clean air

HAVEN Meets TrickleStar:

Introducing Wireless IAQ Integrations

Wireless IAQ Integrations from HAVEN
Wireless IAQ Integrations from TrickleStar

We’re excited to announce that the HAVEN Central Air Monitor is now compatible with TrickleStar’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat! Our new IFTTT integration makes it easier to maximize savings, optimize comfort, and breathe cleaner air for happier and healthier homes.

How it works

HAVEN's Central Air Monitor allows homeowners to track whole-home Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The TrickleStar Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat provides smart control over a home's HVAC system for optimal comfort. When combined, the HAVEN and TrickleStar solution enables homeowners to maximize savings, optimize comfort, and improve indoor air quality.

The integrated solution uses IFTTT to wirelessly connect HAVEN's air quality monitor with TrickleStar's smart thermostat for a simplified installation – without additional wired controls for activating HVAC equipment, and improving IAQ.

1. HAVEN’s in-duct Central Air Monitor continuously tracks air pollutants within a home.

2. HAVEN sends a wireless signal to TrickleStar’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat when pollutants cross safe thresholds

HAVEN's Central Air Monitor detects air pollution; The TrickleStar Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat activates forced air equipment; Responsive filtration improves indoor air quality

3. TrickleStar’s thermostat then automatically activates the home’s HVAC system to filter and freshen the air.

Homeowners have clean air peace of mind with the HAVEN IAQ app, which shows when their system has been activated to address IAQ issues automatically.

The solution is professionally installed, and available here.

A proven indoor air quality solution

IAQ issues can cause harm to health, and to a home itself.
IAQ Issue Common Causes or Indicators
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Dust, pet dander, combustion particles from cooking
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Chemicals from cleaning products, paints, and furniture off-gassing
Relative Humidity (rH) Mold, cracked wood, peeling paint

When these issues cross safe thresholds, the HAVEN Monitor can now alert a connected TrickleStar Thermostat to activate equipment and improve air quality, according to the three pillars of IAQ.

What are the three pillars of IAQ?

Wireless IAQ Integrations improve indoor air quality through filtration, ventilation, and humidity control: the three pillars of IAQ

Filtration: Helps capture harmful airborne particles on a whole-home scale – unlike room air purifiers, which only service one room at a time. Without effective filtration, Particulate Matter buildup can damage critical organs like the heart and lungs.

Ventilation: Proper ventilation replaces stale air with new outdoor air: removing any built up VOCs, and CO2 from breathing. Chemical buildup in the body has been linked to liver, kidney, and nervous system damage.

Humidity Control: Optimizing temperature and relative humidity is key for human health, as well as limiting microorganism and virus survival.

The new HAVEN & TrickleStar integration wirelessly transforms a home’s HVAC system into a smart IAQ solution, enabling the delivery of clean air automatically through the three pillars of IAQ.

Contractors and wholesalers

Schedule a demo today to learn more about how the TrickleStar and HAVEN partnership can help you to solve indoor air quality issues in your customers’ homes:

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By Christina S, Marketing Coordinator
📍 Vancouver, British Columbia

HAVEN™ is your professionally managed air quality solution, helping you and your family

Breathe Better

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Woman dusting to remove harmful Particulate Matter

Health effects of Particulate Matter

Everything you need to know about
Indoor Air Quality -  Episode 2

The health effects of particulate matter exposure (particularly PM2.5) can be huge: the average adult takes about 16 breaths per minute, or 960 breaths an hour - which comes to a grand total of 23,040 breaths each day. This is equivalent to approximately 2,000 gallons of air. We all know that consuming polluted water is a no-go… but imagine the health risks of breathing this much polluted air day in, day out!

Indoor air pollution is something that impacts our health, well-being, and productivity. When the air that we breathe is compromised (eg. there are too many particles in the air), we can feel sluggish or tired. Fine particulate matter is particularly dangerous, as particles of 2.5µg* or lower are small enough to enter directly into our organs!
(*micrograms per cubic meter)

Particulate Matter and Indoor Air Quality

Lungs affected by particulate matter

Although the simple act of "breathing" is something monotonous that we don't typically think about, the quality of air that we're feeding our bodies is something that deserves a second thought. Think about the last time you were having a barbeque - when you blew your nose afterwards, were there dark flecks?

We have protections in our airways (eg. our nose hairs, mucus, and cilia) that work to cleanse the air we breathe as much as possible before it fully enters our bodies. Here at HAVEN we often say there are two filters in your home - the one in your HVAC system, and the one in your lungs!

We can't control the quality of the air outside, but it's important to do as much as we can to ensure that we have clean air at home so that our body's own filters aren't working harder than they need to. 

Of course, the ideal level of Particulate Matter inside your home is zero - but this isn't always achievable due to the products we use, normal human activities, and outdoor air pollution which can be drawn inside. At HAVEN, we align ourselves with the air quality standards that the EPA has set:

PM < 12.0 µg/m3

How harmful is Particulate Matter?

Both short-term and long-term exposure to higher levels can result in health issues - especially among children, the elderly, or individuals with existing heart and/or respiratory diseases. In general, air pollution tends to exacerbate existing health conditions such as asthma, allergies, eczema and acne. It can also result in premature skin aging or skin cancer.

Exposure to PM may result in the following side effects or symptoms:

Health effects of Particulate Matter Exposure
Short-term Effects (exposure up to 24H) Long-term Effects
Asthma attacks Cancer
Eye, nose, and throat irritations (eg. coughing, difficulty breathing) Reduced lung functioning
Acute and chronic bronchitis Development/worsening of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
Nonfatal heart attacks and/or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias) for those with heart disease Premature death (especially for those with heart or lung disease)

It's important to reduce your exposure to Particulate Matter whenever possible. This may include staying indoors (with your windows closed) during times when PM levels are high outdoors, keeping and using your PM-producing products in well-ventilated areas of the home, installing air cleaners, and/or replacing your filters regularly.

What can you do to ensure healthy PM levels in your home?

The levels of PM in your home will fluctuate throughout the day depending on your habits and routine. It's normal for there to be spikes; the important thing is being able to bring down the level of indoor air pollution to a healthier range in a short time span (1-2 hours). Spikes in Particulate Matter that last longer than this range are called chronic events, and increase the health risks involved.

How to reduce levels of Particulate Matter at home:

High heat cooking causes Particulate Matter increase

  1. Improve filtration. Whether you have portable air purifiers or a central air system, filters don't last forever: keep track of your filters' life cycles and be sure to replace them at the appropriate time.
    (Did you know that HAVEN can automatically track filter usage and let you know when it's time for a replacement?)
  2. Increase ventilation. This is one of the most important things you can do to improve your indoor air quality. Opening a few windows or doors often helps increase airflow - but be mindful and avoid this action if there is a build up of pollen, wildfire smoke, or other outdoor pollutants.
  3. Improve your cooking habits. Be sure to increase ventilation where possible (eg. turning on your exhaust fan or opening a window) when cooking. Consider using cooking oils with a higher smoke point (eg. refined avocado oil, which has a smoke point of 520ºF) to reduce spikes in airborne particulate matter.
  4. Clean regularly. Regular dusting and vacuuming (or even better - mopping!) will help to keep dust levels down. Make sure your vacuum has an appropriate vacuum filter, otherwise you'll be releasing more PM into the air. Regularly washing the sheets, drapes, and other large fabric surfaces will also help to get rid of allergens and dust mites.
  5. Install an indoor air quality monitor. Having the data to show the air quality trends in your home can help you to understand how to improve and adapt your routines for cleaner, healthier indoor air.

Our users share that a good monitor has given them peace of mind and shown them exactly what to focus on to improve the air quality inside their homes. As part of the HAVEN product ecosystem, we have a Central Air Monitor that analyzes pollutants and comfort levels, and a Controller which can activate equipment (such as a humidifier or ventilation equipment) based on the Monitor's readings to automatically address spikes in indoor air pollution - for clean air peace of mind.

If you are interested in monitoring your IAQ, you can connect with your trusted HVAC contractor about HAVEN - or find a Pro through the HAVEN app! Get started here.

HAVEN IAQ Community Manager Beka Chen headshot

By Rebecca Chen, HAVEN Community Manager

📍 Vancouver, British Columbia

Want to see what other homeowners are saying about healthier breathing? Join the discussion:

What's a little-known tip that you've come across for healthier breathing?

About the Everything you Need to know About Indoor Air Quality series:

We started this series to help homeowners learn more about indoor air quality solutions, so thank you for joining us on this journey. If you missed our Intro to Particulate Matter and Volatile Organic Compounds, catch up here - and stay tuned for the next article where we focus on the health effects of Volatile Organic Compounds!

HAVEN™ is your professionally managed air quality solution, helping you and your family

Breathe Better

HVAC Pro

I’m an HVAC Pro

I'd like to provide HAVEN as a part of my services

Homeowner-button

I’m a homeowner

Interested in finding the best indoor air quality monitor & solutions

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Everything you need to know about

Indoor Air Quality

Episode 1 - Particulate Matter and Volatile Organic Compounds

90% of people worldwide inhale air that exceeds recommended pollutant levels

How can you improve indoor air quality (IAQ)? Over the past few years, the topic has been brought to the forefront of public conversation. With the deadly COVID-19 virus spreading through airborne particles, large forest fires resulting in air pollution miles away from the original source, and unprecedented heat waves, causes of poor air quality have become ever more prevalent and visible.

Breathing in air that's high in pollutants can directly impact our health and well-being. A 2017 study in Boston found that older adults faced a higher risk of premature death, even when levels of short-term particle pollution remained well below the national standards; research suggests that the U.S. can prevent about 34 000 premature deaths each year if the annual levels of particle pollution are lowered by 1 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter - the standard measurement when referring to the average concentration of particulate matter in the air).

So, what can we do to ensure that the air quality at home is clean and safe? The first step is to understand the types of indoor air pollution, and how they can affect our health. In this article, we will focus on two common sources: Particulate Matter and Volatile Organic Compounds.

What is Particulate Matter (PM)?

Particulate Matter definition: PM is the term used for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets that are suspended in the air, such as aerosols, smoke, fumes, dust, ash, and pollen.

There are different types of Particulate Matter, and it comes in various sizes. Particles with a diameter of 10 microns (PM10) or less can be inhaled and become lodged deep inside our lungs. Breathing in fine Particulate Matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5) is incredibly health-damaging as it can penetrate the lung barrier, and enter our circulatory system. Prolonged and chronic exposure to fine Particulate Matter is known to cause serious health problems, such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and even premature death.

Fine particles (PM2.5) pose the greatest risk to health

What is a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)?

perfume spray bottle sources of VOCs

VOCs are chemicals that can be found in many commonplace household products, such as paints, cleaning supplies, pesticides, and printers. Scented products often contain VOCs.

Many VOCs are human-made chemicals found in industrial solvents, such as tetrachloroethylene, benzene, or formaldehyde, which evaporate quickly at room temperature when released. Products that contain these chemicals can emit VOCs into the air while you are using them, or while they're stored. In fact, concentrations of VOCs are consistently higher indoors - often up to 10 times higher than outdoor spaces. Studies show that using products that contain VOCs exposes individuals to high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can remain in the air long after the product has been used.  Breathing in VOCs may not be harmful in small doses, but chronic exposure can result in long-term health effects.

Common Sources of PM and VOCs

So, where do PM and VOCs come from? And how many of your daily or weekly activities affect your indoor air quality?

Particulate Matter Examples
Non-human Activities Human Activities
Pollen Smoking
Mold spores Cooking - especially when the food is fried, grilled, burned, toasted, or sautéed
Forest fires Residential wood burning: furnaces, fireplaces, and chimneys
Volcanic eruptions Burning of candles, incense, air fresheners, and diffusers
Dust storms Cleaning: sprays, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping
Motor vehicles: automobiles, airplanes
Power plants
Agricultural burning

Both categories can result in PM build-up in the air. Some non-human activities can be seasonal - such as a higher pollen count in springtime, or forest fires in summer. When outdoor air quality is poor, it's important to ensure that your doors and windows are closed to prevent particulate matter pollution from getting into your home, and into your lungs. It's also crucial that the air is filtered, to catch suspended particulate matter. If you have a central HVAC furnace, this essentially works as a whole home air filtration system! With the right filter, this alone can go a long way to help you improve air quality at home.

When engaging in activities that produce PM, be conscious and take precautions - like wearing appropriate protective gear, and making sure that your home's HVAC system is activated for effective air filtration.

Volatile Organic Compounds list:

  • Paints and paint strippers
  • Aerosol sprays, cleansers, and disinfectants
  • Moth repellents
  • Air fresheners
  • Stored fuels and automotive products
  • Dry-cleaned clothing
  • Pesticide
  • Hobby supplies

 

  • Copiers and printers
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Glues and adhesives
  • Permanent markers 
  • Building materials (eg. plywood, particleboard)
  • Perfumes
  • Hair spray 
  • New furniture 
  • Carpets

VOCs are generally released by human-made products and chemicals. These Volatile Compounds examples are just a fraction of items that release them. If something has a scent or is made of chemicals: the chances are, it's a source of VOCs. As a rule of thumb, if you are planning to use VOC-emitting products, make sure that you're doing it in a well ventilated area and not in an enclosed space. Off-gassing can occur once products are opened (even if the containers seem securely fastened) so try to find a safe area like a basement or secluded closet for storage.

How habits affect the indoor air quality in your home

Woman opening window to increase ventilation and improve indoor air quality

What does the word "home" mean to you? For me, it's a word that invokes an image of a haven of comfort, safety, and relaxation. It's a place that I like to keep clean, clear of clutter and ideally, guest-ready. Whenever I speak to other homeowners, they tend to echo these sentiments. It's widely agreed that messes should be cleaned up to avoid bacteria colonies, and that sweeping and cleaning to get rid of dust is important.

While we focus on cleaning the various surfaces, we often overlook the impact this can have on healthy air quality at home. Because air is invisible to the naked eye, it's easy to forget that typical chores (like cooking and cleaning) can lead to poor air quality. It's especially easy when the thing that we're doing - like cleaning - is supposed to have the opposite effect!

Just the other day, I was enjoying Korean-style indoor BBQ at my dining table. It was tasty and enjoyable until I received a notification on my phone from my HAVEN App - the levels of PM and VOCs in the room were at a record high, and my app was worried about me! I looked up from my meal to see that the room was indeed filled with smoke and haze. In all my excitement I had forgotten to keep a window open and have my air filters running. Rookie mistake!

The first step to improve indoor air quality is simple: awareness, and the desire to do better. Every home is different and there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. The path to cleaner air involves learning more about your home, your habits and figuring what strategies work for you. It's a journey and you're not alone. We will be here with you every step of the way!

Beka C

By Rebecca Chen, HAVEN Community Manager

📍 Vancouver, British Columbia

Want to see what other homeowners are saying about PMs and VOCs? Join the discussion:

What are the household items or daily activities that tend to spike the PM and VOC levels in your home?

About the Everything you Need to know About Indoor Air Quality series:

We started this series to help homeowners learn more about indoor air quality solutions, so thank you for joining us on this journey. Ready to learn more? Check out our next article where we focus more on how our health is affected by Particulate Matter here!

HAVEN™ is your professionally managed air quality solution, helping you and your family

Breathe Better

HVAC Pro

I’m an HVAC Pro

I'd like to provide HAVEN as a part of my services

Homeowner-button

I’m a homeowner

Interested in finding the best indoor air quality monitor & solutions

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