Mouse and dog allergens - particles include dander from rodents and family pets.
Dust contaminants - particles include hair follicles and epithelial (skin) cells from humans and insect parts.
Fungal spores - Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Ulocladium and Alternaria.
Pollen - particles that typically make their way inside through open windows or on clothes and shoes.
The New York home had higher levels of mouse allergens and black carbon from diesel engines, whereas pollen and skin cells were more abundant in the Los Angeles home.
I don't think you'll find anything different in a New York air cleaner than here . . .
Question: I would like to know if there is any method, other than moving an outdoor AC compressor, to minimize its noise when it is running at the same time people want to be on the back deck enjoying the summer.
I live in a condominium and have a double whammy of this problem - the compressor for my home, close to my back door, and also the compressor belonging to my next-door neighbor, very close to the other side of my back door. These compressors are pretty new. They are not loud, but the normal humming of their motors is very noticeable in this very small area. Also, because of the small area available, plantings or traditional fencing around the equipment is not possible.
Do you know of any new, low-profile surround material which will baffle the noise, allow for the necessary circulation space, but not make the compressor enormously larger? If something does exist that meets these criteria, is it reasonably affordable?
Answer: There is, from what I am led to understand, no way that all the noise of an air-conditioning compressor can be eliminated.
While many manufacturers have made their products quieter than they used to be, compressors still make noise.
It is the price we pay for comfort - along with high electric bills. The only way peace and quiet can be achieved in the summer while keeping cool rests in that house I've been coveting on Frenchman's Bay in Maine.
There are items called "sound blankets," manufactured by a few companies. Putting a blanket around a motor smells of fire hazard to me, but the manufacturers say that the compressor motor in your air conditioner is internally cooled by a refrigerant, so it will never overheat when insulated.
Apparently, the heat does increase by a "negligible" 2 percent, they say.
One manufacturer says its product reduces the noise by 5 decibels, which it says is a 30 percent to 50 percent reduction in the perceived noise.
As far as price? That's something you can do for yourself by shopping online. But I doubt it would be as expensive as moving the compressor, or in your case, selling the condo and moving.
Do your research carefully. Find out up front what all the pros and cons of these sound blankets are and what the warranty is on the product.
Make sure it comes with a money-back guarantee. It is pointless to spend even a little money on useless stuff.
Questions? E-mail Alan J. Heavens at email@example.com or write him at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. Volume prohibits individual replies.