Category Archives: Highlights

IAQ: How Important is the Air You Breathe?

If you’ve got asthma,emphysema or pneumonia, you know the importance of breathing clean air. Particulates, chemicals, mold or even stale poorly ventilated air can cause problems for people with breathing issues. And since most people spend close to 90% of their time indoors, the quality of air you breath becomes important for health reasons as well. If an area is poorly ventilated and moisture is present mold has the chance to grow and multiply.

When it comes to removing particulates filtration using your homes forced air furnace is most commonly used. Usually a 1″ filter is used near the furnace or in a return grill recirculating air back to the furnace or air handler. Other times a higher density filter or electronic air cleaner is used and is able to capture even smaller particulates out of the air, resulting in even cleaner and healthier air in the home.

Below are two types of 1″ standard filters. The blue is a woven fiberglass that has high air flow, but only catches large dust particulates. The white is a pleated filter which still allows for pretty good air flow, but must be changed often (30-45 days) as it will plug and restrict air flow.

air-filters-clean-1 pleated

When higher quality filtration is needed. Filters with a larger surface area tend to catch particulates better. Also, filters that have an electrical charge and attract particulates do a fairly good job, but do let through some contaminants due to low surface area.

aprilair

Although, we have found one electronic air cleaner that we feel is the best filtration unit on the market, and if your heating system can handle it (it does restrict quite a bit of flow) the American Standard Accu-Clean filter is able to remove almost all dust, dander, pollen, fowl food smells and mold spores out of the air, up to 99.98%. It is also up to 8 times better than any HEPA appliance.  Source: American Standard.

accuclean

If you find yourself being shocked when you touch metal objects in your house or get bloody noses due breathing dry air, a humidifier may be for you. Installed on the duct system, humidifiers help keep your skin hydrated, your sinuses flowing properly and no more bleeding due to a dry nose. Here is an example of a whole house humidifier.

skuttlehumid

The water is dripped down the honeycomb media as warm air is diverted past the media. A humidistat is installed to keep overall humidity controlled in the home and humidity is usually only added in the winter when conditions are the driest.

I hope that I helped you learn something today and I hope that you will consider this when making Indoor Air Quality decisions in the future. If you have any questions feel free to call our office and  ask away. 970-434-5348.

Neil B.

 

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Spring: Evap. Cooling

When it comes to keeping your home comfortable during our warm summer months here in the valley you have some choices to make. Around here, swamp evaporative coolers are pretty popular. We have a dry climate (usually) and we can capitalize on that with evaporation to cool our homes.  Evap. coolers use water and air to cool your home. The process of air flowing over the water causes evaporation, during that process heat is removed from the air, resulting in fresh cooled out-side air.

aspen-pads Aspen Pad used with standard metal coolers.

frigikingLike this,  you can also use the Synthetic pads.

synthetic padSynthetic pads.

Different coolers offer different cooling abilities and it is important that you have the correct cooler for your home. The cooling capacity has to do with the size of the cooler, the size of the motor, size and number of duct runs, size of your home and the type of media used for evaporation. Some coolers offer aspen pads, while others  use a cardboard composite, like this:

breezir celdekCeldek, used in Breezair and Aerocool.

0710_08Breezair

Aerocool-TrophyAerocool Trophy, single inlet.

Maintenance is a must, coolers must be started in the early summer and winterized to prevent damage before the first freeze. Most coolers require draining and disconnect from a water source when you shut it down, and many people opt to place a cover over the unit for the winter. Placing a cover over the unit helps keep the dust out while also helping to keep heat in your home in the winter.

While the unit is in operation windows must be opened to allow proper air flow. Evap. coolers do not (generally) have a return air duct like A/C, so when blowing air into your home it needs some place to go. Other options, such as Up-Ducts can be installed in your home so windows do not need to be open. For the freshest and coolest air, the air in you home must be circulated in 3 minutes or less, otherwise a humid “muggy” feeling can occur.

Yes, these evap. coolers do put humidity into your home, and many people enjoy this during our hot dry summer. In late July and August some humidity does come into our area, at this time the cooler will not work quite as well, but rest assured, it is still doing what it can to cool your home.