Benefits of HALO UV Lights for HVAC Systems

Benefits of HALO UV Lights for HVAC Systems

At Tri County Air, we install REME HALO® systems to improve indoor air quality. These air purification solutions work using either ultraviolet (UV) light or LED technology. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of HALO UV lights for HVAC systems.


Outdoors, lightning activates hydrogen peroxide that helps to clean the atmosphere. A REME HALO® air purifier works in the same way. It uses electromagnetic energy to generate hydro-peroxide plasma, which is forced into your HVAC ducts and air-conditioned rooms throughout your home. The system is installed in the supply plenum.

Benefits of a Halo UV Light

Eliminates Airborne Microorganisms

Biological pollutants such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and volatile organic compounds are inactivated by UV light. In addition, the plasma generated by the system removes them. To be effective, the plasma must be within three feet of microorganisms, including those released by sneezing. The updated REME HALO® produces ionized hydroperoxide and adds ionized zinc to speed things up.

Airborne Particles Are Ionized

Bipolar ionization causes airborne particles to cling to one another so they become heavy enough to fall. Once on the ground or surfaces in your home, they can be swept up, mopped, dusted, or vacuumed away. Dual ionizers make this process even more effective.

Fewer Odors

The plasma generated removes odors, including smells released by mold, pets, trash, cigarette smoke, cooking, and other sources. Therefore, your home will smell cleaner and fresher. The odor released is similar to that produced after lightning or rain. Upon your request, a technician can adjust the output of hydrogen peroxide or change the thermostat fan setting to reduce the scent.

No Harmful Ingredients

REME HALO UV lights for HVAC systems use no mercury. While mercury has no odor, it can be harmful in small quantities, especially for children. At high levels, it can damage the nervous system. The amount of ozone released by the UV purifier is barely measurable. However, the REME HALO-LED™ system doesn’t generate ozone that disguises odors and suppresses the sense of smell.

Versatile and Effective

Suited for homes and small offices, the system quickly installs in just about any central air conditioning unit. Regardless of the size of your AC system, Tri County Air can install a UV or other air purification device that cleans the air and surfaces throughout your home. It also kills up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria including H1N1, E. coli, norovirus, MRSA, and coronavirus.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Aside from bacteria and viruses, UV air purifiers like the REME HALO® can remove pollen, mold spores, dust, and dander. Improvements in indoor air quality can boost comfort and make it easier to breathe and sleep. A HALO UV light for HVAC systems can also reduce allergies, asthma symptoms, and the risk of other respiratory issues. 

Convenient and Safe to Use

The system operates silently and emits UV light only within your HVAC system. No one in your home will be exposed to UV rays. The same technology has been used in schools, food-processing plants, cruise ships, and U.S. military field hospitals.


A REME HALO’s® internal cell can last two to three years before it needs to be replaced. However, the REME HALO-LED™ can last four or five years. The LED unit does not run constantly; it turns on and off with the blower. Therefore, it can last longer and save on energy costs.  Thanks to a quick-release feature, the process is simple when a cell needs to be replaced. 

Easy to Install and Maintain

Our skilled technicians can quickly install a HALO UV light in your HVAC system. They can also maintain it during your annual maintenance visit. This entails wiping away the dust that accumulates on the lamp, improving the UV light’s effectiveness. The technician will avoid touching the lamp surface so skin oils won’t interfere with the output. 

Contact Tri County Air Today

At Tri County Air, we install REME HALO® UV lights and other indoor air quality solutions. To further improve air quality, we can provide HEPA filtration in ducts and high-MERV-rated filters in air handlers. The air throughout your home can be healthier to breathe for your entire family. To learn more or request a HALO UV light for your HVAC system, request an appointment online or call (941) 841-8574 today.

Do I Always Need to Call for AC Repair in Bradenton?

Do I Always Need to Call for AC Repair in Bradenton?

When your AC isn’t working properly, it’s generally a good idea to call a professional. However, as the owner and user of your HVAC system, you can also troubleshoot it before calling for AC repair in Bradenton. Not every issue demands an immediate call for help. If your air conditioner isn’t providing cool air, here’s where to look to possibly resolve the matter yourself.

The Thermostat

The thermostat controls your AC, so it’s reasonable to check here first. Start by checking that it’s set to “Cool” mode. Your air conditioner won’t blow cold air if the thermostat is signaling your HVAC system to provide heat. 

If the thermostat isn’t responding or doesn’t light up, remove the unit from the wall and change the batteries. Once it’s working, check that the temperature setting matches the comfort level you want to achieve. If necessary, lower it a few degrees and see if your AC kicks in within a minute or two. 

Does your thermostat display an error message? If so, check what the code means either onscreen or in the manual and whether you can resolve it without help.

AC Air Filter

If you haven’t changed the air filter in a while, it can become clogged and block airflow. A lack of airflow can prevent cool air from reaching the vents. Depending on how much you use the system, change the filter every one to three months. If the AC isn’t working or providing cool enough air, check for a dirty filter and replace it.

AC Vents

Look around your house for AC vents covered by furniture and other belongings. Perhaps someone accidentally covered an AC vent. Central air conditioning systems may work less efficiently if any vents get closed. Make sure all vents are open and unobstructed before calling a technician.

System Switches

The indoor air handler and outdoor unit each have a switch somewhere on their housing. Someone can accidentally flip a switch or leave it off. Turning a switch on is an easy way to get your AC working again. There’s no need to schedule an AC repair in Bradenton if this is the case.

Circuit Breaker

If the thermostat, filter, or switches don’t seem to be contributing to the problem, check the main electrical panel. A power surge or overload may have tripped a circuit breaker. Your AC will then have no power. Find the breaker for the AC in the main panel. If it is in the middle position, switch it off and turn it back on. Your air conditioner should now have power and start running again.

AC Drain Line

A blocked drain line can cause condensation to build up and overflow, leading to water damage. To prevent this, your AC has a float switch or emergency cutoff. The mechanism is either built into the drain line or connected to the drain pan. If your AC shuts down, look for standing water, a full drain pan, or a clog in the drain line; if possible, you can try to clear or flush the line. Call for help if you’re unsure how to do this or are unsuccessful.

When to Call an AC Repair Service

Call your local AC repair company if:

  • Little or no air blows from the vents
  • Only hot or warm air is blowing
  • Your AC makes loud, high-pitched noises
  • The unit releases burning or musty odors
  • The electric bill suddenly spikes

Call Tri County Air for AC Repair in Bradenton

The licensed HVAC technicians at Tri County Air can quickly diagnose and fix problems with Lennox, Daikin, York, Trane, Bryant/Carrier, Rheem, and other air conditioners. A 30-day guarantee means we won’t charge to come back and diagnose the issue after performing an initial repair. We also include parts and labor coverage for one year. To request AC repair service, call us 24/7, 365 days a year at (941) 231-7863.

Does the Outside AC Fan Always Run?

Does the Outside AC Fan Always Run?

The outdoor AC unit is one of the system’s most important components. You may not think it always running is a bad thing. But if you’re asking, “Does the outside AC fan always run?” the answer is “No.” It should not run non-stop. If the unit runs continuously, something is preventing the AC from reaching the set temperature. Here are some reasons why this may be happening.

Clogged Air Filter

The AC air filter screens dirt particles, so they don’t contaminate the system. When it becomes dirty, the coils can become coated in debris that interferes with heat transfer. The air in your home won’t get cold and can also become dustier. Clean or replace the filter as recommended (usually every 3 months) to avoid trouble. Also, only install the type of filter recommended for your AC system.

Restricted Airflow

Restricted airflow is a symptom of a clogged filter. If there’s not enough air circulating, your AC will be ineffective at cooling your home. It can also overwork itself and reduce energy efficiency. Since the system can’t cool things off, the outside fan may run constantly. Another culprit may be closed or blocked AC vents; make sure all are open for the system to work properly.

Doors and Windows Are Left Open

An air conditioner cools the air that’s already in your home. Open windows and doors allow in hot air, which displaces the cool air generated by the AC. Therefore, it will continue running so the condenser unit, fan, and compressor won’t get a break, which increases electricity usage and wear and tear. Close and seal windows and doors to avoid issues and install insulation in uninsulated basements, attics, and crawlspaces.

The Unit Is Undersized

Does the outside AC fan always run if the unit is the right size? A system that’s under the recommended capacity will work longer to cool bigger rooms. Your AC fan will run longer and consume more power. Strongly consider replacing a unit that’s too small for your home. 

It’s Hotter Outside Than Usual

Record or near-record-breaking heat has become more commonplace. Even by Florida standards, temperatures in the mid-to-upper-90s are quite hot. Your outdoor AC fan is more likely to run continuously on an extremely hot day. That’s because the system must work harder to keep your home cool. 

Dirty or Blocked Condenser Unit

Leaves, branches, and debris built up around the condenser can prevent heat from being released into the air. The fan will run continuously to work to disperse the heat. To prevent this, regularly clear debris from around the unit, trim back overgrown shrubs and blow leaves away from the condenser unit. 

The AC Contactor Is Stuck

The contractor completes the circuit when the thermostat sends a signal to the air conditioner. If the contractor gets stuck, the outdoor unit may continue to run until you turn off the circuit breaker. Or until you have a technician come and repair the unit.

Ductwork Issues

Worn, outdated ductwork can also affect the outside AC fan. Ducts that are clogged, bent, or disconnected can restrict airflow, causing the fan to run all the time. Check the airflow from each of the vents. If it differs from one vent to another, your ductwork is losing air. If the ducts are filled with dust and debris, rusted or deteriorated, or not delivering enough air, it’s time to call an HVAC contractor. 

Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air so the system can blow cool air into your home. If the refrigerant is leaking, low levels can cause the AC to struggle. As a result, the outdoor fan will work overtime. Only an experienced contractor can fill the refrigerant in your AC system.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

Poor airflow can cause the coils to get cold enough to frost over. Expanding ice blocks the flow of air even more and can damage the coils. Evaporator coils can be thawed out by turning off the AC. Once they’re free of ice, clean the coils and replace the air filter if necessary. If the coils freeze again and the outside fan is always running, call a professional to check the refrigerant level.

The AC Fan Is Damaged

If there’s a broken fan blade, the fan won’t work as efficiently. It will compensate by running all day. A problem with the blower motor can also cause the fan to run continuously. Noise is common with a damaged fan, but only a technician can properly diagnose and repair the problem.

Does the Outside AC Fan Always Run? Call Tri County Air

The AC condenser fan is a common replacement part. If you notice it’s always on, one of our qualified and knowledgeable technicians can fix it. We service all makes and models of air conditioning units. Available 24/7, we also perform any type of repair to improve safety, comfort, efficiency, indoor air quality, and the lifespan of HVAC equipment. Call (941)-841-8574 to request AC repair in Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.

Does Mold Cause Black Spots Around Air Vents?

Does Mold Cause Black Spots Around Air Vents?

Black spots around air vents in your home can be a sign of black mold. If you’ve eliminated potential causes, such as fireplace soot or a leaky duct, address the problem immediately. Black mold can be highly toxic. And, the longer you wait, the more difficult and expensive it will be to remove.

Where Does Mold Come From?

Mold spores are ever-present in the air. They tend to settle in damp, dark places where they grow into larger patches. The inside of an air conditioning system is often an ideal environment for mold growth. If there’s mold in your AC system, spores can be carried with the airflow and grow near vents. 

How Do I Know Black Spots Around Air Vents Are Mold?

You can suspect that mold is present if the discoloration is concurrent with a few other signs, such as:

Musty Odors

This strong odor is hard to miss. It’s likely caused by mold if cleaning or airing out your home doesn’t help. At first, you may only smell it near a particular vent or part of your home. If the mold spreads, you’ll start to notice the odor everywhere.

Black Dust Around Vents

Inspect vents closely for black dust at least twice a year and after a flood or plumbing incident. Its presence can be subtle. If the vents are dusty when air is moving, mold spores may be present. Persistent black specks around vents mean mold is starting to grow and spread.

Worsening Allergies

Black mold can trigger allergy-like symptoms. If you’re experiencing these symptoms outside of allergy season, that’s a reason to be suspicious. Signs to look for include coughing, sneezing, or itchy, watery eyes. Difficulty breathing is also a sign of mold exposure. You may experience itchy skin as well.

Frequent Headaches

Headaches caused by black mold can occur daily. They may go away when you leave your house and recur when you return home. Mold-induced headaches are often minor at first. But they can get worse and turn into migraines over time.

Lack of Energy

Other symptoms of black mold include a lack of physical and mental energy. If you experience unexplained fatigue, check around AC vents for signs of mold. Brain fog is also associated with black mold. It can interfere with awareness of what’s happening, so be diligent and check for mold if there’s no explanation for your lack of clarity.

How to Confirm Black Spots Around Air Vents Are Mold

Testing kits are available. However, DIY methods aren’t as reliable as professional testing services. If you test for mold yourself, a minor mistake can cause a negative result even if the sample is mold. 

You can also inspect the vent with a flashlight to look for dark patches and other visible signs of mold. While this can help identify a problem, it can be hazardous. Exposure to black mold can make you sick. The best and safest option is to hire a professional to test for mold, fungus, or other contaminants and determine how to resolve the issue.

Schedule Professional Mold Removal

Professionals wear protective gear to safely work near mold. They use tools and equipment that effectively remove all traces of it and prevent future growth. A technician can also identify whether mold has spread beyond the vents and ducts. If necessary, they can clean your entire HVAC system and other affected areas. The sooner you call, the quicker the problem can be resolved.

Call Tri County Air

We can provide whole-home high-MERV filtration, whole-home HEPA filtration, UV light purification, and other indoor air quality solutions. Serving Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties, we know how easily mold can grow in Florida. Our trained technicians can evaluate your home and determine the best solutions to prevent mold spores, odors, bacteria, viruses, dust, and more from circulating indoors. Request an appointment online or call (941) 841-8574 to get started.

12 Tips on Maintaining an Outside Central Air Unit

12 Tips on Maintaining an Outside Central Air Unit

Your outside central air unit is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. Yet many people neglect to properly care for it. That’s a mistake because it’s exposed to the elements year-round. If debris blocks the condenser coils, the unit can overheat, break down, and require expensive repairs. You can avoid these problems by scheduling annual AC tune-ups and by performing the following tasks yourself:

  • 1) Remove Debris: Check the outside unit regularly for leaves, twigs, grass clippings, and other debris and brush away any buildup you find. Wear gloves when removing large pieces of debris that are stuck in the unit.
  • 2) Clean the Condenser Fins: Follow the manual for how to open the unit and access the interior. Make sure the unit, electrical disconnect, and circuit breaker are off, and then vacuum the condenser fins using a soft brush attachment. Be careful not to bend the fins.
  • 3) Clean/Replace the Filter: If the outdoor unit has a filter, clean or replaces it as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty filter will restrict airflow and reduce the performance and efficiency of the entire system.
  • 4) Hose Off the Unit: Use your garden hose at medium pressure and clean the outside central air unit from top to bottom. Make sure to remove all loose debris.
  • 5) Use a Coil Cleaner: Spray a coil cleaner onto the outside unit and wait 10 to 15 minutes. The cleaner will foam and bond with stubborn dirt on the coils. Then rinse the coil cleaner off with your hose.
  • 6) Realign the Fins: Fins can become bent from pressure washing and pressure from foliage, landscaping activities, falling twigs, and hail. Straighten any bent fins with a fin comb. Or, you can use a dinner knife to gently straighten a bent fin. Don’t insert it more than ½ inch into the assembly.
  • 7) Maintain the Insulation: If the insulation around your outdoor AC lines has rotted or become damaged, replace it. Insulation helps improve efficiency and prevent the unit from working harder.
  • 8) Keep Vegetation Away: Grass, shrubs, flowers, and other plants should be trimmed back and removed within 2 feet of the unit on all sides.
  • 9) Trim Nearby Trees: Remove overgrown or dead branches to prevent trees from encroaching on the outside central air unit or a heavy branch from falling on it.
  • 10) Properly Install Fencing: If protecting the unit with fencing, allow enough clearance for service and repairs and use open fencing that will allow proper airflow.
  • 11) Keep Gates Locked: Closing gates helps deter theft as does hiding the unit with landscaping so long as plants and other items are left at least 2 feet away.
  • 12) Don’t Wrap the Unit: Do not wrap the condenser with plastic after the summer. This will trap moisture, cause the unit to rust, and attract pests. Instead, place a piece of plywood on top and weigh it down with bricks to protect the outside central air unit from snow, falling icicles, and other hazards.


Schedule Annual Maintenance from Tri County Air

Our AC maintenance services include detailed inspections, complete AC tune-ups, and high-tech diagnostics. During an inspection, our technicians check all system components and electrical connections. Outside central air units are thoroughly washed to make sure the coils are clean and no debris is left behind. Our membership plans include annual service performed by a qualified technician. To learn more about our membership options and to schedule HVAC service, contact us online or call (941) 841-8384 today.