Today’s homes are built with more insulation than ever and are known for being airtight. While this practice lowers energy bills, harmful contaminants are also kept in, which reduces the overall indoor air quality (IAQ). The effects of poor IAQ are most acute in areas of high humidity or uncontrolled moisture, such as the bathroom. Accumulation of these substances can result in health problems and mold growth as well as the deterioration of furniture and paint.

Contractors make great efforts to prevent these dangerous conditions through proper ventilation. In fact, state and local governments also mandate ventilation – instilling it into the building code. For decades, ventilation was achieved through the ubiquitous AC, or alternating current ventilation, fans. The last decade has given rise to DC, or direct current, fans that offer contractors and homeowners more efficient and feature-rich options. In summary, DC motor technology provides reliability, functionality, quietness and energy efficiency.

Unparalleled Reliability

DC motors are engineered to outlast typical AC motor models by as much as 70 percent. Testing often involves running fans continuously under harsh conditions. These assessments have shown that DC brushless fans can run a minimum of 70,000 hours – the equivalent of eight years straight – without any disruption to performance.

DC motors are smarter than traditional AC options

Cutting-Edge Functionality

DC motors are smarter than traditional AC options because they incorporate a PCB or printed circuit board. PCBs allow software to be written into the fan for greater functionality. They enable valuable features, like humidity sensors and motion sensors. PCBs also enable safety precautions like lock protection, which stop power to the motor when it becomes jammed. In addition, a PCB can preserve the life of the motor by powering it on gradually through what is known as a “soft-start” function. Much like a car’s engine, aggressive stops and starts can decrease the life of a motor. Unlike AC fans, DC fans can come pre-programed with this start and stop functionality.

DC motors are engineered to outlast typical AC motor models

Virtually Silent Operation 

Ventilation fans are infamous for creating loud noise and disrupting peace in the bathroom. Not operating the fan can lead to mold and mildew, however. Rental properties are often an unwitting victim, since tenants are less inclined to run a loud bath fan since they don’t have a stake in the property.

A virtually silent fan will encourage regular use, saving building owners substantial repair costs. DC motor fans are known for their quiet operation, with many fans rated at less than 0.3 sones – the lowest possible sound rating in the industry. This can be quieter than many kitchen refrigerators.

An Energy-Efficient Marvel

A state-of-the-art DC motor fan uses up to 85 percent less electricity than an AC model

A state-of-the-art DC motor fan uses up to 85 percent less electricity than an AC model. This can save homeowners, businesses and landlords on their energy bills. Due to their many benefits, DC fans are among the most efficient ventilation fans available. Many exceed ENERGY STAR® requirements for efficiency – the industry benchmark set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – by as much as 350 percent.

Homeowners and tenants want the bathroom to feel serene, comfortable and appear aesthetically pleasing. Ventilation fans can easily be overlooked in a large construction project, but are the unsung hero of IAQ. DC fan solutions can safeguard long-term health, preserve structural integrity and maintain a bathroom’s tranquility for years to come. As sustainability and efficiency come into focus in new construction and remodeling projects, the adoption of DC fans will only continue to gain pace.

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Kai Wang Senior Product Manager, Delta Breez

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Lessons From The Past: The Value Of Ventilation In A Pandemic
Lessons From The Past: The Value Of Ventilation In A Pandemic

If history truly repeats itself, might we learn lessons from the past – even lessons about managing a novel coronavirus that upends our way of life and changes the world forever? The most commonly cited parallel to the COVID-19 pandemic is the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Both diseases are caused by viruses that had not been seen before. In both cases, no one had immunity to a highly infectious germ that was spread through respiratory droplets. Both outbreaks occurred in multiple waves over several years. Furthermore, in both cases, it became clear that ventilation, fresh air, open spaces and sunlight are useful factors in promoting good health. Fresh Air Movement During the time of the Spanish flu, there were signs posted in buses and throughout New York that advised: "Keep your bedroom windows open [to] prevent influenza, pneumonia [and] tuberculosis." There was even a national campaign known as the “Fresh Air Movement,” calling for people to be outside more, and urging greater ventilation indoors. The movement included a kind of traveling show that spread the word about the “national poison,” which was the result of people breathing stale air inside closed rooms. These concerns predated by decades our enthusiasm for “indoor air quality.” In became common after 1918 to position radiators providing steam heat under open windows to combine warmth with fresh air, even on the coldest of days.   The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza It was also common practice by 1918 to place the sick outside in tents or in specially designed open wards But the advantages of fresh air go back even further, as described in a 2009 article in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) titled “The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza.” During the 1918 pandemic, as today, many cities banned public assembly, closed schools, isolated those infected and mandated the wearing of face masks. It was also common practice by 1918 to place the sick outside in tents or in specially designed open wards, according to the AJPH article. The practice dates back to English physician John Coakley Lettsom (1744-1815), who was among the first advocates of the “open-air method.” The 1800s saw emergence of tuberculosis sanitoriums, which treated the lung disease with a combination of fresh air, gentle exercise in the open, nutrition, and a minimum of medicines. Lack of ventilation Spending time in well-ventilated houses in the country became seen as superior to patients being confined to warm, badly ventilated rooms to protect them from the supposedly harmful effects of cold air. Lack of ventilation forced patients to breathe foul air, contaminated with germs, over and over. Research later confirmed the importance of measures to prevent influenza virus from spreading through buildings. Improvements in air-handling equipment, portable filtration units, and introduction of physical barriers and other partitions or doors also provided protection. These lessons were clear long before the advent of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Their successful deployment during the pandemic have further supported their value. importance of HVAC Although the COVID-19 pandemic caught the world off-guard, there were plenty of historical precedents However, lockdowns during the pandemic have also tended to keep the population closed up in buildings, sometimes with less-than-adequate ventilation and access to fresh air. In retrospect, some of those decisions seem regrettable.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic caught the world off-guard, there were plenty of historical precedents. Copious research over the years supported the best approaches to stemming the spread of the virus, although it took time for historical insights to work their way into the general practice implemented in the current pandemic. There is also historical precedent for the importance of HVAC in the current pandemic. Ventilation and fresh air have become higher priorities, as has the HVAC market’s role in providing a safer indoor climate with minimal disease spread.

Change Environments Not Behaviors: How Active Air Filtration Can Help the UK Come Out of Lockdown Long-Term
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Pandemic Spotlights Need To Balance Costs While Improving Air Quality In Schools
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