Clearing the Air
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Due to the admirable steps you’ve taken to help save the environment, less and less fossil fuels need to be burned, helping delay the total annihilation of the ozone for a few more years. But, to further prove that no good deed goes unpunished, this responsible and frugal behavior is apparently ruining your health, and chances are, you don't even know it.

According to the EPA, 87% of American homeowners are not aware that pollution in their homes is potentially worse than what we're exposed to outdoors. The World health Organization has chimed in on this subject as well, by estimating that nearly 30% of newly constructed and/or remodeled facilities have indoor air quality problems. In general, the air we breathe indoors can be four to five times more polluted than the air outdoors.

And we're taking our kids down with us. Studies indicate that children inhale 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults, because they breathe more rapidly, making them even more sensitive to air quality concerns.

The implementation of energy conservation tactics (making our homes air-tight), has sealed mold, pollen, bacteria and other pollutants into our homes. Everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, walking and even sitting can stir up all these indoor pollutants.

On average, a home generates about 40 pounds of dust per year for every 1,500 square feet of space. Nearly 40,000 dust mites, a common cause of household allergies, are found in a single ounce of dust. Pollutants flourish in even spotlessly kept homes. Bathrooms, damp basements, carpet and furniture are often the prime culprits.

Typically, the average person inhales about two tablespoons of airborne particles a day. These pollutants can lead to allergy symptoms, respiratory problems and weakened immune systems. Common airborne allergens range in size from 0.3 to 100 microns, small enough to be inhaled but too large to be easily exhaled.

But there is hope. In fact, there is a solution for ridding your home of indoor pollutants and all those other nasty airborne things-an air cleaning system. A good air cleaning system will rid the air of allergens, odors, chemicals and many airborne disease causing agents. There are a number of air purification technologies available. Two leaders in air purification technology are Trane® and Lennox™. Each has developed sophisticated, effective air cleaning products.

The Trane CleanEffects System utilizes patented breakthrough air cleaning technology to remove up to an astounding 99.98% of airborne allergens from the air that passes through the filter, making it more effective than even the best HEPA filters and 100 times more effective than a standard one-inch filter or ionic-type room appliance.

The CleanEffects is ultra effective, trapping allergens down to .3 microns, so small that about 2,000,000 particles could fit on the period at the end of this sentence. Reportedly, this is the size at which allergens cause the most irritation because your nose, mouth and throat can't filter them and they get trapped deep in your lungs. Furthermore, when installed into a system that features a variable-speed fan motor, the CleanEffects will kill dust mites by keeping the air at below 50% relative humidity, which helps make your home even more allergen free.

The Lennox PureAir Air Purification System claims to be the only single indoor air quality system to attack all three classes of indoor air contaminants - particles, bioaerosols and odors/chemical vapors. It features industry-exclusive air purification technology that removes over 95% of particles ranging in size down to .3 micron including pollen, dust and pet dander.

Over 90% of bioaerosols ranging in size down to .01 micron including viruses, dust mites, bacteria, mold spores, and fungi are also controlled and/or removed. It also removes and destroys household odors and chemical vapors including cleaning supplies, paints, cooking smells, and pet odors.

Either one of these highly advanced systems would be an excellent choice for cleaning the air in your home. In fact, whether you choose a air cleaner with a HEPA filtration system, one with activated carbon, paper media filter or a charged media filter, you'll be making the air your family breathes every day cleaner and healthier.

Studies have shown there are less effective types of air cleaners on the market that you should be aware of—Ionic Air Cleaners and Ozone Generators, for example. Here’s why.

Ionic Air Cleaners operate by drawing in particles and ionizing them (giving them a negative charge). The particles are then released into the air where they are attracted to positively charged surfaces like walls and furniture. The particles are never really collected by a filter, so they're just stuck to surfaces throughout your home. Simple movements can dislodge them and they re-enter the air. Many ionizing air cleaners also generate ozone, which is a documented health hazard and lung irritant.

Ozone Generators not only generate ozone (as their name suggests), but their ineffectiveness at actually cleaning the air has commonly been reported.

The size and type of air cleaning system your home needs, can best determined by reputable, well-qualified professionals that offer the latest technology such as a measuring device called “AirAdvice” to sample and analyze the air quality in your home.

The AirAdvice test pinpoints air quality problems in your home that can affect you or your family’s health, as well as their comfort and safety. An AirAdvice IAQ monitor is placed in your home for several days where it measures temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and airborne particles in one-minute cycles. Then once a day it transmits the data for analysis.

The data gathered from the air in your home is then used to generate a personalized report about your home’s indoor air quality. You will know exactly what the air your family is breathing is made up of—no more guessing. Armed with this information, you and your air quality professional can work together to select the best solution for improving the air quality in your home.

What have you got to loose—except Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's), particulate including dust and dander and all that other stuff.

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clearing the air
As homeowners, we want our homes to be as energy efficient as possible. For years, we've been bombarded with advice on how to keep the heat in during the winter, and keep the heat out during the summer. We've been coerced into filling the cracks with that fun to use (but sticky, really sticky) expanding foam stuff, caulking around everything whether it needs it or not, converting to triple pane windows, installing insulated exterior doors, etc., etc., etc. All in an effort to be environmentally responsible and, more importantly to many of us, save a few bucks.