As we enter September of 2015, lets direct our thoughts the coming months and what we need to do to prepare ourselves.
A BIT OF HISTORY FIRST
In the 1970’s during our energy crisis the Government came up with incentives and grants to the home builders association to be used to build homes that are energy efficient. This was the birth of the R-2000 homes which was to be the future of tight energy efficient homes. By solving one problem though they had created another larger problem which we now call Sick Home Syndrome.
Our homes became so tight that it created a indoor bubble that we live in and reduced the fresh air available to come in through infiltration. We were now cooking, using cleaning chemicals, using hygienic products, in the house and circulating all those chemicals and stagnant air throughout our homes. We now had a health issue to the extent that we did not understand its effects till now.
Good news is that we now have solutions to these problems that will either neutralize or reversed air quality that exists in our homes.
1- HEPA FILTERS – (high efficiency particulate arrestant). This filter removes 99.97 of all the small particles in the air that get into your lungs and do damage. This filter does not replace the furnace filter but rather works in conjunction with the furnace filter as they have two separate functions. A HEPA FILTER is a people filter and a furnace filter is a mechanical filter there to stop dust from getting into the burners, sensors and air conditioning coil.
2- UV LIGHT SYSTEMS – this product is used to remove any mould or bacteria that resides in your duct system and when installed properly can have many good effects in your home.
3- ERV / HRV – Energy Recovery Ventilators exhausts stale air from the house and brings in fresh air from outside, filters the air and delivers into your duct system. FACT – Other than about 15-20 days a year where we get bad air quality and smog days, the air in your home is up to 100 times worse than the outside air. In our climate it is either too cold or too humid so we tend to stay in our homes for longer periods of time and with the windows shut. This appliance will help tremendously in keeping good healthy air in your home.
4- BETTER QUALITY FURNACE FILTER – The best possible furnace filter for your home is a 5 inch pleated furnace filter as opposed to a 1 inch furnace filter. If your furnace pushes between 1000-1600 CFM (cubic foot of air per minute) a 5 inch pleated media filter will be able to catch a lot more of the dust than a 1 inch filter. Electronics air filters create a high level of ozone which is harmful to your health and we have not been installing those for at least 15 years now.
5- DUCT CLEANING – Doing a proper duct cleaning can really improve the quality of your indoor air especially if it is a new home or a home undergoing major renovations. If done properly it only needs to be done once every 3-5 years depending on the life style in the home IE: carpeting, pets, number of people residing at the house, cooking ECT.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER WHEN DOING DUCT CLEANING:
1- make sure the duct cleaners are properly trained
2- make sure the duct cleaners have state of the art equipment to properly remove all dust and contaminants ( if not removed properly its better to leave it undisturbed)
3- make sure the duct cleaners are NADCA Certified ( national air duct cleaning association)
4- make sure all the supply and return vents are blocked during the process as to create a vacuum and have the suction hoses work more effectively
6- GET YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY TESTED – At least once a year get a CIAQT (certified indoor air quality technician) to do a visual inspection and take some particulate readings to see what your indoor air quality is like and make some recommendations as to how to improve the air quality.
7- FURNACE INSPECTION – Finally once a year get a licensed gas fitter to do a proper furnace cleaning, safety inspection and check to make sure you have proper combustion and that there are no cracked heat exchangers which can cause CO poisoning and possibly even DEATH. Do this and you can insure you will have a safe winter season and you will save money on gas because your furnace is running more efficiently.
Should you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me or one of my staff at Air In Motion Heating + Cooling and arrange for an inspection of your home and equipment today.
Article Written By – Steve Youdowitch B.A., CIAQT