#1 - Is Indoor Air really a problem?
Maine residents face exposures:
radon formaldehyde carbon monoxide
lead asbestos mercury
pesticides chemicals tobacco products
Also, biological contaminants:
Viruses bacteria molds
dust mites allergens
All of these are trapped in the air we “re-breath”.
In our attempts to be energy efficient, we live in tightly sealed homes for up to 8 months a year. The tighter the construction, the greater the concentration of these pollutants – and our bedrooms are the worst! Ventilation Rates and Office Work Performance
#2 - Can Indoor air pollution really affect me if I’m healthy?
Certainly kids and seniors are most at-risk, however, indoor air pollution can effect you in a variety of ways. Eye irritation, morning grogginess, fatigue, dizziness, diminished ability to concentrate, headaches, runny noses, irritated throat and lungs are issues regardless of your age.
Breathing dirty, mold/bacterial laden air for long periods of time can affect any part of your body, including, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, brain and nervous system. According to the EPA, indoor air can be up to five times more contaminated than outside air and sometimes even higher.
#3 - I have a lot of moisture building up in my house – is this really a problem?
Mold spores are just waiting for enough moisture to start growing. Mold uses the cellulose in wood fiber as a food source – this is how dead trees disappear in the woods. The outbreak of Legionnaires Disease demonstrated just how deadly mold can be.
#4 - What about just getting a room air purifier – will that take care of the problem?
There are 3 main types of air pollution: particles, gases and moisture. Most room air filters only filter out particles. The gases may be the biggest threat to our health. A filter will do nothing for moisture and depending on the type of unit, likely will not help with gases. They also do just a relatively small area: one room. So to help with the whole house, you would have to get one for each room.
#5 - I hear a lot about Radon – is it serious?
Radon is an odorless, naturally occurring gas produced from the decay of uranium in the ground. It has a high statistical correlation to lung cancer for people who have never smoked. Here in Maine, the problem is serious. In residences tested, from 44% to 74% of the homes (depending on the county) produced levels high enough to require remediation. According to recent CDC reports, Maine has a Lung Cancer death rate 20% higher then the national average. Nationally, Radon is estimated to cause over 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. World wide, 180,000
#6 - Won’t we lose a lot of heat if we are constantly bringing in fresh cold air?
Yes. You will lose some heat. This is why we are tightening up our homes. The truth is, you already are losing heat energy by running the bath fan, clothes dryer, range hood, or any other movement of warm air from inside to the outside. The difference is that with a mechanical ventilation system, you can control the air flow, prevent over-ventilating and our ventilators recapture up to 95% of the heat energy from the exhausting polluted air. Bath fans have no heat recovery.
A better question is whether we can stay healthy and avoid health care costs by ventilating out harmful pollutants!! Because of the health care burden of our houses, the Govt. is making steps to address this issue.
#7 - Do the systems use a lot of electricity?
The Venmar EKO uses as little as 26 watts and uses less then $3 a month in electricity. Others use a little more. Some use up to $20 per month. The average is between $6 and $10 per month.
The question is really this: Is your health worth it?
#8 - Is it a big job to install an air exchange system in an existing home?
It all depends on the home. Most can be installed in 3 to 5 days
#9 - Can you actually measure the difference in air quality?
My customers tell me YES!! Just read some of our customer testimonials.
#10 - What about “ionizing” the air will that make a difference?
Ionizing has been shown to create VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These are known carcinogens. Electronic Air Cleaners and Ion Generators may emit ozone into the indoor environment. This type of product is not recommended. Ozone, when inhaled, can damage the lungs. Low amounts of ozone can cause shortness of breath, throat irritation, coughing and chest pain. It may also worsen asthma and other respiratory diseases and weaken the body's ability to fight respiratory infections.