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Indoor Air Quality

About indoor air pollution

Immediate effects

Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable.

Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person's exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants.
 


Long-term effects

Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.
 


Sick Building Syndrome

The term "Sick Building Syndrome" (SBS) is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. In contrast, the term "building related illness" (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.

 

 

 

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Learn about indoor types of pollutants

Breathable particles / Combustion products

Source
Tobacco smoke, unvented kerosene and gas space heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces, and gas stoves, chimneys and flues, The major pollutants released are carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particles.

Health Effects
Carbon Monoxide - At low concentrations, fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in people with heart disease. At higher concentrations, impaired vision and coordination; headaches; dizziness; confusion; nausea. Can cause flu-like symptoms that clear up after leaving home. Fatal at very high concentrations.
Nitrogen dioxide - Eyes, nose and throat irritation. May cause impaired lung function and increased respiratory infections in young children.


Asbestos

Source
Pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.

Health Effect
No immediate symptoms, but long-term risk of chest and abdominal cancers and lung diseases.


Organic Gases

Source
Pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.

Health Effect
No immediate symptoms, but long-term risk of chest and abdominal cancers and lung diseases.


Carbon Monoxide

Source
Pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.

Health Effect
No immediate symptoms, but long-term risk of chest and abdominal cancers and lung diseases. 

 

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Determining your ventilation needs

If too little outdoor air enters a home, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems.

Unless they are built with special mechanical means of ventilation, homes that are designed and constructed to minimize the amount of outdoor air that can "leak" into and out of the home may have higher pollutant levels than other homes.

Outdoor air enters and leaves a house by: infiltration, natural ventilation, and mechanical ventilation.

 

How much fresh air do I need?

Good air quality is based in part on the capacity of the home's ventilation system. Usually, the HRV's or ERV's capacity is measured in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minutes) or L/s (Liters per Seconds) of fresh air being distributed in the living space.

The Room Count Calculation or the Air Change per Hour Method shows you how to determine your ventilation needs.

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Why is Air Filtration Important?

To meet the demands for energy conservation, we have built our homes to keep fresh air out. As we increase our home's efficiency, we also become more efficient at trapping contaminants. That means the air inside our homes — the air we breathe every day — is likely to be more polluted than the air outdoors. Up to 50 times more.

The most harmful contaminants in our homes are airborne particulates that are invisible to the naked eye. Particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in size, including fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers, penetrate deep into the lungs, causing serious health problems.

Evidence from community studies links particulate exposure to premature death, increased hospitalization, school absence, and lost work days due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases like asthma. People most at risk are children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory problems.

 

 

Hepa Filtering Systems

 

Only a true HEPA filtering media is effective at reducing particulate levels in our homes.

HEPA filtering systems were developed during the Second World War to remove radioactive dust from atomic research facilities during the mid 1900.

Today, HEPA filtering technology is used in hospital operating rooms, patient isolation wards, bioengineering and pharmaceutical laboratories for removing bacteria and other airborne contaminants. Greentek™ has adapted this technology for your home, bringing you the best residential air cleaner on the market.

 

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Home Ventilation
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV)?
How do HRV and ERV Systems work?
Types of installation
Finding a suitable installation area for an HRV or ERV
Indoor Air Quality
About Indoor Air Pollution
Learn about indoor types of pollutants
Determining your ventilation needs
Why is air filtration important?
Maintenance & Troubleshooting
Problems & Solutions
When should I service HRV/ERV?
Tools & Tips
How much fresh air do I need: Determining your ventilation needs
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