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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    175
    I would like to clean up the air in my home for my daughter that suffers from allergies and asthma attacks here in the Northeast.

    Which whole house Air filtration and exchange systems or components would you recommend that are effective and of modest cost? Should they be integrated into a Forced Air HVAC ducted system or separate? What about a mechanical media vs an electronic filter, or sticking with portable room HEPA filters?

    So far the systems I have come across include Lennox PureAIr, AprilAire, and Therma-stor Ultra-Aire but I am still learning.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    906
    Originally posted by hardwired
    I would like to clean up the air in my home for my daughter that suffers from allergies and asthma attacks here in the Northeast.

    Which whole house Air filtration and exchange systems or components would you recommend that are effective and of modest cost? Should they be integrated into a Forced Air HVAC ducted system or separate? What about a mechanical media vs an electronic filter, or sticking with portable room HEPA filters?

    So far the systems I have come across include Lennox PureAIr, AprilAire, and Therma-stor Ultra-Aire but I am still learning.

    TIA
    This is becoming a FAQ... I personally don't like portable room HEPA filters much due to the noise and expense, and they usually don't have reach (they clean a small area in a loop because the intake and exhaust are so close)
    - Control the relative humidity, keep it below 50%
    - As a test, put a Filtrete MERV 12 filter in your HVAC system and run the system fan continuously (with the windows closed of course). If the symptoms improve, consider getting an Aprilaire 5000 or a Nutone Guardian Plus system installed. Don't let that Filtrete filter in there more than a few weeks because it clogs up quickly. The advantage of the Guardian Plus is that it can be installed to run independently of the HVAC system, and silently output all the clean air in the bedroom of the allergic person (I like that).
    -If the symptoms didn't improve, then it gets more complicated (VOC sensitivity, perhaps other causes of allergies like food and pets -- see a doctor)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,264
    Ventialte with fresh air- an air change every 4-5 hours, keep the relative humidity below 50%. Minimum of a MERV 8 air filter for air moving equipment. The rest of the fixes are unproven.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    175
    Thanks for the info.

    I am starting from scratch after a house fire and would like to do it right. Fresh air exchange and humidity control are musts. Not sure what whole house filtering would be effective and.

    For humidity control, I take it the A/C should be sized appropriately - anything else I need to know for control, etc.

    For air exchange there appears to be two types ERV and HRV. Which manufacturers air exchangers are high reliabilty and low maintenance?

    Without going the electro filter, what filter or system should I be looking at for catching the pollen, etc from the outside air??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,264

    "For humidity control, I take it the A/C should be sized appropriately - anything else I need to know for control, etc. "

    If you live in a green grass climate, you will need additional dehumidification beyond the "properly sized a/c" for humidity control with the typical spring/fall wet cool weather. With outdoor dew points at +60^F and 70^F-80^F outdoor temperatures, the a/c will only run a couple hours/day at best. You need about 10 hours of a/c/day to get out the 10 gals of excess moisture that air infiltration/ventilation and normal occupants activity generates. Masonary surfaces are the most prone to mold growth because of the high %RH at their cool surfaces. This is floors and walls. To remove the moisture to maintain less than <50%RH, suggest 1 pint of dehumidification/25 sq.ft. of floor space. Most moderate climates have a very poor pay back for HRV/ERV plus you need make-up air for bathfans, clothes drier, water heater, and kitchen hood. Suggest make-up air dehumidifiers with good filtering as a simple more practical solution to fresh, clean air, and humidity control combined with a simple high efficiency a/c.

    Check the following site for current dew points. Plus 60^F dew points will cause condensation on masonary surfaces below 60^F. Plus 70% RH at the cool surfaces grow mold.
    http://www.weather.com/maps/maptype/...nts_large.html

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