Air Conditioning Vs. Ventilation Systems in Stafford, TX

Air Conditioning Vs. Ventilation Systems in Stafford, TX

Residents of Stafford, TX, focus on ventilation and air conditioning to solve their indoor air quality problems. However, many remain confused when it comes to distinguishing between air conditioning and a ventilation system. In this blog, we will help identify the differences between the two systems.

What Is Air Conditioning?

Air conditioning systems are systems that eradicate heat to cool the indoor air. People install air conditioners in their offices and homes to enhance comfort and maintain a cooler average temperature than what it outside.

However, AC units provide your home with more than just a cool temperature. AC units work like refrigeration systems by cooling but also improve the indoor air quality and humidity.

What Are the Benefits of an Air Conditioning System?

AC systems are essential for ensuring that your home remains at a safe and comfortable temperature. Living in a cool and dry environment helps reduce moisture-related biologic particulates that can be a threat to your health

What Is a Ventilation System?

A ventilation system’s duty is to bring in fresh air to reduce indoor pollutants and help improve the indoor air. The purified air goes through a different cycle of replacement and extraction as the indoor air mixes with the outdoor air and gets released at the same time. This system is an ideal setup for a building that is a tight envelope. Homes and offices with tight envelopes, while being more energy efficient can also retain air pollutants and possibly strong smells.

What Are the Benefits of a Ventilation System?

The primary benefit of a ventilation system is to improve the indoor air quality within a home or business. This enhances productivity and minimizes the health risks related to poor indoor air quality. In industrial businesses, ventilators assist in removing hazardous particles and dust products produced during manufacturing.

We supply ventilation and air conditioning systems for home and commercial use. We have skillful technicians who can provide you with the recommendation and advice you need. To learn more about ventilators and air conditioning systems, call Davis AC today.

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Are Your Ducts Messing With Your Comfort?

cleaning-vent-grate-ac

If you have a central air conditioner or a ducted heat pump in your home, there is one part of your system that can have a major impact on your comfort: your ductwork. This delivery system for the cool air in your home is vital to your comfort. However, if there is something wrong with your ductwork, it can ruin your home’s comfort level too.

If there is a problem with your ducts such as a leak or a disconnect, it is going to ruin your air conditioner’s airflow into your house. So how do you deal with it? If your ductwork is in serious disrepair, scheduling Miami duct testing and replacement may be your best option.

How Do I Know Something Is Wrong With My Ductwork

The sooner you can determine that there is a problem with your ductwork the better. The question a lot of people have is, “how?” Be on the lookout for some of these warning signs that you need to schedule services for your ducts:

  • The airflow coming out of your vents is weaker than usual.
  • There is extra dust coming out of your ducts.
  • Your AC isn’t cooling your home as effectively as it used to.
  • Your energy bills are increasing.
  • You have hot spots or rooms around the house.

What Does Duct Testing Do?

If you are picking up on a problem with your ductwork, you will want to schedule duct testing first. This service is going to test the air pressure in your ductwork. When it is performed by professionals, testing will help to determine whether there are multiple leaks in your ducts or even a full break in the ducts. From there, you and your technician can determine what the best solution will be.

When Do You Need a Duct Replacement?

If there is a problem with your ductwork, it may mean that you need a duct replacement. This is no small job of course, so it shouldn’t be done unless it is truly necessary. A replacement may be necessary for homes with aging ductwork that is simply starting to break down and fall apart. This also may be a service that is needed for ductwork that has begun to accrue too many leaks or holes in it to actually deliver a reliable amount of cool air to your home. A replacement may be a good idea as well if the initial installation of your ductwork was done poorly and has left you with a lot of airflow problems.

Professional Ductwork Services Will Improve Your Comfort

Whether your ducts are simply a little dirty or they need to be fully replaced, you need to schedule these services with a professional technician. Only a trained professional is going to be able to provide you with the services that benefit your ductwork and your comfort. In contrast, an amateur may leave your ducts in worse condition than when you started!

Contact the team at Air On Demand to get your ducts into the best possible shape.

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Why is My Home Always So Dusty?

Dusty Home SC blog - Why is My Home Always So Dusty?

Dust is a chore that never ends. You can clean all you want, but somehow, within a day or so, the dust is always back. If this scenario sounds familiar, it might be time to see what is really causing the dust in your home. While most homeowners are quick to blame a dog or outdoor elements, they really should be looking at their HVAC system. Too many times, a neglected HVAC system can cause a home to be constantly dusty. If you’re wondering why your home is always so dusty, read more about how your HVAC system could be to blame.

Why Blame HVAC?

Every homeowner has to deal with a common nemesis—dust. It gets into every crack and crevasse and is seemingly in endless supply. Oftentimes, homeowners can let dust build up for a week or so before doing a wipe down, but if you’re seeing an inordinate amount of dust, one of the most likely perpetrators is your HVAC system. This could be for several reasons. Some are:

  • Dirty Air Filter – When we talk about dust, let’s look at what makes dust. Household dust is usually made from a mixture of skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, bits of bugs (including dust mites), soil particles, pollen, and bacteria. One of the best things about the air filter in your HVAC system is that it is designed to trap many of these things, so they don’t circulate through your home. What we see far too often are homeowners who forget to replace their filter, meaning it can’t trap any dust particles and instead those particles are released into your home. Yuck, right? At Service Champions, we recommend changing your air filter twice every year, once before furnace season and once before AC season.
  • Cracked Ductwork – If your HVAC system lives in your attic, chances are you have ductwork running through your home. While it’s easy to not think about your ductwork, you should. Over time, small holes and fissures can appear in your ducts. Though these cracks may be small, they can let in a lot of dust from the attic or inside the walls.
  • Dry Air – Another dusty house offender is dry air. While homes in our coastal areas are mostly spared from this, we see it in the inland homes we service. Dust travels farther and faster in homes without humidity. When there is moisture in the air, it helps clump the dust and weigh it down, making it harder to travel. When your home is bone dry, dust has free reign to travel whenever and wherever it wants. This is especially a problem during dry winter months.

What Can I Do About It?

When it comes to excessive dust in your home, there are a few things you can do about it; and most of them involve your HVAC system. If you don’t already conduct regular tune-ups for your AC and furnace, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. During our 18-point furnace tune up and 26-point AC tune-up, our technicians meticulously go through and clean your entire unit. No stone is left unturned. After they conduct a tune-up, your HVAC technician will tell you what’s going well with your system, what’s going wrong, and the best solution. They will also make sure your system is as clean as possible. The other steps you can take are:

  • Routinely Checking Your Air Filters – As we mentioned above, your air filter catches dust particles before they make it into your AC system. If your air filter is dirty, it won’t catch those particles, leaving your home dustier than before.
  • Invest in a MERV Filter – An air filter with a MERV rating can catch more particles in your air. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter will catch. If you live in a home with someone who suffers from asthma or allergies, it’s highly recommended you look into a MERV filter.
  • Consider an Air Scrubber – One of our favorite tools to combat dust is an Air Scrubber. This scrubber will clump all the dust particles together, essentially making them easier to grab and over time, it will eliminate the dust in your home. By using UV lights, an Air Scrubber essentially “zaps” bacteria, viruses, mold, and other airborne contaminants that could be floating around.
  • Think about a Humidifier – It’s no secret that heating makes your home air dry. One of the best ways to fight this is with a humidifier. This piece of equipment attaches directly to your furnace and it counteracts the drying effects of the treated air.

Want to Clear the Dust? Call the Experts at Service Champions!

Now that you know why your home is always so dusty, and you’re ready to do something about it, give us a call. Our expertly trained technicians are ready to assess your home HVAC system and provide the best individual solution. At Service Champions we understand that your home is as unique as you are, and there is no one size fits all solution. If you live in certain areas of Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties, give us a call, or click here to schedule an appointment online.

Homeowner Struggles To Move Wheelchair Ramp… And Our Tech Steps In To Get The Good Deed Done

357 – Damon Puckett – Wheelchair Ramp Blog - Homeowner Struggles To Move Wheelchair Ramp… And Our Tech Steps In To Get The Good Deed Done

As Service Champions technician Damon arrived at a Laguna Beach home for a service call, he immediately noticed his client wrestling with a wheelchair ramp next to her porch.

“You look like you could use some help with that,” Damon said.

The homeowner explained that she had some gardeners coming to clean up her yard, but she needed to temporarily remove the ramp from the porch so they could pull weeds around and under the porch.

“I can usually move them myself, but with so much rain lately, they’re harder to move,” she said.

No problem, Damon told her. “I think I can help you out.”

She was appreciative that Damon would volunteer. She explained that she was storing them in her garage. The ramp was in two pieces so he was able to move each one for her and get them out of the way so the yard work could be done.

“She was very grateful that I helped,” Damon said. “And I was happy to do it.”

Thanks for lending a hand, Damon – that’s another Good Deed For Free!

The Consequences of Not Changing Your Air Filter

Change Air Filter Blog - The Consequences of Not Changing Your Air Filter

Is it just us, or has life been a little busy recently? Between changes in your home and work routine to a heightened awareness of germs, it’s easy to let smaller things fall to the wayside. We’re here to remind you, did you change your air filter this year? If not, it’s ok, just ask an HVAC technician when they come to your home. If you ignore your air filter and let things build up over time there could be major consequences to your home, health, and HVAC system. The air filter in your home has a crucial job and needs to be routinely replaced. Because we see so many homeowners let their filter sit for too long, we’re sharing the consequences of not changing your air filter.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

One of the worst consequences of not changing your air filter is poor indoor air quality. As we mentioned above, your air filter has an important job. It’s the first line of defense for clean and healthy indoor air. Most air filters live up to their name and catch things like dust, dander, and other indoor air contaminants. If your air filter is too full, all those contaminated particles would be free floating in your home, and in your lungs.

Higher Than Usual Utility Bills

A clean air filter helps your HVAC system run at maximum efficiency. Unfortunately, if your air filter is too old or too dirty, it doesn’t help your system. Instead, it makes your system work twice as hard to force air through a clogged filter. This means your HVAC system is using more energy than it should; and chances are it makes your utility bills much higher than normal. According to energy.gov, a dirty air filter can cause your energy usage to jump up to 15%.

A Broken HVAC System

Another consequence of not changing your air filter is broken equipment. This doesn’t apply only to your furnace or air conditioner; a dirty air filter can affect them both. One of the biggest ways a dirty air filter affects your HVAC system is through improper air flow. Both your AC and furnace need proper air flow to function correctly; a dirty air filter cuts off that important air supply. Some of the problems that can occur are:

  • Frozen Evaporator Coils – The evaporator coil removes heat from the air and keeps your home temperature cool. If the coils do not receive proper air flow, this could cause the refrigerant to get too low a temperature. When this happens, the cooler than normal refrigerant will cause condensation to build up on the evaporator coil. That condensation can ice over, which will freeze your air conditioner into a block of ice.
  • Compressor Damage – Your air conditioner is constantly working to maintain a specific temperature in your home. It will run itself into the ground to reach the specified temperature. If air flow is impeded, your AC isn’t able to take a break, which puts a massive strain on the compressor. This strain can cause the compressor to fail entirely. This applies to both your AC and furnace. Prevent damage by simply changing your air filter.

Need Some Air Filter Advice? Call Service Champions!

Are you feeling the consequences of not changing your air filter? Don’t worry, our certified HVAC technicians have seen it all. No job is too big or too little. We are the only Diamond Certified plumbing and HVAC company who proudly serve areas of Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. To make an appointment, reach out to our friendly call center representatives or click here to book online.

MERV Filters and Ratings – What Are They?

MERV Filters and Ratings – What Are They?

Upon searching for air filters in Phoenix, you have to sift through a few details to find the right fit. Size, brand, and material are all essential variables, of course, but one factor is often overlooked: the MERV rating of an air filter. MERV ratings offer a better insight into just how efficient you can expect any filter on your list to be and how effective it really is at filtering various types of particles out of the air within your home. Taking the time to learn a bit about these ratings and how they impact your air conditioner’s performance can help save you time, money, energy, and effort in the coming years.

What Are MERV Ratings?

MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value” and is a system used to determine how efficiently an air filter can clean the air in your home with each use. Each filter is assigned a rating based on how much debris a filter manages to block when circulating air. These ratings lie on a scale of 1 to 20. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at keeping the air free and clear of pesky particles. The score reflected by the rating is the bare minimum at which a particular filter is expected to perform based on a series of thorough tests.

How Are MERV Ratings Determined?

To receive a MERV rating, a filter must be tested to determine how well it can block particles of various sizes. Twelve differently sized particles are tested throughout the process, ranging from 0.3 to 10 micrometers in diameter. The particles being tested are grouped into three distinct categories:

  • E1 – particles measuring 0.3 to 1.0 micrometers
  • E2 – particles measuring 1.0 to 3.0 micrometers
  • E3 – particles measuring 3.0 to 10.0 micrometers

During the test, particles are thoroughly counted and then sprayed through the filter in question. Any particles that make it through to the other side of the filter are then counted again. A filter is put through 6 tests of particles from each category, meaning that a filter goes through a whopping 72 tests before the final MERV rating is decided. At the end of the test, the worst score from each category is used to determine the rating, thus giving the minimum efficiency that the particular filter can be expected to work at. Filters may work more effectively than their score suggests at times, but the MERV rating is meant, after all, to reflect the minimum filtering capacity of a particular product.

What MERV Rating Is Right for a Home?

As mentioned, the higher the MERV filtration test score, the more particles a filter can pull out of the air in your home. However, that doesn’t mean that you should immediately invest in a filter with a MERV rating of 20 and call it a day. That’s the last thing you would want to do for an average home. Hospitals, nuclear power plants, and other buildings that require a particular emphasis on a completely sterile environment generally use filters rated 16 through 20. These filters are thicker, which, while helping them block more debris from the air. While this is beneficial in specific industrial and medical environments, the thickness of filters with these ratings contribute heavily to pressure drop when used in conjunction with the air conditioning systems typically installed in residences.

Pressure drop refers to how much a particular filter restricts airflow. Pressure drop most often occurs when a filter goes too long without being changed, but can also happen if you have a filter that’s too thick and powerful for the system you pair it with. Pressure drop can contribute to your air conditioning unit’s many issues, including short cycling, undue wear and tear on parts, and even complete failure if the problem goes unchecked for too long. To avoid the unfortunate effects of pressure drop, it’s usually recommended that the average home use filters with a MERV rating between 5 and 13. Of course, even when using a filter that falls between these ranges, it’s always a good idea to invest in regular inspections from a team of Phoenix air conditioner professionals to ensure everything is working smoothly.

Which Filter Should You Choose?

Though it’s viable to use an air filter with a rating of 5 in your home and still reap some benefits, most homes’ ideal range lies between 8 and 13. This range gives you nearly as much particle blockage as MERV filters with higher ratings while maintaining appropriate pressure levels to keep your energy bills low and your air conditioning unit working smoothly. Finding the balance between particle filtration and air resistance is the key to choosing the right filter for any space.

Each rating has its limits to consider and blocks different amounts of household debris from each category.

  • MERV 8 filters block basic dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and dust mites
  • MERV 11 filters block dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, dust mites, and pet dander
  • MERV 13 filters block all the particles that the previous rating blocks, plus cooking oil smoke, virus carriers, smoke, and smog.

The higher the rating, the more unwanted pollution the filter will keep out of your home’s air. However, the higher your rating, the higher your monthly energy bill might be because your AC unit is working harder to push air through a thicker filter. This is something to consider when making your choice. Consulting a trained AC repair and maintenance professional in Phoenix can give you a good idea of which particular air filter might be the best fit for your home and your needs as a homeowner.

Do MERV Filters Require Maintenance?

Filters with a high MERV rating need to be replaced regularly, just like any other filter. Over time, particles build up on the filter and make it harder for air to pass through, contributing to more strain on your system. This is especially true for filters with higher MERV ratings, which already place a bit of pressure on a system simply due to their thickness. Generally, it’s recommended that filters are replaced monthly or otherwise according to the recommendations on a filter’s packaging. Fortunately, the process is usually an easy, straightforward one and can be done without calling in a professional.

Learn More About Keeping Your Air Clean

Contact Howard Air to learn more about keeping the air in your home as clean as possible while maintaining your air conditioning system and keeping your monthly energy budget under control. If you’re unsure of which filter to use in your home, schedule an air conditioning inspection in Phoenix, AZ. One of our highly knowledgeable technicians can get you pointed in the right direction in no time and ensure the rest of your air conditioning system is running smoothly and safely to bring you the results you need for year-round comfort in the southwest.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / Sucharas Wongpeth

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Arizona Indoor Air Quality Guide

Arizona Indoor Air Quality Guide

Anyone who lives in Arizona knows how sweltering the state’s summers can be, and that the heat doesn’t just disappear when the summer ends. While the US southwest’s dry heat is precisely what some people love, it is, unfortunately, not beneficial when it comes to maintaining clean, healthy air. Air quality decreases during extended heat waves, which is bad news in AZ’s largely desert state. Little can be done to adjust the outdoor heat or air quality, but indoors, you have a bit more control over the cleanliness of the air you’re breathing. Learning about indoor air quality in AZ is the first step to helping your lungs breathe easy year-round in one of America’s hottest states.

Indoor Air Pollutants

The first step to understanding air quality within your home is understanding the presence of pollutants. Every home has contaminants, though some may have more than others. Contaminants usually fall into four categories:

  • Asthma triggers
  • Combustion pollutants
  • VOCs
  • Radon

Asthma triggers are, by and large, the most prominent source of pollutants in most homes. This category includes pet dander, dust, pollen, mold, and secondhand smoke. For the 25 million Americans diagnosed with asthma, these pollutants may cause coughing and difficulty breathing. For another 50 million Americans with allergies, these same pollutants can lead to sneezing, itching, and general hay fever symptoms.

Combustion pollutants consist of particles from unventilated or poorly ventilated heating appliances such as dryers, furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces, and water heaters. The amount of pollutants produced depends on the machine in question and ventilation measures.

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are pollutants that originate from a wide array of household products. These include paints, pesticides, household cleaning products, air fresheners, and even dry-cleaned clothing. They can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose and lead to headaches in high amounts.

Radon is from the soil around a home. It’s a radioactive gas that may find its way indoors via cracks in a home’s walls and floors and is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers within the United States.

Controlling Pollutants

Reducing the number of pollution sources within your home is always the right place to start, but it’s not always a practical move. Some of the most common home appliances, such as dryers and water heaters, create pollutants, and doing away with them entirely is beyond impractical. Fortunately, you can take plenty of other EPA-recommended steps to control your Arizona indoor air quality.

While you may not be able (or willing) to remove the water heater, the dryer, or the gas stove from your home, you can choose to ventilate them better. On days when the weather allows, consider opening windows or doors to ventilate your home a bit better. Of course, Arizona is hot, and leaving windows open all day can quickly rack up your air conditioning bill. If your energy expenditure is a concern, consider using exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom and running your air conditioner with the vent control open to boost indoor ventilation throughout the day.

Next, keep in mind that your HVAC unit is responsible for circulating air throughout your home. Keep your HVAC system clean to keep your home’s air cleaner. For most, this means remembering to change the air filter regularly, as highlighted on the packaging of the filter you use. Depending on the type, this could be every 30 days or every three months. Additionally, consider investing in a UV sanitization system for your home. These systems help eliminate viruses, mold, and bacteria that filters can’t contain.

Fortunately, humidity isn’t an issue that few homeowners in AZ have to worry about. Most of the state has a dry heat. However, for homes that might live in damper areas, it’s crucial to keep humidity under control to reduce mold growth. Ideally, indoor humidity should be kept between 30 and 50 percent. Either ventilate to reduce humidity or use a humidifier to raise it when necessary.

Some other steps you should consider taking to improve your home’s air quality include:

  • Having your home tested for radon
  • Don’t allow smoking inside of your home or car
  • Clean your home regularly
  • Inspect heat-creating appliances regularly
  • Clean up and repair water leaks as soon as possible
  • If you spot any mold, clean it up immediately
  • Wash bedding weekly, preferably in hot water
  • Keep household pests under control
  • Always ventilate when using products that create VOCs
  • Consider investing in a carbon monoxide detector

Finally, invest in regular inspections by an HVAC professional in Phoenix, AZ. While you may be unable to spot issues with your HVAC system that could be contributing to the low air 

quality within your home, a trained eye can spot problems like dirty, moldy coils or a bacteria-infested drain pan and recommend solutions to you in no time. Each of these steps helps to boost the quality of air within your AZ home and ensure that you, your family, and your guests are safe and breathing clean, healthy air year-round.

Get the Clean Air You Deserve

Removing pollutants from your home and keeping them out can seem like a huge challenge, but you aren’t alone. Contact Howard Air for more information on how you can control the presence of pollutants within your home and create a preventative plan to keep the air in your home as clean and pure as possible in the coming years. You may not be able to control the Arizona heat or the air pollution that comes along with it, but with the right tools and a team of experienced professionals on your side, you’ll have full control of your home’s indoor air quality in no time.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / Hung Chung Chih

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How UV Light Improves Air Quality

How Ultraviolet (UV) Light Improves Air Quality

Air filters are a vital force when it comes to combating unwanted air pollution within your home. However, even if you pay attention to MERV ratings and change your filter like clockwork, you still might not be getting the cleanest possible breathing experience within your home, especially when the spring and summer months roll around with their heightened pollen and moisture levels. Fortunately, there’s another interesting way to combat airborne pollutants that is becoming more and more popular throughout Phoenix each year: UV bulbs.

The Science Behind the Method

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a frequency of light that mostly exists beyond the scope of human perception. It is emitted by the sun and is the force that leads to freckles and sunburn when you spend too much time outdoors. Aside from being a sort of light, UV is also a form of electromagnetic radiation. UV light is sorted into three categories, depending on how powerful the radiation it emits is:

  • UV-A (315 to 400 wavelength band) is more visible than the other two categories and is mostly harmless (used in black lights and tanning beds)
  • UV-B (280 to 315 wavelength band) is more robust and has enough energy to disrupt the DNA in skin cells, leading to skin cancer and sunburn
  • UV-C (100 to 280 wavelength band) is the most powerful of the three categories and can completely wipe out microscopic organisms by destroying their DNA

The UV-C classification of ultraviolet light is used in UV sanitation methods. While there is an abundance of UV-C outdoors to clean the environment naturally, it’s very rarely found in the enclosed, insulated spaces of modern homes. This is why it’s estimated that the number of pollutants inside homes can be more than 100 times higher than outdoor spaces.

How UV Light Is Used to Keep Air Clean

Of course, the solution to reducing the number of pollutants and microorganisms in your home isn’t just to fill it with UV lamps. While it would be an excellent way to get a sunburn indoors, it’s not a very effective way to keep the air clean. Instead, an effort should be made to concentrate the presence of UV light within critical parts of your air conditioning system. These lights keep your HVAC system clean, reducing the number of particles circulating throughout the air in your home.

Though UV sanitation lights in Phoenix can be installed in ducts, vents, and even near the ceiling in rooms, they’re most often found mounted near the drain pans or cooling coils of HVAC systems that use this technology. In these areas, the UV-C light can dramatically reduce the amount of mold and bacteria found in the air by reducing – or even stopping – their growth. These two areas are by far the most responsible for accumulating and shedding mold and bacteria, making them the ideal spots for UV cleaning to take place.

The Benefits of UV Sanitization

When you choose to implement UV bulbs to keep the air clean in your home, you’ll encounter a wide range of benefits. First and foremost is, of course, cleaner air throughout your home. While air filters provide an irreplaceable service when it comes to filtering out pet dander, pollen, and dust from the air in your home, many filters are powerless against the microscopic presence of bacteria, viruses, and mold. UV light can reduce or eliminate these unwelcome pollutants, making them a perfect complement to a good, efficient air filter.

For millions of Americans, this boost in air purity comes with the added benefit of more comfortable, healthier breathing. This boost in air quality is suitable for even the healthiest lungs, of course, but is even more beneficial for the 24 million people in the United States with asthma and the 50 million Americans who suffer from household allergies. By reducing the number of irritants in the air, you’re reducing the likelihood of hay fever or asthma attacks for both residents and guests who might otherwise be affected in your home.

Additionally, by keeping your HVAC system cleaner, you’re keeping your system more efficient. By killing off bacteria, mold, and other pollutants, you’re keeping your coils cleaner. Cleaner coils mean your system can work with less strain. Not only does this mean making your home’s operations more “green” in the long run, but it may also translate to reduced monthly energy bills. Installing UV bulbs is a simple step that keeps homes healthier and greener while bolstering your energy budget.

Finally, keeping your coils clean also means reducing the likelihood that you’ll need to perform expensive repairs soon. Dirty coils inside an HVAC system often lead to corrosion, leading to refrigerant leaks and other issues that keep your system from running effectively at best and contribute to a complete system breakdown at worst. Cleaning your coils with UV light serves as a form of preventative maintenance so your system can work better, longer.

Biocide Chambers

Biocide chambers are UV sanitization products that fit both above and below your cooling coil. The dual chambers are installed by a professional and work hard to bring you all the benefits of UV cleaning without any hassle on your part. After they’re installed, biocide chambers will:

  • Reduce the presence of mold and mildew
  • Keep your air conditioner coil sanitary
  • Reduce the presence of allergens in your home
  • Slow system corrosion
  • Keep coils clean to discourage refrigerant leaks
  • Keep your HVAC efficient and effective for longer
  • Improve the overall air quality of your home

It’s estimated that a good, top-of-the-line biocide chamber could reduce the presence of airborne threats such as viruses throughout your home by up to an astounding 99 percent. Used in tandem with an air filter with a suitable MERV rating and proper maintenance, these UV cleaning products will keep you breathing easy in your home year-round.

Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about how biocide chambers and other UV cleaning methods can keep your home clean and clear of airborne pollutants, contact Howard Air. Our team of HVAC professionals in Phoenix, AZ, are highly knowledgeable on the subject of UV lighting systems and can give you a thorough rundown of how, exactly, your home will benefit from the installation of one of these air cleaning systems. You deserve to breathe easy in your own home, regardless of whether you have asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Rely on the power of UV light to give you the clean air you need, and rely on our professionals to provide you with the professional installation you deserve.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / Nor Gal

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The Importance of a Legionella Maintenance Program in Cooling Towers

Closed due to Legionella

Two recent events in Atlanta, Georgia, underscores the importance of following a maintenance program for cooling towers to prevent the development of Legionella.

The first outbreak of Legionella happened at the Sheraton Atlanta in July of 2019. Six months later, more than 50 claims filed against the hotel prompted the parent company to file a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court. Attorney Jeffrey Diamond said, “It’s a type of a lawsuit called declaratory judgment in which the parties to an insurance policy-the insureds and the insurance companies- are going to litigate whether or not there is coverage for the claims of the people who are alleged to have been injured by the Legionella outbreak.”

In early August of 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) closed several of its building located in Atlanta because a team of inspectors discovered Legionella bacteria in the water system. The bacteria most likely grew during the extended Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

The CDC issued a statement that read, “During the recent closures at our leased space in Atlanta, working through the General Services Administration (GSA), CDC directed the landlord to take protective actions. Despite their best efforts, CDC has been notified that Legionella, which can cause ‘Legionnaires’ Disease, is present in some water sources in the buildings.” Since discovering the bacteria, the CDC shut down the facilities until the remediation project concludes.

What is ‘Legionnaires’ Disease?

A group of research biologists found Legionella bacteria among many attendees at a 1976 convention held in Philadelphia. The bacteria collect to create ‘Legionnaires’ disease, which patients contract by breathing water vapors that contain the bacteria. People over the age of 50, especially those with underlying lung problems, are the most vulnerable to the disease. Severe symptoms include the inability to breathe correctly, with around 15 percent of cases resulting in death. Other symptoms of the disease are acute fatigue and a persistent cough.

Cooling Towers and ‘Legionnaires’ Disease

What is the direct connection between legionnaires’ disease and a cooling tower? The answer lies in understanding cooling towers, as well as cooling tower maintenance.

Cooling towers operate as a part of an HVAC or process cooling system, typically for industrial infrastructures. Considered cost-effective and energy-efficient cooling centers operate in buildings that include schools, hospitals, industrial plants, and office buildings. Because they hold large quantities of water, cooling towers can produce Legionella bacteria if the systems do not receive regularly scheduled maintenance and have ineffective water treatment programs.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Legionella Growth in Cooling Towers

Because of the large size, cooling towers are considered difficult to clean. However, to prevent the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease withing cooling towers, you should follow a few tips for cooling tower maintenance.

Conduct Monthly Inspections

Inspecting cooling towers at least once a month helps identify areas where scale, biofilm, and sediment buildup occur. These are hotspots for Legionella to flourish. During the warmer months of the year, consider changing to a bi-weekly schedule of cooling tower maintenance.

Clean Basin Surfaces

Cleaning the basin of a cooling tower eliminates the places where harmful bacteria grow. Although basin cleaning can be a part of the monthly maintenance schedule, preventing the growth of Legionella requires a thorough basin cleaning at least once every two weeks. Attaching a powerful water filter can prevent the development of harmful slime.

Treat the Water

Contracting with a certified water treatment company should keep the water flowing through a cooling tower in pristine condition. Treatments like biocides can prevent the production of dangerous Legionella bacteria. Look at a water treatment program as one part of your cooling tower maintenance program, not a strategy that you should depend on by itself to prevent the outbreak of ‘Legionnaires’ disease.

Proper Sump Water Temperature

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) provides several recommendations on how to prevent Legionnaires’ disease in cooling towers. Perhaps the most crucial advice is to keep the temperature of the sump water below 68 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

Remove Stagnant Water

Stagnant water represents the ideal spot for bacteria, such as Legionella, to grow. By conducting dead leg and side-arm piping, you should eliminate stagnant water from a cooling tower.

Reduce the Drift Rate

A contaminated mist that forms within a cooling tower can enter the respiratory system of anyone sitting or standing next to a cooling tower. Using a mist eliminator should be a priority on your cooling tower maintenance list.

Clean the Fill

Cleaning the fill not only eliminates scale and slime, but it also enhances the flow of water inside a cooling tower. Control the growth of mold and bacteria such as Legionella by cleaning a cooling tower fill at least once a month.

Disinfect the Surfaces

Once surfaces have been cleaned, consider disinfecting with an EPA registered antimicrobial product, labeled explicitly for HVAC use. This can help keep microorganisms from flourishing between cleaning cycles.

Two more tips to complete the list of tasks for cooling tower maintenance. First, always wear protective equipment when cleaning a system to prevent the breathing of harmful Legionella bacteria. Second, always keep records of completed maintenance on cooling towers.

The Bottom Line

The two outbreaks of Legionella bacteria emphasize the importance of implementing preventive maintenance techniques on water systems, especially the vital water system component called cooling towers. A cooling tower maintenance product like the CTV-1501 and BioSpray Tower can prevent Legionella bacteria from tarnishing your ‘company’s hard-earned positive reputation.

CTV-1501 Towervac® Cooling Tower Vacuum eliminates bacteria like Legionella. The powerful suction of the vacuum removes mud, slime, and algae, which are contaminants that allow Legionella to flourish. You do not have to drain the entire water system, which saves time and prevents water loss.

As a complementary tool to prevent the development of Legionella bacteria, the BioSpray Tower works well on non-porous surfaces. The disinfectant kills 99.9% of the Legionella that develops in cooling towers.

Next Steps:

Find your perfect solution with our Complete Cooling Tower Maintenance Solutions from Goodway

Learn about Cooling Tower Fill Descaling

Get tips on Preventing Health Risks from Contamination in Cooling Towers

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Our Technician Sees Paint Disaster Looming, So He Saves The Day (And The Floor) With A Drop Cloth

367 – Mike Smith – Drop Cloth Blog 1024x538 - Our Technician Sees Paint Disaster Looming, So He Saves The Day (And The Floor) With A Drop Cloth

Recently our technician Mike was at a Santa Margarita completing an AC tune-up. He was outside and could see the family in the living room behind the big picture window.

What caught his attention was the family painting project going on. The homeowners were a young couple trying to paint the living room while also watching over their 2-year-old girl and infant son.

You could say they had their hands full!

Mom decided to have the 2-year-old help with the painting, but then the parents got distracted by their infant son.

The little girl started getting very free with the paint brush and Mike saw a messy disaster ahead. He grabbed his drop cloth and ran in to offer to lay it down.

The parents were very grateful for the practical suggestion and happy for the help.

Mike, that’s quick thinking and another thoughtful Good Deed For Free!

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