How to Clean and Sanitize Your HVAC System

Whether you’re at work or at home, your HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning) has a major impact on the air you breathe. A well-maintained HVAC system controls the temperature indoors, the humidity, and brings clean air in from outside, but one that’s neglected can be a vector of unwanted pollutants and health hazards.

What does HVAC system maintenance involve? Is it enough to clean the system, or does it need to be sanitized and disinfected as well? Can you do it yourself, or is it best left to the professionals?

Find out in this article!

The importance of a clean HVAC system

HVAC systems are essential for good air quality indoors, but they are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Dust accumulates in the ducts, clogging filters and vents and contaminating the air. Any condensation or leakage can lead to the proliferation of mould and fungi. If HVAC systems are not properly sanitized, viruses and bacteria can circulate and develop freely to a point that can generate health problem to your family.

In addition to lowering the air quality and increasing the presence of allergens and other health hazards, the pollutants clogging the system can also affect its performance, drive up energy costs and shorten its lifespan.

How to clean an HVAC system

Manual cleaning removes solid particles from the ducts. If you undertake the task yourself, it’s important to wear a recommended mask and gloves to avoid inhaling or coming into direct contact with the pollutants as you clean. Please see all the recommendation related BEFORE to work on your unit. It seems simple, but you must be really careful not to damage your equipment performance or reliability.

The procedure for cleaning an HVAC system is as follows:

  • Read all instruction manual for maintenance unit and procedure. Please, keep away children and animal during the maintenance process and cleaning.
  • Clean the vents, grilles and registers by wiping them down thoroughly.
  • Cover the supply vents to prevent dust and debris from blowing out while you’re cleaning other parts of the HVAC system.
  • Loosen any build-up of dust and debris in the ducts If you have a “fan on” option on your thermostat, turning it on can help move the dust.
  • Clean the air ducts by vacuuming as far into them as you can reach, then wiping them down with a damp cloth.
  • For more in-depth cleaning, vacuum the blower compartment, return air boot and furnace fan. You’ll need to remove the panels to access the compartment. Don’t forget to shut off the fan and furnace before this step!
  • Clean or replace the filters. The filters should be rinsed thoroughly every month and replaced every three months or follow recommend maintenance process from the manufacturer. Look at your instruction manual.

Cleaning an HVAC system is a complex task that often requires some disassembly and specialized equipment to access the hard-to-reach areas. Professionals generally have the equipment and expertise needed to do a thorough job. During regular HVAC maintenance, the technician will clean the system and inspect it for problems such as leaks. Cleaning and maintenance are very important, but they don’t truly sanitize the HVAC system.

How to sanitize an HVAC system

Sanitization goes a step further, eradicating the microorganisms that are too small to be affected by manual cleaning. Without it, dirt and debris may be eliminated but viruses, bacteria, mould and fungi will be able to proliferate unchecked.

Chemicals

There are professional fogging services you can get to sanitize and disinfect your HVAC system. They will use chemicals such as sporicidal disinfectant to kill the microorganisms in the system and purify the air.

While these chemicals are effective, they can present problems of their own. The temperature and humidity variations intrinsic to HVAC systems can interact with the chemicals and cause harmful off-gassing, which is then circulated through the building and breathed in by its occupants.

If you choose chemical sanitizing for your HVAC system, it should generally be done once every six months.

UV light

UV lights can be installed inside the HVAC system to continuously disinfect the air without the use of hazardous chemicals. UV light penetrates microorganisms and disrupts their molecular structure, rendering them inactive or killing them outright.

Commercial HVAC coil cleaners equipped with high-intensity UV lamps can be installed near the evaporator coils to sanitize the HVAC system, and UV air disinfection units can be placed directly in the ducts to eliminate contaminants. Air purifiers with UV technology can also be used in residential and commercial settings to improve the quality of the air.

HVAC sanitizing solutions from Sanuvox

If you want to breathe clean air that’s free of pollutants and keep your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency, then it’s important to have it properly sanitized. There are steps you can take to clean the system yourself, but they won’t be as effective as professional products and services. Chemical treatments are effective at eradicating viruses, bacteria and mould, but they can create their own health hazards and they aren’t permanent solutions.

Sanuvox’s patented high-intensity UV lamps are a safe and effective way of sanitizing both air and surfaces. Whether they are installed in the HVAC system or working as a component of an air purifier, they improve the quality of the air so that you can breathe freely. Contact us to find out more about our air purification solutions today!

Do Air Purifiers Help with Mold?

Mold Spores Air Purification

Mold is a common problem in homes and other buildings. It can easily proliferate indoors, damaging surfaces and releasing harmful spores into the air we breathe.

Air purifiers are said to be highly effective against mold spores, viruses and many other airborne contaminants, but how exactly do they mitigate mold? How can mold growth be prevented, and what other steps can be taken to eliminate it?

Find out in this article!

Mold and its dangers

What is mold?

Mold is a type of fungus composed of many microorganisms. In nature, mold helps break down organic matter. Unfortunately, that means that if mold is left to grow on wood or fabric indoors, the material may begin to decompose.

Mold thrives in warm, damp, and dark places, microscopic spores that travel through the air. Mold spores are usually harmless in small amounts, but they can proliferate quickly, particularly in humid environments.

The dangers of mold

People who inhale the mold spores floating through the air can have adverse reactions that may be more or less severe, depending on their state of health and level of exposure.

Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Those with mold allergies and/or asthma tend to have more intense symptoms, which can include coughing, congestion, sneezing, red or itchy eyes, sore throat, skin irritation and sinusitis. Severe reactions can also occur in people who are regularly exposed to large amounts of mold in the course of their work in commercial or medical settings, for example. Mold can also cause fungal infections in people who are immunocompromised or have underlying lung disease.

How air purifiers mitigate mold

While air purifiers can’t address the mold already growing on surfaces, they are a great way to control the proliferation of airborne spores. In fact, air purifiers are the only way to eliminate reproductive mold spores from the air. Mold spores are very easy to track in from outside, so even if you don’t currently have a mold problem in your home, air purifiers can trap any spores that make it inside before they have a chance to settle on a surface and start growing.

HEPA filters

Many air purifiers contain HEPA filters, which are very efficient at trapping microscopic airborne particles. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters are made of dense mesh that can capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger in size. Most mold spores tend to be larger than 1 micron, so HEPA filters are very effective at trapping them.

Note that HEPA filters need to be cleaned and changed regularly to maintain optimal efficiency.

UV light

Sunlight, which contains UV is a natural disinfectant. Mold usually grows in dark environments and does not thrive in direct sunlight. UV lamp help to eliminates mold spores and penetrates through the microorganisms, helping to kill most of the cells and making sure that any that remain are unable to reproduce.

The effectiveness of UV lamps against mold depends on the intensity of the light, its wavelength, and time of exposure. Sanuvox’s UV air purifiers are equipped with proprietary UV J lamps that deliver the maximum UV dosage to the stream of air moving through the device, helping to destroy mold spores and other contaminants.

Other methods for controlling mold

While air purifiers are very effective on mold spores, it’s important to take care of the source of the mold as well as the spores in the air.

Remove visible mold

Visible mold should be removed promptly to prevent it from spreading. On hard surfaces, mold can be removed by cleaning the area with diluted bleach. Note that bleach should never be mixed with other household cleaning products. If mold appears on more porous surfaces that are difficult to clean, it’s best to have it remediated by professionals.

Keep moisture to a minimum

Mold growth can be mitigated by keeping indoor moisture to a minimum. Mold thrives in the damp, so take the following steps to avoid providing it with a favourable environment:

  • Take care of leaks as quickly as possible.
  • Turn on exhaust fans during moisture-generating activities such as showering and cooking in order to vent the humid air outside.
  • Avoid leaving wet items lying around.
  • Avoid carpet in the basement. Basements tend to be damp, and carpets in damp rooms are ideal places for moisture build-up and mold growth.
  • Use dehumidifiers in problematic rooms to eliminate excess moisture in the air.

Eliminate airborne mold spores with Sanuvox

If you’re concerned about mold in your home, Sanuvox air purifiers are a great way to help to eliminate spores from the air and prevent them from proliferating and causing health problems. So it’s important to take steps such as reducing humidity levels indoors and cleaning up any mold you find.

With Sanuvox’s residential air purifiers, you can breathe easy knowing that you aren’t inhaling any mold spores or allowing them to reproduce inside your home. Our patented UV technology is extremely effective at deactivating and helping to destroy mold spores and contaminants of all kinds. Contact us today to find out more about our air purification solutions!

Do Air Purifiers Help You Sleep Better?

We often underestimate just how vital a good night’s sleep is for our bodies to function optimally. In fact, sleep affects everything from heart health to concentration and productivity.

Did you know that air purifiers can significantly improve your sleep? From reducing airborne allergens to producing soothing white noise, air purifiers have a variety of functions that promote deep, restorative sleep and better health in general.

Find out how air purifiers help you sleep in this article from the experts at Sanuvox.

Types of airborne pollutants that affect health and sleep

There are a great many types of airborne pollutants found in our homes that affect our health and sleep. Common allergens such as dust mites and pet dander accumulate very easily in the house. These irritants can be mitigated with regular, thorough cleaning, but never truly eradicated. Sanuvox air purifiers, on the other hand, have been shown to trap 99.97% of these types of particles, making them an extraordinarily effective solution for those who suffer from allergies.

Particles from the local environment can also make their way into the house. Smog, seasonal pollen and harmful chemicals such as dioxide and carbon monoxide from vehicle traffic infiltrate through cracks, vents and windows. Sanuvox air purifiers is very effective at cleaning these types of contaminants.

If left to circulate unimpeded, these allergens and chemical contaminants can cause irritation and inflammation that disrupts our sleep and can lead to other health problems.

Last but certainly not least, Sanuvox S100 air purifiers is able to reduce the circulation of airborne viruses and diseases. In a world that has been shaken by COVID-19, air purifiers are an excellent way to reduce the propagation of the virus and help create safer spaces.

Types of air purifiers that improve sleep

There are a variety of residential air purifiers that can help improve your sleep. Different types of air purifiers specialize in trapping different kinds of contaminants that disrupt sleep.

Air purifiers with HEPA filters

Most air purifiers have HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate air filters) that are designed essentially to trap dust. HEPA filters are multiple layers of mesh made out of fine fibreglass threads. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are able to capture 99.97% of all particles over 0.3 microns in size. Because viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are smaller than that, air purifiers bought for the purpose of reducing virus circulation should have other purifying methods, such as UV light.

UV light air purifiers

SANUVOX UV light can be used to attack micro-organisms, making it an ideal purification method for viruses. UV light can also degrade chemicals and odours, making it quite a versatile air purification system.

Activated carbon air purifiers

Activated carbon is a purification method that is often used in conjunction with other methods such as HEPA filters. Air purifiers with activated carbon are particularly good at trapping harmful chemicals from vehicle traffic and household cleaning agents and neutralizing unpleasant odours.

Air purifiers for conditions that affect sleep

Allergies and asthma

People who suffer from allergies and asthma are particularly affected by airborne particles. Bio-allergens such as dust mites, pet dander and pollen can cause congestion, sneezing, sinus headaches and difficulty breathing, symptoms that make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Air purifiers have been known to alleviate symptoms of asthma and allergies, as they reduce the particles responsible for these reactions.

Sleep apnea

A study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society has found that air pollution significantly increases the risk of sleep apnea. The researchers found that just a 5 microgram increase in particulates leads to a 60% greater risk of sleep apnea, even when controlled for other factors. The study suggests that inhaling pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and fine particulates results in upper airway irritation and swelling, causing restricted breathing that can lead to sleep apnea.

How air purifiers help you get a good night’s sleep

Airborne particles can cause irritation that disrupts your sleep, particularly if you suffer from allergies and/or asthma. As mentioned above, they can also lead to a higher risk of sleep apnea, a condition that results in restless, interrupted, poor-quality sleep.

Poor sleep can exacerbate underlying health conditions, weight issues, gastrointestinal disorders and mental health problems. In the short term, it causes fatigue, drowsiness, irritability and reduced productivity.

Sanuvox air purifiers remove particulates from the air, reducing irritation and inflammation and improving sleep.

You can also try these tips for a better night’s sleep:

  • Stick to a regular bedtime
  • Try not to nap during the day
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try to avoid caffeine and eating near bedtime
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet
  • Keep your bedroom clean and use your air purified!

Sleep better with a Sanuvox air purifier

Sleeping well is a vital part of staying healthy and being able to function properly. Air purifiers have been proven to improve sleep, along with a host of other health benefits. It’s clear that when it comes to health, an air purifier is an indispensable tool to have in the house!

Sanuvox is a global leader in UV air purifiers, offering a variety of cost-effective purification systems for residential, commercial, institutional and medical use. If you would like more information about our products or have decided that an air purifier is right for you, contact us!