If you have an HVAC system, it’s actually much easier than you might think to make your indoor air better. By following a few simple steps, you can dramatically improve your indoor air quality with little muss or fuss.
1. Check for leaky connections in your ductwork. If you have a loose juncture, gaps between the register and the wall, or even holes in the ductwork, those leaks can draw in dust from one part of your home, carry it through the HVAC system and dump it out the other end. Calling your trusted HVAC contractor to come in and fix the leaks is an important first step toward good indoor air quality.
2. Have a quality air filtration system installed. Now that your leaky ductwork has been taken care of, capturing the dust, dirt, pet dander, and other large particle contamination that circulates with the air through your HVAC system is the next priority. Using a high quality filter (MERV 11 or MERV13) is the best way to collect as much contamination as possible.
3. Install a germicidal Ultraviolet light in your air handler. This will stop mold from growing on the cooling coil and drain pan. All the air that circulates through the air handler must pass through this section of the system. That means all the air that is sent back into your living or working areas has passed through the mold and other bio-growth that is growing on the coil, which will take with it millions of mold spores. The UV light kills all that bacteria and mold, keeping the coil and the air clean. (Mold is the fifth most common allergen indoors!) Keep in mind, too, that the cleaner the coil the more energy efficient the HVAC system is — you’ll save on your energy bill!
4. If you have trouble with odors in your home, consider installing an air purifier that goes beyond filtration. Pairing UV light with Titanium Dioxide creates a process known as photocatalytic oxidation (PCO). The PCO process breaks up organics, eliminating stubborn odors from the air while doing away with airborne pathogens and allergens at the same time. PCO air purification is especially helpful if you are an avid home renovator because it oxidizes all airborne organics, including fumes from home projects like paint, new carpet smell, adhesives – all kinds of “off-gasing” materials.
Even if you’ve never heard of Ignaz Semmelweis, you probably follow his advice multiple times a day. He discovered that there was a connection between washing your hands and spreading disease, which started the ball rolling on germ theory! Before his work, people had no idea that there was a connection between cleanliness and illness. Unfortunately, no one really believed him until well after his death. Read the rest of this entry »
Cold and Flu season has hit Americans hard this year. In fact, according to the CDC over 5,000 people have been hospitalized already, and we’re not even through the season yet. After picking up a bug at school, work or any other public place, we bring it home and spread it even further. But you can help reduce or eliminate the spreading of germs throughout your home by using UV light in your air handler.
As infected air passes through an HVAC system, it carries germs from one room to another. But Ultraviolet (UVC) light, a natural component of sunlight, eliminates many bacterium, viruses, odors and allergens by disrupting their DNA and rendering them harmless. By installing a UV light in your HVAC system, you can restrict the amount of germs that get re-circulated through your home, keeping you and your family healthier during this high Flu season.
Even though the Flu is a respiratory illness, it is generally not transmitted by air (unless in close proximity). Using UV light can still help prevent it from wreaking havoc in your household. If germs keep getting re-circulated through your home, you run the risk of being perpetually sick, weakening your immune system. Then the Flu can sneak in and hit you hard. By reducing the amount of other germs you are exposed to, you give your body a better chance to fight off the Flu more quickly, if you should happen to catch it. Now, because the Flu is a direct and indirect contact virus, it is important to take other precautions as well. Keep your hands washed and surfaces disinfected. If you sneeze or cough, use a tissue instead of your hands if you can.
Want to know the Flu level in your area? Track the Flu using this handy tool.
Learn more about Ultravation UV products
If you’re struggling to control foul odors coming from your kid’s room, then this article is for you. While frequent laundering of gym socks is of course an excellent practice, there is a good reason why it might not solve the whole odor problem. Odors can “leak” off stinky socks, a gym bag, or a moldy sandwich left under the bed for three weeks, and hang in the air. Without proper ventilation, those smells can penetrate the drywall, wood carpets and other materials in your home if left untreated long enough. So how do you stop these smelly odors? The answer is a very interesting technology called photocatalytic oxidation (PCO).
When titanium dioxide (TiO2) is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, highly reactive molecules called superoxide ions are formed. These ions are very useful. They react beautifully with odor molecules (that are generally VOCs or volatile organic compounds), oxidizing them by “stealing” their electrons. This reaction causes the odor molecule to break apart and reform into simpler molecules —mostly CO2 and a little water vapor. The creation of the superoxide ions and the reaction with odor molecules is known as photocatalytic oxidation. Long story short, PCO freshens the air by breaking up indoor air pollution as it passes through the HVAC filtration. It stops odors without adding fragrances and other odor masking solutions that so-called “air fresheners” use. And there are no harmful byproducts released into the air since the PCO process results in harmless elements already found in the air.
Ultravation’s UVPhotoMAX™ – a whole house UVC germicidal and odor neutralizing air purifier – uses the power of PCO to reduce odors. Install one in your HVAC system and let your nose be the judge. Gradually, your whole home – even the kids rooms – should smell fresher and cleaner. AND, it does more than just odor reduction. It also uses the UV light to kill airborne bacteria and viruses – any type of airborne organic. So, it’s actually a two-for-one system: odor reducer and germ fighter.
To learn more about Ultravation’s products that reduce odors in the air, please visit:
There are several ultraviolet (UV) lamp designs that are used in germicidal disinfection. High output UV lamps provide more intensity but at a cost in energy consumption. Ultravation’s T3 (Thermal Transfer Technology) UV lamp utilizes a quartz glass sleeve that encases the UV lamp, protecting it from the passing cold air in an HVAC system. This creates more UV output— up to 50% more germ and mold killing power – without using any additional energy, simply because it keeps the lamp at a more favorable operating temperature.
Over the past few weeks, we have discussed the importance of scheduled replacements of UV lamps and air filters to keep indoor air quality optimized. But did you know that combining ultraviolet light disinfection and air filtration creates a comprehensive IAQ system that adds up to more than the sum of its parts? By working together, these units can eliminate a much wider range of indoor air contaminants then they ever could separately. Let’s take a deeper look:
The frequency of changing a UV lamp for effective indoor air quality improvement depends on how you are using the system. Typically, a UV lamp being used primarily to disinfect the air circulating through a home or small office should be replaced every 9000 hours or approximately every 12 months. For people with respiratory conditions or other acute sensitivities, we strongly recommend keeping to an annual lamp replacement schedule for the best control of airborne microorganisms and allergens. Read the rest of this entry »
Don't let this happen to your home.
We all agree that having central air conditioning and heating can be a blessing, but it can also carry a bit of a curse. The fact is, your HVAC system could be breeding mold in YOUR home right now! As air circulates through a home, airborne mold, bacteria and viruses are drawn into the HVAC system and accumulate on the cooling coils and in the drain pan. These areas are ideal environments for mold to grow due to the moisture that condenses on surfaces as the air is dehumidified. As air flows through the HVAC system, it not only “drops off” additional spores, it “picks up” millions of mold spores from the infected coil and drain pan and distributes them to every room in the house. Aside from the fact that mold growing anywhere in your home needs to be addressed, having it centrally distributed by your HVAC system raises major concerns about the health of everyone in the household. Read the rest of this entry »
Ultraviolet light to control airborne allergens and microorganisms
Our strategic partner, Philips Lighting, in their article Protecting our world: Philips ultraviolet lamps – for the purification of water, air and surfaces brochure shares with us that “Air pollution is … a predominant factor in the spread of common diseases such as flu epidemics… ”
Learn how Ultravation’s UltraMAX™, a whole house germicidal UV air and surface disinfection treatment system, can improve the healthfulness of the air in your entire home. UVC light is well known to kill bacteria and viruses. UltraMAX™ features advanced UVC lamp technology to disinfect the air and stop mold growth on HVAC coils and other interior HVAC surfaces.
View Philips’ articles in UV Lamps for purification brochure
In support of the American Lung Association, we are raising donations in a healthy and fun way.
Come by Ultravation’s exhibit (booths 3064/3164) at the 2010 AHR EXPO – January 25-27, 2010 – at the Orange Country Convention Center in Orlando, Florida and take the challenge – The Long Drive Challenge, that is, for your chance to win some fantastic prizes playing Wii golf.
Our Grand Prize is a top of the line Photronic comprehensive whole house air purification system – up to a $1600 value. Other prizes include a custom Ultravation IAQ System for your home (up to $800 worth of Ultravation IAQ products), Amazon Kindle ($260 value), Apple IPod Touch ($250 value), and a $150 gift certificate to your favorite restaurant. A $5 donation to American Lung Association allows you three drives to win and Ultravation will match 100% of donations. And there are no limitations to how many times you can play. High scores will be posted so visit us often to see your status. Winners will be announced on the final day of the show.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through Education, Advocacy and Research. Learn more about the American Lung Association and how you too can join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Visit our our newly expanded commercial and residential exhibits showcasing our extensive product line of Indoor Air Quality Systems including UVMatrixEZ, an easy to install single-lamp UV light system for hard-to-fit specialized HVAC systems such as PTAC units or cooling equipment such as ice machines where controlling bio-growth on cooling coils is vital. Consider the opportunities for your company with the UVMatrixFS, specifically created for hospital rooms, public areas, and office spaces – a 100% quiet but effective air disinfection system that treats the naturally circulating air with focused UVC light.
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