What is SBS?
Since the early seventies, as building codes became more stringent to help with energy costs buildings became near air tight environments. New duct work was installed so that warm or cool air could travel in it. A problem that has risen to he attention of people all around the word is Sick Building Syndrome. This process begins by mold and bacteria settling along the inner walls of ducts. Air blowing through ducts infected with high levels of mold and bacteria will infect those who breathe the contaminated air in. Sick Building Syndrome is easily identified if workers or occupants feel ill in a certain building or room. And when they leave the room, the symptoms dissipates. SBS complaints can come from a particular room or may be widespread throughout the building. SBS can also cause many respiratory illnesses.
How badly are people affected by SBS?
1. Air Filters
Air Filter Costs & Comparisons
Indoor Air Quality: Otherwise known as the IAQ for short. Some Indoor air topics include asthma, mold, and radon. Asthma is a disease that affects approximately 20 million americans. Over 6.3 million of those are children. Since 1980, the biggest growth in asthma cases has been in children under five. In 200 there were nearly 2 million emergency room visits and nearly half a million hospitalizations due to asthma, at a cost of almost $2 billion, and causing 14 million school days missed each year. (Environmental Protection Agency). American National Standards Institute's Construction Standards Management Board was renewed in the 1970s (Building Code Committee of the Department of Commerce).
Sick Building syndrome can be isolated to one room or be widespread throughout an entire building. Some symptoms of SBS include: Persistant headaches; irritation in eyes, nose, or throat; dry cough; dry or itchy skin; bouts of dizziness or nausea; fevers; fatigue; watering eyes and nose; muscle cramps; joint pain; dry itchy skin; nosebleeds; and heartburn. A unique characteristic of Sick Building Syndrome is that symtoms are only triggered when you are in the infected room or building.
2. Air Ducts
3. Hurricane Info
4. Mold Statistics
There are some actions you can take to prevent yourself from getting SBS and ultimately to prevent a "sick" building. One of these actions is properly maintaining your air filters.Change air filters monthly,and HEPA filters (a type of pre-filter) annually. Another important thing to do is to have a full cleaning of your entire air duct system every 2-5 years. this can be done professionally.
There are numerous types of air filters, besides the ones you have already installed. For example, there is a UV light on the market that sterilizes passing air from mold and bacteria. However, these these stationary UV fictuures normally only kill 40% of mold and bacteria spores. The link below compares different air filters' cost and effectivness.
1. Air Filters
Air Filter Costs & Comparisons
Leakage in Ducts:
Air can leak through ducts in many ways. One way is through un-insulated or poorly insulated duct walls located in attics. Another way that air can leak through ducts is through holes or open spaces between poorly connected sections of ductwork. The final way is caused by pressure differences from faulty ducts. (Bryant)
Consequences From Poor Ductwork:
The consequences from poor ductwork can be very costly. Poor ductwork can allow expensive cooled or heated air to leak into attics and garage (places where it's unwanted). Return leaks induce outside air into the ducts, this reduces the duct's efficiency and capacity. Also, dust, mold, and other contaminants such as insulation fibers blow into the hone or building and can infect it's occupants. (A Residential Duct Leakage Case Study on "Good Cents" Homes)
Prevention of Mold and Bacteria
If mold and bacteria is found in air ducts, it can be potentially very dangerous. It is important to get rid of it as soon as possible. A solution to contamination is sterilization. An easy and quick way to sterilize a duct is using a Ultraviolet light. An example of an extremely deadly mold is Black mold. This infamous mold is also known as Strachybotrys chartarum and more often as Strachybotrys atra. It has been closely linked to the death of babies from respiratory bleeding, and as a contributing factor to illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis. According to the Center of Disease Control, this mold is responsible for over "100 cases of lung disorders". (Center of Disease Control)
Inspection of an area
Returning Home After a Flood
Removing Mold From a Building
Saving Household Items