Switzerland Air Blog:
Archive for September, 2014

What Contaminants Will Air Purifiers Remove?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Having good indoor air quality is as important to your comfort and well-being as moisture control and proper temperature maintenance. A great way to achieve good indoor air quality is to install a whole-home air purifier in Angleton, TX. There are a number of air cleaning products available, and each works differently and has different capabilities when it comes to particle removal. As such, it is important to know which air cleaners are effective at removing which particles. To help understand this, the indoor air quality specialists at Switzerland Air have put together some information describing the different particles that common air purifiers remove.

Factors That Affect Particle Removal

The removal of particles by any kind of air cleaner/air purifier depends on a few factors:

  • Airflow rate
  • Filter efficiency
  • Size of the particle(s)

Mechanical Air Filters

Mechanical air filters are typically used to remove particles that cause problems for allergy sufferers. This would include:

  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Some mold and mildew spores

Depending on the MERV level of a particular mechanical air filter, some biological contaminants (in which mold and mildew are included), can be captured. The issue lay in the size of biological particles: viruses, bacteria and spores tend to be smaller than particles like allergens; as such, they can be harder to trap. If allergies are the main reason for wanting an air purifier, a mechanical air filter is a good choice.

NOTE: Mechanical HEPA filters can capture many biological particles in addition to particles that cause allergy problems, but these filters are so strong they can restrict air flow. If you are interested in installing a HEPA filter to your system, speak with a professional first.

Electronic Air Cleaners

There are two types of electronic air cleaners: ion generators and electronic precipitators. These types of air cleaners use electricity to charge particles and capture them, although each does it a little differently. Electronic air cleaners can capture many types of particles, including biological ones. However, an electronic precipitator uses metal collection plates to capture particles, and it’s necessary to clean these plates every 3 months in order for the cleaner to remain effective. With ion generators, particles land on the surfaces of your home, and are removed when these are cleaned.

UV Germicidal Lighting

UV lighting is an air purifier designed to specifically target biological contaminants. UV lights use the radiation from UV-C rays to destroy the DNA of cells, as well as the life-sustaining proteins inside them. These actions stop the cell from reproducing and surviving. UV lights do not draw contaminants to them; the particles have to come within the space of the radiation, and UV lights are not effective on particles other than biological ones.

Choosing an air purifier in Angleton, TX will depend on your needs. If you need assistance, schedule an appointment with one of the indoor air quality experts at Switzerland Air.

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How to Tell That You Need Commercial Air Conditioning Repair

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Fall is here, and with it the cooler temperatures of the season, which offers you a great opportunity to do needed repair work on your commercial air conditioning in Lake Jackson, TX. It is not unusual to need repair at the end of a busy cooling season, and it is always best to attend to repairs as soon as possible. Sometimes it isn’t easy to spot developing problems, so our Switzerland Air technicians have put together a list of some common signs that it may be time to repair your commercial AC:

  • Low air flow – low air flow can be caused by obstructions in the ductwork or fan problems. No matter the cause, reduced air flow in your system can cause stress to your air conditioner, which is not good for the system.
  • Blowing warm air – warm air blowing from your commercial AC is usually indicative of a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant leaks tend to get worse with time, and need to be repaired by a professional certified to work with refrigerant.
  • Strange noises – are you hearing banging, clunking or any other sound coming from your AC that isn’t normal? You should never ignore a strange sound, and once you hear something, should always call a trained professional to inspect it.
  • Odors – strange odors coming from your system can be the result of a few things, including mold or mildew growth.
  • Poor performance – does your AC seem sluggish? Are your energy bills rising, yet you haven’t changed how you run your system? Poor performance can be an indication that something in the system isn’t working properly and as such, is causing your system to use more power than it should be.

Having a comfortable business space is important to your customers, your employees and you. If you are seeing the signs that your commercial air conditioning in Lake Jackson, TX may be in need of repair, call the people you can trust: Switzerland Air.

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When Should You Call for Professional Ductwork Services?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Without good ductwork, your home won’t cool or heat as needed. Ductwork has a long lifespan – about 30 years – but it can sustain wear and damage that can affect its performance. Sometimes ductwork hasn’t been installed correctly, so while it may be new, it may not work as it should. No matter the reason, it is likely that at some point during your home ownership you’ll need to call for professional services for your ductwork in Freeport, TX, and it’s important to call the people you can count on: Switzerland Air.

Types of Ductwork Services

There are four main types of ductwork services available for homeowners:

  • Duct cleaning
  • Duct sanitizing
  • Ductwork repair
  • Ductwork replacement

When should you call for duct cleaning?

Duct cleaning should be scheduled for your home every 3-5 years, or when you move into a new home. Signs that you may need duct cleaning include visible dust and dirt blowing from your registers, hot-and-cold spots and restricted air flow in your system.

What is duct sanitizing and when do I need it?

Duct cleaning will remove the dust, dirt and debris in your ductwork, but if there are biological contaminants such as mold and mildew, you may want to consider a sanitizing after the cleaning. Sanitizers are applied via fogging, and destroy biological contaminants while also leaving a protective coating that will prevent further growth. Ducts need to be thoroughly cleaned in order to sanitize, so it is recommended that if you want to sanitize your ducts, this should be scheduled in conjunction with a cleaning. Signs you may need sanitizing are unpleasant odors and infestation from insects or animals.

What kind of repairs do ducts need?

Ductwork can develop holes and cracks, and disconnect in sections. Repairs to ductwork usually entail sealing it and reconnecting sections. Signs that you may need ductwork repair are whistling noises coming from your vents, decreased energy efficiency and odors emanating from your ductwork.

When is it time to replace ductwork?

Ductwork replacement may be necessary if the ductwork has become irreparably damaged or too worn to be repaired. Indications that you may need replacement can include a lack of airflow in certain vents, loud noises coming from your vents and/or high energy bills.

The ductwork in your Freeport, TX home can be complex, so it’s important to call professionals whenever you need help. Switzerland Air has trained specialists available 24/7. Call us today!

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The History of Labor Day

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The official end of summer and the beginning of fall lands on September 23rd, which marks the Autumnal Equinox, when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes the center of the sun and the length of day and night are roughly equal. However, for most people in the U.S., the summer really concludes with Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Labor Day and Memorial Day (the last Monday of May) together serve as the bookends of the summer.

The Labor Day Holiday is a time that people in this country associate with a last summer blast: another reason for an outdoor picnic, a chance for a three-day vacation, family trips to amusement parks, and of course, taking advantage of numerous sales that retailers always offer. (Labor Day is often the second largest shopping day of the year after Black Friday in November.) It’s also the point when school traditionally goes back in session, although some schools start a week earlier and some a week later.

Labor Day’s origins lie in the 1880s. In 1882 Matthew Maguire, a machinist in New York City who was secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) at the time, and Peter J McGuire of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), first proposed a celebration of the hard working men and women of the United States. However, five years would pass before the first state made it an official holiday, Oregon. Other states quickly followed this example, although not all selected a date in September.

By 1894, thirty states had started Labor Day celebrations. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a federal holiday only a week after Congress voted unanimously to approve the legislation. The date chosen for the holiday was the same one that Maguire and McGuire had originally proposed.

The U.S.A. is not the only country that celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September. Canada observes the holiday as well, although they spell it “Labour” Day. In fact, Canada celebrated the occasion earlier than the U.S., and was an early inspiration in this country for the development of the holiday.

All of us here at Switzerland Air hope you and your family—whether at work or at play—enjoy a relaxing and memorable Labor Day weekend and have a fantastic start to the fall.

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