Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for November, 2014

Problems Caused by Excessive Humidity

Friday, November 28th, 2014

High humidity is a part of daily life in Florida, and it can affect us around the year. It causes problems with comfort, negatively affects health, and leads to water damage. If your home is experiencing high indoor humidity (greater than 60% relative humidity), then one of the best solutions is to have a whole-house dehumidifier professionally installed. Dehumidifiers use a process similar to air conditioners to absorb moisture from the air. If properly sized and installed, a whole-house dehumidifier can create a proper balance of indoor humidity levels so a house is neither too damp nor too dry.

Downtown Air & Heat is experienced with creating comfort for homes in Florida, and that includes balancing humidity levels. Call us today for dehumidifier services in Orlando. With our help, you can avoid some of these common problems that result from high humidity indoors:

Discomfort and Elevated Cooling Costs

Muggy air makes hot temperatures feel much worse. The reason for this is that the moisture in the air makes it more difficult for the human body to release heat through perspiration, and this traps additional heat inside the body. Not only does this mean hot weather feels more uncomfortable, it will mean needing to keep the air conditioning running almost constantly. A dehumidifier can lower a home’s need for air conditioning by 30%, which means significant energy savings throughout the year.

Health Issues

High humidity is connected to a number of health problems, most notably those that stem from the growth of toxic molds inside a house. Other health troubles linked to high humidity include insomnia, asthma attacks, allergy problems, irritation of eyes, nose, and throat, and respiratory difficulties. For people who already have asthma, allergies, or respiratory conditions, high humidity can be extremely dangerous.

Water Damage

As moisture from high humidity continues to accumulate, it will lead to damage to the building material of a home. The development of mold and mildew will eat through drywall and warp floorboards. Expenses for repairing water damage are often high, but you can avoid the trouble with an effective dehumidifier in your home.

It is very important that you have professionals take care of installing a whole-house dehumidifier. If the wrong size system is put in, or put in improperly, you might end up with a dehumidifier that barely affects indoor conditions—while still draining power—or ends up creating humidity levels that are too low. (Low humidity creates as many problems as high humidity.) From excellent installation, repair, and maintenance services for a dehumidifier in Orlando, FL, call up the indoor air quality specialists at Downtown Air & Heat today.

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Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at Downtown Air & Heat, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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Why Consider UV Lights?

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Healthy indoor air is important to your overall health, and with the winter months coming, you may have additional concerns about biological contaminants. While an air filtration system can capture a number of contaminants in your home, it may not be able to capture the biological contaminants you want it to. This is because biological microbes are very small particles; many of them are smaller than 0.3 micrometers, which is the smallest size an air filter can capture. But there is a solution when it comes to biological contaminants: UV germicidal lights. UV germicidal lights are geared to specifically target biological contaminants, and when combined with an air filtration system, you can have a great air cleaning combination for your home. Want to find out more? Read below, and then schedule an appointment with a Downtown Air & Heat indoor air quality expert!

How Do UV Lights Work?

UV lights emit UV-C radiation. This type of radiation destroys the DNA of biological cells as well as their life-sustaining proteins. This results in two things: first, the cell cannot replicate and second, the cell cannot sustain life. As such, not only do UV lights kill existing cells, they eradicate them. UV germicidal lights are over 99% effective at destroying biological contaminants.

There are a couple of things to note about UV lights. First, they do not draw particles to them. Contaminants need to come within reach of the radiation to be affected. Second, UV lights do not capture or trap particles, so contaminants like dust, dirt and pollen are not affected by UV lights. This is why it’s recommended that UV lights are paired with an air filter or electronic cleaner.

How Are UV Lights Installed?

Placement of UV lights is pretty flexible, but recommended areas are within the ductwork and over the evaporator coils. This is because these areas are more prone to the development of growth such as mold and mildew.

Do They Need to Be Replaced?

UV lights have a lifespan of about 12 months, so they should be replaced annually to ensure they are effective.

When you pair UV lighting with your air cleaner, you and your home can see significant benefits for your indoor air quality. Call Downtown Air & Heat to schedule air cleaner services in Orlando, FL today!

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The Benefits of Air Cleaners

Friday, November 7th, 2014

A well-insulated home is sheltered from many air pollutants present in most outdoor environments. However, even inside you are not fully protected from contaminants that can reduce your air quality. That’s where air cleaners can be a great benefit to you. Below, we’ll outline some of the different types of air cleaners and the benefits they offer.

Ionization Cleaners

An ionization cleaner operates by creating a small electromagnetic field around itself. As particulates in the air pass through this field, they receive a negative magnetic charge themselves. Within most ionization cleaners are one or two metal plates, which possess a positive charge. The negatively charged particulates in the air will seek out and stick to these plates, which can then be removed and washed. An ionization cleaner is good at removing all kinds of contaminants from the air around it, including fumes and gases. It does have its own drawbacks, however. Primarily, it produces ozone as a byproduct. Ozone is considered a pollutant in its own right by the EPA, and can be harmful in large amounts.

HEPA Filters

HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air.” A HEPA filter is a special, high quality air filter that is usually installed in a home’s ductwork. The randomly woven fiber mesh that makes up the filter is very good at capturing contaminants, even those as small as viruses and bacteria. Because of this, HEPA filters can often be found in hospitals. Unfortunately, it does nothing to impede the progress of gaseous contaminants.

UV Purifiers

UV air cleaners operate by exposing the area around them to streams of ultraviolet light. It may seem like this does nothing at all, but there are actually a number of organic contaminants that are adversely affected by this. Several strains of bacteria, viruses, and mold are sterilized or killed by overexposure to UV rays. The UV purifier is designed to destroy these organic contaminants to reduce the transmission of disease. Since it doesn’t actually restrict airflow in any way, however, dust and other inorganic contaminants are unaffected by it.

If you’d like to know more about air cleaners, call Downtown Air & Heat. We provide air cleaner installation throughout Orlando, FL.

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