Ultravation News and Information Center

What is Pressure Drop?

Pressure Drop DiagramThe term “Pressure Drop” gets used a lot in the indoor air quality industry, but it isn’t always well defined. The Wikipedia definition of pressure drop is as follows:

Pressure drop is a term used to describe the decrease in pressure from one point in a pipe or tube to another point downstream.

This applies to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) when we talk about air filtration. When air is drawn through an HVAC system with a filter installed, that filter will create some resistance to the airflow. As a result, the difference in air pressure in the ductwork on one side of the filter versus the other side of the filter is what HVAC professionals refer to as pressure drop. Too much Filter clogged with dustpressure drop indicates too much resistance to the airflow and that an HVAC system is struggling to process the air. This wastes energy and accelerates wear and tear, as the blower has to work harder and run longer to achieve the desired temperature at the thermostat. The trick is to install an air filtration system that is effective without creating excessive pressure drop such as an Ultravation ProgressiveMedia Whole House Air Cleaner.

However, dirty filters are still the most common cause of excessive pressure drop. That’s why it is so important that filters are changed on a regular basis. When you use Ultravation ProgressiveMedia™ air filters, it is typically best to replace a 5” thick pleated air filter every 6 months. If you live in a particularly dusty climate you may need to change it more often. If you have acute allergies, monitor your filter and symptoms closely to determine what your ideal replacement schedule should be. For people with 1” filters in their air handler, the filter usually needs to be replaced once a month.

Are Holiday Food Odors Overstaying Their Welcome?

Food OdorsThe holidays are a great time to gather together and have a good time – especially with delicious foods! But whether you’re baking Christmas cookies or cooking up latkes, sometimes those wonderful smells can overstay their welcome. Do you have trouble eliminating indoor air odors? Consider installing a photocatylitic oxidation (PCO) air purifier in your HVAC air handler.

Remove Stubborn Indoor Air Odors and Pollution

PCO freshens the air in a new way, breaking up indoor air odors and pollution molecules as they pass through the purifier installed in the HVAC system. The whole process works much the same way a catalytic converter processes complex car engine emissions, so there is no adding fragrances or other odor masks that so-called “air fresheners” use. There are no harmful by-products (the PCO process results in common elements found in the air) and is completely safe for your friends and loved ones.

So with PCO, you can send out the invitations and enjoy the party with the confidence that your air will not suffer that after-party “household halitosis”!

More on odor control indoors:

Ultravation receives Vermont Employment / Accommodation Award in Manufacturing

Wayne Snow, Production Manager, Honored

The Employment / Accommodation Award in Manufacturing is presented to an employer operating a manufacturing facility whose employment practices reflect the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This award is presented to Wayne Snow, of Ultravation, Inc.

Ultravation accepts award

Wayne Snow, Ultravation, Inc. with Dr. Susan Wehry, Commissioner of the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living

Ultravation has had a long standing relationship with the Rutland offices of Vocational Rehabilitation and VABIR and is an excellent community partner with the Creative Worforce Solution initiatives. In the past year Ultravation has employed and accommodated several new hires and has also sponsored progressive employment activities such as informational interviews, job shadows, assessments and plant tours. In his capacity as production manager, Wayne has worked very closely with clients referred by these organizations and through the local school-to-work program, striving to help them gain an accurate understanding of the work world. He has provided skill-building information including appropriate workplace behaviors to students with a wide variety of disabilities including autism, learning differences, and mobility and cognitive impairments. He also promotes the employment of people with disabilities by sharing his experiences with other businesses, doing this in a way that his nominators – Gloria Vitale, David Sagi, and Karen Letourneau of VABIR and VocRehab in Rutland – describe as “always acting in a manner that demonstrates respect and dignity to all their clients. He is dedicated and offers his time and commitment to provide great opportunities for our clients for success.”

Article courtesy of Vermont Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.

Allergies and You: Is your Christmas tree bringing out holiday sniffles?

Holiday AllergiesAhhh the Christmas season! Full of good food, good cheer and good fun. Unfortunately, it can also bring on sneezing, watery eyes and scratchy throats. For those of us that celebrate Christmas, there is a focal point in nearly every household: the Christmas tree. Some people buy a live tree, others have an artificial one but both can trigger allergic reactions.

Christmas Trees trigger allergic reactions

Live trees can bring microscopic spores of mold inside. Some types of trees, like juniper and cedar, can pollinate in the winter months, causing more sneezing and irritation. Artificial trees and even the decorations you pull out of storage to adorn your home can introduce a new burst of dust and mold depending on how and where they were stored during the year.

So don’t let your holiday spirit be curtailed by your Christmas tree! Keep your filters fresh and change UV lamps when needed! The holiday season is no time to be suffering from allergies. It’s a time to celebrate and enjoy yourself!


Learn more about Ultravation ProgressiveMedia filtration.

Learn more about Ultravation UV air treatment.

Learn more about Ultravation PCO air purification.




Allergies and You: Combat Winter Allergens

For our readers in the north, even though the pollen has died down and the leaves have fallen off the trees, it doesn’t mean that allergy sufferers are off the hook. There are a variety of indoor winter allergens that can still plague us.

One of the most important things you can do to reduce your winter allergy symptoms is to change your air filter regularly. A dirty air filter will not only recirculate particulate that has already been collected, but it can also create excessive air resistance in the HVAC sustem, which wastes energy. If you are still using the typical 1″ furnace filter, consider a quality 5″ pleated filter for much better results and fewer filter changes. You should also have your ductwork cleaned annually, preferably in the fall. If you don’t have central air conditioning, dust and dirt can infiltrate a homes’ ductwork over the summer. When you turn on your heating for the first time, all that particulate gets kicked up and circulated, triggering allergic reactions.

Other allergen concerns are a little less obvious. Since November and December each have major holidays and most people have decorations that they like to set up. But those decorations – having been stored for a year – can collect dust and even grow mold. Even Christmas trees can cause allergic reactions for some people (more on this topic to come). Family and friends are also a big part of our winter celebrations and – sorry to say – they can be a source of allergens too. Pet dander and other irritants hitching a ride on clothing and shoes when people visit can be a source for allergic reactions.

Quality indoor air contributes to the comfort of a home in all seasons!  And the more allergen-free the better. To learn more about Ultravation’s indoor air quality products, please visit our website.

Happy Holidays!

Allergies and You: Fall Allergies

Fall allergies

Now that it’s autumn, there is a whole new list of things that will make you sneeze and cough, with ragweed at the top of the list. WebMD had a great article describing what these allergens are and why they make your nose run. But don’t despair! Ultravation ProgressiveMedia whole house air cleaners for HVAC systems can help ease your worst allergy symptoms. Collect the spores (10 – 30 microns), pollen (10-1000 microns) and dust mites (.1 – 300 microns) discussed in the article as they find their way into your indoor air. Visit Ultravation.com to determine what filter is right for you!

What are VOCs?

Cleaning products create VOCsVolatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are gases that are given off of certain solids or liquids at room temperature. VOCs can be produced by either man-made items or by naturally occurring chemical compounds. In fact, many scents or odors you smell are volatile organic compounds and some of them can be potentially harmful to your health.

VOCs can be found in a variety of places, but mostly they are found indoors. Household cleaners, carpets, dry cleaning, adhesives, paint and even new furniture give off, or “off-gas”, VOCs. That’s why the concentrations of VOCs are so much higher inside. The gases get released into the air, and without proper ventilation there is no way for them to escape.

Paint and varnish create VOCsSome people experience throat and eye irritation when exposed to elevated amounts of VOCs, while others don’t seem to be affected as much. A small exposure to these VOCs won’t cause any serious damage to your health, but long-term exposure can. That’s why it’s so important to know what volatile organic compounds are and how to prevent them from building up.

Ultravation’s UVPhotoMAX™ and Photronic™ Advanced Oxidation Air Purifiers are designed to destroy VOCs by employing an advanced photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) process that uses an exclusive titanium dioxide formula. They install in your HVAC system and are effective for the whole house.

Break down of VOCs

Learn more about the UVPhotoMAX™ air purifier here – the web page includes a video on the PCO process.

Learn more about Photronic™ comprehensive air cleaning system here.

See a list of hundreds of VOCs here

To learn more about volatile organic compounds please visit these websites:

WebMD® Slideshow of Indoor Air Pollutants

People all over are taking notice of indoor air quality. Recently, WebMD® published a slideshow of indoor air pollutants and how they can affect people, especially children. The slides reveal a number of common household items and projects that can easily contaminate the air. Take a look at the WebMD® Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution slideshow and see what we mean.

There are ways to safely remove VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) from the air in a home. Ultravation’s UVPhotoMAX breaks down the VOCs using photocatalytic oxidation powered by ultraviolet light, reducing or eliminating odors and the harmful compounds in the air. It is important to keep the VOCs in check, because some of them can be very detrimental to the health of you and your family.


Learn more about UVPhotoMAX (includes video!)


Indoor Odors: Why does my kid’s room still smell like stinky socks after I’ve done the laundry?

Stinky SocksIf 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:


Ultravation T3 Lamp Technology

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.