Episode 641: Chris Howells - HVAC & IAQ: What Works!

Where the IAQ Radio Discussion Continues
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admin
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Episode 641: Chris Howells - HVAC & IAQ: What Works!

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Show Resources: Our Afterthoughts:

11:57:18 From cliff zlotnik : The combination of bovine excrementia from last week and chat prior to the
show on today as to whether my short was black or blue brings to mind a hilarious movie Marcus Pincus TheTailor - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4J6O6ke6Jk check it out!!!!!
12:03:56 From cliff zlotnik : TRIVIA. Name the company from which former employees purchased patents and buildings to form the parent company of Aprilaire
12:06:58 From Donald Weekes : Burgess Battery Company
12:07:08 From cliff zlotnik : correct DON!!!
12:07:23 From Donald Weekes : Yoohoo!
12:08:36 From thorntow : Thank you for the work to create good conversations.
12:14:59 From Paula Schenck : It's the "silver-bullet" mindset, too. Venders are responding with "add-ons" that we may know aren't appropriate, but sound like a quick solution. We need more contractors like Chris!
12:16:03 From Terry Sopher Sr : Question for Chris Howells: is Aprilaire working on designing ventilation equipment that has integral hi level filtration for both chemicals & fine particulates? By high level filtration, I’m talking about MERV 15 for particulates & at least activated carbon impregnation for at least modest chemical filtration of incoming outdoor air. I see that need as major and NOT being met now. In both rural & urban locales, outdoor air is frequently highly contaminated with fine particulates & a variety of chemicals. In the absence of high level chemical & particulate filtration of incoming outdoor air, ventilation air CREATES additional unhealthy indoor air.
12:22:42 From scott armour : #1 problem I have seen in last 2-4 years is the inappropriate sales of PCO and Ionizers - it used to be just UV lights - as opposed to improving particulate filtration with a quality Aprilaire mechanical filter (I’ve been recommending them since 1996!)
12:23:39 From scott armour : also - is aprilaire going to compete with the ventilating dehumidifier from Ultra-air (now santafe)?
12:27:21 From scott armour : Do those allow for provision of positively pressure
12:29:13 From scott armour : So you add the damper system to the standard whole house dehu.. but you still don’t get positive, you are only getting fraction of outdoor air to indoor.
12:29:51 From scott armour : ok - I need those specs! lol… so I can Rec’d a complete All-Aprilaire package!
12:35:39 From scott armour : Q: what is the white coating on the water panels? And when it degrades into powder, why is that?
12:38:26 From scott armour : so it is intentional sacrificial coating?
12:43:52 From scott armour : I believe aprilair is only mfr that offers a MERV16 unit… all others max out at 15… (remember, MERV17 is hepa.)
12:51:46 From cliff zlotnik : Terry, we'll put in blog and afterthoughts, suggest you join afterthoughts!!!
TheTailor - YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4J6O6ke6Jk
Fine show
13:00:02 From scott armour : great show! Chris H was awesome - as good as his products!

CHRIS HOWELLS' CONTACT INFO- chris.howells@aprilaire.com 608-628-7134
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RadioJoe
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Re: Episode 641: Chris Howells - HVAC & IAQ: What Works!

Post by RadioJoe »

Great job by Chris today. This is the future of IAQ response. We have to understand what options are available to people and Aprilaire is on the same page as many in the IAQ world.
HealthyIAQHome
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Re: Episode 641: Chris Howells - HVAC & IAQ: What Works!

Post by HealthyIAQHome »

Very informative session re Aprilaire. They appear to be a leader in offering MERV16 filtration level for particulates. I want to followup with Chris to get more specific info re what equipment they offer the MERV16 filtration on & also his reference to their filters including activated carbon option for adsorption of chemicals. I also want to address an important point regarding ventilation with outdoor air as a method for improving IAQ.

I BELIEVE THE IAQ-HVAC-VENTILATION PROFESSIONS MAKE A TRAGIC MISTAKE WHEN THEY PROMOTE THE GENERAL IDEA THAT OUTDOOR AIR IS HEALTHIER THAN INDOOR AIR & THEREFORE, VENTILATION WITH OUTDOOR AIR IS THE WAY TO IMPROVE IAQ & YOU DON'T NEED TO PROVIDE HIGH LEVEL FILTRATION OF VENTILATION AIR FOR EITHER PARTICULATES OR CHEMICALS. At one time, it may have been generally true that outdoor air was always healthier than indoor air. NOW, THAT IS A MYTH. (1) FACT: Health- Hazardous CHEMICALS are COMMON in outdoor air. In many rural and urban locales, it is frequent, NOT RARE, for OUTDOOR air to contain chemicals that make INDOOR air MORE unhealthy when those chemicals are pulled indoors via ventilation equipment that lacks chemical adsorption media. Just a FEW examples: (a) climate change wild fire smoke/chemical plumes now affect large regions long distances from immediate source of flames & those 'smoke' plumes contain a complex mix of toxic chemicals [see research by Dr Delphine Farmer & others]; (b) outdoor air in rural farming areas frequently contains chemical toxins from pesticides & chemical-fertilizers sprayed on fields, in addition to high concentrations of ultra fine particulates; (c) outdoor air in large geographic areas are now impacted by methane & other toxic aerosols emitted by fracking & traditional oil/gas wells; (d) outdoor air in urban residential areas is DAILY-contaminated with toxic fumes from 'scented/fragranced' laundry products emitted from clothes dryers [see research by Dr Anne Steinnemann documenting the complex, multiple toxic chemical mix contained in 'scented' laundry products and emitted by clothes dryers]. Many more examples can be cited. (2) FACT re PARTICULATES in outdoor air: in many rural & urban areas, outdoor air contains high levels of FINE particulates that are very health-hazardous. MERV 11-13 do NOT provide health-protective levels of filtration for microbiologicals [e.g., viruses, bacteria, mold particulates] or for non-biologic fine particulates. I suggest the following generalizations I frequently hear are NO LONGER VALID: (1) MERV 15-16 & HEPA are too expensive for most buildings & residences. (2) MERV 15-16 & HEPA create too much pressure drop for most HVAC systems.

IMO: it's far past time for HVAC, IAQ, IH professionals to recognize the urgent need for HIGH LEVEL chemical and fine particulate filtration of VENTILATION AIR. I commend AprilAire for offering MERV 16 particulate filtration for its ventilation equipment! Some may argue, "well, building materials, furnishings & occupant activities create lots of unhealthy indoor air, and any outdoor ventilation air helps dilute those contaminants." YES! But NOT if that ventilation air ADDS unhealthy things to the indoor air!

Basic IAQ principles have always cited 'source control' [elimination of polluting sources] as the FIRST way to achieve healthy indoor air. Elimination of emitting-sources is the most efficient, effective means of achieving healthy indoor air. Ventilation ['dilution'] can be an important part of providing high quality IAQ--ONLY WHEN IT IMPROVES IAQ, not when it ADDS contaminants! As building science guru, Joe Lstiburek says, "Dilution is NOT the solution to pollution!" Bringing contaminated outdoor air INTO a building/living space ADDS unhealthy conditions instead of eliminating them! So HIGH LEVEL filtration --for BOTH fine particulates & CHEMICALS--of ventilation air is essential for healthy buildings!
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CliffZ
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Re: Episode 641: Chris Howells - HVAC & IAQ: What Works!

Post by CliffZ »

Terry,

Your post is very, very thought provoking. Thank you for taking the time to create and post it! To me, gaining control over the terminology is very important. I never heard the term "ubiquitous" until the microbiologists began using it to refer to mold. More and more people began using the terms ubiquitous and mold together. Now the terms are very commonly used together.

Over the course of our lives, We've all heard the term "fresh air" thousands of times and as Joe Lstiburek pointed out it's more precisely "outside air" and "outside air" isn't always fresh. In order to change the behavior we need to change "fresh air" to "outside air".
HealthyIAQHome
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Re: Episode 641: Chris Howells - HVAC & IAQ: What Works!

Post by HealthyIAQHome »

Thanks, Cliff. Your point re terminology is important. Part of the problem is also that EPA's guidance is very out-dated, & many rely on it as their authoritative source [just like many rely on CDC position, even tho they are so often out-of-synch with research--as they were when denying airborne transmission of C19 & denying the value of 'masks' for the public as a means of stopping the pandemic]. Re ventilation & filtration, I am frustrated by some of what's happened during C19 pandemic: (1) some calling for an IAQ & public health "new paradigm" focused on high ventilation rates for buildings, while ignoring criticality of high level filtration to prevent creating worse unhealthy indoor air due to highly contaminated outdoor ventilation air; (2) ASHRAE deciding that MERV 13 particulate filtration was sufficient for pandemic control, despite the fact that MERV13 only filters @ 70+% of virus fine particles which are the ones that penetrate deepest into lungs.
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