There are new technologies that allow for laser particle counting for homeowners. This group is set up to encourage people using these monitors (e.g. Dylos, PurpleAir) to share their experiences, troubleshoot problems with the devices, and interpret the data and its implication on indoor air quality.

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  • There is a recent study on the accuracy of home radon monitors -

    The Corentium we use for the ROCIS monitoring fared well in that study.
  • Hi everyone,

    We have an upcoming webinar on 12/15/20 at 2pm that will cover effective kitchen range hood practices. Please follow this BPC event link for more info & registration details.

    Keep a Lid On It: Best Practices for Reducing Cooking Pollution in Homes
    How safe and healthy is your indoor air when cooking at home?   Experience from the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project has confirmed that cooking acti…
  • Here is a link to register for a workshop exploring the Environmental Sensing Data Repository (ESDR), hosted by the CMU CREATE Lab on December 4th 10am-12:30PM. We look forward to exploring data from RAMP, PurpleAir, VOC and ACHD monitoring networks in our SW PA area. We will also demonstrate how this data may be downloaded and used to answer research questions from the health professional and academic communities.

    South Western PA Air Pollution Data Workshop with CMU CREATE Lab and Monitoring Network Facilitators: Learn how to find and analyze longitudinal data from hundreds of air quality monitors across our region
    When: Dec 4, 2020 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Register in advance for this meeting:

    The Environmental Sensing Data Repository (ESDR) contains thousands of air quality sensors. The hundreds placed in the Pittsburgh and surrounding area are accessible for our community of researchers and health professionals to download, and view side by side.

    Air Quality Sensor Map from ESDR
    We want to connect our amazing network of health researchers from the greater Pittsburgh area to experts in Pittsburgh-area air quality monitoring, with the goal of building new relationships and seeding new research outcomes that connect our air and our health in this region. We will follow this workshop with bi-weekly "online office hours" where anyone can come to ask questions, dive into data manipulation and analysis, and collaborate.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Best wishes to all,
    Ana Hoffman
    CREATE Lab
    Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: ESDR Workshop. After registering, you will receive a co…
    The Environmental Sensing Data Repository (ESDR) contains thousands of air quality sensors. The hundreds placed in the Pittsburgh and surrounding are…
  • Fireplaces allow smoke from the fires, odors from outside, toxins from the chimney, allergens, etc., to enter your living area. I have been making insulated fireplace covers for a long time and recently, I have noticed an increase in business, as homes are getting tighter and tighter. The more insulation that is done to an older home, the more it pulls air from the fireplace. Whether gas or wood burning, those fans that we put in to remove indoor odors, are pulling air from the fireplace opening.
    We discovered this fireplace draft, as we purchased a 1950 built home that had almost no insulation. New roof, new window, attic insulation, house wrap and siding. The more we did, the colder the living room became. I covered the fireplace and got a surprise, when the blanket was being sucked into the fireplace. The opposite happens, when I turn on the range hood fan, it pulls the blanket out into the room.
    This was the invention of my fireplace cover. 10 years ago and the problem with fireplaces seem to be getting worse.
    What is the energy benefit of a fireplace?
    • There is no energy benefit to a fireplace. A woodstove mounted in the hearth can heat the house but almost all fireplaces lose energy through the relatively uncontrolled air movement up the chimney. Fitted glass doors can make a difference; they can also change how hot the nearest wood framing becomes, so you have to be careful about retrofitting glass doors.
  • In response to wildfire smoke and COVID there is lots of interest in DIY Fan/filters -- This article has excellent information and links . The cube is the latest variation on taping a 4" MERV 13 filter onto a 20" x 20" box fan.
    This DIY 'Comparetto Cube' filter is so easy that 'a child could do it.' Read More:
    Build Your Own COVID-19 Air Filter
    This DIY 'Comparetto Cube' filter is so easy that 'a child could do it.'
  • ROCIS will be presenting with some other great speakers at the upcoming virtual "One Health, One Planet" symposium hosted by Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 10/19-10/23. The talks will cover air quality, how it applies to Pittsburgh, and what needs to be done.

    More info & Registration below:…/one-health-one-planet/
    Home | Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Pittsburgh PA
    Home | Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Pittsburgh PA
  • an interesting home experiment that we saw with some DIY fan filters:

    "This is a home office in an unfinished dry basement with laundry and lots of things stored around. The experiment was performed over the weekend, so there was minimal activity in the space.

    The space is about 350 sqft and for maximum effect the homeowner moved two box fan filters with MERV-11 20X20X5" filters with 1" charcoal pre-filters. When on, the filters both ran at medium speed.

    The filters were shut on and off several times during the course of the weekend.

    The air conditioner was also turned on for one of the periods that the filters were off, to see the effect of the AC on particulate concentration.

    The peaks correspond EXACTLY to the three periods that the filters were off. With two filters running at medium speed it takes about 1 hour to bring the peaks down to the 1-2 µg/m3 range.

    The higher peak was during the period that the AC was on, but filters were off.

    It looks like it takes about 3-4 hours for levels to increase to peak levels after filters are turned off."
  • IAQ Radio show for 5/22 at 12PM, covering Mechanical Systems & COVID:
    The Voice of the Indoor Air Quality Industry
  • new study out of Harvard for covid/air pollution interaction:
    Air Pollution and Coronavirus
    A Harvard study is one of several that have now suggested that air pollution is affecting COVID-19 mortality.
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Filter Fans: What works, what doesn't for window box fan + furnace filter

Filter FansA furnace filter duct taped to a box fan makes a remarkably good and inexpensive particulate filter. Linda Wigington has been advocating for them and using them in ROCIS cohorts. This thread is meant to discuss what works and what doesn't.I've got a Dylos again, and so I'm measuring stuff that I can't with the other IAQ monitors I have: Foobot, uHoo, Awair, and NetAtMo. Namely I'm watching small particles.Linda Wigington uses a 4" MERV 11 or MERV 13 filter on a standard 20" square…

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5 Replies · Reply by Linda Wigington Sep 8, 2020

Carbon Filter Cloth or Bulk Carbon Filters for Ozone & Odor Reduction

I first heard of low cost strateigies using carbon cloth to reduce ozone & odors,or to prevent ozone generation in homes from Richard Corsi, Check out the IAQ Radio episode addressing this exploration.We are recruiting folks who want to experiment with attaching carbon cloth to a box fan /high MERV filter to test its performance either in a window, or within a home or workspace.Check out the radio interview. Let us know what you think!

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2 Replies