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Why You Should Still Crack Open The Windows When It’s Cold Outside

Here’s some advice we’ve provided before: Crack open your windows when it’s cold outside! Even though we’ve offered this piece of advice in the past, it’s worth repeating considering that much colder days are ahead. At first glance, the tip may seem like a strange one. Isn’t the whole point of keeping the windows shut when it’s cold outside to prevent it from being cold inside the home? Yes, of course. But keeping the windows shut also prevents pollutants from escaping your living space.

Open windows allow pollutants to escape.

As Mike Holmes explains in a special to National Post, there are numerous toxins inside your home. They build up over time and require open windows in order to escape. He lists volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mould spores, dust, smoke, radon, viruses and bacteria as some of the most prevalent pollutants in the home.

“Breathing these in over an extended period of time isn’t good for your health,” asserts Holmes, “It can make you feel sick, tired and drowsy, it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, and can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. It can even lead to building-related illness, or BRI. Symptoms of BRI include fevers, coughing, muscle aches and tightness in your chest.”

You don’t need to keep the windows open all day.

Don’t assume that you need to freeze yourself in order to freshen up the air in your home. Naturally, you’ll be inclined to keep your home as warm as possible during the coldest days of the year. No one is recommending that you slide your windows open during a blizzard. However, it needs to be reiterated that keeping windows shut 24/7 isn’t a healthy practice.

“15 to 20 minutes is enough to make a difference,” informs Holmes, “It’s also a good solution for homes that don’t have forced air. Yes, you will be losing some energy, but the health benefits you get from bringing fresh air into your home can offset this energy loss.”

MindBodyGreen.com agrees that throwing open a window is the simplest way to better indoor air quality during the colder months of the year. “Even when it’s chilly outside, you should open a window for at least five minutes a day to significantly decrease the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home,” the site advises, “Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Manual is the way to go.”

Closed windows cause condensation.

Holmes also points out that keeping windows shut causes condensation inside the house. Condensation occurs when warm air hits cool surfaces. The problem with condensation in the home is that it appears as small droplets of water and this moisture is known for causing mould development. Mould spores in the air create major irritants for our respiratory systems.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. To ensure the healthy status of your home, we’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of its air. For more information about our Air Quality Services, Moisture Monitoring Services or Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Preventing Mould Growth In Your Home Throughout The Fall Season

There are only a couple of days left in summer. But, here in Alberta, it appears as if the summer is already long gone. Unfortunately, the colder temperatures always seem to arrive early in our neck of the woods. And, as a result, we are forced to don winter clothing before the fall season even begins. In addition, Albertans have to take early precautions to prevent moisture build-up and the potential for mould growth in our homes.

Mould develops in areas where there is an abundance of moisture and warmth.

If you’re like most Albertans, you likely have already cranked up the heat in your home. And who can blame you? Saying that “it’s been a little chilly as of late” is an understatement! The problem with heating our homes is that condensation can occur when the warm air inside your home makes contact with cold surfaces such as your windows.

“If you live in a climate where you need to heat your home frequently, mould can start growing in the winter on your home’s inside walls, especially on the surfaces closest to the outside of your home,” explains RestorationMasterFinder.com, “Moisture that travels through the air from your basement, bathrooms, or kitchen may condense when it comes in contact with a cold wall. One thing you can do to prevent mould growth is make sure your walls are well-insulated.”

In addition to having well-insulated walls, it’s important to manage the humidity levels inside your home. The website recommends that you keep your indoor humidity level below 40 percent. You’ll also want to limit the amount of humidity caused by any of your humidifiers.

Use your home’s exhaust fans.

Humidity is most commonly found in our kitchens and bathrooms. There is a reason that both rooms are equipped with exhaust fans. The heat produced by cooking and the steam produced by hot showers often create easily visible condensation. Always turning the exhaust fans on when either room is in use is an important mould prevention technique.

“In the bathroom and kitchen, use exhaust fans or open windows when producing moisture, such as taking a hot shower,” advises RestorationMasterFinder.com, “Exhaust fans should be vented to the outdoors and not to an attic or crawl space.”

Even on cold days, it’s important to crack the windows.

Letting the fresh air from outside circulate with the stale air from inside is an important way to purify your home’s indoor air quality. But the ventilation technique will also help to lower humidity levels in the home, lowering your chances of having mould develop throughout.

“Ventilation is key for proper mould prevention,” writes John Ward on BustMold.com, “Each morning when you get up, open all the windows in your bedroom and leave them open for at least five minutes. Not only will that decrease the level of humidity, but it will ensure that fresh air replaces the stale ‘night air’.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re pretty keen on helping Albertans to improve the indoor air quality of their homes. And we’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home! For information about our Moisture Monitoring Services or our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy To Help You Quit Smoking

It’s not at all far-fetched to suggest that cigarette smoke is the worst thing that can happen to the air inside your home. Firstly, it can be avoided. By having a cigarette smoker strictly keep his/her habit to an outdoor activity, you can significantly improve the quality of the air inside your home.

Secondly, it should go without saying that cigarette smoking produces deadly effects. Lung cancer, mesothelioma and other fatal respiratory diseases are caused by the seemingly countless toxins found in cigarette smoke. In addition, as we’ve pointed out in past blogs, you don’t even need to be a smoker to be impacted by cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke is every bit as deadly as the firsthand smoke inhaled by smokers.

The bottom line: Eliminate cigarette smoke from your life completely!

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re well aware that cigarette smoking is not an easy habit to break. As the vast majority of smokers will attest to, it’s an addiction. Cravings for nicotine are often placed at the top of the list of reasons why cigarette smokers can’t butt out for good. This is why there are numerous Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products on the market.

“NRT can reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms you experience that may hinder your attempt to give up smoking,” explains Hannah Nichols of Medical News Today, “NRTs are designed to wean your body off cigarettes and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while sparing you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.”

Nicotine Replacement Therapy comes in many different forms.

Skin patches, chewing gum, lozenges, nasal sprays and inhalers are among the most commonly used NRTs. Many of them are available over-the-counter while some others require prescriptions. Naturally, the objective of NRTs is to help cigarette smokers overcome their intense cravings for nicotine. As a result, e-cigarettes have risen in popularity over the past several years. Because they are less addictive than traditional cigarettes, many smokers use them to get closer to quitting the habit altogether.

“E-cigarettes are a hot research topic at the moment,” writes Nichols, “Studies have found that e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes, that the rise in e-cigarette use has been linked with a significant increase in smoking cessation, and that established smokers who use e-cigarettes daily are more likely to quit smoking than people who have not tried e-cigarettes.”

Will power plays a big role in quitting smoking.

It’s important to remember that NRTs can’t do all the work for you. If you’re serious about butting out, you’ll need to busy yourself with other activities that can help you to take your mind off of smoking. The Mayo Clinic highly recommends that smokers engage in more physical activity to help distract them from their cravings for nicotine and tobacco.

“Even short burst of physical activity — such as running up and down the stairs a few times — can make a tobacco craving go away,” they note on their website, “Get out for a walk or jog. If you’re stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, pushups, running in place, or walking up and down a set of stairs.”

As mentioned, doing away with cigarette smoking will significantly improve the quality of air in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality! 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 Are The Easiest Ways To Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality?

We could all breathe a lot easier if we took certain steps to ensure the air in our homes was free of pollutants. However, there are numerous simple actions that many of us neglect to take each day. Take opening the windows, for example. Far too many Canadians keep them shut throughout the summer, opting to blast their air conditioners instead. In the winter, those same windows stay shut in order to keep the cold out. A bit ironic, isn’t it?

Crack the windows.

“Even in the cold months, open windows from time to time to allow fresh air to move into the house,” advises Harvard Health Publishing, “Also, move potential air contaminants out by using fans in the kitchen to remove cooking fumes.”

Cracking the windows, even for short portions of the day, helps the stale air inside your home to circulate with the fresher air from outside. Opening the windows – yes, even in the winter time – can do a lot to improve your home’s indoor air quality. But it’s not the only easy way to do so!

Keep every room clean and tidy.

Simple enough advice, isn’t it? It’s important to remember that regular dusting, mopping and vacuuming won’t just make your home look and smell pleasant, it will also help you breathe better. Harvard Health Publishing highlights the fact that vacuuming carpets and area rugs with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter is needed as least once or twice a week. Removing carpet altogether, however, can significantly reduce the number of allergens in your home.

They also advise that you regularly clean bedding, drapes and other items that tend to attract allergens, especially if you have pets. “The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends washing in water that is at least 130° F,” informs the Harvard Health Publishing website, “Also consider using dust mite–proof covers on pillows, as well as mattresses and box springs, whenever possible.”

Keep it Canadian!

Three years ago, we posted a blog entitled “Is Being Canadian Good For Your Indoor Air Quality?” In the blog, we discussed the apparently typical Canadian practice of always removing footwear at the front door of the home. Most of us consider it a no-brainer to not wear your shoes or boots in the house. However, many of our American counterparts tend to consider footwear a part of the in-house wardrobe.

Here’s the bottom line: take off your shoes if you want to breathe clean air! “Who knows what’s on the bottom of your shoes, so be sure everyone removes shoes when coming (in) the home,” insists Rachel Brougham on FamilyHandyman.com, “Use a boot tray or shoe rack to collect dirt, pesticides and other pollutants from making their way into your home.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home. 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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