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  1. #1

    Purest possible residential HVAC setup for new home for child

    My daughter has very bad allergies and a very weak immune system

    We are building a new house and we are entirely focused on creating as clean an environment as possible for her (no carpets, no rugs, etc).

    Clearly a whole house HEPA filter seems to be the way to go - what we would like your opinon on is are other add-ons like charcol filters, UV lamps (Non ozone), gas phase filters, etc that will improve upon a whole house HEPA.

    If i could create a clean room at home i would, but that costs hundreds of thousands - we are comfortable spending up to $30k - $50k on the HVAC equipment for a our 4,000 sq foot house (not including duct work etc) to make it the best environment for her as possible

    Thank you in advance - all advice is much appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Trane make a clean effects air filter setup, it's pretty expensive, I would get the biggest one they make and use a transition between it and funrnace. There maybe something better than this so wait awhile and someone else will chime in.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,602
    The Trane unit is not very well constructed (you get what you pay for). They were catching on fire. Maybe they have that problem solved.

    The Carrier/Bryant Infinity/Evolution Air Purifier is better constructed AND does more (cleaner air).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    steeler nation
    Posts
    2,036
    have you contacted a qualified engineer or iaq specialist?
    IV IV IX

    use your head for something other than a hat rack.......Gerry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    The Trane unit is not very well constructed (you get what you pay for). They were catching on fire. Maybe they have that problem solved.

    The Carrier/Bryant Infinity/Evolution Air Purifier is better constructed AND does more (cleaner air).
    The trane units are pretty expensive, why did they burn up?


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    The options are many, but you need to make sure the house is built to minimize the contaminants to begin with.

    If you are careful about selecting low/no VOC building/finish materials, and furnishings, have good tight construction, and proper fresh air ventilation, you won't "need" as many IAQ gizmos.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by Joehvac25 View Post
    The trane units are pretty expensive, why did they burn up?
    Most of the small number of cases were upflow air handlers that dripped water on the collection cells.
    The problem was solved 5 years ago, and the potentially bad collection cells replaced under a voluntary recall.

    I'm not a fan of the Clean Effects/AccuClean because the vast majority of homeowners don't maintain them, or any type of EAC, as they should.
    I'm also not a fan of the Carrier air cleaner because of the high cost of changing the filter.

    I'm more a fan of good high efficiency media air cleaners and source control of IAQ gremlins.
    If more is needed to deal with some specific problem, it can be added to a system.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,316
    Mark is correct simple is better and basic fundamentals is most important. Start with proper sizing (paramount) very tight sealed ductwork, good extended media (HEPA) filter MERV 12 or better and most important start with a clean coil. Coils come with a coating of machine oil from the manufacturing process and this promotes mold growth. I clean all coils with a good green cleaner, treat it with an algaecide and spray it down with a Teflon coating.

    Proper sizing is critical for humidity control, maintain the home with a dew point between 50 & 55 degrees and a relative humidity level below 50% will combat mold growth & growth of dust mites which is a source of allergies in many young people.

    For the most part UV lights are of little benefit however in your case they could have some benefit, additionally a good whole house supplemental dehumidifier with outdoor fresh air capabilities would be helpful; the Thermastor products are excellent you might also look at Lifebreath.

    As far as whole house high end filtration systems like the Carrier and Trane units I would look at the Lennox Pureaire the best of all (IMHO) but as stated they are expensive to maintain. I am not enamored with any of the equipment manufactures certainly not Lennox or Trane but the Pureaire is an excellent product.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,903
    Forget about high end filters and uv lights.

    Electronic air cleaners produce ozone and bypass filters don't move enough air to be effective.

    Filtering the pollution out of the air after the fact is an exercise in futility; the propose of the filter is the keep the equipment clean.

    ----------------------------
    One of the best things you can do is install a central vac that's vented outside.

    A new, tight house should have a HRV or ERV to vent out excess moisture (showering/cooking) and noxious fumes (new building materials)

    Avoid particle board where possible since the glue has formaldehyde in it.

  10. #10
    Guys,

    Awesome stuff - thank you

    We have hired an enviromental engineer to help us with the home material selection (low output, aged materials, low acidity materials, floating floor for less adhesive materials, etc)

    Great stuff - THANK YOU

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    12
    You already recieved some good advice. There is another product out there that can be installed allong with a high quality media filter that produces great results. You may want to look into:
    https://www.activtek.net/CatalogProd...ategoryId=3905

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,401
    The best way to go about it is with a tight building envelope that brings in fresh filtered air from outside the best way to ensure this is being performed properly is by having a supervisor on the job that is up to the task of ensuring that the practices are being followed through on (someone familiar with LEED green buildings and homes). Then the duct system needs to be as close to 100% sealed as possible, this will keep dust etc from ever being distributed by the hvac system. Electronic air cleaners work well but must be properly maintained consistently to ensure they are working properly. I like the 5" media filters(Honeywell,aprilaire, etc) better than eac's.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,253
    Start with hydronic floor heat, then keep the vinyls and formaldehydes out of the materials. Watch out for wood resins in some trim wood (pine is bad, hemlock is good). Use real linoleum for flooring or cement with some wool carpets (if she is not sensitive to it). A really tight house with a good HRV with HEPA filters so the house is not breathing in the outdoor air through the walls. My mom had multiple environmental sensitivities and I had to design and build a house for her.

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