Too Much of a Good Thing

Having too much of a “good thing” is usually not a good thing.

Excess ice cream, beer, and extra helpings from your local buffet could come back to haunt you later.

You might think that air is something that an abundance of could not possibly cause harm, but that is not the case with deep-sea divers. If they emerge too quickly, they will end up with decompression sickness, known as “the bends” caused by a build-up of nitrogen in their blood. Air is about 79% nitrogen, an amount almost five times that of oxygen and having too much oxygen also presents risks with oxygen toxicity. Ozone is an oxygen molecule with too much oxygen with the extra atom of oxygen attached to the molecule. It will disinfect, but it also can damage tissue. The only three things that we can “consume” in abundance without any danger are love, goodwill, and air at sea level pressures. They all come without calories with love and goodwill available at no cost. With air, two conditions prevent it from being in the category of love and goodwill. The conditions are that the air must be clean and at the right humidity. We can’t control the outdoor air quality and the only way to control it indoors is by using modern HVAC systems. Just having an HVAC unit is not enough on its own. The HVAC system must be kept clean with regular filter changes and a rigid cleaning and maintenance of the HVAC system to remove anything that might contaminate the air. Only after that can you sit and have only one modest helping of leftover lasagna, one small bowl of ice cream, and maybe two beers. But you can breathe all that HVAC conditioned air until your heart is overflowing with goodwill.

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