Pollutants such as dust, pollen and fumes find their way into your home’s air every day. These pollutants can cause poor indoor air quality, which impacts both your home environment and health. Poor air quality can aggravate allergies and asthma, and even cause dizziness and headaches. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside your home may be up to five times more polluted than the air outside. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 50% of illnesses are either caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality.
There are two other classes of air contaminants in addition to particles; bioaerosols and odors/chemical vapors. Bioaerosols are microscopic living organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and fungi, which grow and reproduce in warm, humid places. Odors/chemical vapors are air contaminants in the form of gases. Examples are pet odors, cooking smells, perfumes, tobacco smoke, chlorine, cleaning supplies, paints, solvents, etc. Air cleaners will not remove these contaminants. Lennox Industries has developed an air purification system called PureAir. It combines a MERV
16 air cleaner with a metal catalyst and UVA lights to capture the bioaerosols and odors/chemical vapors. The PureAir uses patented photo catalytic technology to filter and purify the air into one integrated system. It comes in three different sizes depending on the size of the home comfort system.
Humidifiers can have a very positive effect on the comfort of a home, the health of its occupants, the efficiency of the heating system, and on the protection of the environment, i.e. wood floors and furniture. Steam humidifiers provide the greatest amount of humidity and comfort to the home and are available in 6, 9, and 12 gallon models, depending on the size of the home. They have a 1:1 delivery rate and can operate independently of the HVAC equipment. They use up to 90% less water than a fan-powered or bypass type humidifier. Steam humidifiers can be used on all size systems. We recommend steam humidifiers over fan-powered or bypass due to their superior performance and water savings.
Fan-powered humidifiers use a built-in fan to blow the moisture into the air stream of the supply plenum. They can be used for small to medium sized systems (3 tons or less).
Bypass type humidifiers have no moving parts and operate via a bypass duct. The humidifier is typically mounted on the supply plenum and has a duct that circulates the humidified air back through the return air plenum and into the air stream. Bypass humidifiers typically are used for smaller sized systems (2 tons or less).
Germicidal lamps work alongside other Healthy Climate products to reduce pollutants in the air throughout your home. Mounted above the cooling coil, they use intense rays of ultraviolet light to control and kill contaminants like mold and bacteria that grow on surfaces inside your home’s HVAC system. For highly effective surface disinfection, Healthy Climate germicidal lamps deliver the maximum amount of microbe-killing ultraviolet energy. The light intensity is up to seven times more powerful than competitor’s units. Honeywell has a smaller, less intense, unit that is easy to install at a lower cost.
A programmable thermostat is recommended for individuals and families who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week, allowing them to use less energy without sacrificing comfort. Programmable thermostats that have earned the ENERGY STAR offer the most energy-saving potential for your home and, unlike older manual thermostats, contain no mercury. Through proper use of your programmable thermostat, you can save up to $150 every year in energy costs.
A zone system meets specific comfort needs in one area, without affecting other areas. It’s like having a heating and cooling system for each living space in the home. This not only maximizes the customers comfort but also saves them money. Most zone systems can handle up to four zones. The Harmony III zone controller is designed for use with variable speed furnaces and air handlers.
Wall or ceiling mounted smoke detectors are battery powered ionization type detectors and emit a very loud electronic horn noise to notify people in the event of smoke in the home. They are typically installed in kitchens, bedrooms, etc.
Whenever you have fuel being burned, you have carbon monoxide being produced as a byproduct. Carbon monoxide (or CO) is a highly toxic gas produced by many common household appliances,
including water heaters, ovens, and furnaces. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of poison-related deaths in America today, killing approximately 500 people a year, so it’s important to keep appliances in good working order. It’s essential to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to detect unsafe levels quickly and protect your family from any potential harm.
An emergency drain pan is used to prevent water from leaking onto a ceiling or overflowing onto a finished floor in the event of a heating and air conditioning system malfunction. They are required, by code, in attics but not in basements.
A HEPA bypass air cleaner will remove 99.97% of .3 micron sized particles or larger. It is installed as a bypass to the return air duct or can be installed independently for individual rooms.
During the summer cooling season, high levels of humidity can make your home feel sticky and potentially create a breeding ground for mold, mildew, dust mites and bacteria. The Humiditrol whole-home dehumidifier system is integrated into your Lennox home comfort system and manages the moisture in your home’s air for greater comfort and improved indoor air quality. The Humiditrol whole-home dehumidifier system outperforms conventional dehumidifiers by more than 50%. It can remove moisture at a rate of up to 140 liters (296 pints) per day of humidity. The minimum system requirements for a Humiditrol system are a Lennox variable speed furnace or air handler, A/C or heat pump with R-410A refrigerant and a Lennox ComfortSense thermostat with outdoor air sensor.
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV’s) are especially recommended in climates where cooling loads place strong demands on HVAC systems. They exchange air and moisture between the indoor and outdoor air streams to provide fresh air into the home. They also are used to ventilate unwanted odors to the outside and replace with fresh air. They are frequently used in nail salons or places that have heavy cooking odors. However, ERV’s are not dehumidifiers. They transfer moisture from the humid air stream (incoming outdoor air in the summer) to the exhaust air stream.
A well insulated, tightly sealed building envelope can prevent the escape of costly conditioned air, but may have unintended consequences for indoor air quality (IAQ). While drafty, uninsulated structures allow plenty of natural “infiltration”, well insulated and sealed structures may allow the build up of contaminants such as bacteria, mold spores, cooking fumes, pollen and dust. In some climates, inside and outside humidity levels may cause mildew or excessive condensation problems. There are a number of mechanical ventilation systems that give control of air-exchange to homeowners, rather than to weather or wind speed, that can be incorporated into new or existing homes. Decisions regarding the best ventilation strategy for a particular situation should always go hand-in-hand with consideration for energy efficiency.
Dehumidifiers are used to control excessive moisture in your crawl space, basement, or inside your home. Ultra-Aire, by ThermaStor, can remove up to 145 pints per day. The Research Products Model 1750 removes up to 90 pints per day. Most of these units require a separate condensate pump to move the moisture outside.
All supply registers and return air grilles are not alike. Many registers and grilles restrict air flow to the rooms they serve. Older registers manufactured in the 1950’s and ‘60’s where designed for heat only applications. Air conditioning requires a greater volume of airflow. Registers and grilles designed for air conditioning applications have wider openings between the louvers and do not reduce the air coming into the room. Recently, wooden registers and grilles have been developed for hardwood floors. These registers and grilles were developed with aesthetics in mind, not HVAC performance. They severely limit the airflow to the room and should not be used, especially in large rooms. Properly designed and installed registers and grilles can help increase the efficiency of home comfort systems.
ECM (electronically commutated motor) technology allows the air handling unit or furnace to vary the speed of the blower between heating and cooling cycles at reduced operating cost. This results in fewer temperature fluctuations throughout the home, better air filtration, and significantly less humidity during cooling season. Up to 25% on annual motor operating costs can be realized. Evergreen ECM motors can be adapted to existing Air Handling Units (AHU’s) and furnaces to provide the same outstanding performance that new variable speed drive furnaces and AHU’s offer.
Duct mounted smoke detectors are mounted in the supply side HVAC duct system and upon sensing of smoke, automatically shut down the fan blower. This is to prevent the spread of smoke and/or fire to other areas of the home. This detector is wired into the HVAC system. By shutting down the fan blower, damage to property and to people thru smoke inhalation can be minimized. These smoke detectors are required by code in commercial buildings.
Homeowner’s and business owner’s alike purchase surge protectors for their computers and printers so that they won’t lose their equipment to a power surge or lightning strike. Surge protection kits are now available to protect the heating and air conditioning equipment in your home. Even though homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of a replacement system due to an act of nature, nobody wants to be left without air conditioning in the heat of summer. Each Ultra Shield Surge Protection kit comes with a “Peace of Mind” $1000.00 per occurrence connected equipment guarantee in the event of a product failure. The units are designed to absorb the impact of momentary voltage spikes and other transient power surges including impulses from lightning. Although
they are one-time pieces of equipment, the savings are far greater than the cost.