Which Is Better? UV or Air Purifiers?

Which Is Better? UV or Air Purifiers?

There’s a lot of talk about air purifiers and UV lights to improve a home or business indoor air quality. Some say one is better than the other or both are necessary to get the job done. What’s right and what’s not? Well, there honestly isn’t a simple answer. Budget, size, and local environment make a combined difference in what you want or need. Let’s take a look at these two options.

UV Lights, What Makes Them Buzz?

So UV lamps don’t really buzz unless you’re talking about the attention they’ve gained over the last couple of years. UV stands for ultraviolet, a type of electromagnetic radiation that also includes X-rays, visible light, and radio waves. UVC is the specific type of light used in these lamps to be effective. It makes the genetic material within germs and microorganisms inert and unable to replicate. This means that illnesses are no longer able to spread or further infect others.

Installing UV lamps into your HVAC system isn’t a long complicated process. They’re typically placed either at the coils or along with the ductwork. As the air passes through your system, it’s enveloped by the light and saturates all those germs hanging around. An easy way to think of it, moss doesn’t grow on a tree side where the sunlight hits. UV systems are a compact form of sunlight that stops the “moss” from growing in your home.

Air Purifications Purpose

Air purifications systems take all the air in your home and make it all sparkly, squeaky clean right? Not quite. No two air purifiers are built the same. The main ones are HEPA filtration systems, ionizers that neutralize contaminants, and activated carbon filtration. Even though they are all designed differently, the main task is to remove particles like smoke, dust, lint, mold, pollen, bacteria, allergens, & even viruses. Most accomplish this through specific filters and modern technology additions.

The drawbacks to air purification are few. First, if the particles and contaminants can not go through the system, they are not able to be removed. An example of this is dust that has settled on furniture or the lint hanging out under your bed. The second is that some types create ozone as a byproduct. Ozone, also known as smog, can be harmful to your health in the same ways the compounds it removes are.

So Now What?

In the end, choosing a system for your home comes down to what you want, need, and the budget you have. While both systems are fairly economic to run, it’s also a good idea to look into the annual operating costs of each. When you want professional advice or to have a system installed, we’re here to help. Give Hansen Heating & Air a call today at 251-471-3047!

HVAC and the Mold Menace

HVAC and the Mold Menace

One of the last things any homeowner wants to hear, you have a mold infestation in your air conditioner. While it’s nice to think we could remove a hundred percent of mold & spores from the home it just isn’t possible. Spores are always present floating around the air & aren’t generally a major problem unless moisture conditions are met allowing for growth. Three main conditions that create the perfect environment for it to take hold are inadequate ventilation, condensation, & humidity. 


Poor ventilation makes it difficult for stagnant damp air to leave your home. These pockets of air filled with moisture settle leaving mold a place to develop. Common areas to have this problem are the bathroom, windows, and closets. A big red flag, condensation consistently developing on cooler surfaces like windows.


Condensation occurs when the air is cooled to a certain point or there is enough moisture to create droplets. Normally as it runs, HVAC systems remove vapor and send it through the condensate drain line. If there is a problem with this function due to clogs or a breakdown, the water pools making it a very suitable place for mold to grow.


Consistently high humidity along the coastline makes preparing for and preventing mold growth a top priority. Daily activities such as cooking, laundry, and showering also contribute to the amount of moisture within the home. These two factors are considered the number one reason for HVAC mold.

How can you tell if there’s mold in your HVAC system?

One of the most obvious signs is a musty stagnant odor especially near vents, ducts, and the unit itself. You or your family have symptoms that include allergic responses, headaches, nausea, and fatigue that clear when you are away from the home. Growth may also be spotted near vents, air ducts, or around the indoor unit. It’s important to call professional assistance to quickly take care of the issues to prevent further health issues for you & your family and damage to the home. They’ll be able to quickly find the source of the problem and either fix the issue or be able to recommend a solution that works for you. Preventing mold growth before it ever starts is even better.

What can help prevent mold in the air conditioner?

Semi-annual routine maintenance will keep your system running at its peak and find trouble before it begins. Indoor air quality systems are designed to purify the air with up to 99% removal of particles and spores. Dehumidifiers are a mechanical system that is suited for whole-home moisture control while also removing volatile organic compounds & particulate matter. Ultraviolet lights eliminate & stop growth on problematic areas of the HVAC system.

If you think you may have a mold problem in your AC system or need maintenance, give us a call today!

Is Your HVAC Hurricane Ready?

Is Your HVAC Hurricane Ready?

The officially marked start of the hurricane season is here and predictions are saying it’s going to be another bumpy year. Your storm plans probably include having stocked shelves, emergency supplies & places to store furnishing from the yard. But have you taken the time to add protection for the outdoor part of the heating & cooling system? Like anything else left out in the severe weather, it’s vulnerable to debilitating damage that leads to costly repairs or even replacement.

Keep Your Cool

No, it isn’t necessary to build a fortress around the condenser unit. So can you help keep your HVAC unit safe? Just follow these simple suggestions to help prevent a broken system.

Lock It Down

Tie-down straps are a great addition that will keep your air conditioner in place when high winds start blowing through. Typically they’re attached from the condenser to the concrete slab it’s placed on. Tie-downs in this fashion are rated to withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour. Coastal HVAC installers sometimes add these when the system is first installed, getting you ahead of the game.

Stop the Surge

With the wind and rain comes lightning. Lots of it! What the means for your electronics are outages and plenty of surges that could potentially ruin sensitive parts. Adding surge protection stops unwanted voltage from reaching the HVAC equipment. Even better, it can act as blanket coverage if you go with a whole-home option. No costly replacements of appliances or other home systems!

Clear It Out

Debris is another factor to be considered when it comes to safeguarding your air conditioner during a hurricane. Tuck away lawn furniture, potted plants, toys, and other outdoor items to keep them from becoming flying projectiles. Check surrounding foliage and trees for branches that are just hanging around or dead. Those will be the first things to come whipping and banging around the yard. It may be needed to look at the border between your home and the neighbors as well to remove any shared issues.

Should You Cover?

While covering the unit with a tarp or other material is a good idea, you should never cover the condenser while it is operating or could turn on. If the unit won’t be coming on during or after the storm, go ahead! Taking this step can help prevent the buildup of leaves, other debris, & standing water on the inside of the system. 

When to Call a Professional

Having an inspection done before a hurricane arrives will make sure your system is running at its best and less likely to need some TLC at just the wrong time. After the storm has passed, check your air conditioner for any signs of damage. Should you find any, call a professional to check it out before turning it back on! They will locate and repair any issues before it becomes a bigger problem or safety hazard.

As always, stay safe through the storm season. If you have any questions or need expert service call Hansen Heating & Air at 251-471-3047 or visit www.hansenair.com/contact-hansen!

How Does an HVAC Work?

How Does an HVAC Work?

Powering through scorching summer or biting cold winter days, your HVAC (heating, ventilation, & air conditioning) works hard to keep you comfortable. How does it actually accomplish this seemingly impossible task? Let’s find out!

Air Conditioning

Even though it seems like it, air conditioners don’t work with magic. When it kicks on, warmer air is pulled through the grill (where the filter is) & drawn to the evaporator coils where heat is absorbed. The cooler air is then pushed back into the home through the fan. At the same time, the refrigerant temperature causes it to shift from a liquid to gas & allows it to transfer heat outside. As it returns, coolant goes through the compressor unit & condenser pipes changing it back to a liquid ready to once again absorb heat.


Is heating the same as the air conditioning? Not quite. Instead of bringing heat from outside, the furnace uses a burner to raise the temperature of the heat exchanger. Air is warmed as it’s blown across the exchanger & is then pushed through by an electrically powered fan, the blower.

Notable Mentions

While the HVAC does the heavy lifting, other parts of the system work as part of the whole to keep you comfortable. The brain is the thermostat. It reads varying temperatures & tells the system when to turn on or shut off. Ducts act as the means to evenly carry the air to different parts of the home. Insulation creates a boundary between outside and inside, making it easier for the indoor air temperature to remain stable.

Tips for Fall & Winter Seasons

Tips for Fall & Winter Seasons

Tips to Prepare for Southern Fall & Winter Seasons!

Southern winters don’t bring snow, ice, or sub-zero temperatures but we still get cold rain, chilly winds, and extra bite from high humidity levels. Winterizing your home during the autumn season helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature & manageable utility bills.

We have a few simple suggestions to add to your fall maintenance checklist.

1. Remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve by flushing the water heater tank to ensure it’s in proper working order.

2. Look over doors & windows for gaps, worn away areas, separation, cracks, chips, rot, or any other damage. Replace any worn-out weather stripping and caulk any areas necessary.

3. If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save up to 10% on heating costs.

4. Have a thorough inspection done of your heating system by a licensed professional for operation and safety requirements. Replace the air filter allowing proper airflow and reducing the strain on your system.

5. Install carbon monoxide detectors through your home for an extra layer of protection and don’t forget to test them.

Whatever your needs, Hansen has you covered! Let us inspect your systems & diagnose any issues before the seasons change & the problems get worse! Give us a call at 251-471-3047
Taking the Heat Out of Summer

Taking the Heat Out of Summer

It’s a hot summer day, the sun is beating down and all you can think about is stepping into your home and enjoying some nice chilled air. You open your front door, step inside and wham! It’s almost as hot inside as it is outside. What happened? Is the air conditioner having a hard time or even working? Don’t let this be one of the summer memories you make this year. By doing a few simple steps, an A/C unit can continue power on through the heat keeping you and your family cool.

Keep it Open

Ensuring proper air flow through a building or home is essential for any AC unit to work at peak efficiency and minimum cost. Vents, ports, and even doors through the home should remain unblocked and open since the method in which modern systems are installed is specifically designed to work with the air pressure of a house as a whole. By closing these, it actually causes the air conditioner to work harder and can damage the system due to additional pressure being built up along the ducts.

Filter or Not to Filter, That is the Question

There’s that long standing question of how often do I need to change the filter for my home’s air conditioning? Most manufacturer brands have it listed on the packaging that their product can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Unfortunately, the real answer isn’t a one size fits all and has to take into account multiple different factors for each person’s situation. How many pets do you have? Does someone in the household smoke? Is anyone affected by seasonal or constant allergies? Is it the time of year when local dust or pollen counts are in the high ranges? Yes to any one of these can shorten the time between changes to 20 days, where a home that is used for vacations once or twice a year can go for 6 months or more.

A Homeowner’s Checklist

So what else can you be doing to help your AC stay in tip top shape? First, take a look at your outside unit and ensure that an area of up to 12 inches is clear of household item, clutter, and debris. Check the top, where you can look at the area with the fan, for any leaves, twigs, or other items that have fallen in or resting on the top. Removing what you can will help keep the airflow and reduce the risk of damage to your unit. Moving inside, check the drainage outlet for blockages for mold, mildew, or even algae. If you find any, it can be removed with a little bit of bleach in the drain and then rinse with water. Last, you should call a certified HVAC professional to do the yearly maintenance check.

The Annual Check Up

Vehicles need regular checks to keep fluids at recommended levels and all parts in working order. An AC system, large or small, is no different. Professional diagnostics include refrigerant level checks, testing of thermostats and electrical charge, and inspecting for worn, damaged, or broken parts.  Not only does it fulfill warranty required inspection, it protects your system from damage, it also gives you peace of mind.

For an appointment, call Hansen Heating and Air to get your full 28 point AC system inspection and tune-up! https://hansenair.com/maintenance/