Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dilution is the solution to Indoor Air Pollution

Cute saying, it rhymes and rings true. Those of us with training in Hers Rating, Performance

Dilution is the solution to Indoor Air Pollution

In Performance Contracting and Building Science have heard this time and again. If we are dozing off in a classroom environment because of the ever so interesting subject of compliance procedures for Energy Star for dealing with an interstitial space in an attic. When the same person for the fifth time asks if he can use visquene to cover this hole and you are past screaming in your head “no shut up you are holding up this ever so interesting class”. The instructor kindly answers that the answer is still no regardless of how many times you ask and how many different ways you ask it, visquene is not solid and that is how I interpret the rule.

The sandman closes in as the gentleman colleague disagrees and continues to expand on the fact that it should be.“Sleep….. you are not in an attic you are in a dimly lit air conditioned classroom” says the sandman “ you do not care about  visquene and interstitial space you want to sleep” and you agree. As gentle sleep folds you in its arms with your head bobbing like a buoy in the ocean while sitting in the classroom in a sea of complete boredom. The instructor then asks how do we handle Indoor pollution “Source Control, dilution” you unwittingly blurt out in an automated response as the rhyme “dilution is the solution to indoor air pollution” dances across your limited consciousness as our gentleman colleague has still not let this visquene point go and expands further.

We do not need to be awake; we do not need to think about it we know this.  What about the average homeowner? How do we convey this information in such a way that they shout from a window “I’ve got indoor air pollution and I’m not going to take it anymore”

How do we get the good word of indoor air quality a subject of conversation? “Well no George I do not have solar but I do have a reduced energy bill due to my source control through air sealing and a continuous use ventilation fan that improves that air I breathe, you should look into it. My house is now cleaner and healthier and I have a reduced energy bill to boot.”

Maybe we need a jingle

ASHRAE 62 point 2 is healthy for us and is good to you shooby  bedooby dooby dooby  doobyity do Call 1800 CLNEAIR for your consultation Today!

put on TV put it on the Radio, publish it in the newspaper, develop the website with cutting edge seo, Have a mass mail campaign, and a full social media assault. WE WILL BUILD AND THEY WILL COME!

Ok bad idea

The answer of course is education and good information. As we move forward in this industry the importance of good information readily being available to the public is important. I think most would agree the good information is out there. Sure we could do better and I am sure we will. The next bit is a bit tricky. How do we get a larger customer base looking for this information? The answer of course is the burden is on us.

Next would be lower cost solutions. Sure we can install an exhaust bath fan at the prescribed rate and pull make up air from wherever at a reasonable cost and is effectively what most customers/builders choose.

I will use a quote I got from a industry partner Dadla Ponzil currently of CCSE. He  calls it air that Contains Ridiculous Amounts of Pollutants or CRAP. It is hard to argue with him as we are uncertain where the air comes from when we exhaust only. Studies would indicate that the air we bring in is of higher quality then the air we exhaust. It would still be nice to know that our fresh air ventilation is actually fresh.

Sure we have balanced ERV and HRV but they are costly. For most homes the uninstalled cost of $ 450-$2000 is pretty big price point I am not saying they are not worth the money merely conveying the objection many have. We can look at supply only and match them with our bath fans in an attempt at a balanced system. But most supply only start at about $ 400 which could hardly be called a savings. We have not added the cost of special switches and ducting.

It  would be nice to have a price point and efficiency  for supply air  something like the whisper quiet fan in the 30 to 80 cfm range to provide fresh supply air into the home. Better yet if it had a point of entry filtration system for easy maintenance. It would seem such a system in combination with an exhaust fan without the recovery could retail less than the current $ 450.00-$2000 of an HRV or ERV for just the parts in the current market.


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