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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

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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

Working with wildfires

How the HVAC industry can become the hero of wildfire season

With unprecedented droughts and wildfire season already well underway in many states, it's never been more crucial to consider the impact of wildfire smoke on your customers' Indoor Air Quality at home. Let's take a look at how HVAC can help in wildfire season, the effects of wildfire smoke on IAQ, and the steps you can take to keep your customers safe in their homes until the smoke subsides...

2022 has seen more acres burned to date than any year on record.

Why is wildfire smoke dangerous to health?

Wood smoke can linger in the body for 40 times longer than tobacco smoke, increasing the risk of developing cancer or a respiratory illness¹. As wildfires and forest fires get worse each year, the long-term effects on human health will escalate over time. This becomes a double-whammy of prolonged exposure over each individual event, and repeated exposure over each year, combining to jeopardize the health of your customers and their families in the very place they should be safest. Those with asthma are particularly susceptible to the health risks of inhaling Particulate Matter (PM) such as fire smoke — and given that 13% of Americans suffer from asthma² the chances are that some of your customers fall into this vulnerable category.

Air pollution from wildfires have a 10x greater impact on health than similar pollution levels from other sources.

How HVAC can help in wildfire season

The majority of wildfire smoke exposure occurs while we are inside, despite the visible effects often remaining outside the home. Leaky home syndrome and negative air pressure can contribute to smoke infiltration into a home, which is why we believe that HVAC pros are best placed to assess and advise on IAQ issues for their customers (we'd like to see a counter-top monitor factor in a building envelope!). Once inside, smoke particles linger longer and settle into soft furnishings, carpeting and rugs, posing a fresh risk each time these surfaces are disturbed by everyday activities or vacuuming without a HEPA filter — meaning that all those health risks we just covered don't disappear when the smoke clears.

Installing a high MERV filter (13 or above) is the simplest step to ensure that smoke particles are captured — but without airflow, even the best filter is ineffective. Here's where HAVEN comes in...

How can HAVEN help with managing wildfire smoke?

  1. Our duct-mounted Central Air Monitor tracks Particulate Matter levels across the entire home: whereas your average counter-top monitor would only alert spikes within its immediate environment, the HAVEN Monitor will pick up on the presence of wildfire smoke whether it's from one broken window seal or a wider building envelope issue.
  2. The NEW Central Air Controller adds smart capability to existing equipment: we recommend wiring it to the air handler, and setting the automations to toggle the blower fan when high Particle levels are detected. This ensures that airflow is activated when needed, so the filter can effectively capture harmful smoke particles.
  3. The HAVEN Pro Web Portal logs and displays crucial customer IAQ data to help you identify spikes or trends over time, giving you the evidence you need to back up further equipment solutions like a media air filter to ensure your customer's home isn't compromising their health through the smoky season.

Since many mechanical ventilation solutions rely on intake of outdoor air, it's also crucial that this equipment is deactivated during fire smoke events in order to minimize the risk of PM being drawn into the building. With IFTTT integration, HAVEN can also automate these shut-downs in response to PM spikes! Click here to learn more about our IFTTT integrations.

Find out more about how HAVEN can help level-up your IAQ strategy and protect your customers' health:

HAVEN IAQ + IFTTT: Our First Step on the Path to Automate Your Air Quality

The Quantified Mechanical Air Journey

When we started down this road, there were many other air quality monitors on the market, but none of them solved the problem that we wanted to solve.

We've all been inside buildings that have stagnant - or "stale" - air, where there is no circulation or ventilation happening in the room you're in. Team HAVEN mostly resides in the Marine Climate Zone, where homes can achieve natural ventilation by opening windows throughout most of the year. The upcoming climate crisis is changing this, as we're experiencing more intense temperature swings and forest fire smoke that will cause us to keep our windows closed more often. Soon, we will be joining the rest of the continent in adding mechanical ventilation to our buildings.

Mechanical ventilation can balance healthy & comfortable air delivery with reduced energy consumption, but that achievement requires careful design, installation, and maintenance. In the past, a home's central air system was not designed to keep you healthy; comfort was the primary focus of a home's heating or cooling system. Though you can't see what's in your air, there are countless pollutants floating around from indoor and outdoor sources that linger inside your home unless there is adequate ventilation and filtration. These airborne chemicals and particles can get deep into your bloodstream and affect short and long-term health, and a comprehensive ventilation and filtration strategy is needed to remove these pollutants from your home. Unfortunately, your home's professional service providers are not obligated to follow any particular IAQ standards when maintaining your home's mechanical ventilation systems.

In commercial buildings, there are mechanical ventilation standards that specify the amount of air changes per hour required to keep employees and guests healthy and comfortable. In most cases, these standards are achieved through design and construction techniques, but unless your workplace has a building management system, there are no sensors that verify that the building is being ventilated as designed.

HAVEN IAQ wants to change how we think of the air in our buildings. We want to make professional IAQ accessible in the residential market through a combination of cutting edge sensor technology and smart home automations.

IFTTT Automations

Screenshot of the HAVEN IAQ Services page on IFTTT.com

IFTTT was one of the first accessible automation platforms on the web that allows a consumer to connect nearly any popular service to any other service. In the past, I've used IFTTT to download my Fitbit activity logs, alert me of outdoor air quality events, and to perform some simple home automations. Recently IFTTT has introduced their "IFTTT Pro" subscription, which allows multi-step applets, conditional logic, and multiple actions, which transitions IFTTT from a hobby-centric service to a professional platform.

We're excited to announce that we've recently released our HAVEN IAQ service on IFTTT. Through IFTTT, a HAVEN IAQ user can use the Central Air Monitor 's Temperature, Relative Humidity, VOC, and PM2.5 readings as triggers for the "If this" step of the IFTTT (= if this, then that) automations. Here are a few ideas of what you can do with HAVEN IAQ on IFTTT:

  • Turn on a (dumb) air purifier connected through a smart plug during high PM events
  • Turn on a bathroom fan via a smart switch during high VOC or Humidity events
  • Add an event to your calendar during an IAQ event to keep a log of when your Monitor readings crossed a certain thresholds
  • Export IAQ events to a Google Sheet
  • Make your smart lights change color based on IAQ events

To get started, head over to IFTTT, sign up for an account, and create an applet that uses the HAVEN IAQ as the trigger for the "If This" step.

If you would like to discuss IFTTT automations with other users and professionals, head over to the HAVEN IAQ Community to continue the discussion.

The Future of HAVEN IAQ Automation

IFTTT is only the beginning of our automation journey. Throughout 2021, Team HAVEN is committed to creating a rich automation ecosystem for actioning the air quality in your home.

Our first objective is to make HAVEN IAQ compatible with the existing smart products inside of a home, such as Wi-Fi connected thermostat. Throughout the first half of 2021, we will be releasing a new "Automations" feature inside of the HAVEN IAQ mobile app. Homeowners will use the Automations feature to connect HAVEN IAQ to popular smart thermostats other home automation services without leaving the HAVEN IAQ app.

Our second objective will be to launch a new hardware product that can transform a traditional piece of HVAC equipment into a smart home device. We're calling it The Central Air Controller , which is a wireless smart relay device installed by your HVAC professional, inside of your HVAC system. Once installed, the Controller will respond to IAQ events detected by the Monitor and will automatically toggle the appropriate HVAC accessory configured by your HAVEN Pro dealer to improve your Air Quality.

Screen-Shot-2020-12-08-at-12.19.36-PM-1
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By Ben Reed, VP of Product
📍 Vancouver, British Columbia

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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