The UltimateAir® News

UltimateAir Sponsering local Energy Discussion

Posted on Fri, Oct 19, 2012

Report on Energy and Climate Change:
Problems and Opportunities

Talk and Discussion with Pat Murphy
Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions


Today the world is facing increasing CO2 from fossil fuels, declining quantities of suchfuels, record income and wealth inequity, and a population that has reached 7 billion.

The common factor to these is cheap plentiful fossil fuel energy, which will not be as cheap in the future. CO2 has reached 387 parts per million (ppm) in the Earth’s atmosphere – above the 350 ppm considered to be the maximum allowable without causing damage to the climate.

Most people, over 95%, assume some kind of technological breakthrough will deal with these issues. Possibly 5% believe that our current lifestyle can be maintained with renewable energy and breakthrough bio-fuels. Far less than 1% of the population has any sense of the real need to reduce per capita energy consumption.

Technology breakthroughs such as fuel-cell or electric cars have not borne the promised fruit. Nuclear fusion has made no progress. Carbon sequestration is still only a dream. Renewable energy is growing rapidly but from a very small base. The low energy density and intermittency of most renewable energy sources are often overlooked limitations. The main focuses to date, electrification of transport and “green” building are still in the range of 1% improvements.

Community Solutions proposes a paradigm shift – Plan C, where the C stands for curtailment and community. This involves measuring the ideas and proposals that are so popular by using such evaluation techniques as “energy return from energy invested” (EROEI) and Lifecycle Analysis. These techniques are ways of measuring the feasibility or fallibility of proposed options. Using per capita measurements in a global context is also vital to determining what is possible. It addresses the huge difference in energy recourse use between the first and third world.

Today it is clear that a CO2 reduction target is necessary. According to the UN’S International Protocol on Climate Change the target must be to reduce CO2 80% by 2050. Community Solutions is exploring ways to do this in the areas of personal consumption: our cars, homes, and food, more than 60% of the nation’s CO2 emissions.

Pat will discuss possible solutions in detail, sharing what is being done in the three consumer areas – by individuals, private organizations and the U.S. government, and make specific recommendations for personal actions one can take.

When: November 15 from 7pm to 9pm Where: The Dairy Barn
8000 Dairy Lane, Athens OH 45701
For more information call 740 466-5289

Tags: Homeowners, energy efficient, recoupaerator, UltimateAir., green building, Energy

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!
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RecoupAerator
Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/RecoupAerator

Tags: Homeowners, Indoor Air Pollutants, indoor air quality, Clean Home Air, recoupaerator, Ventilation Strategy

The Masking Tradition and Indoor Air Quality

Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2012

Indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside

JLB New Mask resized 600

Today’s well-insulated and sealed homes trap odors and chemicals from rugs, furniture, and household cleaning products. Common sense and studies have shown that the by exhausting the pollutants and replacing this exhausted air with filtered, fresh air from outside, the quality of the home environment is uncommonly improved.  By adding heat and moisture recovery to this air exchange (in essence, recovering the energy already used to heat and cool the home), ventilation and filtration can be done for as little as 25 cents per day.

 

Green Cleaners

However, consumers are confounded by a bewildering array of sprays, powders, candles and plug-in devices to mask IAQ issues. Indeed, these masking agents - “air fresheners”, “aerosol air cleaners”, and candles - significantly contribute  to degrading the home environment and causing allergic reactions.

Check out the green cleaner experiment - you can see formadhyde levels rise.

We also used to powder and perfume ourselves instead of bathing, go on pilgrimages to avoid the plague, and build homes without insulation... And how did this work out?

Choose a better indoor air quality with the RecoupAerator

To insure the health, safety and comfort of your family, choose the real long-term solution to a better indoor environment, the UltimateAir RecoupAerator Ventilation and Filtration system.

Tags: Homeowners, indoor air quality, Air Filration, recoupaerator, Common Indoor Air Pollutants, Outdoor Air Quality

Take Advantage of Federal Tax Credits & Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Posted on Fri, Dec 02, 2011

energy efficient homeThe federal government is currently offering two tax credits to help assist with the total cost of energy efficient products or upgrades.  Both credits require a large initial investment in order to produce years of utility savings. . 

The underlying intention and incentive behind this unique government-funded opportunity is a mutually beneficial arrangement for the homeowner to save money while boosting the US economy through market expansion from increased demand. 

Only certain highly efficient products qualify and the credit is only eligible if purchased before the end of December, in which case they can be deducted from your taxes.

Energy Efficiency Tax Credit:

  • 10% of cost up to $500 or a specific amount from $50 - $300
  • Expires on December 31, 2011
  • Existing home & principal residences
  • New construction and rentals do not qualify.

This credit will offer financial help for both improvements to the home shell and installation of any qualifying energy-efficient heating and cooling systems including:

  • Biomass Stoves
  • Heating Ventilating AC (HVAC)
  • Insulation
  • Roofs
  • Water Heaters
  • Windows & doors

The extended renewable-energy credit is slightly more flexible, allowing both primary and secondary homes to qualify, as do both new and existing homes.

Renewable Tax Credit:

  • 30% of cost with no upper limit.
  • Expires December 31, 2016.
  • Existing homes & new construction qualify.
  • Both principal residences and second homes qualify.
  • Rentals do not qualify.

Applicable for the following products:

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Small Wind Turbines
  • Solar Energy Systems

How to Apply For a Tax Credit On Your Energy Efficient Product

If installed before December 31, 2011, the credit can be applied for qualifying products through your 2011 taxes by filing IRS form 5695.  Dissimilar to a deduction, the credit will function as a reimbursement, lowering your tax burden by up to $500.

Learn more by visiting Energy Star

Tags: Homeowners, Air Filration, energy efficient, Home Energy Efficiency Best Practices, Energy Star

How To Choose An Energy Recovery Ventilator

Posted on Thu, Mar 03, 2011
Not all Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) are alike. Choosing the right ERV impacts the quality of air you breathe and the final cost of your system. It’s important to understand the differences in the most critical areas of performance. Consider these 5 points before investing in an air filtration system:
  • 200DXinteriorEnergy transfer rating– what percentage of outbound energy is transferred to inbound air?
  • Cost-of-Ownership– how much does it cost per year to operate?
  • Moisture transfer efficiency– does the system effectively manage moisture and not just heat?
  • Filtration efficiency– how well does the energy recovery ventilator filter contaminants?
  • Ease of installation and service – is the energy recovery ventilator easy to service?

It begins with fresh air. To ventilate properly, stale air must be exchanged with fresh air from outdoors. Don’t settle for a plug-in system that recirculates stale air. The RecoupAerator is rated MERV 12, in other words as fresh air is brought in to the home, over 95% of the contaminants as small as 1 micronis removed.

It’s also important to install a system that transfers heat, energy, and moisture. The RecoupAerator leads the industry with 96% heat transfer efficiency. Simply put this means that 96% of the heat you paid for is transferred from the air being exhausted back to the incoming fresh air stream. This industry-leading efficiency rating translates in to the lowest cost-of-ownership available in whole-house ERVs. Read more about what makes the RecoupAerator so unique by clicking here.

Tags: Homeowners

2010 Passive House Conference

Posted on Wed, Nov 03, 2010

UltimateAir will be a vendor at this years' (and the past few) US Passive House Conference. It's in Portland, OR - Nov 4-7. Jason will also be speaking on 'Commercial ERV's'. Craig and I are leaving this morning. Hope to see you there!

Tags: Homeowners