Last winter, on an especially cold day, I decided to bake cookies.
I hoped that running the oven would help warm up the house.
With outside temperature down to negative fourteen, fresh-baked cookies sounded good. Several hours after the cookies were cooled and all of the pans washed, the smell of them baking lingered. I didn’t mind it in the kitchen. It bothered me that the upstairs bedrooms smelled like dough and chocolate chips. The weather made it impossible to open a window and air out the house. I started to worry about the health of our indoor air quality. Because of concerns with energy efficiency and utility costs, I’d made an effort to seal up leaks in the thermal envelope. I’d caulked, insulated, weatherstripped and even installed new windows. I suddenly realized that while I’d minimized energy losses, I’d also eliminated natural ventilation. All sorts of contaminants are created due to normal and everyday life. Dust, dander, lint, hair, bacteria and all sorts of allergens were getting trapped inside the house, continually circulated by the furnace and ductwork and inhaled by my family. I scheduled an appointment with a local HVAC contractor that specializes in indoor air quality solutions. A technician came to the house and performed a bunch of tests to determine how and where our heated air was escaping and to pinpoint concerns with indoor pollutants. The result was the installation of an air purifier. The air purifier installed into the ductwork and captures microscopic particles as they pass through. It also actively sends out positive and negative ions that disrupt the DNA of pathogens and render them harmless. These ions cause particles in the air to clump together, become heavy enough to drop out of the air and big enough to get caught by the filter.