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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default My House IS Killing Me!

    I have severe allergies to dust. Converted my home 3 yrs. ago from fha to hwbb and installed low pile carpet throughout. AFter 3 years my allergies crept up, so pulled all carpets up. Then installed pretreated hardwood, couldn't breathe, tried to off gass it, to no avail. Now I have wood laminate and still have sever problems. I have to sell my home. i am going to BUILD. What is the best type of floor and heat for a person with allegies to dust and multiple chemical sensitivities? HELP AND THANK YOU ALL!!
    Last edited by Susan17; 01-29-2008 at 06:14 AM. Reason: misspelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sand Springs, OK
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: My House IS Killing Me!

    I agree, don't worry about the floors. The soft surfaces are probably the biggest culprit to causing your allergies, i.e.: pillows, furniture, window coverings, bed clothes and mattress. Investing in a hyper hepa filtration system for your home perhaps using the same duct work as your old system would really help.

    If you are intent on building insist on a pre-filter as well as a filter to any air exchange system.

    It is very important to cleanse the air because when you seal the house up to prevent heat loss you keep germs and bacteria in as well. This also keeps allergens in and allows them to multiply.
    Debby in Oklahoma

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: My House IS Killing Me!

    Susan,

    First, have you been to an allergist? I went a few years ago and learned specifically what I was allergic to - some of them were surprising. Among other things, dust mites was a big one - and these things are found in just about every mattress, couch, and rug everywhere. So, after getting the carpet out of my room and a mattress cover, things improved greatly.

    As for your chemical sensitivities, look into new low-VOC paints and sealers. With the recent 'green movement' a lot of companies are now making products without the harsh solvents normally found in most products. You may not find them at the big-box stores yet, but they're definitely out there.

    For a heating system, radiant floor all the way. It works great, is comfortable, silent, and invisible. No radiators, baseboards, or anything else to collect dust all summer then burn it off the first cool day of fall.

    One other thing that may help the chemical issue - besides source control - is modern ventilation. If you put a heat-recovery ventilator in your house (it captures the heat of the exhaust air to warm/cool incoming fresh air, while keeping the airflows totally separate), you can crank up the airflow without spending a fortune in heating/cooling costs. They're a bit pricey at first, but given your situation it may really help. Also, the energy they save may pay for it within a few years.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,713

    Default Re: My House IS Killing Me!

    You might try old fashion Linoleum. It is supposed to kill germs on its surface. Also consider a latex mattress for the same reason.

  5. #5

    Cool Re: My House IS Killing Me!

    You need a combination of better ventilation to remove VOC's and other nasties. The device at the link below takes old air/gasses/particles out of the home and brings fresh air in. While it is bringing fresh air into the home it filters it and the existing air in the home through a HEPA filter. It also has a filtration only mode for when you don't want to bring fresh air in. It is energy efficient since it uses the temperature from the outgoing air to heat or cool the incoming air.

    http://www.broan.com/display/router.asp?ProductID=3743

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: My House IS Killing Me!

    Quote Originally Posted by silkwj View Post
    Susan,

    First, have you been to an allergist? I went a few years ago and learned specifically what I was allergic to - some of them were surprising. Among other things, dust mites was a big one - and these things are found in just about every mattress, couch, and rug everywhere. So, after getting the carpet out of my room and a mattress cover, things improved greatly.

    As for your chemical sensitivities, look into new low-VOC paints and sealers. With the recent 'green movement' a lot of companies are now making products without the harsh solvents normally found in most products. You may not find them at the big-box stores yet, but they're definitely out there.

    For a heating system, radiant floor all the way. It works great, is comfortable, silent, and invisible. No radiators, baseboards, or anything else to collect dust all summer then burn it off the first cool day of fall.

    One other thing that may help the chemical issue - besides source control - is modern ventilation. If you put a heat-recovery ventilator in your house (it captures the heat of the exhaust air to warm/cool incoming fresh air, while keeping the airflows totally separate), you can crank up the airflow without spending a fortune in heating/cooling costs. They're a bit pricey at first, but given your situation it may really help. Also, the energy they save may pay for it within a few years.

    Good luck!
    tell me more about the heat recovery ventilator

  7. #7

    Default Re: My House IS Killing Me!

    Quote Originally Posted by silkwj View Post
    Susan,

    First, have you been to an allergist? I went a few years ago and learned specifically what I was allergic to - some of them were surprising. Among other things, dust mites was a big one - and these things are found in just about every mattress, couch, and rug everywhere. So, after getting the carpet out of my room and a mattress cover, things improved greatly.

    As for your chemical sensitivities, look into new low-VOC paints and sealers. With the recent 'green movement' a lot of companies are now making products without the harsh solvents normally found in most products. You may not find them at the big-box stores yet, but they're definitely out there.

    For a heating system, radiant floor all the way. It works great, is comfortable, silent, and invisible. No radiators, baseboards, or anything else to collect dust all summer then burn it off the first cool day of fall.

    One other thing that may help the chemical issue - besides source control - is modern ventilation. If you put a heat-recovery ventilator in your house (it captures the heat of the exhaust air to warm/cool incoming fresh air, while keeping the airflows totally separate), you can crank up the airflow without spending a fortune in heating/cooling costs. They're a bit pricey at first, but given your situation it may really help. Also, the energy they save may pay for it within a few years.

    Good luck!

    There are several HVAC technologies for improved indoor air quality on the market today. Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV), Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV), special filtration devices, Demand Control Ventilation and Displacement Ventilation systems.

    The HRV will take a percentage of the indoor air and exhaust it in exchange for outdoor air. The thermal energy from the already conditioned exhaust air will be used to pre-treat the outdoor air coming into the system. So, in the summer, outdoor air is pre-cooled; while in the winter months, outdoor air is pre-heated. This is a great way to conserve energy and lower your utility bills while improving the operation of your HVAC system.

    The ERV works similar to the HRV except in addition to thermal energy being transfered from the conditioned exhaust air to the outdoor air latent energy (moisture) is transfered. So, in the humid summer, outdor air is pre-cooled and dehumidified; while in the dry winter months, outdoor air is pre-heated and humidified.

    ERV are strongly recommended in hot/humid and mixed/humid climates; recommended in some cold and marine zones that can experience higher humidity in summer months; but are not generally recommended in hot/dry, mixed/dry, very cold and subartic climates.

    Both of these systems can be fitted to your HVAC system, but by themselves they are not enough. Have your HVAC contractor or local Indoor Environmentalist take a look at the operation of the system. Making sure ventilation, air flow, and pressurization are correct go a long way in comfort and indoor pollution control. Also, ask your professional about the proper filtration system for you and your unit. There are many different ways to do a good filtration of your system; and, unfortunately, there are also some bad ones.
    Jason Yost, CIEC, CMRS, WRT
    Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
    Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor
    Water-damage Restoration Technician

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