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CleanAir Solutions Blog

March 2018

Discover the Magic Powers of a Heat Recovery Ventilator!

magic wand

Most people know what “ventilation” means. When you want fresh air, you ventilate.

But how exactly is ventilation accomplished today? Do you just open a window? Given that the current temperatures here in Ontario are hovering around 0 to 7 degrees Celsius, that would be a resounding “No!”

The truth is, while opening a window is a time-honored way to increase ventilation in any space, there are times during the typical Canadian year when it just isn’t feasible! Whether due to allergies, weather, energy efficiency (letting out all that warm air or cold air you just paid to generate), there has to be a better way, right?

Yes! There is a better way! It is called the “heat recovery ventilator,” and we are about to explain why this really is the latest, greatest invention of the HVAC industry. We will also tell you why you really want one in your home or workplace.

What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator?

A heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, (sometimes also called an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV, although these are slightly different) ensures that your space stays well ventilated via mechanical means.

In other words, you no longer have to open a window and hope for the best in order to exchange stale, oxygen-poor air for fresh, oxygen-rich air.

Now you can have a steady supply of fresh air and you don’t even have to think about it.

At its most fundamental, a heat recovery ventilator works continuously to blow out the old, stale air and pull in the new, fresh air. But the heat recovery ventilator goes one step further by re-using the heat in that old outgoing air to warm up the fresh incoming air.

As you can imagine, this saves you quite a bit on having to pay to heat that incoming air yourself! Current estimates indicate a heat recovery ventilator can retain and re-use up to 85 percent of that otherwise wasted outgoing heat...heat you would otherwise have to pay for.

At this point, you might be thinking “That’s cool, but what happens in the summer?” Glad you asked!

In the summer, the heat recovery ventilator reverses its operations, extracting unwanted heat from the incoming fresh air and sending it back out with the old stale air. Here again, you don’t have to pay to cool down the incoming air in exchange for having fresh oxygenated air to breathe.

What Else Can a Heat Recovery Ventilator Do?

Just moving heat around and oxygenating your indoor air is a lot, but as luck would have it, a heat recovery ventilator can do more than just that.

It can also help keep your indoor air pure and humidity-balanced. This is useful both in the new “tight” (well-sealed) spaces, where construction practices have figured out how to pre-seal nearly every leak or crack that could ever develop inside a space, and in the older, drafty homes where energy efficiency is more a dream than a reality.

In the newer spaces, humidity and toxins can build up rapidly because there is nowhere for them to go. In the older spaces, humidity and toxins can creep in from the outside and cause mould, mildew, and odour.

The heat recovery ventilator doesn’t just move heat around. It also moves humidity around. pollen, pet dander, dust mites, volatile organic compounds, off-gassing, dust, carbon monoxide, radon and other unwelcome airborne visitors are handily removed from your indoor supply with the help of the heat recovery ventilator’s efficient filtration system.

If you have struggled with window condensation, mildew or mould growth in bathrooms, laundry rooms or basements, off-gassing from new furnishings or DIY home improvement supplies, seasonal pollen, or pet dander, a heat recovery ventilator is really going to be a good ally!

Installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator

For those of you who have been following this blog for a bit, you may currently be struggling with “indoor air purity envy” (yes, this is a real thing). Perhaps you think you have to be very rich or to move to a new construction space to ever enjoy truly pure, oxygen-rich air.

This is a myth! We are here to tell you that you don’t have to change your space or your lifestyle to enjoy the benefits of indoor air purity! In fact, most of our clients are working with older HVAC (air conditioning, heating) systems, and let’s be honest, budget is always a concern with today’s escalating energy costs.

You don’t even have to upgrade your air conditioner or heater to be able to make great use of everything the heat recovery ventilator can offer you. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, a heat recovery ventilator can reduce your symptoms significantly. If someone in your household or workplace struggles with asthma, a heat recovery ventilator can filter out some of the most potent triggers for asthma attacks.

What you need to know is simply this: today’s heat recovery ventilator systems can be retrofitted to work with any type of HVAC system. Today’s heat recovery ventilator also has several settings, which means that it can be turned up or down as needed to adjust the amount of ventilation you need or want.

For example, you may want to turn up your heat recovery ventilator if you have another family over to stay with you for a week, and then turn it down again when it is just you and your family in the house again.

Get in Touch

Are you ready to breathe fresher, cleaner, oxygen-rich air this year? We would love to help you achieve that goal! Today’s heat recovery ventilation systems are worth getting excited about, and they will save you on doctor bills, sick days, and energy costs.

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470 to schedule your free consultation today!

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Humidifier + Air Purifier: Your One-Two Punch to Ease Dry Skin and Flyaway Hair!

fly away hair

With humidity levels continuing to hover around the 29 percent or lower mark, there are a lot of Ontarians right now suffering from dry, cracked skin! Ideally, humidity levels should be between 30 percent and 50 percent.

To make matters more uncomfortable, while it can be nice to have light, bouncy hair that is full of body, when the humidity levels fall low enough, “bouncy” turns into “static electricity” and that is a look that has never been in fashion!

Humidity levels that are too low do no one any health or style favors. So what can you do to ease skin discomfort, flyaway hair, and that awful parched feeling in your mouth, nose, and throat?

Luckily, we have a great answer for you! What you need is the one-two punch that humidification plus air purification can pack.

In this post, learn how a humidifier and an air purifier can work together to restore moist, glowing skin and shiny, manageable hair.

Air Purifiers: What They Do

Figuring out what air purifiers do is not rocket science—after all, it is right there in their name! An air purifier purifies the air, plain and simple.

But it is how your air purifier does its job that is the real magic. Did you know that air purifiers use the same technology that our planet’s sun uses to clean the air?

The sun produces different bands of ultraviolet light. A and B are the bands our doctors warn us about, encouraging us to wear hats, sunglasses, and sunblock to keep sunburn at bay. But there is another band, ultraviolet band C, that never reaches us because the ozone layer surrounding Earth blocks it out.

It is this third and most powerful band of ultraviolet light that today’s UV air purifiers harness to clean your indoor air at home and at work. Ultraviolet band C is so powerful, it can neutralize even the most microscopic particles floating through your indoor air supply. It simply zaps them so they never even enter your indoor air.

There are different types of air purification systems. Portable ultraviolet air purifiers can be placed in a room or a small open concept home or office space up to 900 square feet.

Central ultraviolet air purifiers are installed inside your existing duct work, so they clean the air right at the point of entry, making sure that the cooled or warmed air that enters your ducts is clean and clear of any airborne irritants.

By irritants, we mean allergens, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, mould, mildew, viral matter, fungi, volatile organic compounds, smog, pollution, airborne chemical matter, odour-producing micro-particles, dust mites, and more. If there is anything toxic or harmful in your indoor air supply, it won’t be there anymore after it passes through your UV air filter!

This ensures your indoor air supply is always clean, pure, and healthy for you, your family, and your pets. But there is one thing even the most powerful air purification system still can’t address for you, and that is too-dry air!

For that problem, what you need is a humidifier.

Humidifiers: What They Do

Humidifiers can be your best friends during the long, often dry Canadian winters. When humidity is balanced, we typically take it for granted, not even thinking about how the amount of moisture in the air affects our hair, skin, and body.

When humidity skyrockets, and our hair becomes limp and our skin feels damp, and we just want to run indoors, we are aware of the full power of airborne moisture!

Similarly, when the air lacks most of its airborne moisture, our skin begins to dry out and crack. Our lips get chapped and our cheeks get red. Our hair crackles with static electricity and our nose feels sore inside.

Perfect humidity-balanced days don’t come along very often in regular weather, but they can be created with a little help from an indoor humidification system. This type of system works to add back essential moisture to your air supply at home or work when it’s very dry outside.

There are two types of humidifiers: portable systems and central systems. A portable system will add humidity to the air in a small space or even a single room. One common use for portable humidifiers is in a child’s bedroom to help ease asthma, allergy, and cold and flu issues.

A central humidifier works with your existing air conditioning and heating system to add back moisture to your indoor air as needed. There are two main types of central humidifiers, including steam and flow-through humidifiers.

A steam humidifier releases moist air into your ducts via steam that is then carried to each room in your home or workplace to balance out overly dry air.

A flow-through humidifier can be installed to work with your supply or return air valve to move incoming fresh air across a humidification pad before it enters your air duct system and moves throughout your house. This effortlessly adds back moisture to the dry winter air.

Save 20 Percent on All Whole Home Indoor Air Quality Equipment

Now is a great time to consider adding a humidifier and ultraviolet air purifier to your existing HVAC system at home or at work.

Right now, by participating in our spring Breathe Clean Air event, you can save 20 percent off all whole home indoor air quality equipment, including whole home humidifiers, whole home UV air purifiers, whole home air filtration systems, and heat recovery exchange units.

Winter isn’t over yet, and with a savings offer like this one, you don’t have to suffer the effects of dry, toxic air anymore!

Get in Touch

Are you ready to claim the indoor air purity that will give you better health, clear skin, shiny hair and plenty of rich, oxygenated air to breathe?

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470 to find out how!

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Prepping for Allergy Season: Is Your Home Ready?

pollen season ahead sign

With temperatures still hovering around freezing, it can be hard to believe spring is just around the corner!

But even now the trees are gearing up to start sending out their spring pollen. The moment the trees finish, the grass will start germinating, and then it is on to the mould and ragweed invasion of late summer and fall.

If you are sensitive to tree or grass pollen, mould, or ragweed, now is the time to improve on indoor air purity!

This week, learn what your options are to safeguard your hard-working immune system and your hard-hit respiratory system!

Four Allergy Seasons Coming Soon

Regardless of Canada's increasingly changeable weather systems, the annual seasonal allergy calendar stays remarkably consistent.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, here is what you can expect yet again this year:

  • April and May: tree pollen
  • June and July: grass pollen
  • July and August: mould and mildew
  • August, September, October: ragweed

Some health agencies say more people are now being affected by seasonal allergies as a result of climate change.

What does this mean for you and your family? If you have not had allergies in the past and notice symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, nasal drainage, itchy or watery eyes, headache, sore throat, and fatigue, this can signal the onset of pollen or mould allergies.

Four Air Purity Options to Combat Seasonal Allergies

No one loves the start of allergy season, especially since once it starts, it typically doesn't abate until late fall.

But this can be the year you reduce or eliminate your allergy symptoms—by taking charge of the purity of your indoor air at home and at work.

There are four powerful indoor air quality options you can use to filter out unhealthy pollen, mould, mildew, and environmental toxins from your indoor air.

1. Filtration

When you hear the term "air filtration," you should translate it in your head to mean "fresh air." When your indoor air is being filtered, this means airborne toxins and irritants are being trapped and removed from your air supply.

There are many different types of air filters available, but the gold standard is the HEPA filter. HEPA means "high efficiency particulate air" and it dates back to World War II. But today, there is still no other filtration system that can match HEPA for its ability to filter out micro-particles so small they are only the size of 1/100th of a single human hair!

You can install a whole-home HEPA filtration system that will work with any type of HVAC system. Alternately, you can use portable HEPA filters at home or at work to purify your air in smaller spaces.

2. Purification

How is air purification different than air filtration? The difference is in how the system itself works. A filtration system works to remove, or filter out, airborne matter that can cause allergies and illness.

A purification system, on the other hand, neutralizes that same airborne matter so it has no effect on you. The gold standard in air purification is still our own sun, and today's air purifiers harness that same power by generating UV-C band ultraviolet light to zap incoming toxins, pollens and impurities before they ever enter your indoor air supply.

Here again, you can choose between installing a whole-home air purification system that works with any type of HVAC or you can use portable UV purifiers at home and at work for smaller spaces.

3. Circulation

Air circulation is a must-have component to maintain the quality and freshness of your indoor air supply. The best-known method for facilitating air circulation is simply opening a door or a window.

You can also turn on a floor fan or overhead fan to circulate the air from room to room and keep it oxygen-rich.

But as you are no doubt aware, you can't rely on circulation as your only source of indoor air quality, because circulating the air will also draw pollen and toxins inside along with all that fresh oxygen.

So you need to always use air circulation together with other air quality systems so your air is also toxin-free.

4. Ventilation

Ventilation is so important as well for keeping your indoor air pure, oxygenated, fresh, and breathable. Ventilation (along with the seasonal use of humidifiers and dehumidifiers) is also the primary way you can avoid too much or too little humidity in your indoor air.

There are different ways you can ventilate your home and work spaces. Exhaust vents, chimneys, fans, air supply registers, and open doors and windows all provide ventilation by moving more or less fresh or humid or dry air in and out of a space.

But here again, ventilation can't be used as a stand-alone method of removing pollen, airborne irritants, germs, and toxins from your indoor air supply. It is best used in conjunction with either an air filtration or air purification system plus daily air circulation.

The best, most efficient type of air ventilation is provided by a heat recovery ventilator. This unique and efficient system separates incoming fresh, oxygen-rich air from outgoing stale, oxygen-poor air. Not only does a heat recovery ventilator ensure a steady supply of fresh air, but it also balances the humidity in your indoor air to keep mould, mildew, and odours at bay.

You can use a whole-home heat recovery ventilator with any type of HVAC system.

Save on Whole Home Air Quality Equipment!

Our Breathe Clean Air Event is going on right now, and you can save 20 percent on all whole home indoor air quality equipment, including whole-home HEPA filtration, whole-home U.V. air purification, whole-home humidifiers and heat recovery ventilators!

Complete this simple online form or give us a call at 905-544-2470 to learn more!

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