Category Archives: Indoor Air Quality

My House is More Humid Than Normal

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Understanding your home | No Comments

I recently was asked to look at a new development in the summer of a home we recently remodeled. The concern is that it is in the ‘mid to high ’80’s and the house is humid. OUTSIDE HEAT mid to high ’90s INSIDE SET TO: 73deg UPON ARRIVAL: House is 70 deg AC not running. Fan in auto Humidity inside 44% Humidity outside 36% Background information The AC unit was replaced 4 years ago with a 3 ton coil (Inside) 2.5 ton compressor (Outside). We added 650SF to a 1500 SF home and a new furnace that was installed above…

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Failing Exhaust Duct work

By | Fixing things, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

A client called to report a hot exhaust wall in their bathroom. Naturally fire and Carbon monoxide poison come to mind. The gas water heater exhaust and the 80% furnace exhausts commingle and go up and out of the home in a double walled oval exhaust flu. The home was built in the ’70s and has already had the furnace replaced once. Was it a bad install or just warn out? The thin 2 x 4 wall was hot in one spot. A thermal image was showing over 100 degrees in one spot. How were we going to see what…

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Is My House Toxic?

By | Indoor Air Quality, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

I have always enjoyed understanding building science and have dabbled in the realm of an amateur of sorts trying to discover what is causing a home to make a resident feel ill when they are inside of it. Being a former Paramedic, I blend my knowledge into a pretty good problem solver. Yes, your home could make you sick, and even kill you if have faulty systems. The risk goes up the tighter the home is. Have You Ever Considered That Your House Could Be Making You Ill? Do you have any of these symptoms only when you are at…

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Your Home’s Thermal Envelope

By | Home Evaluations, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Insulation, Understanding your home | 2 Comments

No, it has nothing to do with insulated packaging. It does, however, involve thinking differently about energy efficiency and reducing air infiltration into our living spaces. I recently had an in service at a heating company by a nice young man who really knows his stuff. He talked about and displayed a blower door machine. What an amazing tool. When deployed by a qualified technician, it can detect several problems and help to expose problems that can lead to poor home energy efficiency. If your home is not a “slab on grade” type construction, there is a space below the…

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Levco Does Moisture Inspections

By | Indoor Air Quality, Moisture Protection, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

I was recently asked to investigate a serious situation involving “MOLD,” which I like to call “Fungal growth,” on the inside of an apartment. When I got there I was initially stunned to see how serious the situation was. I took all sorts of images and readings with my meters and was able to identify what was happening and why. I understood the biology and the physics of water almost intuitively, but the residents, 3 college aged folks, were clueless. It took this to frighten them enough to call for help. I once heard that if you can’t explain a…

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What Does R-Value Mean?

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Energy, Green Remodeling, Historic District Homes, Indoor Air Quality, Insulation, Understanding your home | No Comments

I have been confused for years about just what the term R-value means. You would think that if you have 16″ of insulation it should correlate to an R-Value. That is all well and good, as long as you are talking about the exact same insulation. What an R-Value is, as it turns out, has lots of variables. R-Value is the commonly used term to describe the thermal resistance ability of insulation. As you recall heat travels through 3 means: Radiation = Heat travels through the air Example: heat from the sun warms you through radiated heat. (It is important…

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Radon and your home

By | Green Remodeling, Indoor Air Quality, Understanding your home | No Comments

Who knew your house could hurt your lungs? Here in Idaho we live in a relatively moderate Radon level region that seems to get more intense the further north you live. It turns out Radon is even emitted from slabs of granite along with almost all other products of the earth like concrete itself, but we must put it all into perspective. The majority of information about Radon’s health effects come from men working underground – miners Radon (Rn) is a gas that is emitted from the earth. It is the natural byproduct of deteriorating uranium and it gets into…

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Duct Cleaning

By | Green Remodeling, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Understanding your home | 2 Comments

OK you have been in the home for 10 years and you are looking for something to do that will improve your home. You are wondering what would be a good bang for the buck. Or say you have unexplained health issues and you just can’t put a finger on it but you think your home may be the culprit. It is worth thinking about having your duct work checked. Although the EPA thinks it may be an over rated service, there are several instances even they recommend the process be done by a qualified vendor. Duct cleaning is probably…

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