Grandpa Zohner liked magic tricks. My favorite was when he had me put a penny in an envelope, then he would pat it around and it “turned into a dime” that I could keep. That’s a fun trick for young kids; especially back when you could buy a large candy bar for a dime!

Grandpa had numerous tricks that gave the illusion of being real. He was entertaining and I was his loyal audience. His tricks helped teach me the difference between reality and an illusion.
Science experiments in school also taught me how to understand reality in things we cannot always see. An example is scientifically proving how oxygen is needed to support fire. Fire in a jar went out when the lid was put on and oxygen was used up. That’s real.

There are many related things in life that we cannot see but are also real. A great example is how the lack of oxygen puts out fire, but it also affects mental capacity. We may not immediately understand oxygen is reducing mental capacity, but it becomes very real as oxygen levels are reduced. Oxygen levels that dip below 90% are called hypoxemia and can damage your brain and other organs in minutes.

Low oxygen levels above 90% will increase confusion, and exhaustion, and cause other serious issues. Examples of lower oxygen levels may be those low-energy people that are tired all the time. They fall asleep easily while watching TV or even during a sermon!

There are various reasons for lower oxygen levels including sleep apnea, breathing or circulatory issues, and even Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues. Although there are various causes of health problems, I believe health decline often starts with the poor quality of the air we breathe that increases the breakdown of tissues and organs.

The good news is we can easily improve IAQ if we take it seriously. The quality and length of our lives rely directly on taking action to improve IAQ. Let’s start with an example of allergies.

“Mike’s” son was two when his allergies were bad enough strong medications were prescribed. “Mike” improved the air quality in their home with better air filtration and proper humidification. Within days “Mike’s” son was feeling better and medications were greatly reduced. When he stayed overnight with relatives or at other places, allergy symptoms increased immediately. Improved air quality made the difference!

Another interesting example is “Ryan’s” children continued to have respiratory issues. Even with the portable humidifiers used at night, it seemed his children did not get better. “Ryan’s” wife is a nurse and discovered that portable humidifiers can be a breeding ground for germs rather than a cure for sick lungs. They tossed the portable humidifiers and installed a whole-house humidifier. Their children have been healthier.

Whole house humidifiers are a necessity in Nebraska because of our dry winters with low humidity. Nebraska summers require a properly designed cooling system to remove excess humidity. IAQ illnesses increase with too low or too high humidity levels.

The Honeywell TruEase humidifier is a great solution to maintain proper humidity in the winter. The good news is there are now automatic air bypass dampers and water valves available that shut off automatically when the humidifier is not running. These are great new features!

It’s not an illusion that illnesses increase as people stay indoors in cold weather. This is very real because the indoor air becomes more contaminated with germs that settle everywhere. Approximately 80% of illnesses come from direct contact with various surfaces.

A great solution is the Air Scrubber Plus which easily mounts in the ductwork. It makes surfaces cleaner and safer by reducing airborne contaminants such as Influenza Virus, Streptococcus, E.Coli, and about ten other major contaminants that affect our IAQ. NASA technology helped make this device possible.

Air Scrubber Plus also removes odors like smoke, mildew, odor-causing bacteria, and the list goes on. The cost is around $875 installed. It’s a great solution to reduce illness-related absenteeism (employee, daycare, schools, etc).

The most important IAQ eminent danger message is for people that had their shingles replaced lately. John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical has recently discovered four roof flue vent caps that during the shingle installation had been pushed down on the flue pipe, which virtually plugs them. The vent caps looked OK.

One customer was sick four weeks before we discovered it while doing her routine fall Service Maintenance Agreement using our carbon monoxide testing equipment. Our testing equipment may have saved her life!

Please get your furnaces and water heaters checked because death from carbon monoxide poisoning is very real.

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