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How To Improve Indoor Air Quality When You Have A Pet

There are two types of people in this world. Those who can’t live without their pets and those who want nothing to do with animals. The former group are made up of a wide variety of dog and cat lovers as well as enthusiasts of all types of birds and fish. The latter group incorporates a lot of individuals who much prefer clean and tidy homes without the worry of having to constantly vacuum and sweep up hair and droppings.

“My brother’s dog sheds like crazy,” mentioned one of our colleagues in a conversation earlier this week, “He loves that dog but I can’t even stand petting it. Its fur just sheds all over the place. It’s on everything. And when I leave his house, it’s all over me! I just don’t know how he lives like that.”

What makes pet dander such a big deal?

A house full of dog hair is much more than an unsightly mess. It’s also a cause for concern as far as our breathing is concerned. It should be noted, however, that pet fur and dander aren’t the same thing. As Hamilton, Ontario’s Clean Air Solutions explains, dander is small particles of dead skin that falls off our pets. And they are known allergens.

“Pet allergens (dander, mite waste, etc.) can cause numerous respiratory problems,” informs their site, “The most common problem associated with pet dander is asthma. Occasionally, allergens can cause skin conditions such as eczema. Many people have mild allergic reactions to pet dander, but others can have life threatening complications.”

How can pet-friendly homes be made allergen-free?

To minimize the frequency of allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in your pet-friendly home, it will be important to adopt neat freak-like tendencies. Naturally, regularly cleaning will help. This includes vacuuming areas where your pet likes to hang out and removing excess dander and hair from your sofas and even your clothing. Be sure to dust and wipe furniture and other surfaces as well. And, of course, you’ll want to keep your pet as clean as possible.

“Maintaining a regular grooming schedule for your pets helps reduce dander in your home,” advises JD’s A/C in Longview, Texas, “Bath your pets every week or two, and brush them at least once every other day. You can also use special cat dander wipes to remove dander from your cat. When you groom your pet, you’ll remove much of the dander from its coat as well as loose hair that can circulate through your home and worsen your air quality.”

Where can pet dander be found?

Pet hair and dander can literally be found everywhere. We’re talking about under the sofa and chair cushions, in your bedding and underneath the beds, inside of closets, along the baseboards, in air ducts and even in the cracks and crevices of your flooring and walls.

If you or anyone else in your home suffers from allergies or your notice your guests are having breathing issues, it’s best to get your home’s air quality tested. The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team offers Air Quality Services, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca to find out how to take advantage of them!

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Preventing Your Allergies From Acting Up This Spring

It’s official! Spring is here! Well, technically speaking, the start of the spring season gets underway at 3:58 p.m. Mountain Time today. With a high somewhere around the 15 degrees Celsius mark in Calgary today, the signs of spring have already arrived! For most Canadians, this is amazing news. For many others, however, it’s the beginning of a nightmare.

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? If so, you’re likely part of the latter “nightmare” group. Dust, pollen, ragweed and a myriad of other allergy irritants are known for rearing their ugly heads when the springtime rolls around. As a result, many allergy sufferers feel forced to resort to a variety of medications and changes to their daily routines. If this sounds like you, bear in mind that there are a number of ways to prevent your allergies from acting up this spring.

Add alternative remedies to your medications.

If you’re not particularly a big fan of taking meds, you’re not alone. Each and every day, more Canadians adopt natural remedies for their illnesses. Such solutions are often as simple as making dietary changes. So, while many of your prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines may be necessary to help you battle your allergies, Reader’s Digest suggests that you add some alternative remedies to your allergy-fighting routines.

As their website informs, “the following alternative remedies, when paired with your regular antihistamine, may relieve allergy symptoms: a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement that includes magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and all the B vitamins; a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea each night before bed; or a daily dose of echinacea taken two weeks on, two weeks off.”

Discover your town’s pollen count.

If you’re one of the many Canadians who suffer from allergic reactions to pollen, it’s important that you become aware of the pollen count in your area. On VeryWellHealth.com, Dr. Daniel More informs readers about pollen counts and explains how they are obtained.

“Most pollen counters are placed on the tops of buildings, where they collect air samples through various methods,” he explains, “The pollen in the air lands on some type of surface, such as a glass microscope slide that has been coated with petroleum jelly. A person trained in pollen identification examines the slide under a microscope, and the amounts of different types of pollen are counted.”

Change your air conditioning filters.

Over the course of winter, it is likely your air conditioner stayed dormant. As a result, it is also likely that it accumulated a lot of dust. Before you fire up the air conditioning on a particularly warm day, be sure to clean or change your AC’s filters. The last thing you want is to spread all of that accumulated dust throughout your home.

“It’s important to change filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 12,” advises Reader’s Digest, “A MERV rating tells you how well the filter can remove pollen and mould from the air as it passes through.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team is committed to helping you prevent your allergies from acting up this spring. 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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Do The Right Thing: Bring The Outdoors Inside This Spring!

We’re only a week away now! Wednesday, March 20th marks the official start of the spring season. Throngs of Canadians nationwide are rejoicing at the fact that the frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall of winter will soon be behind us. Not only will we be able to enjoy the outdoors more often, we’ll be able to enjoy the indoors a lot more as well!

Although we have championed the act of cracking the windows throughout the winter many times on this blog, we’re well aware that most Canadians keep their homes fully shut when it’s cold. It’s hard to blame those who simply wish to keep warm and toasty in the winter. However, the lack of ventilation, during the coldest months of the year, make for homes rife with stale and stagnant air.

Proper ventilation is a key to improved indoor air quality.

When the spring arrives, keeping the windows open will be a lot easier to tolerate. Bringing the outdoors inside by way of allowing the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside will help everyone in your home to breathe easier. Sarasota, Florida’s Aqua Plumbing & Air reminds us that proper ventilation of the home also comes by way of always using your exhaust fans.

“Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms have exhaust fans to remove excess moisture, unpleasant odours, and pollutants,” advises their website, “An energy recovery ventilation system can also save energy by cooling warm air as it comes into your home in spring and summer. These ventilators work like heat pumps, transferring heat to the outgoing cool air. They also dilute concentrations of contaminants in your home and increase your comfort.”

Houseplants can filter out air pollutants.

Another way to bring the outdoors inside is to literally take plants from outside and bring them into your home. Purchasing houseplants is an excellent idea if you’re looking to purify the air you breathe while at home. Plants are known to rid the air of harmful pollutants. As Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical reminds us, a NASA study confirmed that several types of houseplants have air purifying qualities.

“Houseplants are visually uplifting, while also working to filter out air pollutants,” states the site, “According to NASA’s Clean Air Study on this matter, titled Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement, you can achieve noticeable air purification by placing greenery every 100 square feet within any given space.”

Clean green.

When dusting your furniture, mopping your floors or even spraying the bathroom to improve its smell, stay away from chemical-based cleansers. The volatile organic compounds in many cleaning products only serve as irritants to our respiratory systems. A clean smell doesn’t actually represent a clean environment. Another way to bring the outdoors in is to use natural products to clean.

“When it comes to cleaning products, fragrance = chemicals,” reports Hiller, “In fact, that pine or citrus fresh scent we’ve come to associate with a clean home is actually just a mask for the chemicals and bacterial transfer underneath. Opt for fragrance-free or unscented products. The last thing you want is to unknowingly pollute the air with the petroleum-based chemicals in the very products you’re using to clean with!”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you enjoy the best possible indoor air quality this spring. 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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How The Transition From Winter To Spring Can Impact Indoor Air Quality

Congratulations Canada! We’re almost there. In exactly two weeks, the spring season will officially be upon us. And while it’s true that winter-like weather conditions may persist well into April, there’s no question that we’re a lot closer to experiencing a return to warmer days. When the spring finally arrives, expect there to be a lot more people venturing outdoors. But what will that mean for the air inside our homes?

Is there an impact on indoor air quality when winter transitions into spring?

According to 1Source Safety and Health, Inc., people with allergies quite often have their symptoms triggered when the spring arrives. In their report entitled “Impact of Outdoor Seasonal Changes on Indoor Air Quality”, they note that outdoor contaminants are at their lowest levels during the winter. That’s because the frozen snow-covered ground combined with relatively low humidity levels tend to keep mould spores and other air pollutants at bay.

However, “dust, mould, temperature and humidity begin to increase during the spring months (March, April,  and  May),” reads the report, “ As  pollen,  mould  and  dust  concentrations  increase,  so  do  the  associated  symptoms. Interestingly, these symptoms, which also occur outside of the workplace, carry over into  an  employee’s  work  shift  and  are  often  incorrectly  associated  with  exposure  within  the  workplace.”  

Pollen and dust are major culprits for allergy symptoms.

Chances are, the windows of your home are bound to be open a lot more often during the spring than they were in the winter. With the warmer weather enabling pollen and dust to better enter our air space, it’s inevitable that some of it will enter our homes. Cincinnati’s Hader Solutions warns that it’s best to keep windows shut or not open too wide when there is a pollen alert. Your local weather station should be able to inform you if one is in effect.

As well, their website details how winter is the season of dust accumulation in the home, while spring enables it all to become airborne. “Because of improper ventilation during the colder months, dust can settle into vents, registers, and eventually ductwork, making it close to impossible to rid your home of these irritating pollutants,” says Hader Solutions.

Watch out for all that snow melt!

What’s one of the biggest differences between winter and spring? Snowfall! All of the snow that winter brings ends up melting during the spring. And melted snow on your rooftop can lead to water leaking into your home. As you’re likely aware, water is the main culprit in the development of mould. It’s important to prevent any leak sources in your home.

“Prevent water from entering your home by making sure there are no cracks or gaps on your roof or foundation where water could easily enter,” Hader Solutions advises, “Standing water in your home can cause mould, which can be detrimental to indoor air quality. If you suspect any mould in your home, call an expert immediately to remove it.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you ensure that your home enjoys the best possible indoor air quality this spring. 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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