The UltimateAir® News

Meet the Team: Matt Baker

Posted on Wed, Aug 08, 2012

Matt Baker, describe the imageProduct Development and Design, studied aviation electronics at Colorado Aero Tech in the mid 90s and, more recently, completed a degree in Interior Architecture and Design at Ohio University. He started working with UltimateAir testing and protoyping a potential product in 2009. He is an experienced designer, and has practiced with architects in South Florida and was a lab technician at Sunpower, Inc. here in Athens, Ohio. He loves being in an innovative workplace.  Matt explains, "The process of good design is very interesting to me. Being a design thinking person I like to test new ideas for viability. The ups and downs of the design process is as much physical as it is intellectual. If nothing else is accomplished in the design process, I usually gain some important insight about why things are made the way they are. The wonderful thing about the RecoupAerator is the way in which it effects our architectural decisions. It makes us think about fresh air and ventilation, and I believe it has the potential to change the whole building industry. This product allows people to build more energy efficient and longer lasting buildings, while improving their indoor air quality."

Matt has been a cyclist and bicycle mechanic for over 20 years and worked
designing and developing an auto-shifting bicycle transmission concept which has been patented.

Tags: ERV, recoupaerator, UltimateAir., HVAC, Profile

IAQ at London 2012

Posted on Mon, Aug 06, 2012

While Indoor Air Quality does not get the media coverage it should, we have all seen its relevance on our television sets for the past few weeks. Roughly 8% of athletes at the London Olympics suffer from asthma. While it might seem extreme to compare the “average” person’s asthma to the best athletes in the world, it is a fact that they, like everyone, struggle with respiratory problems.

Even if you’re not a  Superhuman describe the imageyou can live healthily with asthma or dysfunctional breathing. British runner and world record holder Paula Radcliffe developed asthma as a child. Gymnast Daniel Leyva was born with severe asthma as was volleyball phenom Misty May-Treanor. These Olympians have achieved amazing results under tough conditions; they are unphased by their asthma. While you may not even be able to do a cartwheel, you should be able to breathe as easily as them.

It is amazing that these people can overcome their asthma, but why should this be a point of discussion? Everyone should be able to breath freely, and without heroics. Olympians with asthma, however, show that respiratory issues do not only affect children. Many athletes are victims of late onset asthma; they develop the condition as they get older, and this is something about which many people are unaware.  Athletes’ asthma can be blamed on cold describe the imageenvironments, air pollution, and long term intensive training. Asthmatic skater Kristi Yamaguchi trained for years (in a cold environment), as did cyclist Bradley Wiggins, but these conditions do not account for all cases. Not all athletes breath in the airway-damaging cold air nor the smog-laden London/Beijing fumes. Two months before the London Olympics began the American Lung Association published an article interviewing Peter Vanderkaay, an Olympic swimmer, about his asthma. He explained that “The chemicals in the pool can definitely make a difference in the air quality of an indoor pool. If a pool has too much chlorine, it can have a negative impact on performance. It can also affect people who don’t have asthma because of the caustic nature of the chemicals.” 

While there is a lot of media hype about the smog in London (as there was four years ago in Beijing) it is hard to see how the Olympic committee can change the outdoor environment. Smog, weather changes, and chlorine fumes are difficult to control. However, describe the imageinside is something we can control (the 2000 Sydney Olympics had strict IAQ regulations!).

These athletes win because they make a point to overcome their respiratory issues. Their trade is managing and developing their bodies. You might not be able to spend every waking minute consciously watching your body like an Olympian, but you can overcome respiratory issues and you can be aware of their causes.

Tags: indoor air quality, asthma, iaq, respiration, olympics

Energy Recovery Ventilation or Heat Recovery Ventilation

Posted on Mon, Jul 23, 2012

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             There is quite a bit of debate out there as to where ERVs should be used and where HRVs should be used. For those of you who do not know, HRVs, like ERVs, are ventilation systems that transfer heat. However, unlike ERVs they do not transfer moisture.  We see a lot of maps claiming that ERVs should be used in the humid South, to reduce incoming moisture, while HRVs should be used in the colder North. However, these maps are inconsistent (for example, some suggest HRVs in the arid Southwest). Moreover they are wrong; ERVs can and should be used everywhere.
           While the "Bermuda Triangle" comparison might be something of a hyperbole, instances where an HRV would make more sense are few and far between. If you do not need to actively increase or decrease the humidity level inside your home at anytime during the year, then sure, an HRV would be an acceptable choice. At the same time, so would the ERV because you will not just be using the moisture transfer ability. But the claim that ERVs are bad outside of humid regions is just untrue. By transferring moisture as well as heat, they effectively assist moderate indoor humidity for optimal comfort and safety. Buildings in the dry Southwest that need humidity benefit from ERVs. Homes in the cold North would suffer similarly without retaining some humidity inside. The myth that HRVs are prefered in the North is based on a freezing problem that ERVs experienced twenty years ago. This problem has long since been fixed. However, some still use it as a misleading justification. The HRV industry survives on this misinformation.

Energy Recovery Ventilators are more efficient and practical. They are the ventilation system of choice for Passive Homes and commercial buildings. If you are making the investment for your health and your home, why would you go halfway? Maybe in a place where the laws of physics don't apply, like the Bermuda Triangle. Get lost HRVs.

Tags: indoor air quality, Home, ERV, energy efficient, Air Ventilation System, HRV, ERV or HRV

I (Don’t) Smell Danger

Posted on Thu, Jun 14, 2012

After working here a few weeks and getting a crash course in ERVs and the Passive House, I have started to discuss these topics with family and friends. Most of them are blissfully carefree about indoor air quality. It is not that no one has heard of IAQ issues. They might know all about Radon. Many homeowners can name sources of windowformaldehyde and other VOCs too. So the obvious question arises: what then, stops someone in the know from properly ventilating their home? The most popular response: "Money. I can't shell out the cash at the moment." Don't despair, Green Builders, because while there is honesty in their responses, it's not entirely true. Many homeowners would rather buy a new TV or finish their basement; they find it difficult to prioritize the invisible. But if you could constantly see nasty air being forced down your throat, wouldn't you do something about it? These toxins are small and subtle enough that we do not perceive them on our own. When we say "passive home" styles we don't mean "passively poisoned."



OK, so sometimes you do smell stenches. Let's say that you do come home and your pet has left you a present. Or perhaps you'll return from vacation this summer to a musty odor. You can open your door, but as was explained to me my first week here, your nose stops smelling it after 5 minutes, no matter what. That's right, it’s not an open window or spray freshener. It's your body acclimating to the smell.


As a coffee fiend, I was immediately reminded of Starbucks. Theirdescribe the image cafes exude a unique aroma. This smell is essential to the company's brand. Four years ago, they scrapped their egg-sandwich from the menu because its smell was overwhelming the traditional coffee bean scent. Needless to say, their customers raised a stink. This scent works so well because customers enter over and over again -- they grow to expect a certain smell. Because we are indoors 90% of the time we lose whatever scent there is. Whether we are coming, going, or just hanging around it is always there. It takes something like "Egg-sandwiches" to make us sit up and notice.



So what can we do about this? How do we convince ourselves and others to fix that we cannot sense? Not sure. However interesting, continuous discussion of IAQ is somewhat frugal amongst those already in the field. As an outsider, my best piece of advice is to find more like myself, and educate them however briefly on the importance of good Indoor Air Quality.



Please share this, and let me do some of the educating for you!
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Tags: Homeowners, Indoor Air Pollutants, indoor air quality, Clean Home Air, recoupaerator, Ventilation Strategy

A New Perspective on Indoor Air Quality

Posted on Mon, Jun 04, 2012


    Hi! My name is Henry and I have recently begun working with UltimateAir.
This summer I will delve into health and energy efficiency in the context of the RecoupAerator: an Energy Recovery Ventilation system (ERV). Prior to joining this company, I had little knowledge of ERVs let alone the urgent need to ventilate my home. Doesn’t air conditioning bring in fresh air? Besides bugs and the occasional rogue bird, what’s wrong with opening a window? I had to take a deep breath and admit I was clueless to the issue. Parts of this blog will reveal how oblivious I was to the role of ERVs in ‘green’ home technology. By effectively filtering or diluting indoor toxins such as radon, pollen, and various formaldehydes, ventilation (via a RecoupAerator) is one of the most necessary yet easiest steps towards healthy living.

As I have started working and learning here at UltimateAir, one thing has become eminently clear: whole house ventilation such as the RecoupAerator should be a standard in all homes, not a luxury. We must list ERVs amongst televisions, dishwashers, and toasters as essential household appliances. In this series I will not only continue this theme but explore healthy and environmentally friendly practices as well as the lasting benefits of the RecoupAerator.

If you are new to energy efficient ventilation or passive homes, learn with me!! If you are a dealer, already have a RecoupAerator, or are savvy with passive homes, bear with me!! This series will give you insight into ways of promoting and reaching others like yourself. It will allow you to rediscover and explore why clean air is so important. Or maybe you will simply find this newcomer’s views cool and refreshing.

 

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Tags: Indoor Air Pollutants, ERV, Air Filration, energy efficient, Passive House, recoupaerator

What’s New At UltimateAir

Posted on Thu, May 31, 2012

Recently, the UltimateAir crew got a chance to attend The Kentucky Habitat for Humanity Green Housing Conference. This year the conference was entitled “Beginning With The End In Mind.” On site from from UltimateAir was Jason Morosco who was also a panelist and Craig Kinzelman. The conference focused completely on the use of sustainable energy and green building techniques in ways that maintain housing affordability. The first day of the conference our UltimateAir staff got a great chance to hear some excellent speakers, meet some of the newest innovators in green technology and get hands on experience with the newest designs. The second day Jason and Craig got a chance to show the people one of our RecoupAerator units. It was a perfect opportunity to show people the advantages of having an indoor air filtration and ventilation system and why UltimateAir has all the accommodations for your home or workplace. So you may be wondering, “what's next?”

safe imageWe also took our crew is down in Roanoke, Virginia for The Harnessing Innovation for Energy Efficient Construction Conference. This conference is a grand showcase of the most cutting edge products and processes to achieve the most advanced energy efficient technology. Our engineers will be attending workshops, panels and presentations given by the leading firms, researchers and educators in energy efficiency in the country. Our engineers as well as the rest of our team is getting very excited to learn the state-of-the-art technology to stay ahead of the curve. We are looking forward to coming back from conference with new skills and experience.

To learn more about the conference visit: http://www.cpe.vt.edu/hieec/

Tags: Air Filration, Harnessing Innovation for Energy Efficient Constru, Kentucky Habitat for Humanity Green Housing Confer

A Few of UltimateAir’s Favorite Websites

Posted on Tue, May 29, 2012

UltimateAir likes to stay informed and involved in the newest and innovational ideas in green technology. To keep ourselves in the loop we like to visit a few great websites that we thought you would enjoy as well :)

 

1.  http://www.100khouse.com/

100khousePicThis website is definitely one of our favorites to visit. Its a great blog to get involved in to learn more about the science and secrets behind green home technology and passive homes. The blog is filled with interesting articles informing readers on the A to Z on everything you need to know to create an environmentally friendly and energy saving home.

 

 

 

2.  http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/

greenbuildingadvisor

Green Building Advisors is also one of our top choice websites to visit. Its an easy navigational website for the average person to learn the newest and important basics on building a green home including a mass amount of information on why products such as The RecoupAerator are an important commodity for your home. On this website, you have the opportunity to read interesting and new articles posted by experts on the newest trends and designs in green homes all over the U.S. Another great part about this website is you can blog and chat with experts to help you learn more about green energy and its importance in your home.

 

3.  http://www.homeenergy.org/

homeEnergyHome Energy is a fantastic website that’s based on a magazine. This website is perfect for referencing to learn about any home energy topics. The website touches on every subject and includes the most practical information on residential energy efficiency, performance, comfort, and affordability. UltimateAir loves Home Energy because all the content included on this website comes directly from the experts who are researching and employing innovative design, building, and remodeling practices and product.

 

Tags: Air quality tips, ERV, energy efficient, Recouperator, UltimateAir., Links

Mechanical Ventilation and Defrost

Posted on Mon, Apr 30, 2012
If you live in a cooling dominated or less than 4000 HDD climate - you might skip this article.  Else - in the world of heat/energy recovery mechanical ventilation there exists this nemesis known as dew-point temperature.....  and when this is associated with really cold outside conditions - this results in frost accumulation on a heat (energy) exchanger core.  You have warm moist air from inside the building exposed to a very cold surface.  There is no magic here- condensation at best, and frost at worst is going to happen.  Basically- the manufacturer must ensure that the core is not exposed to conditions that will result in frost accumulation on the core.  Every manufacturer has slightly different strategies based on the design of the core.  The UltimateAir RecoupAerator’s core is a random matrix fiber - and as designed does not start to frost until outside temperature drop below 12 F.  That is assuming that inside relative humidity at around 70 F is at or above 25%RH....  inside relative humidity plays a big role in whether or not frost occurs.  

The most common defrost strategy employed by manufacturers is known as ‘recirculation defrost’.  This strategy temporarily allows the leaving air to be redirected into the incoming air duct to warm it up enough to keep the core from frosting.  This cylce is generally 25-75% of an hour, every hour depending on outside temperature.  NOTE- that while this is happening - there is no (or very little) fresh outside air coming in.  This effectively lowers your fresh air ventilation rate... and turns your mechanical ventilator into a recirculation fan pushing air around for little reason.

UltimateAir has provided a pre-heat - pulse modulated solution that allows for no decrease in ventilation.  This is the most efficient solution which ensures the fresh air required for the health of the occupants in the home.  This is one of many other methods that best keep the incoming air at or above 12 F.

That is the short of it.  Defrost is a fairly complex notion to discuss with regard to the cost associated with it.  Know that UltimateAir has your health in mind first.

Contact UltimateAir for more details.

Tags: recoupaerator, RecoupAerator Technical Training, Ventilation Strategy

RecoupAerator in Natural Home & Garden Magazine

Posted on Thu, Apr 19, 2012

Read about how the RecoupAerator played a role in this Modern History resized 600 century old Victorian house transformed into a cutting edge net zero home as told in the Natural Home & Garden Magazine article: Modern History.

 

 

 

 

The Passive House Project

Posted on Thu, Mar 29, 2012

Enter the Passive House Project

Did you know that buildings are responsible for 48 % of greenhouse gas emissions per year and that 76 % of electricity generated goes to the building sector. In the past couple years, a new and innovative option has been brought about to establish a way to save our environment and save thousands of dollars in reduced energy usage. It goes by the name passive house which refers to the building style of buildings that are well insulated, air tight, and primarily heated by passive solar. In passive homes, energy losses are minimized and an airflow is provided through an energy recovery ventilator that purifies the air as well as prevents energy loss and keeps the air supply fresh and constant. This is where we come in as a company. Air ventilation systems such as the ones needed for a passive house are supplied by UltimateAir to ensure that the best air quality can be provided for any home, office, or school at an affordable cost. UltimateAir is one of the only companies that supplies air ventilation systems that are completely green and recover 95% of energy that would normally be lost. You don’t have to have a passive house to purchase our ventilation system called The RecoupAerator, but it makes it all the more affordable and healthy for your body, your home, and the environment.

The chart below from www.parsit.parsons.edu shows how the typical home compares to the energy savings of a passive house.

Passive House comparison chart

Tags: energy efficient, Passive House, recoupaerator