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!

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

Indoor Air | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe

Indoor Air Quality Can Impact Your Health Nashville, TN

Indoor Air Quality Can Impact Your Health Nashville, TN

What is indoor air quality (IAQ)?

Indoor air quality describes how the air inside a building or facility affects a person’s health, comfort, and ability to work. It’s a major concern to businesses, employees, and rental managers because indoor air can have a huge impact on the well-being and productivity of employees. Several studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarded indoor air pollution as a major problem. While most commercial buildings don’t have severe issues, even the most well-maintained buildings can have episodes of poor indoor air. Indoor Air | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe

According to the EPA, poor indoor air quality can lead to productivity problems and increased absences among employees. It is estimated that all these health consequences cost the government billions of dollars each year due to medical care and productivity loss.

What causes poor indoor air quality?

Indoor air pollution is perhaps one of the most underrated health concerns in commercial and institutional buildings. And it isn’t hard to see why. Outdoor air, when heavily polluted, can be easily noticed (dark smoke, toxic smell, and bitter taste). But indoor air is different. It hides behind the cool and comforting air blown by the AC and the calming smell of air fresheners. And because people don’t see it, it’s easy to dismiss the fact that it exists.

So what makes indoor air polluted?

There are hundreds of air pollutants commonly found in homes and commercial facilities. Among the most common (and harmful) are tobacco smoke, dust, mold and mildew, chemical pollutants, and VOCs.

Cigarette smoke

Even if you or your employees do not smoke inside the building, cigarette smoke can linger on the smoker’s skin and clothes. That’s why when a smoker enters the office, you could smell it right away. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 chemical compounds, most of which are highly toxic and detrimental to the respiratory system.

Dust

Dust and other environmental pollutants such as mites contribute to indoor air pollution. Without sufficient ventilation, these tiny pollutants can easily circulate around your office, triggering allergy symptoms in some people.

Mold and mildew

When the temperature outside drops and the indoor air is heated, condensation can form around windows, causing moisture. High moisture content in indoor air provides the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. Furthermore, if you have water damage issues in the office, there’s a very high chance that mold and mildew are present too. Indoor Air | Nashville, TN | EZ Breathe

Chemical pollutants

Building materials, office equipment; furniture, wall and floor coverings, upholstery, and virtually every commercially manufactured item in your workplace emit chemical pollutants. They include polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polyurethane, formaldehyde, and VOCs.

Learn more about how to improve the quality of your indoor air! Contact the professionals at EZ-Breathe! 866-822-7328

Washington, D.C. | EZ Breathe Ventilation Systems

EZ Breathe Ventilation Systems Improves The Health Of Your Home | Washington, D.C.

The air quality in your home can impact your health. It is important to invest in a ventilation system that can filter allergins in order to have the healthiest possible indoor air quality. Let’s face it, our homes are full of pollutants. They are in the electronics we buy, the plastic packaging, the floors, the carpets, the sofa, the fabric of our curtains and practically anything that is produced commercially. There are also various pollutants around the home that aren’t in obvious places e.g. basement mold.

If you want to improve indoor air quality, you can start by answering the questions below:

  1. Do you have moisture problems in your basement?

Not many people realize that the state of their basement affects the quality of the air in their homes. This is the result of stack effect, which results in the rising of air from the basement into the rest of the home.

If you’re experiencing moisture problems in your basement, you’re also likely to have a mold or mildew infestation. You are also likely to be affected by microbial growth. Mold spores and bacteria can spread to the rest of the home in the air that rises from the basement into the rest of the home.

Washington, D.C. | EZ Breathe Ventilation Systems

  1. Do you have rodents or insects in your home?

Yes, rodents and insects affect indoor air quality. Their fur and particles from their feces can easily spread in the air that circulates in your home. These particles are allergens that can cause or exacerbate allergic reactions. You may experience worsening of asthma symptoms or the development of various other respiratory conditions as a result of the presence of these allergens.

  1. Do members of your family experience frequent bouts of illnesses or allergies?

Many people write this off as a problem with immunity. However, it is most likely the presence of allergens and disease-causing organisms in the air you breathe in your home.

Addressing issues of air quality

It isn’t enough to invest in HEPA filters that will get rid of small particles. You need to ensure that you have fresh air circulating in your home. You can achieve this by investing in a ventilation system that circulates fresh air from the outdoors into your home. These systems ensure that you are not breathing in the same stale air. They get rid of allergens and gaseous toxins to ensure better air quality in your home.

Contact EZ Breathe Systems today!  (866) 822-7328

What National Indoor Air Quality Month means to you…

Basement Ventilation: The Foundation Link to Healthy Home

Human beings breathe – inhale and exhale – 10,000 to 70,000 times every day just to sustain life. Not really surprising, but, we don’t really pay that much attention to the air we are breathing. We as North American’s spend countless hours and billions of dollars deciding on the food we eat, beverages we drink, the lotions we put on our skin and the effects they have on our health and well-being. However, when was the last time you heard someone actually discussing the quality of the air they breathe?

If we are inhaling air into our lungs 10,000 to 70,000 times a day, doesn’t it make sense to at least consider the quality of air we breathe?

indoor air quality

So, let’s take a moment to consider what IS in the air we breathe. How is the air I am breathing effecting my home and health?

What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Term to describe “the physical and chemical characteristics of air inside buildings including airborne constituents with special concerns for the impact on occupant health and comfort” Airborne constituents include:

Temperature – Humidity – VOCs – Allergens – Particle Counts – Bacteria – Building Materials – Type of Construction – Exchange Rates – Occupants – HVAC – Insulation – etc.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, tells us that “The air in the average American home is a minimum of 5 times (and can be as much as 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air.” There are quite a few reasons for this…from the off gassing of toxins we use in building our homes such as glues, epoxies, resins, varnishes, upholstery, carpets, paint fumes, formaldehyde, and other VOCs to the type of foundations our homes are built on, basements and crawlspaces, add in our quest for insulation and energy efficient upgrades to the mix and we’ve got quite a toxic cocktail of indoor air quality!

For homes with basements, indoor toxins are greater than for those homes without basements. Unfinished and finished basements both create risks for toxic exposure throughout the whole home. A recent study indicated that foundation walls, due to their porous nature absorb 10-15 gallons of water vapor per day, which is responsible for up to 80% of the home’s indoor moisture, and can accelerate the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew as well as attract bugs, spiders and pests.

We can all agree that it is important to control water leaks and water entry, from the basement into the rest of the house. Additionally, controlling mold is important as this toxin, will place your family at significant health risk. The humidity and condensation in the basement is what most often creates a mold risk.

indoor air qualityAdding the “Stack Effect” (the movement of air into and out of home) to this dynamic exaggerates the introduction of toxins from the basement into the home.

The rising warm air draws air in through either open doors, windows, or other openings and up from basement.

Actively drawing dirty basement air into the living environment above is detrimental to providing a healthy indoor environment.

For homes with crawlspaces, indoor toxins are greater than for those homes without crawlspaces. The average home built on a crawlspace has 80 square inches of air communication between the crawlspace and the living environment creating higher risks for toxic exposure throughout the whole home. Much like basements, these spaces are also built into the earth and surrounded by soil on all four sides and oftentimes have dirt floors as well. The water in the soil makes its way into these spaces in its vapor form (humidity) due to the laws of physics, ‘Wet Moves to Dry’. A recent study indicated that crawlspaces, due to their porous nature absorb up to 20 gallons of water vapor per day, which again, is responsible for up to 80% of the home’s indoor moisture. This process contributes to the acceleration of foundation decay, bacteria growth, mold and mildew as well as attracts bugs, spiders and pests.

indoor air qualityOnce again, adding the “Stack Effect” (the movement of air into and out of home) to this dynamic exaggerates the introduction of toxins from the crawlspace into the home.

The rising warm air draws air in through either open doors, windows, or other openings and up from crawlspace.

Actively drawing dirty crawlspace air into the living environment above makes indoor air quality even worse.

Crawlspace Vents? Many crawlspaces were initially built with passive vents to the outside to allow the crawlspace to be “vented”. These passive vents are dependent on the wind and weather to be effective. Building code across North America are now changing as passive vents to the outside, are actually contributing to a dirty crawlspace by introducing more moisture into an already damp space.

“From a psychometric standpoint, venting a crawl space to remove moisture works only when the outside air is dryer than the crawl space air.” – RLC Engineering, LLC., The Fallacies of Venting Crawl Spaces

Whether it be a basement foundation, crawlspace foundation or a combination of the two, they are contaminant sources contributing the poor indoor air quality in the home. Add to that a whole host of other pollutants that we build our homes with, clean our homes with and bring into our homes on a daily basis. The reality is that every day our families are breathing basement and/or crawlspace air that has been mixed with contaminated house air.

Most recent stat coming from the National Center for Healthy Housing tells us “40% of the air we breathe in our living spaces is air that was once below grade and has risen up from the basement/crawlspace.”

One of the more obvious symptoms of this growing epidemic of poor indoor air quality is the substantial rise in allergies and asthma in recent generations.  According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America we have seen “a 700% increase in people suffering from asthma and allergies in the past 20 years, leading to a staggering 50% of North American’s reporting allergy symptoms”. A fairly recent condition labeled “Sick Home Syndrome”, may be to blame.

How EZ Breathe Ventilation can help…

The good news is homeowners can do something to combat this growing health concern. Even better news is that it does not include major home renovations or serious lifestyle changes…by simply increasing the home’s air exchanges YOU can make a difference.

Helping to reduce the natural stack effect (tendency for basement/crawlspace air to rise up into the living space) YOU can improve your indoor quality. This will also provide a path of escape for the bad air to exit which will further prevent polluted indoor air from accumulating to unhealthy levels and entering the living environment. By exhausting that bad air out and increasing air exchanges you can dramatically improve the indoor air quality…and the health of the occupants!

indoor air qualityIt’s really a very simply solution to a complex problem. By increasing the ventilation rates in the home sourced at the lowest part of the foundation, you will see a reduction in indoor allergens, humidity levels, trapped gasses and pollutants, as well as all of those nasty chemicals we introduce into our indoor environment every day.

Create a fresher, cleaner, drier indoor air environment naturally, without expensive air filters, air cleaners, scrubbers, etc. When you increase ventilation there is no need for any harmful air fresheners, sprays, plug-ins, candles, chemical masking agents or fragrances. These synthetic compounds do nothing to improve the air quality and oftentimes add dangerous chemicals further polluting an already compromised air quality.

 

If we need to breath up to 70,000 times per day just to sustain us, it’s probably a good idea to be sure that the air we are inhaling is the healthiest it can be to support us in being the healthiest we can be!

To Learn more about how the EZ Breathe Ventilation System and CrawlSpace Conditioner System can:

  • Improve indoor Air Quality
  • Reduce allergens
  • Monitor humidity levels
  • Remove pollutants
  • Reverse natural stack effect
  • Prevent Ice damming
  • Protect your home and health
  • Create a healthy and happy home!

Visit us at www.ezbreathe.com or call us at 1.866.8227328

What National Indoor Air Quality Month Means to You?

National Indoor Air Quality Month

State of Indoor Air Quality The US Environmental Protection Agency states “The air quality in the average American home is a minimum of 3-5 times more polluted than outdoor air and can be as much as 100 times more polluted than outdoor air” This indoor air quality problem stems from many variables including the tighter, more energy efficient building materials and upgrades, our homes no longer “breathe” in the way the older homes did, resulting in a more stagnant, stale air quality coupled with the increased amount of chemicals in our modern homes, lifestyles, furnishings, cleaning products, beauty products, off-gassing, etc. We have created quite the toxic indoor air cocktail complete with high allergens and irritants.

The US EPA ranks indoor air quality as the #1 environmental health problem reporting “6 out of every 10 homes and buildings are sick, meaning they are hazardous to your health to occupy as a result of airborne pollutants.”

The consequences of poor indoor air quality are often times life altering in many ways, for example Medical Director of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, E. Neil Schachter said “If you live in a home with chronically poor air quality, you can experience frequent headaches, long lasting colds and bronchitis as well as chronic asthma.”

Human beings breathe – inhale and exhale – 10,000 to 70,000 times every day just to sustain life. Not really surprising, but what is surprising is how very little attention we pay to the quality of the air we are breathing so often every day. Especially when compared to the countless hours and billions of dollars we spend considering the food we eat, beverages we drink, the lotions we put on our skin and the effects they have on our health and well-being. The time has come for us to recognize the quality of air is having a direct impact on our health and happiness.

With over 60% of the American population reporting some allergy symptoms it’s no wonder that we have seen “Perennial (year-long) allergens are 10- to 100-fold higher indoors than outside” reports William J. Calhoun, MD, chair department of medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch

What does all of this mean?

indoor air qualitySick Home Syndrome by definition is when a person suffers “acute, adverse health effects that can be linked to spending time within a specific structure and are not caused by an illness.” For example, do you get headaches only when you are at home? Do you start to feel better once outside? Or do you regularly stay up at night suffering with a cough and scratchy throat that keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep, only to feel better once you get outside? These are just a few of the symptoms of “Sick Home Syndrome”, others include:

allergies, asthma, sinus and respiratory infections, itchy, dry skin, fatigue, sneezing, coughing, insomnia, scratch throat, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, the list goes on and on.

The good news is that we can help homeowners do something to combat this growing health concern. Even better news is that it does not include major home renovations or serious lifestyle changes…by simply increasing the home’s air exchanges YOU can make a difference.

indoor air qualityHelping to reduce the natural stack effect (tendency for basement/crawlspace air to rise up into the living space) you can improve indoor quality. This will also provide a path of escape for the bad air to exit which will further prevent polluted indoor air from accumulating to unhealthy levels and entering the living environment. By exhausting that bad air out and increasing air exchanges you can dramatically improve the indoor air quality…and the health of the occupants!

It’s really a very simple solution to a complex problem. By increasing the ventilation rates in the home sourced at the lowest part of the foundation, you will see a reduction in indoor allergens, humidity levels, trapped gasses and pollutants, as well as all of those nasty chemicals we introduce into our indoor environment every day.

indoor air qualityCreate a fresher, cleaner, drier indoor air environment naturally, without expensive air filters, air cleaners, scrubbers, etc. When you increase ventilation there is no need for any harmful air fresheners, sprays, plug-ins, candles, chemical masking agents or fragrances. These synthetic compounds do nothing to improve the air quality and oftentimes add dangerous chemicals further polluting an already compromised air quality.

If we need to breathe up to 70,000 times per day just to sustain us, it’s probably a good idea to be sure that the air we are inhaling is the healthiest it can be to support us in being the healthiest we can be!

 

To Learn more about how the EZ Breathe Ventilation System and CrawlSpace Conditioner System can:

  • Improve indoor Air Quality
  • Reduce allergens
  • Monitor humidity levels
  • Remove pollutants
  • Reverse natural stack effect
  • Prevent Ice damming
  • Protect your home and health
  • Create a healthy and happy home!

Visit us at www.ezbreathe.com or call us at 1.866.8227328

EZ Breathe Recognized as an EPA Indoor airPLUS Partner!

EZ Breathe Recognized as an EPA Indoor airPLUS Partner!

We’re so excited to be a new partner in the EPA Indoor airPLUS program!

For information on the balanced air ventilation system, click here.

So, what is the airPLUS program?

EPA created Indoor airPLUS to help builders meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality. Indoor airPLUS builds on the foundation of EPA’s ENERGY STAR requirements for new homes and provides additional construction specifications to provide comprehensive indoor air quality protections in new homes.

Indoor airPLUS is a companion label to ENERGY STAR. Together, these programs provide comprehensive health protections. Homes built to earn the Indoor airPLUS label include features to reduce contaminants that can lead to poor indoor air quality, including mold, moisture, radon, carbon monoxide, toxic chemicals and more.

What does that mean?

Simply put, it means that EZ Breathe will continue making the products that keep your home’s air healthy, ventilated, and safe for your family while improving comfort while at home and minimizing pollutants.

Want to learn more?

You can read about the EPA Indoor airPLUS program at the Official EPA Indoor airPLUS website.