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Thread: Retirement Home Odors

  1. #1
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    Retirement Home Odors

    I have been ask to make suggestions to remedy odors in an old folks home. Aside from fresh air quantities and distribution I am going to look at air filtration. What type of air filters in your opinions best eliminate odors?
    No man can be both ignorant and free.
    Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
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    Bi Polar Ionization
    Bi-polar ionization generates ions which break down toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), into their basic elements. VOCs are compounds that easily become vapors or gases and can pose a threat to those who ingest them or come into contact with them. VOCs are released from things like burning fuel, cigarettes, solvents and other household products. Take the case of the VOC, Ammonia (NH4). When using a bi-polar ionization air cleaner, the ammonia is broken down into nitrogen, hydrogen, and water vapor – which, on their own, are harmless. This process also leaves the indoor air fresh-smelling and free of odor causing VOCs.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

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    Why is it that those who complain the most contribute the least?
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  3. #3
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks 2sac I am rusty now and have never heard of that. I will check into it.
    No man can be both ignorant and free.
    Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4
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    Fresh air and lots of cleaning from the in house cleaning crews of the homes. This is a weird subject but comes up from time to time in nursing homes and care taker homes. As humans we loosed or skin about every 3 to 4 months and if we are active most go out the door with us. Retirement, nursing, care taking homes have occupants that very seldom go out so all of their replacement skin particles stay in the structure. Hence, the odor. I use to do my share of care homes with lots of folks and this was a common problem I was asked to fix. The management has to fix it themselves.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  5. #5
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    1_ Try to determine just what those odors are.
    2_ Where they originate from.
    3_ Possibly coming from: Chemicals they are using to clean, persons in building-there will be no air filter that will deal with that, objects in structure.
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  6. #6
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    I worked in one for almost 10 years. The best thing that can be done is fresh air intake and I believe the requirements are 50% fresh air and 50% recirculated air. Then each bathroom is the exhaust air. Make sure all the exhaust fans are working as specified. Unless this is a new building or you are the 1st to fiddle with it, and its been balanced then I guarantee it is unbalanced. Bi Polar ionization is a final strategy. I recommend an ERV system if your FRESH air supply into the building is inadequate.

    Tell me more about how it is set up. Ill tell you this now that they probably wont go for 95% of the things you tell them because of the cost so bi polar ionization might be the only thing you can do. I worked in building that had 100% fresh air intake and it was practically zero help.

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  8. #7
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    Thread Starter
    I visited the home and the design was different than I expected. It was originally an apartment building. The toilet exhaust fan in each room is on a switch so most of the time the odors have no place to go except the hall. Each room has a furnace with outside air but the outside air duct is stopped up with insulation. The duct when the furnace isn't running dumps cold air in the winter on the floor.
    The solution to the odor problem is simple in this case. They need to run the room EF's 24/7 and install a motorized damper on the furnace OA. The rooms can be made negative with respect to the hall and the odor problem will go away. They will eventually have to replace the EF's with ones that make less noise and with continuous duty motors.

    I was expecting to see a much different design that would be a lot harder to deal with. I expected general exhaust systems and a general MUA system.

    I recommended they the bi-polar ionization system. I think they may be able to get a grant for that due to the virus.
    No man can be both ignorant and free.
    Thomas Jefferson

  9. #8
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    We use the aprilaire media filters on the majority of our installs, the carbon filters they offer seem to get the job done as well as the longevity we can get out of the filters.

  10. #9
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    This an issue which comes up for discussions almost every year in many old age homes too. Based on my experience, the Flanders NaturalAire Odor Air Filter works good. But this will work good only when the ducts have been thoroughly cleaned through professional means, otherwise the new air filter will not give the desired results. I will share the page where I had found this as soon as I have the permissions to post links here.

  11. #10
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    Fresh filtered air change in 3 hours, maintain +40%RH--<50%RH, and vac all horizontal surfaces. Suggested for homes. Probably higher for resthomes because of occupants per sq.ft. CO2 levels <1,000 PPM ideal, O2 levels ?? fresh air is 20.5% 15% shortens life.

    Ionizers would not be ideal for seniors?? Some one have ASHREA or ACCA standards handy??

    Regards Teddy Bear
    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"

  12. #11
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    ASHRAE HVAC Applications, Chapter 8.15 (2015 ed)

    ASHRAE standard 170 ; https://blog.ansi.org/2020/04/ansi-a...ng%20buildings.

    https://www.ashrae.org/technical-res...are-facilities

    75*f/<60%rh

    ASHRAE standards are generally accepted as code requirements.

  13. #12
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    I was looking at a retirement center some years ago. My plan was to run ERVs, 1 for each residence hall. All the exhaust would come from the bathrooms and all the fresh air would dump in to the halls/commons areas. Then the system was going to incorporate hot/chilled water to maintain air temp in the halls, as in modulate the water valves so the supply temp to the hall was in the 70-75° range. The total cost of the project was too high so it never went through.

  14. #13
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    Thread Starter
    A lot of good information given. They are dragging their feet so far.
    No man can be both ignorant and free.
    Thomas Jefferson

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehsx View Post
    ASHRAE HVAC Applications, Chapter 8.15 (2015 ed)

    ASHRAE standard 170 ; https://blog.ansi.org/2020/04/ansi-a...ng%20buildings.

    https://www.ashrae.org/technical-res...are-facilities

    75*f/<60%rh

    ASHRAE standards are generally accepted as code requirements.
    Thank you so much for the info.

    From this info, sounds like the ach of one in 3 hours for rest homes with no mention of ionic air treatment. ASHRAE encourages 40%-60%RH. We are so far from this as practice, it is of little concern.
    I feel these are important issues.

    We should care more.

    I try to provide fresh air and an air change in 3-5 hours and maintain <50%RH for anything I comment on.

    Regards Teddy Bear
    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"

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris81 View Post
    This an issue which comes up for discussions almost every year in many old age homes too. Based on my experience, the Flanders NaturalAire Odor Air Filter works good. But this will work good only when the ducts have been thoroughly cleaned through professional means, otherwise the new air filter will not give the desired results. I will share the page where I had found this as soon as I have the permissions to post links here.
    You can find the Flanders NaturalAire Odor Air Filter here. This is the one I was talking about.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehsx View Post
    ASHRAE HVAC Applications, Chapter 8.15 (2015 ed)

    ASHRAE standard 170 ; https://blog.ansi.org/2020/04/ansi-a...ng%20buildings.

    https://www.ashrae.org/technical-res...are-facilities

    75*f/<60%rh

    ASHRAE standards are generally accepted as code requirements.
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Thank you so much for the info.

    From this info, sounds like the ach of one in 3 hours for rest homes with no mention of ionic air treatment. ASHRAE encourages 40%-60%RH. We are so far from this as practice, it is of little concern.
    I feel these are important issues.

    We should care more.

    I try to provide fresh air and an air change in 3-5 hours and maintain <50%RH for anything I comment on.

    Regards Teddy Bear
    I take the ASHRAE recommendations as minimum standards. No reason you cant go beyond.

    All multi family residences should have at a minimum positive pressure hallways as per the Fire Codes.

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  19. #17
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    You're on the right track with the fresh air...24/7 ventilation. A minimum MERV 13. 11 if you really have to stay lower.
    Find iqair on line. They may be able to assist you for your situation.
    Be sure to control humidity levels too. 40%-50%.
    Be leary of IAQ purifiers. While they can have up front advantages they can have long term side effects in the occupants health.

  20. #18
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    I forgot to mention that adding activated carbon into the mix should help. Not familiar with in bulk though, thinking iqair could assist in that too...

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