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INDOOR AIR QUALITY

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The EPA has warned that over the next ten years, a major health crisis facing the U.S. will be conditions caused by poor indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to serious health ailments. Stagnant air in homes and in the workplace combined with indoor moisture becomes a breeding ground for molds, viruses and bacteria causing a variety of health-threatening upper respiratory illnesses.

According to the United States EPA website on indoor air quality, proper maintenance of heating and air conditioning equipment are very important in controlling common biological contaminants in your home. Those contaminants include mold, dust mites, pet dander (skin flakes), droppings and body parts from cockroaches, rodents and other pests or insects, viruses and bacteria. Many of these biological contaminants are small enough to be inhaled. Maintaining your heating & cooling equipment, therefore, is very important. Keeping the relative humidity in your home between 30% and 50% will help control mold, dust mites and cockroaches.

Hetter Heating & Cooling is one of four local dealers to become part of the PAQ certified program. PAQ (Pure Air Quality) dealers are committed to offering homeowners the very best in indoor air quality options. The following are a couple of products we recommend to help homeowners improve their home's indoor air quality:

Air Cleaners

"85% of American homeowners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside their homes than outdoors."
American Lung Association

Trane CleanEffects Electronic Air Cleaner
The best air cleaning system on the market today is no longer a HEPA. Trane introduced the revolutionary CleanEffects electronic air cleaner in 2005 which boasts efficiencies actually better than a HEPA (commonly used in hospitals everywhere). CleanEffects is 99.98% efficient down to .3 microns and delivers 100 times the amount of clean air that a standard 1-inch filter does, not to mention eight times the amount of clean air of a HEPA system. Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) has been recognized by the FTC and the EPA as a fair and objective comparison of air cleaning technologies. The efficiency of the air cleaning device and the amount of air it cleans both affect the CADR. The CADR of the Trane CleanEffects system stands heads and tails above the rest.

Trane utilizes breakthrough technology verified by professors at the Harvard School of Public Health. In fact, researchers at Harvard in collaboration with scientists at Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&H) evaluated the ability of the Clean Effects to remove human influenza A virus, which is the common flu, from the air. These tests involved releasing the common flu virus into the air inside of a test duct. The removal efficiency was calculated from the amount of the common flu virus measured in air samples collected before and after passing through the air cleaner. The conclusion of the testing was the Trane Clean Effects removed more than 99% of the common flu virus from the filtered air. Because of the similarities among types of influenza virus, the implications of the test are that the Clean Effects whole-house air cleaning system will remove greater than 99% of other forms of the virus including Influenza B, Influenza C, and Avian Influenza (also a strain of Influenza A virus). To learn more go to trane.com.



Aprilaire 2210 Media Air Cleaner
Aprilaire’s Model 2210 media air cleaner is equipped with innovative filtering media that can give you exceptionally clean air throughout your home. These units permanently trap pollen-sized particles, helping to minimize the risk of asthma and allergy attacks. The 2210 also permanently traps mold spore particles (3 microns and larger) at a rate of 70%.

Honeywell F100 Media Air Cleaner
Honeywell’s F100 media air cleaner captures both microscopic particles like dust and smoke in addition to larger contaminants such as mold spores and pet dander. It is up to 4 times more effective and is up to 85% more efficient at capturing airborne particles compared to a standard one-inch filter. Recommended filter replacement is every 6-12 months depending on the home.

Humidifiers

"There is yet no cure for the common cold. The most important preventive measure would appear to be the proper regulation of humidity."
New York State Journal of Medicine

Aprilaire 600 Automatic OR Manual Bypass Humidifier
The Aprilaire 600 Automatic humidifier is installed in your existing HVAC duct system with an outdoor sensor so it will automatically adjust with the temperature outside. These units can adjust up to 80,000 times per day.

The Aprilaire 600 Manual humidifier is installed in your existing HVAC duct system as well, but any adjustments to humidity levels must be done manually. This is the least expensive whole house humidifier option and as with all humidifiers offered here, this particular unit can be controlled by installing a new Touch Screen thermostat along with it.

Relative humidity is the percent of moisture in your home’s air as compared to what it could hold. As we mentioned earlier, the optimum relative humidity level is between 30% and 50%. The average American home in February – the driest indoor month of the year – registers a relative humidity between 10% and 15%. In comparison, the Sahara desert’s average relative humidity comes in around 25%. Relative humidity is not only important for comfort, but for maintaining good health as well.

"Humidity reduces the incidence of respiratory infections and speeds recovery from the common cold."
Dr. William J. Hitschler

According to a number of clinical studies, our immune system functions at its optimum, when the relative humidity in a home ranges between 45% and 65%. Research has shown that Pneumococcus (bacterial pneumonia), Staphylococcus (staph bacteria), and Streptococcus (strep throat bacteria) are eliminated up to 20 times faster at a relative humidity between 45% and 55%, than at levels above 70% or below 20%.

Honeywell Bypass Humidifier
Honeywell’s bypass humidifier delivers up to 17 gallons of moisture into the home each day. It’s replacement evaporator pads can be purchased from and/or replaced by your heating and cooling contractor, and also fit Aprilaire Humidifiers.

Low humidity can also lead to aggravated skin allergies and dehydration, characterized by symptoms such as dry skin, chronic joint and muscle pain, raspy throat and sore eyes. Clearly, when considering the matter of indoor air, temperature is not the only item to contemplate. For many families, a whole home humidifier not only provides the right amount of moisture for total comfort, it is also an important tool in helping to combat the airborne bacteria and allergens that are a fact of modern life.

Also, it is commonly known that dry indoor air will pull moisture from walls and hardwood floors thereby creating damaging and unsightly cracks. The following is a case in point: A cubic foot of wood can hold up to three pints of water at 60% relative humidity; That same cubic foot of wood can only hold up to one pint of water at 10% relative humidity.

Proper humidification allows you to feel warmer at lower thermostat settings, according to the EPA. You can save up to 4% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.

UV Lights

Sanuvox Ultra Violet lights
According to the American Lung Association, Asthma is America's fastest growing respiratory disease. The ALA says new reported cases of asthma have grown from 10 million in 1990 to over 25 million in 2000. The main culprit - MOLD. The best protection in your home from mold - a UV light. Every surgical room in America uses UV technology. That technology is available at an affordable cost now to homeowners. Hetter Heating & Cooling installs and services ultra violet lights. There are many different manufacturers. We recommend Sanuvox because of its design. A big factor in achieving a high biological kill rate of mold spores is the length of time those spores are exposed to the actual UV bulb. Sanuvox's product mounts in your duct system parallel to the air stream, therefore, maximizing the time contaminants are in contact with the UV light itself.

Call our office (614) 784-9200 or e-mail sales for more information and pricing.

NOTE: For more information visit: www.guidetogoodhealth.com, www.aprilaire.com, www.forwardthinking.honeywell.com, www.americanlungassociation.com, www.trane.com, www.epa.gov.