Pure Air

It’s a simple question? What is the air in your home worth? A simple but frequently overlooked question. We have told you several times that the air in your home is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. So have you taken the precautions to ensure that you and your household are breathing pure air? Or maybe you don’t have forced air and need a way to filter the air in your home. Either way take a look at Austin Air.

Austin Air is a company that has a large range of air purifiers. But they don’t stop with just having air purifiers. Their air purifiers are second to none. Made in Buffalo, NY, Austin Air Purifiers is the only manufacturer to have products designated as Medical Grade Air Purifiers.

It doesn’t stop there though. They are the first choice for the government when they need to clean the air. Like after 9/11 their air purifiers were chosen to clear the air for the rescue workers. In addition to the rescue workers the residents surrounding chose them as well to pull up 99.97 % of pollutants from the dust and debris.

In order to take a look at the models and see which is better for your home, find more information here. They have junior units starting at 375 and standard units starting at 539. They come with a 5 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee.

How much is clean air worth to you and your family? This is just one option when it comes to clean air. Stay tuned for more.

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

It’s that time of year again. Where pumpkin spice rules the stores and if your going into town you automatically buy a coffee. Most of us are happy to see chilly weather come after a hot summer but there are some things that fall brings along that are not so pleasant.

Allergies are a big factor when going from summer to fall all over the US. The biggest contributor is ragweed. It is a flowering plant found all over North America. There are 17 different varieties of ragweed with varying different appearances and growth rates. With this year’s warm weather front continuing longer than we have expected it looks like ragweed is here to stay a little longer, according to AccuWeather.

When the regular fall season sets in we encourage everyone to change their air filters because the heaters will be on soon. But this year we recommend changing your filter because of the up swing in the pollen count. If you have a filter size ending in 1 in, we urge you to change your filter every 30 to 90 days. If you use our Tru Mini Pleat filters you could change them less often because of it’s unique design resulting in energy savings! If you opt for the Tru Mini Pleat we urge you to stick with the Merv 8 rating which is an equivalent to a Merv 12 in a regular pleated filter.

Changing your filter regularly is way more important than that pumpkin spice coffee your drinking right now. Don’t put off changing your filter because it will harm the air you breathe in your own home! So do yourself a favor and get some new air filters so that you and your family can breathe happier, breathe easier and breathe pure.

The 4 Types of HVAC Jobs to Know About

Originally posted on Labor Finders, you can read the original post here.

With Labor Day on the way we wanted to look into all the different kinds of jobs in the HVAC industry. So here are 4, let us know what you think?

 

The HVAC jobs to know about

Between new construction, and the increasing need to upgrade or replace heating and cooling systems, HVAC jobs are in very high demand. If you’re interested in this career, here are four career options to know about.

Fabricator

In order for a heating, cooling, and ventilation system to work properly, it needs the right parts. That’s where a fabricator comes in.  In this HVAC job, workers assemble components such as ducts and their fittings using the measurements given to them by customers or contractors. These day laborers can use hand and power tools to cut, weld and shape sheet metal into these parts or work robotic machinery to get the job done. No matter how they create these components, people working in this HVAC job have to be able to work on multiple orders and meet their deadlines. To become a fabricator, you need accreditation from a trade school or a formal apprenticeship program.

Technician

As the most most common HVAC job, technicians do a lot of the hands on work when it comes to heaters and air conditioning units. These workers read and interpret blueprints to install and connect these systems to air ducts, water lines, and other critical components. Once installed, they may be called back to do inspections and run tests to make it’s working efficiently. In the event that it isn’t, HVAC techs are responsible for troubleshooting the problem and making the necessary repairs.

Sales

Another type of HVAC job to consider, especially if you’re looking to do something other than fabrication or maintenance is sales. You can use your expertise to help customers purchase the best HVAC system for their facility and budget. These salespeople can work in distribution plants and HVAC shops or travel to customers’ businesses and homes to do consultations. Other responsibilities may include gaining new customers, negotiating projects, and managing others. People working this HVAC job need to have great customer service skills, be familiar with various HVAC systems, and be a self-starter. As for formal education, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree.

Engineer

If you’re more of a designer at heart, then this is the HVAC job for you. HVAC engineers are responsible for creating the plans that fabricators and installers use. They often work with teams that include the clients and technicians to create new HVAC systems for residential and commercial projects. This HVAC job may also call for the redesign of existing systems. Engineers can work for government agencies, equipment sales offices, or design firms. Workers who are successful in this line of work have usually have excellent problem solving skills and knows how to use CAD designing software. A bachelor’s degree in either HVAC engineering technology or mechanical engineering is required to get started in this HVAC job.

Have You Heard?

This was written by Tim Radford. It orginally posted at EcoWatch:

One of the world’s most famous climate scientists has just calculated the financial burden that tomorrow’s young citizens will face to keep the globe at a habitable temperature and contain global warming and climate change—a $535 trillion bill.

And much of that will go on expensive technologies engineered to suck 1,000 billion metric tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the air by the year 2100.

Of course, if humans started to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by six percent a year right now, the end of the century challenge would be to take 150 billion tonnes from the atmosphere, and most of this could be achieved simply by better forest and agricultural management, according to a new study in the journal Earth System Dynamics.

The study, authored by researchers from the U.S., France, China, the UK and Australia, rests on two arguments.

Slow start

One is that although the world’s nations vowed in Paris in 2015 to contain global warming by 2100 to “well below” 2°C relative to the average global temperatures for most of the planet’s history since the last Ice Age, concerted international action has been slow to start. One nation—the U.S.—has already announced that it will withdraw from the Paris agreement.

The other argument is that, even if humans do in the decades to come rise to the challenge, it could be too late: by then greenhouse gas concentrations could have reached a level in the atmosphere that would in the long run condemn the world to sea level rises of several meters, and a succession of economic and humanitarian disasters.

“Continued high fossil fuel emissions would saddle young people with a massive, expensive cleanup problem and growing deleterious climate impacts, which should provide incentive and obligation for governments to alter energy policies without further delay,” said professor James Hansen, of the Columbia University Earth Institute, who led the study.

Hansen, as director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies, made global headlines in 1988, during a severe drought and heatwave on the North American continent, when he told a Washington senate committee, “It’s time to stop waffling so much and say the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”

Legal testimony

With that one sentence, he made climate science an enduring item on the political agenda. But the latest study is also part of a legal argument. It is, in effect, testimony in the lawsuit Juliana v. U.S.

This case began under the last U.S. administration. However, the U.S. President Donald Trump, who has dismissed the evidence of climate change as a “hoax,” has now been named in the case.

Hansen has argued that even the ambitions of the historic Paris agreement will not be enough to avert disaster and displacement for millions. The benchmark for geologically recent warming levels was set 115,000 years ago, during a period between two Ice Ages, known to geologists as the Eemian.

“We show that a target of limiting global warming to no more than +2°C relative to pre-industrial levels is not sufficient, as +2°C would be warmer than the Eemian period, when sea level reached plus 6-9 meters relative to today,” Hansen said.

Lower CO2

At the heart of such arguments are calculations about imponderables that climatologists like to call the carbon budget and climate sensitivity. The first of these concerns the terrestrial and oceanic processes that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and then absorb them, and the second is a calculation about what a change in carbon dioxide levels really means for average global temperatures.

For most of human history, CO2 levels were around 280 parts per million. In the last two years they have reached 400 ppm, as a response to two centuries of fossil fuel combustion, and average global temperatures have risen by almost 1°C, with a record reading in 2016 of 1.3°C.

Hansen and his colleagues want to see these atmospheric CO2 levels lowered to 350 ppm, to bring global temperature rise down to no more than a rise of 1°C later this century.

If the world’s nations can co-operate to do that, then most of the hard work to remove the carbon dioxide surplus from the air could be left to the world’s great forests.

However, if carbon emissions go on growing at two percent a year (and during this century, they have grown faster), then those who are children now would have to commit to a costly technological answer based on the belief that carbon dioxide can be captured, compressed and stored deep underground.

Nobody knows how to do this on any significant scale. And if it could be done, it would be expensive: an estimated $535 trillion.

“It is apparent that governments are leaving this problem on the shoulders of young people. This will not be easy or inexpensive,” said Hansen.

“We wanted to quantify the burden that is being left for young people, to support not only the legal case against the U.S. government, but also many other cases that can be brought against other governments.”

Do Plants Really Purify Our Air?

If you are on Pinterest as much as we are then you will have noticed lots of pretty graphics about how this plant can make you sleep better, these plants will purify your air and so on. But do they really? Or like so many other posts, is that fake?

We have even reported in the past that a certain few plants do purify your air as long as you have as many as are needed. But after some research and digging we have found some interesting information.

We are not scientist and can’t begin to agree or contradict any research done. But we can look at the facts.

Now I believe this all started from a 1989 NASA report that was intended for a space station. They were having problems with air pollution in their sealed crafts. So they researched how to fix the issue. They started with several different plants in potting soil and an activated carbon filter system in Plexiglas chambers. They then injected three different pollutants into these chambers. Some plants were successful and others were not. The three pollutants were benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. They not only tested these plants in the soil but also plants without leaves and then just the soil. There conclusion is this:

“Low-light-requiring houseplants, along with activated carbon plant filters, have demonstrated the potential for improving indoor air quality by removing trace organic pollutants from the air in energy-efficient buildings. This plant system is one of the most promising means of alleviating the sick building syndrome associated with many new, energy efficient buildings. The plant root-soil zone appears to be the most effective area for removing volatile organic chemicals. Therefore, maximizing air exposure to the plant root-soil area should be considered when placing plants in buildings for best air filtration. Activated carbon filters containing fans have the capacity for rapidly filtering large volumes of polluted air and should be considered an integral part of any plan using houseplants for solving indoor air pollution problems.”

A few years later in 2009, Kamal Meattle gave a Ted Talk about a few plants in a work space that cleared the air of pollutants. His stance is that only 3 varieties of plants will grow fresh air for all and keep us healthy. Per the 300 occupants in the office building they had to have 1200 of these plants. He states in the video that per person you need between 4 to 8 of each plant. So if you have a household of four people that is 48 of these specific plants. Do you have room for those 48 plants? We don’t unfortunately.

In 2014, Robert Pavlis wrote a very convincing article in the respect of gardening that plants don’t really purify our air. He talks in length about the false reports of those who pulled the highest percentage from the NASA report and said plants purify this amount without reading the report. Which unfortunately happens a lot in our society. He goes into the the different factors of the NASA report and how it doesn’t really prove anything. He reports even in their concluding statement which is in this blog that they said “potential” in how houseplants can filter our air. What I was most impressed with was the fact that he took the time to calmly and professionally answer all critics and questions at the bottom of the article.

These three reports have the most data and the most information surrounding this topic. Each is published and linked in this blog for you to come to your own conclusion. Each deserves to be read fully. And are actually very interesting. We have our own conclusion though. Keeping a quality air filter in your system and changing in regularly will keep your air fresh. We also love plants so we keep plants just because they make us happy. If they filter our air even just a little then all the better, if not then they are here to make our spirits happy!

Austin Air Purifiers Trusted by FEMA and the Red Cross

Austin Air FEMA

It’s something we do all day, every day with very little thought: breathing. And, too often too little thought is given to the quality of what we are bringing into our bodies daily through our breath, through our lungs.  But, as concerns over indoor pollution grow, air purifiers are becoming more popular and Austin Air home air purifier units are one choice that should not be overlooked.

Austin Air is a manufacturer of air purifiers and their units were chosen by the U.S Government to help address the crucial air quality issues in New York during the aftermath of 9/11.  They fulfilled an order for air cleaners that was the single largest deployment of air purification units ever in U.S. history, and were chosen under the careful guidelines of FEMA and the Red Cross.  The home air purifiers that are made by them are said to have been designed from the inside out, with their engineers focusing first on the most important element of the air cleaner, the filter.  Austin Air units have a unique air intake system that is able to pull air in from all sides, or a full 360 degrees. This particular design allows for maximum intake efficiency and allows for more purified air to be delivered faster into the home environment.  Every minute that an air cleaner of theirs is operating, 250 cubic feet of air is able to be processed through a four-stage filtering system that step-by-step progressively removes the contaminants from the air.

The manufacturers claim that this high level of processing the air enables their air cleaners to: reach the highest possible levels of performance; achieve superior air flow levels; offer a longer filter life (estimated at 5-years with basic residential use); and extend the life expectancy of the Medical Grade HEPA used (the most important aspect of the filtration process). In order for any home air cleaner to be truly effective in a given space, it must be capable of removing sub-micron particles, chemicals and noxious gases. It must also be able to achieve this without creating unwanted by products, such as ozone.  Their cleaner units, regardless of the size of the unit, included true Medical Grade HEPA filtration material, and activated carbon, which are claimed by the manufacturer to be the only trusted air filtration system technology that is widely used in operating rooms and throughout hospital settings.  True HEPA is a standard for filtration that was devised by the Atomic Energy Commission with the intent of safeguarding the respiratory system in humans, and is the most effective media for filtering particulate that is available on the market. This is the grade of air purifier filter material used in their systems. True Medical Grade HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of airborne particulates as small as 0.3 microns, and can catch 95% of the particulates of 0.1 microns and smaller.

Austin Air also employs specially manufactured Activated Carbon in its air cleaners. Activated Carbon is very porous and this gives the carbon more surface area in which to absorb the impurities in the air such as noxious gases and cigarette smoke. The manufacturers also say that their room air cleaner units do not generate any type of by-products.

If you are having allergic reactions, especially when in your home, or have developed asthma or other respiratory conditions, then you should investigate the benefits of using an Austin Air room air purifier in your home.

Nordic Pure is proud to carry Austin Air purifiers. Click here for available units.

This article is written by Austin Air. The original article is located here.at http://austinair.com/2011/10/austin-air-purifiers-trusted-by-fema/

 

HOW INDOOR AIR POLLUTION AFFECTS US

How indoor air quality affects us
Many of us are correctly concerned about the pollution and contaminants in the outside air we are breathing. Where I live, for example, the community is concerned about the amount of emissions from the nearby factories and the growing amount of traffic on the roads. We are concerned about inversion during the spring and take steps to improve the quality of the air.

Indoor Air vs. Outdoor Air

However, one place that many of us overlook, when it comes to breathing clean air, is the air inside our own homes. While we should take steps to improving the air quality of our communities, we also need to focus on the air inside. Information from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and other scientific sources tell use the air inside our homes, work places, and other buildings is often much more polluted than the air outside. This number ranges from two times more polluted to over a thousand times more polluted than the outside air. Consider the fact that most of us are spending the majority of our time (about 90%) indoors and this means that we are subjected to many more contaminants inside than those which are breathing while we are outside.

The Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Just where does all of that indoor air pollution come from? There are two main causes of indoor air pollution: the contaminants themselves and the lack of proper ventilation.

Indoor Air Contaminants

There are quite a few natural and man-made air pollutants which lead to indoor air pollution. These include: Natural Contaminants

  • Moisture leading to mold and mildew
  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Cockroaches, dust mites, and other pests
  • Bacteria, viruses, and other airborne pathogens

Man-made Contaminants

  • Building and furnishing materials
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • Central heating and cooling systems
  • heating materials used by furnaces
  • Pesticides

Lack of Proper Ventilation

Many of us work hard to prevent the flow of air between the inside of our homes and the outside of our homes. After all, the costs of heating and cooling the building are much less when we can keep out the chill of winter and the heat of the summer. As we work to improve the insulation of our homes, however, we do need to keep in mind the fact that the pollutants inside our home will continue to accumulate until our health can no longer withstand the levels of contaminated air. In the struggle to save money on our energy bills, we mustn’t lose sight of the healthcare costs that can be attributed to preventing fresh air from making its way through our homes, offices, and the other buildings where we spend so much of our days.

The Effects of Poor Air Quality

There are many different effects of poor air quality and these will be felt more or less depending upon each individual. In some cases, the introduction of fresh air throughout the building can remove the effects and in other situations entire buildings will need to be renovated in order to remove pollutants which are causing life-threatening symptoms.

What are some of the first symptoms you’ll feel when you have poor air quality in your home?

Everyone, whether they suffer from asthma and allergies or not, can feel the effects of air pollution over time. The most common symptoms include:

  • headaches, itchy irritation of the eyes, the nose, and the throat, unexplained fatigue, typical allergy symptoms, and dizziness

Unfortunately for many people, by the time the cause of these symptoms has been discovered, the physical effects of breathing in poor quality air may have developed into more serious conditions. These may include:

  • asthma, humidifier fever, pneumonitis, respiratory tract infections, deep coughs, and general susceptibility to other damaging health conditions

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, other effects of poor indoor air quality include reduced attendance and productivity and decreased abilities to concentrate, calculate, and memorize information. The same document describes the deterioration of buildings as indoor pollutants take their toll. It also goes on to state that family, work, school, and other social relationships will feel a strain when the people involved are suffering from the effects of poor indoor air quality.

The Good News

With the realization that your home, the place where many of us feel safest, may actually be the cause of your discomfort or the development of health-threatening conditions, you may wonder what you can do to correct this situation. Fortunately, there are some simple steps which you can take; and in many cases, you can implement these steps at the work place as well. First, take steps to improve the ventilation of your home. Open the windows when the weather is nice. During the summer months, you might open the windows during the cool nights. Use fans to circulate this cooler air through your home, improving the ventilation of your home and reducing the costs associated with running the air conditioning through the night. Second, pay attention to your ventilation system. Make sure that any appliances are properly vented to the outside. Pay attention to where that vented air will flow once outside. (Vents near windows could exacerbate the problem.) Routinely clean vents and filters. Third, think about your use of cleaning chemicals. In some cases, you may be able to eliminate some of the air pollution in your home by switching from the use of chemical cleaners to warm water and a mild detergent. You may also consider only using certain cleaners on days when you can ventilate the home as you clean. Fourth, contact a professional in the field of air purification. These qualified men and women can work with you to install a heating and cooling system with a home dehumidifier (when needed) which will provide sufficient ventilation and which will also filter out pollutants. In some cases, the qualified professional may be willing to consult with you about other steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home. Fifth, choose plants which have air purifying effects. While plants can’t undo all of the effects of indoor air pollution, when they are used in conjunction with the above steps, air purifying plants, such as the Peace Lily, English Ivy, and the Gerber Daisy, can improve the air and provide other important benefits in your home.

Featured images:

Lauren Hill does her best to live a green life and takes air contaminates seriously.  You’ll find her writing on subjects from gardening to air quality all over the internet.  You can follow her on Google+ or at www.laurenqhill.com

What is Pollen Count?

Pollens causing you to sneeze?
Content provided by Healthwise
 
Pollen Count measures the amount of pollen allergens in the air. Pollen counts are stated as grains of pollen per cubic meter of air.

 

 

 

Weeds

  • 1 to 9 is a low pollen count.
  • 10 to 49 is a moderate pollen count.
  • 50 to 499 is a high pollen count.
  • 500 or higher is a very high pollen count.

Grasses

  • 1 to 4 is a low pollen count.
  • 5 to 19 is a moderate pollen count.
  • 20 to 199 is a high pollen count.
  • 200 or higher is a very high pollen count.

Trees

  • 1 to 14 is a low pollen count.
  • 15 to 89 is a moderate pollen count.
  • 90 to 1,499 is a high pollen count.
  • 1,500 or higher is a very high pollen count.

Molds

Mold produces spores that move, like pollen, in outdoor air during warmer months.

  • 1 to 6,499 is a low spore count.
  • 6,500 to 12,999 is a moderate spore count.
  • 13,000 to 49,999 is a high spore count.
  • 50,000 or higher is a very high spore count.

During the allergy season, local TV stations, newspapers, or medical centers may report pollen counts. If you have allergies, find out who reports pollen counts, so you can avoid pollen when the counts are high. You may also look up the National Allergy Bureau’s Web site for pollen count information at www.aaaai.org.

Indoor Air Test Kits

The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) offers complete and comprehensive indoor environmental laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. The EDL supports IEQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses. EDLab has analyzed over 100,000 samples since 1992.

All EDL microbiological reports are prepared with a glossary describing each organism at both the genus and species level. EDLab is accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP # 102795) for bacteriology, mycology and microscopy.

See information below about the Mold and Allergen test kits that are analyzed by EDLab:

Mold Screen Check (MSC)

Mold test kit

Molds are part of natural environment, including air, surface and water. Mold may be allergenic, pathogenic and toxic in nature. Mold Screen kit is capable of collecting a number of different types of mold from various surfaces. A full scan of collect specimen by microscopic technique yields qualitative and quantitative information on prevailing fungal elements/molds. Mold Screen test kit is ideal for collecting mold from surfaces. The findings of MSC are reported in terms of counts/cm2 for each identified type of fungi/mold.

A comprehensive laboratory report is included.

* Identifies hundreds of types of Molds (cts/cm2)
* Quick and Easy Bio-Scan400 test
* Includes Sample Collection Device
* Complete Instructions with Chain of Custody
* Includes AIHA Accredited Lab Analysis for Fungi/Molds
* Free Mold Fact Sheet
* Professional Approach for Fungal/Mold Elements Collection

Allergen Screen Check (ASC)

Allergen

Allergen test

Screen is designed to collect precipitated biological or a-biological allergens. A full scan of Allergen Screen with microscopic techniques provides valuable information both qualitatively and quantitatively on the collected specimens.

Some commonly identified allergens from the indoor environment are pollen, mold, fibers, skin cells, insect fragments and several other inorganic and organic particulates. Allergen Screen kit is ideal for indoor environmental investigation, allergy sufferers, asthma patients, clean room evaluation, etc. The findings of ASC are reported in counts/cm2 for each identified allergen particles.

A comprehensive laboratory report is included.
* Identifies pollen, mold, fibers, insect biodetrites, skin cells, (cts/m2)
* Quick and Easy
* Includes Sample Collection Device
* Complete Instructions with Chain of Custody
* Includes AIHA Accredited Lab Analysis for Allergens
* FreeAllergen Fact Sheet
* Same Samples Used by Professionals

Go to http://www.NordicPure.com and click on Indoor Air Test Kits on the menu to see all the different Check Screens that are available.