Healthy Indoors Magazine - USA Edition

HI March 2020

Healthy Indoors Magazine

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Page 58 of 68

Healthy Indoors | 59 • Tightly controlling relative humidity levels between 30-50%. • Below 40F outdoor temps we recommend staying between 30-40% to re- duce the risk of condensation on cold building surfaces. If you see conden- sation inside your windows, you can reduce humidifier settings or open a window until it clears. At higher indoor humidity levels, when it's colder than 40°F outside, there may be condensation happening somewhere you can't see, which can cause other problems. • During warmer winter weather, 40-50% is advised, also to reduce conden- sation. We talked about dehumidification in part 2: next time we'll talk about humidification. • Humidity control seems to be the most important function with regards to HVAC and viral spread. • It's quite easy to track humidity, this data logger is only $20 and pairs to your phone, I highly recommend having at least one. • If you use a humidifier, try to use distilled or reverse osmosis water to prevent putting things other than water into the air. • Filtering as much bad stuff out of the air as possible (including viruses and bac- teria) using MERV 11 or greater filters (discussed in part 1). MERV 13 or higher is needed for viruses. • Adding outdoor air to dilute indoor pollutant levels - which we'll discuss this time. These are all things that BAD ASS HVAC does. Humans Suck at Long Term Thinking—Plant a Seed Now While we all have coronavirus on our minds right now, that's really only one piece of creating healthy home environments. A good HVAC system also helps with reducing particulate pollution, chemical pollutants, mold, dust mites, asthma, and much more. The downside to this is that adding all the capabilities that BAD ASS HVAC offers is only easily possible (and cost effective) at equipment replacement time. We humans excel at dealing with a clear and present danger, as we're seeing with the response to COVID 19, but that's going to be temporary. In a few months or years, our memories will be fading about it. As humans, we suck at dealing with things that have a long time horizon, such as investing for retirement, health effects of ex- cess weight, or in this case spending a little extra on a new HVAC system for it to include BAD ASS capabilities. Before we dig in, you might mental- ly plant a seed to ask for a BAD ASS system when you buy new HVAC, so the next time there might be a wild- fire or pandemic you'll already have such a system in place. Should these threats arise, all you will need to do is turn up the HVAC's fan speed to increase filtration and fresh air, and then adjust humidity settings. OK, enough about coronavirus, let's get to talking about fresh air, the 4th function of HVAC! The 6 Functions of HVAC These are the 6 functions of HVAC, and every home HVAC system should be able to do them. All cars with air conditioning can do 5 of 6, most homes can't do any. We discussed load matching in part 1, filtration, and dehumidification in part 2. This time we'll talk about fresh air. Fresh Air —What is it and do we need it? You might have heard that "houses need to breathe". Nope, not true. Peo-

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