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Summer Cooling Tips

On July 21, 2021, in cool products, news, solutions, by neil

We love houses, and so do our friends at Redfin – the very cool and informative real estate website. They just published this article , which has some great tips on keeping your house cool this summer.

Keeping you cool, while saving energy – that’s a core part of our business, so we’re happy to see our partner at AirScape’s tip mentioned. And what do you know ? They suggested whole house fans.

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To HEPA or not to HEPA – no question !

On January 27, 2021, in news, by neil

The following article from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene makes a compelling case for adding HEPA filtration to indoor environments in order to greatly reduce the chance of Covid spread.

The article has a couple of important points.

Based on their model, an office worker has a 40% chance of contracting Covid when sharing an office with an infected worker “Even with use of N95 masks in this scenario” after 1 week of exposure !

By combining HEPA filtration (12 Air Change per Hour – 12 ACH), the probability of contracting Covid from the office environment over a 6 month period drops to 0.003%.

Publication Cover

Conclusion: Use HEPA filtration in indoor environments in this time of panemic, and continue to use to avoid other airborne pathogens.

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Indoor Air Quality : Overview

On December 14, 2020, in news, by Melanie

What is Indoor Air Quality ?

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality within and around buildings and structures. IAQ is known to affect the health, comfort, and well-being of building occupants. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to sick building syndrome, reduced productivity, and impaired cognition (yes, you can actually become more stupid !).

Common indoor air contaminants include:

  • Particulates: cigarette smoke, candle burning, wood smoke from fireplaces
  • Allergens: skin flakes, pet dander, mold spores, mite proteins, radon
  • Pollen: plant matter, grass, hay, trees
  • Pathogens: bacteria, influenza, viruses
  • VOC: volatile organic compounds: benzene, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, methylene chloride

The World Health Organization states that particulate matter in the air can penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the body systematically, affecting the cardiovascular and other major organ systems. Chronic exposure to particulate matter leads to increased risks of premature mortality from heart attack, stroke, respiratory infections, and lung cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that “studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.”


  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.

Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products.

Nitrous Oxide and Carbon Monoxide

Gas combustion produces PM2.5 (one of the deadliest air pollutants) — research suggests gas cooking produces about twice as much PM2.5 as electric cooking. It also produces nitrous oxides (NOx), including nitrous oxide (NO) and nitrous dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (CH2O or HCHO). All of these pollutants are health risks if not properly managed.

Stay tuned for solutions to improve indoor Air Quality just in time for winter !

THE PROBLEM: How long do you wait for hot water to arrive in the shower? 30 Seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes? While you wait, a family of 5 wastes approx. 15,000 gallons of tempered water down the drain and pays for that water plus sewage fees.

THE SOLUTION: AquaMotion has the SOLUTION for every possible installation in homes, condos, multi-family, mansions, businesses, restaurants and factories. Their products offer the simplest, uncomplicated, most cost-effective solutions for any type of installation.

THE BENEFITS: By providing instant hot water there’s no more waiting for hot water. This prevents the dumping of energy loaded warm water down the drain reducing sewage fees as well as the water bill. The pumps meets building codes for water saving and helps to alleviate water shortages.

Types of Installations and Model Selection

Homes built before 1980 and many later homes use a single pipe (no dedicated return line) system to deliver hot water to the sinks and showers. The water in the pipe turns cold when no one uses hot water. For this type of application, use any of the AquaMotionHOT™ One Kits. They are installed under the sink furthest from the heat source.

Homes that have a dedicated return line (2 pipe) where a pipe goes from the furthest sink from the heat source back to the hot water tank or boiler or tank-less heater use an AquaMotionHOT™ Two kit. See the selection chart below.

One of the most popular systems is the AquaMotion AMH1K-3UV Pump and Valve Hot Water Recirculation System pictured below. The pump is installed at the water heater and the bypass valve under the furthest fixture such as a sink. Additional bypass valves can be added if the house has multiple plumbing systems.

The alternative to the split pump and bypass design is the popular AquaMotion AMH3K-7 Under Sink Hot Water Recirculation System pictured below. The pump and bypass is one piece installed under the furthest sink. Note that power is required at the pump location.

MODES OF OPERATION:  AquaMotionHot™ One and AquaMotionHot™ Two are fully automatic systems that are controlled by built-in sensors and switches. When water at the faucet cools down, the sensor turns on the pump and shuts it off when hot water arrives. The pump runs, depending on the length and size of the pipe, three to four times an hour for one or two minutes to maintain instant hot water at the faucet.

Built-in timers on the pumps are available to limit the operating time to save energy when hot water is not needed.

All systems can be made ON-DEMAND to meet certain codes or preferences by adding ON-DEMAND buttons and wireless receivers or motion sensors with receiver kits.

California and some other states require an operator controlled system where the user presses a CALL button to turn on the pump (ON-DEMAND). Motion sensor are another method used to start the pump. AquaMotion offers both these solutions with their ON-DEMAND systems. Up to 5 wireless buttons or 5 motion sensors or mixed 5 can be programmed into one receiver.

Tankless Water Heaters

The good news is AquaMotion makes larger pump systems to accomodate tankless water heaters. Checkout the full selection here.

Images and data courtesy of AquaMotion.

Indoor Air Filtration and COVID-19

On September 2, 2020, in news, by Melanie

It is important to think about filtration, ventilation and air cleaning in order to mitigate risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Indoor confined space with closed window
Indoor properly ventilated space with open window

Let’s define some terms :

Droplets are propelled through the air, visible but fall to the ground after traveling 3-6 feet. Published research which has been replicated shows that droplets are only important when coughing and sneezing

Aerosols are much smaller than droplets (generally considered to be anywhere from 1 to 10 microns). They can be generated by talking, or by evaporation of droplets.

Aerosol (also referred to as “airborne”) transmission is similar to droplet transmission, except that the bits of fluid are so small that they can linger in the air for minutes up to 16 hours. Fears AC, Klimstra WB, Duprex P, et al. Comparative dynamic aerosol efficiencies of three emergent coronaviruses and the unusual persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosol suspensions. medRxiv 2020:2020.04.13.20063784. doi: 10.1101/2020.04.13.20063784

Appropriate air filtration and ventilation ensures that adequate dilution is achieved where and when needed, avoiding the build-up of viral contamination

Ventilation is the replacement of stale or noxious air with fresh air to a space or building by natural or mechanical means (ISO, 2017). It controls how quickly room air is removed and replaced over a period of time. Ventilation plays a critical role in removing exhaled virus-laden air, thus lowering the overall concentration and therefore any subsequent dose inhaled by the occupants.

HEPA is a type of pleated mechanical air filter. It is an acronym for “high efficiency particulate air [filter]” (as officially defined by the U.S. Dept. of Energy). This type of air filter can remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm).

Public health messaging can be confusing. Scientists have issued a global statement through the World Health Organization stating that when it comes to COVID-19, the evidence overwhelmingly supports aerosol transmission.

With infectious diseases transmitted through aerosols, HVAC systems can have a major effect on the transmission from the primary host to secondary hosts. Decreasing exposure of secondary hosts is an important step in curtailing the spread of infectious diseases. HVAC systems impact the distribution and bio-burden of infectious aerosols.

It is important to visualize the mechanism by which COVID-19 is transmitted, in order that individuals and institutions can understand how to protect themselves.

The closer you are to someone releasing virus-carrying aerosols, the more likely you are to breathe in larger amounts of virus. We know from detailed, rigorous studies that when individuals talk in close proximity, aerosols dominate transmission.

Talking increases aerosol exhalation by a factor of 10. It has been found that outbreaks occur when people gather in crowded, insufficiently ventilated indoor spaces

Superspreading events, where one person infects many, occur almost exclusively in indoor locations and are driving the pandemic. These observations are supported and explained by aerosols, and are very difficult or impossible to explain by droplets.

Contact tracing shows that, when it comes to COVID-19, being outdoors is 20 times safer than being indoors, which argues that aerosol transmission is much more important than droplets. Outdoors, there’s plenty of air in which aerosols can become diluted; not so indoors.

As we move from warm weather outdoor activity season into autumn and winter indoor season, the Airscape HEPA.Tower provides an excellent ventilation solution to create fresh air indoors.


Using Humidity to mitigate Covid-19

On September 2, 2020, in news, by Melanie

Since coronavirus is spread by breathing in respiratory aerosols from infected people, it stands to reason that avoiding breathing those aerosols is key to not getting COVID-19. One way to do that, according to a new study, is to keep humidity levels in indoor settings at 40 to 60 percent.

Researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing 10 international studies that were done between 2007 and 2020 looking at the rate of survival and infections of coronaviruses and influenza based on humidity levels in the air.

It was discovered that at higher humidity, the droplets grow faster, fall to the ground earlier and have less chance of inhalation by healthy people, meaning that viruses cannot spread as easily in humid conditions.

Although low humidity causes the droplets containing viruses to dry out more quickly, the survivability of the viruses still seems to remain high. Research concluded that other processes are more important for infection. If the relative humidity of indoor air is below 40 percent, the particles emitted by infected people absorb less water, remain lighter, fly further through the room and are more likely to be inhaled by healthy people. In addition, dry air also makes the mucous membranes in our noses dry and more permeable to viruses.

From the researchers’ point of view, more attention should be paid to indoor air to prevent future outbreaks of viral disease.

HRV/ERV exhausts stale indoor air to the outside, and brings in fresh air from outside. This fresh air is then distributed throughout the home either by the HRV/ERV or by your furnace fan.

In the winter, the warm indoor air passes through the HRV/ERV core as its being exhausted and warms up the incoming fresh outside air. The the summer, the cycle is reversed and the cool indoor air cools down the hot outdoor air recovering the energy. The 2 airstreams never mix when passing through the HRV/ERV core.

During cold and inclement weather, high efficiency filter ventilation systems that recirculate some of the air are an excellent solution.

Buy our humidifiers


Airscape HEPA Tower Air Purifiers : Now Available

On July 22, 2020, in news, by Melanie

Arising out of our personal and professional need for high quality portable air filtration during the COVID-19 pandemic, the inspiration and launch of the the newest member of the Airscape family was born.

We noticed an absence of cost effective and high quality portable indoor air filtration products utilizing critical core attributes:

*high number of air exchanges

*quality filtration media: MERV pre-filter and HEPA filtration

*particulate level filtration appropriate for airborne size micro-droplets (i.e. COVID-19, influenza etc.

*quiet operation (suitable for conference rooms during meetings)

*efficient energy utilization (speed controllable, low energy use ECM motor)

We utilize this product in our headquarters and trust it to keep our team safe.

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If you’ve been following our blog entries about viruses, micropdroplets, and Covid-19, or just reading the news, you’re coming to the conclusion that air filtration is getting to be very important.

It’s important to cut the “viral load” or amount of viruses that one is exposed to, and micro droplets that can contain Covid can remain aloft for up to 10 hours.

Masking and source capture (see our blog on dental aerosols) are good ideas, but there are many reasons why we still want to filter our air. Masks are not 100% effective (nothing is), and people make mistakes.

Just the facts: Why Filtration?

  • Masks are not 100% effective
  • People are not 100% effective at masking
  • Microdroplets stay in the air for up to 10 hours
  • Toilets can be a source of pathogens (including Covid 19)

Just the facts: What does my filtration system need to do ?

  • Capture microdroplets and viruses
  • Have airflow capable of 12 + air changes per hour (12 ACH)
  • Filtered air should flow from high to low
  • Have directed vents to avoid stagnant areas
  • Be quiet
  • Efficient
Clean air should be delivered high and returned low to the unit.

How to calculate required airflow

Airflow in cubic feet per minute (CFM) = # Air changes per hour (ACH) x Room Volume / 60

Example: Conference room 10’x20’x12′, with desired 12 ACH. CFM = 12 x (10x20x12) / 60 = 480 CFM


  • 2 Sizes: 500 CFM and 900 CFM
  • Low power use: 128 watts and 164 watts
  • Footprint of 18″ x 26″ x 72″ high (with casters)
  • Prefilter MERV11 with carbon impregnation
  • HEPA H13 (EU standard) 99.95% efficient, with individual test certificate.
  • HEPA is 24″x24″ x 12″ deep. This means it has a lot of holding capacity.
  • Electronically commutated motor (ECM), very efficient
  • Full range speed control with no motor hum (it’s ECM)
  • Customizable discharge: Front, Side, Top

Availability and Cost

  • We have a few of our initial batch available
  • We’re taking reservations for units to be ready in 6 weeks.
  • Check for updated price and availability.

Talking can launch thousands of droplets so small they can remain suspended in the air for ten hours for one micro particles.

Scientists agree that the coronavirus jumps from person to person most often by hitching a ride inside tiny respiratory droplets. These droplets tend to fall to the ground within a few feet of the person who emits them. They may land on surfaces like doorknobs, where people can touch lingering virus particles and transfer them to their face. But some droplets can remain aloft, and be inhaled by others.

Droplets become microdroplets and are formed by people by breathing talking, sneezing, coughing and toilet flushing. These tiny particles evaporate, stay afloat and do not drop down nor exhaust on their own.

How droplets become aerosols:

When people breathe, cough and sneeze, they release respiratory droplets and smaller aerosols less than five millionths of a meter in size. Compared with respiratory droplets, the smaller aerosols can remain in the air for longer periods of time. The current data suggest the novel coronavirus is primarily transmitted through contact with larger droplets, but tiny aerosols can also harbor the virus and may pose a threat to people, especially indoors. To establish a sound defense against these aerosols, informed management of airflow and airborne contaminants could be critical.

Three factors seem to be particularly important for aerosol transmission: proximity to the infected person, air flow and timing.

Larger droplets are heavy and float down quickly — unless there’s a breeze or an air-conditioning blast — and can’t penetrate surgical masks. But droplets less than 5 microns in diameter, called aerosols, can linger in the air for hours. They travel further, last longer and have the potential of more spread than the large droplets,” Dr. Barouch said.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health used lasers to illuminate and count how many droplets of saliva were flung into the air by a person talking with and without a face mask. The paper was only recently published officially. When the researcher used a simple cloth face cover, nearly all the droplets were blocked.

This evidence is only relevant if COVID-19 is transmitted by droplets from a person’s mouth. It is. There are many documented super-spreading cases connected with activities – like singing in enclosed spaces – that create a lot of droplets.he light-scattering experiment cannot see “micro-droplets” that are smaller than 5 microns and could contain some viral particles.

How far does the virus move? And is it stable and concentrated enough at the end of its journey to harm someone’s health?

Solutions include source capture of airborne viral and bacterial pathogens (including influenza, COVID-19, SARS, MERSA) utilization filtration by increasing number of air exchanges through HEPA and MERV media, mixing with fresh air and exhausting externally.

Bringing in fresh air and stratify it utilizing high efficiency portable fan units to reduce viral and bacterial load in shared air spaces:

  • Conference rooms
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Medical / Dental office waiting rooms
  • Hospital clean rooms
  • Patient Isolation Units
  • Doctor/Nurse break areas


We all know that aerosolized particles, particularly COVID-19 hang in the air for long periods of time.

Now, to add to the concerns, researchers have found that toilet flushing can trigger release of pathogens. In particular, COVID-19 carrying microdroplets from pre-symptomatic or symptomatic carriers can occur via fecal shedding . Ick !

How do we fix it ?

You guessed. Good. Bathroom. Ventilation.

Who knew. We did. This has been our job for the last 20 years.

Here’s a couple places to start:

More information:

Sources for further research: