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Winter Indoor Air Quality

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During cold Midwest winters, it can be difficult to maintain a proper balance between ventilation and insulation in your home. We keep our doors shut and seal our windows to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. This helps trap in the heat, but it can also trap in contaminants, which could lead to poor indoor air quality.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks. Poor indoor air quality contributes to respiratory problems, asthma, and allergies. To address this issue, homeowners can take steps to eliminate pollutants and properly ventilate their homes.

Air cleaning devices are useful for controlling the cleanliness of the air that circulates throughout your home. There are different types of air cleaning devices that you can choose from depending on your needs.

UV Sanitizers

UV sanitizing lights for HVAC systems use ultraviolet radiation to clean the air. They target microbes that are hard to capture using air filters and standard air purifiers. They sterilize all organic particles that pass by them, so they’re especially effective at killing mold and mildew.

These types of UV lights have been used for many years in grocery stores, restaurants, medical facilities, and so on. The radiation level is not high enough to harm your family or your pets, but it is powerful enough to zap bacteria and germs. There are two types of UV sanitizing lights for HVAC systems: coil sterilization and air sterilization.

Coil lights are the most common. These are stick-type lights that are installed in areas where they can directly shine on the surface of the coil. Since they run nonstop, they can become less effective over time. The bulbs should be replaced about once a year during your routine HVAC maintenance.

Air sterilizing UV lights are installed within the duct system. They disinfect air as it passes through the return duct. Air sterilization lights are more efficient because they can be wired to turn on and off as the blower runs, but they can also be more costly to install.

Electronic Air Cleaners

Standard air filters trap particles as air passes through them, but electronic air cleaners take it one step further. They take a more active role in cleaning the air by using electricity to attract and eliminate dust, dirt, and microbes. They reduce the number of airborne contaminants, making your air cleaner and freshening your home.

So, how do electronic air cleaners work? First, air passes through a pre-filter which captures all the large particles, like dust and hair. Any particles that are too small to be caught in the pre-filter, like bacteria and mold, then pass through the ionizing section. This section charges the particles and causes them to clump together, trapping them on collector plates before they can recirculate through into your home. Then you can easily remove, clean, and replace the plates to ensure the unit is working at its peak performance level.

Electronic air cleaners are installed as a component of your HVAC system, usually in the return air duct. Although electronic air cleaners are usually more expensive, they are very efficient and effective.

American Star Total Home Comfort can recommend a variety of UV sanitizing lights and electronic air cleaners to meet your needs. Give us a call to discuss your options and to schedule an installation.

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