Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. Blog are well aware of our insistence on maintaining high indoor air quality. Our penchant for doling out tips and advice that will help for your home to be a safer place to live exists with good reason. The air we breathe, quite obviously, has a huge impact on our health. The cleaner it is, the better our lives will be. It’s really that simple. However, keeping the air in our homes is a lot less simple than most of us believe.
Take, for example, the cleaning products most of us use. We assume that because we are dusting, polishing and mopping, we are keeping our homes free of respiratory irritants and health hazards. Many of those cleaning products, however, contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are themselves contributing to the health hazards we are trying to avoid.
This is especially important given the news that recently came out via Lancet. As Jen St. Denis reports on MetroNews.ca, the medical journal commissioned a study that concluded that pollution causes 16 percent of all deaths around the world. The study, she notes, is the first to analyze together the impact of air, water and soil pollution.
“Examples of pollution include air pollution from vehicle exhaust and exposure to solvents, pesticides and lead,” informs St. Denis, “The social costs include the long-term effects of exposure, such as the long-term cognitive problems associated with lead poisoning.” She goes on to note, however, that the study provides hope. At least, this is the impression received by one of the study’s authors, Bruce Lanphear – a health sciences professor with Simon Fraser University.
“What’s so exciting about studying things like pollution is that it’s entirely preventable,” he is quoted as saying, “Pollution is man-made, we know how to control it. That contrasts with other potential causes that haven’t been fully fleshed out.” A perfect example of a preventable disease, lists St. Denis, is childhood leukemia. It’s known to be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or pollutants. Naturally, taking steps to significantly decrease or eliminate exposure would help to save lives.
In fact, 92 percent of all deaths caused by pollution take place in poorer nations. Canada, argues Lanphear, should not have its citizens at risk of dying due to pollution-related causes. As well, our nation should be doing its part to help other nations by not exporting toxic substances such as asbestos or lead-based paint.
“Because exposure to pollution is such a serious health risk, it’s important that all levels of government adopt policies to reduce pollution,” says St. Denis, “Lanphear pointed to Vancouver’s commitment to have 75 per cent of city trips completed by biking, walking or public transit by 2040 as an important goal.”
It’s no secret that DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. is on board with keeping Canada as pollution free as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how our Air Quality Services can make your home a safer environment! Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
We’re going to be completely honest here. We know carpets are comfy. They’re soft, warm and quite cozy to lie down on. We understand those who feel that their homes are much more comfortable places to live if they incorporate wall-to-wall carpeting. But, if we’re going to be completely honest, we have to say – it just isn’t worth it. The health hazards presented by carpeting are too many to keep it installed all over the house.
The first and, perhaps, most obvious reason to remove the carpeting in your home is to help allergy sufferers run much lower risks of experiencing their symptoms. It’s likely no surprise to you that carpets are havens for dust and other allergens. Simply take a look at your vacuum cleaner canister or bag, if you don’t believe us. Columbus, Ohio-based Scott Hall Remodeling explains that removing carpet is a to-do list topper for those with allergies.
“This can be especially true in the basement area,” they note on their website, “Carpets can often collect allergens that you can’t see, along with those you can, such as pet hair. If anyone in your family has allergies, this may be a good reason to remove the carpets in your basement. This is especially true if that person spends a good amount of time in the basement.”
Not surprisingly, the older your carpets are, the more likely they are to contain allergens. Naturally, one of the top reasons to replace or remove your carpeting is because it’s simply too old. “Often, older carpets catch and retain more allergens and particulate matter, which may cause your allergies to act up,” says Lacey Nix on AngiesList.com, “If you notice an increase in allergies, one source may be your older carpet.”
Carpets don’t just impact the health of allergy sufferers because of the dust, crumbs, pet dander and other particles that may fall onto it and get trapped. Carpets are also known for holding in moisture. As a result, mould can form in the floor underneath the carpet without you being able to detect it. Mould spores, of course, are also hazardous to our health. And those with respiratory issues are the first to notice.
This is why Scott Hall Remodeling advocates for the removal of wall-to-wall carpeting in the basement. The basement, they point out, is susceptible to more moisture than the rest of the house. “While this isn’t always the case, it’s something to look into,” reads their site, “Excess moisture can cause water damage and mould buildup in carpets and you may not readily see it on the surface.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are dedicated to helping you avoid the many health hazards that come with having carpet in your home. We offer Air Quality Services, Moisture Monitoring Services and Mould Assessment Services, among many others, to ensure that you enjoy the best possible indoor air quality.
For more information about any and all of our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadians are prone to cracking the windows in the summertime. Obviously, right? With the warmth and sunshine so prevalent during the summer, it only makes sense to let some of the fresh, warm air from outside circulate with the otherwise stagnant, stale air from inside. But now that the fall is in full swing, Canadians are prone to keeping their windows shut. Considering the much cooler temperatures, that would make sense right?
It’s what can happen when we keep our windows closed all the time. Known as SBS for short, sick building syndrome refers to the health issues that may arise when we keep ourselves locked in tightly sealed spaces with little ventilation. In a special to the National Post, Mike Holmes of “Holmes On Homes” fame explains that there are a number of symptoms that people experience when they keep themselves cooped up.
Headaches, dizziness and nausea are among them. “Not only can keeping openings closed cause condensation issues inside your house (i.e. weeping windows), which we know can lead to mould, it also allows toxins already inside the home to build up,” writes Holmes, “That includes volatile organic compounds, mould spores, dust, smoke, radon, viruses and bacteria. Breathing these in over an extended period of time isn’t good for your health.”
When we keep our windows closed, we trap air pollutants in our home. By opening the windows, we let them out. It’s really that simple. And yes, even during the colder months of the year, it’s wise to crack the windows to allow for that healthy circulation of air to take place. Of course, you don’t have to keep the windows open all day long. On MindBodyGreen.com, it’s explained that only a few minutes a day are necessary.
“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,” says the website, “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.”
Holmes believes that cracking the windows is an activity that shouldn’t be limited to the summer or fall. He advocates for the opening of windows during the ever-frigid wintertime too. “You don’t need to do this for hours; 15 to 20 minutes is enough to make a difference,” he points out, “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.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we regularly champion any act that will help to improve indoor air quality. And while we agree that opening your windows each day, throughout the year, is a good idea, we know that there is more that can be done. And we’d like to do it for you!
Contact us to today to learn about our Air Quality Services. Call 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
This Friday marks the official start of the fall season. And, for most Canadians, that means the official start of the “stay at home more often” season. It’s not at all surprising that we tend to enjoy the great outdoors on a more regular basis when it’s warm and sunny outside. It’s also pretty commonplace to keep the windows open, when at home, to enjoy the warm fresh air from outside.
Come fall, these practices change. We tend to stay indoors to avoid chilly temperatures and we usually keep the windows shut to keep all of that chilliness outside.
As you may have guessed, it means that the air inside your home is more prone to having its quality lowered. By virtue of the fact that we’re inside the home more often and we’re generally keeping the air inside trapped, it stands to reason that it’s going to be of a lesser quality. In other words, we’re more likely to make ourselves sick during the colder months of the year, in part, by keeping ourselves cooped up.
One thing is for sure – it’s important to keep your home clean. This is important all year round, but during the time of year when you’re less likely to let fresh air inside the home, it’s best to become a neat freak. This will minimize the accumulation of dust and other respiratory system enemies. GetCold.net reminds us not to forget those often-overlooked areas where dust collects in abundance.
“Use a damp cloth to wipe any dust away from ceiling fans, air registers, and kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans,” the site instructs, “You should also look inside your ductwork. 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.”
Remember that they help to rid your home’s air of particles – and those particles build up. Without cleaning or changing them regularly, they aren’t of much use to you.
“When air filters are dirty, they aren’t as effective, which means that more particles will be in the air that you and your loved ones breathe,” says SeaCoastAir.com, “Make sure to change the air filter each month before it becomes saturated with dust and other particles.”
As you may have guessed, we’re only scratching the surface here. There are numerous other ways to ensure the high quality of the air inside your home during the fall. However, we would argue that there are none better than securing the services of DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Our Air Quality Services are made up of inspections that target areas of concern to ensure the best possible living environment for your family all year round.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most Canadians can admit that they spend far too much time indoors. Then again, it’s hard to blame those of us who choose to stay inside for the majority of the coldest months of the year. Summertime, however, offers us many amazing opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The warmth and sunshine make spending time outside as inviting as it gets!
Of course, there will be plenty of time spent indoors during the summer as well. After all, we do have to hit the hay at some point, right? It wise, then, to invite some of the outdoors inside by keeping the windows open. Yes, we’ve recommended this practice during the wintertime in order to get the air in your homes circulating and renewing itself with the fresh air from outside. But, opening the windows in the winter should only be done for short intervals of time.
During the summer, however, the warm temperatures practically give us no excuse to not keep the windows wide open all day long. As you may have guessed, the health benefits are many. One of the most obvious is the release of air pollutants. On PhantomScreens.com, Esther de Wolde reminds us that much of our indoor activities can produce air pollutants. This includes the acts of dusting, cleaning and painting.
“Some paints contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which can be harmful to health,” she explains, “And other delightful things like dust mites can cause asthma. So it may be a bit obvious but opening your home to the outside can clear out the nasties.”
On MindBodyGreen.com, James Maskell agrees that keeping the windows open is a healthful practice. He advocates the open window policy, however, for a pretty unique reason. Maskell explains that the human microbiome (the bugs that live inside us that aid in digestion, metabolism and immunity) is important for our overall health. Opening windows, he argues, helps to build the human microbiome.
“For most of human history, the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature,” he explains, “Yet modern humans spend a whopping 93% of their lives indoors, inside buildings or vehicles. Opening a window and increasing natural airflow has been shown to improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit everyone inside.”
Another reason to keep the windows open during the summer: the circulation of air in your home also helps to prevent condensation and mould growth. “Damp window frames, condensation on your windows and worst of all: black mould,” says De Wolde, “Without adequate ventilation your home becomes a steamy box of germs. Nasty. Open the windows and get the air flowing through your home to stop the damp.”
The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. supports the act of keeping windows open during the summer. We also are committed to helping improve the quality of air in your home via our Air Quality Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
When it comes to maintaining good health, everyone seems to have their own opinions. While you’re not likely to come across anyone who suggests that exercising and eating nutritious foods is a bad idea, it is not uncommon to hear people suggest that you do “everything in moderation”. It’s debatable as to whether or not certain foods are safe to eat “sometimes”. But when it comes to one bad habit, in particular, there is no question that complete abstinence is the only path to better health.
Cigarette smoking is horrible for you. We’re not sure if there’s any simpler way to put it. Even most smokers themselves will admit that it’s a nasty habit that offers absolutely no health benefits. Most people also know that you don’t even have to be a smoker in order to be negatively impacted by cigarette smoke. Both secondhand smoke (exhaled by smokers) and thirdhand smoke (the lingering smells attached to surfaces) are known to cause poor health.
When it comes to indoor air quality, there is no enemy worse than cigarette smoke. It impacts both the smoker and the people around the smoker. Quitting, it should be no surprise to discover, is one of the best things a person can do for his/her own health and the health of his/her family and friends. Here are three crazy ways to kick that nasty habit:
Not everyone believes in hypnosis. Many regard it as a cheesy form of entertainment. This might be true when it comes to certain hypnotist acts who perform live on stage. But research has shown that hypnotherapy can actually help for smokers to lose their urges to light up.
“A 2007 study, for example, found that hospitalized patients who smoked were more likely to quit when they used hypnotherapy than when they tried other methods like nicotine replacement therapy or cold turkey,” reports Kevin Gianni on RenegadeHealth.com, “Another study in 2008 combined hypnosis with nicotine replacement patches and found success.”
Is money a motivating factor for you? If so, you may want to visually understand just how much money you can be saving if you were to stop spending it on cigarettes. Each time you plan on buying a pack of cigarettes, put the amount of money your pack would cost you in a jar. Clearly, it will accumulate. Plan on doing something special with all of that money you save!
If you’re the competitive type, you may care more about showing up friends and members of your family by challenging them to a quitting contest. Who can quit first? Who can stay off cigarettes the longest? If there are other smokers who you can challenge, your path to quitting may be made easier. If there are no smokers within your circle, perhaps you can make a bet of some kind.
“If you’re the type who responds to peer pressure, get your friends involved,” suggests Gianni, “Make a bet that you can do it, with a nice, juicy reward at the end. Or agree to pay your friends a hefty amount if you fail.”
When you think about it, these nasty habit-kicking solutions aren’t so crazy at all. What is crazy is continuing to be a cigarette smoker! What is does to your lungs and the air around you is simply lethal.
The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. not only supports you in your quest to quit smoking, but promotes the improvement of the quality of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dusting – it’s one of those household chores that many of us are guilty of putting off for weeks at a time. After all, it’s just dust, right? Harmless little specks that accumulate on our furniture and other belongings that do nothing more than make the place look a little bit more drab than usual.
We’ll just go ahead and stop with the misnomer there. Dust is so much more than harmless little particles!
“Dust is the collective term used to describe the wide variety of organic and inorganic particles that collect in our homes,” explains SixWise.com, “Here’s an unpleasant thought: The majority of dust is made up from shed skin cells. That’s why the areas of your home that are used most often also tend to have the most dust. (Dust mites like to eat these skin cells.) Dust on mattresses, bedding and sofas will contain a particularly large amount of skin cells.”
Although dust mites are so miniscule that they are invisible to the naked eye, these little critters live in our bed linens and mattresses along with other places in your home where you shed your skin. Your skin flakes make up their favourite meals. And when they leave behind waste, you are forced to endure a major allergen. People with allergies and respiratory illnesses such as asthma face a much greater risk of suffering from symptoms the dustier their homes are.
“When dust mite waste is inhaled, people can develop a number of nasty symptoms,” explains Jill Buchner on CanadianLiving.com, “Those with allergies might develop itchy eyes, a runny nose or sneezing, particularly when they first wake up, since the bed is a major site of exposure… Asthma sufferers might also experience wheezing or shortness of breath. About 50 percent of asthma sufferers will find they react to mites.”
One way to minimize dust, and more specifically the presence of dust mites, is to regularly wash your bed sheets in hot water. It’s advisable to keep the same sheets on your bed for no more than a week. Secondly, it’s a good idea to remove the carpeting from your home, especially if you’re an asthma sufferer. The easier you make it to remove dust that accumulates in your home, the better your health will be.
And then there’s the obvious solution. Let’s put it this way: becoming a neat freak is good for your health! Make dusting and vacuuming a regular activity in your home and try not to forget all of its nooks and crannies. “Microfiber materials collect dust much better than other dusting cloths or materials,” informs The Cleaning Blog, “Go over hard surfaces, light fixtures, shelves, books, desks, knick-knacks, everything from top to bottom until the dust is gone.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd, we strongly believe in giving people the opportunity to enjoy the best indoor air quality possible. Contact us today to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Most Canadians are counting down the days until the official start of summer. With under a month left, most of us are looking forward to the time of year when we can enjoy regular warmth and sunshine. We also anticipate the ability to keep our windows open more often to allow for the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stagnant air from inside – a practice much harder to do during the winter, for obvious reasons.
However, keeping the windows open isn’t the only thing we should do to improve indoor air quality this summer. In fact, keeping the windows open isn’t even recommended on particularly hot days when it is humid. This is especially true for allergy sufferers. So if keeping an open window isn’t the only answer to cleaner indoor air, what else can we do to improve indoor air quality this summer?
Here are three simple ideas:
Yes, there will be days when the heat may just be too unbearable to keep your windows open. And while air conditioners can work wonders in helping us to beat the heat, it’s important to remember that a lot of debris can get trapped within them. Checking your air filters and ridding it of build up will help to ensure that the cool air circulating in your home isn’t polluted.
“Air conditioner filters (whether in a central-air system or a window unit) trap a lot of the junk that comes in from the outside—pollen, smoke, smog, and dirt—but they also filter out dust, dust mites, and pet dander that builds up in recirculated indoor air,” explains Emily Main of Rodale’s Organic Life, “Check your system’s filter once a month and either change it or clean it, depending on the type.”
If this rule hasn’t been fully implemented already, allow us to firmly reiterate that cigarette smoking should be outlawed in your home – all year round. Just a couple of weeks ago, we blogged about the fact that the harmful effects of cigarettes can remain in your home long after the smoker is done with his/her nasty habit. If you have smokers in your home, remind them that the summertime is the perfect time of year to smoke outdoors!
When we think of summer, we often think of bugs. And yes, they’re bound to creep into our homes. Generally speaking, bug sprays are considered the answers to pest control. But, it should come as no surprise to you that such products contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact our health. Main highly recommends that you control bugs with boric acid.
“Rather than reach for that smelly ant spray, which likely contains pyrethrins that have been found to trigger headaches, nausea, and asthma attacks, use a less-toxic product like boric acid, which isn’t harmful unless eaten or directly inhaled,” she advises, “Better still, use ‘integrated pest management’ techniques, such as caulking cracks where bugs enter, keeping trash bins tightly covered, and storing food in the pantry in airtight containers rather than the box or bag in which it was sold.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly recommend our Air Quality Services to help you enjoy the highest indoor air quality possible this summer. They focus on problem areas in your home that may be presenting health hazards to your family and its visitors. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve recently quit smoking, allow us to offer you some sincere and hearty congratulations! We don’t need to tell you how detrimental cigarette smoking is to your health. We probably also don’t need to tell you how harmful the effects of smoking are on people who don’t even smoke.
Secondhand smoke has been proven to cause just as deadly diseases as smoking itself. Having quit smoking, you’re helping to save the lives of the people you love – not just yourself. However, there is a problem that your former nasty habit has left behind.
Believe it or not, thirdhand smoke (nicotine residue that sticks to surfaces) can also create numerous respiratory illnesses in addition to irritating our senses of smell. It’s important that if you or anyone else has smoked cigarettes in your home, you perform some maintenance work in order to fully eradicate the health hazards associated with the bad habit.
On TheSpruce.com, Diane Schmidt insists that you clean everything! We’re talking the walls, ceilings, carpets, floors, doors, drapes, blinds, windows and mirrors. To completely remove both the smell and harmful effects of cigarette smoke from your home, you literally can’t leave any surfaced untouched. It sounds overwhelming. However, you can get quite a jump on effectively removing the smell of cigarettes from your home simply by opening the windows.
“Fresh air is your friend so open all windows,” advises Schmidt, “Get as much fresh air into your home as possible. While this won’t get rid of the smell, it’ll help. Also, set bowls of white vinegar around your home, at least one per room (depending on the room size). Just make sure small children and pets are safe.”
Well, let’s put it this way. If fresh air is your friend, then vinegar is your best friend when it comes to eliminating that nasty smoky smell. A natural cleanser, vinegar can be used to clean both the surfaces in your home and all of the fabrics within it. On QuickAndDirtyTips.com, Amanda Thomas offers up a simple, yet comprehensive way to deodorize your household fabrics.
“While it might not necessarily be practical, or possible, to remove all the fabric from your home (a couch can be a beast to move to the patio!), do remove all the fabric items you can from the smelly room,” she instructs, “This includes any pillows, bedding, blankets, and curtains. If you have a large washing machine, you can throw all these through a cold wash cycle with 2 cups of vinegar added to the load.”
It may be necessary to get an air purifier. As Jeff Flowers tells us on AllergyAndAir.com, “these purification systems work by pulling indoor air into their them, cleaning it, and then circulating it back into the room…This is by far the most effective way to cleanse your indoor air of cigarette smoke, as well as many other airborne toxins.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend our Air Quality Services in order to help you enjoy the highest indoor air quality possible. Our inspection processes focus on problem areas that may be presenting health hazards to your family and other visitors to the home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
There is a growing trend emerging in homes all across Canada. And that is to rip up carpets and have them replaced with hardwood floors. The commonplace thinking behind this trend is that hardwood floors provide more desirable and even sophisticated appearances to living spaces. Further to that, homeowners feel that hardwood floors increase the value of their homes.
And there are those who believe that hardwood floors are easier to keep clean than carpets. This is especially true in the event of spills. These people wouldn’t be wrong. In fact, the concept of cleanliness is one that speaks to a larger issue: the health of Canadians nationwide. It can be stated with confidence that the less carpet you have in your home, the more likely you will be to avoid numerous health concerns. Sufferers of asthma and other allergies know this all too well. Simply put, carpet is a breeding ground for allergens and other allergy-triggering irritants.
“When you vacuum, you’re not simply cleaning your house or apartment for appearance’s sake, you’re also safeguarding the health of yourself and your family,” insists Jason Roberts on VacuumsGuide.com, “There are dozens of tiny microbes constantly floating around, which can cause a lot of problems for people with asthma and inhalant-related allergies such as hay fever. Dust mites, bacteria, and mould attack an asthma sufferer’s respiratory system, making them wheeze, have difficulty breathing, and cough violently at night.”
Roberts also provides an infographic that offers up ten different reasons why we should all be vacuuming our homes at least once a week. Topping the list is the fact that we all shed millions of skin cells by the hour. They accumulate in our carpets and rugs, creating environments that are rife with dangerous microorganisms.
Because of this, experts often recommend taking vacuuming practices a step further. On FullHouseCS.ca, A.J. Pipkin discusses the importance of installing a quality HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner. “Dirt, hair and dust particles can trigger the onset of allergy symptoms if there is a large amount of dust mites in your home carpets or in the air,” he points out, “Not vacuum cleaning regularly will cause those in your home to be unprotected from allergies and asthma symptoms.”
Regular vacuuming is an even more essential requirement for smokers. It’s important to note that the reality of “thirdhand smoke” can impact the health of non-smokers who enter environments where a smoker had previously lit up. Roberts’ infographic reveals that carcinogens and other substances from cigarettes can “impregnate” carpets, rugs and upholstery. This has the ability to increase the risk of cancer in both children and pets.
And, by the way, it’s time to do away with the so-called “five second rule” that many people practice towards dropped food. When people drop food on the floor, it should be recognized as immediately contaminated. The infographic explains that our floors carry Salmonella, E-coli and other viruses that have the potential to wreak havoc on our digestive systems. This provides all the more reason to regularly vacuum our floors, regardless if they are carpeted or not.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know the importance of keeping a clean home. Our Air Quality Services focus on problem areas that may be presenting health hazards to your family and other visitors to the home. For more information on how we can help you to live in a healthier environment, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.