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David Wieland

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since Jun 19, 2017
Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
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Recent posts by David Wieland

I've found Robert Pavlis's improved baggie method to work well.
Here's an updated video from his Garden Myths site:
3 days ago

Jt Lamb wrote:...our current CO *alarms* (sort of like car idiot gauges, as in "hey, idiot ... if you aren't dead yet, I sense a build-up of CO in this area!")...

LOL! The CO alarms are intended to sound before a dangerous level is reached -- not really like car warning lights (except for the nebulous "check engine" light).
5 days ago

Corey Schmidt wrote: I also bought a radon test kit, which is on the way.  I have plastic on the basement floor, but its not sealed at this point.   Would it be better to put the charcoal radon collector under the plastic, or just in the air in the basement?    

The danger with radon gas is inhaling it over a considerable period of time, so testing your basement air is the way to go.
5 days ago
(Unintentional duplicate I can't delete)
1 week ago

jason holdstock wrote:
Do you have trickle vents?

As Cecile noted, those of us who live where winters are cold can't afford to leave windows open in winter. Apart from wasting heat, the resulting low humidity would contribute to nosebleeds and dry, cracked skin (especially for us old-timers).
1 week ago

Jt Lamb wrote:All good questions and concerns ... thanks for all such comments, as it helps us figure out all aspects of both our choices and manufacturers' equipment. Our ventless heater brand, Mr Heater 30k btu blue flame models work great ... we've used them for years; safe, O2 sensor and cutoff, thermostat, etc. Vented models have a number of features that didn't work for us, such as complexity of installation, visible flame, and so on ...

Short-term fixes include just getting more air exchanges, by manually opening doors/windows ... the outside air is better (wrt CO2), and monitoring shows that it works. Problem solved, air quality rapidly improves. If you aren't monitoring (and who is?), and don't have automatic air exchanges by some other system (hvac of some kind), then just do the same opening/closing of doors & windows.

Other short-term fixes would be something that addresses the kinds of heating/cooking devices we have (ventless heaters, wood stoves, cooking appliances) ... now that I know there's a problem, based on our choice of these devices, we'll implement the fixes, as we find them. We *do* have a vent hood over the propane range, but we don't use it all the time ... we'll now test that, and hopefully solve the cooking issue of IAQ, w/o giving up cooking on gas,, which we love and would never give up. Thanks for that reminder!

Long-term, an automatic air exchange system of some kind seems the best way of ensuring we get air changes without lots of effort, and would also solve the winter problem ... just now looking into this, given that monitoring reveals problems.

Curiously, first monitoring, and then *research* into the results, reveals that CO2 *is* an IAQ problem, with health effects. I don't believe we can trust the old "1200ppm, 2000ppm, or higher levels" in homes, businesses, and subs are still "good enough per EPA and others"; I'm not sure I can trust a government or other agency that values business more than people. If outside air is 400ppm, then that is *my* target. We have CO alarms, but no direct monitoring yet of CO values ... good news is that our generator isn't in the house with us!

BTW, don't monitor, if you aren't ready to tackle what such monitoring might show ... that was our first mistake : )

Again, CO is the danger indoors, not CO2. As the Mr Heater description I found at says "Great for industrial and commercial use" and garage heating.  Count yourself lucky if you've been using it in your home.

I know government information isn't always reliable, but safe CO2 levels have been determined scientifically. You may be confused by climate alarm material, irrelevant to IAQ (although alarmists may insist otherwise). But always use your range hood when cooking.
1 week ago

Jt Lamb wrote:We consciously chose to live rural, with one of the benefits being better outdoor air quality than that found in the city ... but, what about indoor air quality? Up to this point, I've been guessing, and hoping fot the best.

I finally got the first of many sensors, so I can see what is happening, stop the guessing, and actually record some data. Our first sensor, a CO2 monitor/logger "IAQ Max" from arrived, and with minimal fiddling, we were recording data.  Outdoor CO2 is in the low 400's (a green category), and after calibration, it showed the same inside ... all is well.

Until we started doing things ... cook a meal with the propane stove ... numbers went up into the yellow cat egory. Heat a room with a propane heater ... numbers go up. This got us doing remediation, like opening doors and windows ... sure enough, numbers went down, and we were back in the green.

So, this will take some integration effort ... recording data, correlating to activities, and figuring out remediation steps throughout the year. But, it's a start ...

The next sensor we have coming is for radon ...

Both can be moved around as needed ... different rooms or spaces, other buildings, etc.

I don't know why you have concern about CO2, because CO is the danger indoors. That's the gas that can kill people in their sleep and should be monitored with an alarm near open combustion heaters. (Closed systems such as high-efficiency gas furnaces and water heaters vent all gases outdoors and aren't open to indoor space.) As for CO2, it has to go very high to be dangerous; submarines allow something like 1200 ppm.

It's smart to test for radon in the soil your house is on, which can accumulate in a basement. If present, it's worth remediation. If it's not detectable, you can then forget about it.
1 week ago

Jenny Wright wrote:Sigh... It sounds like I need to make a trip to my allergist and have a talk with him. I do have epipens and medication since I'm allergic to so many foods.

I had childhood allergies until puberty, so I have only a distant acquaintance with your situation. I've read of desensitization treatment that starts with tiny amounts of the offending allergen and gradually increases the exposure. Apparently some people desensitize themselves to poison ivy by eating an emerging leaf and continuing daily as the leaves grow.

It sounds like you need to be wary of enjoying generous amounts of favorite foods -- and to consult your allergist.
1 week ago

Jerry McIntire wrote:... when delicata are fresh, their soft skin makes them easy to eat as a squash pancake.

I don't understand why anyone would consider Delicata to be anything but tasty. I wouldn't call the skin (rind) delicious, but it's pleasant enough and makes eating sauteed or baked rings easy and a sweet treat. A friend we introduced to Delicata rings said it was like dessert.

Although I haven't tried it yet, this being my first year growing Delicata, I've read that sun-cured ones can be stored for at least three months.
1 week ago

Chris Kott wrote:.
Education, not legislation, I say.

This is true for most things, but there seems to be a knee-jerk urge for legislation in many people (legislators in particular 🤐).
1 week ago