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Air Quality Services

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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The Importance Of Avoiding Secondhand Smoke At All Costs

In a recent conversation with a colleague, we received some insight into what it’s like to live with asthma. This isn’t to say we weren’t already aware of the dangers of smoking for asthmatics. After all, cigarettes are deadly for all of us. But after hearing our friend speak of his experiences with breathing issues related to cigarette smoke, we felt it necessary to communicate how important it is for us all to avoid secondhand smoke at all costs.

“I can’t even smell it,” our colleague informed us, “If you go outside to smoke and come back in and I smell it on you, I’ll start coughing. It’s unbearable. I literally don’t know how people do it. You couldn’t get me to smoke a cigarette for a million dollars. I’d literally die before I finished it.”

What can non-smokers do to avoid secondhand smoke?

“Put all of your friends who are smokers on alert,” says our colleague, “If my friends plan on lighting up, they make sure to do so away from me. To be honest, I don’t ever have them over to my home because I just can’t have smoke anywhere around me. And when I visit them, they always go outside. Believe me, I appreciate it.”

It’s important to point out that our asthmatic friend doesn’t have the breathing issues he had when he as a child. As a kid, he experienced wheezing and coughing fits due to such irritants as pollen and ragweed. His last major asthma attack took place during a camping trip in Grade 4. However, as an adult, his asthma is all but gone. That is, of course, unless he smells smoke.

You don’t have to be asthmatic for secondhand smoke to impact you.

“Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year,” reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.”

The Monday Campaigns is a global movement backed by leading public health schools that dedicates the first day of every week to health. On their website, they point out that secondhand smoke releases more than 7,000 harmful chemicals into the air. To reiterate, cigarette smoke is dangerous for all us, not just those with respiratory issues.

Keep your home strictly smoke-free.

If you’re a non-smoker trying to avoid secondhand smoke, there is no simpler advice. Keep cigarette smoke out of your home. As our colleague mentioned, he won’t even let someone who has recently smoked a cigarette to enter his home. While this may seem harsh for some people, it’s a necessity if you wish to completely avoid the health hazards associated with cigarette smoking.

Kentucky’s St. Elizabeth Healthcare encourages people to ask their friends not to smoke around them. “It may be an awkward conversation at first, but it’s important to help your friend understand that while you love spending time together, you can’t be around him when he smokes,” they say on their website, “Be caring and understanding, but be firm.”

Unquestionably, a smoke-free home will vastly improve its indoor air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you take things a step further. 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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3 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality Throughout The Winter Months

February is here. And while there are claims that the recent Groundhog Day forecast an early spring, most Canadians are well aware that we still have a ways to go before we’ll be enjoying hot and sunny weather. As a result, most will keep their doors and windows firmly shut in order to keep the cold from entering their homes. But, as we pointed out in our last blog, ensuring a high quality of air in the home requires the cracking of the windows every now and again.

There are, of course, a number of other ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality throughout the winter months. Here are three:

1. Vacuum with vigour.

Keeping your floors clean is an especially important winter task. Especially when your windows are closed for most of the day, there is little to no escape for dust and other air pollutants. By vacuuming your carpets and keeping them as dust-free as possible, you’ll help to alleviate some of the irritants to your lungs that may be in the air. As Florida’s The Alternative Daily reminds us, carpets notoriously trap indoor pollutants of all types.

“To keep them clean, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter once a week, and consider steam cleaning every couple of months,” reads their website, “Investing in your own steam cleaner is wise, as professional carpet cleaning services often use harsh chemicals which can make your air even more toxic. If you steam clean yourself, you can choose to use a mixture of white vinegar and hot water to get the job done.”

2. Freshen up your filters.

To reiterate, most homes are kept shut all winter long. As a result, they depend more on their air filters to purify the air than they do the circulation of fresh air from outside. It’s important to remember that air filters can quickly get clogged up with dust and other air pollutants. Not cleaning them or changing them regularly can result in having those pollutants circulate back into the home.

“Dirty air filters are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality,” informs Wisconsin’s Titan Air, “Check your filters regularly and change them as needed. Make sure that when they are installed, filters are secured tightly to avoid gaps between the filter frame and rack. This reduces bypass air, which can harm indoor air quality by allowing breathable particles to pass through without being filtered.”

3. Hook up some houseplants.

Back in December, we blogged about what great holiday gifts houseplants make. Their air-purifying ways make up some of the easiest ways to reduce air pollutants in your home. Houseplants provide such effortless solutions to poor indoor air quality. Just plop them down or hang them up and your job is done! As The Alternative Daily confirms, houseplants are known to filter air pollutants from our living environments.

“Azaleas and English ivy do well in cooler temperatures, and Chinese evergreens and bamboo palms thrive in the shade,” notes the site, “Aloe vera and chrysanthemums are two other great choices, however they require direct sunlight. Spider plants are a resilient and popular choice for first-time plant owners.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we don’t sell houseplants, but we do still offer you ways to ensure the purity of the air inside 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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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.

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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.

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Helping You To Breathe Easy This Holiday Season

With Christmas Day now less than a week away, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that this holiday season will be your most joyous one yet. As well, we hope that the new year will be your healthiest one ever! Of course, if there’s anything we can do to help with that, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

As you’re well aware, the DF Technical &Consulting Services Ltd. is committed to restoring the purity of the air in your home or office space. Through the many different services we provide, we make it our mission to provide our clients with the absolute highest of indoor air quality. The quality of the air you breathe should never be taken for granted. Naturally, we need air to live. And breathing in pollutant filled-air is no way to live.

Asthma and COPD impacts millions of Canadians.

“In Canada, 3.8 million people over the age of one are living with asthma and 2.0 million are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both of which can impact a person’s ability to breathe,” reports the Government of Canada, “Individuals living with asthma or COPD may experience impaired participation in daily life, school, work, and social activities.”

Quite obviously, it’s important that we all take steps to ensure the air we’re breathing is as pure as possible. This involves simple steps like cracking the windows open for a bit each day. That way, we circulate the stagnant and stale air from inside with the fresher air from outside. And yes, as we’ve pointed out in many past blogs, this is something that should be done in the wintertime.

Put “quit smoking” on your list of New Year’s Resolutions.

“Tobacco smoking, including second hand or passive exposure, is the single largest threat to lung health in Canada,” the Government of Canada reveals, “However, it is one of the most modifiable risk factors…According to the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS), smoking rates are at their lowest ever. The proportion of Canadians who are current smokers is down from 21.7% in 2001 to 14.6% in 2013.”

Unquestionably, you can vastly improve your home’s indoor air quality by completely removing any possibility of cigarette smoke existing within it. As we’ve also addressed in numerous blogs of past, cigarette smoke can have fatal consequences for anyone who is exposed to it –non-smokers included.

Be sure to take advantage of our services in the new year!

As mentioned, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re very proud to offer an array of services that all work to improve the air you breathe. They include Air Quality Services which maximize the inspection process to target areas of concern, Moisture Monitoring Services which evaluate buildings for moisture sources and Radon Services which help to detect traces of the colourless, odourless gas.

For more information about any and all of our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca. Happy Holidays!

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Why A Houseplant Would Make The Perfect Holiday Gift

We all now have less than two weeks to complete our Christmas shopping! While many of us may have already checked off everything on our shopping lists, there are so many more of us who still have special people in our lives to buy gifts for. It’s a wondrous time of year…but it’s an expensive one as well! It can also be frustrating when getting stumped for what to buy for our loved ones.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we consider the houseplant to be part of a special “can’t go wrong” category of gifts. While not everyone is necessarily a fan of houseplants, they have been proven to provide both elegance to any room and, more importantly, health benefits to anyone in their vicinity.

Houseplants are known air purifiers.

As Elizabeth Palermo explains on LiveScience.com, studies conducted by a number of institutions including NASA, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Georgia concluded that plants are great at absorbing potentially harmful gases through the pores on the surfaces of their leaves. While this ability is necessary for the photosynthesis process, it also helps to improve the air we breathe.

“Scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that plants can absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs),”reveals Palermo, “Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent,fabric softener and carpet cleaner) are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate.”

Air pollutants are linked to numerous respiratory illnesses.

Palermo goes on to note that VOCs and other indoor air pollutants are linked to such conditions as asthma and nausea as well as chronic diseases such as cancer. When adding a houseplant to your living environment,you allow for it to remove harmful compounds from the air.

Among the plants that are the most useful in removing VOCs from the air are Japanese royal ferns, spider plants, Boston ferns, purple waffle plants, English Ivy, areca palms, golden pothos, aloe vera, snake plants and peace lilies, reports Palermo.

BoothbayGreenhouses.com goes into greater detail about several of these air purifying plants and also adds Chrysanthemum, Devil’s Ivy, Red-edged Dracaena, Lady Palm, Flamingo Lily, Barberton Daisy and Weeping Fig to the list of houseplants that improve indoor air quality. The information provided about English Ivy, which is also known as Hedera helix, is especially enlightening.

What are the health benefits provided by English Ivy?

“According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, English Ivy is effective at cleansing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air,” explains the website, “Additionally, other studies have indicated that English Ivy also helps reduce mould in your home. This evergreen climbing vine is extremely popular in outdoor landscaping. You may have seen it used as ground-cover in areas where grass doesn’t grow, or perhaps climbing up the side of a wall or tree trunk.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we may not sell houseplants, but we would still like to offer you and your family the gift of clean air inside your home this holiday season. 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 You Should Remove Fireplace Use From Your Holiday Festivities

Sitting by the fireplace is a holiday season pastime that most people still enjoy. In fact, some people enjoy it so much that they sit in front of their television sets to watch virtual fireplaces blaze and crackle away. Interestingly enough, the televised fireplace is undoubtedly the smarter choice. This is because a real fireplace causes more harm than is worth the toasty warmth it provides.

On their Canada.ca website, the Government of Canada reveals that wood smoke is bad for our health. “In communities where wood heating is common, wood smoke can be responsible for as much as 25% of the airborne particulate matter, 8% of the VOCs, and 7% of the CO in the air,” informs the site.

It goes on to explain that wood smoke contains such toxic compounds as nitrogen oxides and chlorinated dioxins and can cause eye, nose and throat irritations. It can also cause headaches, nausea and dizziness. Not to mention, the smoke emitted from fireplaces is known to worsen asthma and other respiratory issues.

Wood smoke impacts everyone’s health, not just those with breathing problems.

However, those with heart or lung problems are especially susceptible to the health hazards associated with fireplaces. Canada.ca also reminds us that wood smoke puts children in danger as they are still developing their respiratory systems. As well, because kids are generally more active, they inhale more air.

The importance of removing fireplace use for your holiday festivities this year cannot be understated. As the good people at Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning explain, all fireplaces release harmful emissions. In fact, their website reveals that wood burning releases more pollutants than gas. Among those pollutants are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and a long list of particles.

“One of the most deleterious wood smoke health effects, particulates released during the incomplete combustion of any fuel (wood or gas) can work their way into and damage the lungs,” says AireServ.ca, “This can cause difficulty breathing and aggravate existing conditions, particularly asthma, bronchitis, and wood smoke allergies. Long-term damage can be irrevocable, with a number of particulate fireplace pollutants linked to cancer.”

Make ventilation mandatory.

Although it really shouldn’t have to be recommended, make sure your fireplace is well ventilated if you absolutely insist on using it this holiday season. It’s not a bad idea to open up some windows as well. We understand that the opening of windows may defeat the purpose of heating up your home. However, a lack of ventilation will only guarantee the distribution of air pollutants all throughout your home.

Ventilation is important “with ‘ventless’ fireplace models, both gas and wood burning, boosting measurable pollutant levels within the home,” says Aire Serv, “Very tightly sealed homes may also suffer increased pollution buildup, including not only dangerous gases and particles, but water vapour subsequent to burning that can contribute to mould and mildew.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to offer you and your family the gift of clean air inside your home this holiday season. 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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