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  1. #1

    Ventilation in modern condo buildings??

    As somebody with breathing problems air quality is always a concern for me. I was planning on moving into a 3yr old high rise condo building in Toronto. How good is modern ventilation in these buildings? I understand some of the new "green" condo's have individual HRV units in each suite providing a good intake of fresh air, however the building I would be moving into does not have this feature. So my question is how does ventilation work in your typical modern high rise condo building and how effective is this type of ventilation? What are the typical air changes per hour etc?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, IA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick1986 View Post
    As somebody with breathing problems air quality is always a concern for me. I was planning on moving into a 3yr old high rise condo building in Toronto. How good is modern ventilation in these buildings? I understand some of the new "green" condo's have individual HRV units in each suite providing a good intake of fresh air, however the building I would be moving into does not have this feature. So my question is how does ventilation work in your typical modern high rise condo building and how effective is this type of ventilation? What are the typical air changes per hour etc?

    Thanks!
    Most cities adopt a code which specifies how much fresh air a specific type of occupancy requires. This can be either an absolute number or it can be a CO2 target. 1000 ppm CO2 is a typical target when adjusting ventilation by occupancy demand. If the building doesn't measure IAQ but just introduces a fixed amount then you need to know if there is a dedicated fresh air handling unit AHU, or if fresh air is obtained via a minimum position fresh air damper.

    In your situation I would ask how is the amount of fresh air controlled in this bldg.? If they have CO2 sensors then they should be able to tell you the setpoint. If not then ask how they do preventative maintenance and assure that there is adequate fresh air. What is minimum fresh air damper position?
    Have they measured CO2 levels?
    If a dedicated fresh air handler then the amount is not going to vary.
    Probably more important is what kind of filters are used? What is their efficiency? 80% filters won't do much for allergens etc. HEPA 99% are best but very rare in residential occupancies.

    Note that CO2 is not normally considered a contaminant but it is a good indicator of how much fresh air is being introduced.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    6,076
    Quote Originally Posted by bob_scheel View Post
    Most cities adopt a code which specifies how much fresh air a specific type of occupancy requires. This can be either an absolute number or it can be a CO2 target. 1000 ppm CO2 is a typical target when adjusting ventilation by occupancy demand. If the building doesn't measure IAQ but just introduces a fixed amount then you need to know if there is a dedicated fresh air handling unit AHU, or if fresh air is obtained via a minimum position fresh air damper.

    In your situation I would ask how is the amount of fresh air controlled in this bldg.? If they have CO2 sensors then they should be able to tell you the setpoint. If not then ask how they do preventative maintenance and assure that there is adequate fresh air. What is minimum fresh air damper position?
    Have they measured CO2 levels?
    If a dedicated fresh air handler then the amount is not going to vary.
    Probably more important is what kind of filters are used? What is their efficiency? 80% filters won't do much for allergens etc. HEPA 99% are best but very rare in residential occupancies.

    Note that CO2 is not normally considered a contaminant but it is a good indicator of how much fresh air is being introduced.
    In residential ventilation, using CO2 levels should be used to indicate the amount of fresh air getting into the space. Some suggest that you get an air change in 4-5 hours when the space is occupied. A 2,500 sqft. space with 9' ceilings needs about 80 cfm of fresh air at a minimum when occupied to purge indoor pollutants. The 1,000 ppm CO2 indicates roughly 15 cfm of fresh air per person. This is great for meeting rooms with significant number of occupants. In a home, I would suggest that you use a CO2 as a indicator of the amount of fresh air to change the air in 4-5 hours. With 450 ppm of CO2 outside, one person would be roughly 650 ppm, 850 ppm for 2 occupants, 1,250 for 4 occupants etc. At these low occupancy levels, you are ventilating to purge indoor building pollutants not occupants pollutants or renewing oxygen. I like the idea of using CO2 levels to activate ventilation. During cold windy weather most homes more than enough fresh to purge indoor pollutants. Thus, the CO2 levels are so low that a home with 2 occupants is <800 ppm CO2 and no ventilation is needed. During calm warm weather, ventilation is needed whenever the home is occupied. This would save much in ventilating cost.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  4. #4
    Thanks for the input! I would be moving into a "den". So its basically a bedroom with a window that doesn't open. Is this a big concern for ventilation? Another thing of note is that I have an IQ Air Health Pro Plus unit. Any more input is welcome! Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, IA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick1986 View Post
    Thanks for the input! I would be moving into a "den". So its basically a bedroom with a window that doesn't open. Is this a big concern for ventilation? Another thing of note is that I have an IQ Air Health Pro Plus unit. Any more input is welcome! Thanks
    Many years ago I worked at a hospital that had 100% fresh air for the surgery and intensive care units. The justification for doing this was that the outdoor air would be healthier and cleaner. A study was done which looked into this and it was found that it was better to HEPA filter indoor air. Less bacteria, mold spores, and allergens. Outdoor/fresh air is good for diluting things that cannot be removed with a filter, but most people have problems with spores, pollen, and bacteria that are carried on dust particles. Good filtration is the most important thing if you are sensitive to this stuff. Your Health pro is a HEPA filter with an additional charcoal filter (the Y5) that removes odors and other gaseous things a normal filter will not. Those charcoal filters need to be changed frequently, but are good when they are clean.

  6. #6
    Thanks again for the replies! In terms of ventilation into the bedroom with no opening windows is there any way to improve it? Should I leave the door open at night? Will the IQair unit increase circulation or will it just recycle the air in the room. Oh another note there is an air intake and exhaust in the room that Im pretty sure just heats or cools the air in the room. Will this have any effect on circulation into the room?

    And teddy bear I was thinking of getting a CO2 monitor to see carbon dioxide levels. What would you recommend as a basic inexpensive but accurate model??

    Thanks again! Any suggestions are welcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,076
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick1986 View Post
    Thanks again for the replies! In terms of ventilation into the bedroom with no opening windows is there any way to improve it? Should I leave the door open at night? Will the IQair unit increase circulation or will it just recycle the air in the room. Oh another note there is an air intake and exhaust in the room that Im pretty sure just heats or cools the air in the room. Will this have any effect on circulation into the room?

    And teddy bear I was thinking of getting a CO2 monitor to see carbon dioxide levels. What would you recommend as a basic inexpensive but accurate model??

    Thanks again! Any suggestions are welcome!
    CO2 Meter dot com for meters at a reasonable price. If the CO2 levels are always low, you are getting fresh air somehow. Air filtering maybe all you need. If CO2 is high, get working on the problem of getting more fresh air. The actual ppms levels depends on the number of occupants and the size of the space. You are looking for an air change in 4-5 hours.
    Keep us posted.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  8. #8
    vekhamjohn Guest
    Ventilation is must in a building to live a better life. Many type of diseases removed with the help of good ventilation. If you want to buy a house with good ventilation then you can buy it with the help of our company which is one of the best property management.

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