial HVAC system.
- Ultraviolet Light Effective in Hospital Infection Control – In 2012, Researchers at Duke University Medical Center used ultraviolet radiation (UV-C) to nearly eliminate drug-resistant bacteria in 50 hospital rooms, reducing the number of bacteria by more than 97%.
- Effectiveness of Germicidal UV Radiation for Reducing Fungal Contamination within Air-Handling Units – In this commercial office building, and after 4 months of operation, “the fungal levels following UV operation were significantly lower than the levels in control AHUs (air handler units).”
As with any product it must be installed correctly. UV lights come in many shapes and sizes, and designs. Installing a UV light incorrectly can cause more problems in the long run. UV lights can destroy non-protected plastics and insulation on wires if in direct sight of the bulb. Looking directly at a UV light can also burn the outer layer of your eyes. Be sure the light is being installed correctly as to give the best protection to your HVAC system without damaging other areas.
High Efficiency Media Filters:
Another easy way to get better Indoor Air Quality is by installing a High Efficiency Media filter. These filters are installed directly on the Air Handler or Furnace for a whole house filtration system. These filters are usually changed every 6 months to a year. These air filters offer much higher efficiency, and require less frequent changing than standard filters. These filters are ideal for households with pets, or occupants who have needs for better control of dust, pollen, and other respiratory irritants. Most are Merv 13-16 filters meaning they filter particles from 10 microns down to less than 1 micron.
MERV stands for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value of a filter. It is a method of stating the efficiency of a filter based on particle size and is determined by testing the performance of the filter when exposed to particles of a known size in the air stream.
Although we refer to air filters as being MERV rated, MERV is not a rating. Instead, it can be used as a guide to selecting filters for specific contaminants within a range of particle sizes. For instance, a filter designated with a MERV of 12 would be most efficient at capturing particles between 1.0 and 3.0 microns in size. These would include contaminants such as legionella, humidifier and lead dust, milled flour and auto emissions.