Something’s in the Air (and Water)

If we remember the first half of 2020 for anything, I am guessing most of us will remember the amount of time we 'sheltered at home.' Looking after the health of our family, our friends, and our community has been our most important priority. Some people will be ready to head outdoors or into public spaces the moment they are allowed, and others will take time before they want to be back in their wider community.

Either way, as we start the process of being back to whatever our 'new normal' will be, our communities will need to decide what to do to make our outside world as safe as possible.  At the same time, we should consider if there is more we can do to make our indoors as healthy as we can, too. Here are three ideas to consider.

Improve Your Air Quality

We spend more than 90% of our time indoors. Unfortunately,  more than 100,000 Americans each year die of heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses caused by air pollution. That means that getting the quality and quantity of air in your indoor spaces right is essential. Achieving this requires three key steps - installing sensors to measure and monitor the air; installing high-quality filters that remove odors and pollutants; and using particle filtration systems. ​

There are critical designs to be made, and where and how you live makes a dramatic difference in your air quality. So does the design of your air quality management systems. Getting these designs right the first time is essential before you start building your home. ​Adequate monitoring systems allow you to compare your indoor air quality to the air outside and let you know when it's safe to open the windows and let the outside in. A good system will also help you understand pollutants and the harm they can cause to help you cultivate a healthy lifestyle. ​As for performance – the right filtration systems can remove odors, pollutants, dust, pollen, mold spores, smoke, and other respiratory threats from indoor air.

Right Water Quality

We are all aware of the health risks related to water contaminated with organic and inorganic matter, other bacteria and viruses, and other pollutants. Yet water quality monitoring is more complicated than monitoring air quality and is more than just having a filter in your fridge. To ensure a clean water supply, a series of filters can remove heavy metals. Removing other chemicals found in water can significantly improve its color and taste. ​

Like air quality, water quality needs to be designed into your home.  Working with BRAVAS from the start can ensure that no design or building decisions are made that will impact your ability to have the cleanest water possible.​ Water quality should be about 'setting it and forgetting it' until the system reminds you to change your filters. Options are available for individual faucets or whole-home solutions, but you need the right technology to manage your operations and automate your approach. ​Each of us uses 80-100 gallons of water per day at home: Having the right capacity systems managing your water quality is essential to their proper use. ​

Climate Control

The wrong temperature or humidity can do more than just make you feel uncomfortable. Long term exposure to a poorly controlled climate has a significant impact on sleep and can cause health problems, and may even affect performance. More than just simple irritability, living at the wrong temperature or humidity can cause you a loss of concentration and the ability to do mental tasks effectively. ​

Your home will be designed with zones of climate control, each of which may span many rooms. Working with your architect or builder, getting just the right climate design can be critical to living in a healthy home. In large households with many zones, centralized control can provide significant savings​.

A basic approach is to place a smart thermostat somewhere in each of the zones. Your home automation system can then provide an interface to manage them. In larger homes, a recommended approach is to place sensors in rooms that you want to manage and have a centralized and automated system to control. When a control system is used, then you can combine control of HVAC systems with blinds, vents, fans, and other air handling systems. ​

A Little Help From Your Friends

Working with someone like BRAVAS can help you find the right solution for individual rooms or the whole home with monitoring, management, and the ability to see what's going on.​ Almost every control system like Elan, Savant, Crestron, and Control4 is designed to help you manage many of these systems, and we work with companies like Pure365 and Delos to put a specific solution into customers' homes.

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