DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.
Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Experts

855-668-3131
inquiries@dftechnical.ca
"

The Wonderful Act Of Cracking Open The Windows In Winter

As a Canadian, you’re most likely quite used to a few annual winter traditions. They include shovelling your driveway, scraping ice from your car windows and cranking up the heat of your home. And while every Canadian expects a fairly chilly winter each and every year, it doesn’t stop most of us from complaining about it when it arrives.

Complaining about the cold is as much part of the Canadian winter tradition as all of the above mentioned activities. That’s why the suggestion to crack open the windows, during the winter, is usually met with raised eyebrows. Maintaining top-of-the-line indoor air quality is a year-round requirement. And with the cold air outside encouraging us to keep our homes sealed shut, we leave ourselves susceptible to breathing stagnant, stale and polluted air more often.

Why should you crack open the windows?

Indoor air pollution is created in a number of ways and without ventilating the air in your home, it can actually lead to a number of health problems. On Glamour.com, Sarah Jio explains that opening your windows during the winter is a great way to both enjoy fresh air and avoid ill health.

“Health experts have longed warned of the dangers of ‘indoor air pollution,’ and for good reason,” she writes, “From mould spores to chemical off-gassing from paint, carpet, new furniture and cleaning products, sometimes the air in our homes and offices is many times more polluted than the air circulating outside.”

When should you crack open the windows?

Consider some of the actions you may be taking that lead to the pollution of the air in your home. Cleaning products that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) may leave behind fresh scents, but they can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. Cracking the windows during your cleaning routines is one way to promote high indoor air quality during the winter.

Jio reveals that her favourite time to crack open the windows on chilly days is when she is cleaning and tidying up. “I feel warmer anyway, since I’m moving around, and I don’t mind a cool breeze flowing in,” she notes, “Plus, when I’m cleaning my house, I love the feeling of cleaning the air a bit too. Try it!”

How long should you keep the windows cracked open?

As you may have guessed, keeping the windows open for prolonged periods of time will end up being counterproductive. Not only will it make your home cold, but it will waste a lot of the energy (and money) being used to keep your home warm. Crack open different windows in the home during different portions of the day for short periods of time. That way, each room will get its own special dose of freshness.

“You don’t have to leave windows open for hours on end,” WindowsCanada.com assures us, “Just cracking them for 15-20 minutes a day can vastly improve the air quality inside your home. Even though it’s cold outside, your health and the health of your family will be in much better shape with some fresh air.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to work with you on keeping the air inside your home as pure as possible this winter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about such services as our Air Quality Services and Mould Assessment Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

*

Radon Can Pose A Dangerous Threat During The Winter

When most people hear the term “carbon monoxide”, they are immediately aware that it’s a deadly gas. Carbon monoxide detectors are growing in popularity considering the colourless, odourless gas has been responsible for the deaths of many individuals who didn’t realize their homes were being poisoned.

Radon is another colourless and odourless gas that doesn’t seem to be as well understood as a threat to our health. Perhaps, this is why the Government of Canada marked November as National Radon Action Month. Explaining on their website that radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the ground and is found in every home, they also noted radon awareness is especially important during the winter months.

Radon concentration in homes can reach dangerous levels in winter.

“Here in Canada, our homes are well sealed to keep us warm in the winter, which can cause radon concentrations in our homes to build up to dangerous levels,” Canada.ca reveals, “Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and kills more than 3,200 Canadians each year.”

Again, it’s important to note that radon as no smell, no colour and no taste. There’s no way for anyone to detect radon unless the air is tested for it. There are inexpensive do-it-yourself test kits available on the market. However, hiring a certified radon professional to conduct a test for you is your best bet.

How does radon even get into our homes?

Radon is created by the natural breakdown of uranium in the ground outside of our homes. It escapes by seeping up through the soil and out into the fresh air. The various cracks and openings in our homes give radon passageways to enter our living spaces. In small doses and in ventilated areas, radon doesn’t pose much of a threat. However, in the wintertime, we tend to keep our homes sealed up pretty tight to keep the cold out.

As a result, radon gas is given a greater amount of time to build up to higher, more concentrated levels. As well, because most of us tend to stay indoors for longer durations of time, during the winter, we are more susceptible to being exposed to larger doses of radon for longer lengths of time.

In addition, as Baxter Group Inc. explains, “during the winter, the ground can freeze, and get covered by snow. The snow forms an insulating blanket and creates a blanket effect that traps the radon in the soil. With less radon exiting through the soil around the house, more may be pulled inside.”

What is the best way to protect our homes from radon poisoning?

As we pointed out earlier, hiring a certified radon professional is a smart choice. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of radon in your home and whether or not they are safe. Radon testing can mean the difference between life and death so it is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.

For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

Canada-Wide Asbestos Ban Is Now In Full Effect

It’s a moment that the nation of Canada has been waiting for a long time. Announced back in December of 2016 by the federal government, the country’s comprehensive ban of asbestos is finally in full effect. As of December 30, 2018, asbestos is outlawed in Canada. We were remiss to not mention it in last week’s blog given how much extensive coverage of the subject has appeared in our blogs over the past couple of years.

The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations now prohibit the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, in Canada, with a limited number of exclusions. In a recently released fact sheet, which can be downloaded from a link on JobberNation.ca, full details of the new ban are given.

What is prohibited under the new regulations?

To be clear, the new regulations stipulate that any products that contain processed asbestos fibres at any level as well as consumer products that contain naturally-occurring asbestos in greater than trace amounts are prohibited.

“The Regulations also prohibit the sale, for use in construction or landscaping, of asbestos mining residues that are located at an asbestos mining site or accumulation area, unless authorized by the province in which the activity construction or landscaping is to occur,” reads the fact sheet, “In addition, the Regulations prohibit the use of asbestos mining residues to manufacture a product containing asbestos.”

What are the exclusions under the new regulations?

As the fact sheet details, there is a limited number of exclusions to what is prohibited. They include disposal, roads, importing military equipment, servicing military equipment, servicing equipment of nuclear facilities, museum display, laboratory use and Chlor-Alkali facilities. With the exception of disposal and roads, reporting is required for each of these exclusions.

“Permits are available for limited and specific circumstances when no technically or economically asbestos-free alternative is available,” the fact sheet informs, “Reports for excluded activities must be submitted before March 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the activities occurred. For permit holders, the reports must be submitted within 90 days after the day on which their permit expires.”

Asbestos is a known killer.

As we’ve noted on many occasions, in our blogs, the asbestos ban truly couldn’t have come soon enough. The toxic substance, which was once a staple in the construction of office buildings and homes, is a known killer. Breathing in its fibres is a proven cause of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma – all deadly diseases.

“Between 2000 and 2016 the number of Canadians dying from mesothelioma increased from 292 deaths in 2000 to 510 in 2016 – an increase of 70 per cent,” reports Kathleen Ruff on RightOnCanada.ca, “In total, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada, almost seven thousand Canadians died from mesothelioma during this period.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are aware that this ban won’t automatically protect Canadians from exposure to the asbestos that already exists in their homes and places of work. So we’d like to help out where we can. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

4 Fresh Ways To Breathe Cleaner Air In 2019

Welcome to our first blog of 2019! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team, we’d like to wish you a very happy new year. Of course, we’d also love the opportunity to do our part in helping your new year to be happy by offering you ways to purify the air in your home.

We live by the idea that the healthier you are, the happier you’ll be. So what will you be doing to improve your home’s indoor air quality this year? Here are four fresh ways to breathe cleaner air in 2019:

1. Do away with chemical-based air fresheners.

We all want our homes to smell pleasant. And while air fresheners can generally do the trick, they are actually causing your air more harm than good. Many sweet smelling sprays contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which pose dangers to our respiratory systems. To keep your home smelling fresh, crack the windows now and again and try using natural air fresheners.

“Chemical-laden air fresheners can irritate your skin and lungs,” affirms GetCold.net, “Opt for a natural product instead, such as essential oils in a diffuser, or a potpourri of dried herbs. Simmering orange peels, apple peels, cloves, or cinnamon sticks in a small crock pot will release a lovely natural scent as well.”

2. Add some houseplants to your family.

No, plants don’t have to sit with you and your family at the dinner table. But it would be a good idea to have them sit around the house. Making plants a regular part of your living environment will help to purify the air you breathe in your home. Last month, we blogged about some of the best plants that work as air purifiers. Be sure to give that blog a read if you haven’t already!

“Plants are amazing for improving indoor air quality,” insists Aprilaire.com, “Adding some green plants to your home can not only help you breathe better, but it adds major style points, too. To purify air, think one large plant for every 100 square feet in your home, or two smaller ones for the same effect.”

3. Quit smoking.

Arguably, this is a New Year’s Resolution that should have gone at the top of our list. It cannot be stressed enough that cigarette smoke is the worst thing you can add to the air you breathe. Eliminating the nasty habit of smoking from your life will not only add years to your life, but will vastly improve the health of everyone who enters your home.

We likely don’t have to remind you that cigarettes are cancer-causing. “About 30% of cancers are related to tobacco, with tobacco use also being the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the country,” notes David Boles on 620ckrm.com.

4. Get a home inspection.

As we mentioned earlier, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you enjoy the purest possible air quality in your home. We have a vast array of services that include Air Quality Services, Mould Assessment Services, Moisture Monitoring Services and more! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment