Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Important Questions Regarding Indoor Air Quality New York, NY

Important Questions Regarding Indoor Air Quality New York, NY


How do air fresheners affect indoor air quality?

Air fresheners can impact indoor air quality by adding potentially hazardous pollutants to the air. The use of air fresheners is associated with elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylenes, in indoor air. These VOCs are often difficult to smell in the air, but they can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as cause headaches and nausea. The types and amounts of VOCs emitted depend primarily on the fragrance composition of the air freshener, not on the type of air freshener. It can be difficult or impossible to find out the ingredients in air fresheners, because manufacturers are not required to disclose the complete list of ingredients.Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Air fresheners can add VOCs and other pollutants to the air through direct emissions from fresheners as well as through secondary reaction products from the freshener chemicals reacting with constituents (such as ozone) that are already in the air. For example, air freshener emissions can react with naturally-occurring indoor air compounds, such as ozone, to produce secondary pollutants such as formaldehyde. The types and amounts of secondary pollutants produced are influenced by factors such as air freshener ingredients, concentrations, and product usage.

How do air fresheners affect human health?

The use of air fresheners can increase exposure levels to air pollutants. These exposures, even at relatively low levels, have been associated with a range of adverse health effects. These effects may include migraine headaches, asthma attacks, breathing and respiratory difficulties, dermatitis, and neurological problems particularly for sensitive individuals.

Are “green” air fresheners safer or better than regular ones?

Some air freshener products are described as “green” (or other related terms, such as organic or all-natural), but these terms lack regulatory or chemical definitions when used with air fresheners. Studies comparing emissions of different types of air fresheners have found that all air fresheners – regardless of “green” claims – emit potentially hazardous compounds. Moreover, emissions from “green” air fresheners were not found to be significantly different from other fresheners.

Homemade or “natural” air fresheners made with essential oils are not necessarily free of potentially harmful chemicals, either. Essential oils consist of combinations of naturally-derived chemicals that are highly concentrated. Concentrations of these oils in nature are typically much lower than the concentrations found in essential oils. Moreover, few of these oils and plant-based ingredients have been tested for safety, and some can trigger allergic reactions.Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Can air fresheners remove odors and clean the air?

Some air fresheners purportedly clean the air by removing odors, disinfecting the air, or reducing allergens. These claims have been difficult to scientifically verify. Moreover, the use of these products would not provide a long-term solution since the source of odors, bacteria, or other allergens would not be addressed.

What are some alternatives to using air fresheners?

Air fresheners are generally used to create a more pleasing indoor air environment, but they can also exacerbate indoor air quality problems by adding more chemicals to the air. 

 

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328

Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

The Best Way To Ventilate Your Basement And Improve Indoor Air Quality Macedonia, OH

The Best Way To Ventilate Your Basement And Improve Indoor Air Quality Macedonia, OH

Do you ventilate your basement? The conditions in your basement play a major role in determining the indoor air quality of the upper levels of your home. Poor air quality in your basement will mean poor air quality in the rest of your home.Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Why you should ventilate your basement

The best way to improve indoor air quality in your basement is by ventilating your basement. Ventilation allows for the circulation of air in the basement. A poorly ventilated basement is prone to moisture problems. This is because basements are structures located below grade. They are vulnerable to moisture penetration. Poor ventilation will result in high humidity levels within the basement which in turn will result in a mold or mildew infestation. Mold spores can cause respiratory issues, allergic reactions, sinus problems, and much more.

High humidity provides the perfect environment for pests such as rodents and insects such as termites and cockroaches to thrive. You may find yourself having to deal with a pest or insect infestation. Increased humidity can also lead to structural problems as a result of rot or termite infestations.

The best way to ventilate your basement

Ventilating a basement isn’t as simple as throwing a window open. While natural ventilation is adequate during summer, it isn’t feasible in the winter or during wet seasons. It is also important to note that if you live in a humid area, the air that you let into your basement will be humid. This could mean even more problems for your basement.Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

One way to deal with the humidity is to invest in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will take the excess moisture out of the air. This will keep your basement dry even when you leave your windows open on a hot and humid summer day. The only challenge with this is that it still doesn’t solve the problem of ventilating on days when the weather is bad.

A whole home ventilation system offers a great solution for ventilating your basement all year round. These systems draw in fresh oxygen-rich air from the outside. Excess moisture is removed and the air is heated or cooled depending on the time of year. They also exhaust stale air from the inside of the home to the outside. These systems will allow you to ventilate your basement year-round without putting it at risk of developing a moisture problem.

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328

Indoor Air Quality | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Indoor Air Quality: 4 Key Benefits of a Good Ventilation System Nashville, TN

Indoor Air Quality: 4 Key Benefits of a Good Ventilation System Nashville, TN

Indoor air quality denotes the quality of the air within and around homes and other habitable buildings, especially with respect to the health and well-being of the people who occupy the building. Being aware of and controlling some of the common pollutants in the indoor environment can help you reduce the risk of indoor health problems.Indoor Air Quality | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

You can achieve good indoor air quality when you have a proper ventilation system in your building. Ventilation is the process by which clean air from the outdoor environment is purposely supplied into a given space as stale air is simultaneously removed.

There are many types of ventilation systems that you can use to improve the quality of your indoor air. Here is a look at some of the key benefits that you get by investing in a good ventilation system.

  1. Impurity Control

You may be of the view that the quality of air that you breathe outdoors isn’t great, particularly if you live in a busy city. But in most cases, the air within a building can be more contaminated than the air that is outside.

Good ventilation systems are designed to help you remove any build-up of different types of pollutants, moisture, bacteria and unpleasant odors from your building.

  1. Regulation of Air

If you don’t have a good ventilation system in your house, you cannot control the air that flows into the building. When too much air flows into your house, it can mean high energy bills due to increased heating or cooling requirements. This is where a good ventilation system comes in handy.Indoor Air Quality | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

A good ventilation equipment will help you control the flow of air into your building while also regulating the air to ensure that it meets the necessary health and safety standards.

  1. Helps Solve Condensation and High Moisture Issues

Condensation inside your house can lead to notable problems such as growth of mold, wood rot, and discoloration of various surfaces. Mold spores and high moisture in the air can also lead to poor indoor air quality and numerous health problems. Therefore, at all costs, you will want to avoid condensation and a high moisture content in your indoor air.

The good thing about investing in good ventilation systems is that the system will help you control the amount of moisture in your indoor air.

  1. Temperature Control

Buildings that are occupied by many people can become hot and stuffy over time. A good ventilation system helps regulate the temperature of a space to ensure that the occupants of the space work in a well-ventilated and more comfortable environment.   

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328

Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

4 Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Make Your Home Allergy-Proof New York, NY

4 Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Make Your Home Allergy-Proof New York, NY

The indoor air quality of your home influences the health of the members of your household. It is therefore important to do all you can to keep allergens and disease causing agents at a minimum. The following are some measures you can take to make your home allergy-proof and keep your family healthy no matter the season.Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

  1. Invest in a whole home ventilation system

This is one of the most effective ways to improve indoor air quality. A whole home ventilation system circulates air in and out of your home. It expels stale and contaminated air from the inside of your home and draws fresh air into the home from the outside. This gets rid of airborne allergens that may have built up in the air within your home. These systems filter air coming into the home to prevent allergens from the outside from coming into your home.

  1. Change your air filters more regularly

HVAC systems that aren’t maintained circulate allergens within the home. This is because dirty filters prevent these systems from trapping allergens in the air. The systems may even blow allergens off the dirty filters into the air. It is important to change your air filters regularly. This will help to improve indoor air quality and prevent re-circulation of allergens in the air.

  1. Control humidity levels

High levels of humidity can result in a wide variety of problems. Dust mites and mold thrive in humid environments. Low humidity levels can result in dry skin as well as respiratory problems. If you want to keep your home healthy and allergy free, it’s important to keep the humidity levels in your home at a healthy level. Whole home ventilation systems can help you do this. Some people invest in dehumidifiers or humidifiers depending on their needs.  Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

  1. Bring air-purifying plants into your home

Allergens such as mold spores and dust mites aren’t the only cause of respiratory problems. Chemical air pollutants in your home such as formaldehyde can also cause respiratory problems. Air-purifying plants such as the Snake plant will help to reduce the levels of these pollutants in the air. They will also provide you with the added benefit of using up carbon dioxide and introducing more oxygen into the air within your home.

Polluted indoor air can put the health of the members of your household at risk. Consider the tips above to improve indoor air quality and ensure your home is allergy-proof throughout the changing seasons.

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328

Can Paint Really Be “Low VOC” & “No VOC”?

This is a question many ask themselves and not just indoor air quality geeks like me.  Many homeowners, contractors and consumers have been wondering about this too. Here is what I tell them…

What is a VOC?  It stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, or carbon-based chemicals of which there are thousands and thousands that easily evaporate into the air and become part of the air quality. Harmful VOCs are not always toxic, but they do have compounding long-term health effects. VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, inability to concentrate and even damage to livers, kidneys. Studies in schools & workplaces have shown a correlation between air quality with high levels of VOCs and lower productivity in workers and students.

 

“Low VOC” & “No VOC” Paint? In the chemical industry, Low VOC is used to describe a product with VOC content at or below 150 g/L, Ultra-low-VOC products have VOC content that’s below 50 g/L.  Zero-VOC paints typically contain VOC content of less than 5 grams per liter. However, paints in any of these categories will change once you choose the color.  The chemicals used to create the color often contain large amounts of VOCs. So, now you no longer have a low or no VOC paint. The chemicals in the color additive modifies the base paint, not only in its appearance but significantly in its VOC load as well.

What’s the big difference between VOC content & VOC emissions? These are two different descriptors and are rarely ever the same. Contrary to what we would think, a study by UL proved many times, even paints with less VOC content had high VOC emissions into the air.  They concluded that there was no way to predict a paint’s VOC emission level or “off-gassing” amount from the VOC content level.  Companies will often utilize whichever of the two levels are less, then use that number to advertise their low or no VOC paint, when in fact they do not qualify. 

Types of VOCs matter? Sure do. The US government defines these parameters based on VOC amounts.  However, these VOC amounts only reference the specific VOCs on the government’s watch list (my term).  If a VOC exists but isn’t on the Government’s list of VOCs to watch, then there is no limit to the amount that can go into a paint.  In other words, there only needs to be a low amount of the listed, or watched, VOC – not ALL VOCs. Many a company’s introduction of new VOCs outpaces the government’s ability to monitor in a timely way.

Why should I care?  We have been referred to as the “indoor generation” as most North American’s spend 90% of our time indoors – at work, at school and in our homes. We are constantly bombarded with thousands of VOCs on the daily with new VOCs begin discovered all the time. VOCs are harmful for our health for us to breathe. With so much new building, remodeling and upgrading of our indoor spaces these last few years, its important to consider the effect this has on our indoor air environment and our health and safety. Good news is there are strategies to help minimize the concentration of indoor VOCs and maintain a healthy and safe indoor air environment.

– Andre’ Lacroix
V.P. EZ Breathe Healthy Home Solutions, V.P. Basement Health Association, Certified Healthy Homes Specialist, Certified Indoor Environmentalist, Certified Radon Measurement Provider

Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe

Easy Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality Macedonia, OH

Easy Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality Macedonia, OH

The average American spends 90 percent of their time indoors. That means that you spend most of your time breathing indoor air. According to a study by the Environment Protection Agency (US EPA), indoor air quality for the average home is much worse than outdoor air quality. The EP reports that the levels of pollutants in homes are 2 to 5 times higher than that in outdoor air. Some pollutants recorded high levels of 100 times more indoors than outdoors. Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe

While spending more time outdoors is a great idea for our overall health, it doesn’t solve the problem of high levels of pollutants in our homes. The good news is that you can improve your indoor air quality with the following easy steps.

  1. Keep your home ventilated

One of the easiest ways to reduce the levels of pollutants in the air within your home is to open your windows and doors. This will allow air to circulate into and out of your home. Good exchange of air will promote healthy air indoors.

  1. Smoke outdoors

If you or a member of your household likes to indulge in cigarette smoking every once in a while, restrict the activity to the outdoors. Cigarette smoking is not only bad for your health as a smoker but also for the other members of your household. Second hand smoke has been attributed as the cause of up to 3000 deaths a year as a result of developing lung cancer.Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe

Dust mites and mold love moisture. Mold spores and dust mites are known to cause allergies or increase allergy episodes. Keeping humidity levels low will help to reduce the levels of mold and dust mites in your home. Consider investing in a dehumidifier for those parts of your home that are especially humid such as the basement or crawlspace.

  1. Bring in plants

Plants offer an easy and inexpensive way to purify your air. These natural air purifiers take in stale indoor air that is full of chemicals and release fresh oxygen rich air into your home. Placing a large number of plants in your home will help to ensure your indoor air is cleaner. Be sure to look for plants that are known for air purification such as spider plants, Aloe Vera and mother in-laws tongue.

Are you looking for ways to improve indoor air quality? Try the tips above to get started right away.

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe today! 866-822-7328

IAQ 2019 vs IAQ 2021

IAQ 2019 vs IAQ 2021

Wow, what a difference 2 years can make. Up until 2019, my talks on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) would be to rooms of likeminded professionals or basement contractors that wanted to know what more they could do for their customer. Fast forward to 2021.  Not only are contractors more knowledgeable, but it seems like every homeowner knows, not only about the importance of good IAQ, but what that even stands for!  They know about the importance of filtration & even more so, ventilation. Up until recently, most homeowner’s knowledge of ventilation was relegated to bathroom fans.

indoor air pollutants

IAQ is obviously more important now than it ever has been in the past. With Covid on everyone’s mind, let’s talk for a little bit about why IAQ is so important. The easy answer is that, with Covid in the air, it’s part of IAQ. That’s a no brainer. But again, why? Covid particles are very small, and as a result, can pass through mediums typically used in household appliances. Your standard HVAC filter does a great job, when maintained, but it wasn’t designed to stop the smaller size particles that make up the Covid virus. 

When we look to create a healthy indoor environment, we always want to start with Source Control. If there is a source to the problems facing your family, then remove it. Moldy carpet? Throw it away. Water coming in through the basement walls? Get waterproofed.

That said, source control isn’t always the practical answer. Try telling a family to get rid of that Black Lab! This also pertains to Covid. There is no “source” of Covid that you can control. So, if source control isn’t an option, the next step is Ventilation. And ventilation does not mean that you should run your HVAC fan on the “Run” setting all the time. In the past, this has always been a great first step to moving stale air. However, if you are concerned about Covid, then let’s take a different approach to our thinking. Let’s think, albeit simplistically, about how the HVAC system works. It is installed in a house with vents that push either conditioned or heated air throughout the house. It also has cold air returns that allow that same air to travel back through ducts to the plenum. There it is filtered, then heated or cooled, dehumidified and sent back out to the house. So, if we think back to the point above about how covid particles are too small to be captured by the standard HVAC filter, what is happening? We’re circulating the Covid air throughout the house.

Now is the time we start to rethink the benefit of quarantining someone to their room… If your Covid positive family member is quarantined in their room, do you want to recirculate the air throughout the house, or ventilate that air to the outside? Ventilation, or taking the air inside the home and exhausting it directly to the outside, is the best option. Filtration is also possible, but more on that in a separate blog.

Ventilation, or whole house air exchanges, in any home, regardless of the presence of Covid, is a smart idea. By creating whole house air exchanges, you are exhausting the stale, and sometimes contaminated air to the outside.

Basement Ventilation System

EZ Breathe takes the concept of air exchanges to a new level (pun intended). A typical house experiences a Stack Effect. This is a fancy term to describe how things like hot air balloons, and your family room fireplace, operate: warm air rises (this concept has its limitations, but that’s more of a meteorological conversation). This is not necessarily a good thing. Do we want basement air to rise up to the living space? Do we want the air in our living space, with cooking gases, garage fumes, COVID, etc, rising to the 2nd floor?

By installing an EZ Breathe in the basement, we are capturing the air that is typically the “worst” & exhausting it directly to the outside, not allowing it to migrate up to the living space. In doing this, there is a need for replacement air. The replacement air comes from the living space above. By exhausting the basement air & replacing that exhausted air with the air from the upper living spaces, we are creating the very necessary whole house air exchanges- all by doing something very simple. The EZ Breathe unit can be set to run full time, or to cycle off at a certain relative humidity (RH) level.  The amount of air being moved can also be controlled by the fan speed.

The EZ Breathe whole house ventilation system is an important step towards creating a healthy indoor environment.

Andre’ Lacroix
V.P. EZ Breathe Healthy Home Solutions
V.P. Basement Health Association
Certified Healthy Homes Specialist
Certified Indoor Environmentalist
Certified Radon Measurement Provider

The Savvy Entrepreneur: The Story of EZ Breathe Home Health Solutions

Erika Lacroix has successfully built EZ Breathe Home Solutions, a construction-related business. She is a kind of unicorn, thriving in what is still traditionally a man’s world.

She says she was always more of a tomboy, which no doubt helped prepare her for her role with EZ Breathe. And her down-to-earth, funny, no-nonsense approach probably did as well.

She shares the story of her journey, along with some tips for other women entrepreneurs operating in this world. She has navigated bumps along the way, but is fiercely dedicated to her customers, as you’ll hear in my interview with her.

Click on the arrow to the left to listen, or click here if you’d prefer to read a transcript of the show. It’s well worth the listen!

Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Why Indoor Air Quality Has Such A Big Impact On Your Health Macedonia, OH

Why Indoor Air Quality Has Such A Big Impact On Your Health Macedonia, OH

As our homes and workplaces become increasingly well sealed, it may seem like we are shutting pollution out. But research shows that we are actually shutting pollutants in. Whether we are sleeping, cooking, cleaning or working, we now spend 90% of our time indoors, breathing potentially dirty air. Our research suggests that the level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) are rising in people’s homes. Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

The term Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, refers to the air quality in and around our homes and workplaces. Indoor air pollution can negatively affect Indoor Air Quality and can lead to immediate and long-term effects on a person’s health and wellbeing.

Understanding the sources of indoor air pollution and how they relate to the overall Indoor Air Quality can help improve living and working environments and potentially benefit your overall health.

What are the effects of indoor air pollution

The effects of indoor air pollution can typically be separated into two categories:

Short-term effects include mild to severe eye and respiratory system irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness. These effects can be reminiscent of allergy symptoms or the flu. Asthma sufferers and those with pre-existing lung conditions are much more susceptible to the short-term effects of indoor air pollution.

Long-term effects can range from respiratory and heart diseases to lung cancer. These more serious health problems can occur after extended exposure to ambient indoor air pollution, but can also appear after repeated, though less frequent exposure to contaminated spaces.

How can Indoor Air Quality be improved?

When it comes to Indoor Air Quality and its long- and short-term effects on our health, the stakes are high. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to reduce indoor air pollution and improve the Indoor Air Quality in your home.Indoor Air Quality | Macedonia, OH | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Ensure adequate ventilation

Kitchens can be especially problematic spaces for mold and VOCs related to combustion because of heating elements. Be sure that your cooking area is properly vented. Throughout the rest of your home, open windows whenever possible to improve airflow and regularly examine and replace filters in your heating and cooling systems.

Clean regularly

While we have already noted that many household cleaning products can be as potentially harmful as they are helpful, it is still important to clean your home regularly and thoroughly. Learn about the common VOCs found in cleaning products and read labels carefully to determine if the cleaning products you are using meet your standards. An indoor air quality professional should be able to assist you in identifying a solution to remedy the potential bad air in your home!

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328

EZ Breathe System | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Indoor Air Products And How They Impact The Quality Of Your Indoor Air New York, NY

Home Products And How They Impact The Quality Of Your Indoor Air New York, NY

As the sunshine and heat of summer give way to the brisk air and shorter days of fall, it’s the perfect time to update your indoor decor.EZ Breathe System | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Throws and Blankets

Find throws and quilts with warm, neutral colors or with seasonal patterns, and drape them over the back of furniture in your living room and bedrooms. Chilly nights call for extra layers, and while you’re cuddled up on the couch there’s nothing better than cocooning yourself in blankets.
If you’re buying new items, make sure to wash them before use. Textiles are exposed to a variety of chemicals throughout the manufacturing process, and they can irritate your skin or lungs.

Fireplace

The fireplace can get a little dusty over the summer months, so make sure it’s in good working order before your first cozy, crackling fire of the season.

A certified chimney sweep can inspect your fireplace area for blockages and pests, ensuring that smoke can properly ventilate. For gas and wood stoves, you’ll want a certified inspector to check them out for any leakages as well.

Keep in mind that even fireplaces in perfect condition can release harmful emissions into your home. Consider using an EZ Breathe System to filter and remove damaging particles so your family can enjoy the comforts of the fireplace without compromising Indoor Air Quality. EZ Breathe System | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Decorations

Carving pumpkins is a great fall activity for the whole family. But after a couple of weeks or so, those decorations can turn into a breeding ground for mold.

After displaying everyone’s creations inside for a few days, move the pumpkins outside. If it’s cold enough during the day or at night, the pumpkins will last longer. And they’re outside, so they aren’t adding allergens to your home.

The same is true for fresh fall flowers. Dispose of them once they start to wither so you don’t have to deal with the mold and mildew that can form inside the vase.

You should also be aware of the outdoor allergens like mold and ragweed that can become an issue during the fall months. Using an EZ Breathe System can help keep your home free of those outside irritants.

Scented Candles

The fall season lends itself well to comforting smells. From baking spices to outdoor aromas like sage and pine, burning a candle is a simple way to add ambience and comfort to your home. Keep in mind that burning anything in your home will add volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Whether a candle is made with natural or artificial ingredients, it can affect the air quality in your home with substances that can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. Encourage ventilation wherever you’re burning a candle by opening a window, turning on a ceiling fan, or using an EZ Breathe System. Alternatives to burning candles include fall flowers, clove-studded oranges, and cinnamon sticks.

Contact the Professionals at EZ Breathe Ventilation System Today! 866-822-7328