Staying Alive

when your living space sucks

You probably don’t give it much thought, but staying alive is a continuous uphill battle.

The agents of defeat are energy, particles, and live corpuscles.

And what would you do if you walked into your living space and smelled Gas? Know where the shutoff valve is? Or will you go up in a flash with the contents? No gas, no problem. But you left for two weeks, the plumbing drains dried, so you smell gas on return (PS. This happens even in homes that are occupied, where certain plumbing appliances are rarely used), and like natural gas, it’s explosive.

Or a frayed power cord of a regularly used appliance, that starts sparking. Are you going to pull it from the wall, and risk electrocution? Know where the main breaker is? In an apartment there isn’t one . . . you’d have to turn off all the individual ones. Can you find your way back, safely, without that emergency flashlight?

What if you decided to install a picture frame, put a nail in the wall, and water springs forth. How do you turn that off? An once you do, what else must you do to Stay healthy afterwards?

The above three are relating to various forms of energy, if you haven’t figured that out already. Yes water, is energy. When pressurized, it can lay waste to a living space in short order.

Particles float about indefinitely, when small. The larger they are, the quicker they settle to various surfaces, horizontal, and yes, vertical (due to electrostatic attraction). Move past the particles and they take flight, some into your lungs. Allergies? Carpeting? Pets? Hmm. Dust of various composition just is. Finding a “clean” space is a myth, and unless you have another planet to play with, you have to live with this one, or suffer because of it. We shed human skin cells, that is us. Pets do too. If you have hardwood or other solid flooring, the tumbleweeds build, and eventually yell, Clean me! If you have carpeting, the dust collects therein like leaves in a forest, and when Jack descends from the beanstalk and starts to walk on the carpet, each step liberates copious particles ready for inhalation. Some of those particles are dust mite droppings, Oh s__t! Yes, that’s right. Dust mites proliferate in organic debris. So does their poo-poo. More dust = more dust mites = more dust mite droppings. Ever hear of a HEPA vacuum? you may wish to look that up, some passing mention available at

Some of those corpuscles you just inhaled, and regularly inhale, are alive . . . yes, yeasts, mold spores, bacteria, viruses. Keep your place dry and clean and these will be a minor nuisance. Get sloppy and you’re on a downhill slide to suffering. Again, passing mention on the website mentioned above.

These are the simplest and glossiest overviews of “keeping house.” If you can’t, someone must do it for you, or should.

How these simple fundamentals impact you depends on their severity, and whether they work in concert to provide synergistic effects.

If you have a common furnace that uses indoor air to feed its fire, it will regularly suck in air through all window and door imperfections. Not to mention through the holes where your electrical system resides. Put your hand next to an outlet when the furnace is running, and feel the cold air being dragged through the holes the wires travel through. It it’s raining outside, that air will also be heavy with moisture (high RH / relative humidity), or should there be some surface along the way that is cold enough, it will foster condensation. In either case you invite mold growth within structural cavities. That really sucks, doesn’t it?

Another myth is dirty electricity. Electricity cannot be dirty. It can be distorted, but “distorted electricity” is not as good a marketing term to reel in suckers. Electricity is distorted by anything that does Not use current (or power) in a smooth fashion. A hot element lamp (incandescent) is a smooth mover, as is an electric heater. Anything else causes distortion. But the designers intended to allow you to use all the power you wish, within the design limits of your system, and not have Voltage distortion above about 4%. So the voltage is generally “clean.” Where the distortion really happens, is in the Current, and that distortion can be > 200% or more. Along come dirty electricity filter hucksters, with their magic “filters,” and meters. Plug one in, numbers go down, and life is good, again. Really? Those plug-in filters address the voltage, not the current. If you understood the previous few sentences, see the hypocrisy of their sales tactic? Some, within a community that claims to help sensitives, have endorsed these filters for over 15 years, because one of the vendors, was so bold as to make an idle threat that was taken seriously. Trainees were then taught this as gospel, and now even engineers who’ve undergone the training act like smoke an mirror artists (instead or professionals), selling these magical cures, and their magic measurement scheme.

It’s bad enough to have to suffer through these hurdles on your own. Begin suffering and you’ll be calling consultants left and right. After three or so consultants, I might get called in, where I need to re-educate and do damage control. When I am then asked to keep my fees low because of all you’ve spent on the cause, I have to consider who I am talking with . . .

For the icing on the cake, consider oxidation. Some people call it R U S T. Every exposed wire, at any attachment (plug, switch, panel, etc.) suffers this malady, normally. The end result is connections get loose, normally. After as little as 10 years, even a new home will have those loose connections scattered about on its various points of use or control (maybe 50+ outlets, and switches, in a typical modest home). To complement this, normal operation of switches causes wear and tear, normally. That switch iffy? That outlet sparks? Hmm. Ever hear of “electrical maintenance?” No? You’re not alone. While in industrial settings electrical maintenance is a mandate to maintain stable operation and stay in business, in a residential environment it is the great unknown. Welcome to reality.