Shipton's CleanAir Solutions Blog
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.
Lung Damage, COVID-19 and Radon: Urgent Hamilton News and What To Do
Public health officials recently released some truly alarming data. One in seven homes in the Hamilton Ontario area have dangerous indoor radon levels.
Radon itself is never safe. While it is a naturally occurring chemical gas, radon exposure is also a cause of lung damage in non-smokers.
If ever there was ever a season to do our best to avoid anything that might damage our lungs, it would be right now during this already worrisome COVID-19 winter season.
We simply don't need to add any more fuel to the fire (so to speak) of health crises still raging across Canada.
In this blog post, our clean indoor air specialists at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton share our best guidance on how to test for radon and how to take further action to stay safe (and COVID-19 free) this winter.
Keep reading for useful information on how to test air quality in your home during COVID-19!
What Is Radon and How Do You Get Exposed?
Radon is quite similar to carbon monoxide in that it is odourless and colourless.
However, unlike carbon monoxide, radon exposure typically doesn't kill you quickly. It makes you sick over time.
This is because radon is radioactive.
And while radiation exposure can cause all kinds of cancers, radon exposure can cause lung cancer specifically.
Why Is Radon So Dangerous?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is emitted from decaying uranium in the soil and rocks. It rises up from the ground in the form of tiny gaseous particles you inhale without even realizing it.
These tiny particles damage the inner cells of your lungs and, over time, can cause lung cancer.
The esteemed U.S. Duke Cancer Center recently hosted an event explaining how risk for COVID-19 may increase in the presence of two key toxins: tobacco and radon.
However, there is still far too little information being shared with the general public about how radon and COVID-19 co-exposure may lead to irreparable harm. Your clean air experts at CleanAir Solutions Hamilton have all the important information you need in regards to your indoor air quality and the health of your family.
How to Find Out How Much Radon Is In Your Home
There is one bright spot in all this bad news.
Just as with carbon monoxide, you can test levels and install a home monitoring and alarm system to detect spikes in radon levels.
It is important to test and monitor your home for radon because levels can increase over time. And because you can't see it or smell it, monitoring is the only way you will know if levels increase.
The radon test will give you an initial benchmark level that lets you know if you need to take remediation action right away or if you can afford to wait and monitor.
Contact our qualified technicians at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton for more information on how to check the air quality in your home for radon levels this winter.
If your radon test results are worrisome, you can move on to remediation. However, if your radon test results are within normal limits, you can decide whether to implement preventative measures or simply install a monitoring alarm to keep an eye on things.
Should You Test for Radon Gas in Your Home or Workplace?
Choosing whether or not to test for radon gas inside your home is a personal decision. It is also a decision that can impact others, including your loved ones and workers.
Winter is peak season for radon off-gassing. And recent public health studies confirm that at least one-quarter of all Hamilton Ontario area homes have risky levels of radon present in their air.
Given the additional threat of COVID-19, a disease which also targets the lungs, CleanAir Solutions recommends that our customers proceed with home or workplace radon testing immediately. Do you need your indoor air quality tested this winter? Call our qualified team of clean air experts at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton and we’ll get the job done for you!
How to Test for Radon Gas in Your Home or Workplace
You have two main options to test your home or workplace for radon levels: home testing kits and professional radon testing.
Home Radon Testing Kit
A home radon testing kit approach requires you to buy a home test kit locally or online and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
It can take up to five months to complete the test and wait for the laboratory to analyze the information and return your results, however.
Professional Radon Testing
A much faster way to get your results is to hire a professional radon testing service. Look for a company that has been certified to offer indoor air quality testing. Like CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton!
Professional radon testing involves a simple 72-hour test that will quickly return the results you need.
Did you know that CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton is certified to offer professional grade indoor air quality testing?
Our silent, low-profile, 72-hour indoor air quality test delivers comprehensive results about the quality of your indoor air - and not just for radon levels!
You will also learn about other potential harmful contaminants and have unlimited access to our Indoor Air Quality Specialists to discuss monitoring and remediation options.
Our CleanAir Solutions team can assist you to select, install and learn to use a radon monitoring and alarm system, if desired.
Start Out the New Year With Squeaky Clean Indoor Air
Winter is the longest, coldest, darkest season of our Canadian year. We spend more time cooped up indoors. We breathe warm, dry air and often enjoy festive holiday fireplace gatherings.
This is the stuff holidays - and compromised lungs - are made of.
That is why, this holiday season, CleanAir Solutions is gifting you with 10 percent off the price of any of our popular indoor air duct cleaning packages.
Duct cleaning removes trapped toxic debris, dust, dirt and dander from your entire duct system, finishing with a deodorizing and sanitizing sealant.
Customers tell us the difference is so striking they can often smell how clean their indoor air is after a duct service!
Complete this easy online form to claim your discount on clean indoor air this winter!
Get in Touch With CleanAir Solutions Hamilton's Indoor Air Quality Specialists
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have implemented safe, contactless service, invoicing and payment options to better serve you during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can Duct Cleaning Eliminate Pathogens At Their Source
All year long, we have been on a nearly vertical learning curve trying to stay one step ahead of the pandemic.
Now, here we are back in lockdown again with the holidays just weeks away!
This isn't an easy time, that’s for sure, but the good news is that we are getting through it. We know a lot more now about what works and what doesn't, especially when it comes to keeping highest-risk loved ones safer.
The most recent edition of Canada's indoor air quality improvement guidelines states that eliminating pathogens at their source is the number one way to fight back.
In other words, you can't get sick if there are no pathogens in the air!
In this post, our CleanAir Solutions technicians talk about the role that air duct cleaning can play in achieving this vital safety measure.
What Is Duct Cleaning?
Pre-pandemic, duct cleaning was once pretty low on the list of conversational topics. Boy has that changed!
While the surge in interest is directly connected with COVID-19, duct cleaning also offers a wide array of other health benefits! At CleanAir Solutions, this is one of our favourite topics!
Duct cleaning isn't as simple as it sounds, either. After all, it isn't like you can just crawl inside your ducts and sweep them out. Even if that were possible, you wouldn't want to do it. Why? Because the act of sweeping would release all those trapped toxins into your indoor air!
Duct cleaning is a highly specialized service that should only be undertaken by experienced and highly trained service providers, like your friends at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton!
The first step is to insert a micro-camera up into the duct system to examine their condition. This step will help identify if there may be an issue with mould and will also tell us how dirty the ducts actually are.
The next step is to connect a negative pressure vacuum to the duct itself. This will securely remove all trapped toxins and pathogens with zero risk of contaminating the surrounding indoor air.
The final step is to sanitize (and deodorize, if the client wishes it) the duct network before disconnecting the vacuum.
In most spaces, all of this can be completed in less than a day.
Do you need your air ducts cleaned before winter truly sets in? Contact our qualified indoor air cleaning experts at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton and we’ll schedule your air duct cleaning appointment.
When Should Duct Cleaning Be Done?
Duct cleaning is generally not required in brand new construction for obvious reasons - the ductwork, along with the remainder of the space, is shiny and new!
What we have found over the years of serving indoor air quality customers in the Hamilton and surrounding areas is that most homeowners have no record of ever having duct cleaning services performed.
Depending on when your current home was built, this may mean your ducts have been in continual use for anywhere from 5 - 30+ years without ever once being cleaned.Imagine for a moment if you left your carpet un-vacuumed or your counters un-dusted for 30 years. What might they look like? How might they impact the quality and breathability of your indoor air?
Ducts typically don't get much (if any) attention because they are literally out of sight and out of mind. Many homeowners also simply do not realize that dust, dirt and other debris can get inside the ducts and accumulate over time.
Certain events can cause an increase in this accumulation. These are times when it is especially smart to schedule an air duct cleaning and sanitizing service:
What is the best time to schedule air duct cleaning?
- After completing a home renovation.
- After mould is found and remediated.
- After the home has flooded or caught fire.
- If someone in the home smokes or vapes inside regularly.
- If anyone in the family experiences chronic respiratory distress with no other known cause.
Why Scheduling Air Duct Cleaning During a Pandemic Makes Sense
You may be wondering about the safety of scheduling air duct cleaning during this unprecedented pandemic.
Is it a good idea? Are there any risks to be aware of? How often should it be done?
The main reason to schedule indoor air duct cleaning now isn't actually to clear out any aerosol droplets that may be lingering in your indoor air. If you were doing it primarily for this reason, you would have to have it done daily!
The main protective benefit comes from clearing out all those other pathogens, toxins and particulates that are making your immune system work extra hard to keep you healthy.
Winter is cold and flu season here in Canada and now it is pandemic season too.
It is also a time of low humidity, shorter daylight hours and lots more time spent in too-close quarters indoors breathing in secondary volatile organic compounds from fireplaces, gas stoves and furnaces, candles and other sources.
This is not the season to be breathing in the dust, dirt, insect remains, mildew, bacteria, viral matter and carcinogens that get pushed back out into your indoor air every time your furnace cycles on again.
You want your indoor air to be squeaky clean so that all your lungs have to do is extract the oxygen and send the carbon dioxide back out again. This is precisely what an indoor air duct cleaning service can accomplish.
How to Schedule Your Air Duct Cleaning With CleanAir Solutions
All you have to do is review our three popular duct cleaning packages at CleanAir Solutions and pick the one that works best for your residential and commercial indoor air needs.
Right Now, Get 10% Off a Duct Cleaning Service At CleanAir Solutions, Hamilton
CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, offers three popular duct cleaning packages. Right now, claim your 10 percent discount off the package of your choice!
We are also offering $50 off installation of a whole-home humidification system. There is a documented link between increased indoor humidity and reduced risk of COVID-19 cases.
Get in Touch With Hamilton's Indoor Air Quality Specialists at CleanAir Solutions
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have implemented safe, contactless service, invoicing and payment options to better serve you during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can Humidity Stop COVID-19?
It feels like it was only yesterday when the news first leaked out about the new novel coronavirus back in January.
This certainly wasn't the way any of us expected to kick off the new year for a whole new decade, but here we are, several months later, about to enter yet another Canadian winter, in partial lockdown and feeling the strain of the year nearly past.
We know more than we did about how COVID-19 transmits and spreads. We have learned the ropes of how quarantine works. We have watched several holidays come and go and adapted and adjusted for everyone's safety.
Here comes the big finale now. We have the winter holidays, winter itself, cold and dry weather and cold and flu season all wrapped up with an uncomfortably festive bow.
Is there anything we can do to stay healthier, safer, stronger? As a matter of fact, there is! Read on to learn about humidity's role in fighting COVID-19. Our CleanAir Solution experts have the right info at the right time to keep you healthy this winter!
What Is the Right Level of Indoor Air Humidity to Fight COVID-19?
For years, we have heard that it is best to keep the humidity level inside our homes and workplaces between 30 and 50 percent. We have even written about these recommendations on this blog in the past, but then the new novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was discovered.
Now, the humidity recommendations have changed.
For increased resistance against COVID-19, you want to keep your indoor humidity between 40 and 60 percent.
The data we just shared with you comes from a 2013 Harvard Medical School research study that linked lower humidity levels to a higher incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) - basically, how well viral matter transmits in places where infections spread more easily.
So, we've known about the link between viral transmission and humidity for quite some years now. We just didn't need to apply it outside healthcare facility settings until now.
To summarize, when your indoor air humidity falls below 40 percent, your risk for contracting COVID-19 through aerosol airborne droplets that may be present in your indoor air supply rises. Not sure how to maintain a specific level of humidity in your home? Contact our air purity specialists at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton!
Why Is Indoor Air Humidity More Important in Winter?
Remember, winter is called "cold and flu season" in part because the use of heating equipment causes the air inside your home to dry out - often to a significant degree.
While most people have no trouble keeping their home's indoor humidity at 30 percent or higher during the warm season, in the cold season humidity can readily plunge to 10 percent, or even lower.
With drier outside air and drier inside air, humidity often all but disappears indoors.
This ,in turn, dries up the beneficial mucus in your airways - mucus that would otherwise catch and quarantine microbes and viral matter before it can get into your lungs.
To get your body producing that protective virus-trapping mucus again, you need to add back moisture to your air.
How Can You Increase Indoor Air Humidity to Reduce COVID-19 Risk?
Now, the next logical question is how to effectively manage the amount of humidity you have in your indoor space. Our air quality specialists at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton have the knowledge and expertise needed to help you maintain the ideal home temperature and humidity for your safety this winter.
There are two steps needed to achieve this goal.
1. Measure the amount of humidity in your indoor air.
The first step is simply finding out how much humidity you have in your air right now!
To do this, you need a simple and inexpensive humidity reader called a "hygrometer." These are easy to find online or in local home goods stores or garden centres.
A hygrometer measures the amount of moisture in the nearby air.
You will need to take it from room to room in order to identify areas where humidity may be higher or lower. Most homes have these zones because some rooms encourage higher ambient humidity (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room).
The areas that you should be most concerned about include common use areas where the air might naturally remain drier.
Still note sure how to test the air quality in your home? Contact CleanAir Solutions and one of our technicians will walk you through the process.
2. Decide on your indoor air humidity strategy.
There are two basic ways to go about adding back humidity to your indoor air.
The first way is to go room by room, adding portable humidifiers only in the areas where humidity is consistently lacking.
However, this strategy can backfire as areas with higher humidity, like the bathroom or laundry room, dry out in between uses.
The second way is to install a whole-home humidifier that automatically adds humidity back into the air for your entire space. At CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton, we supply the highest quality whole-home humidifiers for your convenience and safety throughout the dry months of winter.
A lot can go into deciding which strategy works best for you, including your room use patterns, the size of each room, whether a loved one is immune-compromised, if your home has a basement, how often you are home and much more.
This is why Clean Air Solutions in Hamilton offers our customers a complimentary consultation and no-obligation estimate for any humidifier needs you may have.
Other Easy Ways to Add Back Humidity Back Into Your Indoor Air
We understand that 2020 has been a difficult year financially for many of us. If this describes you and you are feeling panicked about how to boost indoor air humidity without investing in extra equipment or appliances, these suggestions can help.
- Place bowls of water near radiators or any heat source.
- Steam a pot of water on the stove with the lid off.
- Open windows on humid or rainy days.
- After showering, open the door to let the steam out into the rest of your home.
- After bathing, let the bath water stay in and cool naturally and open the door.
- Add houseplants and keep them well watered (but not over-watered).
- Inhale over warm steaming water for direct humidity.
Get in Touch With Hamilton's Expert Indoor Air Specialists at CleanAir Solutions
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have implemented safe, contactless service, invoicing and payment options and we remain open to serve all your indoor air quality needs.
Holiday Indoor Air Safety: 5 Things Not to Do & 5 Things to Do to Stay Healthy
Normally, we view the approach of the festive holiday season with smiles of delight, but not this year.
Thanks to the global pandemic, this year's holiday season is sparking some intense debate about how to balance personal safety with popular customs and traditions.
It nearly goes without saying that no one wants to catch COVID-19, but with no end date in sight, and still no solid news about a vaccine, it can be equally hard to fight that restless inner feeling that panics at the thought of a never-ending lockdown.
So what should you do? Go out or stay in? Say yes or say no? Plan ahead or scrap all plans?
In this post, we share our CleanAir Solutions knowledge as well as what research is saying about the five riskiest group activities to avoid and the five best strategies to staying healthy this winter.
Reviewing What We Know Now About How COVID-19 Spreads
Do you remember way back in January of this year when news about the new novel coronavirus was just starting to trickle out of China and into the world?
We had so many questions and exactly zero answers. Now, thankfully, that is beginning to change. So let's take a moment to review what we now know about how COVID-19 spreads.
1. COVID-19 spreads through close contact and airborne transmission.
COVID-19 primarily spreads through the air, both through close (less than two meters) social contact and by aerosol airborne delivery at greater distances.
2. COVID-19 spreads through direct contact with contaminated surfaces.
COVID-19 infectious droplets can transmit when they land on a surface such as doorknob, light switch or counter top.
3. COVID-19 may spread from people to animals.
The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a statement saying that COVID-19 potentially spreads from infected people to animals.
Meet the Five Riskiest Group Activities You Need to Avoid During The Holidays
With COVID-19 cases once again on the rise here in Ontario, the spotlight is now firmly focused on indoor group activities as the most probable cause.
Research into new COVID-19 outbreaks is looking closely at patient age as an indicator of where to look next to find the riskiest group activities.
These are the five top activities to avoid if your priority is to avoid exposure to coronavirus droplets.
1. Eating indoors at a restaurant.
By far, the riskiest activity is eating indoors at a restaurant. Why? Because you have to take down your mask to eat and drink.
Recent research indicates newly infected individuals are three times more likely to report eating at a restaurant indoors during the 14 days leading up to diagnosis.
2. Participating in indoor group sports.
Indoor group sports such as ice hockey and boxing are considered high-risk because they require close physical contact - to the point where both airborne and surface contamination becomes possible.
3. Working out in a gym or fitness club.
The high-profile Hamilton Ontario SpinCo "super-spreader" incident has now been linked to more than 80 new primary and secondary (friends and family) COVID-19 infections. It all started from a single non-symptomatic infected patron.
4. Visiting a bar or club.
According to local Hamilton Ontario health officials, the index patient linked to the SpinCo outbreak had previously visited a Toronto-area bar...
5. Attending indoor holiday gatherings.
This is going to be a tough one to navigate for many of us. However, the recent Thanksgiving holiday readily spawned a number of new confirmed COVID-19 infections, which makes indoor holiday gatherings a clear high-risk activity.
Meet the Five Indoor Air Safety Helps You Need to Adopt
On the one hand, it is nice to see new mask designs coming out that permit better airflow and respiration.
On the other hand, it is not so nice to realize we have these new designs because we will likely be wearing masks for a long time to come!
The reality is that masks can only do so much to protect you and your loved ones during the holiday. This is especially true now that winter temperatures are here to stay for the next long while.
These five indoor air safety pointers can step in when even your mask can't protect you.
1. Keep your furnace filter clean.
How often should you change your furnace filter? It is vital to change your furnace filter every 30 days.
Our CleanAir technicians in Hamilton are happy to replace your furnace filter during your annual furnace preventative maintenance tune-up and safety inspection service.
2. Improve indoor fresh air ventilation.
Ventilation is the number one means of reducing the concentration of toxins inside a space.
You can leave your furnace fan to the "on" setting, open a window or add a heat recovery ventilator as a reliable set of artificial "lungs" for your space.
Contact CleanAir Solutions technicians in Hamilton for more information on how to check the air quality in your home.
3. Add ultraviolet light purification.
Why are we all being urged to hold group meetings and gatherings outdoors? In a word - it=t’s because of the sun. Our sun produces ultraviolet light. And ultraviolet light damages organic matter like the viral RNA that causes COVID-19.
When you add ultraviolet light purification inside your space, you get a synthetic version of that same benefit indoors.
Are you interested in installing a UV air purifier system? CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton has the highest quality UV air purification systems. Let our team of qualified technicians install and maintain your indoor air quality professionally throughout these upcoming cold months of winter.
4. Install a HEPA filtration unit.
HEPA filtration is the gold standard to remove microscopic airborne solids that could be transporting aerosol coronavirus droplets.
Do you have a HEPA filter installed in your indoor heating system? CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton can help you decide on which HEPA filter to purchase, install it on your behalf and provide service maintenance for the duration of the winter months.
5. Add a central humidifier.
Humidity is positively correlated with a reduced risk of contracting COVID-19. Winter air is traditionally dry, which is why winter is called "cold and flu season."
Adding a humidifier helps your tissues manufacture more beneficial mucous to trap toxins, including active virus droplets, before they can make it down into your lungs.
CleanAir Solutions supplies whole house humidifiers in Hamilton, Ontario. Contact our HVAC technicians today for more information or to schedule an appointment with our indoor air specialists.
Get in Touch With Our Hamilton Indoor Air Specialists at CleanAir Solutions
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we are considered an essential business and remain open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
Is It Time to Get Your Indoor Air Tested?
Indoor air quality has never been a more popular topic than it is this year.
The surprise of the global pandemic and COVID-19's known impact on lung health has created an urgent need for more education and improved home and workplace air quality resources.
Understanding the why, what, when and how of improving and maintaining indoor air quality is less simple than it appears however.
For instance, is it enough to just buy a better furnace filter? Should you add extras such as an ultraviolet air purifier or HEPA filter? Could you protect your kids by installing a whole-home humidifier during the dry winter season just ahead? Is it time to get your indoor air at home or work tested for toxins?
Get answers to your most urgent indoor air quality questions from qualified HVAC experts at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton.
3 Steps to Assess Indoor Air Quality
The term indoor air quality sounds deceptively simple, however the quality of the air we breathe extends far beyond whether it is oxygen-rich or sweetly scented.
In fact, many of today's so-called air "fresheners" and odour control products are actually concocted of noxious chemicals that do our lungs zero favours.
Indoor air quality is determined through working through these three key steps:
1. Collect and analyze air samples (indoors, near-outdoors).
There are two major players that contribute to the health (or lack thereof) of your indoor air at home or at work.
The first is the obvious - your indoor air itself.
The quality of your indoor air includes any introduced toxins (incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, smoking or vaping, burning candles or incense, cleaning products etc.) and also the presence of natural gases or toxins (radon, mould, mildew, pollen).
But the quality of your near-outdoor air can also have a major impact on the air you breathe inside your space.
For example, if you live near a major manufacturing or refining sector, the air surrounding your home or business will probably have a higher concentration of potentially toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other gases. With Hamilton being located in the GTA area, these higher concentrations of air pollutants. Are you wondering how to test air quality in your Hamilton home, industrial or commercial location? Contact Clean Air Solutions today!
2. Assess air flow and refresh (ventilation).
Over the last several weeks, local and national news has been full of scary headlines about inadequate indoor air ventilation inside Canadian schools.
If the air inside your living, working or educational space is allowed to get stale, two things occur:
- Oxygen content goes down.
- Present airborne toxins become potentially more impactful and/or harmful.
The more clean, fresh, oxygenated air is flowing into your space, the less harmful the concentration and impact of present airborne toxins, including active viral particles.
In fact, new construction in the Toronto area now requires installation of a heat recovery ventilator, a standalone appliance that could be described as the "lungs" of the building.
Heat recovery ventilators, or HRVs, are continually "breathing" - inhaling fresh clean air and exhaling stale toxic air. Is it time to install a proper air cleaning system within your home? Contact our qualified team of indoor air quality specialists today!
3. Evaluate level of airborne toxin control (filtration and purification).
There are two main methods for addressing toxic indoor air:
It is easy to get the two confused, especially since many indoor air quality manufacturers tend to use the terms interchangeably. However, they describe two different processes.
The main mechanism of filtration is the air filter. Air filtration traps solid organic particulates, quarantining and removing them from the air supply.
Air purification changes the molecular structure of liquid and gaseous particles, rendering them inert and harmless as they move through the air. The main mechanism of purification is short-wave ultraviolet band-C light.
Many homes and workplaces do not have either system in place to handle the toxic load in the indoor air.
(To address a pervasive myth: unless your HVAC system is rated at MERV 17 or higher. your furnace filter is woefully inadequate to the task of filtering out micro-toxins.)
Are you wondering how to check the air quality in your home? Our HVAC specialists at Clean Air Solutions have the knowledge and experience you need to obtain cleaner indoor air for your family.
Why Start With Indoor Air Quality Testing?
You might be wondering why you should start at the beginning with indoor air quality testing when there are only a handful of appliances and systems that can work to improve your indoor air quality.
The reason is because you don't know which one(s) to use if you don't know what toxins you are dealing with!
For instance, your home may sit over land with a higher emission of radon gas. Your neighbour's home might not be similarly affected.
You may not smoke at home, but may work with colleagues who vape or smoke near to or inside the building.
Each space is going to be different. From the location of commercial facilities to areas of high ragweed concentration, the key to cleaning up your individual indoor air quality issues begins with understanding precisely what those issues are.
Then you can use your available budget wisely to add the optimal indoor air quality systems to address your specific concerns.
How Does Indoor Air Quality Testing Work?
Indoor air quality testing is completely silent and unobtrusive. The test runs continuously for 72 hours, taking tiny air samples every 60 seconds and analyzing the toxic load.
At the end of the testing period, the system compiles the results and delivers a comprehensive indoor air quality report that includes recommendations for short-term and longer-term air quality solutions.
You will find out which indoor air quality aids and systems can be of most benefit in cleaning up your indoor air at home or at work.
After your indoor air quality test concludes, you will know if you need a carbon monoxide detector or a radon gas detector in addition to your smoke alarm.
You will also find out if your indoor air is oxygen-poor and you need improved ventilation that a heat recovery ventilator can provide.
Get in Touch With Our Qualified Indoor Air Specialists in Hamilton
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we are considered an essential business and remain open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
Is Your Filthy Furnace Affecting Your Lungs This Fall? Act Now to Stay Healthy!
Appliance maintenance can easily become a full-time job, especially if this is your first time owning your own home.
The list of appliances you are in charge of is long. The time you have is short.
If you are nodding your head right now, changing out your furnace filter is likely down at the bottom of an already lengthy winter preparation to-do list.
This year is different however. This year, COVID-19 exists. This year, we are collectively and individually fighting against the cold and flu season AND coronavirus.
So this year, the state of your furnace filter is urgent - as urgent as keeping your family's lungs clear and healthy.
Be sure to read to the end of this post for a special high-value offer we think your lungs and your furnace will love!
Recommends for Safe & Effective Fall Furnace Maintenance
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have decades of research and experience to back up the indoor air quality solutions we recommend to you, our valued customers.
Our sister company, Shipton's Heating & Cooling, has nearly 100 years of HVAC and home appliance expertise.
We share this so you can know what we are about to say is research-backed and eminently trustworthy....
A dirty furnace filter = dirty lungs
This isn't easy to hear, but luckily it IS easy to fix!
Your Furnace Filter Has One Job to Do: Remove Quarantine Dirt
After years or even decades of benign neglect, suddenly news about furnace filters - and filters in general - are actually making headlines.
This is because a filter is to your furnace what your lungs are to your own body.
Your furnace filter's one and only job is to keep dust and dirt out of your home or workplace. It does that by trapping the dust and dirt and quarantining it until you come along and clean it or replace it.
Unfortunately, the average furnace filter is far less well-equipped to do its job than are your lungs.
In fact, the majority of the furnace filters our service technicians at CleanAir Solutions Hamilton handle while making their preventative maintenance or repair calls are well past their expiration dates.
They are often nearly black with dust and debris, clogged and basically useless. Some are actively causing harm to both the furnace itself and to the people who own that furnace.
3 Steps to Help Your Furnace Filter Perform Better
If ever there was a year when you would want your furnace filter to deliver its very best work, this would be the year.
In this section we will tell you exactly what to do to make that happen in your home or workplace (or both).
Step 1: Schedule a basic furnace inspection, cleaning and tune-up service.
A dirty furnace filter basically means you have a dirty furnace.
When your furnace filter is no longer able to trap and hold any more dust and debris, all kinds of bad things start to happen.
Airflow gets restricted and energy bills increase. The inner components of your HVAC get dirtier and more debris is pushed back out each time your furnace cycles on. Dirt-covered components and blower motor overheating can lead to a fire.
It can seem hard to believe that a simple furnace inspection, cleaning and tune-up service can take care of all three of these dangers, but happily it can! Does your furnace need a service appointment? Contact our qualified technicians at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton!
Step 2: Upgrade to the highest MERV filter your system is rated for.
Once you have a squeaky-clean furnace that is operating like a well-oiled machine, the next issue to address is the filter itself.
Are you using the highest MERV filter that your furnace is rated to handle?
If not, make the change. Your furnace filter will last longer between changes (offsetting any cost increase of choosing the upgraded filter) and so will your furnace. Contact our furnace technicians at CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton! We can help you assess your furnace and filter in order to provide you with the best furnace products moving forward
Step 3: Add a standalone HEPA filtration system.
Every day we get calls from our customers asking if it is possible to just put a HEPA filter into their regular furnace.
HEPA, or high efficiency particulate air, is the gold standard in terms of indoor air filtration. Unfortunately, however, these filters are so incredibly dense that only a HEPA-rated furnace can take them.
Only furnace systems rated to take MERV 17 filters or higher can handle HEPA-grade filters. If you put a HEPA filter into a furnace rated MERV 16 or lower, this will send your energy bills skyrocketing. It could also start a fire!
There is a way to add the extra protection of HEPA filtration to your home or workplace though. It is easy and safe.
By adding a standalone HEPA filtration system, you get all the benefits of hospital-grade air filtration with none of the energy cost increase or fire hazards.
Both portable and whole-home HEPA filtration systems are available to work with the type of heating system you currently use.
Fall Is Full of High-Value HVAC Deals - Reserve Yours Today!
This fall, we want to make staying healthy safe and stress-free for you, your family and your workers.
When you enrol in our economical furnace maintenance plan and schedule your first preventative inspection, cleaning and tune-up service, we will inspect and clean or replace your air filter at no charge!
You will also be able to order the duct cleaning package of your choice at a 10 percent discount and take an extra $50 off any whole-home humidifier installation.
Make this winter the healthiest season for you, your family and your workers. Reserve your special savings bundle from CleanAir Solutions Hamilton today!
Contact Our Qualified Hamilton Indoor Air Quality & HVAC Technicians
Here at Clean Air Solutions in Hamilton, Ontario, we are open to serve all of your HVAC and indoor air quality needs with safe, contact-less service, invoicing and payment options.