Indoor Air Quality Matters – We need good indoor air quality to stay healthy.

Poor indoor air quality can cause many irritations and health problems. Eye and nose irritation, headaches, coughing, fatigue, and breathing problems. Pollutants can have serious adverse effects to our immune systems.

We spend 93-95% of our time indoors. It is vitally important we create an environment with the best indoor air quality possible as our wellbeing and health depend on it.

In the Marin and Sonoma Counties, we are spending a lot more time in our homes with the windows and doors closed. Fire season is a prolonged annual event. COVID-19 has caused us to be home more, and many people now work from home.

The Short Read – Residential IAQ Summary of What You Need

  1. The starting point is a good electrically efficient heating and cooling system that has clean well-sealed ductwork. (ECM motors to run the fan many hours a day – less duct leakage to prevent constantly sucking pollutants into your air system and house)
  2. Good cleanable or replaceable filtration down to 1 to 0.3 microns
  3. Air purification or sterilization to take care of the gaseous pollutants in your home.
  4. Indoor Air Quality testing to monitor the effectiveness of your IAQ system.

Sources of indoor pollutants:

Particulate matter – dust particles, pollens

Biological contaminants – bacteria, viruses, animal dander, mites, rodent or insect droppings, mold.

Building materials – older homes contain asbestos and lead. Newer homes contain chemicals and materials that outgas. (VOC’s)

Fuel burning appliances – can produce Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide NO2

Cleaning products and chemicals also contaminate the air we breathe.

There are two main sources of pollutants – particles and gases. The dust is visible in the air when the sunlight hits it is in the range of 100 microns. Large particles settle as dust. Below 10 microns particles float in the air longer. Below 2.5 microns particles infiltrate the body through the lungs and can get into your bloodstream. Gases are tiny by micron standards. Gases are in the range of 0.0001 microns and are not effectively eliminated by filtration.

Filtration

In the HVAC industry, we often joke that the standard one-inch fiberglass hardware store filter can stop golf balls. The effectiveness of air filters varies greatly. Paper or media filters are good for trapping particles. However, they do not purify or sterilize the air. Filters have a Merv rating as to how fine a particle they can filter out of the air.

1” Fiberglass filter Merv 2/3 – effective to 10 microns – dust, pollen

1” paper pleated  Merv 8/10 – effective to 3 to 10 microns – dust, pollen

Mold, lead dust.

4” paper pleated Merv 11/13 – effective to dust, pollens, dust mites, bacteria, lead, pet dander 1 to 3 microns

HEPA pleated filter (8” to 12” thick) Merv  17/20 – 99.97% efficient removal of particulates – requires a special HVAC system as the filter is too resistive for a normal system fan. 0.3 microns

For filtration to be effective we need large thick filters which need to be changed regularly.

Electronic Air Cleaners

Air passes through charged plates or media. The charged plates ionize the air.  There is often a prefilter which needs to be replaced regularly’ Different Manufacturers charge the wires differently, either negative or a positive charge. After the charged ionizing wires there are collector plates with an opposite electrical charge as the ionizing wires. Furthermore, the particles are given an opposite charge at the collector plates, which causes the particles to be automatically attracted to the oppositely charged collector plates. Lastly, some manufacturers claim that their electronic air cleaners filter particles down to one micron. The Respicaire Microclean 95 claims to be 95% efficient and effective down to 0.3 microns in a 1” thick filter (this is a very popular electronic air cleaner).

Air Purification

Air purification is the process of sanitizing the air by neutralizing airborne toxins (gases and off-gassing, bacteria, viral or fungal matter, toxic pathogens, etc.). Air purification uses a different method than an air filter to purify the air of toxins. Beyond filtration and the removal of particles, a residence needs some type of air purifier added to the air system to neutralize toxins, bacteria, viruses, etc.

This includes Air Scrubbers (trade name) Ultraviolet sterilizers, Air Purifiers, Ozone generators. Air purifiers are typically portable and used in one room. Air Scrubbers install in your HVAC system continually scrubbing the air as it circulates. Ozone is less popular today as it can have harmful effects on the body.

Atomic Theory:

An atom is neutral if it has equal numbers of protons and electrons.

If we use a purifier/ sanitizer we unbalance the atom through ionization. When an atom has extra electrons, the atom is a negative ion. An atom will always seek to be neutral. So, when an atom is ionized, it will seek out another ion to bond with to become a stable and happy atom. It will seek contaminants to bond with to balance itself.

How Do I Know What to Install?

Yes, you need filtration to remove particulates. We use 4” pleated filters, or Respicaire electronic air cleaning filters.

Yes, you need to remove toxins and gases with air purification/or air scrubbing. We use Respicaire OXY 4 AirPurifier™.

How Do I Know if My Indoor Air Quality is Safe or Improved?

The only true way to know how good or bad your air quality is to use an Indoor Air Quality Meter. The layperson should see less dust, less allergies, health issues, and a general improvement in the air quality.

We use IAQ meters to pretest your air before we install air cleaning equipment and use the meters to quantify the results.

IAQ meters test for:

·       Fine particle dust levels

·       CO2 carbon dioxide levels

·       CO carbon monoxide levels

·       TVCO and HCHO sensors measure VOC’s and formaldehyde

Services We Offer:

·       Indoor Air Quality testing

·       Existing system analysis

·       Renewal, repair, or replacement of any component of your HVAC system

·       Air Duct cleaning

·       Air Duct Sealing

·       Air Balancing

·       Filtration systems

·       Air Purification and Air sterilization

·       Programmed maintenance and IAQ component testing

Whether your air purifier is not working properly or has stopped working, our team can help. To make a service request for air purifier repair services in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, San Rafael, or Marin County, call our office.

Why John Owens Services?

Your One-Stop-Shop for Home Comfort

  • We're Your One-Stop Shop for Comfort
    We're Your One-Stop Shop for Comfort
  • 15 Fully Stocked Trucks Ready to Serve Our Customers
    15 Fully Stocked Trucks Ready to Serve Our Customers
  • Free Estimates Available for Installations
    Free Estimates Available for Installations
  • Same-Day Appointments Available
    Same-Day Appointments Available
  • As Building Specialists We Can Repair Anything We Take Apart. No Subcontractors Needed!
    As Building Specialists We Can Repair Anything We Take Apart. No Subcontractors Needed!
  • Local and Family Owned & Operated Since 1986
    Local and Family Owned & Operated Since 1986