Issue #52  Indoor Air Quality March 8, 2006


Contents: Issue #52
Indoor Air Quality

  1. Basics: Outdoor & Indoor Air, Problems, Glossary
  2. Structure: Garages, Air Ducts, Radon, Mobile Homes
  3. Inside: Gas Heaters, Carpets, Smoke Smell, Scents
  4. Plan: Homes, Remodel, Hi-Rise, Architects Guide
  5. Ventilation: Build, Whole House, Spot, Mechanical Equip.
  6. Air Cleaning: Air Cleaners, Filtration, Ozone Generators
  7. More: Exposure Guidelines, Courses, Links, Experts
  8. Kenís Top Pick: If you have time to surf only one site

1. Basics: Outdoor & Indoor Air, Problems, Glossary

Outdoor Air Pollution & Fine Particulates
The BC Ministry of Environment site explains fine particulates from outdoor air, how they affect us, their sources, impacts on indoor air quality, how we can control them, and regulations.

Indoor Air Pollution & Ultrafine Particles
Ultrafine indoor particulates, their sources, health problems associated with them, and how to decrease exposure for better IAQ are offered here by Aerias Air Quality Sciences.

Residential Indoor Air Problems & VOCs
Washington State Department of Health covers IAQ problems with formaldehyde, asbestos, tobacco smoke, combustion by-products, chemicals, organisms, allergens, mold, and more.

Glossary Of Home Indoor Air Quality Terms
Agnosia is not a place in Europe. Minnesota University has a Home Indoor Air Quality Knowledge Base that provides you with an alphabetical glossary of indoor air quality terms.


2. Structure: Garages, Air Ducts, Radon, Mobile Homes

Attached Garages & IAQ (PDF FILE)
CMHC research report discusses the importance of attached garages as a source of IAQ problems, and gives strategies to manage contaminant transfer in new & existing homes.

Air Ducts In Floor Joist Spaces
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction studied enclosed floor joists used as return air ducts and found they did not create a significant problem with indoor air quality.

Radon Resistant Construction (PDF FILE)
If radon is a concern in your area, this Southface Energy Institute factsheet (with drawings) shows you how to construct homes to address its indoor air quality issues.

Mobile Homes Indoor Environment (PDF FILE)
This brief summarizes a CMHC study that investigated formaldehyde source strength, envelope air tightness, and mechanical air change rates in mobile homes.


3. Inside: Gas Heaters, Carpets, Smoke Smell, Scents

How Safe Are Vent Free Gas Heaters
Although it uses some US data, this excellent article from the Journal of Light Construction will give you good insight as to how unvented heaters affect indoor moisture and air quality.

Carpets & Indoor Air Quality
BC Floor Covering Association provides an article with data from the Canadian Carpet institute that covers common questions about the impact of carpet on indoor air quality.

Get Rid Of Cigarette Smells
If you have a home or room with odours from cigarettes and/or smoke, the Journal of Light Construction explains how to remove them, and offers links to some more resources.

Scents & Fragrances
For those sensitive to scents and fragrances, the Canadian Lung Association has a factsheet, information on choosing scent-free products, and workplace scent-free policy tips.


4. Plan: Homes, Remodel, Hi-Rise, Architects Guide

Guide To IAQ In Homes
US Environmental Protection Agency guide covers indoor air problems and sources, how to improve IAQ, source specific controls, offices, pollutants, and sources of more information.

Remodeling & IAQ Concerns
IAQ considerations when renovating a bathroom, kitchen, den, home office, HVAC, basement, or crawlspace are covered here by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

IAQ In Hi-Rise Residential (PDF FILE)
This IAQ section of the CMHC guide for hi-rise construction provides recommendations for source reduction, mechanical systems and ventilation, along with some case studies.

Architects Guide To Interior Air Quality (PDF FILE)
Written for architects, this CMHC guide explains IAQ issues, sources and consequences of problems, design strategies, roles of architects, and gives sources of information.


5. Ventilation: Build, Whole House, Spot, Mechanical

Read This Before You Ventilate (PDF FILE)
A great Building Science Corporation guide, with drawings, shows you how to build a home enclosure, condition it, ventilate for good indoor air quality, and save energy.

Whole House Ventilation Systems (PDF FILE)
Exhaust, supply, balanced, and heat recovery systems for whole house ventilation are briefly described, with drawings, in this Southface Energy Institute fact sheet.

Spot Ventilation (PDF FILE)
US Department Of Energy factsheet offers a brief overview of spot ventilation design considerations and issues, fan types, controls, specifications, and tips for installation.

Mechanical Equipment For IAQ (PDF FILE)
This very detailed CMHC guide has current information on heating, cooling, ventilation, filtration and water purification systems, and their effect on indoor air quality.


6. Air Cleaning: Air Cleaners, Filtration, Ozone Generators

Residential Air Cleaning Devices
EPA covers pollutant types, air cleaning strategies, types of air cleaners, effectivness, health effects, installation, use, maintenance, guidelines for comparing, and references.

Filtration Systems (PDF FILE)
An IAQ article from the Heating Ventilation & Cooling Industry Association of BC explains the different types of filters, their efficiencies and costs, along with some installation tips.

Warning About Ozone Generators
Health Canada is concerned about adverse health effects of ozone generators, warns the public not to use them in homes, and provides a list of affected brands and models.


7. More: Exposure Guidelines, Courses, Links, Experts

Residential IAQ Guidelines & Exposure Limits
Canadian guidelines for the adequacy of residential indoor air quality, and exposure limits to carcinogenic, non-carcinogenic, and controlled substances are provided by Health Canada.

Courses On Residential IAQ
CMHC offers the Residential IAQ Investigator Program, as well as builder/renovator workshops, air quality seminars, field training, mold remediation sessions, and consumer seminars.

IAQ Resources On The Internet
Links to web resources on residential IAQ health effects, pollutants, sources, repairs, and design can be found at the Univ. of Minnesota Home Indoor Air Quality knowledgebase.

Researchers With IAQ Expertise
If you need expert advice from a researcher, the National Research Council of Canada has a list, with contact info, for personnel with expertise in ventilation and indoor air quality.


8. Kenís Top Pick: The EPA Indoor Air Site

EPA Indoor Air Site
The US Environmental Protection Agency has IAQ tools and information for homes, schools, and large buildings, on molds, moisture, asthma, secondhand smoke, radon, and lots more.


Dittie For Today: On Character

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
   - Mae West 




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