Shipton's CleanAir Solutions Blog
Clean Your Dryer Vent to Help Avoid Starting A Home Fire
Every year in North America, more than 15,000 fires start when trapped dryer vent lint overheats and ignites. And every year, multiple people die as a result.
This statistic has secured the clothes dryer a permanent spot on many home insurers's top five most dangerous home appliances lists.
But, unfortunately, there are still far too many homeowners who remain blissfully unaware of the danger they are in.
Clothes dryers are a great invention in many ways. However, they require regular and very specific maintenance to function well and safely. In this post, learn how to make sure your clothes dryer is safe to operate.
At CleanAir Solutions, our technicians are focused on keeping your home environment safe. If you have any questions concerning your dryer vent or would like to schedule a dryer vent cleaning, contact our team today!
How Does a Clothes Dryer Catch on Fire?
This is actually a very common question our service technicians hear as they are making their regular weekly series of service calls.
In fact, the question usually pops up during an indoor air duct cleaning. Thanks to the global pandemic, indoor air duct cleaning has gone from near-complete obscurity to making news headlines.
For most of our customers, it is really eye-opening to peer into that little remote camera we send up into the air ducts before each cleaning.
The camera reveals what 5-20 years of benign neglect can do to the inside of a home duct system. Some ducts we've cleaned are so clogged it’s amazing that any airflow can still get through!
A chronically clogged duct system can eventually cause a home fire as trapped dust, dirt and debris collects on and around the HVAC blower motor, causing it to overheat and ignite.
Clogged air filters represent a similar risk. Restricted air flow pushes the blower motor to work harder and harder until it overheats and ignites.
But even these are not as dangerous as what can happen when trapped dryer lint on, in or around your clothes dryer encounters heated air and catches on fire.
This is precisely why our indoor air quality experts recommend scheduling an indoor air duct cleaning and a dryer vent cleaning together, especially if you have inherited both your ducts and your appliances from a prior homeowner.
Where Does Flammable Lint Get Trapped in Your Clothes Dryer?
The average clothes dryer operates at between 51 and 57 degrees Celsius (125 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit).
And yet most people think that scooping out visible lint from the clothes dryer lint trap is enough to prevent a clothes dryer fire.
How we wish this was the case!
When you see a wad of visibly trapped lint in the lint trap, this is just a portion of all the flammable lint potentially trapped inside your clothes dryer, air duct and exhaust vent.
Don't get us wrong - you should definitely clean the lint trap after every single load of laundry you dry. But this on its own is not ever going to be enough to effectively reduce the risk of a dryer-related home fire.
This is because lint gets trapped in much deeper places inside the interior of your dryer - places you can't see or reach.
In addition to the lint trap, the most common places where our dryer vent specialists find trapped lint include behind the dryer drum and inside the air duct that leads to the exhaust vent.
Sometimes dirt and debris also makes its way into the dryer from the outside. Birds and small animals love to build nests in exhaust vent holes. This activity can end up pushing dust, dirt and debris back up into your dryer, coating and clogging the interior components with highly flammable organic particulates.
Another serious fire risk that is too frequently overlooked is the residue from fabric softener treatments and dryer sheets that can build up inside the dryer drum. This residue can be very flammable when heated.
How to Clean Out Your Clothes Dryer Lint
At this point, you might be wondering if you can clean the dryer lint out of your clothes dryer on your own.
We don't recommend this, since it can require some specialized equipment and know-how. At a minimum, you will likely need a flashlight, a screwdriver, a roto brush kit with a vacuum attachment, metal duct tape, towels and vinegar/water cleaning solution.
You will need to detach the exhaust air duct and thread the roto brush inside the duct tube to clean it from the outside end and the dryer end. The suction should be strong enough to pull out loosely trapped debris and agitate dust and dirt that is adhered to the sides of the duct.
SAFETY NOTE: It is very important to disconnect the power to the clothes dryer at the electrical box before you do anything more advanced than simply pulling excess visible lint out of the lint trap!
However, once you have a professional dryer vent cleaning done, you can help the benefits to last as long as possible by removing dryer lint after every single cycle.
How Often Should You Clean Your Clothes Dryer Vent?
The frequency of a professional dryer vent cleaning should match your usage habits. If you do laundry and use your clothes dryer daily, you would be best served with a quarterly cleaning.
If you do laundry once or twice each week and dry only certain items, you may be safe having your clothes dryer professionally cleaned twice per year.
Your CleanAir Solutions service technician can help you to identify the right frequency of dryer vent cleaning.
Hamilton Ontario CleanAir Solutions Is Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Expert
CleanAir Solutions has nearly half a century of expertise improving indoor air quality to protect your family's health and safety.
Give us half a day and we will have your indoor air quality feeling and smelling better. Our prompt, professional, polite service technicians are earning rave reviews from your Hamilton Ontario area friends, neighbours and colleagues - but don't take our word for it.
How to Choose the Right Home Indoor Air Quality Products For Your Home and Family in 2021
You would think after multiple decades of improving home indoor air quality for our customers, we would have some kind of standard offer that works equally well for everyone.
Here's why we don't!
Yes, there are some air quality concerns that are pretty universal to us all.
But inside each home, there are also air quality issues unique to that specific home, homeowner and family.
For example, maybe you have pets, but your neighbours don't. Maybe your neighbours smoke, but you don't. Maybe two doors down from you, the homeowner is dealing with radon gas from the rock mass underneath their foundation.
Every home and every situation is different.
This is why we take a very individualized approach to designing each customer's indoor air quality toolkit. In this blog post, learn about the top-notch tools our CleanAir Solutions technicians can offer to address your unique home indoor air quality needs and concerns.
Meet the Best of the Best Indoor Air Quality Products
There are five major categories of home indoor air quality products that we offer at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario.
- Indoor Air Purification
- Indoor Air Filtration
- Indoor Air Ventilation
- Indoor Air Humidification
- HVAC air duct cleaning
Each of the above categories has something different to contribute to indoor air quality improvements.
Read on to learn about each tool, what it does and how it works to address your unique indoor air quality concerns.
What an Air Purifier Does and How It Works
The Air purifier market has suddenly gone from being virtually unknown to sitting in the limelight. Why? This is because of the global pandemic, of course!
Air purification is the acknowledged industry leader in fighting back against airborne, viral droplets.
The world's best air purifier is our sun. The sun's ultraviolet rays are able to break down liquid or gaseous organic matter and destroy harmful agents like viral, bacterial and fungal particles.
Today's cutting edge indoor air purifier harnesses a synthetic version of the sun's most powerful UV light band - UV-C.
As air moves across the air purifier, any harmful organic matter is rendered harmless.Pretty neat system, right?
If you have a central (ducted) HVAC system, our air purifier technicians can add an ultraviolet air purifier to your existing system. It treats the air before it enters your ducts in order to neutralize potent liquid or gaseous toxins. There is also an add-on you can install that treats your air coils with UV light.
If you have a non-ducted HVAC system, a portable air purifier does the same thing for smaller spaces.
What Air Filtration Does and How It Works
Air filtration and air purification are frequently confused. They are not the same, but rather, are complementary systems.
Here is an example!
Let's say someone in your family is recovering from COVID, or has already recovered from COVID.
The virus spreads by liquid droplets that enter the airstream through a sneeze or cough. But then the droplets find a tiny airborne particle and land on top of it.
This is why we often recommend using both an air purifier and air filtration system for our customers who are concerned about purifying their indoor air from SARS-CoV-2. Together, these two products can trap any potentially toxic solids, gases and liquids.
A HEPA filter, which is the gold standard for filtration today, is able to trap solid particles as small as 1/100th the width of a single human hair.
What is a HEPA Filter? A Hepa air filter system is designed to remove 99.97% of all airborne particles in your home - dramatically improving the air quality.
NOTE: If you are not sure what is in your indoor air that may be causing your health or allergy symptoms, we highly recommend starting with a home air quality test. Our technicians can help you understand how to test air quality at home and recommend the best fix for your specific needs.
This silent yet comprehensive 72-hour test will be able to identify the airborne toxins in your indoor air. Our CleanAir Solutions technicians can then design a system to address each of the toxins effectively.
What Ventilation Does and How It Works
Like an air purifier or air filtration system, ventilation and circulation often get mixed up. But they are not the same. Instead, they work in complementary ways.
Air ventilation is the process by which new, fresh air is drawn into a space while old, stale air is pushed back out.
Air circulation, in contrast, is the process by which that new fresh air is distributed evenly throughout your home.
Ventilation happens by opening a window or door to the outside, running your HVAC fan or exhaust fan or using a heat recovery ventilator (hrv system).
Circulation happens with some help from floor or ceiling fans and air ducts.
Without proper ventilation, circulation can only distribute the same toxic, stale air that is already trapped inside your space.
What Humidification Does and How It Works
Humidification is another important tool for managing indoor air quality. The amount of humidification you need will vary based on a number of factors.
The recommended humidity range for indoors is now 40 to 60 percent because research has confirmed that slightly higher indoor humidity can help reduce the threat of COVID-19 transmission.
Humidification can also be important to keep your respiratory passages and mucous membranes hydrated and functional to support better immune health.
A whole house humidifier is what we recommend for distributing humidity evenly throughout your home. However, portable units are also available for smaller or non-ducted spaces.
What HVAC Air Duct Cleaning Does and How It Works
Air duct cleaning is perhaps the number one most overlooked indoor air quality tool.
For our customers who have ducted HVAC systems, we always recommend starting with superior air duct cleaning services before moving on to install air quality equipment.
How does duct cleaning work? Learn more about it from our Ontario duct cleaning experts at CleanAir Solutions! We offer Duct cleaning in Burlington, Brantford, Hamilton and surrounding areas.
CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario - Your Indoor Air Quality Experts
Together, CleanAir Solutions and our sister company, Shipton's Heating and Cooling, have nearly 100 years experience serving customers in Hamilton and surrounding areas!
When it comes to HVAC and indoor air quality, we’ve seen it all! Not sure how to check air quality in home? Worried about the health of your indoor air? Wondering about the affects on your health and immune function? Our air quality experts have loads of tools to ease your mind and clear your air - literally.
3 Step Process to Allergy Proof Your Home in 2021
It is exciting to watch the world start to open back up again - at last! Finally, there seems to be some hope on the horizon that we’ll be able to put the pandemic behind us.
But we are not there yet. And before we can get there, we have to run the gauntlet of the spring allergy season here in Ontario, Canada.
While we still know far too little about how to prevent COVID-19, we actually know quite a lot about how to prevent, or at least minimize, spring allergy symptoms.
In this post, learn the three steps to allergy proof your indoor space - keeping your immune system strong and your spring season healthy!
3 Steps to Allergy Proof Your Indoor Space This Spring
Recent reports indicate that one in five Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies. It used to be one in six!
But with global warming spurring pollen-producing foliage on to ever greater production levels, the number of sufferers just continues to increase. And reports of seasonal allergy symptoms indicate these are worsening as well.
This was worrisome enough on its own....before COVID-19!
Now there is a new urgency to protect our respiratory and overall health.
These three allergy proofing steps have the potential to minimize, or even prevent, seasonal allergy symptoms from weakening your immune response and ruining your spring.
Step 1: Identify the Major Allergy Triggers in Your Space
Step one to allergy proof your home this spring is to identify the source of your allergy symptoms.
Common culprits include dust mites, pollen, pet dander, insects (primarily waste), mould and mildew.
These are usually the triggers you need to remove from your space in order to minimize or prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. But how can you do that?
Step 2: Identify the Correct Category for Each Airborne Toxin
Indoor air quality is not just a fancy-sounding term. It is a science. And our CleanAir Solutions technicians understand it well!
This has never been more true than it is now, when the global pandemic has called on every air quality researcher, engineer and scientist to step up their game.
What we have collectively learned is that we already have very effective technology to combat airborne toxins of every type - liquid, gas and solid.
What we do not yet have is effective implementation. In other words, all the technology in the world does us no good if we are not using it!
So, now is the time to categorize each airborne toxin so that we know what type of indoor air quality antidote is needed to combat it.
Solid airborne toxins are tiny bits of organic matter. Some are so tiny you would need a very strong microscope to see them.
Solid toxins include matter like dust, dust mites, ash from cooking and smoking, pollen, pet dander, mould spores, mildew spores and dirt.
The majority of seasonal allergy producing toxins fall into this category.
The most prevalent example of a liquid airborne toxin right now is the dreaded SARS-CoV-2 liquid droplet.
Thanks to the impact of evaporation, we now know that the initially large and heavy droplets can quickly evaporate to become lighter and more buoyant, at which point they can land on an airborne micro particle solid and travel much farther distances.
There are many other liquid toxins to worry about as well.
Many common household cleaning products contain liquid toxins like bleach, hydrogen peroxide or ammonia.
E-cigarette liquid, flea and tick sprays, liquid pesticides and repellents, drain and toilet cleaners, windshield washer fluid, antifreeze and refrigerant are other common examples of liquid allergens.
Gaseous toxins are the hardest to spot because they are typically invisible to the naked eye. Luckily, many carry characteristic odours that make them easier to detect, such as the rotten egg sulfur smell of a gas leak.
Carbon monoxide is the most famous and is called the colourless, odourless killer.
Ozone, volatile organic compounds, chlorine and other gases are also known toxins that can produce a range of serious or deadly health symptoms.
Step 3: Identify the Right Air Quality Antidote for Each Category of Toxins
Once you have completed step one - identifying the toxins inside your indoor air - and step two - properly categorizing each toxin by type - it is time to apply the correct antidote to stop your symptoms from occurring.
There are two major types of indoor air quality technologies: air filtration and air purification.
Solid airborne toxins are best addressed through indoor air filtration, while purification will most effectively neutralize liquid and gaseous airborne toxins.
So let's take a look at each now.
The type of air filtration most people recognize is a furnace filter. What most people don't know is the average furnace filter's only real job is to keep the blower motor from becoming clogged.
It is not designed to handle tiny solid microparticles like the type that can carry a COVID-19 droplet or a microscopic particle of pollen.
For these tiny toxic solids, what you need is a HEPA Filter.
HEPA filter systems can filter 99.97 percent of airborne solid toxins as small as 1/100th the width of a single human hair.
Air purification uses concentrated short-wave ultraviolet light to neutralize both liquid and gaseous airborne toxins.
By changing the organic structure of these toxins, ultraviolet air purification systems render them harmless to you and your family.
Contact CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, for Expert Indoor Air Quality Solutions
CleanAir Solutions is proud to be one of the most trusted indoor air quality providers in Hamilton, Ontario, and surrounding areas.
Our friendly, prompt, experienced and highly trained indoor air quality experts can improve the air inside your home and workplace before your allergy symptoms hit! We also offer a variety of solutions to fit every budget.
Why This Is the Year to Upgrade Your Indoor Air Quality
It nearly goes without saying that if ever there was a year to upgrade your indoor air quality, this would be the year.
COVID-19 has dug in its heels even as we continue to fight back with all the tools we have.
This means the more we can do to stay safe and healthy, the more we should do to stay safe and healthy.
Add to it that allergy season is already knocking at our door - are your sinuses ready? If you are quite literally dreading the start of the notorious spring ragweed bloom, now is the time to take action.
In this post, find out what you need to know about how to create a healthy, breathable sanctuary inside your home or workplace. Our CleanAir Solutions experts in Hamilton, Ontario, provide the indoor air quality knowledge and tools you need to keep your airways clear!
What to Do Before You Buy a HEPA Filter or UV Purifier (MUST READ)
Both technologies are highly recommended for improving indoor air quality and we will talk more about each shortly!
But all too often when our service technicians would arrive to install the customer's new HVAC equipment, they would walk into a much bigger problem....
Dirty, clogged air ducts.
Don't misunderstand - even if your air ducts are chock-full of dirt and debris, UV air purification and HEPA filtration can still offer some improvement.
But the difference is one of putting a band-aid on a broken bone versus visiting a surgeon to have the bone properly set and casted so that it can fully heal.
Air ducts are hard to see and even harder to inspect. But this is also why air ducts are the most neglected of all HVAC components. And neglected air ducts can deliver problems that no amount of spending in other areas can completely remedy.
In contrast, when your indoor air duct system is insulated, sealed, cleaned and sanitized, any other indoor air quality aid you install can deliver instant results to full capacity.
This is why we strongly recommend scheduling an indoor air duct cleaning before you make any other alterations to your HVAC system or add any other air quality components.
Is a HEPA Filter or UV Air Purifier Better?
When the COVID-19 outbreak was first announced and media sources pounced on UV air purification and HEPA filtration as potential safeguards, we were deluged with questions from anxious customers about which was better.
Should they buy a HEPA filter or an ultraviolet air purifier?
What most media reports failed to report on is that these two components do very different things. They are not interchangeable in any way!
So let's take a quick look at what each component does and how it works.
HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. And a filter is a device that traps matter and retains it. We use filters in all kinds of ways and for all kinds of jobs.
But a HEPA filter is special. HEPA technology is capable of trapping solid particles as small as 1/100th the width of a single hair on your head. This means HEPA filters are capable of trapping micro-particles carrying unwelcome passengers like tiny SARS-CoV-2 droplets.
Many people do not realize that they can't just go out and buy a HEPA filter for their HVAC unit.
Unless your HVAC system is rated at MERV 17 through 20, you will face a serious fire risk and skyrocketing energy bills. You’ll also experience possible system failure if you try to use a HEPA filter with a non-HEPA rated air conditioner or furnace system.
But there is still a way to add HEPA filtration to your home. We recommend installing a whole home HEPA filtration system for ducted spaces and a portable system for non-ducted spaces.
The HEPA filtration system can trap floating solids (and their liquid or gaseous passengers) before they enter your ducts and float out into your space.
UV Air Purifier
Now that you understand what a HEPA filter is and does, let's look at how it is different from ultraviolet air purification.
The sun is the most powerful source of ultraviolet light. And ultraviolet light is the most powerful purification agent on the planet.
Purification works differently than filtration. While filtration traps solid matter and retains it, purification changes the molecular structure of liquid or gaseous matter to render it harmless.
When ultraviolet light hits a COVID-19 droplet, for example, it damages the delicate organic membrane that surrounds the viral RNA, damaging it so that it cannot replicate.
This is what makes UV purification such a powerful way to help protect against airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The best way to add ultraviolet purification to a home or workplace is quite similar to what we recommend for adding HEPA filtration.
What you want to do is install a whole home UV purifier for ducted spaces or a portable UV purifier for non-ducted spaces. The purifier can treat fresh incoming air before it moves into your ducts and out into each room in your space.
Should You Get Both HEPA Filtration and UV Purification?
Because HEPA filtration works on solid airborne matter and UV purification works on liquid or gaseous airborne matter, some customers do choose to install both types of systems.
CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, is Your Indoor Air Quality Expert
We are proud to serve Hamilton, Ontario, and surrounding areas, with providing professional air duct cleaning and a wide variety of highly effective indoor air quality aids.
BONUS: Call now and save 10 percent on any of our popular air duct cleaning packages. Also, take $100 off the purchase of any whole home indoor air quality equipment. These spring cleaning deals are only good through May 31, 2021 - don't miss your chance!
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Air filtration is a complex topic. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
The global pandemic has increased awareness of the need for upgraded indoor air quality. But what it hasn't done is foster clarity about exactly how to accomplish this goal.
In fact, for many of our CleanAir Solutions customers, heightened urgency and media attention has created more confusion rather than less.
Terms sound frighteningly similar. Media reports are sometimes wildly inaccurate. And no one seems to know exactly which type of air quality system does what.
This blog post is going to change all that. Read on to learn the facts you need to know now in order to make intelligent, informed indoor air quality choices today.
Air Filtration Versus Air Purification Versus Air Ventilation
The first step to demystify indoor air quality is to clearly define three terms that get used interchangeably far too often in popular media: filtration, purification and ventilation.
Here is what you need to know.
Air filtration is a medium that traps airborne particulate solids, effectively removing them from your indoor air supply.
The gold standard in indoor air filtration is HEPA, or high efficiency particulate air.
What is a HEPA filter? First developed during World War II to assist scientists working with radioactive matter in a laboratory setting, a HEPA filter is still our first line of defense against solid microparticles.
A HEPA filter (or MERV filter 17-20 equivalent) can effectively trap and remove microparticles as small as 0.3 microns (or 1/100th the width of a single human hair).
A HEPA filter is also used widely in COVID-19 patient wards - worldwide!
Air purification is very different from air filtration - even though the two terms are often used as if they are one and the same.
Here is what you need to know about air purifier technology.
The most powerful air purifier on our planet is the ultraviolet light bands produced by our sun.
The sun produces three bands of ultraviolet light - UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. UV-A and UV-B. These bands of light are effectively blocked by our planet's ozone layer (which is why it is so important to pay attention and stay inside on "ozone alert" days when the ozone layer is thin!).
UV-C, the most powerful natural light band, is also the only one that the ozone layer cannot block. This is why doctors tell us to wear sunblock when we go outside.
While there are several types of air purification processes, short wave UV-C air purifier systems are considered to be the most effective. They are also the most common purification technology being used by hospitals for air purification on COVID-19 patient wards.
Ultraviolet air purifier systems harness a synthetic version of UV-C light that irradiates the air and changes the molecular structure of organic airborne gases and liquids, including airborne droplets containing active coronavirus RNA.
This is all well and good, but then what the heck is air ventilation? And why is ventilation so important?
On hospital wards where COVID-19 patients are being treated and monitored, the goal is to cycle through six complete air changes per hour. This is a tall order and is only achievable with the help of state-of-the-art indoor air ventilation systems.
The most energy efficient and cost effective ventilation system is called the heat recovery ventilator.
A heat recovery ventilator separates fresh incoming air and stale outgoing air so that the two airstreams never meet. This is essential to ensure air that potentially contains active airborne viral droplets gets safely exhausted to the outside.
But HRV systems do more than this. They also recycle heat energy that would otherwise drive up your energy bills. HRV systems also help to balance indoor air humidity levels, which is another essential in helping to combat the threat of COVID-19.
Which COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality System Do You Need?
So, now you have met the three primary types of technology being used today to create safer indoor spaces as the global pandemic continues.
But which type of system do you need?
The system you need will depend entirely on the risk level inside your space. Here, risk factors to consider include each of the following:
- Do you share an HVAC system with other individuals (such as a multi-unit living or workspace)?
- Is anyone in your home currently recovering from COVID-19?
- Is anyone in your home very young, elderly or immunocompromised?
- Does anyone in your home or workplace smoke or suffer from any type of chronic respiratory condition or other known risk factor?
- What existing air filtration, purification or ventilation aids do you have?
Why are these five criteria so important?
Research has confirmed that multi-unit spaces with shared HVAC ductwork are capable of spreading airborne infectious droplets longer distances. We also know that individuals who fall into certain health categories are more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.
And some spaces have access to existing air quality controls such as windows and doors that open to the outside, ceiling or floor fans, exhaust or attic fans and higher MERV-rated HVAC systems.
But if your home or workplace does not fall into any of these categories, you may be best-served by installing a combination of aids.
A HEPA air filter can handle solid airborne particulates that may carry infectious droplets or otherwise compromise immune function and overall respiratory health.
Ultraviolet air purification can sufficiently damage SARS-CoV-2 RNA so as to render it unable to replicate and cause COVID-19.
And air ventilation (or heat recovery ventilator) can flood your space with a continual influx of fresh air to dilute the impact of airborne toxins and exhaust them to the outside in a safe and effective manner.
CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, Handles All Your Indoor Air Quality Needs
Upgrade your indoor air quality with a cutting edge HEPA filter, ultraviolet air purification and heat recovery ventilator!
Be sure to ask us about contactless estimate, service, invoicing and payment options.
How to Breathe Cleaner Indoor Air At Home & Save Money With A Heat Recovery Ventilator
If you haven't yet heard of the heat recovery ventilator, you are in for a treat.
Or rather, your lungs and wallet are in for a treat.
Because this wonder appliance can protect your respiratory health and trim your energy budget - all at the same time!
The heat recovery ventilator is so good at its job that the city of Toronto recently changed its building code to require these appliances to be installed for new construction projects.
But while ventilation itself has become somewhat of a hot topic since the onset of the global pandemic, too many of us still aren't sure exactly why it is so important, let alone how to add ventilation back into our home or workplace.
This blog post is designed to answer both of these important questions. Keep reading as our indoor air experts at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton break this down!
What Is Ventilation?
If you are already familiar with ventilation, you can skip ahead to the next section. But what we find to be more true is that ventilation is one of those words we tend to think we understand better than we actually do.
The true textbook definition of ventilation is to add fresh air back into a space.
The simplest way to ventilate is to open a window or door. This, however, is not always possible, let alone practical or safe.
Bringing in a new fresh air supply then becomes more complicated. You want the air to be clean. You need this air to be temperature appropriate. And you require your new supply of air to be reliable and steady.
What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator?
Heat recovery ventilation is actually not a new invention. What is new is mass production and availability of affordable versions of this technology.
With a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, you are actually getting three appliances in one: an energy recycler, a fresh air ventilator and an air filter.
1. Heat Recovery
The term heat recovery is actually a little bit misleading. A more accurate term might be “heat exchange” - and in fact, these appliances are sometimes called heat exchangers.
During the cold months, heat energy is retained and used to preheat the fresh incoming (and very cold) outside air. This, in turn, reduces workload and energy draw on your furnace to do that same job.
During the warm months, heat energy from the fresh incoming (and very hot) outside air is drawn out as it passes through the heat exchanger core. Then, that excess heat is pushed back out through the exhaust, reducing the workload and energy draw on your air conditioner.
You might assume you don't need an extra ventilator when you can just run your HVAC fan continuously in order to get the same, basic effect.
However, this will cause a tremendous amount of wear and tear on your HVAC system, potentially shortening its useful life while also running up your energy bills all year long.
The heat recovery ventilator uses two completely separate air pathways to recover heat energy in winter and exhaust it in summer.
These two separate air pathways ensure a steady supply of fresh outside air that never mixes with stale outgoing air.
Heat recovery ventilation also includes a filtration element.
While heat recovery ventilators are best known for their energy recycling and ventilating benefits, these appliances also house a specialized air filter. I’m
This filter works to pull allergens like pollen, mould and mildew spores, dust, ash and other particulate matter out of the incoming fresh air stream before it gets distributed through your air ducts.
So what you get is a double layer of air filtration from the heat recovery ventilator filter and your HVAC system filter.
What Is An Energy Recovery Ventilator?
Heat recovery ventilators and energy recovery ventilators are closely related - and their names are similar enough to cause a lot of confusion. However, the latter is not as popular here in the far north.
The reason is because energy recovery ventilators add yet another layer of indoor air management - humidity control.
Excess humidity isn't typically a big problem here in Canada. In fact, just the opposite tends to be the case, especially during our long, cold winters.
And now that we know humidity has COVID-19 fighting properties, there is even less incentive for us to remove excess indoor humidity.
Health researchers tell us that while elevating indoor humidity cannot prevent the spread of COVID-19, keeping indoor humidity between 40 and 60 percent may be able to reduce the threat.
If you are having trouble maintaining sufficient indoor humidity at 40 percent or higher, we recommend installing a whole home humidifier system. These systems can typically retrofit with any existing ducted central HVAC system.
Can You Benefit From a Heat Recovery Ventilator? I’m
Heat recovery ventilation seamlessly and silently delivers three vital indoor air quality benefits:
- Removes stale indoor air loaded with toxins and pollutants.
- Adds back a continual, reliable supply of fresh filtered air.
- Reduces workload and energy draw on your existing HVAC system (and saves you money).
Heat recovery ventilators need virtually no routine maintenance and can recapture up to 95 percent of heat energy that would otherwise be lost and wasted.
Does the idea of enjoying fresher, cleaner indoor air, combined with lower energy bills for heating and cooling sound appealing? You may benefit from adding a heat recovery ventilator to your existing HVAC system.
Contact CleanAir Solutions For Ventilation Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario
With another projected hot and sticky summer just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about how to trim your energy bills. If you can do it while adding back ventilation, even better!
* Free contact-less estimates, quotes, service calls and payment options are available.
Make Sure Your Spring Cleaning Includes Indoor Air Quality and Duct Cleaning in Hamilton, Ontario
After what felt like the longest year and then the longest winter season on record, we are all ready for spring!
We are especially craving the warmth, the sunshine, and the chance to feel safe seeing friends and family with the greater protection of gathering outdoors.
But even as our brief warm season slowly arrives, it brings with it the usual host of indoor air quality issues, including pollen, dust, mould and mildew.
Add to it that Ontario, Canada appears to be experiencing the most severe outbreak of COVID cases since the pandemic began. This year's spring cleaning has an urgency we have never felt before!
In this timely post, learn CleanAir Solution’s recommendations for upgrading your air quality and purity to support staying healthy as the threat level rises once again.
Duct Cleaning in Hamilton Is An Unsung Indoor Air Quality Hero
Over the last year, our experienced and knowledgeable service technicians have had more conversations about indoor air quality than at any time since we opened our doors.
We are aware of how closely our health is linked to the air we breathe. But starting the process of deciding what to do about your indoor air quality concerns can feel like a vertical learning curve.
This is especially true with so many products and services on the market, many of which feel somewhat faddish or gimmicky rather than tried and true.
Here at CleanAir Solutions, all the services and products we provide and recommend are well known and trusted throughout the industry.
This is why we always tell our customers to start with our superior air duct cleaning. How does duct cleaning work? Well, indoor air duct cleaning is literally the unsung hero of the air quality industry.
Why? Imagine right now that you had never learned how to dust. So every day, day after day, your floors, your countertops, your shelves and furniture are constantly accumulating dust.
A year of this would be bad enough. But imagine if you went 10 or 20 years without dusting, sweeping, vacuuming or cleaning! What do you think your home would look like?
This is exactly what is going on inside your ducts.
But because you can't easily see inside the duct system, you don't know it. You don't realize how thick the dust and debris has gotten and how much of it gets pushed out through the air registers every time your HVAC system cycles on again.
Most of our air duct cleaning customers are still having their ducts serviced for the first time ever. They are often shocked by two things
1. How dirty the inside of their ducts look (we use a tiny camera to show them before we start the cleaning).
2. How clean the air feels and smells as soon as we finish the duct cleaning service.
If you wonder why you or someone in your family may suffer from chronic allergies, asthma, itchy eyes or skin, sniffly nose, headache, mental fogginess and similar symptoms, it could be that your dirty ducts are to blame.
NOTE: We also recommend scheduling our professional dryer vent cleaning on the same day as your superior air duct cleaning. This traps the maximum contaminants in a single service call and also reduces fire risk from operating your clothes dryer.
How Much Is Duct Cleaning?
The average cost of duct cleaning in Hamilton depend on the size of the job. If you have a large house with extensive duct work, this job could take quite long. Thankfully, at CleanAir Solutions, we offer FREE, No Obligation quotes BEFORE we get started. Find out how much duct cleaning is for your home by contacting our qualified indoor air specialists today!
Your Air Purifier and Filtration Are Indoor Air Quality Game Changers
Have you ever wondered how to test air quality within your home? At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, we have the tools, equipment and know-how to test air quality properly. Learn more on how to test air quality in your home HERE.
Once you have had your superior air duct cleaning and your dryer vent cleaning, sanitized and deodorized, this is when you want to move ahead to implement more permanent indoor air quality safeguards.
Otherwise, the most you will accomplish with other air quality upgrades is to keep moving the contaminants in your space around.
But once you have thoroughly cleaned, deodorized and sanitized your whole air duct system and dryer vent, your home has essentially been reset to zero. In the air ducts, your home is brand new!
This is when you want to start adding enhanced indoor air quality cleaners to maintain clean indoor air and guard against future airborne pathogens and toxins.
Here again, today there is an ever-wider variety of indoor air quality aids that makes it seem like the moment you actually commit to one, it will be out of date the next day.
This is not the case with the two time-tested, research-backed solutions we are about to recommend to you here. Both of these solutions can go the distance and then some to keep your indoor air safe and clean.
Ultraviolet Air Purifier
Ultraviolet light has gotten a bad rap over the last several decades and doctors regularly warn us to avoid it.
But UV light is still the most powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial treatment on the planet.
Air treated with short wave concentrated UV light is air free from pathogens, including viral and bacterial and fungal matter, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mould and mildew, volatile organic compounds and much more.
Both portable and central UV air purifier systems are available.
What is a HEPA Filter? HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter is the gold standard in air filtration and has been since it was invented during World War II.
Frontline healthcare workers and workers who have interaction with the general public favour HEPA face masks for precisely this reason. This is also why HEPA air filter is now used in all hospital floors where COVID patients are being treated.
When a HEPA filter system is used inside the home, it can filter out airborne particulates to an incredibly tiny size.
Contact CleanAir Solutions For Indoor Air Quality and Duct Cleaning in Hamilton, Ontario
This year's spring cleaning is about a lot more than just dusting and vacuuming. With all eyes on indoor air quality, we are standing by to assist with your indoor air quality questions and needs.
Not sure how to test air quality?
Asking yourself, “how does duct cleaning work...really?”.
“What is a HEPA Filter?”
“How much Is duct cleaning?”
We can help!
Free contact-less estimates, quotes, service calls and payment options are available.
Is Your Indoor Air Humid Enough to Fight COVID?
Before the worldwide pandemic hit, humidity was often viewed as the enemy of indoor air quality, safety and purity.
After all, mould and mildew spores like nothing better than a nice spot of humidity to grow in. And we all know what mould and mildew can do to a home or workplace.
Pre-COVID, the recommendation was to keep year-round indoor air humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. But now all that has changed.
Why? The virus that causes COVID-19 doesn't like humidity. This could, potentially, make humidity our new best friend.
Are you concerned about your indoor air quality? At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, clean indoor air is what we do!
Learn what experts are saying about the direct link between increased indoor air humidity and reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission. Also learn how to make sure your air has enough humidity to keep you safe.
To Fight COVID-19 You Need Hydrated Air
With COVID-19 still very much with us, researchers state it is no longer enough to keep our bodies well hydrated.
Now we need to hydrate the air we are breathing as well.
The link between hydrated or humid air and reduced risk of disease or infection is not a new discovery.
But it hadn't ever made international news headlines until the new novel coronavirus came along.
This is exactly why researchers are no longer recommending that homeowners and business owners aim for 30 to 50 percent humidity year-round.
Today, the recommendation is to keep the relative humidity in your indoor air between 40 and 60 percent at all times.
What Does Humidity Do to COVID-19 Droplets?
Put simply, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 does not like humidity.
The more humidity that is present in the air, the faster the infectious particles will decay, or become unable to cause COVID-19.
One very recent scientific study identified the following differences in decay rate at different levels of humidity:
- At 40 percent humidity, at least half of airborne infectious droplets could remain active for 24 hours or longer.
- At 65 percent humidity, at least half of airborne infectious droplets became non-infectious after just an hour and a half!
Why Is Humidity So Vital During Winter?
In the study we just mentioned, the researchers also identified a link between COVID-19 viability and air temperature.
The reason this link exists is largely because colder air is also drier air. This is also why winter is traditionally nicknamed "cold and flu" season.
When the air dries out, so do our bodies. As our bodies are depleted of moisture, we struggle to make the mucous that our immune system uses to trap toxins like viral and bacterial matter as we breathe them in.
When the relative humidity in the air increases, our bodies are able to make more mucus again. This is true regardless of what temperature the surrounding air happens to be.
Normally, we are just fighting off cold and flu during the long, cold winter season here in Canada. But this winter, we are fighting off coronavirus too.
So, maintaining elevated indoor air humidity is more important this year than it ever has been before. Do you know how to test air quality in your home? Keep reading for tips and tricks from our clean air specialists at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton.
How Can You Measure Indoor Air Humidity?
It just makes sense that you can't adjust your indoor air humidity levels until you first establish what they are.
What is the best way to measure humidity inside your space?
This is easy - all you need is a simple, inexpensive gadget called a hygrometer. You can find hygrometers online and at most major home supply stores and pet stores.
Hygrometers are particularly useful for measuring how humidity changes in different parts of your home or workplace. For example, basements tend to be naturally higher in humidity than the rest of a home.
So you can use a hygrometer to get a good sense of where there is the greatest need to add humidity for your safety.
How Much Indoor Air Humidity Is Too Much?
In today's fast-paced, get-it-done-yesterday culture, we have become socialized to believe more is better.
This is definitely not the case with humidity, however!
Too much humidity can cause problems as well.
The study we referenced earlier compared relative humidity levels of 40 percent and 65 percent.
However, at 65 percent humidity, you may find that you are uncomfortable inside your home or workplace. The risk of mites, mould and mildew increases. Belongings and furnishings constructed with organic fibres may develop rot.
High humidity levels can also increase volatile organic compounds (VOCs) off-gassing, leading to respiratory and other health symptoms.
This is why health officials are not recommending increasing your indoor air relative humidity levels to more than 60 percent.
How to Boost Your Home or Workplace Humidity Levels
If you have ever had a child who suffers from seasonal allergies or asthma, you may have placed a small humidifier in their bedroom to ease breathing difficulties, inflammation and discomfort.
In the same way, if you need to increase the amount of relative humidity in your indoor air, the best way to do this is to add a portable or whole-home humidifier system.
Portable humidifiers are the best choice for non-ducted spaces.
If you have a ducted HVAC system, your best choice is a whole-home humidification system. These systems integrate with your existing HVAC to evenly distribute humidity throughout your space.
Right Now Take $50 Off Any Whole Home Humidifier Installation
Contact our clean indoor air experts today for a free estimate on the whole-home humidifier of your choice. At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, we supply whole-home humidity control as an air purifier technique
Take $50 off the cost of installation. And take a whole year to decide. Don't like it - we will refund your purchase price!
CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario Is Your Indoor Air Quality Expert
Addressing overly dry indoor air doesn't have to be complicated. Our friendly, experienced indoor air quality experts make the process simple! Ask us about safe, contactless estimates and service calls.
Get Your Ducts in a Row to Stay Safe and Healthy This Spring
It has almost been a whole year since COVID-19 began.
Most of us have spent more time staring at our own four walls this year than at any other time in our lives. When will it end?
We truly have no idea.
If you have been putting off addressing your home indoor air quality concerns, now is the time to start that conversation. Research has delivered data linking air quality to severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
While you may feel like there is nothing you can do to completely prevent exposure to COVID-19, there is a lot you can do to potentially minimize how sick you get if exposure occurs.
Read on to learn why now is the time to get your ducts in a row to make this spring a safe and healthy time for you and your family. At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, we provide you with the indoor air quality tips you need to help you stay healthy this year!
Why Dirty Air Ducts Equal Dirty Lungs
How does duct cleaning work? Air ducts are essentially the "lungs" of your entire indoor air system.
If your air duct system is clogged with dirt, dust, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mildew, mould, dead insects and insect waste, dirty socks, old comic books (believe us, we've seen it all!)....it is no wonder your home (and its occupants) may be struggling to "breathe" easily.
Many of our customers think that if their HVAC air filter is clean, their ducts must be clean too.
Unfortunately, this is seldom the case, especially if your home has had one or more owners prior to you. The only way to know for sure what is going on up in your ducts is to actually take a look and see for yourself!
Is Your Home Harbouring a 'Ductopus'?
Speaking of prior owners, if you happen to own an older home, you may well be harboring that relic of prehistoric HVAC times - the 'ductopus'.
Modern air duct systems are clean and streamlined. It is easy to tell where each duct leads and to troubleshoot any airflow issues.
In contrast, the 'ductopus' truly is like the octopus of the HVAC world.
With a design that reminds you of nothing more than two octopuses locked in undersea combat, it isn't hard to figure out why you have been paying so much for your furnace bills lately.
Sagging, leaking, mis-routed air ducts in unconditioned spaces can serve up a surprisingly hefty helping of airborne toxins along with escalating power bills and inefficient air routing.
The 'ductopus' was a health hazard even before COVID-19. In today's pandemic world, a ductopus is a bonafide health peril.
How to fix this ductwork issue? Simple - it’s time to get your ducts in a row!
What to Expect During An Indoor Air Duct Cleaning
The reason more people don't understand the importance of professional air duct cleaning is simple: it is very hard to see inside your air ducts!
But imagine if you left home for a decade. You didn't hire a cleaning service to come in regularly during your absence. After 10 years passed, you decided to come back home.
What do you think your counters and floors and tables and shelves would look like when you got back?
If you are imagining dust bunnies and thick clouds of dust layering everything inside your home, you now have a fairly accurate picture of what your ducts probably look like on the inside.
If you could see inside your air ducts, you would probably be in there dusting and cleaning them out every week. But you can't.
However, our duct cleaning experts in Hamilton can. The first thing our professional air duct cleaning technicians do when they arrive is to thread a tiny camera up into your air ducts to show you what they look like inside. You can then make the final decision whether to proceed.
Not surprisingly, we rarely have a customer decline at this point.
The whole process typically takes less than a half-day. We use a powerful commercial-grade Rotobrush system equipped with negative pressure vacuum technology.
This ultra-efficient system safely removes all dust, dirt and contaminants without releasing any toxins into your indoor air.
Depending on which air duct cleaning package you select, we follow up this basic duct cleaning with either a sanitizing or deodorizing process or both.
Our air duct cleaning team in Hamilton have gotten used to hearing surprised and happy customers exclaim that they can literally smell the difference in their indoor air after having the air ducts professionally cleaned!
How Often Should You Schedule Air Duct Cleaning?
A number of different factors can influence how dirty your indoor air ducts get and how quickly that occurs.
Most of our CleanAir Solutions customers are having their air ducts cleaned for the first time ever.
One of the best safeguards you can implement to make the results of your indoor air duct cleaning service last longer is to change your air filter monthly.
Making sure your ducts are sealed and leak-free will also reduce dust build-up inside your ducts.
For duct systems that meet these two conditions, we recommend scheduling a professional air duct cleaning every five years.
Enjoy Big Savings on Indoor Air Quality - On Us!
2021 is definitely the year to make your indoor air quality a top priority. Which is why we are kicking off the start of spring with a special offer to help you stay healthier.
Right now and through April 31, 2021, take 10 percent off the price of any of our popular indoor air duct cleaning packages. Also save $50 on all whole-home humidifier installations.
Click here to claim these valuable offers before they are all gone!
Contact CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario for All Your Indoor Air Quality Needs
Our friendly, knowledgeable and experienced indoor air quality experts can help you address all your air quality concerns quickly and affordably. Be sure to request our safe contactless estimate, service, invoicing and payment options.
Emergency Indoor Air Quality Tips for Winter Power Outages
Even here in Ontario Canada, we are still far too dependent on electricity to supply our winter power needs.
But where power outages in summer bring one set of challenges, surviving a winter power outage during the cold season is an advanced challenge - even for experienced Canadian snowbirds!
This is especially true in this pandemic year when our options for congregating together in public shelters and pooling our resources with friends and neighbours are much more limited.
It is imperative to consider how best to stay safe, healthy and warm inside your own home space as this unprecedented winter weather continues.
Keep reading for more information on the dangers of power outages in Ontario, Canada from our experienced CleanAir Solutions technicians in Hamilton.
4 Special Indoor Air Quality Concerns During Ontario Winter Power Outages
If you have ever once survived a power outage during one of Canada's notorious winter storms, you are not likely to forget it.
However, what you may not have been so conscious of in past years is the sudden sharp decline in indoor air quality that often accompanies a winter power loss.
This toxicity of our indoor air is directly linked to the types of emergency backup power sources we use to stay warm and fed during a power outage.
These are the most concerning indoor air quality toxins you are likely to generate by using these backup power sources:
1. Carbon monoxide (CO).
Carbon monoxide (CO), aka the silent killer, is that odourless, colourless gas that kills hundreds of people each year - most often during the winter months.
Along with idling car engines and malfunctioning furnace pilot lights, backup generators are famous for CO emissions, which take only minutes to kill.
2. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Volatile organic compounds could as easily be called the "toxic cocktail" of gases that can be found in everything from paints and thinners to new carpeting and vehicle interiors.
They are also present wherever butane or gas is being burned, which makes VOCs a frequent hazard during power outages.
3. Smoke, ash and micro-particulates.
There is no doubt sitting around a crackling fire is an instant mood-lifter...for everyone but your lungs.
These are the same smoke, ash and micro-particulate toxins that have been implicated again and again in secondhand smoke-related lung cancer in non-smokers.
The one and only toxin that can go toe-to-toe with secondhand smoke in triggering new cases of lung cancer in non-smokers is radon gas.
Radon is a year-round natural hazard in many areas throughout Canada.
It tends to build up inside homes in the winter, when we keep our windows shut and the ground is too frozen to allow as much radon to release naturally to the outside air.
You Toxic Indoor Air This Winter
Why mention CO poisoning now?
Because the symptoms of CO poisoning are scarily similar to the symptoms of flu.
You may initially think that your dizziness, nausea, headache, body aches, burning eyes and mental fogginess are warning signs of a winter cold or the flu.
You won't have time to discover you are wrong if it is really carbon monoxide causing your symptoms.
Your number one and ONLY guaranteed defence against carbon monoxide fatality is to install a battery powered (NOT electric) carbon monoxide detector and be sure to maintain it properly.
You simply cannot be too careful when it comes to this potentially life-saving indoor air quality monitor.
NOTE: It nearly goes without saying that you should also have working battery powered (NOT electric) smoke alarms and radon detection alarms installed. Be sure to test and service these systems faithfully at the same time you test and service your CO detector system.
What Not to Do to Generate Heat During a Winter Power Outage
Many of the other heat sources that generate the majority of indoor air quality concerns during winter power outages can be smelled in advance.
The trouble here is that most of these generate carbon monoxide along with VOCs, particulates and other airborne poisons.
Any combustion appliance is capable of causing health symptoms that range from mild to fatal.
For anyone who is living with compromised lung capacity due to COPD, COVID-19, lung cancer, bronchitis, asthma or even severe seasonal allergies, the health impact can be severe.
This is why you should never use any type of camping stove or camp heater indoors or even in enclosed outdoor spaces during a winter power outage.
Remember, if you are using any type of smoke, radon or CO detector that relies on electricity for power, these will become non-operational during a power outage. You will need to have backup detectors for these times.
Protect Yourself and Your Lungs This Winter With Air Quality Testing
The number one way to protect yourself and your lungs this winter begins with indoor air quality testing.
You need to know what is in your indoor air before you can take measures to remediate and clean the air inside your space.
In 72 hours, you can learn exactly which toxins are causing chronic health symptoms and impacting your immune system and put measures in place to counteract these.
Don't let a power outage take down your health along with your power supply. We can help you plan ahead to make sure your home is a safe place to shelter.
CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, Is Your Indoor Air Quality Expert
No Ontario Canada winter is ever completely predictable. This is especially true during this pandemic year.
Our highly trained air quality technicians can help you breathe safely while sheltering in place during a winter power outage.
P.S. When you call, be sure to ask about our Bundle Up and Save $100 offer!
What To Do Before Installing a Humidifier, HEPA Filter or UV Air Purifier
What if you knew there was one thing you needed to do first before installing your new indoor air quality equipment?
And you knew that, without completing that step first, your new equipment would not deliver on its promise of cleaner indoor air?
Would you do it?
This past year has forced each of us to revisit how well we can tolerate breathing dirty, toxic and potentially viral air. In this post, our CleanAir Solutions Technicians highlight the part of the equation nearly everyone continues to overlook.
What Is Professional Air Duct Cleaning?
As we have mentioned so many times here before, air duct cleaning is not glamorous. No one talks about it at cocktail parties - back before COVID when we were still allowed to host cocktail parties, that is.
But even now, when our indoor air quality customers are so familiar with HEPA and ultraviolet air cleaners, they often call to ask for what they need by name, air duct cleaning still goes largely unmentioned.
And our lungs are the poorer for it.
Imagine your home has a set of lungs. Where might you look to find them? For homes with central HVAC systems, the lungs can only be located in one place - your air ducts.
Now imagine those lungs have been breathing in dust and dirt and pollen and mould spores and pet dander and environmental toxins like carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds for years or even decades.
If you were able to peer inside your home's lungs, how dirty might you expect them to be?
Pretty dirty. We can confirm. In most cases, when we visit a home to provide a Hamilton, Ontario air duct cleaning service, it is the first time that home's "lungs" have ever been cleaned.
And in fact, when we insert our tiny camera up into the ducts to see what there is to be seen, what we see is a spectacularly thick layer of toxic debris just waiting to be exhaled.
Our RotoBrush system uses negative vacuum pressure to exhale all those toxins directly into our secure waste removal canister, following that up with a deodorizing and/or sanitizing treatment (depending on what air duct cleaning package the homeowner has selected).
By evening, with squeaky clean lung-ducts for the first time since the crew broke ground to lay that home's foundation, their indoor air is so clean many customers can actually smell the difference!
Why Indoor Air Cleaners Won't Work Without Air Duct Cleaning
Perhaps the idea of investing in both an indoor air cleaner and air duct cleaning seems cost-prohibitive to you.
We understand. 2020 was a tough year financially for many of us.
But if you could only afford to make one change to your indoor air quality right now, we strongly recommend starting with air duct cleaning.
This cleaning service literally resets the level of purity in your indoor air back to 100 percent.
It not only gets rid of the single socks and old VHS tape holders and comic books and all the other legitimately strange stuff our technicians have found in home air ducts over the decades, but it also removes the far scarier stuff no one can see.
- The bacteria.
- The mildew.
- The ash residue.
- The viral micro particulates.
- The odour.....you know the one - the mysterious odour that, no matter how much (chemical) air "freshener" you try to use, just never goes away.
It was hiding in your air ducts all along!
Try installing a UV air purifier, HEPA filter or humidifier system without first cleaning out your air ducts and you instantly reduce the useful life of your new system by 10 percent or greater (depending on the age of your home and the state of its air ducts).
That is no investment worth writing home about.
What to Expect During Indoor Air Duct Cleaning Service
You may have many questions about air duct cleaning and we are happy to answer them.
“How much is duct cleaning?”
“How does duct cleaning work?”
The biggest question most people have is "do I have to leave the house during air duct service?"
You sure don't. You can stay at home! We even have safe contactless service, invoicing and payment options if you need them.
The next biggest question is "how long will indoor air duct cleaning take?"
The average service call ranges from three to five hours depending on the size of your space and the complexity of its duct system.
Another question we get asked a lot is "what will be done during an air duct cleaning?"
This depends on the package you pick. Options include:
- Air duct cleaning
- Clean the air registers
- Clean furnace fan
- Clean AC coil
Would You Like to Save $100 on Cleaner Indoor Air?
There is no doubt that cleaning up your indoor air is going to require an investment.
The good news is, you only have to make that investment once.
Unlike for many home maintenance needs, air duct cleaning doesn't need to be repeated annually. In fact, once every five to 10 years is usually quite sufficient!
With COVID-19 still raging on, we want to make it easy and affordable for you to protect yourself and your family.
Right now, take $100 off the cost of any of our three popular air duct cleaning packages when you combine your purchase with either a whole-home humidifier or whole-home ultraviolet air purifier.
Click here to claim your $100 savings.
(Don't wait - this offer only lasts until February 28th!)
Get Clean Indoor Air With Hamilton Ontario CleanAir Solutions
Cleaner indoor air is no longer a luxury to dream about. It has become a health necessity. At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario. can help you select the perfect package to improve your indoor air quality at home and at work.
P.S. Be sure to request our safe contactless estimate, service, invoicing and payment options.
Improving Indoor Air Quality During The COVID-19 Pandemic
It has finally happened. Everywhere we go these days, people are talking about air quality - really talking about it!
COVID-19 has created a world where learning about "good" and "bad" air quality is a top priority. Good thing your trusted team of air quality experts at CleanAir Solutions Hamilton has the answers and (clean air equipment) that you’re looking for!
If you are reading this, you probably want to know what you can do to improve your own indoor air quality while you shelter in place at home.
And when you return to work (if applicable) you want to know that the air you breathe at the office will be clean and safe as well.
What does it mean to say the air is polluted? What types of toxins can make you sick? Where do those toxins come from?
Most importantly, how can you get rid of them so the air you need to survive doesn't harm your health or your lungs? Read on to find out!
What Is Air Pollution
At CleanAir Solutions Hamilton, we have yet to meet a customer who is unaware of the concerns about outdoor air quality. Smog, carbon emissions and even pollen often feel like dangers beyond what we personally can control.
Indoor air quality is a whole different story.
2020 helped a lot of people realize just how toxic our indoor air has become - up to five times more toxic than the smog and pollen-laden outdoor air according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Improving indoor air quality also feels more do-able to most of us. We are working with a smaller area. Often, it is an area we bought and paid for or at least visit every single day.
But while you may feel like you can control the air quality inside your space, you may not know exactly how to do that, which is what we will talk about here next.
Controlling the Quality of Your Indoor Air
Before you can clean up your indoor air, you have to know what is making it dirty.
The types of toxins in your indoor air will drive the indoor air quality solutions you implement to reduce air pollution.
Here is a very simple example.
Let's say you have a cozy wood fireplace inside your home. You love gathering around it at night with your family. But you notice that you often wake up with a scratchy throat and watery eyes the next morning. What is going on?
Here, there are two different types of toxins that are dirtying your indoor air.
The first type is solids - particles of ash that are produced by the burning wood. The second type is gaseous - volatile organic compounds, dioxins, carbon monoxide and others.
This means you need two different types of air cleaners to address the air pollution your fireplace is causing.
How To Check And Control Air Quality In Your Home
In the previous section here, we identified two categories of indoor air pollution your warm fireplace is causing: solids and gases.
1. HEPA filtration addresses air pollution from particulate solids.
What is a HEPA filter? To deal with the solid particles, you need a HEPA air filter system. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air.
A HEPA filter is a special type of incredibly dense air filter that can trap up to 99.97 percent of all airborne solid particles as small as 0.3 microns (about 1/100th the width of one human hair).
There are two basic types of HEPA air filter systems:
- Ducted (central)
- Non-ducted (portable).
NOTE: Whatever you decide to do, don't try to change out your HVAC system's existing air filter for a HEPA filter. This can cause your HVAC blower motor to overheat and start a home fire! Only MERV 17-20 HVAC systems can handle a HEPA filter.
Is it time to install a HEPA filter in your home this year? Contact CleanAir Solutions Hamilton for more information or to schedule an installation appointment.
2. Ultraviolet purification addresses air pollution from gases.
With your HEPA filter system in place, your lungs no longer have to cope with breathing in solid ash as the wood burns brightly in your fireplace.
What about all those toxic gases that are now swirling about inside your space though?
The best air purifier on Earth is our own trusty Sun. The sun produces three different bands of ultraviolet light: A, B and C.
Of these three bands, UV-C is the most powerful. It is also the only band that our planet's ozone layer cannot block out, which is the reason your doctor tells you to cover up or wear sunscreen when you go outside.
How can you harness the power of UV-C to neutralize and purify the toxic gases pouring out of your fireplace?
Here, what you need is an ultraviolet purification system.
UV air purifiers, like HEPA air filters, come in two basic types:
- Central (ducted)
- Portable (non-ducted) models.
A UV air purifier emits a synthetic focused short-wave band of UV-C light that purifies the air that passes through it. All of the air inside your space must pass through the UV air purifier in order for it to be fully effective.
Interested in installing a UV Air Purifier? CleanAir Solution Hamilton supplies the highest quality UV Air Purifiers for our HVAC clients.
Clean Air Can Still Be Stale Air Unless You Add A Heat Recovery Ventilator
It sure feels great to know your indoor air is no longer chock-full of toxic particles and gases.
Minimizing health symptoms from air pollution, whether that pollution arises from ragweed seasonal pollen, a festive home fireplace or COVID-19, is not just about cleaning up your indoor air though.
It also requires the regular addition of fresh, oxygenated outside air.
The best way to add back fresh air to your home or work place is to give your space its own set of lungs.
A heat recovery ventilator can keep a steady stream of fresh, clean air flowing in.
Hamilton Ontario CleanAir Solutions Has Your Indoor Air Quality Solutions
Together with our sister company, Shipton's Heating and Cooling, we are helping homeowners and business owners to make smart, safe indoor air quality upgrades that can keep you healthier.
Two Top Indoor Air Quality Solutions This Winter
Throughout 2020, all we heard about was how much worse coronavirus was going to get this winter in Southern Ontario.
It will be so cold, they said. The air is so dry, they warned us. We will be fighting cold and flu as well as COVID-19, they predicted.
All three of those projections has came true, of course.
After all, winter here in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada is nearly always cold and dry....and it is always cold and flu season, just like it is in other wintery places throughout North America.
What the powers-that-be spoke about far less is what we can do to lessen our risk of catching the flu, the common cold or the new novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
Luckily, while we don't have a cure for COVID-19 yet, we do at least know now what works to keep us safer. Indoor air quality!
In this article, Our CleanAir Solutions technicians introduce you to the two TOP indoor air quality solutions that will safeguard your family's health all winter long.
1. Professional indoor air duct cleaning.
Until this last year, the average indoor air duct system didn't get a lot of love. It usually didn't even get noticed at all - at least unless all other HVAC troubleshooting options were exhausted.
2020 could reasonably be nicknamed the "year of the air duct” though!
Why? Because air ducts are central conduits for airborne toxins, including COVID-19 infectious droplets.
If your home or commercial space doesn't have a ducted HVAC system, rest assured there are still lots of other effective ways you can reduce your risks.
For our customers with duct systems, however, making sure your ducts are cleaned and sanitized is a top preventative strategy for two key reasons.
1. All the other trapped detritus and toxins aren't doing your already over-stressed lungs any favours.
2. All the other air quality aids in the world will only be as effective as the conduit through which your indoor air regularly travels (that is, your air ducts).
Are you looking for superior air duct cleaning services in the Hamilton, Ontario area? Our technicians at CleanAir Solutions provide air duct cleaning appointments within Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford and surrounding areas. Contact our qualified team of HVAC specialists today to schedule your air duct cleaning!
P.S. We recently devoted a whole blog post to this topic because so many CleanAir Solutions customers were calling with questions about how to limit airborne spread. If you have additional questions, we recommend giving it a read!
2. Indoor air quality testing & regulating.
Even in summer, the typical adult spends over 90% of the typical day indoors. This has been more true over the past year than at any other time in recent memory.
In fact, we really haven't had many other options when you factor in the continual lockdowns that have kept us sheltering in place for much of 2020 and beyond.
Unfortunately, even before the new novel coronavirus burst upon the scene, we already knew our indoor air can be up to five times more polluted and toxic than our outdoor air.
In parts of Hamilton Ontario, air toxicity is even worse due to high levels of industrial smog, pollution and elevated radon levels (you can read our recent urgent blog post about radon pollution in Hamilton here).
Did you know that many of the toxins that most harm our lungs are colourless and odourless. Even those that do produce odour are often disguised with other common home toxins like so-called commercial air "fresheners" and cleaning products.
It sounds like a cliche, but we live by these words: “you can't fix what you don't know is broken”. If you can't see it or smell it, how will you even know it is there, at least until mysterious health symptoms force you to look further?
Speaking of which, one of the most common reasons our CleanAir Solutions customers ask us to run an indoor air quality test is when a family member has a "mystery" health issue that doctors have failed to properly diagnose and address.
Here is an example: Chronic radon poisoning is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers here in Canada.
Here is another example: Mold and mildew causes vague health symptoms ranging from asthma and rashes to episodes that keep recurring regardless of treatment.
Perhaps you are worried enough that you want to make some improvements to your indoor air quality at home or at work. Without an indoor air quality test to guide you, however, you won't know what types of air quality upgrades to invest in.
Our CleanAir Solutions technicians in Hamilton are ready to help with air quality tips and air purifier equipment!
Our silent, inconspicuous indoor air quality test takes 72 hours. Our testing apparatus takes continuous air samples and presents you with a full-colour, multi-page printout of toxin levels along with customized remediation recommendations.
This is why we called this section "air quality testing and regulating." The first step is testing. Then we can do effective, targeted regulating to keep your indoor air fresh and healthy.
After running your customized, personalized indoor air quality test, you will know exactly what steps to take next.
You will be able to decide right away whether a HEPA air filtration system, a combination media air cleaning system, a heat recovery ventilator, an ultraviolet light purification system, a humidifier (or de-humidifier) or some other combination of ongoing indoor air quality aids will best serve your respiratory and overall health concerns and needs.
Contact CleanAir Solutions for more information on air quality testing and equipment!
Stay Healthy With High Value Indoor Air Quality Service Discounts
We want you to stay healthy and safe this winter. To help you do that, we are offering special reduced prices on our two top winter indoor air quality solutions to help you achieve that goal!
Right now, we are offering $50 off any of our popular professional air duct cleaning packages.
Contact Hamilton Ontario's Trusted Indoor Air Quality Specialists
Our safe, contact-less service, invoicing and payment options give you total peace of mind as we work to help you improve your indoor air quality this winter season.
Winter Air Quality Issues & How to Fix Them
As we enter the new year of 2021, it’s hard to believe that we’ve spent almost an entire year in a global pandemic. This year Canadians are gearing down for the winter months while Ontario continues in lockdown mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With more families staying indoors, working from home and homeschooling this year, our indoor air has become a fairly common topic. At CleanAir Solutions Hamilton, our team of qualified technicians is committed to your home’s clean air solution!
What Leads to Toxic Indoor Air During The Winter Months?
The global pandemic has cast an increasingly harsh light on the toxicity of our indoor air at home and at work.
For a long time, we have known that our outdoor air is becoming increasingly polluted.
The truth is, the state of our outdoor air is only mildly concerning when compared to the state of our indoor air.
Current estimates indicate that the air we breathe inside our homes and workplaces may be anywhere from two to five times MORE toxic than the air outside.
This might not be so concerning if we spent more time outdoors, but the average Canadian spends upwards of 90 percent of the typical day indoors, especially in winter!
Winter is also the time of year when our air is most likely to be at its most toxic, due to the use of candles, fireplaces, heating equipment and cooking, each of which introduces new toxins into the air we are all sharing.
More toxic air equals dirtier air. Dirtier air equals lungs that have to work harder to breathe. And lungs that have to work harder to breathe can equal increased risk of illness and disease.
Three Keys to Better Indoor Air Quality
To summarize, winter is the time when your lungs need the most help to do their job and stay healthy.
While we don't have a solution to COVID-19 yet, we do have effective solutions to improve winter indoor air quality!
Keep reading and learn about Clean Air Solutions Hamilton top winter air quality solutions!
Ventilation is the word we use to describe adding more fresh, oxygenated air to a space.
This can be done by opening a window or door to the outside, using a fan or installing a heat recovery ventilator (aka a set of mechanical "lungs" for your HVAC).
Ventilation helps your home breath in a way that is very similar to how your own lungs breathe.
There is a steady stream of fresh incoming air and a steady stream of stale outgoing air.
This keeps the concentration of any toxic or infectious airborne matter diluted with clean, fresh air at all times.
Humidity may just be the underdog hero in the early fight against the coronavirus. In the earliest days, researchers believed that heat could repel the spread of COVID-19. They were wrong.
Humidity actually does have a proven protective effect. The reason for this relates to how humidity helps your immune system produce beneficial mucus in your respiratory passages.
The mucus traps particles so they can't travel more deeply into your respiratory passages and reach your lungs.
Winter is typically a very dry time when humidity can drop to nearly zero. This dries your respiratory passages and tissues out. Your lungs become very vulnerable to viral, bacterial, fungal and toxic airborne agents.
Adding back moisture to maintain a constant 40 to 60 percent indoor humidity level helps your body keep making mucus to defend against toxicity, infection, illness and disease.
Not sure how to test the humidity levels in your home? Contact our team of qualified clean air experts in Hamilton!
3. Filtration And Purification
Cooking, using a fireplace, running heating equipment, smoking or vaping, burning candles or incense, using cleaning products or air fresheners - all of these release toxic gases and solids into your indoor air.
Removing solid particles from the air is called filtration. Removing liquid or gaseous particles from the air is called purification.
Because the virus that causes COVID-19 is primarily transmitted via an airborne liquid droplet that can travel on an airborne solid micro-particulate, both filtration and purification are necessary to protect against infection.
Have you installed a media air cleaner in your home this winter? Contact CleanAir Solutions Hamilton to book your installation appointment.
A Four Step Process to Ensure Clean Winter Indoor Air
At CleanAir Solutions Hamilton, we highly recommend taking these four steps to keep your indoor air from filling up with harmful toxins this holiday season.
1. Opt for natural fragrances instead of chemicals.
Make the switch from perfumes and holiday scented air fresheners over to essential oils and natural soy or beeswax candles.
2. Open a window or door to let the fresh air in.
Even if your 2021 budget won't stretch to cover a heat recovery ventilator, you can still crack open a window or door and run a fan to help add back fresh air to your home space.
3. Add back humidity to your indoor air.
Humidifiers, houseplants and even bowls of water can help add extra healthy humidity back to your dry winter air.
4. Keep your air filters changed.
Be sure to change your HVAC system's furnace filter every 30 days.
Get in Touch With CleanAir Solutions Hamilton's Indoor Air Quality Specialists
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we believe clean indoor air is a vital part of fighting back against COVID-19.