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Are Fireplaces Hazardous To Our Health?

Feets of a family wearing woolen socks warming near the fireplaceNow that November is here, we’re willing to bet that the majority of Canadians already have images of the holiday season on their minds. It would be hard to avoid them as the shopping malls are already decorated with festive colours to commemorate this exciting time of the year. Of course, cold weather is also commonplace during the year’s final months and, as a result, most of us seek ways to warm up all winter long.

How do many Canadians warm up their homes during the winter? You guessed it – the good old fireplace! The crackling of burning wood in a fireplace is as much part of the holiday season as Christmas trees. The only difference is that we tend to keep fires burning in our fireplaces long after the holidays are over. That, however, can present major problems for our health. Fireplaces, you see, are actually pretty bad for our indoor air quality.

How do fireplaces impact our indoor air quality? Well, let’s consider the obvious. With the burning of wood comes smoke. And with smoke comes contaminants in our air. As you can imagine, this can make it a lot harder to breathe. As explained by Cleveland Clinic, numerous scientific studies have found that breathing in smoke from fireplaces has “serious adverse health effects”.

“That’s because smoke from these fires contains small particles that can get into your eyes and respiratory system,” their website explains, “The result can be burning eyes, a runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest health problems, because they can get deep into the lungs, and some may even get into the bloodstream.”

Cleveland Clinic also quotes Dr. Sheila Armogida as saying that wood smoke contains a number of toxic substances including benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein and methane. She highly recommends that fireplace users significantly limit their exposure to the smoke that emanates from their fireplaces. This is especially important for people who have a history of lung disease and asthma.

However, one doesn’t need to have a history of respiratory system issues in order to be negatively affected by wood smoke in the home. Cheryl Katz of Environmental Health News reports that a University of Copenhagen study found that air pollution from wood stoves is also quite hazardous to the health of all who are exposed to it. Researcher, Steffen Loft found that wood burning stoves release a lot of particulate matter into the air.

“The tiny airborne specks of pollution known as particulate matter, or PM, produced by wood-burning stoves appear to be especially harmful to human health,” writes Katz of the study’s findings, “Small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs, they carry high levels of chemicals linked to cardiopulmonary diseases and cancer, and they can damage DNA and activate genes in hazardous ways comparable to cigarette smoke and car exhaust.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re very well aware that many Canadians enjoy their fireplaces during the winter – and for good reason. Who doesn’t like being warm and toasty and when it’s frigid outside? But since there are health implications to fireplace use, we would highly recommend our Air Quality Services to ensure that your home is a safe living environment for your family all winter long.

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 Treat Yourself To Improved Indoor Air Quality

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

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

Here are five more:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How Does Cold Weather Worsen Indoor Air Quality?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keeping Your Indoor Air Quality Healthy This Summer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5 Indications Your Home Is Suffering From Poor Indoor Air Quality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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