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Avoiding Asthma And Allergy Symptom Triggers While At Home

To all asthmatics and allergy sufferers, we hope that you’ve been experiencing a symptom-free spring so far. For many of you, a complete avoidance of any allergy symptoms during the spring is unlikely. And with summer coming up in a little over a month, pollen, dust, ragweed and the like aren’t bound to let up.

As a result, it’s important that you take measures to protect your lungs from the usual suspects. And, believe it or not, this goes double when you’re in the house. You may assume that avoiding nature is a great way to prevent your allergies from acting up, but it’s important to remember that your home is filled with allergens as well.

What can asthmatics and allergy sufferers do to avoid symptom triggers while at home?

Eliminate the presence of cigarette smoke at all costs.

If you have asthma or suffer from allergies, you likely stay clear from cigarettes. However, you’re also likely to have friends or family members who smoke. Put them on high alert that under no circumstances is cigarette smoking permitted in your home. Make no mistake about it. Cigarettes are killers. We all know they’re cancer-causing. But for many asthma sufferers, the smoke from cigarettes is so unbearable, it feels like they’re being choked to death!

“Staying smoke and scent free is an easy way to improve the air quality in your home or workplace,” Asthma.ca reminds us, “Cigarette smoke, wood smoke, and scented products like candles, flowers, perfumes, cleaning supplies, and laundry products can all be asthma triggers. You have the power to keep these triggers out of your indoor spaces.”

Dust and clean your home regularly.

It sounds like a no-brainer to keep your home clean, but you may be surprised to know how quickly dust accumulates. Missing a week of cleaning is as good as inviting an asthma attack – depending, of course, on how severe your asthma is. As Chin Chin of Dengarden.com points out, when dust accumulates in the home, chemicals and allergens accumulate as well.

“Sweep or use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of dust on the floor and carpets at least two times a week,” she recommends, “Choose a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to make sure that the dust doesn’t get blown back from the exhaust and don’t forget to wash the filter. Mop the floor with plain water afterward to pick up the dust left behind by the vacuum or broom.”

Beware of volatile organic compounds.

Volatile organic compounds (or VOCs, for short) are found in a lot of consumer products. In addition to cigarettes, they are also found in paints, glues, cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners and adhesives. You’ll notice that a few of the products mentioned are often used to clean and disinfect your home. In reality, such products – the ones that actually smell pretty nice – are causing more harm than good.

“Chemical fumes from products like paints, cleaners, scented cosmetics, and laundry supplies can all trigger an asthma attack or worsening of symptoms,” informs Asthma.ca, “Look for products with the asthma & allergy friendly™ certification program logo to find products that have been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team is committed to helping you avoid asthma and allergy symptom triggers all year round. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How Does The Summertime Impact Indoor Air Quality?

If you’re like most Canadians, you’re counting down the days until summer arrives. By our calculations, we’re looking at about 44 days until the official start of summer on June 21st. You can’t blame Canadians for eagerly wanting the warm and sunny days of summer to return. Our winters are long enough! In addition to the renewed opportunity to enjoy the sun, summer is also a great time of year to freshen up our homes.

Let’s be honest. Most of us keep our homes cooped up all winter long. We keep the windows shut to stay warm – and that makes sense. However, our prevention of air circulating in and out of our windows causes the air in our homes to get stale and stagnant. To improve indoor air quality all year long, it’s important to crack the windows – even it’s just for a few minutes – even on really cold days.

With summer, it will be easier to keep the windows open!

What does that mean for the indoor air quality of our homes? Sure, the air will be fresher since the old and stale air from inside will be able to escape out of the house. However, as many Canadians know, summer is also a season when allergies act up. As explained by Toronto’s SafeAir Environmental Inc., three of the most common causes of summer allergies are pollen, mould and smog.

With our windows open, the opportunities for allergy symptom-inducing pollen to enter our homes significantly increase. It’s the most common summer allergen of all as it emanates from blooming trees, bushes and flowers. It is known to irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Mould can add to this irritation.

“With the warmth and water of spring comes the potential for mould growth inside our homes come summer, which can make for a very unpleasant indoor environment!” says SafeAir, “Any leaks, drips, or musty smells should be thoroughly investigated before they become major infestations, which can seriously harm your health and even the structure of your home.” Their website also alerts people to be on the lookout for smog alerts all summer long.

What can be done to minimize indoor pollutants during the summer?

Having houseplants is a great idea. As we’ve pointed out in numerous blogs before, houseplants are known to neutralize air pollutants. With the summer season approaching, plants will be in a much better position to receive sunlight allowing them to bloom and flourish. Another great idea is cleaning your air conditioner before cranking it up. Keep in mind that its dormant winter-state likely allowed it to accumulate a lot of dust.

“Your air conditioner can be a source of mould and bacteria if improperly maintained,” warns Mississauga’s Applewood Air Conditioning, “The air conditioner coil is continually damp and located in a dark environment. If you have UV lights installed inside of your ductwork, this breeding ground for mould and bacteria will be disrupted. UV rays are also a beneficial for protecting against infectious diseases, as they can damage the physical structure of biological pollutants.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team is committed to helping you prevent your allergies from acting up this summer. 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 Easy Steps To Living In A Healthier Home

This past Monday, most of the world celebrated Earth Day. As we pointed out in last week’s blog, the annual celebration is a reminder that we can all put more efforts into protecting our environment. Of course, it’s also wise to protect the environments within which we spend most of our time – our homes!

Do you wish to live in a healthy environment? Who wouldn’t? Here are three easy steps to living in a healthier home:

1. Crack open the windows.

You won’t be surprised to see this piece of advice on today’s list of tips. It’s one we’ve championed several times over. With warmer weather now here, it’s a good idea to keep your windows open more frequently. There’s likely to be a lot of stale air that has been cooped up in your home all winter long. Let it out! And be sure to have the fresh air from outside circulate with the stagnant air from inside a lot more often throughout the spring and summer.

According to BoneStructure.ca, “even if your indoor air is clean and free of irritants, your home requires a steady flow of fresh air in, stale air out. Today’s new houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, but while innovations like triple-pane windows are excellent at preventing drafts and lowering utility bills, they can also prevent a healthy exchange of indoor air with new air from outside.”

2. Test for radon.

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas. Because of that, it can’t be detected by sight or smell. Nevertheless, when it is found in high concentrations, it can be incredibly hazardous to our health. It comes from the ground outside and can seep into your home through its various cracks. In the outdoors, radon is relatively harmless. But, as mentioned, when trapped in tight spaces, it can be dangerous.

Testing for radon is vital to protecting the health of everyone in your home. “Radon tests are important when it comes to protecting your home and improving the air,” agrees Rinkesh on the Conserve Energy Future Blog, “Certain parts of the country have more problems with radon than others. Basements are popular spaces where radon is found. Detectors can be purchased to ensure the air is safe.”

3. Locate and remove all mould.

Mould is gross. Whether of the green or black variety, it is unsightly as it is bad for your health. When mould spores become airborne, they can significantly impact asthma sufferers as well as those who don’t even have respiratory issues. And as BoneStructure.ca points out, microscopic mould spores can multiply rapidly with the presence of moisture and can grow on certain building materials.

“Too much mould in indoor air can mean upper respiratory symptoms like coughing and wheezing in healthy people, and more severe respiratory symptoms, eye irritation and skin reactions for those who are sensitive or allergic to mould,” the website reveals, “If moisture gets trapped in the walls of your house it creates an inviting home for mould—and once this unwelcome guest takes root, it’s difficult to remove without structural work.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., our many health-promoting services include Radon Services and Mould Assessment 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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Making It Earth Day In Your Home All Year Round

This year, Earth Day falls on Monday, April 22nd. The annual celebration of our planet is a reminder that we can all do more to protect our environment. And while it’s vital we all do our part to reduce waste, re-use certain items and recycle others, it’s also important to remember to cut down on pollution. Opting for public transit over driving your own car from time to time is helpful in that regard.

At home, Earth Day should be every day. Consider your home your own little planet and think of the ways you can make it a healthier place to live. For the most part, very simple changes to your daily routines can mean the difference between constantly breathing in air pollutants and living in a healthy environment.

Maintain a healthy humidity level.

During the colder months of the year, we tend to turn the heat way up. Thankfully, with summer on the way, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, where there is heat, there is often humidity. And where there is humidity, there is moisture. So, with that said, it’s wise to keep tabs on the humidity level in your home. Why? Moisture can create mould and mould can wreak havoc on those with asthma and allergies.

“It is important to have a balance of humidity in living spaces,” insists Rinkesh on the Conserve Energy Future Blog, “This means a healthy humidity level of 30-50%. Mould and dust mites grow in areas where there is too much humidity. It is important to monitor this in both homes and businesses to improve indoor air quality.”

Do away with the air fresheners.

We know. We want our homes to smell as fresh as you do yours. But, trust us, using scented cleaning products and air fresheners is not the way to go. Those fresh scents are often indications that you’re breathing in volatile organic compounds. Also known as VOCs, they are harmful gases that are known to cause headaches and nausea as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.

“Long-term exposure can damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, and has been linked to cancer,” reports BoneStructure.ca, “These gases, which usually are released in the greatest amounts when a building is new and slowly dissipate over time, are likely the culprit behind ‘new house allergy syndrome’ – the phenomenon in which people experience allergy-like symptoms in a newly constructed home.”

Invest in house plants.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve recommended house plants on our blog. And it’s not likely to be the last. In many of our past blogs, we’ve highlighted the fact that NASA studies have found house plants to be excellent pollutant removers. Adding house plants to your home will help to purify the air you breathe.

As Rinkesh puts it, “house plants serve more than one goal in this environment. These plants actually work to improve air quality. You can place plants in various rooms of the home to achieve this goal. Studies have shown that they help produce fresher air, as well.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we like to think of ourselves as year-long Earth Day celebrators! For information about our many health-promoting services which include Air Quality Services and Moisture Monitoring Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Never Underestimate The Importance Of Vacuuming

We get it. Chores aren’t exactly fun. Activities such as dusting, mopping, washing the dishes, doing the laundry and vacuuming can be made a lot more entertaining if you put on some music. Make it a party! Dance and get some always-needed exercise while doing your chores and your regular cleaning routines won’t seem so mundane.

If the whole “party while you tidy” thing doesn’t work for you, then perhaps it’s best you take a more intense look at the health implications that can ensue when you don’t clean up regularly. Vacuuming, in particular, is especially vital to your health. Believe it or not, the removal of dust, dirt and other home contaminants is essential in preventing respiratory problems and the onset of allergy symptoms.

There is more than just dust in your carpets!

Sure, dust can make you sneeze and cough. But when you’re not vacuuming your carpets (where dust easily accumulates) on a regular basis, you’re inviting unwanted visitors into your home – literally. Dust mites and other microorganisms feed off of the skin you shed every day. You may not notice it, but you shed a lot of skin all day long.

“A human sheds over 1 million skin cells per hour,” reveals Jason Roberts on an infographic provided by VacuumsGuide.com, “Every year, these mingle with airborne dust (soil particles) and accumulate to several pounds into carpets, rugs and furniture. They provide a great developing environment for lots of dangerous microorganisms.”

California-based professional carpet cleaners, Chem-Dry of Fair Oaks/Folsom corroborates this point. “When a carpet is not cleaned regularly, microorganisms tend to grow quickly and this can become an issue for those who are sensitive to allergens or who have asthma,” reads their website, “Dust particles and other micro substances that can become clogged within the fibres of the carpet can get stirred up and airborne every time someone walks across the room.”

Do you eat in the living room?

If so, you’re like most Canadians. It’s fun to plop in front of the television to watch the game or catch up on your favourite show during dinner time. And for everyone who partakes in the popular “watch while you eat” routine, it’s important to know just how dirty your floors are!

You may think you picked up every rice grain. You may assume you’ve swept up all of the crumbs. But living room eaters always leave food behind. And food in your carpets equals an illness waiting to happen.

“Dropped food is wasted food,” Roberts insists, “There is no 3 second, 5 second or 7 second rule. Dropped food gets infected with bacteria instantly…you could get Salmonella, Campylobacter, E-coli or several other viruses that will affect your digestive system.”

There are two things to draw from this information. 1) Never eat food that drops on the floor and 2) Vacuum the carpets of rooms you eat in right after eating!

How clean is your home?

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you get a much better understanding of how clean your home really is. Assessing its air quality is a great step towards ensuring better health for all who live in it. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Improve Indoor Air Quality When You Have A Pet

There are two types of people in this world. Those who can’t live without their pets and those who want nothing to do with animals. The former group are made up of a wide variety of dog and cat lovers as well as enthusiasts of all types of birds and fish. The latter group incorporates a lot of individuals who much prefer clean and tidy homes without the worry of having to constantly vacuum and sweep up hair and droppings.

“My brother’s dog sheds like crazy,” mentioned one of our colleagues in a conversation earlier this week, “He loves that dog but I can’t even stand petting it. Its fur just sheds all over the place. It’s on everything. And when I leave his house, it’s all over me! I just don’t know how he lives like that.”

What makes pet dander such a big deal?

A house full of dog hair is much more than an unsightly mess. It’s also a cause for concern as far as our breathing is concerned. It should be noted, however, that pet fur and dander aren’t the same thing. As Hamilton, Ontario’s Clean Air Solutions explains, dander is small particles of dead skin that falls off our pets. And they are known allergens.

“Pet allergens (dander, mite waste, etc.) can cause numerous respiratory problems,” informs their site, “The most common problem associated with pet dander is asthma. Occasionally, allergens can cause skin conditions such as eczema. Many people have mild allergic reactions to pet dander, but others can have life threatening complications.”

How can pet-friendly homes be made allergen-free?

To minimize the frequency of allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in your pet-friendly home, it will be important to adopt neat freak-like tendencies. Naturally, regularly cleaning will help. This includes vacuuming areas where your pet likes to hang out and removing excess dander and hair from your sofas and even your clothing. Be sure to dust and wipe furniture and other surfaces as well. And, of course, you’ll want to keep your pet as clean as possible.

“Maintaining a regular grooming schedule for your pets helps reduce dander in your home,” advises JD’s A/C in Longview, Texas, “Bath your pets every week or two, and brush them at least once every other day. You can also use special cat dander wipes to remove dander from your cat. When you groom your pet, you’ll remove much of the dander from its coat as well as loose hair that can circulate through your home and worsen your air quality.”

Where can pet dander be found?

Pet hair and dander can literally be found everywhere. We’re talking about under the sofa and chair cushions, in your bedding and underneath the beds, inside of closets, along the baseboards, in air ducts and even in the cracks and crevices of your flooring and walls.

If you or anyone else in your home suffers from allergies or your notice your guests are having breathing issues, it’s best to get your home’s air quality tested. The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team offers Air Quality Services, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca to find out how to take advantage of them!

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Do The Right Thing: Bring The Outdoors Inside This Spring!

We’re only a week away now! Wednesday, March 20th marks the official start of the spring season. Throngs of Canadians nationwide are rejoicing at the fact that the frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall of winter will soon be behind us. Not only will we be able to enjoy the outdoors more often, we’ll be able to enjoy the indoors a lot more as well!

Although we have championed the act of cracking the windows throughout the winter many times on this blog, we’re well aware that most Canadians keep their homes fully shut when it’s cold. It’s hard to blame those who simply wish to keep warm and toasty in the winter. However, the lack of ventilation, during the coldest months of the year, make for homes rife with stale and stagnant air.

Proper ventilation is a key to improved indoor air quality.

When the spring arrives, keeping the windows open will be a lot easier to tolerate. Bringing the outdoors inside by way of allowing the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside will help everyone in your home to breathe easier. Sarasota, Florida’s Aqua Plumbing & Air reminds us that proper ventilation of the home also comes by way of always using your exhaust fans.

“Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms have exhaust fans to remove excess moisture, unpleasant odours, and pollutants,” advises their website, “An energy recovery ventilation system can also save energy by cooling warm air as it comes into your home in spring and summer. These ventilators work like heat pumps, transferring heat to the outgoing cool air. They also dilute concentrations of contaminants in your home and increase your comfort.”

Houseplants can filter out air pollutants.

Another way to bring the outdoors inside is to literally take plants from outside and bring them into your home. Purchasing houseplants is an excellent idea if you’re looking to purify the air you breathe while at home. Plants are known to rid the air of harmful pollutants. As Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical reminds us, a NASA study confirmed that several types of houseplants have air purifying qualities.

“Houseplants are visually uplifting, while also working to filter out air pollutants,” states the site, “According to NASA’s Clean Air Study on this matter, titled Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement, you can achieve noticeable air purification by placing greenery every 100 square feet within any given space.”

Clean green.

When dusting your furniture, mopping your floors or even spraying the bathroom to improve its smell, stay away from chemical-based cleansers. The volatile organic compounds in many cleaning products only serve as irritants to our respiratory systems. A clean smell doesn’t actually represent a clean environment. Another way to bring the outdoors in is to use natural products to clean.

“When it comes to cleaning products, fragrance = chemicals,” reports Hiller, “In fact, that pine or citrus fresh scent we’ve come to associate with a clean home is actually just a mask for the chemicals and bacterial transfer underneath. Opt for fragrance-free or unscented products. The last thing you want is to unknowingly pollute the air with the petroleum-based chemicals in the very products you’re using to clean with!”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you enjoy the best possible indoor air quality this spring. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How The Transition From Winter To Spring Can Impact Indoor Air Quality

Congratulations Canada! We’re almost there. In exactly two weeks, the spring season will officially be upon us. And while it’s true that winter-like weather conditions may persist well into April, there’s no question that we’re a lot closer to experiencing a return to warmer days. When the spring finally arrives, expect there to be a lot more people venturing outdoors. But what will that mean for the air inside our homes?

Is there an impact on indoor air quality when winter transitions into spring?

According to 1Source Safety and Health, Inc., people with allergies quite often have their symptoms triggered when the spring arrives. In their report entitled “Impact of Outdoor Seasonal Changes on Indoor Air Quality”, they note that outdoor contaminants are at their lowest levels during the winter. That’s because the frozen snow-covered ground combined with relatively low humidity levels tend to keep mould spores and other air pollutants at bay.

However, “dust, mould, temperature and humidity begin to increase during the spring months (March, April,  and  May),” reads the report, “ As  pollen,  mould  and  dust  concentrations  increase,  so  do  the  associated  symptoms. Interestingly, these symptoms, which also occur outside of the workplace, carry over into  an  employee’s  work  shift  and  are  often  incorrectly  associated  with  exposure  within  the  workplace.”  

Pollen and dust are major culprits for allergy symptoms.

Chances are, the windows of your home are bound to be open a lot more often during the spring than they were in the winter. With the warmer weather enabling pollen and dust to better enter our air space, it’s inevitable that some of it will enter our homes. Cincinnati’s Hader Solutions warns that it’s best to keep windows shut or not open too wide when there is a pollen alert. Your local weather station should be able to inform you if one is in effect.

As well, their website details how winter is the season of dust accumulation in the home, while spring enables it all to become airborne. “Because of improper ventilation during the colder months, dust can settle into vents, registers, and eventually ductwork, making it close to impossible to rid your home of these irritating pollutants,” says Hader Solutions.

Watch out for all that snow melt!

What’s one of the biggest differences between winter and spring? Snowfall! All of the snow that winter brings ends up melting during the spring. And melted snow on your rooftop can lead to water leaking into your home. As you’re likely aware, water is the main culprit in the development of mould. It’s important to prevent any leak sources in your home.

“Prevent water from entering your home by making sure there are no cracks or gaps on your roof or foundation where water could easily enter,” Hader Solutions advises, “Standing water in your home can cause mould, which can be detrimental to indoor air quality. If you suspect any mould in your home, call an expert immediately to remove it.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you ensure that your home enjoys the best possible indoor air quality this spring. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Importance Of Avoiding Secondhand Smoke At All Costs

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

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

What can non-smokers do to avoid secondhand smoke?

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

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

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

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

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

Keep your home strictly smoke-free.

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

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

Unquestionably, a smoke-free home will vastly improve its indoor air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you take things a step further. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality Throughout The Winter Months

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

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

1. Vacuum with vigour.

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

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

2. Freshen up your filters.

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

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

3. Hook up some houseplants.

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

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

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we don’t sell houseplants, but we do still offer you ways to ensure the purity of the air inside your home. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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