Originally involved with Sunpower Inc, there Sherry Walker became acquainted with company founders Catherine Chagnot and Craig Kinzelman. She has been part of the UltimateAir family from the beginning, in a secretarial position that has taken on many facets over the years. Sherry likes "that the company has been on the cutting edge of alternative energy and efficiency, while promoting a healthy environment."
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Matt Baker, Product 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.
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.
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 formaldehyde 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. Their 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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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.
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?”
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 :)
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.
Read about how the RecoupAerator played a role in this century old Victorian house transformed into a cutting edge net zero home as told in the Natural Home & Garden Magazine article: Modern History.