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Allergies / migraines

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by WannabeOwner, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Well-Known Member

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    My daughter has been driving ICE a fair bit for the last few weeks instead of just her Model-3. She suffers ("somewhat", rather than "drastically") from migraines and told me that she's had a few starting to come on of late and, reflecting on it, is pretty sure that they stopped / receded from end June when she got the Model-3. She'll be regularly back in her M3 in a week or two, so will be interesting to see if that cures them again ...

    ... she hypothesised that it might be less noise and Autopilot use and so on, but of course the possibility of petrochemical allergic interference might also be the cause. M3 apparently has well above average air filters, but I've seen DIY videos for fitting HEPA filters, so she'll have a go at that and see if that helps too.

    I probably ought to look at one of those Dyson air filter fan thingies for her house too ... need her to find a nice opportunity for a Passive House and move out of her starter-home (its not a jerrybuilt affair, but it doesn't have MVHR etc.)

    P.S. I forgot to ask her whether incidence of migraines coincided with having to fill up the ICE.
     
  2. NorfolkMustard

    NorfolkMustard Active Member

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    If it is air quality causing it, turn on recirculate, Elon tweeted that this will filter the model 3 air multiple times as it recirculates, rather than just once when it comes in from the outside.

    Before jumping to the Dyson, do some research. You can get more effective home filters
     
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  3. Cwmwd

    Cwmwd Member

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    Might well be CO2 build up as well, some ICEs seal the cabin so well from it's own exhaust that the CO2 levels, with only a single occupant, can get seriously high surprisingly quickly (example). I think Hyundai and BMW have both announced at some point that they were considering putting CO2 sensors in their cabins as part of their safety systems.

    Next candidate for "headaches and nausea" is CO poisoning: if you have a spare detector next to your boiler sticking it in the car would not the silliest idea?
    There's also generic tVOCs that may or may not be causing a problem, you can get some cheap VOC sensors that double up as CO2 sensors but from my experience (work as a R&D Engineer at a IAQ company) these are a little bit rubbish at giving any meaningful data other than "high" or "low" but then the nature of tVOC is that you can't really measure it as it's a wide spectrum of gasses. Don't forget about my personal favourite Formaldehyde that's often found in carpets, headliners, particle boards & often giving you that wonderful "new car" smell.
     
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  4. Rooster6655

    Rooster6655 Active Member

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    Migraines are the worst, sorry that she experiences these!

    I used to think that the migraines could be because of stress/concentrating/lights etc but I think that these are more likely reminders of times when you had a migraine rather than the trigger.

    I've not thought about air quality affecting migraines but thinking about it anything that is taken into the body will likely play a role so the air quality from the environment i.e dust/pollution around may have an effect as well as diet which I think is also important.
     
  5. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    I suffer from hay fever (more specifically a tree pollen allergy) and have found that it's almost completely gone now we're living in a pretty airtight house with MVHR that's fitted with an F7 grade intake filter. The state of the filter after 6 months is pretty grim, and gives a good indication of the level of muck in the air, as these photos of a dirty and clean filter side by side show:

    upload_2019-11-9_18-30-17.jpeg
     
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  6. Cwmwd

    Cwmwd Member

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    Reminds me, an eccentric friend of mine once had a Spider Plant growing in the "wine holders" on the passenger side of his Citroen AX to clean the air... No idea if it worked.
     
  7. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I was using "Dyson" in the generic sense, like "Hoover" :) but, yeah, I expect it will take the form of:

    "I think it would be a good idea if you got some air purification as my Xmas present to you"
    "Good idea Daddy"
    "Send me the bill"
    "OK" :)

    I did an install of a hard disk (back in the days when a 10MB "Winchester Disk" was the size of a Washing machine ...) in Holland. After doing all that they asked
    "Does it need any maintenance?"
    "Well, you could Hoover it once or twice a year"

    Despite the impeccable language ability of the Dutch I got a blank look, and realising the cause said:

    "Sorry, I mean you can vacuum it ..."

    "Ah! You mean Philips it !!"

    I have one that was provided "by law" when we put a wood burning stove in, I'll check the batteries :rolleyes: and she can try that, thanks.

    I'll "Google-up" on tVOCs too, ta.

    Thanks. Pleased to say she has it well under control; she is able to anticipate the onset and can usually adjust lifestyle in a timely fashion. She takes a rigid approach to water drinking, meal times, bed times, and so on; only varying to accommodate social life where the compromise is not likely to be a problem; in practice she can catch up sleep, but of course must not fall too far behind. As such it doesn't really interfere with her life.

    This was teenage onset, and when she was around 18 (from memory) we went to the migraine clinic and came away with no additional advice (which I am sure was a disappointment for her) which I took to mean that she was already doing all things right/best.

    We have been in a Passive House for 5 years. Before that both wife and I had winter cough / cold every year, and it always took me months to shake mine off. Neither of us have had one since ... not a single one, and Wife is surrounded for 8 hours a day by people at work dropping like flies ... no doubt MVHR's fabby air-quality partly contributing, and probably also the incredibly even temperature, stopping the body having to work harder.

    Yup, that's pretty much what mine looks like too :)
     
  8. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    I designed and built our passive house over the course of a few years, with the primary aim of building a "carbon zero" home (which we achieved, it's actually "carbon negative"). What I didn't anticipate was that the house would provide such a healthy environment. The benefits from living in a house that has a very stable internal temperature, plus excellent air quality, were a very pleasant surprise. The air quality and "freshness" is the thing that most visitors notice and comment on.
     
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  9. Mr Miserable

    Mr Miserable Supporting Member

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    Isn't there someone on here called Vanilla Air?
    I seem to recall he has some sort of dosimeter or inhalatron to accurately measure all the gloop in the air.
     
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  10. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Well-Known Member

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    Thanks :) The forum software here attempts to do predictive-text after you type "@" and the person will also get a "mentioned" notification ... so here goes ... Calling @VanillaAir_UK :)

    I, too, had no idea of the health benefits until after we built ours. My project was driven by a zero energy quest. However, I have changed my stance on that somewhat, for anyone interested here's my view:

    Passive House can be built with no heating and "don a sweater" as it loses so little heat; Passive House peak heat requirement is 10W / sq.m. which equates to a 1-bar fire in a 3-bed house i.e. when it is properly freezing outside ... so on those days just use a 1-bar fire :). don't install / spend any money on boiler and a wet system - UFH whatever - and divert that money to extra insulation instead, and then the heating bill is very close to £zero for the lifetime of the building, and no annual maintenance / replacement cost of central heating boiler etc. Passive House costs about 7% more than conventional build in return for almost £zero heating cost, and very comfortable living.

    But having now lived in one (ours is actually an extension, and we already had a boiler in old part of house so we did install UFH downstairs, although none upstairs) it takes so little energy to heat to shirt-sleeves that I think that I was too obsessed with "zero energy" and that "comfort" is a better objective; this is our forever home, and when elderly I'm sure that 22C all year round will be appreciated. As such I should have put in AirCon too. In Summer 2018 heatwave hottest place in UK was just down the road and went on for several weeks. Hottest temperature the house got to was 25C (insulation [and design] keeps that heat out in Summer as well as it does "in" in Winter) ... whilst not outrageous, it is on the high side to be comfortable to sit still in. ASHP hooked up to UFH would use a piddling amount of energy in Passive House ...

    I posted this on 03-Oct

    [​IMG]

    "last 30 days history. Yellow line is the room temperature, lumpy green line is outside temperature, and other green line is the thermostat set point. Looks like it is at the point where heating would cut in, except boiler is turned off. Basically in all that time, even though external temperature has gone down to 5C-ish on a few nights, the room temperature hasn't changed. On days when the sun has been strong there will have been some solar gain, which building will have absorbed and hung onto for cooler days (thermal mass of internal walls is deliberately high).

    Basically in the middle of the last 30 days the temperature climbed 1C, and now it has fallen back again (lousy weather recently), and throughout it has oscillated 1C most days.
    "

    I recommend The Passivhaus Handbook, its written suitable for layman together with break-out technical panels, and is also suitable for someone commissioning a Passive House build to keep architect and builders honest!
     
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  11. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    Unfortunately it is unlikely to measure the obvious culprits - VOC's no, the crap given off as vehicle emissions, yes.
     
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  12. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Ours was a new self-build, that I designed and built, with the intention from the outset that it should meet or exceed the PassivHaus requirements (although I didn't pay the additional ~£1.5k for PH certification; seemed a lot to pay for a plastic plaque). In practice we've ended up exceeding the PH spec by a fair bit, in all respects, and generate more energy over the course of a year that we use. We have a rather odd EPC that shows this, our overall CO2 "emissions" figure is negative, -0.9 tonnes of CO2/year. I worked out that this is equivalent to having around 40 mature trees growing on our plot, in terms of CO2 sequestration.

    The temperature stability mainly comes from the low decrement delay construction, which gives the house a thermal time constant that's way longer than the diurnal cycle, so if we leave the house with everything turned off in winter, it tends to lose about 1°C per day until it gets down to the mean outside temperature. The heating is an ASHP that (very) gently warms the ground floor, and usually only comes on for a few hours at night once every day or two, just to "charge" the ground floor passive slab up with heat.
     
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  13. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Well-Known Member

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    :)

    As I understand it Certification moves the job to the supplier, so you buy "certified" parts and then don't need to validate that they perform as required on-site. But I didn't certify either.

    We have dense-block for all internal walls. We also have deciduous Pleach on East side, to keep low morning sun out (in Summer) (no ability to do that on West side :( )

    how do you regulate that? Thermostat in/on the slab?

    The Stats we have are useless, only sensitive to 1C and if I heat the UFH such that air stat clicks off for a 1C rise the consequential continued rise would be a sauna! ... when we a had bitterly cold snap for a week, a few years ago, I kept meaning to fiddle with the UFH by turning up the flow temperature. Never got around to it ... checking the stats the house lost 0.5C more, at lowest point each night, than during normal winter days' cycle. So perhaps I just won't bother, but my intention is to DIY some sensors and change to timed heat circulation, and if necessary adjust flow temperature according to external weather temperature. But I'm not sure anything that sophisticated is needed, maybe just adjust set hours-per-day for the UFH pump.

    I have a big house and kids have left home, so waste heat from cooking, lights and occupancy is not as well balanced as it would be in a 3 bed house and family-of-4.
     
  14. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Yes, that's my understanding too. I did use PH certified stuff, just didn't bother to apply for the oversight/certification process by the PHI.

    I tried a slab thermostat, with various versions of homebrew controls and floor and outside air temperature sensors, but none worked as well as just using a very sensitive room thermostat. I fitted one that has a hysteresis of +/- 0.1°C and that seems to work fine, as long as we keep the UFH flow temperature down to about 26°C to 28°C or so. If the UFH flow temperature is higher than this we get about a 1°C overshoot on the set temperature. Took some doing to find a way to control the flow temperature well, but I seem to have cracked it now, with a combination of a decent low thermostatic valve plus some auto balancing UFH actuators.
     
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  15. Jeffoun

    Jeffoun Member

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    One possible explanation
     
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  16. Mr Miserable

    Mr Miserable Supporting Member

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    The good news is that it's not going to be a problem since you won't get a low morning sun on the West side. :D
     
  17. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Well-Known Member

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    Something not to blame Climate Change for then ...

    The heating from setting sun in the West is much more of a problem than the rising sun in the East (particularly in Passive House where no heat gain is welcome in Summer, 'coz it can't escape). All good in Winter of course ...

    Deciduous vegetation is a good solution, but if it doesn't already exist then growing something tall enough to keep the sun out of upstairs windows is a bit of a long term wait ...

    Don't know why we don't use external shutters more in the UK, like the continent.

    Our house design has very few, very small, windows to West as Architect knew there was no possibility to shade them ... and actually took it into consideration :)
     
  18. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    I wanted to fit external shutters, but the planners wouldn't allow them; they wouldn't allow any form of slatted brise soleil, either I know a couple of people who have fitted hidden external roller shutters, and they seem to work extremely well at reducing solar gain, as does Sage glass (if you have the budget for it).
     
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  19. Cwmwd

    Cwmwd Member

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    Excuse my ignorance if this is a silly question: would internal reflective shutters work at all or would that just trap the heat on the inside of the window anyway? Surely the planners can't complain about the type of "curtains" you decide to have in our house?! I'm sure I've also seen windows with a blind between the two outer glass layers as well.

    How about removable internal solar panels so as not to waste that energy?
     
  20. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Not a daft question at all. The problem with fitting any form of internal heat reflective blind, film or whatever is that triple glazing usually has two internally coated heat reflecting panes of glass, that reflect a proportion of heat back into the house, whilst allowing heat to come in from outside.

    The idea of this is to reduce heat loss in winter, but an unintended consequence is that, if a reflective layer is placed inside the house, to reflect heat out, the glazing unit in the window may overheat internally and crack. Heat ends up bouncing back and forth, with more heat coming in from outside, until the internal parts of the glazing unit get very hot.

    There is a solution, which we've adopted, which it to fit heat reflecting film to the outside of the windows. This works very well, but it does mean that we can't take advantage of a situation like now, where it's fairly cool outside and yet we have blue sky and sunshine.
     
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