This may sound like a weird question, but how many living beings do you believe are in your household? We imagine that it would be your first inclination to state the number of actual residents such as yourself, your spouse, your children, and/or your parents. Perhaps, you live alone. As a result, your answer to the question above would be one. You get the picture.
What if we were to tell you that the actual number of living beings in your household is probably a lot closer several million? Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? However, the fact is you have millions of dust mites living and feeding inside your bed, carpeting, soft furnishings and even your clothes. And while this sounds gross, it’s more important to highlight the fact that dust mites are an allergy’s sufferer’s nightmare.
Allergic reactions to dust mite debris and waste include difficulty breathing, coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, itching and even eczema. Especially if you have asthma, dust mites can be among your worst enemies. They tend to live in dark, warm areas of your home where your skin tends to shed. Read: your bed. This is why it’s important to “get rid of their homes”, as AllergyStore.com puts it.
“Get rid of their hiding places and their home, sweet home,” insists the website, “That means giving a heave-ho to rugs and carpets. Small throw rugs that can be washed weekly are acceptable. Get rid of all other fibre-based floor coverings. Replace them with tile, hardwood, laminate, engineered wood, vinyl, or concrete floors. Hard surfaces can be vacuumed and mopped regularly to remove all dust, dust mite feces, and dust mites.”
Your dead skin flakes provide an excellent buffet for dust mites. Not only is your bed a warm, dark and humid place (a dust mite’s dream come true), but it’s also a place where you shed most of your dead skin. Your bed (a place where you spend upwards of eight hours every night) arguably deserves the most cleaning attention. Wash the sheets every week in hot water to minimize the presence of dust mites.
“Fortunately, dust mites don’t take too kindly to hot temperatures,” explains Doc Wordinger on Dengarden.com, “Putting your bed sheets through a 140°F (60°C) wash is usually enough to kill them and remove their fecal matter and skin particles. If you have a tumble dryer, put the sheets through a spin-cycle until they are fully dry. The heat from the dryer should take care of any mites that survived the wash.”
You may be surprised to know that being a bit on the untidy side can help your dust mite problem. Wordinger reminds us that dust mites prefer moist areas. And since most people make their beds first thing in the morning, they don’t give their beds much opportunity to air out. Doing so “gives the moisture excreted from our bodies time to dry,” he informs, “By reducing moisture and humidity within the bed, we’re making life difficult for (dust mites).”
As you can imagine, there are many other ways to reduce the dust mite population in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly recommend having the indoor air quality of your home tested to help you along the way. 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.
Believe it or not, spring is almost here! The frigid temperatures outside don’t make it appear as if the warming up of the weather will soon be upon us, but as of March 20th, the seasons will officially change over. There’s no promise that you’ll be able to put the winter boots and coats away in little under a month. But that’s no reason to not get into the spring spirit. And we all know what one of the most popular spring pastimes is – cleaning!
There’s never really a bad time to clean your home and improve its indoor air quality. Any chance you get to remove dust, mould, pet dander and the remnants of smoke is a chance you should take. It’s important to note that to really get a good clean, you need to take things a bit further than the standard dusting, sweeping and mopping of the floors. On Oprah.com, Lynn Andriani advises us to vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings as well.
“If you clear them annually of the almost imperceptible grime that builds up, then you won’t have to deal with the impossible-to-remove kind that can accumulate if they’re left untouched for a few years,” she writes, “Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls. Don’t forget the wall that’s behind you every morning when you do your hair and makeup; it could be coated in hairspray, perfume or other beauty products.”
Andriani makes an interesting point. All too often, we forget the areas of the home where there may be unwanted build-up. And that’s because we usually can’t see the build-up. As a result, we assume there’s nothing to clean. But our noses tell us a different story. Earlier, we mentioned the need to rid your home of the remnants of smoke. If you live with a cigarette smoker, you’re likely enduring the ramifications of thirdhand smoke.
Thirdhand smoke refers to the residual nicotine and other chemicals that are left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. You are exposed to these harsh and toxic chemicals whenever you’re breathing anywhere near them. As well, when you touch the contaminated surfaces, you take on health risks. To avoid the effects of thirdhand smoke, it’s wise to wash any bedding, rugs, curtains and parts of your home’s decor that can be uninstalled and thrown in the washing machine.
Reader’s Digest lists the “curtain call” as one of its top ways to spring clean like a pro. “Don’t forget the curtains,” their website reminds us, “If you don’t clean them thoroughly at least once a year they will rot. Dry-clean velvet, tapestries, brocades, chenille, and interlined curtains. Cotton and similar textiles can be washed. Just remember to remove any hooks.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you get started with your spring cleaning! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how our Air Quality Services can assist you in vastly improving your home’s indoor air quality this spring. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at email@example.com.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To couples everywhere, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to wish you a very happy and exciting day! However, we’d also like to send our best wishes to everyone out there whether they are in romantic relationships or not. After all, we’re all deserving of love, aren’t we? This is especially true if you live in a home with a large number of people.
Sharing a living space can be tough. And one of the toughest things about having many others live in your home with you is keeping it clean. A clean home, by the way, is one of the top ways you can show your family members and other housemates that you love them. As we often say, a healthy home is a happy home. And happy homes are ones that have high-ranking levels of indoor air quality.
What can you do show your home some love? Here are three ways:
Most of us are well aware that we humans expel carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen while plants do the opposite. So it stands to reason that filling a home with both humans and houseplants is a wise thing to do. However, it’s important to know that numerous houseplants provide many other pollutant-ridding qualities that can vastly improve the overall indoor air quality of a home.
One of those houseplants is Spathiphyllum, which is better known as the Peace Lily. “NASA’s analysis of indoor houseplants revealed that the Peace Lily was the most efficient at removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene,” explains Jeff Flowers on AllergyAndAir.com, “Simply put it in a dark corner, give it water once a week and this little plant will help purify the air around that general area.”
As mentioned earlier, keeping your home clean is a great way to keep it a healthy environment. That is, unless you’re using cleansers that contain harsh and toxic chemicals. Those volatile organic compounds we just mentioned are found in most common household cleaners. It’s important to beware of ingredients that can cause more harm than good. Opt for natural cleansers instead. Among them are white vinegar, baking soda, club soda, salt and lemons.
“Dilute some lemon juice with water to clean stains on cutting boards and kill germs,” instructs Reynard Loki on AlterNet.org, “Dip an old toothbrush in lemon juice to remove grout. Add some salt and you’ve got an effective cleaner for metal grills and a polisher for chrome. Soak plastic food containers in lemon juice overnight to remove smells. Put diluted lemon juice in a spray bottle to keep your kitchen countertops clean and smelling great.”
You can never be too safe. It’s certainly worthwhile to get a professional assessment of your home’s indoor air quality to ensure the optimum health of all those who dwell within it. Of course, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. would be happy to help with that! 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.
In many of our past blogs, we’ve championed the act of cracking the windows in the winter. What may, at first, seem like a crazy idea isn’t all that crazy when you think about it. Yes, for most of our Canadian winter days, the temperatures outside will be below zero. However, by keeping ourselves cooped up in our homes, we only work to make ourselves sicker. It’s important for the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside.
“Leaving a home completely shut up for the entirety of winter allows any toxins that already exist in your home to build up to dangerous levels,” explains Canadian Choice Windows & Doors, “Common toxins found within the home include dust, smoke, mold, radon, and viruses. Breathing any of these toxics in regularly for a long period of time can be detrimental to your health. They can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, or eye irritation.”
Even when we work to keep our homes clean, we aren’t necessarily making the air within them safe to breathe. This is especially true if the cleaning products we’re using contain harmful chemicals. Many household cleaning products include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are pretty bad for our respiratory systems. The simple cracking open of a window during the winter can help to eliminate some of those toxins from our homes.
“Sealing your home against drafts and air leaks is really counterproductive and a further cause for stale and germy air,” reports HealthStatus.com, “There is little circulation in a home that is totally sealed and heated. Indoor air quality plunges your family into agonizing chapped lips, sinus infections, sore throats, flu, irritating flaky and itchy skin and colds. Gain your indoor air quality back and get health under control.”
That may sound like a weird statement. But it begins to make sense after you realize that not all “germs” are bad for you. As Canadian Choice Windows & Doors reminds us, many natural germs that we carry in our bodies actually help us with our immunity, metabolism and digestion. By keeping the windows of our homes shut all winter long, we decrease the diversity of those good germs in our air.
“Humans typically spend 93% of their time indoors, limiting exposure to good germs, which can cause weaker immune systems,” notes their website, “Cracking some windows in winter for a short time to give your home some natural air flow is the best way to ensure that good microbes find their way into your home so that you can have a healthier winter.”
We’re not necessarily recommending that you keep your windows open all day long, each day throughout the winter. Of course, that will serve to make the indoor temperature a lot cooler than you’d like. Even a few minutes out of each day should be enough. You can also try opening a window in one room for a while, keeping the door closed, and then opening that door to allow the fresh air to circulate throughout the home.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that will help you to ensure that your home is enjoying the best indoor air quality possible. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
We’re less than a month away from Christmas! There is a lot of excitement in the air and, naturally, a lot of shoppers in the malls. The end-of-year holiday season is a joyous time for most. It’s especially enjoyable when family members and friends – some who haven’t seen each other in a long time – gather for holiday get-togethers.
Holiday parties are hard to beat. The incredible eats, the warm and friendly reunions between loved ones, the festive music and the giving of gifts all make for a wonderful time. However, those holiday get-togethers can also make for a less-than-stellar situation for your home’s indoor air quality. As you can imagine, the more people that gather in one space, the worse the air quality is bound to be. That’s especially true if there are smokers in the home.
The first step to ensuring that the air quality in your home doesn’t dwindle too far down is to insist upon keeping it smoke-free. Cigarette smoking, it should go without saying, is hazardous to the health of everyone who comes into contact with the emitted smoke.
“Winter is not a welcoming season to cigarette smokers, and the cold weather can be enough to prevent some people from venturing outdoors to satisfy a craving,” RelianceHomeComfort.com reminds us, “Second-hand cigarette smoke can be a very harmful source of indoor air pollution, and therefore it is recommended to keep your home and office a smoke-free zone.”
Believe it or not, candles are also not recommended during the holiday season. And that’s a bit ironic, isn’t it? The burning of candles is usually a popular practice during the holidays. Many festive candles are sold each year. They bring senses of both peace and warmth within a household, which seems to be very much in keeping with the holiday spirit.
“Unfortunately, candles can also be good at polluting your air,” informs Alja Isakovic on CubeSensors.com, “The worst offenders, according to research presented at a meeting of American Chemical Society, are candles made from paraffin wax. Most of the candles on the market are made out of paraffin wax and scented with synthetic fragrances, which are both derived from petroleum. Petroleum-based candles emit a mix of VOCs such as toluene and benzene that might even cause cancer during prolonged exposure.”
As mentioned, lighting candles is a popular holiday pastime. But, arguably, lighting up the fireplace is even more popular. Especially when you consider the frigid temperatures that come along with every Canadian winter, a lit fireplace sounds like a welcome idea. However, the smoke emitted from your fireplace doesn’t make the pastime worth it. Isakovic notes, however, that you can keep your air cleaner by burning the right type of wood.
“You can do a lot by choosing the right wood to burn,” she writes, “For instance, hardwood burns more slowly and evenly, producing less smoke and more heat. Small and hot fires will cause less pollution. Don’t forget to keep your chimney in good condition, and keep an eye on the air quality in your home when burning wood.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we certainly hope you enjoy this holiday season. And we’d like to help with that! For more information about how our Air Quality Services can help to improve your home’s indoor air quality, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, we Googled “healthy holiday presents indoor air quality” and we were quite pleased to discover that the top two entries were our very own annual blogs on that very topic. Who are we to break with tradition? Especially when it’s such a topical issue at this time of year, discussing ways to offer loved ones holiday gifts that keep their health in mind is an essential discussion.
So, without further ado, here are four ways to promote better health with your holiday gifts:
There’s no question that this is the season of wondrous scents. If not from the fabulous cooking and baking that is commonplace at this time of year, the amazing smells emanate from candles and other air fresheners that are in keeping with holiday traditions. It’s important, however, to stay away from chemical-based air fresheners as they only present health hazards. Instead, it’s best to go the natural route.
“Too often, ‘holiday’ smells are created in a factory from petroleum byproducts and sprayed on with a can,” writes Molly Rauch on MomsCleanAirForce.org, “Artificial fragrances can send volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your indoor air, which worsen asthma and cause headaches, among other health effects. This season, make your house smell delicious with natural, beautiful projects such as an orange pomander or by using essential oil sprays.”
This holiday gift has appeared on each of our “healthy holiday gift idea” blogs. And, it’s because they are practical, inexpensive and incredibly health-conscious gift choices. Houseplants absorb many of the pollutants found in the air in our homes. They also take in carbon dioxide while emitting healthy oxygen.
As Maria Jonowiak explains on Greatist.com, NASA has compiled a list of nine virtually-indestructible plants. They are as follows: Garden Mum, Spider Plant, Dracaena, Ficus/Weeping Fig, Peace Lily, Boston Fern, Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Bamboo Palm and Aloe Vera. “The plant’s leaves contain a clear liquid full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties,” she informs.
Home Wave Central Vacuum Systems considers itself to be Canada’s leading Central Vacuum manufacturer. They offer a wide range of power units, air kits and central vacuum accessories including pet grooming brushes. “Keep your house clean by removing pet hair and dander with the Home Wave Cenral Vacuum Pet Grooming Brush,” promotes their website, “Use this Pet Grooming Brush for small or large pets.”
Such a gift would create an important step in minimizing pet dander from the homes of your loved ones. Especially those who have pets that shed, pet grooming brushes would help to prevent the worsening of their homes’ indoor air quality.
The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would love nothing more than to assist you with improving your home’s indoor air quality this holiday season. Arguably, there isn’t a more healthful gift that you can give your family than to have your home inspected for detriments to its air. Our Air Quality Services, Moisture Monitoring Services, Mould Assessment Services, Radon Services and so many more all work to ensure that you are enjoying the purest air possible!
For more information about any and all of the ways that we can help to promote your better health this holiday season, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.