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Dust Mites

3 Ways To Minimize A Dust Mite Infestation In Your Home

Stop Dust Mite - Red Sign Painted - Open Hand Raised, Isolated on White BackgroundWarning: this is going to sound a bit gross. But when you lay your head down on your pillow to go to bed each night, you’re not exactly alone. Your pillow, in all likelihood, is home to millions of dust mites. And while they are so microscopic they cannot be seen by the naked eye, they remain health hazards for those with asthma and allergies. Now don’t worry – dust mites do not bite, sting or enter our bodies.

Instead, it is their feces and body fragments that present harmful allergens. They love to feed on our dead skin and, as a result, they exist practically everywhere our dead skin may fall. As you may have guessed, they tend to really enjoy our beds considering how often we’re in them and the fact they generally provide warmth. Dust mites thrive on heat and humidity and this is why special attention should be paid to reducing the number that live in your home this summer.

So how can you minimize a dust mite infestation in your home? Here are three ways:

1. Wash your pillows often. Most of us wash our bed linens on a regular basis and naturally, that includes pillow cases. But did you know that you should be washing your pillows as well? Angela Mulholland of CTV News advises us to throw our pillows into the laundry at least two or three times a year in order to remove dust, sweat and saliva stains. If you’re an allergy sufferer, you should wash your pillows more often than that.

“There are lots of guides on washing pillows,” informs Mulholland, “but essentially, a little detergent and Borax to neutralize sweat smells is all you need. Almost all pillows except foam ones can go in the wash. Just be sure they are fully dried to eliminate all leftover moisture. Since foam pellet and solid foam pillows cannot go in the dryer, they should be regularly vacuumed or periodically replaced.”

2. Remove carpets and/or become a “vacuumaholic”. Many Canadians have replaced their carpets for hardware floors to give their homes more aesthetically pleasing looks. But they’ve also done their health a favour by getting rid of these havens for dust mites. If you choose to keep carpet in certain rooms of your home, be sure to vacuum as regularly as you can. Removing dust from your living environment is essential for keeping dust mites at bay.

The Canada Safety Council recommends that you buy a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. “Ordinary vacuuming will only send dust mites and their particles into the air,” they report, “It’s not clear how much a HEPA filter actually helps with allergies, but it’s worth trying. Ideally, if you’re allergic, get someone else to vacuum and dust. Vacuum bags should be changed often, since mites and debris can get out.”

3. Try vapour steam-cleaning. Not many people have heard about this technique, but it is one that can definitely help with the dust mite issue in your home. You see, not all of your bedding can be thrown in the laundry. Take your mattress, for example. As revealed on Gaiam.com, in her book, Home Enlightenment: Create a Nurturing, Healthy, and Toxin-Free Home, Annie B. Bond suggests vapour steam-cleaning as a dust mite removal option.

“Vapour steam-cleaning (using a small machine that heats surfaces with dry steam) kills fungus, dust mites, bacteria, and other undesirables,” she writes, “This is a good way to clean bedding that you can’t launder, such as mattresses. Vapour contains only 5 to 6 percent water (conversely, most steam cleaners use lots of warm water to clean), so the vapour steam doesn’t contribute to a moist environment. Vapour steam deeply penetrates whatever it is cleaning, and it is great for upholstery, couches, carpets, and mattresses.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is for Canadians to live in homes that promote good health. Eliminating health hazards from the air we breathe is the primary objective of 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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The Impact Of A Dirty Home On Indoor Air Quality

Depositphotos_48440033_s-2015Have you ever been to dinner with a friend and noticed a bit of food stuck in his/her teeth? We all have. The question is, do you say something about it? It’s not all that big a deal, right? But it tends to bother you nonetheless. Most people, we would venture to guess, would kindly point out the trapped food to allow their friends to remove the potentially embarrassing remnants of their meals. But this kind gesture isn’t so easy to offer in other situations.

Take, for example, the state of a person’s home. We all have our own particular tendencies for the ways in which we maintain the states of our places of living. Have you ever been to someone’s home and couldn’t help but notice how messy it is? Do you see dust on all of the furniture and pet hair strewn all over the floor? Do you notice grime in the tiles and stains in the carpets? What do you say in such situations?

Although most would likely keep their opinions about their friends’ messy homes to themselves, they’d actually be providing big favours by making mention of them. This is because cleaner homes foster healthier lifestyles. The messier a home is, the worse it is for its indoor air quality. And this can present long-term negative health effects. Dust is an especially big problem for those with asthma and allergies.

How does dust become a major health problem? On ImmaculateClean.com, it is explained that bedrooms and living rooms that aren’t regularly cleaned become major problem areas. “If your living room has not been vacuumed or its curtains are not clean, then you risk exposing you and your family to allergy-inducing dust mites, pet dander, mold, and other free-floating debris,” explains the site, “These problems can also trigger asthma attacks in people who are prone to them.”

On BranchBasics.com, Marilee Nelson suggests that, thanks to dust, the dirtiest part of your home may very well be the air that you’re breathing. After all, air is invisible and generally odourless, so you’re not prone to consider the ways in which you can clean it. People tend to only clean surface areas of the home that they can see. And, in many cases, the cleaning products they’re using are only serving to worsen the quality of the air in the home.

How do some cleaning products worsen indoor air quality? “Conventional cleaning methods often fail to address the indoor air pollutants that could be making you sick,” reports Nelson, “In fact, cleaning with products containing synthetic fragrance and other harmful chemicals or with an unsealed vacuum cleaner can actually leave the indoor air quality in your home worse than when you started cleaning.”

How does mould become a major health problem? Bathrooms are often places where household cleaning products are used. Of course, it only makes sense to keep bathrooms clean. But, once again, not everyone practices the same home cleaning routines. As a result, some bathrooms become havens for mould growth which can exacerbate asthma symptoms as well as cause eye, nose and throat irritation.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have always taken the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. If your home (or the home of a friend) isn’t regularly cleaned, you could be leaving its inhabitants open to unnecessary health hazards. Our Air Quality Services pinpoint a home’s areas of concern to enable its residents to live in a cleaner environment. 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 Household Items That Present Health Hazards

Vacuuming the carpetThis week, our blog has been focused on the dangers of asbestos. As we’ve mentioned, there is really no limit to the amount of damage that the material can do to our lungs. So, there should really be no limit to the amount of information you get about why to avoid it. As you may be aware, asbestos was once popularly used, predominantly as an insulation material in homes and office buildings. Renovations to such buildings have been known to send asbestos fibres into the air.

Breathing in these fibres has been known to lead to lung cancer as well as other fatal respiratory diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. There is no shortage to the amount of protection we should all be giving our lungs. So, in addition to checking your home for asbestos before any renovations are made, it’s pretty important that you keep mindful of other materials in your home that may also present health hazards.

Here are three:

1. Carpeting. These days, many home owners opt for hardwood flooring throughout their homes. Not only does it help for the home to have a sleeker and cleaner look, but it also helps for the home to be safer. Firstly, carpet is well known for collecting dust and, as such, requires regular vacuuming. The more dust in your home, the more susceptible you are to the allergens that are present as a result of dust mites.

As well, as Dr. Joseph Mercola reports on his website, “indoor carpeting has recently come under greater scrutiny because of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with new carpet installation. The glue and dyes used with carpeting are known to emit VOCs, which can be harmful to your health in high concentrations. However, the initial VOC emissions will often subside after the first few days following.”

2. Pressed wood products. Not all of our wood furniture is made from solid wood. Many of our homes inhabit desks, coffee tables, shelves and other types of furniture that are made from pressed wood. And while these particular items are generally sturdy enough to do their jobs, it takes a little bit of extra work to keep all of that “faux wood” together. Dr. Mercola explains that the glue used to do so isn’t exactly safe.

“The glue that holds the wood particles in place may use urea-formaldehyde as a resin,” he reveals, “The U.S. EPA estimates that this is the largest source of formaldehyde emissions indoors. Formaldehyde exposure can set off watery eyes, burning eyes and throat, difficulty breathing, and asthma attacks. Scientists also know that it can cause cancer in animals. The risk is greater with older pressed wood products, since newer ones are better regulated.”

3. Laser printers. This one may catch you by surprise. What could possibly be wrong with using a laser printer? “A 2007 study found that some laser printers give off ultra-fine particles that can cause serious health problems,” reveals Dr. Mercola, “Another study confirmed that laser and ink-jet printers can releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone particulates. All of these have been linked with heart and lung disease.”

He also points out that household items such as mothballs, paint, air fresheners, cleaning products and even baby bottles all pose potential health hazards. Dr. Mercola admits that this can be overwhelming, but there are ways to limit your exposure. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we believe strongly in the need to inspect your home to determine its indoor air quality.

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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4 Simple Ways To Keep A Dust-Free Home

Young woman wiping the dust on TV in living room at homeYou don’t have to asthmatic to be affected by dust. Living in a dusty environment can be bad for anyone’s health. Among the problems that dust cause are dust mites. These tiny, invisible insects live in the fibres of carpeting, plush furniture, curtains, mattresses, pillows and bedding. It just so happens that most dust mites exist where you sleep. This is because they feed on dead skin which is often shed while you’re snoozing.

According to the Asthma Society of Canada, “the average adult sheds two pounds of dead skin per year; much of it while sleeping. Dust mites live in bedding and mattresses and eat these flakes of skin. They prefer warm, humid environments.” The problem with dust mites is that they leave fecal matter and body parts wherever they go. And these are common allergens. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? This is why it pays to keep a dust-free home.

Here are four simple ways to do just that:

1. Place doormats at the entrances of your home. One of the best ways to keep a dust-free home is to minimize its chances of entering its doors. There are many pollutants that come from the outdoors. And often, we track them into the house on the bottoms of our shoes. Having a doormat at each entrance gives both you and your visitors the opportunity to dust off your footwear before going inside.

On BobVila.com, Donna Boyle Schwartz highly recommends this practice. “Every time visitors come in from the outside, they track dirt into the house—and small dirt particles are a major component of dust,” she informs us, “Use both exterior and interior doormats—especially the kind with a bristle top—to trap dirt and keep it from traveling farther into your home. Wash or vacuum the mats regularly to prevent buildup.”

2. Place air purifiers in the rooms you use the most. We spend a lot of time in our bedrooms. But there are many other rooms in your home that you are likely to frequent. By using air purifiers, you help to minimize the amount of dust that collects on your furniture and other belongings. On WomansDay.com, Diane Benson Harrington recommends that you “skip ionic air cleaners; they release ozone. Instead, choose fan-powered cleaners.”

3. Keep your pets well maintained. Human skin isn’t the only part of the dust mite diet. If you own pets, you’re likely well aware that skin, hair and dander can find their ways to be left all over your home. Not only is it wise to continually clean it all up, but you’ll want to find ways to keep shedding at a minimum. Keep your pets well groomed and their specified areas for play and sleep properly cleaned.

This will go a long way in keeping dust mites at bay. “Dead skin cells and dead hair are a major source of dust—and unfortunately, our furry friends produce a lot of hair!” Schwartz reminds us, “Groom pets regularly to help keep dead skin and hair from accumulating. As a bonus, you and your pets will feel better too. Keeping kitty’s litter box covered will also help hold down the dust.”

4. Get rid of carpeting. “Getting rid of carpet might seem like a drastic measure, but carpeting holds an awful lot of dust—and releases it into the air every time you take a step,” continues Schwartz, “If you are thinking of redecorating, consider installing some type of hard-surface flooring: wood, tile, stone, or vinyl are all good alternatives to carpeting and much easier to keep dust-free!”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important keeping a dust-free home is to your indoor air quality. For more information on how our Air Quality Services can help you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Steps To De-cluttering Your Home

Depositphotos_46720083_s-2015In our last blog, we touched upon the topic of de-cluttering your home and detailed the benefits that come as a result. As explained, your home’s indoor air quality will vastly improve when it is void of unnecessary boxes, packages and other items that serve no purpose other than to take up space. Minimizing the chances of mould growth and dust mites will go a long way in improving your home’s indoor air quality.

But, as we also pointed out in our last blog, the entire de-cluttering process can be a long and arduous one. Many people who have homes filled with clutter want to start cleaning it all up but can’t begin to fathom how they will complete their jobs. As a result, they don’t begin any de-cluttering at all! In today’s blog, we’ll go through some steps that will assist you in de-cluttering your home.

Here are three:

1. Try to move all of your clutter to one location. Perhaps, the most overwhelming thing about starting the clean-up process is where to place all of that clutter taking up space throughout your home. If so, let’s focus on first things first. Instead of worrying about the cleaning process, let’s just start moving some things around. Choose a specific spot to place all of the things you’re considering getting rid of and place them there.

“If the amount of clutter in your home is overwhelming and you want a quick fix, do what you can to keep the clutter in one area in your home or rent a storage unit,” recommends Sara Bereika of SelfGrowth.com, “This should never be considered a permanent fix but you will at least be able to clean the majority of your home thoroughly. This will help you increase the quality of the air in your home and it will keep hallways and doorways hazard free.”

2. Donate items you no longer have use for. If you’re of the mind that placing all of your clutter in one location will only exacerbate the problem, we understand. After all, perhaps looking at the grand total of all of your junk will send you into a negative tailspin. And the last thing we want to do is discourage your clean-up. Instead of creating a new stockpile, get rid of items you no longer want. But remember that someone else may find uses for them.

“Why horde that second blender when your college-bound nephew could use it for mixing margaritas?” asks Gregory Go of Unclutterer.com, “Or how about all those clothes you never wear anymore? The stuff you don’t need anymore might be useful for someone else. Donating your unused stuff is a fine way to up your charitable budget without using cash.” Go also reminds us that that more we give away, the less items that need to be manufactured. And this helps the environment!

3. Consider the money you can make. You don’t necessarily have to donate everything you no longer need. If money is a motivator – and when isn’t it? – you may want to consider how much cash you’re sitting on by not starting your de-cluttering process. “Many of the items that are cluttering our house, can be valuable to someone else,” says Paris Parsa of The Green Minimalist blog.

“An item seating in the garage for many years, taking room and cluttering our mind and house, could be sold on E-bay or Craigslist. Sometimes a good sum of money can be made. Let those stuff go and try to sell them. This way, you make money and someone else that could use this item, will have a chance to enjoy it. It is a win, win situation.” Here’s hoping these steps will help start the process of having your home become the cleanest it has ever been!

For more information on DF Technical & Consulting Service Ltd.’s Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Detailing The Benefits Of De-cluttering

Depositphotos_47311931_s-2015The back-to-school season is upon us. And, while classrooms aren’t quite ready to be filled just yet – don’t worry kids, you still have a few more weeks to go! – it’s that time of year when parents and students alike are preparing for the transition. In many cases, this transition requires the purchasing of new clothing and supplies. And, as a result, many people feel the need to go through their wardrobes and belongings to get rid of some no-longer-in-use items.

It can be argued that back-to-school preparations are summer’s version of spring cleaning time. Really, there is no bad time to clean up around the house. And this is especially true if your cleaning routines involve the de-cluttering of your home. Clutter, as you may know, is a big-time opponent of good indoor air quality. The more clutter you have, the more opportunities you give for dust to collect.

The more dust that collects, the more dust mites you allow into your home. These known allergens can cause a lot of havoc for those with allergies and asthma symptoms. Clutter also disables homeowners from identifying moisture spots. Especially when hidden, areas of moisture in the home can also allow for the development of mould. As you likely also know, mould also promotes an unhealthy breathing environment.

De-cluttering, however, is often looked upon as an arduous task. In truth, it can take a lot of time and effort. Of course, this all depends on the amount of clutter that exists in your home. Worst case scenario hoarding is obviously representative of the most severe types of clutter that exist. In the hopes that you haven’t quite got a hoarding problem, rest assure that you can get through all that soon-to-be-tossed-away junk.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Reduce the amount of clutter in your home or office as best you can by asking for help from friends, family or a professional,” advises Sara Bereika of SelfGrowth.com, “For many this can be easier said than done. But if you or your family has acquired several colds and illnesses, it is time to make a change. It’s true the clutter may not be the leading cause of illness, but it isn’t helping you or your family to stay healthy either.”

It’s also important to remember that, in addition to improving the quality of air in your home, de-cluttering will help you to enjoy your living space a lot more. “What percentage of your home is used for clutter storage?” asks Gregory Go of Unclutterer.com, “You may be shocked to learn the percentage of your rent or mortgage payments being used to store that old TV, extra couch, and broken coffee maker.”

Not only will you be able to enjoy more of your home, but you’ll be able to spend your time more wisely. Think about it. Going forward, you’ll have a lot less to clean and tidy, right? This gives you more time to do with your life as you please. “If you have less stuff and less to do, you will automatically gain more time,” reminds Paris Parsa of The Green Minimalist blog. “Time the the most valuable possessions we all have. Don’t replace it with stuff. Don’t waste it. Life is short.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are big proponents for de-cluttered homes. Knowing the importance of your home’s indoor air quality, it only makes sense for you to give yourself as great a chance as possible of minimizing dust mites, mould and other detriments to the air that you breathe. We highly recommend our Air Quality Services at the completion of your de-cluttering job. For more information, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Vacuuming Tips For Eliminating Dust In The Home

vacuum cleaner on the floor showing house cleaning conceptIn our last blog, we revisited the importance of dusting your home – and dusting it properly – in an effort to keep dust mites at bay. As you’re likely aware, dust mites are allergens that negatively impact the air that we breathe. So naturally, it pays to keep our homes as clean and tidy as possible. Obviously, dusting is not the only household chore that helps to minimize dust. Vacuuming is also a popular activity in the home.

And, by popular, we don’t necessarily mean enjoyable. It’s one of those regular tasks that are required of us all in order to keep our homes clean. Without vacuuming, the accumulation of dust is inevitable. But just like with dusting, there are some important techniques that will help you to get the most out of your vacuum. Isn’t this vacuuming stuff supposed to be straight-forward? Well not always, it seems.

Here are five vacuuming tips for eliminating dust in the home:

1. Empty the bag after every use. Some people wait until their vacuum bags or cups are full before emptying them. However, as Carolyn Forte points out on GoodHousekeeping.com, this can be a mistake. “Even though some vacuums have ‘check bag’ indicator lights, check the bag yourself and change it when it’s three-quarters full,” she advises, “This keeps your vacuum’s suction strong. And if you have a bagless vac, don’t forget the dust cup – dirt collects there, too.”

2. Move the furniture around. Some people are lazy. We’re just being honest here. They choose to vacuum around their tables, chairs and other furniture. As a result, there are areas of dust that never even get a once over. “Move any furniture you can out of the room; you don’t need to do this every time, but as part of seasonal cleaning it makes sense to clean the entire area of carpet,” Molly Maid strongly recommends.

3. Use the attachments. They are there for a reason. Some allow for you to vacuum those crevices that exist between the carpet and the walls. Some allow for you to properly dust soft or cushiony furniture. And some allow for you to reach higher places. “They make above-the-floor cleaning much easier, and pick up dust and allergens from areas you might otherwise overlook, like upholstery, light fixtures, baseboards, and lampshades,” reports Forte.

4. Do away with once-overs. In other words, make sure to make multiple passes over your cleaning areas. Even the best vacuums may not suck everything up on the first pass. “Just as you do with mopping, start vacuuming at the end of the room farthest from the door,” suggests Molly Maid, “Work your way backward from left to right, making multiple passes over each area as you go; once pass rarely picks up all dirt and debris.”

5. Cut tangled hair and strings. One of the best ways to make your vacuum lose its effectiveness is to ignore the brush roll. When thread and hair get tangled up in it, it can cease to roll. When this happens, your vacuum becomes an inefficient cleaner. “To prevent this, unwind or snip away any tangles,” offers Forte, “Most vacuums have a brush roll that you can easily remove for more thorough cleaning.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are known for taking things to the next level. Instead of vacuuming, we offer Air Quality Services that work to ensure that your home is as dust-free as possible. Locating all potential causes for your indoor air quality to be negatively impacted, we help to make your home a safer place to live. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. July 30, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for this great cleaning tips, I now know how to properly use my vacuum. I’m sure cleaning the carpets and the house would be easier because of your good advise.

  2. August 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Going over the same area more than once is great advice. You don’t want to have to start over after vacuuming the entire room so you need to be sure each area is cleaned before moving on. Thanks for sharing!

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3 Excellent House Dusting Tips

Woman dusting windowDusting. It’s one of those “must-do” chores that the majority of people seem to hate. It’s not that dusting is all that physically taxing, for most people. It’s simply time consuming and not all that fun an activity. And the thing is, the larger your home, the more dusting you have to do! And when does it ever end? Well, as long as you have skin – never! And that’s because the majority of dust in your home is made up of your dead skin.

“Dust is definitely not sugar and spice and everything nice,” describes Alonna Friedman on TheNest.com, “The microscopic particles are made up of all sorts of groovy things, but mostly it’s your dead skin that has fallen off.” And doesn’t it seem like dust just accumulates everywhere? This is what makes dusting so difficult for most of us. The hard-to-reach areas and nooks and crannies where dust gets trapped make it virtually impossible to eliminate!

So how can we properly remove dust from our homes? Well, it’s certainly going to take a bit of effort. Actually, a lot of effort! But it’s certainly not impossible to minimize the presence of dust in our homes. And, as you should be aware, dust removal is important in order to keep dust mites at bay. These microscopic creatures are well known for impacting indoor air quality and making life difficult for those who suffer with asthma and allergies.

Here are three excellent house dusting tips:

1. Be careful with your electronics. As Heloise points out on GoodHousekeeping.com, “computers, TVs, DVD players, stereos, and printers are notorious dust magnets.” But, the thing is, these devices are electrical and can’t be cleaned the way you would your average piece of furniture. Therefore, it’s important to always unplug the equipment before cleaning them. “A gentle swipe with a microfiber cloth usually does the job,” says Heloise.

2. Target your children’s stuffed toys. We often think of easily wiping away dust from the furniture and appliances in our homes. But don’t forget that there is often a lot of dust accumulating in spots that you might not notice. Your children’s soft toys are perfect examples. Heloise insists that you pay special attention to such toys. They can’t be dusted the traditional way either.

Instead, a unique cleaning regimen is recommended to keep toys dust-free. “Put beanbag critters, teddy bears, or fabric dolls into a large plastic bag with a cup of baking soda,” she instructs, “Secure the top, then take outside and shake well. The baking soda and static will draw out the soil and dust. Remove items one at a time, shake off the clumps of baking soda, and vacuum the rest using a brush attachment.”

3. Don’t ignore the vents. Have you ever noticed how much dust accumulates in the vents in your bathrooms and laundry room? There’s a reason for that. While they’re sucking the dust out of the air for you, it’s important for you to suck the dust out of them! “Remove heavy dust from ceiling, floor, or appliance vents with a soft-brush vacuum attachment or electrostatic mop, then dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe the surface,” advises Heloise.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to taking things a step further for our clients. We provide Air Quality Services to ensure that the indoor air quality of their homes is top-notch. You spend a lot of time in your home. Its air should be as pure as you can possibly make it. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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2 Important Ways To Do Away With Dust Mites

The illustration of a prohibition sign for house dust mitesIf you were asked how many living organisms live in your home, what you say? Chances are that you would mention the members of your family or any other residents of your home. Clearly, the question is posed in a pretty specific way. So you would also likely include your pets, if you have any. The truth is, however, that you would never know the true answer to the question. And that’s because of dust mites!

Sure, there are other living organisms in your home. The odd fly or other insect is bound to make its way into your living space. Dust mites, on the other hand, exist in uncountable numbers. They are so tiny and basically invisible to the naked eye that you could never prevent them from being among your home’s inhabitants. So what’s the big deal, right? Well, the truth is that dust mites can impact the quality of your air.

They are known for being allergens, especially to asthmatics. Therefore, reducing the amount of dust in your home is incredibly important. Yes, regular vacuuming can help. But you’ll want to be sure to take some measures that can improve your home’s overall indoor air quality on a long-term basis. This is especially important if you have small children or elderly people in your home, as they are more susceptible to allergens.

Here are two important ways to do away with dust mites:

1. Give dust mites less places to live. Try to limit the number of places where dust often accumulates. As WebMD.com points out, this includes carpet, upholstered furniture, and heavy drapes that collect dust. “Avoid furniture covered with fabrics,” insists the website, “Use pillow and mattress covers made from a tight-weave fabric that keeps out dust and mites.” You’ll also want to remove rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting and opt for hardwood floors instead.

If you wish to include carpeting in your home, it’s best to use smaller rugs that you can easily wash. WebMD.com admits that this can be tough for some people to accept. “Talk with your family about this and about how this will affect family life,” the site recommends, “If you cannot or do not want to remove carpeting throughout the home, consider removing it only in the bedroom.”

2. Become a consummate cleaner. Dust mites are known to live in our bedding. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? They literally lie with us while we are asleep! Instead of grossing yourself out any further at the thought, be sure to wash all of your bedding and blankets at least once a week in hot water. MedicineNet.com recommends that you use water that is at least 130-140°F in order to kill dust mites.

As well, the site recommends that you use damp mops and rags to remove dust. It’s not enough to simply use a feather duster. That will only spread the dust around. “Never use a dry cloth since this just stirs up mite allergens,” insists MedicineNet.com. It’s also not enough to vacuum with a regular cleaner. “Use a vacuum cleaner with either a double-layered microfilter bag or a HEPA filter to trap allergens that pass through a vacuum’s exhaust,” advises the site.

The quality of the air in your home is incredibly important for some very obvious reasons. While dust mites can’t be seen by the naked eye, they can certainly have an impact on our health. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to ensure that the air you are breathing is as pure as it can be. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Household Cleaning Tips For Asthmatics

rear view of woman with yellow gloves in kitchen doing houseworkAsthmatics have it rough. The simple act of breathing – something most of us take for granted – can be an arduous task for those who suffer with asthma. Obviously, breathing air that is as pollutant-free as possible is important for everyone’s overall health. But, it goes without saying that asthmatics need to take special precautions to breathe the purest air possible. As a result, the indoor air quality of an asthmatic’s home is a top priority.

Most of us have some sort of cleaning regimen when it comes to the home. At least, on a weekly basis, we tend to do the laundry, vacuum the floors, scrub the bathrooms, dust the furniture and wipe down surfaces. Asthmatics, however, should follow some meticulous cleaning practices to ensure that they don’t leave room for triggers of their disease to get the better of them. Reducing the risk of asthma symptoms will play a huge role in their quest for better health.

Here are four household cleaning tips for asthmatics:

1. Keep a spotless kitchen. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, it’s important to ensure that your kitchen is immaculately clean. “Use an exhaust fan on a regular basis to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture,” they insist, “Place garbage in a can with an insect-proof lid and empty trash daily. Store food—including pet food—in sealed containers, and discard moldy or out-of-date items.”

The AAAA & I also recommends that you mop the floor and wipe the cabinets, countertops backsplashes and appliances down at least once a week. Using a detergent and water solution is advised. As well, it’s important to limit moisture in the kitchen. Checking for plumbing leaks and wiping up all spills and condensation in the refrigerator area will help to ward off the development of mould – a known asthma trigger.

2. Eliminate dust from the bedroom. As we’ve blogged about before, dust mites are also known to trigger asthma symptoms. Significantly limiting their presence in your home will do a long way in keeping asthma attacks at bay. “Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers,” advises the AAAA & I, “Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets weekly in 130o F water. Remove, wash or cover comforters.”

They also suggest that you vacuum your carpets at least once a week with a cleaner that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Don’t forget your area rugs, floor mats and curtains either. They should be washed seasonally, says the AAAA & I. As well, they recommend that you “keep windows closed and use air conditioning during pollen season”. And if you have mould to clean up, be sure to wear a protective mask while doing it.

3. Keep the bathroom dry. This is practically impossible considering what bathrooms are used for. But bear in mind that limiting moisture is a key component to keeping an asthmatic’s home as safe as possible. The AAAA & I advises that you always use your exhaust fans during showers and to towel dry the tub after it has been used. In addition, you should “clean or replace mouldy shower curtains and bathmats (and) quickly repair any leaks.”

4. Don’t ignore the basement. Basements are known for becoming overly cluttered areas. When people stop using things, they often stick them in the basement. Before you know it, it becomes a makeshift junkyard. This presents a breeding ground for dust accumulation and mould growth in the damper areas. The AAAA & I recommends that you always clean wearing gloves and a mask. As well, remove any water-damaged carpeting.

When all else fails, DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. is here to help! For more information on our Air Quality Services, Moisture Monitoring Services or Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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