With growing concerns regarding the effects of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) on our health, L.J. Barton provides commercial and residential property owners with a quick, cost effective means of assessing and improving the quality of their indoor air. And best of all, we do all the work for you!
By monitoring key IAQ parameters with leading-edge and innovative technology, businesses are able to ensure they comply with Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) regulations, and prove due diligence in protecting the health and safety of their employees and visitors.
In addition, recent studies report that the elimination of poor air quality improves employee productivity as much as 9%. (And you’ll sleep better, just knowing you have a process in place to monitor and remedy IAQ issues on a regular basis.)
L.J. Barton Mechanical is proud to offer this complete indoor air monitoring service.
We certainly know the effects on our comfort when temperatures are too high or too low. Temperature also plays a role in determining the humidity level in the space. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), The CSA Standard, and the National Research Council of Canada recommend that temperatures be maintained between 20.5 – 25.5C in the winter (30% Relative Humidity) and 24.5 – 28C in the summer (30% Relative Humidity).
Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. Relative Humidity (RH) is the percentage of moisture in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture that the air can hold at a given temperature. It is recommended that RH levels be maintained between 30-60%. Levels below this can result in dry eyes, throat, skin or cracked lips. It can also cause irritation of mucous membranes leaving occupants uncomfortable and more susceptible to illness. If the RH is too high, it contributes to the growth of molds, dust mites, other allergens, and disease organisms such as bacteria.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a colourless, odourless gas produced by normal life processes and when fuel is burned. Outdoor levels of CO2 are generally 200-400ppm. ASHRAE recommends maintaining levels not more that 700ppm above this. It is accepted that levels below 1000ppm are ideal. Exposure to levels above this can cause headaches, tiredness and stuffiness.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless toxic gas that is the product of incomplete combustion from burning fossil fuels or wood. Normal levels of CO are 0-2ppm, with less than 10ppm being the maximum exposure over an eight hour period. Symptoms of elevated CO exposure are headaches, nausea, dizziness, and tiredness. Extremely high exposure can result in death within 1-3 minutes.
Particulates (PM) are small amounts of liquid or solid contaminants that are suspended in the air, most of which are not visible to the naked eye. The Canary monitor detects particles ranging from .7 to 15 microns in size. This includes fragments of pollen and mold spores, dust mite allergen, pet dander, bacteria and fine dust. Excessive particulate levels can cause allergic reactions such as dry eyes, nose, and throat and skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, and respiratory difficulty. Particulate levels less then 10 ug/m3 are considered ideal. Levels of 10-50 ug/m3 are acceptable. With levels above 50 being considered unacceptable.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are carbon based chemicals that turn to a gas state at room temperature. Thousands of potential gases could be present in the air, each with their own characteristics and risks. VOCs can be released from building materials, finishes and furniture, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and office supplies including some printers and copiers. Canary measures the TVOCs, which is the total of all VOCs present in the air. Some symptoms of TVOC exposure include fatigue, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, and skin and eye irritation. Ideal levels of TVOCs are less than .2ppm, acceptable levels range from .2 to 1ppm. Levels above 1ppm are unacceptable.
L.J. Barton Mechanical uses a 5-step process to test your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ):
Step 1: Determine the specific needs of your business
The size, number of stories, and layout of your building will determine the number of locations required to be monitored, as well as any particular areas of concern.
Step 2: Placement of the Canary Air Quality Assurance monitor
The Canary Air Quality Assurance monitor is placed in the first location, plugged in and monitoring begins. It is left there for a predetermined amount of time, usually 24 hours, after which it is unplugged and moved to the next location. Once repowered, the monitor recognizes its new place and automatically separates the data from the previous location. This is repeated for all of the predetermined locations.
Step 3: Perform IAQ walk-through
The Canary Air Quality Assurance walk-through is a systematic method of screening for a broad range of potential IAQ problems. The technician uses his own senses and a detailed check list to identify potential issues. Our technicians attend rigorous training sessions and professional courses which are based on Government guidelines.
Step 4: Removal of monitor and upload of data
After all locations have been screened, the Canary Air Quality Assurance monitor is removed and the data is uploaded to Canary’s website where the proprietary analytical software resides, and where the customer’s account has been created.
Step 5: Report of findings and recommendations
The 6 IAQ parameters are graphed and compared against “key performance indicators” derived from current standards, guidelines and practices. This information and observations made during the walk-through are used to generate the final report. The report includes a summary, graphs, review and description of the six parameters as well as recommendations.
The web-based report is made available to you through a username and password, which can also be distributed to employees, tenants, and clients at your discretion. And last but not least, insightful newsletters and links are also available to help you stay current with IAQ concerns.