Indoor Air Quality Analysis

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Introduction: In the Fairbanks Northstar Borough the top air quality issues are particulate matter and indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution may be many times more toxic and affect the old and young who may be at greatest risk of adverse health effects. My talents may, in fact, contribute to decreasing the levels of these hazards.

The Fairbanks area is well known for a meteorological condition known as temperature inversion. This inversion of temperature, keeping warmer, unhealthy air near the ground by cold, dense air sitting over the top of the Fairbanks bowel. This condition causes polluted air to be trapped and then further concentrated. This condition is directly correlated with higher particulate matter
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Newer automobiles have led to the discontinuance of the Borough auto emissions testing program half a decade ago. Newer, EPA certified, biomass/solid fuel heaters are replacing the older models and the advancement of sophisticated masonry heater technology has also led to a decrease of PM 2.5. Carbon monoxide if far less of a problem than it was 20 years ago. To help the air quality improve, the Borough and State have initiated a wood stove buy-out program and have also made selling a home with a solid fuel burning appliance difficult. Removal of these systems is required in many instances.

I potentially more dangerous condition in Fairbanks is indoor air pollution. With pollution levels from 4 to 100 times higher than outdoor air pollution, this is a serious problem for the elderly and the young that spend as much as 90% of their time indoor in the winter months when temperatures can reach -40f. The tight air seal of homes, designed to increase energy efficiency, now create an air-tight chamber that concentrates carbon monoxide, cleaning solvent fumes and other pollutants (State of Alaska DEC,
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I build custom controls for heating systems; in particular, renewable energy add-ons to conventional systems. My controls increase efficiency many fold and decrease the use of carbon fuels and solid fuels, deemed responsible for PM2.5. Our designs are currently in the EPA approval process and international patenting stages at the time of this assignment.

I also assist in the healthy design of homes and have been an advocate for installing highly controlled HRV systems in new construction. HRV systems filter and exchange the air while recovering much of the heat in the air being exhausted from the home. These systems can decrease indoor air pollution dramatically. I also install alarm systems for carbon monoxide. These systems are required by local codes and save lives at very little increased cost. If you do not have carbon monoxide sensors in your home, please install them. They may save your

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