The Kodical Family, San Ramon, CA
Bedrooms: 4 – Baths: 3 – Floors: 2 The Kodicals have been customers for 1 year and continue to see their particulates and VOCs cut in half thanks to HomeLab. The first floor of their home is an open kitchen-dining-living area with a bedroom off to the side. Upstairs has 3 bedrooms and a playroom.
The Kitchen/Living Area
Their Daughter’s Bedroom
The Master Bedroom
When they first got their monitor they set it up in the open area downstairs. The monitor initially showed “red” on particulates. Their HomeLab app provided a plan for cleaning it up as well as tools they needed. Their building scientist review helped prioritize the recommendations in their plan and walked them through each step. It turned out that the monitor was near the kitchen and particulate matter would spike when cooking. Their first step was to make sure they used their stove fan regularly. They also had an exhaust fan in the bathroom they used daily to draw the particulates that accumulated out of their house. They replaced their HVAC filters with high efficiency ones recommended by HomeLab, and turned on the HVAC fan when they came home as well. This captured particulates and brought in filtered air throughout the first floor. Finally they bought a room air purifier recommended by HomeLab on Amazon through the app. This model had performed the best in removing particulates out of dozens of air purifiers, and was half the cost of other options they were considering. They continued to use their exhaust and stove fans by setting reminders in their HomeLab app. HomeLab also noticed spikes in VOCs a couple times each month, typically associated with cleaning. The Kodical’s switched to natural cleaners recommended by HomeLab and saw these spikes dramatically decrease. Particulates reduction:47% Cost: $263
They then brought the monitor upstairs into their daughter’s bedroom and found a concerning “red” level of VOCs. Their app gave them another plan and their building scientist prioritized actions for this room. The VOCs and CO2 were accumulating at night while their daughter was sleeping, and when she woke up she often had a stuffy nose. Since opening the bedroom window at night was not an option, they opened it when they got home until their daughter went to sleep. They also opened their daughter’s door before they went to bed to give VOCs an escape path. Finally they opened a window in the play area at night whenever weather permitted. These were great first steps yet there was more they could do. They started looking at all the potential sources and did not want to bring in any more VOCs. They removed any potentially offgassing toys identified by HomeLab. When they bought a new bed, mattress, and mattress cover they selected ones recommended by HomeLab that produced no or low VOCs. When they painted they made sure to use no VOC paint. They also purchased a HomeLab recommended purifier that proved best at removing VOCs and also helped with particulates. In the future, they plan to install ventilation in their daughter’s bedroom and theirs. They already have two low-priced quotes from HomeLab certified contractors from their HomeLab app, and can start work whenever they are ready with the touch of a button. VOC reduction: 52% Cost: $359
They also wanted to make sure their daughter’s room and the upstairs was not a hospitable home for dust mites. Dust mites are a well known cause of asthma in children and often settle before being captured by a purifier. The play area was “yellow” in particulates as well, indicating a good environment for mites. They vacuumed every two weeks, along with cleaning their sheets, and started washing all of their daughter’s plush toys. They even started throwing their curtains in the laundry. HomeLab reminders helped them keep on top of cleaning. While they had made great strides in keeping the mites at bay, they plan to remove their carpet completely upstairs to make sure they have no room to hide. HomeLab has provided recommendations on which flooring has the lowest VOCs and they have chosen which style they want. When they are ready they can purchase the floors with a touch of a button and contact an installer. Purchasing the floors and installation separately through HomeLab will save them over $1,000.
They then brought the monitor into their bedroom. They found a “yellow” level of VOCs and performed the same activities they did in their daughter’s room, reducing their VOCs. They found they did not need an air purifier to get VOCs “green”. Their bathroom was also part of their master bedroom, and they had “yellow” level humidity as a result. They began to leave their exhaust fans on for extended periods, especially after showers. This reduced both humidity and particulate levels in their room. They plan to upgrade all of their bathroom and stove exhaust fans in the future. HomeLab provided recommendations for the best performing products and is able to have them installed through their certified contractor network. By purchasing the products and installation separately the Fox’s will pay half the price on their new fans while improving their air quality. VOC reduction: 39% Humidity reduction: 35% Cost: $0