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5 Indications Your Home Is Suffering From Poor Indoor Air Quality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5 Ways To Naturally Purify The Air In Your Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keeping Asthma Symptoms At Bay During The Summer

Depositphotos_69019997_s-2015Indoor air quality is a year-round concern. After all, we spend the majority of our time in our homes. So when you consider that the majority of the air that we breathe is located within our homes, it highlights the importance of taking measures to keep air quality high. This is especially true for asthmatics. Difficulties with breathing are only exacerbated by poor air conditions. And during the summer, air conditions only stand to get poorer.

Humidity is largely at fault for that. The more humid it gets, the harder it is for most asthmatics to breathe. Known as a common trigger for asthma, humidity is a reason that some sufferers stay indoors during the summer. “Stay indoors on hot, humid days,” recommends Madeline Vann on EverydayHealth.com, “If going out into the sauna-like summer is too much for your asthma, stay inside with the air conditioning on, especially during the heat of the day.”

What if you can’t be indoors during a humid day? No matter how hot and humid it gets outside, there are bound to be reasons why an asthmatic can’t lock him/herself up in the house all day. Since nothing can be done about the weather outside, it’s important to control how humid it gets inside. Vann writes that asthmatics should ensure that the humidity in their homes is kept low.

“Even if you can’t control the weather, you can control your home environment,” she reminds us, “Set your indoor humidity to 50 percent or lower to cut down on dust mites, mould, and humidity-related allergens that grow in warm, moist environments.” Speaking of moist environments, precautions should be taken when considering a dip in the pool. For asthmatics, wet surfaces that present havens for mould-growth can become health hazards.

How do swimming pools trigger asthma symptoms? Chemicals in the chlorinated water can present problems. This is especially true for indoor pools. According to the Asthma Society of Canada, asthmatics should opt for outdoor swimming. “Chlorinated swimming pools can also adversely affect people with asthma who are sensitive to the irritant chemicals,” says their website, “Outdoor pools are less likely to cause symptoms because there is better ventilation.”

Vann agrees that asthmatic swimmers should be careful during the summer. “Swimming is a recommended exercise for asthmatics, and in the summer it reduces your chances of becoming overheated,” she admits, “However, some people find that their summer asthma symptoms are triggered by the chlorine added to most pools for water safety. If chlorine triggers symptoms in you, find another activity or exercise program, such as an indoor fitness class.”

What other asthma symptom triggers should be watched out for during the summer? Tree and grass pollens, ragweed, dust, cigarette smoke and other airborne allergens should all be avoided. Of course, many are found outdoors and but some can be found indoors as well. This is why it’s important to both maintain a clean house and beware of the outdoor humidity levels – among other healthful tasks – on a daily basis.

Summer can still be a fun season for asthma sufferers. If you’re an asthmatic and would like some assistance in maintaining a home that is void of asthma symptom triggers, contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Our Air Quality Services are designed to help you enjoy the best possible indoor air quality all year round! 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 Summertime Tips For Improving Indoor Air Quality

Beautiful view over a window of a green field with a blue skyWarmer temperatures are often causes for celebration in Canada. And with signs of summer slowly appearing, many of us are already planning all of the outdoor activities that will help us to enjoy the heat and sunshine. It’s also very likely that most of us will also be opening our windows a lot more often. Being able to circulate the stagnant and stale air in our homes with the fresher air from outside can do a lot to improve our indoor air quality.

But what other ways can we improve indoor air quality in the summer? Here are four tips:

1. Keep the floors clean. Remember that with summer comes a lot more time being spent outdoors. That also means you’ll be giving yourself many new opportunities to track the dirt from outside into your home. In Canada, we generally maintain the habit of removing our outdoor shoes when we enter homes. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep the floors of your home clean in order to keep the air inside as fresh as possible.

“One of the best ways to help keep the air in your home fresh is by cleaning the floors,” advises TimeForComfort.com, “Be sure to vacuum the carpet at least once a week for the best results and even more frequently than this if you suffer from extreme allergies. It’s ideal to mop the ceramic, tile or wood floors weekly, as well. This will get rid of the dust and other pollutants in your home that could deter you from having a higher quality of air in your home.”

2. Change your air conditioner filters regularly. While Canadians tend to love the heat during the summertime, there’s only so much of it we can take. On especially hot days, it’s nice to be able to cool off in our air conditioned homes. It’s important, however, to properly maintain our air conditioners so that they are not adding pollutants to the air we breathe. “It’s very important to clean air filters regularly and replace them with new ones every two or three months,” advises TemperaturePerfection.com.

3. Keep cigarette smoking an outdoor activity. To be fair, heavy cigarette smokers are often known for being courteous. Many of them travel outdoors during the winter, braving subzero temperatures simply because they need to address their nicotine habits. That way, they don’t disturb those who they’re family members and co-workers with their toxic cigarette smoke. However, not every smoker is that considerate. Smoking indoors is arguably the worst thing a person can do for the quality of the air.

During the summertime, it’s important that smokers do the right thing. If you’re not going to quit, be sure to take your smoking habit outside. “Smoke is one of the worse toxins to let in your home, and this should be avoided,” asserts TimeForComfort.com, “Refrain from smoking in the house and ask others not to do so, as well to keep your indoor air quality high. Being able to create a smoke-free environment, this will allow you to have better air quality for your health and your loved ones.”

4. Test for radon. “You could have a radon problem if you have a new or old home,” TemperaturePerfection.com warns us, “This odourless, colourless gas raises the potential for developing lung cancer.” Radon is a naturally-forming gas that evolves from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It can seep into our homes through cracks in the foundation. In enclosed spaces, it can become highly concentrated and very dangerous.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Radon Services which are designed to locate the exact levels of radon in the homes and offices of our clients. We are committed to ensuring that your indoor air quality is the best it can be all summer long. For more information about our new Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at 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 Unconventional Approaches To Quitting Smoking

Young caucasian woman quiting smoking isolatedWith the weather slowly, but surely warming up, most Canadians are relishing the idea of being able to spend more time outdoors. And while the impending summer months provide ample reasons to get out of the house, it remains a fact that most of us spend the majority of our time indoors. The time is takes to sleep, for example, puts us in our homes a minimum of a third of each day. As a result, our indoor air quality will always remain a concern.

Yes, warmer temperatures give us more opportunities to open the windows and allow the stale, stagnant air from inside to circulate with the fresher air from outside. But there is one particular habit that will keep your indoor air quality at dangerous lows if it is not put to an end. You likely won’t be surprised to know that we’re referring to cigarette smoking. Arguably, there isn’t a more obvious detriment to the air we breathe than cigarette smoke.

As you’re likely aware, cigarette smoke affects everyone who comes into contact with it. Of course, that doesn’t just mean smokers. Our blog has covered the impacts of secondhand smoke and even thirdhand smoke in the past. So, needless to say, if you’re looking to improve the indoor air quality of your home and the health statuses of everyone within in, you’ll find a way to quit smoking immediately.

Every smoker is aware, however, that that’s easier said than done. Attempting to quit cold turkey doesn’t work for everyone. While some people who have experienced major health scares are able to kick the habit immediately, there are others who need even more incentive to finally do away with their addictions to nicotine. Perhaps, in their cases, some unconventional approaches to quitting smoking are necessary.

Here are three:

1. Create a non-smoker’s savings jar. For some people, saving money is an excellent incentive for accomplishing any goal. If protecting your health isn’t motivation enough, consider putting the money you would otherwise spend on cigarettes into a jar to physically show you just how much money you can save by quitting. For an added push, put a picture of a vacation spot you’d like to visit on the jar to remind you of an alternative use for the money.

2. Trick yourself by limiting your access. People who are approaching new paths towards better health and nutrition will inhibit their previous bad eating habits by simply not storing bad foods in their homes. The principle is that it’s hard to cheat on your diet when junk food isn’t readily available. It’s the same idea here. Force yourself to leave the house without your pack of cigarettes. Carry just a couple of them on you so that you can’t satisfy every craving you have throughout the day.

3. Create a list of alternative activities. Smokers often justify their bad habits simply by referring to them as “something to do”. If that sounds like you, it’s time to come up with other things to do. Reader’s Digest offers the following suggestions for people trying to quit smoking. “Take a walk, drink a glass of water, kiss your partner or child, throw the ball for the dog, play a game, wash the car (and) clean out a cupboard or closet” are just a few of their recommendations.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we fully support your quest to quit cigarette smoking. To reiterate, it will greatly improve the health of both you and the people around you. With the improvement of indoor air quality being our specialty, we urge you to learn more about our Air Quality Services – especially if you have done any smoking in your home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. Theresa Croft-Reply
    April 7, 2016 at 1:16 am

    how much does it cost to have an assessment of a home?

    • Dennis French-Reply
      April 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Theresa, I have emailed you directly to discuss the assessment. I hope to hear from you to sort out your concerns.

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The Importance Of Protection From Workplace Chemicals

Industrial worker in manufacturing plant grinding to finish a pipelineIndoor air quality should be a big concern for all Canadians. And it’s not just because we spend so much time inside of our homes. We spend a lot of time at work, as well. And, for so many of us, work also takes place within the confines of indoor facilities. As you can imagine, some jobs create environments where the air is continuously compromised. Take any manufacturing company, for example.

The processes of welding, gouging, grinding, cutting, painting, sand or abrasive blasting, electroplating and other tasks can send a variety of harmful chemicals into the air. Not to mention, an abundance of noise can also add to the pollution that one endures during the course of his or her day at work. When people are regularly exposed to gases and other fumes, it can result in very serious health issues.

How do workplace chemicals enter the body? No one will be surprised to hear that pollutants in the air can be inhaled throughout each day. But as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety explains, people can also absorb harmful chemicals in the workplace via skin contact, the digestive system (if they are ingested or eaten) and injection (through accidental punctures from sharp objects).

“The eyes may also be a route of entry,” explains the CCOHS, “Usually, however, only very small quantities of chemicals in the workplace enter through the mouth or the eyes. Regardless of the way the chemical gets into the body, once it is in the body it is distributed to anywhere in the body by the blood stream. In this way, the chemicals can attack and harm organs which are far away from the original point of entry as well as where they entered the body.”

Why is indoor air quality of special importance in the workplace? When people are at home, they are generally in relaxed states. At work, however, they are often more active. This invokes harder breathing which promotes the inhalation of more dangerous chemicals, if they exist in the air. This is especially true for those who work job positions that demand hard physical labour, says the CCOHS.

“In conditions of hard physical work, up to 10,000 litres may be exchanged,” unveils their website, “Air breathed in through the nose is filtered by the nasal hairs so that large, solid particles in the atmosphere are prevented from going any further. Inside the nose there are small bones and cartilages that cause the inhaled air to swirl around. This swirling air can cause some large contaminating particles to be deposited in the nose and trapped by the moisture of the mucus lining.”

Which workplace chemicals are of the greatest concern? There is a wide variety of gases, vapours, mists, dusts, fumes and smoke that can present health hazards at workplaces of all kinds. It should come as no surprise to you that, in some older buildings, asbestos exposure is a major concern too. This is why testing the workplace for the presence of such harmful contaminants is so important for the health of all of those who work within it.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Monitoring Services. They include evaluations of your facility, data collection and the development of solutions to any problems that may exist within the workplace. Our consultants will also answer any direct questions pertaining to exposure. 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 Indoor Air Quality On Asthma

Asthma Symptoms Word Circle Concept with great terms such as coughing, wheezing and more.Those who suffer with asthma never take their breathing for granted. Most of us go through each day not even paying attention to the fact that we are continually inhaling and exhaling – no matter where we are. Asthmatics, on the other hand, know that the quality of the air they breathe is of paramount importance. Avoiding asthma symptom triggers is part of their everyday lives – and so many of those triggers can be avoided by paying close attention to indoor air quality.

What asthma symptom triggers are most often associated with indoor air quality?

Humidity. When we are at home, we have the ability to determine just how humid it is. The more humidity that exists, the more an asthmatic is susceptible to succumbing to the symptoms of his/her disease. The presence of excess moisture is a sign that it’s too humid. And moisture allows for the growth of mould and mildew – two contaminants of the air that can make breathing harder for those with asthma.

“Keeping the humidity in the air in your home between 30 and 50 percent can help asthma symptoms,” says Dr. Farrokh Sohrabi on EverydayHealth.com, “Any higher, and dust mites thrive. Mold also grows in high humidity. If your home is damp and humid, clean with fungicides and use a dehumidifier, an air filtration system, or central air conditioning. On the other hand, if the air is too dry, your respiratory tract reacts.”

Dust. It’s highly recommended that asthmatics are neat freaks. Keeping a dust-free home is a great way to improve its indoor air quality and minimize the amount of asthma symptom triggers that exist within it. The presence of dust indicates the presence of dust mites – microscopic creatures known for feeding on the flakes of dead skin that we leave behind. Their feces contain enzymes that are major contributors to the symptoms experienced by asthmatics.

Dr. Sohrabi offers tips to diminish the amount dust mites that are commonly found where we sleep. “One of the easiest and fastest steps you can take to keep these tiny insects under control is to cover bedding with mite-proof barriers, zippered covers in which you encase your mattress and pillows,” he suggests, “Then wash all your linens at least once a week in hot water — 150 degrees; anything less won’t kill the critters.”

Smoke. It shouldn’t be necessary to inform you that cigarette smoking is probably the worst thing you could possibly do if you’re an asthmatic. There are asthmatics out there who couldn’t smoke if they were paid a million dollars to do it. The smoke is simply too unbearable to inhale. However, smoke of any kind is a trigger for most asthmatic symptoms. So you’ll want to keep your home smoke-free if you want to avoid an attack.

“You probably know you shouldn’t smoke or let people light up inside your house, but smoke from a wood stove or fireplace could cause you just as much trouble,” says Dr. Sohrabi, “Hot, dry air tends to trigger asthma. On top of that, wood stoves emit volatile organic acids that cause even more drying…Keep in mind that smoke from cooking can also trigger asthma, so run the exhaust fan to clear out kitchen fumes.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that greatly assist with limiting the asthma symptom triggers that may exist in your home. We consider ourselves indoor air quality experts given our long standing history of being able to locate any and all sources of air contaminants in the properties we inspect. 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 Importance Of Ventilation For Indoor Air Quality

hand open plastic pvc windowIn Canada, it’s common for homes to be constructed with air-tight capabilities. Considering the lengths of our cold winters, it can be understood why homeowners would want to keep their homes sealed and protected from the frigid elements of the outdoors. However, as we’ve discussed in numerous blogs of past, it’s of vital importance that people ventilate their homes. And we don’t just mean opening up the windows!

Why is ventilation so important? First of all, it’s important to remind you that Canadians spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. And, naturally, the majority of that time is spent in their own homes. So, it’s reasonable to suggest that the majority of the air we breathe is found in our homes. If our homes aren’t properly ventilated, we stand to be breathing in poor quality air throughout the majority of our lives.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety lists four main purpose of ventilation. Firstly, it provides a continuous supply of fresh outside air. Secondly, ventilation helps to maintain temperature and humidity at comfortable levels. Thirdly, it reduces potential fire or explosion hazards. And finally, proper ventilation of our homes helps to remove or dilute airborne contaminants.

Although it may appear obvious, it should be highlighted that airborne contaminants in the home lead to respiratory problems and other health issues. Without proper ventilation, homes are susceptible to atmospheres that are filled with allergens, smoke, bacteria, viruses, mildew, mould, fungus and gases. In previous blogs, we’ve also pointed out that odourless and colourless gases such as carbon monoxide and radon pose health risks when they can’t escape our homes.

How can we ensure proper ventilation of our homes? Earlier, we pointed out that the opening of your home’s windows was not the only solution to the ventilation issue. However, it shouldn’t be discounted either. Even when temperatures are low, it’s wise to allow some of the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside. You don’t have to keep the windows open for very long in order to improve the indoor air quality of your home.

Health Canada also strongly recommends that you regularly use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. This is especially important during cooking and bathing when excess moisture is being released into the air. “Bathroom and kitchen fans remove pollutants directly from the room where they are created,” they inform. Health Canada goes on to mention that homes are now being built to include mechanical systems that work to bring more of the outdoor air inside.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association explains further. “Many new homes come with a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), which is a whole-house system that continuously brings in fresh air from the outside to all living areas of your home and exhausts the stale air,” their website explains, “To make sure the system is not simply bringing in problems from the outside, the incoming air is filtered. It is also pre-heated by the outgoing air to save energy—this is the ‘heat recovery’ part of the system.”

How else can your home’s indoor air quality be improved? As you’re very likely aware, DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. takes the indoor air quality of Canadian homes very seriously. Our Air Quality Services are designed to maximize inspection processes so that they locate any and all causes of concern in the homes of our clients. If you’re looking to guarantee that your home is a safe place to live, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we can help you!

You can call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Bad Habits To Break To Improve Your Air In 2016

Young woman opening window in living roomWe’re just a couple of days away from a brand new year! And with 2016 right around the corner, most Canadians (along with the rest of the world) have come up with New Year’s Resolutions they hope to stick to. In most cases, these annual resolutions have to do with breaking bad habits. And in many cases, eliminating these bad habits can improve one’s health. Quitting smoking is the perfect example.

But what other New Year’s Resolutions can improve your health? Many of the bad habits we have are carried out in our homes. And, as a result, we are causing the air we breathe to be a lot more harmful to our health. How can we protect ourselves and our families from poor indoor air quality? Breaking bad habits that impact the air you breathe will go a long way in improving the health of all of your loved ones.

Here are four:

1. Cigarette smoking. It only makes sense that we start with the most obvious bad habit that most people attempt to quit at the beginning of each new year. As Health Canada reminds us, cigarette smoke emits a long list of chemicals that include carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, benzene and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Arguably, the single most important thing you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality in 2016 is to eliminate all cigarette smoking.

2. Heating the home with gas-burning appliances. Canadian winters insist upon heated homes. But it’s important to heat your home without using methods that add harmful elements to the air. Health Canada reminds us that gas and wood fireplaces, gas or oil furnaces and gas water heaters all emit such gases as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as well as other VOCs and particulate matter.

3. Operating gas-powered machinery in the garage. It should probably go without saying that you should never heat your car up in the garage. The emissions from your muffler are deadly. However, you should also bear in mind that machinery such as gas-powered lawnmowers, snowblowers, generators and barbeques should all be operating in the open air. Health Canada points out that they emit CO, NO2, VOCs and other particulate matter that can enter the home.

4. Renovating without a thorough inspection of your home. Renovations aren’t generally considered bad habits. But making changes in your home without inspecting for asbestos is certainly a bad idea. By itself, asbestos is harmless. But when it is disturbed, its fibres can become airborne and lodged in your lungs if inhaled. This has been known to cause serious health effects such as lung cancer.

“Asbestos was used as an insulator and fire retardant for many years,” explains HealthLink BC, “It is sometimes still found in insulation around older hot water pipes and boilers. It is also found in old flooring material and some types of insulation used in attics and walls. Asbestos does not cause a health risk unless it is frayed or crumbling and releasing fibres into the air that can be inhaled.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services and Asbestos Containing Materials Services, among many others that serve to improve the indoor air quality of your home. This new year, have us inspect your home to ensure that you and your loved ones are enjoying life in a very healthy environment. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Happy new year!

2 Comments

  1. Tamara-Reply
    January 14, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I am inquiring about having an indoor air quality test done for our office building, as it is an older house, and we have had a very steep jump in staff illnesses and recurring illness throughout the office. I am wondering if a quote is available, and what type of testing you would be conducting etc.

    Please contact me at (403)324-1322 ext. 205

    • Dennis French-Reply
      January 24, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Hello Tamara, I have been trying to reach you via phone and email reply with no luck. Phone number not in service.

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