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3 Important Fall Cleaning Tips

We hate to have to remind you, but the summertime will soon be coming to a close. With the start of school just around the corner, we only have a few days left of what we officially refer to as “summer vacation”. And while the fall season doesn’t officially get underway until September 22nd, we all know that the temperatures are about to cool off.

With the approaching of each new season, it’s always a good idea to have somewhat of a fresh start. Spring isn’t the only time of year when a cleaning is necessary! We’d argue that fall cleaning is an equally important annual event.

Here are three important fall cleaning tips:

1. Wash all of your bedding.

Most people wash their bed sheets on a weekly basis. This, of course, is a wise idea as it helps to keep dust mites at bay. Making sure to regularly change the sheets and washing them in hot water is a great way to cleanse your bedding of the dead skin, sweat and hair left behind when you sleep. In addition, it rids you of the dust mites that love to eat that dead skin and leave their respiratory system-affecting waste behind.

With that said, it’s important to also wash your comforters and heavy blankets. As Sara Elliot advises on HowStuffWorks.com, washing all of your bedding is an important fall cleaning ritual. “Wash all bedding in preparation for cooler temperatures and use very hot water, 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius) or higher to kill dust mites and bacteria,” she instructs, “Over the winter season, be sure to wash bedding weekly.”

2. Test and clean your smoke detectors.

This is a tip that cannot be stressed enough. Cleaning your smoke detectors will help to ensure that they are perfectly operational. Protecting your family from a potential fire is obviously a life-saving action.

“You already know to put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” writes Christina Peterson on GoodHousekeeping.com, “But you also need to clean your units, since dust that accumulates can cause them to underperform. Using your vacuum cleaner’s soft brush attachment, clean in and around the dectectors’ openings. If any are more than 10 years old, replace them.”

3. Give your pets a scrub.

The many pet owners across Canada put themselves in somewhat tougher positions to keep their homes clean. Between all of the pet dander, fur, saliva and tracked-in dirt, pets are known for keeping homes messy. Taking your pet to a groomer or giving it a good scrub yourself is an important way of maintaining a clean home and improving its overall air quality.

Pets “can be a handful, particularly if someone in the family has allergies,” says Elliot, “Whenever possible, bathe cats and dogs regularly to keep dander to a minimum. A weekly bath may seem unrealistic, but even a monthly wet or dry bath is better than nothing. If you teach them young, you may be able to train pets to tolerate the vacuum cleaner for a weekly vacuuming.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients always enjoy the best indoor air quality possible. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Finding Safe And Natural Ways To Purify The Air In Your Home

We’d all love it if our homes smelled fresh 100 percent of the time. But we know that’s not entirely possible. Cleaning, of course, is mandatory. We can’t expect the dirt, dust, pet dander, and hair in our homes to sweep themselves away. And we certainly can’t expect the spills to wipe themselves up.

Can cleaning be bad for us?

Unfortunately, many of us tend to create more problems than we are fixing during our cleaning routines. And that’s because of the prevalence of chemical-based cleaners that we so easily find in the stores. Most of them contain volatile organic compounds, which are also known as VOCs, for short. And here is their short story: they’re bad for your health!

As reported by Ian Sample on TheGuardian.com, “Household cleaners, paints and perfumes have become substantial sources of urban air pollution as strict controls on vehicles have reduced road traffic emissions, scientists say. Researchers in the US looked at levels of synthetic ‘volatile organic compounds’, or VOCs, in roadside air in Los Angeles and found that as much came from industrial and household products refined from petroleum as from vehicle exhaust pipes.”

What are the health implications of VOCs?

As the Government of Canada explains on Canada.ca, short-term exposure to high levels of some VOCs can cause breathing problems as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Exposure to VOCs is also known to cause headaches.

“Some people may be more sensitive, such as people with asthma,” the site elaborates, “Most people are not affected by short-term exposure to the low levels of VOCs typically found in homes. For long-term exposure to low levels of VOCs, research is ongoing to better understand any health effects from these exposures. Long-term exposure to high levels of some VOCs, however, may result in health effects.”

What natural air purifiers are recommended?

Firstly, it’s important to point out that ventilation is a top way to rid your household of pollutants. Keeping the windows open will help for the stale and stagnant air from inside to circulate with the fresher air from outside. On NDTV.com, Aashna Ahuja lists ventilation as a top way to purify the air in your home. She also lists a number of natural and safe-to-use air purifiers. They include beeswax candles, salt lamps, activated charcoal, essential oils and, as you may have expected, houseplants.

“It’s the best way to counter the impact of pollution indoors, particularly if you have a family member with some respiratory illness,” Ahuja informs, “It’s suggested that you have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for efficient air cleaning to be accomplished. The best plants to filter toxins from the air are Peace Lily which prefers moderate sunlight, Lady Palm or Broadleaf Lady Palm which is adaptable but prefers bright, indirect light.”

As you’re likely aware, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team takes the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Enjoy High Indoor Air Quality This Fall

Although most Canadians don’t want to admit it, the summertime is slowly, but surely winding down. We’re smack dab in the middle of August, giving us approximately three weeks before the start of a brand new school season. It won’t be long after that when the temperatures drop and the leaves on the trees begin to change colour. Sorry to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, but autumn is on the way!

During the much beloved summertime, we tend to keep our windows open. That is, of course, unless you’re the type of person who prefers air conditioning. We’ve said this numerous times before, but it always deserves repeating that windows should be cracked open on a regular basis in order to allow the stagnant air from inside to circulate with the fresher air from outside. That’s just one way to improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Keep the windows cracked during the fall.

When autumn begins, there’s no reason to stop your window opening routine. Yes, the outdoor air will be chillier, but it’s important to allow proper ventilation in your home to maximize the freshness of the air. As Jeffrey C. May points out on AshiReporter.org, most people spend more time indoors and keep their windows shut when the weather is cooler. It’s a recipe for stale and potentially harmful air in the home.

“In the heating season, up to a third or more of the air in a house comes up from a basement or crawl space — even more, if there’s a basement return present,” informs May, “Basements – both finished and unfinished — that have not been adequately dehumidified in the humid season can be full of non-visible mould growth. “

Engage in fall cleaning.

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning. We’d advocate having fall cleaning become just as popular a practice. On GetCold.net, regular cleaning is recommended as one of the top ways to improve a home’s indoor air quality during the fall. The site provides a number of housecleaning tips including the use of a damp cloth to wipe away dust from ceiling fans, air registers and kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.

“You should also look inside your ductwork,” the site advises, “You will only be able to see so far, but if there is noticeable debris within the area you can see, it is likely that the rest of the ductwork is also dirty. If you see dirt, dust, cobwebs, or debris, call a professional to have the ductwork inspected and cleaned. Ask guests to take their shoes off so they don’t track dust or dirt into your home and vacuum at least twice per week.”

Use a humidifier.

If you plan on turning up the heat this fall – as most Canadians will – it’s important that you’re mindful of the dryness of the air in your home. GetCold.net notes that dry air is known to cause nosebleeds, dry eyes and irritated sinuses, especially for people who have respiratory issues. “Low humidity can also cause dry skin, annoying static shocks, and cracked, shrinking boards in wood floors,” informs the site, “A humidifier adds water vapour to the air inside your home to prevent these problems.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you enjoy high indoor air quality this fall. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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What Smoking In Your Home Does To Non-Smokers

At this point, it would be borderline nonsensical to inform you that cigarette smoking causes disastrous health effects. If you’re a cigarette smoker, you are undoubtedly aware of the many health hazards you present yourself each and every time you light up. However, what you may not totally be conscious of is just how bad your habit is for the health of everyone who enters your home.

Secondhand smoke is a killer.

Secondhand smoke is really no different than the firsthand smoke you inhale from your cigarettes. As Health24.com makes clear, “exposure to second hand smoke is never safe as it is exactly the same smoke inhaled by smokers, containing the same harmful chemicals. There are as many as 7,000 chemicals in second hand smoke and 70 of these may lead to lung cancer. Apart from cancer second hand smoke is also associated with stroke and heart disease.”

Needless to say, if you smoke inside your home, you are putting all of its inhabitants at risk. And don’t assume that just because they may not be in the same room as you, the effects of your cigarette smoking habit are minimized. Obviously, smoke travels. However, smoke also attaches itself and seeps into the various elements of your home. We’re talking about the furniture, the walls, the carpets – you name it!

Thirdhand smoke is a killer as well.

“Third hand smoke can be problematic too,” Health24.com explains, “This refers to the harmful chemicals that are absorbed by upholstery and curtains and tend to linger for a long time.” On TheConversation.com, Jacqueline Hamilton reveals that a 2017 study found that mice exposed to household fabrics contaminated with thirdhand tobacco smoke showed health defects within a month.

“After six months, the mice showed evidence of liver damage and insulin resistance, symptoms which usually precede the development of type 2 diabetes,” she details, going on to mention that approximately 600,000 people die from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke on a yearly basis.

Butting out is the only way to save the non-smokers in your life.

It may not be necessary, but allow us to state the obvious. When you quit smoking, it significantly improves your overall health. However, we must also reiterate that you are doing a huge favour for everyone in your family as well. The importance of butting out cannot be understated. This is especially true if you are a new parent. The Government of Alberta highlights just how necessary it is to keep babies away from thirdhand smoke.

“Children are more sensitive to being exposed to third-hand smoke because they breathe near, crawl on, play on, touch, and even taste (because they often put their hands in their mouths) surfaces contaminated with tobacco residue,” they note on MyHealth.Alberta.ca, “Experts on third-hand smoke recommend 100% smoke-free homes and vehicles. They also suggest that replacing furniture, carpets, drapes, etc., can greatly reduce exposure to third-hand smoke residue.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you make the air quality in your home the purest it can be! For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Why It’s So Important To Use The Exhaust Fan In Your Bathroom

There is a funny little stereotype that seems to be unavoidable for bathroom exhaust fans. “Make sure you turn on the fan!” is a comment often hurled at an individual who plans on using a bathroom. The idea, most often, is that the exhaust fan will help to rid the bathroom of the unpleasant odours left behind by its last user.

“One of the largest reasons for having an exhaust fan is for odour control,” confirms Stewart Unsdorfer of Ohio-based Central Heating & Air Conditioning, “If an unpleasant odour occurs in the bathroom, it can easily be drawn out with the help of an exhaust fan. As a result, the ventilation system will enable you to keep your bathroom well maintained, while offering a clean atmosphere for the next person who enters.”

Minimizing moisture is of prime importance.

It is true that exhaust fans do help for odours, air pollutants and smoke to be removed from bathroom environments. But it’s important to note that they have an arguably more importance purpose. And that is to minimize moisture as best as possible. Believe it or not, it’s wise to turn on your bathroom’s exhaust fan anytime you’re using the bathroom.

In fact, we’d argue that the main purpose for having an exhaust fan is to remove moisture and lower the humidity in a bathroom. Quite obviously, moisture and humidity levels significantly increase during hot showers. And, let’s be honest, which one of us doesn’t enjoy taking a hot shower? A hot shower without the use of an exhaust fan, however, can create health hazards in your bathroom.

“Reducing the humidity in a bathroom is vital for its upkeep,” writes Unsdorfer, “Excessive moisture can wreak havoc on bathroom walls by causing paint and wallpaper to peel. In extreme cases it can even cause doors to warp! Most importantly, the humidity can cause mould to accumulate. These spores can grow rapidly and can be difficult to get rid of. Therefore, t is crucial to have bathroom exhaust fans to prevent this from happening.”

What makes mould such a health hazard?

Mould spores are major culprits for triggering asthma and allergy symptoms. Anyone with respiratory issues should stay clear of mould. In fact, mould isn’t good for anyone’s health. It’s imperative that it be cleaned away immediately if detected in your bathroom or any other room of the house, for that matter. On TheConversation.com, Jeroen Douwes explains further.

“Mould accumulates in damp and poorly ventilated buildings,” he informs, “Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness can reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma. Those who already suffer from asthma and allergies are more likely to have more severe symptoms when exposed.”

Let us help you to keep a mould-free bathroom!

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Mould Assessment Services that include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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