Source removal has a very limited application, since 80% of the dust comes from our dead skin. We are the source! It’s not practical to recommend for pets, smoking or old carpet. In the real world those changes aren’t generally made. The option of source removal isn’t applicable for a new home which is one of the most toxic environments on planet earth.
When remodeling be sure to choose your air purification system before you start remodeling. This is one of the most common mistakes made. Remodeling stirs up an enormous amount of particulate and gases. Keep special watch on HVAC filters for frequent replacement.
Remodeling projects can move take on a life of their own. They move fast and expand. Do your research ahead as you may not have time once the project has begun. New products are coming to market every day. Be sure to read labels and do research. The MSDS (Manufacturer Safety Data Sheet) of products, however, it is not a reliable source. Not all ingredients are listed. It is extremely important to be consumer wary.
Nearly every website is structured to appear independent, but is not. They promote the products they are paid to promote. Terms like “green” and “natural” are used extremely loosely. Most “ green seals” are bought. Nothing replaces looking at the list of ingredients. Most retailers are not educated in this area so don’t rely on any statements made. In my experience most believe that once the odor is gone the VOC’s are gone also. Our noses are not capable of sensing very low levels odors. Remember, the greatest damage is not high levels that alarm us, but the undetectable low levels over a long period of time. Doing adequate research will not only protect your family but will inform the manufacturer of the demand for less toxic products.
Source removal is most effective for everyday product purchases. Think before you buy! Everything outgases. Remove all chemical cleaners from the house. The ones you just can’t get rid of, place in the far end of the garage near the garage door for better ventilation. Replace with natural products. They do just as well if not better.
Proper ventilation (getting more fresh air from the outside), without losing energy savings is extremely important. Variable speed fans can be inexpensively installed on the air handler to save energy and circulate air continuously through an air purification system. Ventilation also addresses the problem of negative pressure within the home so that contaminants aren’t pulled into our breathable air from garage, attic, cracks around doors and windows. For example, a clothes dryer will exhaust 175 cubic feet of air per minute when operating. This means that 175 CFM of make up air has to infiltrate back into the home, carrying contaminates from garage, ceiling and crawl space. Open a window or door to the outside if weather permits. A more permanent solution is to have a small return vent installed through the laundry wall to the outside.
Begin to pay attention to the sources of the moisture. Washing and drying clothes, taking showers, washing dishes and watering plants add substantial amounts of moisture to the air. When doing these activities, run a fan, use vent or open a window to reduce moisture. Anytime the air becomes saturated with more than 50% water, mold and dust mites will experience explosive growth. An HVAC system will reduce moisture form the air, however, a simple moisture meter will measure the humidity. If your home maintains moisture over 50% then an indoor de-humidifier may be necessary in order to keep humidity between 30-45%.
PROPER HVAC MAINTENANCE
Keep a consistent maintenance program to keep the evaporator coil clean and drip pan dry. The best solution I have seen is to install a UV target plate at the “a” coil. This will prevent mildew, and keep the ducts and indoor air clean. Be careful that HVAC maintenance does not introduce cleaning chemicals into the indoor environment.
Avoid duct cleaning with chemicals. Some homes have become uninhabitable because of toxic chemicals used to clean ducts. There are highly effective green products on the market. Find someone in your area that is environmentally conscience.
On a final note, when installing new HVAC system be sure it is sized right. Hire an engineer. Installing a system that is too large for the home can create moisture problems in the home.
Contact Della Powell directly for an IAQ Evaluation and Interview or information about quality air purification for your home or office