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5 Ways To Treat Yourself To Improved Indoor Air Quality

depositphotos_2428997_s-2015Halloween is almost here! So the idea getting treats, by way of candy, is a hot topic this week. Believe it or not, participating in the annual trick-or-treating festivities can actually good for your indoor air quality. Sort of. You see, during the chillier months of the year, we Canadians tend to keep our doors and windows firmly closed in order to keep the cold out. This promotes the stagnation of our air and the keeping in of indoor air pollutants.

When we open our doors to trick-or-treaters, we allow for some of that stagnant air to circulate with the fresher air from outside. It is recommended that we open the doors and windows for even just a five minute period every day – even when it’s cold outside. This is just one of the things you can do to treat yourself to improved indoor air quality.

Here are five more:

1. Keep your home as neat and tidy as possible. It’s important to take on the habits of a neat freak as often as possible. This will be especially true over the course of the winter when you will be a lot less likely to keep the doors and windows open for long periods of time. Get used to vacuuming, mopping and dusting at least once a week. As well, place door mats at the entrance ways to your home to prevent dirt from entering it. And be sure to ask people to take their shoes off when they come inside – it’s a great Canadian tradition!

2. Monitor your humidity levels. It’s normal for Canadians to turn up the heat in their homes during the winter. But it’s important to remember that with excess heat comes excess humidity. Too much humidity is bad for your indoor air quality because it can produce mould and mildew. On Withings.com, Jonathan Choquel recommends that you keep your home’s humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent.

“This will limit the growth of mould and the presence of dust mites that pollute the air,” he explains, “Some moulds produce allergens and mycotoxins – they can have adverse health effects, ranging from allergic reactions (like a stuffy or runny nose, or eye and skin irritations) to asthma attacks, depending on the exact type and amount of mould, and the sensitivity of those exposed. This is true even in non-allergic people.”

3. Filter your air. While it remains important to ventilate your home, extra measures should be taken to remove the air pollutants that can contaminate the air within it. “Portable air cleaners, particularly HEPA filters and electrostatic precipitators, can reduce some air contaminants,” informs the Healthy Canadians website, “HEPA filters collect particle pollutants with a fine filter. But electrostatic precipitators collect pollutants with electrostatic energy, which causes pollution to stick to the filter.”

4. Avoid synthetic fragrances. Most of us associate sweet and fresh smells with cleanliness. However, those air fresheners and laundry soaps that are infused with scents are actually pretty bad for our living environments. Containing harmful volatile organic compounds, these products can do a lot to irritate our eyes, skin and respiratory systems. “Choose fragrance-free products, or products with scents of natural origin for your laundry and cleaning needs,” advises Choquel.

5. Get a professional inspection of your home’s air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that target areas of concern in your home. Our team of trained professionals has a strong understanding of the indoor environment and is therefore able to maximize their inspection processes to ensure all of our clients’ questions about their homes’ indoor air quality are answered.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How Does Cold Weather Worsen Indoor Air Quality?

Beautiful young woman sitting by the window having hot drinkAlthough we’re still in the middle of October, the cold weather has definitely returned. At least, here, in Calgary, the days have certainly gotten a lot chillier. As a result, most of us are turning up the heat in our homes, preparing for another long winter when staying indoors is more commonplace. It is our tendencies to stay inside more often that makes winter a season that wreaks havoc on our indoor air quality.

How does staying inside more often worsen indoor air quality? Considering that most of us prefer to keep warm and toasty during the winter, there is a desire to keep all of our doors and windows shut, even going so far as sealing any cracks in our insulation. And while this helps to eliminate cold drafts from entering our homes, it also seals out any fresh air. As a result, the pollutants in our homes become more concentrated.

What pollutants exist in our homes? Well, there’s certainly a bunch! Household cleaning products produce some of the most common indoor pollutants. Those disinfectants, personal care products and air fresheners that give off “fresh” scents are especially known for containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are hazardous air pollutants. VOCs are also commonly found in paints, varnishes and glues.

If you use any household appliances that use oil, kerosene, gas, coal or wood, you’ve got combustion sources that can produce dangerous levels of pollution. They are especially hazardous if not regularly cleaned and maintained. And those of us with pets are also susceptible to increased levels of indoor air pollution thanks to animal dander and other particles that often cause allergic reactions and asthma triggers.

What are the symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality? If you notice that you’re experiencing headaches, dizziness, fatigue or itchiness of the eyes, nose and/or throat, it could be due to the air pollutants in your home. Asthma sufferers will be especially aware of poor indoor air quality as respiratory issues often result. Naturally, it’s wise to take measures to improve indoor air quality during the coldest months of the year.

How do you improve indoor air quality when it’s cold outside? Sensibly, you should simply rid the home of pollution sources. Reduce gas emissions from the afore mentioned household appliances as much as possible by limiting their use and/or making sure that are very regularly cleaned and maintained. You’ll also want to promote ventilation throughout the home. And yes, this does mean opening the windows every now and again.

You’ll also want to clean very regularly. Stepping up your dedication to vacuuming, dusting and mopping throughout the winter will go a long way in improving the air quality in your home. This is especially true if you have pets, but will also aid in the prevention of mould and mildew growth. Mould can become a problem when the air in the home is too humid. A sign may be the condensation that appears on your windows.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we focus pretty strongly on keeping the indoor air quality of your home at the highest levels possible. If you have any concerns about the quality of the air you’re breathing in your home this winter, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask about our Air Quality Services. For more information, give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Steps To Keeping Your Home Clean During Back-To-School Season

happy family do the cleaningIf you’re looking to maintain the highest levels of indoor air quality in your home, it’s important to take regular steps to keeping it clean. That should probably go without saying. However, there are certain times of the year when it’s a bit more difficult to keep your home clean. And the impending back-to-school season is one of them. With the kids headed back to the classroom in a couple of weeks, they will likely be engaging in activities that make for messier homes.

With less time to dedicate to keeping their rooms clean, clothes, books and other possessions are bound to pile up. Your children are also likely to invite friends over to study – or not to study! – which tracks more dirt into the home from their shoes. And you’ll also be busy preparing lunches for each school day, giving your kitchen more opportunities to be in disarray. Fear not. There are some ways to keep your home clean throughout the school year.

Here are five steps to keeping your home clean during the back-to-school season:

1. Start cleaning now! Don’t wait for the school year to begin to start your revved up house cleaning routines. In fact, the cleaner your home is before school starts, the easier it will be to keep it clean throughout the school year. “Don’t let the school year sneak up on you,” warns RightAtHome.com, “When you’re scheduling your last summer vacation, use one of those days off work to get your house in order for what’s ahead.”

2. Insist upon the shoes-off policy for guests. As we mentioned earlier, there may be a few new faces showing up at your front door in the coming weeks. Make sure that the friends of your children know that wearing shoes in the home is a no-no. “It’s important to make sure that playdate mates know this rule right out of the gate,” insists Vera Sweeney on SheKnows.com, “When friends come over, they must take off their shoes. Have a mat by the front door and make sure your children offer up some encouragement.”

3. Establish a new storage system. Your school-bound children will have many new items that will become parts of their regular school days in the coming weeks. So where will those items be stored once they’re back in the house? “Clean your coat closet or streamline your mudroom to create space for the kids (not you) to store their backpacks, jackets, sports and music equipment, and other back-to-school gear,” suggests RightAtHome.com.

4. Make weekly room cleanings a must. With your children using their rooms more often – for studying and homework, we would hope – it’s likely that they will become messier than normal. As a result, instilling a new rule about regular room cleaning is necessary. “Every single weekend, make sure your children clean out their corners, closets and underneath their beds, “advises Sweeney.

5. Engage in daily wipe downs. During the school year, your kids will be placing just about everything they carry to and from school on your furniture – most notably, your kitchen table. Between their books, lunch boxes and backpacks, your table is going to encounter more germs than at any other time of the year. It’s recommended that you use disinfectant wipes to wipe down both your children’s school materials and your furniture on a regular basis.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take your indoor air quality seriously. We offer Air Quality Services that use inspection processes that target all areas of concern in your home. As a result, we’re able to foster much healthier living conditions for you and your family. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Important Reasons To Test Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Profile of a beautiful woman relaxing lying on a couch at homeLet’s be honest. We all take the air we breathe for granted, don’t we? We know that it’s there, but we rarely ever pay attention to it. It’s safe to say that that is because we usually can’t see it or smell it. But that can actually be a problem. Just because nothing out of the ordinary is detectable, it doesn’t mean that the air we breathe is free of contaminants. Air pollution, unfortunately, is all around us.

And this is certainly true in our homes. Even for the most meticulous of “neat freaks”, poor indoor air quality is a factual concern. Everything from contaminated air from outside seeping in to pet dander to the growth of mould and mildew due to humidity can make our homes susceptible to housing air that is bad for our health. This is why an indoor air quality inspection is so important. Most often, poor indoor air quality is undetectable without one.

Here are three important reasons to test your home’s indoor air quality:

1. Undetectable gases. Not all gases have colours or odours. Carbon monoxide and radon are among them. And they often find themselves in our homes. CO, for example, is often emitted from such household items as furnaces, gas stoves, fireplaces and water heaters. “CO causes an array of symptoms — from headaches and nausea to confusion and unconsciousness,” explains Russell McLendon of Mother Nature Network.

Radon enters our homes by seeping in through cracks and other openings. It is emitted from nearby soil that contains low levels of decaying uranium. While generally harmless in the outdoor air, it can become a health hazard when concentrated. As Joseph Loiero of CBC News reports, “radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada after smoking.”

2. Volatile organic compounds. Also known as VOCs, these are the types of air pollutants that we actually invite into our homes. We may not have done so purposely, but if you’ve ever installed new carpeting, painted your furniture, hung a new shower curtain or used cleaning products, you have subjected yourself to VOCs. You’ll know because of the smells that are emitted from these items and tasks.

“Countless products in your home emit VOCs, from cleaners to paint to furniture,” explains Michael Rosone on Aristair.com, “Even through you can’t smell all of them, they’re present in most homes at least at “background” levels, and can cause short-term health symptoms including headaches and nausea. Longer term (and scarier) health effects are also possible with repeated exposure.”

3. Asbestos. Over the past few months, we have been paying particular attention to a controversy in Canada over its intention to propose a complete nationwide ban on asbestos. Although the federal government made promises to do so a few months back, we continue to await any official word on an official ban. By now, it should be needless to say that asbestos in an incredibly hazardous material.

Especially if you live in an older home, there may be asbestos in your insulation materials. When disturbed by renovations, for example, asbestos can release airborne fibres that are known to cause deadly diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. “Given the risks involved, DIY asbestos remediation is rarely a good idea,” advises McLendon, “Even taking your own samples for testing isn’t recommended.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer expert services to detect and inevitably do away with the causes of poor indoor air quality. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about our Air Quality Services, Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services and Radon Services among many others. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. Mariann-Reply
    January 18, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    I live in Sherwood Park and was curious how much it would cost to test for Radon at my residential property?
    Thank you.
    Mariann

    • Dennis French-Reply
      January 18, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      I will email you directly rather than posting to blogsite.

      Dennis French

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Removing Your Shoes The Canadian Way Is Still Good For Your Health

Old blue tennis shoes on welcome mat outside worn door.One year ago – almost to the day – we posted a blog suggesting that being Canadian was good for your indoor air quality. Specifically referring to the fact that it’s a Canadian custom to remove your shoes when entering into a home, our blog highlighted the importance of keeping your indoor environment dirt-free. It’s still a surprise to many that our American counterparts don’t seem to share the same views. Many still choose to wear their outdoor shoes indoors.

Most Canadians simply don’t understand this. When walking outdoors, we simply cannot avoid stepping in dirt, water, grass, gum, debris and when we’re not careful, animal feces! Why would we want to track any of that stuff into the house? A simple look at the bottoms of our shoes after one outdoor excursion should tell you that they should not be worn in the house. Exchanging them for house slippers, socks or even bare feet is a safer bet.

Is it hazardous to your health to wear shoes indoors? Well, let’s look at it from this perspective. Is it healthy to have an unclean home? Obviously, it is not. The cleaner you keep your home, the better your health will be. On TreeHugger.com, Melissa Breyer confirms this when she reveals the findings of a University of Arizona study that collected the germs and microbes from footwear.

“The researchers found 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe, including E. coli, meningitis and diarrheal disease; Klebsiella pneumonia, a common source for wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia; and Serratia ficaria, a rare cause of infections in the respiratory tract and wounds,” she reports, “Granted the study was co-sponsored by The Rockport Company, but even so, it definitely brings the point home.”

What else do outdoor shoes track into the home? Breyer reveals that, in addition to bacteria, a number of toxins enter our homes on the bottoms of our shoes. She points to a United States Environmental Protection Agency study that discovered the presence of unhealthy herbicides, such as 2,4-D (which is used to kill weeds), can be imported into the home by our shoes for up to a week after application.

“The ‘track-in’ exposures of these chemicals may exceed those from residues on non-organic fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Breyer, “The study didn’t expound on the health threat of the specific herbicide, however the study’s lead author, Dr. Robert G. Lewis, said the potential exists. Exposure to 2,4-D can cause immediate and relatively minor problems like skin rashes and gastrointestinal upsets; long-term health effects of the herbicide are unknown, the EPA said.”

How can we avoid tracking dirt into our homes? Well, we suppose the answer here is obvious. Removing your shoes when you enter your home is a great way to minimize the amount of dirt and grime you bring into it. We’re not exactly sure why more of our American neighbours aren’t practicing this simple, yet effective routine. But we’re certainly supportive of the Canadian custom to do so.

Breyer suggests going with bare feet when you’re inside. “The opportunity to be barefoot is just good for your feet,” she writes, “Studies have shown that children who habitually go without shoes have fewer cases of flat feet, as well as having stronger feet with better flexibility and fewer podiatric deformities. Allowing your foot muscles to do their thing helps them stay strong and flexible.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we recognize that it’s not altogether possible to keep your home completely dirt and grime free. Years of allowing the elements from outside to infiltrate into the home can produce less-than-stellar indoor air quality. Our Air Quality Services use inspection processes to target all areas of concern in your home to promote much healthier living.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Keeping Your Indoor Air Quality Healthy This Summer

A young woman is standing in the doorway of her kitchen and is looking at the garden at sunriseAre you enjoying the summer yet? While not every day is a sunny one, the time of year when the weather is at its warmest is certainly here. Warm and sunny days are usually associated with summertime but, of course, we’re bound to experience our damp and rainy ones as well. Our neighbours, here in Calgary, Alberta know exactly what we mean. And because the summer isn’t without its rainy days, it’s important to know how our health can be affected by them.

Are rainy summer days bad for our health? Not necessarily. However, as AdvantaClean.com points out, “outdoor humidity and summer storms can carry damp air indoors. Damp air can bring on asthma symptoms and encourages dust, mould and mildew growth, so keep your doors and windows closed on those days.” There are also other weather conditions associated with summer than can present some health issues.

A combination of heat, humidity and wind can make for some air quality problems. When they all combine with pollution emissions, high levels of ozone can form near the ground. And this can be the cause of some harmful health hazards. Such a situation is referred to as an Ozone Action Day. Weather Underground explains further.

“Local air quality experts (usually meteorologists) use air quality computer models, weather data, measurements of pollution levels, and local experience to come with a daily air pollution forecast,” explains the website, “When this forecast indicates that high temperatures, light winds, no rain, and/or a wind direction blowing in polluted air from another area will combine to cause ozone levels in excess of the federal standards, an Ozone Action Day is declared.”

What can be done to limit ground ozone during Ozone Action Days? Controlling auto emissions is especially important on such days. Drivers should seek to significantly limit idling their cars and avoid any unnecessary driving. If possible, take public transportation instead of your own car to your destination or consider walking or riding a bike if the distance isn’t too great. You’ll also want to avoid the use of lawn mowers and outdoor grills until after 6:00pm.

How can indoor air quality be improved on Ozone Action Days? While at home, limit your use of aerosol cans. You’ll also want to conserve energy by turning off or unplugging any electrical devices that are not in use. It’s also wise to keep all of your windows and doors shut. Wait until those windy days to open them up so that the stagnant indoor air can properly circulate with the fresh air from outside.

What else can be done to keep indoor air quality healthy during the summer? “Good ventilation is the easiest way to improve indoor air quality,” states AdvantaClean.com, “A thorough air duct cleaning right before you kick your air conditioning into high gear isn’t a bad idea. Weatherizing your home against air leakage is a good idea as well, both to prevent unwanted moisture from coming in and to keep utility bills low.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re experts in the field of indoor air quality. If you have any concerns about the quality of the air you’re breathing in your home this summer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Be sure to ask us about our Air Quality Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Indications Your Home Is Suffering From Poor Indoor Air Quality

Sick Family Lying In Bed At HomeEven though it’s the summertime, it stands to reason that most of us still spend the majority of our time in our homes. After all, we do have to sleep for approximately a third of our days. And while it’s always fun to enjoy the warmth and sunshine of the outdoors during this time of year, it remains important to take steps to ensure that the air we breathe inside our homes is pure. But how would you even know if your home’s indoor air quality is poor?

Here are five indications your home is suffering from poor indoor air quality:

1. You and your family members are experiencing health issues. How often do members of your household endure headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, sore throats, sneezing, coughing, dizziness and nausea? While these symptoms of illness may sound common, it’s important to note that indoor air pollution is often the cause of them. This is especially true for those who already suffer from respiratory issues, allergies and asthma.

2. You’ve noticed the growth of mould in one or more areas. Mould is most commonly found in our bath tiles. This is because bathrooms are havens for excess humidity and humidity encourages mould growth. However, mould can grow in humid areas in other parts of the home including the walls, floors and furniture found in just about any room. Poor indoor air quality is often a cause for the humidity that causes mould to grow.

3. You feel that your home is too humid. As mentioned, too much humidity is a sign of poor indoor air quality and can often result in mould growth. It is recommended that indoor humidity be kept between 30 and 50 percent throughout the year. This may be particularly difficult during the warm summertime. It’s advisable to use a hygrometer to determine moisture levels in your home.

4. You see that dust accumulates quickly. All homes get dusty. But some seem to attract and develop more dust than others at much quicker paces. Dust is a sign of poor indoor air quality as it indicates a heavier presence of particles resulting from a lack of cleaning, pet dander and pollen. The more dust in your home, the tougher it will be on your respiratory system. Asthma sufferers will especially be prone to breathing problems in a dusty house.

5. You’re finding that odours are more noticeable. Every home has its own smell. And they’re not necessarily bad. The thing is, most people who dwell within a home develop sensory adaptation and don’t even notice smells within it the way visitors do. However, if you begin to notice unpleasant smells in your home, chances are you have an indoor air quality problem. If you’ve left your house for a day or two and come home to notice a foul stench, you know there’s an issue.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to help combat poor indoor air quality in your home. We’re mindful that indoor air quality problems can have long-term effects on the health of you and your family. Our services incorporate inspection processes that target areas of concern in order to determine ways to eliminate causes of indoor air pollution.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Fort McMurray’s Air Quality Advisory Finally Lifted

Depositphotos_109086304_s-2015Back in the beginning of May, a massive wildfire raged throughout Fort McMurray, Alberta destroying thousands of homes and forcing an evacuation of the city’s residents. It was the largest wildfire evacuation in our province’s history. Now, as we approach the end of June, we’re happy to report that the Government of Alberta has already begun the re-entry process so that residents can return to their homes.

We’re thankful that the wildfires have been deemed to no longer be a threat to those who call Fort McMurray their home. As you can imagine, even with the fires no longer burning, there was a great cause for concern about poor air quality last month. As reported by Phys.org, the air quality around the entire Fort McMurray area remained very poor right up until the end of May. As a result, it wasn’t quite ready to be re-inhabited.

“The Alberta Health Services has issued warnings for the entire area with Health Quality Index of 10+ (very high risk of triggering health issues) reported in the area,” revealed the website on May 26th, “The Alberta Health Services has issued an air-quality advisory for the Fort McMurray area, as well as a precautionary air-quality advisory for Edmonton and communities in the North Zone due to wildfires.”

At the time, the wildfires were still raging out of control, covering an area estimated at 522,892 hectares or 2019 square miles. This included 2496 hectares, which is nearly 10 square miles, in Saskatchewan. “Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Fort McKay First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order,” reported Phys.org. That order, however, has since been lifted.

As Stephanie Jellett of FortMcMurrayToday.com reported last week, the air quality advisory that had been in place in Fort McMurray since May 2nd was lifted as the community was no longer being impacted by the smoke from the wildfires. “Alberta Health Services (AHS) lifted the advisory on June 14 stating that there’s no risk to the public,” she writes.

As of the afternoon of June 15th, the Air Quality Health Index was at a two, compared to a high of 10. “Last month, the wildfires created an AQHI rating as high as 51,” informs Jellett. Not only is the fire no longer out of control, but there is no indication that the air quality will worsen in the future. Even the temperatures have dropped. As a result, Fort McMurray is inhabitable again.

Jellett does note, however, that “although the Fort McMurray advisory was lifted, Kirsten Goruk, North Zone senior communications advisor with AHS said the precautionary air advisory for the entire north zone, which was issued on May 5, is still in effect.” She goes on to reveal that AHS no longer recommends delaying children who are either younger than seven years-old or have acute medical conditions to return to their Fort McMurray homes.

On behalf of the entire DF Technical Consulting Services Ltd. team, we would like to offer our best wishes to everyone who has been affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires. If you would like to donate to the Alberta Fires Appeal through the Canadian Red Cross, you can do so HERE. All donations will be matched by the Government of Canada.

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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5 Ways To Naturally Purify The Air In Your Home

Dreamy House Icon Over Arched Horizon of Empty Grass Field and Deep Blue Sky with Clouds.Even though we are beginning to experience the beautiful weather that is associated with summer, most Canadians still spend most of their time indoors. This isn’t to say that we don’t love being outside during the summertime. But we still do have to sleep, after all! It’s not like we’re any different from most other people in the world. We spend a lot of time in our homes and, as a result, must work to keep it as healthy an environment as possible.

Most people believe that if they keep a clean home, it’s a healthy one. And, for the most part, that would be true. However, “clean” doesn’t always necessarily guarantee air purity. You see, the air we breathe in our homes can be polluted by many different things. So, it’s up to us all not to just dust and vacuum, but to practice various air purifying techniques. The more we do to purify the air in our homes, the healthier we will be!

Here are five ways to naturally purify the air in your home:

1. Increase ventilation. This simple piece of advice is one that is easier to follow during the warmer months of the year. Cracking open those windows will help circulate the stagnant air from inside with the fresh air from outside. However, as NaturalLivingIdeas.com reminds us, “outdoor air may still contain pollution that you don’t want in your living spaces. Instead, consider installing trickle vents to purify and cycle the air you breathe indoors.”

2. Try salt lamps. Salt lamps are often hailed as natural ionic air purifiers. Apparently, they work whether they are turned on or off! So says Aashna Ahuja of NDTV.com. “Simply adding a Himalayan pink salt lamp in your room or near your desk at the office does the trick, in terms of functionality and decor,” she reveals, “You can leave it on at night as well, since the natural orange glow doesn’t disrupt sleep hormones.”

3. Use beeswax candles. If you enjoy eating by candlelight, taking relaxing baths or simply saving on electricity, you may be prone to lighting candles in your home. If so, be sure to use beeswax candles over paraffin candles which release petroleum byproducts into the air. “Beeswax burns clean and offers the added benefit of ionizing air to neutralize toxic compounds and other contaminants,” reports NaturalLivingIdeas.com.

4. Make use of essential oils. Ahuja reports that a Weber State University study found that Thieves Oil has a 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria. “It is an antiseptic blend of pure essential oils including pine needle, cinnamon, thyme, eucalyptus, lemon and grapefruit which helps keep the home free from germs and purifies the air,” she explains, “You can add it to soaps and detergents to breathe fresher, cleaner air.”

5. Invest in houseplants. Having plants in your home may be the most simple and sensible act to take in your mission to purify the air you and your family breathes. As NaturalLivingIdeas.com puts it, “plants are Mother Nature’s air purifiers.” The site goes on to recommend all of the following plants for your home: Butterfly Palm, Lady Palm, Rubber Tree, Cornstalk Dracaena, Peace Lily, Chrysanthemum, Golden Pothos, English Ivy and Chinese Evergreen.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Air Quality Services that result in homes with much cleaner air to breathe. Our inspection processes are second to none! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Preventing Carbon Monoxide From Entering Our Homes

fire smoke carbon monoxide detector alarm - illustration for the webCarbon monoxide is a silent killer. That isn’t just a flashy nickname. It’s an unfortunate truth. Because it is an odourless, colourless gas, it cannot be detected without carbon monoxide detectors. An inability to recognize the presence of the deadly gas quickly after it makes its way into your home can lead to death. This is an all-too-tragic fact, as reported by Mariam Matti of CTV Toronto.

In March of 2014, she reported on the death of a Brampton, Ontario family that had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. “The family had been using two portable propane heaters indoors to keep the house warm after their furnace broke, according to police,” reports Matti, noting that all fuel-burning appliances and wood stoves can serve as culprits to the emission of carbon monoxide gas. As such, they should be professionally serviced.

“Carbon monoxide comes from the burning of various fuels — propane, natural gas, wood burning appliances and gas barbeques,” she quotes Raynald Marchand, the general manager at Canada Safety Council, as saying. Matti goes on to insist that generators or oil-based heaters never be operated in enclosed spaces. “Marchand said a common mistake people make is bringing appliances meant for outdoor use inside their home,” reveals Matti.

What are some of the early warning signs of carbon monoxide? Because it is so difficult to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in the home, it’s of vital importance to be mindful of the symptoms that surround its exposure. They include fatigue, headaches, disorientation, shortness of breath, nausea and impaired motor functions, Matti lists. She also notes that chest pain, poor vision and dizziness can arise due to exposure to low levels of the gas over time.

What makes carbon monoxide so dangerous? “If allowed to accumulate, it can fatally starve the human body of oxygen,” reports The Canadian Press, courtesy of CityNews, “Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in the bloodstream, normally has a spot reserved for the oxygen molecule. Carbon monoxide binds to that spot instead, preventing oxygen from being effectively carried to the rest of the body. High exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal.”

The Canadian Press also reports that in January of this year, a 15-month-old girl was credited with saving the lives of her parents and pets after carbon monoxide entered their Kamloops, British Columbia home. According to the report, “the toddler was crying in the middle of the night, which alerted her parents.” Thankfully, this family was able to avoid joining the list of the 380 people who died due to accidental CO poisoning between 2000 and 2009, as reported by Statistics Canada.

What precautions can be taken to prevent CO from entering the home? “Health Canada says every home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector installed to warn if CO levels pose a threat,” says The Canadian Press, “An ideal location for a detector would be hallways outside bedrooms, since noise from the alarm could potentially wake up occupants in case of emergency.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of carbon monoxide poisoning very seriously. As such, we offer Air Quality Services among many others that work to pinpoint any problem areas in the home that may be negatively impacting its indoor air quality. For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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