Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

Indoor Air Quality

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Pollution is at an all-time rise during this summer. Everyday our ecosystem takes a tough beating from the natural and human caused pollutants that prey on our source oxygen. Because our air is filled with smug and filth; having quality indoor air is ideal and important. In order to accomplish a healthy flow of air, you have to be sure that your homes air conditioning system is up to par.
Without having a proper air flow in your home; you are putting not only yourself, but your loved ones at high risk of unhealthy business. The pollutants and toxins that enter your home from the outdoors can be things like: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulfur dioxide. These harmful toxins have the power of causing respiratory illness, lung or heart disease, cancer, brain damage, and possibly even death.
There are protective measures you can take in order to protect the health of yourself and loved ones alike. You need to take an overall assessment of your air conditioning system. You see, your air conditioner has the ability to filter out the harmful debris that attempts to infect and destroy your health. You can provide a safe guard for your home and keep the air flow pollutant free by checking to see if your air conditioner is fully sealed. If it is not fully sealed, this means that extra air is being let in and out; this loose air is not being filtered and is ruining your home. You also need to be sure that you change your air filter regularly. Every three months is ideal. An air filter is the main component to trapping the toxins that threaten your indoor air quality.
If you are experiencing any worries about your homes air conditioning system it is best advised to seek immediate professional help from a licensed technician from Air National Tampa. Air National Tampa is dedicated to improving the quality of your everyday life, one breath of fresh air at a time.

 

Helpful Tips from Air National Tampa

Friday, April 13th, 2012

When to Schedule Your
Annual Maintenance Exam for your AC Unit

Regularly changing air filters and other maintenance tasks are very important during the cooling season, but what should you do for your air conditioner to get ready for the summer months? Spring is the perfect time to schedule your yearly tune-up. Having a professional HVAC contractor inspect your air conditioner and catch any problems before the season starts is one of the top benefits of the annual exam. Read more about the benefits of having your AC unit tuned up before summer arrives.

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Tampa | Spring Cleaning | Air National

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring is a great time to clean your home from top to bottom, which includes your HVAC system. While duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning should be handled by a professional contractor, there are some cleaning tasks you should do once a year to help improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Take advantage of the change in season and learn how to properly clean your HVAC system with these tips.

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Your Tampa AC and Your Energy Recovery Ventilator

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

As a Tampa homeowner with an air conditioning system, you know that it costs plenty to keep your home cool and comfortable in the summer. It is an expense you are willing to pay for the comfort and overall health of your family, but if you are like most homeowners, you would do anything to lower your monthly electric bills where possible.

One way to make your Tampa air conditioning system a little more efficient is to install an energy recovery ventilator. Read on to learn what energy recovery ventilator is and how it works alongside your AC system to reduce energy loss and improve indoor comfort control.

What Is an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

Not to be confused with a heat recovery ventilator, an energy recovery ventilator is a mechanical device that transfers heat and water vapor between the incoming (i.e. outside) air and outgoing air being moved by your ventilation system.

The main difference between an energy recovery ventilator and a heat recovery ventilator is that the former transfers both heat and moisture, while the latter transfers only heat.

What Does an Energy Recovery Ventilator Do?

What does that transfer mean for your air conditioning system? Well, in the hot summer months, your air conditioner pulls in warm air from the outside, cools it and then blasts it into your home, while exhausting warm air to the outside.

What an energy recovery ventilator does is make that process a little easier for the air conditioner to handle by transferring heat from the warm air coming in to the exhaust air that the AC is blowing out of the house. The incoming air therefore has to be cooled less, which means your AC doesn’t have to work as hard, which means less electricity is used.

Many users of energy recovery ventilator systems report that the moisture exchange also makes the air in their homes feel “fresher,” rather than the stale feel that air conditioning can sometimes produce.

So, if you would like to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of running your Tampa AC system, consider an energy recovery ventilator as one possible solution. If you have any questions about how to save energy and improve the indoor air quality in your home, give Air National a call today!

Tampa Indoor Air Quality Guide: What Makes A Home Healthy?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

You may think of your Tampa home as safe from pollution, unfortunately, there are ways that contaminants can enter your home. By taking some simple precautions, however, you can maintain a healthy home environment for yourself and your family.

Breathe Easier

Air quality is an important factor in good health, and just because you close the door behind you when you come home does not mean potentially contaminated air can’t creep into the house. Here are some tips to help you breathe easier:

  • Inspect your home’s ventilation system every spring to ensure it is good repair. Change the filter annually and keep the vents clean.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors around your home, especially near appliances and fireplaces.
  • Do not smoke and do not allow others to smoke inside.
  • Have your ducts cleaned to get rid of dust and allergens

Hydrate Safely

Depending on where you live, your water supply may be at risk for a number of different contaminants. Being aware of the risks that exist in your local area is important, as is taking steps to keep the water you drink clean and healthy. Some examples include:

  • Test well water for bacteria and nitrates. E. coli for example can live in well water and cause infection, so have your well treated at the first sign.
  • If you have lead pipes in your home, have them replaced. Lead is a neurotoxin that can build up and poison you over time.
  • Use a purification system to cleanse your water of chlorine, heavy metals, nitrates, and other potential contaminants that may have run into the local water table.

Keep It Clean

Finally, the most basic way to ensure you have a healthy home is to practice good hygiene and cleaning habits:

  • Disinfect bathroom and kitchen surfaces to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Vacuum regularly to prevent dust and allergen buildup.
  • Wash dishes and utensils after use, especially after contact with raw food.
  • Wash linens weekly in hot water to kill microbes and prevent the spread of disease.
  • As always, the most important of all: wash your hands, and encourage children to do the same.

Simple, careful practices like these will make a positive impact on your health and that of your family.

If you have any questions about how to improve the indoor air quality in your Tampa home, give Air National a call today!

 

Carollwood HVAC Tip: Seasonal Air Quality Control

Friday, February 17th, 2012

For people who suffer from seasonal allergies in Carollwood, air quality is a key concern. Allergens in the air cause brutal bouts of sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and even sinus headaches. Even taking refuge indoors will often not assuage these symptoms, as indoor air is often comparable to outdoor air in terms of allergens and overall quality.

That is, unless you take care to control the seasonal air quality in your Carollwood home, which can not only help ease the suffering of allergies, but also soothe asthmatics, keep out pollutants and generally promote better overall health.

How do you go about controlling the air quality in your home? To start, try these simple tips:

  1. Vacuum carpets regularly. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and invest in some allergen suppressing bags.
  2. Keep your vents clean. This is also a good maintenance practice to lengthen the life of your ventilation equipment.
  3. Dust hard surfaces and wash bed linens weekly.
  4. Install HEPA filters in your ventilation system, such as in air conditioners or other air handler units. Use a higher rated filter to keep out more allergens and pollutants.
  5. Invest in and use an air purifier. Again, make sure to get one with a HEPA filter.
  6. Have your home tested for radon and carbon monoxide. Have smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors working properly at all times.
  7. Keep doors and windows closed tight, especially during allergy season(s).

By taking charge of the air quality in your home, you also take control of a measure of your family’s health. Some of these measures require at least a bit of an investment – for example, higher rated HEPA air filters are often more expensive and need to be changed more frequently – but the benefits to your well being and that of your family are clearly well worth it. If you have any questions about how to improve your indoor air quality, give Air National a call today!

 

Elfers Indoor Air Quality Guide: How an Electronic Air Filter Works

Monday, February 13th, 2012

For a long time, the most frequently used kind of air filter in Elfers has been the mechanical variety. This is the kind you probably think of when you hear the terms air filter, air cleaner or air purifier. They use pleated fibrous filters in-line with an air handler to trap particles in the air before circulating it back out into the home.

Many models of these work very well and have for many years. They have the added benefit of being flexible because you can put in whatever filter you need depending on what size particles you need to trap.

However, these traditional devices are not the only option. A second kind of air filter exists for trapping particles in the air– one that does not use a fibrous filter that physically snags them out of the air on the way through.

These electrostatic — or electronic — air filters work in a different way to produce a similar result. The filtering component is still a fibrous sheet, but the difference is that the fibers are made of plastic, which becomes charged when air passes through it and causes friction.

(Think something like when you rub a balloon and stick it to the wall.)

These friction-charged fibers carry an electronic charge, which attracts the ions in the air around it. These ions — and the particles that they are a part of — get trapped in the fibers and stay out of your air supply.

Electronic air filters are generally very good at trapping particles that are 1 micron in size or higher, putting them about on par with a mechanical air filter that carries a MERV rating of 12. The electrostatic method works well for many common household air pollutants, such as dust, pollen, mold and pet dander.

As with many ventilation-related decisions, the choice of what kind of indoor air quality system is right for you depends on your needs and those of your family. If you are having trouble deciding, then a consultation with Air National can be a good way to reach a decision.

Lithia HVAC Question: What Type of Air Cleaner Is Best for People with Pets?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Lots of people have pets in Lithia, and they are a great addition to your family. However, pet ownership has one very obvious drawback: dander. The fur, dry skin cells and other debris that pets carry around flakes off their bodies and onto your furniture and rugs. The also means they inevitably wind up in your air, recirculated through your whole house via your HVAC system.

Or at least, that’s what happens if you don’t have an air cleaner or some sort of air filtration system. This leads many pet owners to ask, “what is the best air cleaner for me?”

With all the choices in air cleaners, the choice can seem daunting. If the goal is specifically to filter out pet dander, it becomes somewhat easier.

Pet dander is quite large in size relation to other indoor air pollutants, so many air cleaners are equipped to do the job. You can use an air cleaner with a standard pleated HEPA filter, or one that uses electrostatic technology. You will want to make sure that the HEPA filter is rated to handle pet dander. A MERV rating of 8 or more is recommended.

Once you have an air cleaner installed, make sure to change or clean the air filter frequently, in accordance with manufacturer instructions. A clogged air filter won’t help eliminate pet dander from your household air and can actually degrade the operation of your HVAC system’s air handler.

In addition to installing a high quality air cleaner with a HEPA filter, you can also help reduce the amount of pet dander floating around your home by keeping the place clean. Vacuuming often and dusting hard surfaces weekly keeps pet hair and dander from being drawn up into the HVAC system, which reduces wear on the air cleaner.

If you have any questions about getting an indoor air quality system installed in your house, give Air National a call today!

Did You Change that Furnace Filter? A Guide from Locoochee

Monday, November 28th, 2011

No matter what type of furnace you have, it’s important to remember to change or clean the filter on a regular basis. This is a relatively straightforward process and doesn’t require a Locoochee contractor’s help. However, if you’re not sure how to go about doing it, you can always have your heating technician demonstrate the process for you on their next regular maintenance visit.

Indeed, changing or cleaning out the furnace filter is an important part of regular furnace maintenance. However, it often needs to be done more than once a year. The specific amount of time that you can go between filter changes depends on many things, but typically it’s good to check on it once every three months or so.

If you have a lot of pets or if anyone in your family has severe allergies, it may be worth it to check and change the filter even more often. Check with the manufacturer to see what their recommendations are as well. Some high performance furnace filters can last up to six months or even a year, but you should still check on the filter periodically to make sure that too much hasn’t built up on it in between replacements or cleanings.

You’ll need to make sure you have the right type of filter to install as a replacement as well. You can get this information from the owner’s manual of your furnace, from the manufacturer or by taking out and examining the current filter in your furnace. Some furnaces also have filters that are meant to be cleaned and then put back in and the cleaning instructions are usually located near the filter itself.

Of course, in order to change your filter you’ll first have to be able to find it. Most of the time, the filter will be located near the blower towards the bottom of the furnace. However, if you’re not having much luck finding it, your owner’s manual should be able to tell you quickly where it is and how to remove it. Before you go to open the chamber and take the filter out, however, be sure you’ve turned off the power to the furnace.

Changing your furnace filter can help improve the air quality in your home and it is also very important when it comes to keeping your furnace running efficiently and effectively. The filters are there to trap airborne particles that can get into the blower and clog it up. When that happens, the performance of your furnace will likely drop and you’ll need to have a professional come out and complete the necessary repairs.

Common Types of Air Cleaning Devices: A Guide from Gibsonton

Monday, November 21st, 2011

In recent years in Gibsonton, you’ve likely heard dozens of warnings from newscasters, community publications and local contractors about the dangers of indoor pollutants. That’s a good thing: the air in your home, if left untreated, can be a significant health risk to you and your family. But, how do you choose an air cleaner that will get the job done? Let’s take a closer look at the options currently available and what each of them has to offer.

Air Filters

Air filters are the simplest form of air cleaning. They are designed to capture particles that stay airborne long enough to reach the filter. They don’t work well to capture all large particles, however, because they tend to settle before they reach the filter device. Proper air flow is necessary to supplement the process and remove more pollutants.

High efficiency filters with an MERV rating of 14 or higher are recommended, though HEPA filters (which have an MERV of 17-20) are preferred for their ability to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. In-duct particle removal is a good upgrade as well because it filters moving air and captures more particles.

UVGI and PCO Cleaners

These cleaners are designed to kill pollutants like bacteria and mold. They are usually installed in the ductwork or air cleaner and while the effectiveness of either has yet to be properly measured there is a growing trend to include them in systems where homes experience a large number of allergic reactions or asthma symptoms.

Ozone Generators

There are still some systems that produce ozone as they circulate air back and attract it to a filter for removal. The results are mixed and ozone itself can be a significant irritant to the lungs, so it’s unclear whether these actually work very well.

Which Is Best?

It really depends on the pollutants you’re trying to remove. The best course of action is to discuss with a contractor the best combination of technologies to remove pollutants from your indoor air.

What is Air Purification? A Question from Largo

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The air around us is getting more and more polluted these days in Largo, and people are trying to do more and more to combat it. Cars come with ratings like ‘ultra-low emission vehicle’ and windmills generate power from moving air rather than burning coal. No doubt, these efforts help, but if you want to take an active role in improving the quality of air in your own home, consider an air purification system.

Simply put, air purification is the process of removing contaminants and pollutants from the air. There are a number of devices on the market that can purify the air in your home. While anyone can enjoy the benefits of cleaner air, they are of particular utility for people which suffer from asthma or allergies, or who live in areas with higher concentrations of outdoor air pollution.

There are three main kinds of air purifiers, categorized by the kind of technology they use:

  1. HEPA filtration
  2. Negative ion generation
  3. Electrostatic precipitation

HEPA filtration purifiers simply filter the air that passes through them using a sieve-like filter or series of filters. Depending on the efficiency of the device and the filter, some of these purifiers can trap not only solid and like particles, but also gases and odors. One advantage of this type of purifier is that the HEPA filters can last for years before they need to be changed.

Negative ion generation and electrostatic precipitation models are more complicated and technical because of the technology they use. Consult with a professional to choose which kind of technology is best for your needs, depending on the air quality problem you are experiencing. Some air purifiers can trap bacteria, viruses, fungi or chemicals, so there is bound to be one that will suit your needs.

After deciding on which type of technology you need, you will also have to choose whether you want a portable air purifier unit or a central system that covers the whole house. Obviously the former works well if you are only concerned about the air in a room or two, while the latter is better if you have chronic asthma or a more widespread air quality problem.