Indoor Air Quality Calgary Services: As Air Quality & Purification specialists we want to share the top culprits when it comes to poor indoor air quality, along with the best ways to clear the air:
Here at Instant Plumbing & Heating, we are not only Calgary’s residential plumbing experts, we are also Air Quality specialists.
Improved indoor air quality is essential for any home or workspace. We all spend a lot of our time inside, which is why it’s important to take care of the quality of the air that we breathe.
The poor quality of indoor air has been linked to several health problems like asthma, allergies, and even cancer. One easy way to combat these risks is through proper ventilation and filtration with an HRV system.
We are going to talk about HRV and UV, which are two ways that you can significantly improve the air quality of your home or office.
HRV stands for heat recovery ventilator. It is a device that is installed in your home or office which uses energy efficient fans to transfer heat from one area of the building to another. The main function of this device is to increase the fresh airflow within a building without using any electricity.
UV stands for ultraviolet radiation treatment. This type of system shines ultraviolet rays onto surfaces inside the building with the goal being to kill
If you find yourself sneezing or sniffling, your family is getting sick more, or you’re waking up in the morning feeling stuffed up, the indoor air quality in your home may be to blame.
Dust and dander in the air; off-gassing from new carpet, paint and upholstery; and all the bacteria and viruses that are especially rampant in the winter can have a detrimental effect on your health and that of your family.
Because today’s homes are so well-sealed, without proper humidity and ventilation systems in place you effectively trap air contaminants like dust and pollen inside your home, giving them no way to escape. With the help of forced air heating, these particles float through the air, ending up in your sinuses and lungs.
Maintaining proper humidity is one of the best ways to clear the air of dust and pollen. Aside from just helping to keep your hardwood floors and solid wood furniture in top condition, ideal humidity also captures these particles from the air and causes them to settle, meaning they can be cleared out by air filters, or cleaned off the floor — most importantly, you’re no longer breathing them in!
Take a look at our Humidifier options in Calgary.
It’s well-known how harmful mold can be, and even a small number of spores in the air can affect your breathing and health. When the highly effective moisture barrier around a modern house combines with the negative air pressure created by being so well-sealed, cold air seeps in through the exterior walls. And when this cold air meets the warm interior air, condensation happens. Unfortunately, where there is condensation, there is great potential for mold.
Your best defence against mold in the air is the Heat Recovery Ventilator in your furnace. The HRV is the system responsible for pulling fresh air in from outside and pushing stale air out in the process. To ensure that your furnace’s HRV and its heat recovery core are in top working condition, be sure to book your annual furnace maintenance calls on time each year.
Anyone with kids in school can attest to the number of germs in the air, especially in the fall and early winter. But the rest of us notice the increase, too. You may find yourself getting sick more simply because you are spending more time in enclosed spaces where these bacteria and viruses are shared freely. Luckily, there are actions you can take at home to cut down on the sharing.
Using an air purifier like those offered by Bryant can really clear the air. Using Captures and Kills (TM) technology, these air purifiers capture pollen, dust mites and other contaminants as they pass, electrically charging them, killing any bacteria or viruses, and then clearing them out using a HEPA-grade filter — effectively inactivating 99% of pathogens and irritants.
You may also consider the CinQuartz Air Cleaner, which uses HEPA, UVC Ultra Violet Lights and Photo Catalytic Oxidation to remove and destroy allergens, dust, bacteria, viruses and all sorts of unpleasant odours.
If you’re concerned about improving the air quality in your home, call us today to find out which options make the most sense for your home, family and budget!
It’s a good idea to get your ducts cleaned at least every 3–5 years, and before installation of any new air handling equipment, like a furnace or air conditioner. This is especially true if you have pets.
The linchpin of your air handling system is a clean, effective air filter. There are a lot of options in this regard, from hospital-grade HEPA filtration, to “capture and kill” active in-duct air purification systems from Lennox and Bryant.
Even without a high-tech filter, you’ll do better than most if you just regularly check the filter you have and keep it clean. So many people forget to do this, and it not only affects your health, but the longevity of your furnace as well.
When the home is airtight, it’s not enough to just heat the interior air with safety and efficiency; you have to engineer a way for the house itself to breathe without wasting energy. The stale air leaving the house contains heat, moisture, dust and allergens. Meanwhile, the fresh air entering can be frigid, and we all pay dearly to heat that air up.
Put simply, Heat Recovery Ventilation is a method for ventilating the home that warms incoming fresh air with heat recovered from the stale outgoing air. This not only improves climate control, but saves energy by retaining about 80% of this heat inside the home.
This can be done passively with an air-to-air heat exchanger (a balanced ventilator in which heat is transferred from one airstream to another). Passive HRV works best when there’s a large difference in temperature from inside to outside, and it’s the most common type. However, active HRV using a powered fan system is even more effective, and has the added benefit of enabling tuning and balancing of the system to suit the particular needs of your home.
If you have air conditioning, the lower temperature of the A-coil creates condensation from the air passing through it. Even though this water drains away, the coil tends to be a damp surface ideal for the growth of mold and bacteria, and these can become airborne. To address this problem, ultraviolet lamps can be installed above the A-coil to keep it and the air passing through it relatively sterile.
Even if you don’t have central air conditioning, UVA lamps can be placed in the main duct and air return to neutralize airborne bacteria from other sources.
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a term coined in the 1980s for symptoms of un-wellness that appear to be linked to time spent inside a building. With widespread concern over energy conservation in the 70s, we intentionally began building homes to be more and more airtight in the interest of keeping the heat in and cold out (or vice versa).
This, unfortunately, is the antithesis of ventilation! Without adequate fresh air being brought in, the interior becomes moist and stale, creating a fertile breeding ground for mold, bacteria and viruses, and allowing dust and allergens to accumulate. All these are associated with a plethora of health problems.
The good news: the obvious need for ventilation in an airtight house is also an opportunity to take control of your indoor air quality for better health and comfort.
Some people are very sensitive to air quality issues, and we have seen some dramatically positive results in the decades we’ve spent in this field. Since there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, give us a call for a free consultation to find out what steps you can take to let you and your home breathe easier.