Long ago, it wasn’t uncommon to use copper for a building material because buildings were built to last. Copper has incredible ability to resist corrosion. You use to see it a lot on roofs, rain gutters, rain downspouts and even air ducting. What people don’t realize is that it also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. Its perfect for schools, hospitals and nursing homes. More and more, it is being used in high end homes for those who can afford the additional costs of materials. Not only does it look very attractive in exposed areas, but it also makes sense when installed in out of view areas too.
The use of copper to inhibit biological growth is not a new one. The Phoenicians and Carthaginians experimented with copper sheathing on their wooden ships to reduce the growth of marine organisms on the ships’ hull. Because it was hard to come by, its use was discontinued until the 18th century.
In the early 1700s, the British Royal Navy began to clad their warships with copper. It was soon apparent that biological growth was suppressed on these ships. With reduced marine growth on copper clad bottoms of ships, came increased speed – and speed was everything.
It should be noted that the USS Constitution, was clad in copper and gave birth to the copper industry in the United States. It should also be noted the USS Constitution is still in service and the oldest continuously operating warship in the world. Copper has had a lot to do with this ships longevity. Some of today’s best antifouling coatings are copper based and are known for their long lasting ability and durability.
What does the sheathing of ships have to do with copper air ducts? Actually, very little other than copper is almost indestructible, but it does have other very special properties. Biological air pollutants exist everywhere.
Their lives begin organically outdoors, originate from both human and animal feces, pets, insects and vermin. For the most part, these contaminants don’t affect those without allergies, however, in 1976, and outbreak of the Legionnaires’ disease in Philadelphia changed the publics perception of these naturally occurring airborne contaminants.
Less talked about but just as serious, was the incidence of tuberculosis, or TB. TB is an airborne infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The US Dept. of Labor estimated that nearly one-third of the world’s population is infected with TB. The Center of Disease Control reported 14,874 cases of TB in the US alone in 2003. These numbers have declined since the peak in 1992 with the advent of modern construction techniques with improvements to “Indoor Air Quality,” or IAQ.
As time has progressed and energy costs have increased, buildings are being built to be tighter and tighter to conserve energy. This has reduced the amount of air that is being exchanged with the fresh air from outside. Pollutants and organic air-borne bacteria become trapped and increase the likeliness of allergic reactions.
Copper Air Duct Installation in Palm Beach
Air Ducts made with copper in Palm Beach
Air conditioning and heating systems are not the only source of airborne contaminants. Dirty air conditioning systems can help to spread these organisms. These microscopic living
organisms, fungi, bacteria and molds require a “friendly environment” to grow in and multiply. Actually, some air conditioning systems are the perfect habitat for an unhealthy living environment.
With this in mind, it wasn’t a surprise that among the findings of the 1995 study, “HVAC Systems as Emissions Sources Affecting Indoor Air quality: A Critical Review, EPA Project Summary,” by S. Batterman and H. Bruge, the follow included: “Many HVAC components can act as direct or indirect sources of particles and/or volatile organic chemicals. These can affect IAQ under many conditions.
Most prominent is the occurrence of biological growth and bioaerosol germination in the presence of moisture.”
Providing adequate ventilation is required to prevent HVAC systems from acting as a sanctuary for fungi, mold and or bacteria. Controlling moisture levels between 30 and 50 percent will help to prevent condensation, or a moisture source. But the above means little if you don’t reduce or eliminate the sources of biological pollutants. So what can a builder, architect or engineer do to improve IAQ? One unique approach is to add cooper ductwork. It not only is attractive, but it also provides a number of health benefits that are worth taking seriously.
Providing adequate ventilation is required to prevent HVAC systems from acting as a sanctuary for fungi, mold and or bacteria. Controlling moisture levels between 30 and 50 percent will help to prevent condensation, or a moisture source. But the above means little if you don’t reduce or eliminate the sources of biological pollutants.
So what can a builder, architect or engineer do to improve IAQ? One unique approach is to add cooper ductwork. It not only is attractive, but it also provides a number of health benefits that are worth taking seriously.
While copper ductwork may reduce some many airborne contaminants, it will not cure all IAQ problems. It is clear from many studies however, that there is significant documentation that does show that the use of copper ductwork will improve the air quality of a home and improve indoor air quality.
If you would like to know more on how copper air ducts might help your home’s air quality, please don’t hesitate in calling Berkun Air of West Palm Beach, FL.