Summer storms don't have to mean bad air

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Summer storms don't have to mean bad air

Posted By MyGuy || 7-Sep-2013

Summer storms don't have to mean bad air

Breathing these days can be serious business. Dirt from the Haboobs carries spores (both mold and Valley Fever), allergens, germs, microbes and infectious disease. Although the HVAC systems are closed systems, Evaporative coolers and the building envelope of many homes allow the infiltration of the fine dust and particulates carried in the desert storms, which are then re-circulated through the ducts in your home by your air conditioning system. Luckily there are advanced cleaning and filtration strategies that you can take advantage of to clean up the air in your home.

There are also key filtration devices that will assist in keeping your house healthy.

  • Complete air duct cleaning per the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association) AR 2013 Standard is an effective solution to dealing with the regional storms.
  • Duct cleaning should always include checking for leakage and sealing the leaks that are found.
  • Negative pressure should be established in your system while it is scrubbed to prevent migration of any debris and irritants that cause illness.
  • Inspections for suspect microbial contamination should be followed by an application of an EPA approved antimicrobial to deal with these issues. Check out for great info, tips and videos on air duct cleaning.

There are also key filtration devices that will assist in keeping your house healthy.

Electrostatic filters are an efficient filtration medium that are available in varied efficiency ratings to avoid putting stress and backpressure on your system.

  1. Shaped and sized like your disposable, these convenient filters utilize the static charge created by the air movement past various layers of polypropylene media.
  2. These filters are washable and the quality brands will carry lifetime warranties.
  3. These type filters must be kept clean to avoid interfering with the flow of your HVAC system.

Viruses and Valley fever spores are spread through the air as well as by physical contact. A preventive strategy must include an effective method of air disinfection. Fortunately an ideal solution already exists. For over a century Germicidal Ultraviolet Irradiation or UVGI has been recognized as a highly effective tool against airborne and surface microbial infection.

UV light systems are routinely used for disinfection in hospitals, the food industry, and in water purification.

  1. In recent years there has been a tremendous growth in the number of UV lights installed in HVAC systems large and small as a means to reduce maintenance by suppressing mold growth and to provide healthier indoor air quality for occupants.
  2. These lights are effective because microbes have no defense against C-band ultraviolet light (UV-C) which is not present in daylight (it’s filtered out by the atmosphere). UV-C light sterilizes germs by penetrating their cell walls and scrambling the DNA inside leaving them incapable of reproduction. UV light works against H1N1 and all other influenza strains (including ‘bird’ flu) as well as SARS, Legionella, TB, pneumonia, German measles, and virtually all other airborne infectious diseases.

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air conditioning Engineers) now recommends the use of UV-C lights within HVAC systems as an effective way to reduce airborne biohazards.

  1. A single pass through the air system can sterilize up to 90% of airborne contaminants and a typical air handler will change the air four to five times an hour significantly reducing the risk of airborne microbial infection.
  2. There are many types of units available for home use but the dual bulb system is recommended as it has a better range for cleaning the passing air in your system. It is important when installing these units to follow the manufacturer's recommendations to avoid damaging your equipment.

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered Vacuums and Portable HEPA Air Cleaners will remove 99.97% of the particulates passing through them.

  1. Always clean using this filtration technology to avoid "stirring up the dirt" and re-suspending the particulates in the air.
  2. Microfiber cloths can be used to pick up fine particulates from furniture and floors. Ozone technology shouldnever be utilized in a home to address indoor air quality. Keeping the airstream clean is paramount to breathing healthy air!

If you feel there is a problem with the air in your home, consider consulting an IAQ (indoor air quality) Specialist

  • Home test kits are available cheaply, but are inconclusive when you don't properly sample nor have any idea how to read the tests.
  • Spending a little of your budget on an expert can save a lot of time and money down the road.
  • A professional will know where to look and how to treat issues.
  • They can advise you on how to clean and protect the air in your home while maintaining your budget.
Categories: Home Improvement

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