Air quality concerns spur work at Closeleigh Manor

The Yukon Housing Corporation has spent almost $150,000 to upgrade the ventilation system at Closeleigh Manor following complaints made by a resident last year.

The Yukon Housing Corporation has spent almost $150,000 to upgrade the ventilation system at Closeleigh Manor following complaints made by a resident last year.

Davina Harker first brought the issue to the government’s attention in January 2013, when she expressed concerns about the air quality in the building.

She said she was experiencing health issues that ranged from memory loss to dizziness to chronic exhaustion.

“I am grateful for my home and love living at Closeleigh Manor but I have good reason to believe the air in my unit is bad for my health,” she said in an email.

“We need assurance, through independent testing and oversight, that oil-burning and ventilation systems in our homes are functioning safely and efficiently.”

Harker was particularly concerned with dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the building.

She referred to studies that have found that many of the territory’s oil-burning furnaces aren’t properly installed or maintained.

The government hired Northern Climate Engineering to investigate the air quality in the 32-unit housing facility, according to Darren Stahl, director of capital projects with Yukon Housing.

The company determined there were a number of upgrades to be made, such as relocating the ventilation air intake and cleaning the entire ventilation system.

In July, YHC publicly tendered and hired an air duct cleaning company.

They cleaned the entire ventilation system, corrected any air leakage issues, and upgraded the filtration system to allow finer particulates to be captured.

At the end of July and early August, YHC publicly tendered and hired a company to relocate the air intake system from its current location to a more isolated area on the building.

The cost of the upgrades so far is roughly $135,000, with an additional $10,000 expected for a complete rebalancing of the system once the work is completed.

YHC will then hold a tenant meeting to relay the work that has been done and address any further concerns.

Stahl said there are carbon monoxide monitors in the building, which are regularly maintained and tested.

“At no time was there any indication of high levels of carbon monoxide in any area of the building,” he wrote in an email.

“The highest reading found was 1.1 ppm in the north stairwell. All other readings were very near zero or at natural atmospheric levels. The carbon monoxide levels that were measured do not pose a health concern.”

Contact Myles Dolphin at

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