What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?


What are VOCs? VOC stands for volatile organic compound, which are compounds that quickly become gases at room temperature (a process known as off-gassing). These are almost always present in air, and many are manmade. VOCs are found in solvents, cleaning chemicals, paint and paint thinner, petroleum fuels, building materials and furnishings, office equipment, some types of ink, cosmetics, and thousands of other common products which release them into the air over time. Auto exhaust and cigarette smoke are other common

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5 Reasons for Indoor Air Quality Concerns


There are many things that can affect indoor air quality (IAQ). Not every building has the same IAQ concerns, but knowing how indoor pollutants enter homes can help you eliminate them.  The American Lung Association lists five ways that indoor pollutants can enter a building:  1. The everyday actions of residents  We spend a lot of time in our homes, so it’s no surprise that we affect the air quality! Every time someone enters the home, they bring particulates inside with them.

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Paint Safely for a Fresh Look & Fresh Air


A fresh coat of paint can give any room in your home an update, lighten up the room or give it just the right mood. Refinishing furniture can give it a new look for a fraction of the cost of replacing it. But paint and paint thinners can also be harmful to people and pets living in the home. Paints and paint thinners contain volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s which turn to gases at room temperature and end up in the

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  Interior of a home

Climate Change & Indoor Air Quality


We often think of climate change as something that affects the world outside: hotter summer temperatures, colder winters and more severe weather, like hurricanes, in some areas or drought in others. But climate change affects the air in our homes as well. Warmer outside air eventually leads to warmer air in the home, which can lead to higher energy bills. Colder winters also bring energy challenges. Excess moisture from precipitation can cause mold growth indoors. Overly dry conditions can lead to

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Virtual IAQ Home Tour Shows How We Affect Our Own Air Quality Daily


Americans spend more than half their time at home. That makes indoor air quality (IAQ) an important consideration.   So, what causes poor indoor air quality and how can you help prevent some problems? Check out this virtual room-by-room interactive IAQ home tour from the EPA. It helps identify common IAQ concerns in different areas in a home and how the things people do every day contribute to our air quality.  The good news is that a Zehnder HRV or ERV system

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The Lowdown on Formaldehyde


When you think of high school Biology class, you might remember the pickle-like odor of Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde (chemical formula CH2O) is usually kept in an aqueous solution called formalin and has been used to preserve specimens for academic and scientific uses, which is why we often associate it with those science classes. Formaldehyde is found in many different products,  some of which are very common in everyday life. It’s used in both adhesives and solvents as well as preservatives. It can

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How Humid (or Dry) Should Your Home Be?


One key component of good ventilation is humidity control. Too much moisture in the air can cause condensation in the home, which can lead to respiratory symptoms, mold growth and even structural damage to the home.   Cooking, showering, laundry and humidifiers all add moisture to the air, which condenses on cooler surfaces when the air becomes saturated. The average person contributes 1.25 liters of moisture to the air every day simply by breathing and perspiration!  Air that’s too dry can lead to

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Watch A Zehnder System Installation


How does a Zehnder System fit together? Watch as our friends from The Build Show go through the rough-in process for mechanical and ventilation on a new net-zero home build: “Building a net-zero home isn’t easy. It takes knowledgeable designers, builders, and homeowners, upfront investment, quality materials, and a team that’s focused on every detail from start to finish. Most homeowners and builders don’t know which conversations to have to set a project up for success.   Steve Baczek is an architect passionate

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3 Myths About Common Home Air Quality Devices


1. Bathroom vents alone offer adequate ventilation   Bathroom vents will certainly help draw some moist air out of the immediate space and, in most cases, vent it outside. This helps keep the humidity from moving to adjacent rooms. Vents can also help with odors. But vents alone do not provide balanced ventilation. They don’t bring fresh air into the building to replace the vented air, so the total air volume is not being replaced. This means that the air in other

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Have You Changed Your Filters Recently?


Filters are an important piece of your ventilation system. They keep harmful air pollutants, bacteria and dust from entering your home through your ventilation—and they protect your ventilation unit too. We recommend changing your filters every 6 months; this time may vary depending on your location and environment.   Zehnder offers three types of filters, all of which can be ordered through our online filter store.  Unit filters go in the filter slots on your Zehnder unit. There are two types of unit

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