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Air Quality Services

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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Will A Live Christmas Tree Trigger Your Allergy Symptoms?

There are many Canadian families that already have their Christmas trees up. Of course, there are many others who are still in the process of picking out the right trees to grace their homes this holiday season. For those who choose to put up artificial trees, the decision can be made at any time. A live tree, however, requires watering and other care, so timing is important. Obviously, you don’t want to unwrap presents under a dead, wilted tree on Christmas morning.

There is, however, another concern when it comes to live Christmas trees. For those who suffer with allergies, live trees can create major problems. In most cases, bringing plants inside the home is advisable for the improving of indoor air quality. There are numerous houseplants that have detoxifying effects. However, with certain trees, the opposite is true.

Some live trees can trigger allergy symptoms.

On BabyCenter.com, it is explained that particular holiday trees, such as juniper and cedar can bring pollen into your home and contribute to allergies. In addition, such trees can create a mould problem. “Freshly cut trees can breed mould spores,” informs the site, “The spores grow all over the tree, and when they’re released into the air, inhaling them into the nose and lungs can trigger allergy symptoms.”

The website goes on to report that “researchers at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, found that a room containing a fresh Christmas tree for two weeks had mould levels that were five times the normal level. Other studies have shown that levels this high can cause allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms, says the study’s coauthor, allergist and immunologist Philip Hemmers.”

What can you do to protect your family from mould spores?

BabyCenter.com recommends that you use a leaf blower to blow as much potentially harmful debris off of the tree as possible before bringing it into your home. It also suggests rinsing the tree down with a garden hose and letting it dry before setting it up inside. Wiping down the tree trunk with bleach is another cleaning solution, says the site. Now, if each of these cleaning methods sound like too much trouble – or even seem unrealistic – you’re not alone!

We can’t imagine that all of the pre-set up maintenance is worth it. Chances are that you will not have guaranteed yourself or your family members an allergy-free holiday season even if you do employ the above mentioned cleaning methods. On VeryWellHealth.com, Jeanette Bradley proposes an alternative solution.

Choose an allergy-friendly tree.

“If pine pollen is a major allergy trigger for you, a fir, spruce, or cypress Christmas tree may be a better bet,” she advises, “The Leyland Cypress is a sterile hybrid tree, which means it does not produce any pollen. To find a Leyland Cypress Christmas tree, you may need to bypass the Christmas tree lots and big box stores and instead go direct to the source: a local Christmas tree farm.”

No matter which tree you decide to display in your home this holiday season, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to offer you the gift of cleaner air inside your home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about our Air Quality Services and Mould Assessment Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Making Your Home Healthier For The Holidays

Now that we’re a week into November, it’s pretty safe to say that the holiday shopping season is here. Many Canadians have already filled out their holiday shopping lists and are making plans to hit the malls in order to locate specially selected items. Of course, the official start of the holidays is still many weeks away. But you can never start your holiday shopping too early.

Be sure to include a special someone on your list. To be more accurate, it’s a special “something”. Your home deserves all the love you can give it! The more you take care of your home, the happier and healthier your family will be. This forthcoming holiday season, be sure to pick up some gifts that will make your home healthier.

Soy candles.

Who doesn’t love a pleasant smelling home? The problem, for most of us, is that keeping our homes smelling sweet often involves the spraying of air fresheners. These products commonly contain volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) which are detrimental to our health. To prevent wreaking havoc on our respiratory systems, opt for natural products that emit sweet smells. On Bustle.com, Carina Wolff recommends soy candles.

“Scented candles can make your home smell nice, but they come at a risk,” she explains, “Petroleum-based paraffin wax candles emit potentially hazardous chemicals that can lead to health risks such as cancer, common allergies, and asthma, according to a study from South Carolina State University. Vegetable-based options such as 100 percent soy candles don’t produce those harmful chemicals, so opt for those instead.”

Moisture meter.

Keeping your home’s humidity at a safe level is also imperative to its overall health. High levels of humidity promote breeding grounds for mould. And when mould spores become airborne, they turn into major irritants to our respiratory systems, especially for those of us with asthma and allergies. Best Health Magazine highly recommends that you buy a moisture meter for your home.

“Nothing helps mould to flourish like high humidity, so do all you can to get household moisture under control,” notes their website, “Obviously, that means keeping an eye out for roof leaks and drip-drip-dripping faucets…You might want to pick up a moisture meter (hygrometer) at a hardware store. If the indoor humidity in your home regularly exceeds 50 percent, a dehumidifier should solve your problem.”

New bedding.

Do you find you’re using the same sheets and pillowcases over and over again? Do you get lazy and just leave the same ones on your bed for weeks on end? To prevent an onslaught of dust mites, which provide major triggers of our asthma symptoms and other allergies, it’s important to remove your bed sheets and wash them in hot water at least once a week. To help with the bedding rotation, you may want to pick up a new bed set.

“Chronic exposure of dust mites can cause allergies and asthma, according to the American Lung Association, so be sure to vacuum frequently, change your bedding and pillowcases often, and reduce the humidity in your house,” advises Wolff.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d argue that an inspection of your home’s indoor air quality is the best holiday gift you could give it! For information about our Air Quality Services and/or our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Returning Your Home To Normal With A Post-Halloween Clean Up

On behalf of everyone, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to wish you all a very happy Halloween! We know tonight will be a fun night for the kids. Putting on those spooky costumes and travelling to neighbourhood homes is an exciting annual tradition. It’s one that you should prepare for with plenty of candy…and cleaning products!

Yes, Halloween is a fun yearly event. But let it not be lost on you that following all of those visits from trick-or-treaters, you have a little work to do to get your home back to its spic-and-span state. Here’s hoping, of course, you won’t have any splattered eggs or hung toilet paper to remove from your property. Even still, to return your home to normal, it’s important to engage in a little post-Halloween clean up.

Cleaning up your front porch.

Let’s see – tracked dirt and mud, candy wrappers, knocked over plants and smashed jack-o-lanterns – these are just a few of the things that may be left over on your front porch tomorrow morning. Naturally, Halloween night is one when your home will see more visitors than usual. And while they may not be coming inside, there will still likely be remnants of their visits. Be sure to give your front porch a clean sweep.

“All those grimy pirate boots and well-worn ballet slippers can leave a porch filthy,” writes Lisa Kaplan Gordon on Houselogic.com, “Remove planters and deck furniture, sweep the deck, then spray it down. If your porch is wood, remember that regular deck care protects your favourite place to kick back.”

Removing oil-based makeup from furniture and carpeting.

If you have a home that will be full of little monsters tonight, it is possible their Halloween costumes will leave something behind. This is especially true if makeup, face paint, fake blood and fake skin are used to bring their scary costumes to life. Don’t be surprised if you see some of that leftover material on your furniture and in your carpets.

“Dab a small amount of makeup remover or rubbing alcohol on inside seam to test the fabric for colour-safeness,” instructs Reader’s Digest, “If the colour hasn’t changed after 10 minutes, use a washcloth to dampen the stain with remover or alcohol. Dab the stain with a dry paper towel until it no longer picks up any makeup. Treat with stain remover and wash in warm water. Re-treat and rewash if the stain remains.”

Getting candy cleaned out of your fabrics.

Your clothing, carpeting, furniture and other fabrics may become victim to the annual Halloween tradition of chowing down on chocolates, chips, candies and gums. If so, you’ll want to scrape off as much of the chocolate as possible without making the stain any deeper into the fabric. Then apply stain remover and wash.

For chewing gum, “rub an ice cube over the stain until it freezes and hardens. Scrape off as much of the hardened gum as you can without rubbing it deeper into the fabric. Dab with dry-cleaning solvent if you have some on hand; otherwise, apply stain remover and wash,” advises Reader’s Digest.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re big on keeping homes clean, especially because it improves indoor air quality. 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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Treating Your Home Ahead Of Halloween

We are exactly three weeks away from Halloween! For many of us, it’s an exciting time of year. Halloween is a highlight of the fall season, bringing joy to children of all ages – especially those who partake in the annual tradition of trick or treating. And while you may be planning on opening your doors to trick or treaters in three weeks time, it’s important to remember some other treats you should be doling out – to your own home!

Give it the sock treatment.

Canadians are known for removing their shoes at the front door. When entering the home, most of us are well aware that there’s no good reason to track in the dirt on our shoes. This is a practice that doesn’t seem to be as popular south of the border. However, if you’re looking to keep your home clean and its air as pure as possible, leave the outside at the front door. As Envirovent.com recommends, remove your shoes when coming inside.

“When you enter your home, make sure you remove your shoes to avoid bringing in chemicals, pollen, dirt and dust indoors,” the website instructs, “If you have a porch it is a good idea to leave your outdoor footwear here or just inside the front door if you don’t have a porch.”

Give it some ventilation.

It can never be stressed enough that the air in your home needs to circulate with the air outside your home. That way, you can ensure that there is good air circulation as well as good heat flow. The simplest way to make sure that your home is getting the ventilation it needs is to crack open the windows for a short periods of each day.

Canada.ca also advises you to leave your interior doors open so as to not make rooms stuffy; use your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans; keep your baseboards and heating vents clear of furniture; keep your beds, bedding and furniture away from outside walls to allow enough air and heat to flow around furnishings and use a mechanical HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system in your home with a filtration system built into the duct work.

Make it a smoke-free zone.

Arguably, the greatest treat you can give your home is air that is 100% free of cigarette smoke. As we’ve blogged about extensively in the past, cigarette smoke is as deadly as they come. Both secondhand smoke (the air emitted from smokers’ mouths and inhaled by non-smokers) and thirdhand smoke (the residue left behind on clothing, bedding and furniture) can cause major respiratory issues.

“Although fewer people are taking up smoking, it remains a primary cause of dangerous pollutants being breathed in the home,” says Envirovent.com, “If you smoke, try to ensure that you do so outside, even if you don’t have children. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds which build up inside your home when you smoke. This is not only damaging the property, it is damaging your own health and affecting those around you.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would be happy to treat your home to a professional inspection of its air! For more 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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Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy To Help You Quit Smoking

It’s not at all far-fetched to suggest that cigarette smoke is the worst thing that can happen to the air inside your home. Firstly, it can be avoided. By having a cigarette smoker strictly keep his/her habit to an outdoor activity, you can significantly improve the quality of the air inside your home.

Secondly, it should go without saying that cigarette smoking produces deadly effects. Lung cancer, mesothelioma and other fatal respiratory diseases are caused by the seemingly countless toxins found in cigarette smoke. In addition, as we’ve pointed out in past blogs, you don’t even need to be a smoker to be impacted by cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke is every bit as deadly as the firsthand smoke inhaled by smokers.

The bottom line: Eliminate cigarette smoke from your life completely!

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re well aware that cigarette smoking is not an easy habit to break. As the vast majority of smokers will attest to, it’s an addiction. Cravings for nicotine are often placed at the top of the list of reasons why cigarette smokers can’t butt out for good. This is why there are numerous Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products on the market.

“NRT can reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms you experience that may hinder your attempt to give up smoking,” explains Hannah Nichols of Medical News Today, “NRTs are designed to wean your body off cigarettes and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while sparing you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.”

Nicotine Replacement Therapy comes in many different forms.

Skin patches, chewing gum, lozenges, nasal sprays and inhalers are among the most commonly used NRTs. Many of them are available over-the-counter while some others require prescriptions. Naturally, the objective of NRTs is to help cigarette smokers overcome their intense cravings for nicotine. As a result, e-cigarettes have risen in popularity over the past several years. Because they are less addictive than traditional cigarettes, many smokers use them to get closer to quitting the habit altogether.

“E-cigarettes are a hot research topic at the moment,” writes Nichols, “Studies have found that e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes, that the rise in e-cigarette use has been linked with a significant increase in smoking cessation, and that established smokers who use e-cigarettes daily are more likely to quit smoking than people who have not tried e-cigarettes.”

Will power plays a big role in quitting smoking.

It’s important to remember that NRTs can’t do all the work for you. If you’re serious about butting out, you’ll need to busy yourself with other activities that can help you to take your mind off of smoking. The Mayo Clinic highly recommends that smokers engage in more physical activity to help distract them from their cravings for nicotine and tobacco.

“Even short burst of physical activity — such as running up and down the stairs a few times — can make a tobacco craving go away,” they note on their website, “Get out for a walk or jog. If you’re stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, pushups, running in place, or walking up and down a set of stairs.”

As mentioned, doing away with cigarette smoking will significantly improve the quality of air in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality! 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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What Are The Easiest Ways To Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality?

We could all breathe a lot easier if we took certain steps to ensure the air in our homes was free of pollutants. However, there are numerous simple actions that many of us neglect to take each day. Take opening the windows, for example. Far too many Canadians keep them shut throughout the summer, opting to blast their air conditioners instead. In the winter, those same windows stay shut in order to keep the cold out. A bit ironic, isn’t it?

Crack the windows.

“Even in the cold months, open windows from time to time to allow fresh air to move into the house,” advises Harvard Health Publishing, “Also, move potential air contaminants out by using fans in the kitchen to remove cooking fumes.”

Cracking the windows, even for short portions of the day, helps the stale air inside your home to circulate with the fresher air from outside. Opening the windows – yes, even in the winter time – can do a lot to improve your home’s indoor air quality. But it’s not the only easy way to do so!

Keep every room clean and tidy.

Simple enough advice, isn’t it? It’s important to remember that regular dusting, mopping and vacuuming won’t just make your home look and smell pleasant, it will also help you breathe better. Harvard Health Publishing highlights the fact that vacuuming carpets and area rugs with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter is needed as least once or twice a week. Removing carpet altogether, however, can significantly reduce the number of allergens in your home.

They also advise that you regularly clean bedding, drapes and other items that tend to attract allergens, especially if you have pets. “The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends washing in water that is at least 130° F,” informs the Harvard Health Publishing website, “Also consider using dust mite–proof covers on pillows, as well as mattresses and box springs, whenever possible.”

Keep it Canadian!

Three years ago, we posted a blog entitled “Is Being Canadian Good For Your Indoor Air Quality?” In the blog, we discussed the apparently typical Canadian practice of always removing footwear at the front door of the home. Most of us consider it a no-brainer to not wear your shoes or boots in the house. However, many of our American counterparts tend to consider footwear a part of the in-house wardrobe.

Here’s the bottom line: take off your shoes if you want to breathe clean air! “Who knows what’s on the bottom of your shoes, so be sure everyone removes shoes when coming (in) the home,” insists Rachel Brougham on FamilyHandyman.com, “Use a boot tray or shoe rack to collect dirt, pesticides and other pollutants from making their way into your home.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in 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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3 Important Fall Cleaning Tips

We hate to have to remind you, but the summertime will soon be coming to a close. With the start of school just around the corner, we only have a few days left of what we officially refer to as “summer vacation”. And while the fall season doesn’t officially get underway until September 22nd, we all know that the temperatures are about to cool off.

With the approaching of each new season, it’s always a good idea to have somewhat of a fresh start. Spring isn’t the only time of year when a cleaning is necessary! We’d argue that fall cleaning is an equally important annual event.

Here are three important fall cleaning tips:

1. Wash all of your bedding.

Most people wash their bed sheets on a weekly basis. This, of course, is a wise idea as it helps to keep dust mites at bay. Making sure to regularly change the sheets and washing them in hot water is a great way to cleanse your bedding of the dead skin, sweat and hair left behind when you sleep. In addition, it rids you of the dust mites that love to eat that dead skin and leave their respiratory system-affecting waste behind.

With that said, it’s important to also wash your comforters and heavy blankets. As Sara Elliot advises on HowStuffWorks.com, washing all of your bedding is an important fall cleaning ritual. “Wash all bedding in preparation for cooler temperatures and use very hot water, 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius) or higher to kill dust mites and bacteria,” she instructs, “Over the winter season, be sure to wash bedding weekly.”

2. Test and clean your smoke detectors.

This is a tip that cannot be stressed enough. Cleaning your smoke detectors will help to ensure that they are perfectly operational. Protecting your family from a potential fire is obviously a life-saving action.

“You already know to put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” writes Christina Peterson on GoodHousekeeping.com, “But you also need to clean your units, since dust that accumulates can cause them to underperform. Using your vacuum cleaner’s soft brush attachment, clean in and around the dectectors’ openings. If any are more than 10 years old, replace them.”

3. Give your pets a scrub.

The many pet owners across Canada put themselves in somewhat tougher positions to keep their homes clean. Between all of the pet dander, fur, saliva and tracked-in dirt, pets are known for keeping homes messy. Taking your pet to a groomer or giving it a good scrub yourself is an important way of maintaining a clean home and improving its overall air quality.

Pets “can be a handful, particularly if someone in the family has allergies,” says Elliot, “Whenever possible, bathe cats and dogs regularly to keep dander to a minimum. A weekly bath may seem unrealistic, but even a monthly wet or dry bath is better than nothing. If you teach them young, you may be able to train pets to tolerate the vacuum cleaner for a weekly vacuuming.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients always enjoy the best indoor air quality possible. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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Finding Safe And Natural Ways To Purify The Air In Your Home

We’d all love it if our homes smelled fresh 100 percent of the time. But we know that’s not entirely possible. Cleaning, of course, is mandatory. We can’t expect the dirt, dust, pet dander, and hair in our homes to sweep themselves away. And we certainly can’t expect the spills to wipe themselves up.

Can cleaning be bad for us?

Unfortunately, many of us tend to create more problems than we are fixing during our cleaning routines. And that’s because of the prevalence of chemical-based cleaners that we so easily find in the stores. Most of them contain volatile organic compounds, which are also known as VOCs, for short. And here is their short story: they’re bad for your health!

As reported by Ian Sample on TheGuardian.com, “Household cleaners, paints and perfumes have become substantial sources of urban air pollution as strict controls on vehicles have reduced road traffic emissions, scientists say. Researchers in the US looked at levels of synthetic ‘volatile organic compounds’, or VOCs, in roadside air in Los Angeles and found that as much came from industrial and household products refined from petroleum as from vehicle exhaust pipes.”

What are the health implications of VOCs?

As the Government of Canada explains on Canada.ca, short-term exposure to high levels of some VOCs can cause breathing problems as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Exposure to VOCs is also known to cause headaches.

“Some people may be more sensitive, such as people with asthma,” the site elaborates, “Most people are not affected by short-term exposure to the low levels of VOCs typically found in homes. For long-term exposure to low levels of VOCs, research is ongoing to better understand any health effects from these exposures. Long-term exposure to high levels of some VOCs, however, may result in health effects.”

What natural air purifiers are recommended?

Firstly, it’s important to point out that ventilation is a top way to rid your household of pollutants. Keeping the windows open will help for the stale and stagnant air from inside to circulate with the fresher air from outside. On NDTV.com, Aashna Ahuja lists ventilation as a top way to purify the air in your home. She also lists a number of natural and safe-to-use air purifiers. They include beeswax candles, salt lamps, activated charcoal, essential oils and, as you may have expected, houseplants.

“It’s the best way to counter the impact of pollution indoors, particularly if you have a family member with some respiratory illness,” Ahuja informs, “It’s suggested that you have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for efficient air cleaning to be accomplished. The best plants to filter toxins from the air are Peace Lily which prefers moderate sunlight, Lady Palm or Broadleaf Lady Palm which is adaptable but prefers bright, indirect light.”

As you’re likely aware, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team takes the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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