Modern Houses & Indoor Air Quality đŸĄ

One will think that the more modern the house, the better the indoor air quality. However, that’s not always the truth as recently I discovered that many houses have inadequate appliances that will create harmful air pollutants and some of them will falsely mitigate contaminants by creating a false sense of remediation.

Example #1

Gas cooktops are a must according to good chefs as the pans are able to heat immediately and you have more control of the heat. That’s not true as the new induction cook tops are able to heat the bottom of the pans as fast without releasing harmful pollutants like Nitrogen dioxide.

Gas stoves, especially when unvented, can be the number one source of indoor air pollution. According to new research, gas cooking produces about twice PM2.5 as electric cooktops; including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (CH2O). 

Example #2

Hoods, extractors or over-the-range microwaves “with” exhaust are important while cooking. However, the over-range microwaves that come with an extractor end up reticulating air indoors without proper filtration.

Most houses in the US have these false products that give the sense of remediation but they actually contribute to indoor air pollution. Look at the holes this aluminum filter has! These products are designed to trick customers and spend electricity without any measurable results. Shame on the companies that sell them!

Example #3

Once more, most gas heaters, which are installed indoors without any proper ventilation, result in more unnecessary indoor air pollution. They release the same pollutants as the gas stoves because the combustion of the “natural” gas, which is a fossil fuel, creates all of the above pollutants.

Mitigation

Although my cooktop doesn’t use gas, particulate matter is also released when we cook. I managed to mitigate the pollution that comes out of the pots while cooking with a portable air purifier (AirBubbl by Rensair) which was able to fit above the microwave and capture on the HEPA filter most of the particles by easing the air I breathe indoors.

Finally, I keep windows open when possible and the bathroom extractor on in order to dilute the indoor air with outdoor air (when the ambient air is clean). CO2 and VOCs drop significantly with this technique and PMs are managed well.

It is hard to make drastic changes to an apartment when living on rent, but there are a few techniques that will help us remove pollutants from the indoor air. Next, I will have to buy a high CADR number indoor air purifier with a good HEPA filter.

Back Indoors – Indoor Air Quality is still a thing, here is why!

Autumn and Winter are almost here for the Northern Hemisphere which means a vast majority of the population is going to leave terraces and other open outdoor spaces for indoor spaces (offices, classrooms, homes, indoor restaurants, etc). Covid-19 is still present, but most importantly, we are going to breathe lots of indoor air. We need to take control of the air we breathe as indoors is much easier to diminish the quantity of pollutants we inhale than been outside.

Covid-19 has ruined the lives of many people, personally, I believe that it is very easy to combat the spread of the virus in enclosed spaces, but we need to follow the rules of proper ventilation and purification combined. Scientists have developed various kinds of technologies that can capture pollutants and pathogens. I don’t want to focus very much on the pandemic rather than how important is to breathe clean and fresh air indoors for so many other reasons.

Read More »

Fitness Air Quality Monitor, is that possible?

Over the years, I have spoken with many companies in the field of air quality and once in a while, companies will tell me that they want athletes to purchase their devices in order to improve performance. I am always skeptical about this because I haven’t seen any integration of fitness data with the AQ monitors so far that could give some possible adverts or ways for the athlete to improve their performance. You don’t expect people to make assumptions you have to give them results and guide them in the right direction.

During covid-19 lockdown, I worked out at home and as I have access to a lot of data (fitness and air quality) I decided to make some experiments and see how my body reacts to poor indoor air quality and good indoor air quality and if the whole hypothesis works.

Smartwatches are very common these day and all of them feature a heart rate monitor and many more sensors. Recently, Apple and Fitbit released pulse oximeter sensors in their latest wearables. These new sensors in the smartwatches could unlock many more potentials and provide us with data that could save lives.

Let’s continue with the argument of what current AQMs could do if they combine fitness data. First of all, there is a possible problem. In case the monitor is stationary then it won’t be able to tell if the user was near the device or not during the workout session but this could be addressed as most times fitness data come along with GPS coordinates. By allowing the device to access the location data only when the user is in the same location as the AQM (home, gym, etc.) we solve the issue. Another possible solution is if the monitor comes with a Bluetooth/Ultra Wideband chip then it can easily sense the presence of the athlete/individual.Read More »

Dear Air Purifier Manufacturers

An Introduction

Air purifiers are machines that help us breathe cleaner air when for some reason the air quality indoors is bad. There are a lot of companies and models out there for costumers to choose and most of them offer some kind of High-efficiency particulate air filtration aka (HEPA).

HEPA filters are made by compressing randomly together thin fibers of glass or synthetic material like PP+PET with diameters between 0.5 and 2.0 microns. The air space between HEPA filter fibers is typically much greater than 0.3 Îźm.

HEPA Fiber2_0094
Clean HEPA fibres

Read More »

Free Printable or Digital Activities for kids.

I share with you a part of my book “Nicholas and his incredible eyesight”

You will find a printable or digital PDF with activities for kids during the #Covid19 lockdown. A great way for them to spend some educational time.

https://seetheair.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/nicholas-book-printable-activities.pdf

Be Safe!

Review: BRISE C200 Air Purifier

It was time to review an air purifier because it is a vital device for those who suffer from air pollution and allergies. The purifier that I am going to review is called BRISE C200. It was first launched in Taiwan in 2017, although the company’s headquarter is in the Netherlands with team members in Germany and Taiwan. I have been following this company since their first steps into the air quality market.

The reason I wanted to review this purifier first is because it is the first air purifier with artificial intelligence aka A.I. and because it combines two devices in one, an air quality monitor and a purifier, obviously.Read More »

Bedside Water Taste & Chemistry

Have you ever noticed that the water tastes different when you leave it in a glass on your nightstand overnight?

In general during the 8h sleep, CO2 is built inside the room. Especially in winter when we don’t ventilate as frequent and CO2 can reach levels higher than 2,000ppm inside the house. CO2 is a soluble gas and water is the perfect solvent. As a result a process called Acidification is occurred naturally and the PH lowers during that process. That gives your bedside glass of water a horrible taste.

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CO2 Candles Experiment

CO2 Candles Experiment

In this experiment I will demonstrate how fast Carbon Dioxide CO2 rises inside a room by lighting two small candles.

bedroomday1_0000 copy

I chose my study room as it can be easily isolated, plus I have got all the AQI monitors inside this room for the purpose of the experiment. The room is 7.3m². The experiment is easy, I lit 2 candles and closed the door and window of the room. Then I waiting with myself inside the room till the CO2 reached 1200ppm. Basically I logged the time when the CO2 was 430ppm and when it reached the 1200ppm with and without the candles.

With the candles the CO2 needed 35 minutes to reach the 1200ppm limit as you can see on the graph below and without any candle and with exactly the same conditions as before the CO2 needed 59 minutes to reach the upper limit.

Conclusion

You gain 25 minutes of more oxygen and less CO2 until the room reaches the 1200ppm limit which means more productive time and fewer headaches.

Gray Slate

Candles and Incense sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Candles and Incense sources of Indoor Air Pollution

They look nice and they smell even better, but unfortunately most of them are made of toxic ingredients and when you light them, they diffuse all these toxic ingredients inside your house.

Harmful VOCs

Most commercial candles are full of toxic ingredients that many times they don’t even write on the package like Paraffin, Acetone, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol and Cyclopentene. Most of them are VOCs and the majority of the AQI monitors with VOC sensor will recognize the toxins in the air. Now, when paraffin burned releases toluene and benzene which are highly toxic and carcinogens (these fumes are the same as when diesel is burnt).Read More »