Take steps now to keep indoor air clean throughout winter

October 26, 2011

By ARAcontent

Posted: Oct. 12, 2011 | 1:11 a.m.
Updated: Oct. 12, 2011 | 3:10 a.m.

When the winter winds start to howl, it’s a natural response to want to close your home up tightly. To stay warm and avoid wasting energy, you close the windows – or even seal them with window film — find ways to stop air from leaking in through cracks and under doors, and then put your heating system to work. But when those instincts kick in, remember that what you’re doing is sealing air inside your home.

There’s a definite upside to sealing your house up well for the winter: you’ll stay warmer, with less impact on your energy bills. However, the downside is that those actions can negatively affect the quality of the air you’ll be breathing. It’s a particular concern because of the increased amount of time people spend indoors through the winter.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.

“When you flip that switch on your heater, there is a lot of dust and debris – collected in the coils over the summer months – that either burns into fumes or gushes into the house through your vents,” says Aaron Marshbanks, board member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).

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John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
•  Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
•  Microshield Environmental Services, LLC
www.Microshield-ES.com


Is poor air quality costing your business time and money?

October 26, 2011

New campaign urges businesses to fit ventilation systems that comply with European guidelines

Concerns about air quality in the workplace have until now tended to focus on little more than complaints about dripping air conditioning units or funny smells coming from the communal fridge in the kitchen.

But now a new campaign is seeking to highlight the financial and health implications of poor indoor air quality, which can often be more harmful than outdoor pollution, according to experts.

The initiative, launched by the Campaign for Clean Air in London yesterday, argues that better indoor air quality (IAQ) can help businesses reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, while also improving the health and productivity of employees.

Simon Birkett, founder of the Campaign for Clean Air in London, said the best filtration systems can help businesses protect employees from 90 per cent of air pollutants for up to 90 per cent of the time.

Indoor air can become polluted by particulates that seep in from outside or from internal sources such as air condintioners, radiators, cigarette smoke and even scented candles.

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John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
•  Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
•  Microshield Environmental Services, LLC
www.Microshield-ES.com


MOLD FORCES 350 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE STUDENTS TO MOVE

October 26, 2011

So Md News
Chip Jackson, associate vice president for planning and facilities, said the college is working on a plan with construction contractors now for the mold remediation and said it would be “at least a couple weeks” before students move back into the residence halls. He said he hopes the work will be done before the end of the semester, which is in mid-December. “Any institution will have a mold issue here, a mold issue there,” Jackson said, but this systemic mold problem is so severe that it is forcing the evacuations of both Prince George and Caroline residence halls.

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John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
•  Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
•  Microshield Environmental Services, LLC
www.Microshield-ES.com


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