Yesterday was World Environment Day. Started 44 years ago by the United Nations, WED encourages awareness and action for the protection of our environment. The campaign addresses such environmental issues as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. World Environment Day is recognized with a new theme by over 143 countries each year.
However, it’s important to note that when we think about protecting our environment, it’s not just the great outdoors that we should be concerned with. Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors. So it stands to reason that protecting the environments within which we live is of paramount importance.
“The term ‘air pollution’ usually brings to mind the images of vehicles and factories with fumes and gases,” writes Vinay Pathak for The Economic Times, “But often, people don’t think of their own homes and offices. But according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be two to five times worse than outside air. Since we spend nearly 90% of our times indoors, improving the air quality at home and work is very important.”
Pathak first addresses some of the obvious measures such as eliminating cigarette smoking in the home. He also strongly suggests the avoidance of products that contain volatile organic compounds. What many people don’t realize is that many of their cleaning products – the same products they believe are improving their home environments – contain VOC’s and are, therefore, hazardous to our health.
“Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted from certain solids or liquids,” Pathak explains, “They can have both short and long-term adverse health effects. Some of the most commonly found VOCs at home include paints, solvents, aerosol sprays, cleansers, disinfectants, hobby supplies, pesticides, etc. In offices, common VOCs include building materials, furnishings, copiers, printers and even correction fluids.”
Most people are fully aware that smoking is deadly and that chemical-rich products only worsen air quality. However, there are some methods of improving the air in our homes that you may never have thought about. Salt lamps, for example, have been picking up in popularity, as of late. As Jessica Miley of Interesting Engineering explains, salt lamps can help asthmatics to breathe easier.
“If burning candles in your home isn’t your thing, you can achieve the same effect by having a salt lamp,” she reveals, “These lamps, which are created by putting a light source into a large mass of Himalayan salt, emit negative ions when lit. These negative ions will help fight against the positively charged particles and contaminants that cause allergies.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. Especially if you suffer from asthma and allergies, we’d recommend a professional inspection of the air in your home. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Carbon monoxide is poison. There’s no clearer way to put it. The odourless, invisible gas kills upwards of 50 Canadians and 400 Americans every year. It should go without saying that detecting the presence of carbon monoxide in the home should be a mandatory step for all households. Of course, a carbon monoxide detector is required for such a feat.
As explained by Lambeth Hochwald of Reader’s Digest, CO alarms can’t just be stuck anywhere in the home in order for them to work. They must be placed strategically throughout the home to properly detect the gas known as “the silent killer”. Firstly, one must be placed on every floor of the home.
Hochwald writes that they should be placed right outside of sleeping areas so that no one sleeps through the alarms. CO detectors should also be installed near appliances that could possibly leak carbon monoxide (but at least 15 feet way to avoid false alarms). She also notes that alarms should be kept away from drafty areas such as windows and bathrooms where high humidity could falsely set the alarms.
The importance of carbon monoxide detectors cannot be understated. Remember that the gas cannot be detected by the human senses. There is no smell to whiff and no physical appearance to gaze upon. The colourless, odourless gas is called “the silent killer” for a reason. This is why steps should be taken to prevent it from leaking into your home.
Do you own any appliances or equipment that burn natural gas, oil, coal, charcoal, propane or wood? If so, you are likely producing carbon monoxide in your home which is incredibly dangerous. Hochwald alerts us to inspect such appliances as furnaces, boilers, water heaters, ovens, ranges and wood burning stoves. It’s important to inspect the garage as well. Both gas-powered lawn mowers and our cars can emit carbon monoxide into our homes.
In a separate Reader’s Digest article, Lisa Milbrand informs us of just how toxic fireplaces can be. “Wood smoke actually contains some pretty potent toxins, including benzene, formaldhyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), according to the EPA,” she writes, “It also adds particulates to the air, which can harm your lungs.”
Milbrand goes on to note that fireplaces can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, CO is listed as one of the biggest dangers of fireplaces, especially since it’s so hard to detect. In her article, Milbrand quotes Dr. Ian Tong who is the chief medical officer for Doctors on Demand.
“Carbon monoxide is the odourless, colourless toxic byproduct of burning fuel,” he is quoted as saying, “Exposure to this gas can literally poison or suffocate you without warning, but it can also cause numerous symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea.”
Evidently, protection against carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious matter for all Canadians. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that detect indoor air quality problems including CO. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most Canadians love the summertime. We can all agree that we spend far too long waiting for the cold temperatures to transition into much warmer ones. When the spring hits, most of us are ready to head outside to soak in the sunshine. This, of course, only becomes a more popular practice during summer.
It’s important to remember, however, that our homes deserve to enjoy the summer as well. And, by that, we mean that the stagnant air that has been cooped up inside for most of the winter needs to be let out. In other words, open those windows of yours and allow the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside!
However, that’s not all you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality this summer. Here are three more easy steps to take:
Yes, the outdoors will be much more beautiful in the summer as trees and flowers will blossom to showcase their full, natural beauty. That doesn’t mean that all plants should be kept outdoors, however. Numerous houseplants work to eliminate indoor air contaminants and release oxygen into the air. Buy some and place them throughout your home to promote cleaner air.
“Plants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis,” informs Maria Janowiak on Greatist.com, “But that’s not all—microorganisms associated with the plants are present in the potting soil, and these microbes are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect.”
During the summer, you’ll still need to clean your home. And with the windows open more often, it will help to let out some of the volatile organic compounds found in your air fresheners and cleaning products. But here’s another idea. Stop using chemical-based air fresheners and cleansers! Instead, opt for natural products so as to not contaminate your air any further.
“Nontoxic cleaning products are available, and many of these are just as effective as their conventional counterparts,” informs NEX Wellness, You can either buy ready-made nontoxic cleaners at health food stores, or mix your own combinations using household staples.”
During the warmer months of the year, pets that tend to shed do so quite a bit in order to stay cool. “Pet dander can negatively impact your indoor air quality and clog your filter faster,” reports Gator Air And Energy, “Furry friends groomed regularly in the summer can help reduce the amount that they shed as well as keep them comfortable. Ask your groomer how short they can safely cut the hair, and try to keep it as short as possible in the summer months.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality this summer! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at email@example.com.
You would think that the concept of keeping your windows open would be a simple one. Just crack the windows and allow the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stagnant and stale air from inside. Simple enough practice, right? However, far too many Canadians prefer to keep their windows shut for the vast majority of the time.
Now, it’s hard to blame us Canucks during the winter time. Temperatures can be scarily frigid, making it seem crazy to even consider opening the windows. However, those same Canadians often continue their closed windows policies during the warmer months of the year, opting for their air conditioners to do the cooling down of their inside air instead.
Let it be clear that opening your windows is the one of the best and easiest ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. It’s a practice that is actually recommended by doctors. Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is famously known for “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before that prescribes the opening of windows to help significantly reduce pollutants that are often trapped inside our homes.
“Open your home to the outside world as frequently as you can, since the inside of a home generally has three to four times the pollutants and particles that are most dangerous to us,” Dr. Oz explains on Sharecare.com, “If you don’t air it out, you increase the chance that these pollutants will build up. Indoor air quality has plummeted because our homes are more airtight and we’re using many more products to freshen the air, sanitize the home, and treat fabrics.”
Dr. Oz goes on to mention that cleaning our homes with fragrance-enhanced products can do more damage than good. He notes that the chemicals that produce those pleasant scents are responsible for the triggering of many allergy symptoms. The bottom line is that an open window beats an air spray in the fresh air department any day.
Trapping stagnant air in your home certainly won’t do you any favours. The lack of ventilation and inability for pollutants to escape your living space can actually lead to some health issues. Mike Holmes of “Holmes On Homes” fame communicates this is a special article for The National Post.
“Not only can keeping openings closed cause condensation issues inside your house (i.e. weeping windows), which we know can lead to mould, it also allows toxins already inside the home to build up,” he writes, “That includes volatile organic compounds, mold spores, dust, smoke, radon, viruses and bacteria. Breathing these in over an extended period of time isn’t good for your health.”
He goes on to point out that such health issues as headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye irritation can ensue due to breathing air that is in poorly ventilated spaces.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ah, the springtime! Now that we’re a little over a week into the new spring season, it’s probably time to start thinking about a new approach to improving your home’s indoor air quality. Although the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been advocating the opening of windows all winter long, we’re sure that most Canadians kept them shut for the majority of these past frigid months.
Now that spring is here, there are some new methods of improving our indoor air quality that we should all practice. Here are just three:
Okay, now we’re not just recommending that you crack the windows open the way we did during the winter. During some of the milder forthcoming days of spring, we recommend that you open the windows and keep them open for the majority of the day. Consider how much stale and stagnant the air in your home became over the winter. It’s time to let it all out of the house in exchange for fresher, cleaner air.
“Open a window to air out harmful chemicals and let cleaner, healthier air in!” advises NaturallySavvy.com, “Even if it’s for a few minutes a day, it’s one of the simplest (and most affordable) things you can do to improve your home air quality. You can also turn on a ceiling or portable fan while windows are open to recirculate household air and push out stale air.”
Sure, we’re not experiencing any hot temperatures yet. But the days of summer will be here before you know it. Chances are that you’ll be cranking up the A/C on hot days. But without having your air conditioners properly cleaned, you’ll likely be circulating a lot of accumulated dust and other pollutants throughout your home.
“One of the best things you can do is to clean your air conditioner inside and out on a regular basis,” insists R&R Heating and Air Conditioning, “A properly maintained AC will not only help keep your air clean (and you healthy), but the system will also function more efficiently and last longer, thus saving you money.”
Naturally, it’s the time of year when most Canadians engage in spring cleaning activities. However, far too many of us use products that contain toxic chemicals that only serve to irritate our respiratory systems. Many household cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds which only worsen our homes’ indoor air quality. This year, do your spring cleaning with natural cleansers.
“Your home is not a science experiment,” insists NaturallySavvy.com, “Rather than spend money on household cleaning products, look no further than your pantry for ingredients that possess natural cleaning prowess. Ingredients such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, tea tree oil, hot water, coarse salt, and castile soap all do a bang-up job without spewing harmful chemicals in your home.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality this spring! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at email@example.com.
Believe it or not, spring is almost here! The frigid temperatures outside don’t make it appear as if the warming up of the weather will soon be upon us, but as of March 20th, the seasons will officially change over. There’s no promise that you’ll be able to put the winter boots and coats away in little under a month. But that’s no reason to not get into the spring spirit. And we all know what one of the most popular spring pastimes is – cleaning!
There’s never really a bad time to clean your home and improve its indoor air quality. Any chance you get to remove dust, mould, pet dander and the remnants of smoke is a chance you should take. It’s important to note that to really get a good clean, you need to take things a bit further than the standard dusting, sweeping and mopping of the floors. On Oprah.com, Lynn Andriani advises us to vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings as well.
“If you clear them annually of the almost imperceptible grime that builds up, then you won’t have to deal with the impossible-to-remove kind that can accumulate if they’re left untouched for a few years,” she writes, “Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls. Don’t forget the wall that’s behind you every morning when you do your hair and makeup; it could be coated in hairspray, perfume or other beauty products.”
Andriani makes an interesting point. All too often, we forget the areas of the home where there may be unwanted build-up. And that’s because we usually can’t see the build-up. As a result, we assume there’s nothing to clean. But our noses tell us a different story. Earlier, we mentioned the need to rid your home of the remnants of smoke. If you live with a cigarette smoker, you’re likely enduring the ramifications of thirdhand smoke.
Thirdhand smoke refers to the residual nicotine and other chemicals that are left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. You are exposed to these harsh and toxic chemicals whenever you’re breathing anywhere near them. As well, when you touch the contaminated surfaces, you take on health risks. To avoid the effects of thirdhand smoke, it’s wise to wash any bedding, rugs, curtains and parts of your home’s decor that can be uninstalled and thrown in the washing machine.
Reader’s Digest lists the “curtain call” as one of its top ways to spring clean like a pro. “Don’t forget the curtains,” their website reminds us, “If you don’t clean them thoroughly at least once a year they will rot. Dry-clean velvet, tapestries, brocades, chenille, and interlined curtains. Cotton and similar textiles can be washed. Just remember to remove any hooks.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you get started with your spring cleaning! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how our Air Quality Services can assist you in vastly improving your home’s indoor air quality this spring. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To couples everywhere, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to wish you a very happy and exciting day! However, we’d also like to send our best wishes to everyone out there whether they are in romantic relationships or not. After all, we’re all deserving of love, aren’t we? This is especially true if you live in a home with a large number of people.
Sharing a living space can be tough. And one of the toughest things about having many others live in your home with you is keeping it clean. A clean home, by the way, is one of the top ways you can show your family members and other housemates that you love them. As we often say, a healthy home is a happy home. And happy homes are ones that have high-ranking levels of indoor air quality.
What can you do show your home some love? Here are three ways:
Most of us are well aware that we humans expel carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen while plants do the opposite. So it stands to reason that filling a home with both humans and houseplants is a wise thing to do. However, it’s important to know that numerous houseplants provide many other pollutant-ridding qualities that can vastly improve the overall indoor air quality of a home.
One of those houseplants is Spathiphyllum, which is better known as the Peace Lily. “NASA’s analysis of indoor houseplants revealed that the Peace Lily was the most efficient at removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene,” explains Jeff Flowers on AllergyAndAir.com, “Simply put it in a dark corner, give it water once a week and this little plant will help purify the air around that general area.”
As mentioned earlier, keeping your home clean is a great way to keep it a healthy environment. That is, unless you’re using cleansers that contain harsh and toxic chemicals. Those volatile organic compounds we just mentioned are found in most common household cleaners. It’s important to beware of ingredients that can cause more harm than good. Opt for natural cleansers instead. Among them are white vinegar, baking soda, club soda, salt and lemons.
“Dilute some lemon juice with water to clean stains on cutting boards and kill germs,” instructs Reynard Loki on AlterNet.org, “Dip an old toothbrush in lemon juice to remove grout. Add some salt and you’ve got an effective cleaner for metal grills and a polisher for chrome. Soak plastic food containers in lemon juice overnight to remove smells. Put diluted lemon juice in a spray bottle to keep your kitchen countertops clean and smelling great.”
You can never be too safe. It’s certainly worthwhile to get a professional assessment of your home’s indoor air quality to ensure the optimum health of all those who dwell within it. Of course, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. would be happy to help with that! For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Keeping your home clean, tidy and pollutant-free all winter long isn’t the easiest thing to do. Most of us keep our windows closed to avoid having the frigid temperatures outside impact the comfort of our indoor living quarters. Furthermore, we regularly track snow, slush and dirt into our homes, especially on those blistery, snowy days. Winter is the season when maintaining high-quality indoor air is most difficult.
As a result, it’s important that we all take extra measures to ensure that our indoor air quality is the highest it can be. In other words, we need to put added efforts into cleaning up around the house. Here are three winter cleaning tips:
As mentioned, the snowy days make for dirty homes. And that’s because we can’t help but enter our homes with wet boots. In addition to the creation of soggy entranceways is the bringing in of contaminants from the ground. Outside surfaces continue to be rampant with dirt, mud and other pollutants that get stuck to our footwear in the winter. As a result, it’s best to winterize your entry.
“Keep winter’s slush and gunk at bay by making your entryway a dirt guardian,” recommends John Riha on Houselogic.com, “Get a boot scraper…Add a chair or bench for taking off boots, and have a boot rack for wet footwear. Put down a tough coir outdoor doormat…for cleaning footwear.”
Let’s revisit the all-too-common practice of keeping our windows shut all winter long. Doing so insists upon you breathing in stale air throughout the season. Without cracking the windows, you don’t allow for the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stagnant air from inside. We can’t say we blame you for wanting to keep warm. So, if you’re not one for cracking the windows in winter, be sure to replace your air filters and clean your furnace to ensure that the air in your home is as pollutant-free as possible.
“According to the EPA, you should change your HVAC filters at least every three months to ensure your air stays clean,” informs Clair Jones on ImproveNet.com, “After replacing the filters, soak dusty ventilation covers in a hot water and soap solution. Filters work to pull dust particles out of the air and create cleaner, healthier air for you to breathe. They also keep your floors and furniture from gathering dust, helping keep your home looking its best.”
Most of us dust our furniture and vacuum our floors. However, what most of us don’t do is turn our furniture upside down or on the side to clean areas that often don’t get any attention. As well, it’s wise to pull out your fridge and stove to vacuum up the many crumbs and food particles that have likely accumulated unnoticed for months. Riha also reminds us to clean our ceiling fan blades. Imagine how much dust accumulates on untouched fan blades throughout the winter. Now imagine how much dust you’re spreading around once you turn the fan on in the summer!
“Those big blades on your ceiling fan are great at moving air, but when they’re idle they’re big dust magnets — dust settles on the top surfaces where you can’t see it,” Riha writes, “Out of sight maybe, but not out of mind.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you live in a healthy home all winter long. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re only five days away from Christmas! It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year already. From everyone here, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. we’d like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! We’d also like to wish everyone a very Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa as well! Our great nation of Canada is home to many different people all celebrating various special occasions at this time of year. We hope they are all joyous for everyone.
Our team would also like to thank each and every one of our clients. With your help, we enjoyed a great 2017 and we look forward to an even better 2018. In order to make that happen, we need to work on getting you all healthier! In other words, our business simply isn’t successful if our clients aren’t enjoying better lives thanks to improved indoor air quality in their homes and places of business.
We offer numerous services that work to detect air pollutants in the places where you live and work so that you can breathe cleaner air. Just one of those services is our Mould Assessment Services. They include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.
It’s important to be on the lookout for signs that you may have a mould problem. They include the onset of such symptoms as runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash or itching, flu-like symptoms, asthma attacks, memory problems, constant headaches and possible fever. To prevent mould from growing in your home or place of business, it’s important to limit the amount of moisture and humidity contained within.
“Look for damp spots in your house,” advises Canada.ca on its list of prevention tips, “Check basements, closets, window sills, roofs, and around sinks, tubs and pipes. Fix damp spots right away. Repair any water leaks as soon as you notice them. Clean up immediately after any flood. Use fans. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking or showering. Let the fan run for a few minutes after you are done.”
In 2018, Canada will finally implement its nationwide ban on the toxic material. However, a lot of work will still need to be done to protect Canadians from its harmful effects. Properties built before 1990 used asbestos for insulation purposes in walls, ceilings, floors and attics. It was also used for wrapping materials for ducts, furnaces, pipes and electrical wiring.
Sadly, asbestos is a known killer, causing the most occupational deaths in Canada each year. No province is immune. As Jeff Cottrill informs us on OHSCanada.com, “asbestos-related disease remains the top cause of occupational fatalities in British Columbia, with 584 workers in the province having lost their lives to asbestos-related illness from 2006 to 2015, according to WorkSafeBC, which launched an asbestos awareness campaign last fall.”
For more information about any and all of our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com. Happy holidays!
In many of our past blogs, we’ve championed the act of cracking the windows in the winter. What may, at first, seem like a crazy idea isn’t all that crazy when you think about it. Yes, for most of our Canadian winter days, the temperatures outside will be below zero. However, by keeping ourselves cooped up in our homes, we only work to make ourselves sicker. It’s important for the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside.
“Leaving a home completely shut up for the entirety of winter allows any toxins that already exist in your home to build up to dangerous levels,” explains Canadian Choice Windows & Doors, “Common toxins found within the home include dust, smoke, mold, radon, and viruses. Breathing any of these toxics in regularly for a long period of time can be detrimental to your health. They can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, or eye irritation.”
Even when we work to keep our homes clean, we aren’t necessarily making the air within them safe to breathe. This is especially true if the cleaning products we’re using contain harmful chemicals. Many household cleaning products include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are pretty bad for our respiratory systems. The simple cracking open of a window during the winter can help to eliminate some of those toxins from our homes.
“Sealing your home against drafts and air leaks is really counterproductive and a further cause for stale and germy air,” reports HealthStatus.com, “There is little circulation in a home that is totally sealed and heated. Indoor air quality plunges your family into agonizing chapped lips, sinus infections, sore throats, flu, irritating flaky and itchy skin and colds. Gain your indoor air quality back and get health under control.”
That may sound like a weird statement. But it begins to make sense after you realize that not all “germs” are bad for you. As Canadian Choice Windows & Doors reminds us, many natural germs that we carry in our bodies actually help us with our immunity, metabolism and digestion. By keeping the windows of our homes shut all winter long, we decrease the diversity of those good germs in our air.
“Humans typically spend 93% of their time indoors, limiting exposure to good germs, which can cause weaker immune systems,” notes their website, “Cracking some windows in winter for a short time to give your home some natural air flow is the best way to ensure that good microbes find their way into your home so that you can have a healthier winter.”
We’re not necessarily recommending that you keep your windows open all day long, each day throughout the winter. Of course, that will serve to make the indoor temperature a lot cooler than you’d like. Even a few minutes out of each day should be enough. You can also try opening a window in one room for a while, keeping the door closed, and then opening that door to allow the fresh air to circulate throughout the home.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that will help you to ensure that your home is enjoying the best indoor air quality possible. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.