The Clean Air Chronicles - The Pollards' House

Watch the Pollards' Story


  • Ashleigh and Joshua Pollard are committed to creating a healthy home for themselves and their kids. Check out the resources below to learn more about how modifying cooking behaviors and increasing in-home filtration can help improve indoor air quality.

Joshua looking at basement air handler

Ashleigh Pollard with dirty filter

Intervention Summary

Problem as Found

  • Particle counts were quite high.
  • Existing furnace blower energy use was too high for continuous filtration; the cost of this intervention was lower than most because the total external static pressure (TESP) was not high and thus did not require a modification of the return drop or filter rack.
  • Portable air cleaners were not in use due to need for filter replacement.

Solution & Results

  • Air handler was set to run continuously with a MERV 13 filter.
  • The furnace blower was replaced. 
  • Watt-draw (in continuous mode): 109 watts—a 241-watt reduction!
  • 24/7 air handler operating cost: $10/month
  • Portable air cleaners were used in addition to the central filtration and replacement filters for portable air cleaners were purchased.

The Pollards saw a marked improvement in their indoor air quality with the implementation of two key interventions: using a portable air cleaner and modifying their air handler system to run continuously. Notice the impact of opening the windows after these interventions began!

Results from particle monitoring data March 2017 to July 2017

The particle count in Joshua and Ashleigh's home dropped significantly after the air handler intervention. Although the Pollards' house began in the "Fair" range, their particle counts dropped to "Excellent" when they began running their air handler fan continuously.

Pre and Post Median Particle Count bar graph

Cooking Tips

As the Pollards learned, cooking behaviors can impact indoor air quality. There are things you can do while cooking to reduce your exposure to cooking-related pollutants.

Learn How to Reduce Exposure to Cooking Pollutants

Low Cost Monitoring Project

Want to learn more about the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project? Head over to our LCMP page to learn about how you can get involved with our next cohort.

Learn More about the Low Cost Monitoring Project

Citizen Science: Indoor Air Monitoring

ROCIS team member Samantha Totoni walks you through the LCMP experience and the opportunities it presents to participants.

Watch the Presentation

Outside/In Radio: Episode 157

LCMP participant Susan Peterson shares her experiences with Pittsburgh air quality and the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project. 

Listen to the Outside/In Radio Episode 157