G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for the ‘Air Purification’ Category

Differences Between Mechanical and Electronic Air Cleaners

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Air cleaners not only improve the quality of your indoor air, they can also improve your health. When it comes to choosing an air cleaner, homeowners have two options: a mechanical air filter or an electronic air filter. Both capture contaminants, but each does so in a different way. Installing a whole-home air cleaner in Edmonds can be much more effective than using room-by-room air cleaners. The experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., have been helping customers improve their indoor air quality since 1977 and can help you choose and install an air cleaner that is right for you.

Mechanical Air Cleaners

Mechanical air cleaners are the most commonly used and recognized of air cleaners. Mechanical air cleaners are named as such because they use a filter media stretched in a frame to capture the contaminants in your home. Mechanical filters are rated by a system known as MERV; the higher the MERV number, the better the filter. Whole-home air filters have a MERV range typically between 5-12; any higher than a MERV of 12 can restrict the airflow in your HVAC system. Depending on the MERV rating, mechanical filters can capture dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, some mold and mildew spores, some bacteria and some viruses.

Electronic Air Cleaners

Electronic air cleaners use electricity to clean your air. There are two types of electronic air cleaners: ion generators and electronic precipitators. Ion generators use negative ions to capture contaminants in the air. The process is simple: the generator disperses negative ions into the air of your home. The negative ions attach themselves to the contaminants in the air, becoming one particle. The negatively-charged particles are attracted to the surfaces in your home and land there; they are removed when the surfaces are cleaned.

Electronic precipitators draw air into an ionization chamber with a fan. Once inside the chamber, the contaminants in the air are charged; as the newly-charged particles move through the precipitator, they are collected on oppositely-charged metal plates.

If you need help determining which type of air cleaner will fit best in your Edmonds home, call the people who can help: G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

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Seattle Indoor Air Quality Tips: How to Clean Up and Repair Damage from Mold

Monday, May 7th, 2012

So, you had your indoor air quality tested in Seattle and a mold inspector visited your home and gave you the bad news – there is mold in your house. What’s the next step? For millions of homeowners every year, mold becomes a reality and the cleanup and repair seem daunting. But depending on the severity of the problem, there may be a relatively simple solution.

Step 1- Fix the Problem

Before any cleanup occurs, the first step is to fix whatever problem caused the mold initially. In most cases, this is a source of excess water or humidity getting into your home. It could be a leak in your attic or standing water in your basement. Whatever the source, it needs to be repaired before any removal can occur.

Step 2 – Removing Damaged Items

Mold has a habit of destroying that which it grows on. This includes window frames, floor boards and furniture. For the most part, it’s recommended that you throw away anything affected by mold. Old carpet, upholstery, books, and clothing can be replaced – and rarely can mold be effectively removed from those items without a heavy cost. If something has sentimental valuable, make sure to consult an expert as to whether it can be cleaned.

Step 3 – Remove the Mold

With the water source fixed and damaged items removed, it’s time to clean up the mold damage. Any water or remaining dampness is removed first, usually with some form of vacuum cleaner or wet vac system. If a professional visits, they may wear protective masks or clothing to avoid inhaling potentially toxic mold spores – remember that while most mold is only an allergen, some mold can be dangerous even to healthy, non-allergic people.

If you choose to clean up the mold yourself, make sure you have it tested prior to cleanup to ensure it won’t be a health risk to you or your family.

Step 4 – Sterilization

Hopefully your mold problem is only on surfaces and removable fibers. Some mold can get into walls and ductwork, a problem which requires a much more in-depth cleaning process to correct. For this type of mold infestation, make sure you call a professional so you can be sure it is completely removed. To ensure mold being cleaned doesn’t enter the air and make anyone sick, it is usually contained with a wood frame or protective plastic sheeting. Careful removal with HEPA vacuums and sterilizing wipes is also recommended to ensure all mold spores are gone.  Also consider equipping your home with air cleaner to limit the transfer of mold spores.

Mold is a problem for millions but if properly removed it doesn’t need to be a problem in your home. Make sure you call G & S Heating, Cooling, & Electric for testing, cleanup and prevention and your home will be safe and clean for years to come.

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