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Carbon Monoxide Detectors Now Mandatory In Ontario
Carbon Monoxide detectors are now mandatory in all homes in Ontario.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that is odorless, tasteless and invisible.
CO is produced when fossil fuels burn incompletely due to insufficient oxygen. Fuels that can cause CO include natural gas, propane, kerosene, gasoline, coal, wood and charcoal.
Unlike smoke, Carbon Monoxide mixes evenly with the air. It is not necessary to have a CO detector installed on every floor of your home, but should be located where it would be most likely to wake you up if a dangerous situation were to suddenly occur. A typical home may have one installed upstairs in the hallway outside the bedrooms, and if there is a bedroom or sleeping area in the basement, then you should have one there too.
CO detectors come in battery-operated portable models, or can simply be plugged into any 120 volt electrical outlet. They may also be hard-wired into your home, and in this case they would normally be installed on the ceiling. Since CO does mix evenly with the air in your home, it is not crucial that your CO detector be installed on the ceiling.
Portable CO detectors need to be re-calibrated at least once every 5 years. If your’s is older than that it would be prudent to replace it.
There have been news articles in our area in recent history about people dying in their homes due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and I’m sure you have heard about this happening. We have a customer who’s carbon monoxide detector woke up their family at four o’clock in the morning. They called the Fire Department and they told him it was because of his furnace.
His gas furnace was only 12 years old but had developed a crack in the heat exchanger. He called us early in the morning and we are able to install a new furnace for him that day. He took the opportunity to upgrade to a high-efficiency model. Lucky for him and his family that they did have that carbon monoxide detector. There’s proof right there that they do save lives.
The Kinds of Dust Masks and Why They Are Important
Dust masks are used to protect users from dust and other airborne dangers. Finding the right mask is easy; all you need to do is first recognize what you need it for. If you thought that this protective device is simple and just plain, well you are wrong, they actually come in a variety of excellent and lovely designs. Manufacturers of this item realize that people come in different face sizes and that’s why the masks come in a variety of sizes. Twin strap and single strap designs are available with that convex shape and a nose clip for extra protection.
Finding a mask that works for your face is one important thing. The lightweight nature and comfort tag is vital to the mask offering efficiency in its purpose. Since not many materials are used in its manufacture, they are easily disposable. If you in work a construction company, re-furbishing your home, doing some painting or working with wood, it is vital to own a dust mask to help reduce exposure to particles from sand, paints, and drywalls. To avoid buying one piece every time, the dust masks come in boxes of around 20 masks.
Welding fumes, smoke, sawing, sanding and grinding are some other applications that a mask protects against. Working around your farm can prove hazardous so it is important to get a pair of dust masks in case you are doing some sweeping and weeding or pruning your garden. Allergens are everywhere in the air especially in dust. It is one thing to be wary of hazards and another to take precautions. A dust mask will save you a trip to the clinic; learn to protect yourself from viruses and bacteria that may come with pollen and soot.
To avoid dealing with the consequences that come with dust and other harmful airborne aspects, invest in this item. Dust masks are not expensive. The design and material used to make them will determine the price. There are various manufacturers of this product, however, 3M makes the most durable of the disposable masks, and these are the ones that our technicians normally use.
So do not be alarmed if you see the duct cleaning technician wearing one while cleaning your ducts. Its not that we are there creating lots of dust, but it is just a part of the normal safety precautions that we use on a daily basis.
If you need quality air duct cleaning at your home or office, call us at City Duct Cleaning.
Air Pollution Control
Environmental pollution used to be just an issue for policy wonks and politicians to deal with, but in recent years people started to understand that the environment is everybody’s business.
Things like recycling programs, water cleanup and air pollution control are the subject of town meetings all over this country and, to a large degree, all over the world.
As an activist interested in controlling your pollution, I’m encouraged to see more and more people aware of the problems, but I’d like to see even more work done on the issues. Poor air quality is a health risk for millions of people, and sometimes those with most to lose have the least awareness of the problems at hand.
A lot of the advances that are made in air pollution control occur with new technologies. Factory scrubbers and air filters have gotten better and better in recent decades. These pollution control devices can actually filter particles out of the air, catalyze harmful gases into less harmful compounds and monitor themselves to make sure they are properly controlling the air quality. Polluted air contributes to a number of childhood diseases such as allergies and asthma, and puts people at greater risk of numerous later life ailments including emphysema and cancer.
The benefits of air pollution control are proportionate to the harm done by polluted air. Just by removing a moderate portion of the pollutants that a single factory puts into the air, an industrial pollution control device can lower the rates of a number of diseases in the surrounding community. That’s something to get excited about!
Of course, controlling air pollution isn’t just a matter of developing the science to do it. Air pollution control devices cost money, and companies won’t spend the money without public pressure or government laws that require or encourage them to. And it isn’t all about factories either. Many of the major causes of air pollution stems from things we use on a daily basis. The cars we drive, the power plants that produce the electricity to run our computers and the food we eat all have pollution costs associated with them. Being responsible consumers and citizen activists gives us the opportunity to really make a difference with the choices that we make every day.
Ultimately, it is not about our children or other nations, or even our future. Controlling pollution makes a difference for us right now and, as smart citizens, we should do our part to rein it in.
Our environment is an important issue that is worth taking notice of. If you want to make a real and noticeable improvement to the air quality in your home or business, call us for a free estimate on air duct cleaning and consider purchasing a HEPA air cleaner.
New Home Safety Device
We are pleased to announce that City Duct Cleaning Inc. is a distributer of Lint Alert, which is a new home safety device that basically monitors the air pressure inside your dryer exhaust duct.
Why is this important? The air flow, or pressure inside your dryer vent, is often directly attributed to how dirty your exhaust piping is. A dirty dryer vent will make your clothes dryer consume more energy and is also a potential fire hazard.
The Lint Alert will warn you of any potential problems with your dryer’s venting system so that you can take any corrective action required BEFORE it becomes a problem.
Causes of venting problems could be excessive lint build-up inside the exhaust duct, a plugged dryer exhaust outlet, a crushed flexible dryer vent hose, etc.
Check out this informative video which explains more about Lint Alert.
Lint Alert can no longer be ordered online. It is best to have this device installed immediately after your dryer vent has been cleaned. That way, when it is calibrated during the installation, you will be getting a true reading as to what is good air flow. As the condition inside the pipe decreases, a series of lights will tell you the condition of your exhaust pipe at any given time. The installation procedure is quick and fairly easy, but should be done by a qualified expert.
The Lint Alert has a pass-through 120v plug, and also acts as a night light. It is easily installed in minutes.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the condition and content of interior air, especially with regards to how it affects health and safety of humans. The chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of the atmosphere inside of homes and in commercial and institutional buildings can be influenced in many ways.
Sometimes the effects on indoor air quality can be sufficient to cause people to experience significant discomfort, and in extreme cases to become physically ill.
Recent studies have proven that indoor air quality is generally worse than outside air quality.
If you would like to improve your indoor air quality, there are many options available. Professional duct cleaning and upgrading your air filtration systems are usually the first steps to be taken in the process. If these items are done properly, some people could notice amazing results.
When your furnace is running, air travels through the air ducts and is blown throughout the home or building. In these ducts, dirt, dust, pollen, dust mites, and other pollutants accumulate over time. As well, if the ducts become humid, there will eventually be significant growth of bacteria, mold, and other organisms. According to the USEPA, “the levels of some hazardous pollutants in indoor air have been found to be up to 70 times greater than in outdoor air.” People who have such conditions as allergies and bronchial problems such as asthma are susceptible to serious reactions. To keep the air in your home or businesses clean, one should have their air ducts cleaned at least once a year.
Please call us at (416) 293-1800 to schedule an appointment or to discuss your indoor air quality needs.
Take a look at this very informative video that explains alot of what you need to know about your indoor air quality (IAQ). The sound quality is not amazing but the video offers tons of excellent information.
How To Tell When You Need Duct Cleaning
If you see dust on your furniture or experience things like moldy odors, dirty air filters, clogged cooling coils, musty closets, smoky rooms and dirty vents, these are all signs that your ducts need cleaning.
It is also recommended that you improve your air filtration system, and the best time to take care of that is just after your air ducts have been properly cleaned.
Anyone moving into a newly constructed home, who owns a home more than five years old and/or owns a home with children or pets should have their ducts cleaned.
People with allergies should also have their ducts cleaned on a regular basis.
How Can I perform an Air Quality Test?
There are many things that may cause you to become concerned about your indoor air quality (IAQ). Most people take IAQ for granted most of the time, until something noticeable happens.
Common problems of poor IAQ can include:
- Too much dust in the air
- Too much moisture
- Not enough fresh air
- Sewer gases
- CO, CO2
- Chemical off gassing (VOC)
These problems may cause symptoms such as:
- Repeated headaches
- Breathing difficulties, asthma, or respiratory infections
- Excessive coughing or the feeling of not getting enough air
- Repeated congestion or sinus infections
- Dizziness or confusion
- Strange odours
- Skin irritations or rash
- Eear and eye infections
If you notice a potential IAQ problem inside your home or workplace, it would be prudent to do a bit of investigating yourself before you consider doing any air quality testing.
Air Quality testing used to involve hiring a professional IAQ specialist or environmental company to come in and conduct several tests, and this would generally cost in the range of $2,500 to $3,000. They would take samples from key locations inside your home and then have these analyzed by a laboratory.
There are, however, several less costly do it yourself test kits that are now available and they have been shown to be 80-90% as accurate as having a professional doing the work for you.
The test kits range in price from $80 to $200 depending on what it is you want to specifically test for. There are different test kits available for each of the following items: formaldehyde, VOCs (gases), mold, allergens, etc. Figuring out which one(s) you really need may not be all that easy, and for the average homeowner this may be hit or miss.
So what you would do once you have your kit is follow the simple instructions, take some samples with the sticky tape provided, and then mail those all back to a laboratory. The cost of the lab testing is normally included in the price of the kit.
It is also important to keep in mind that not every air quality investigation will necessarily turn up anything wrong, even after expensive lab testing. The results will also not tell you where the cause of the problem is, or what to do about it.
This is why we would suggest doing that investigative work yourself before looking at the air sampling. Is the problem something new? Has it been going on for a long period of time? What has changed in your home or office lately that may be causing you to have symptoms?
This summer we had a customer who told us that whenever she walks through her front door she smells a musty odour. It was not something that she would smell always, but just when she came into the house.
That one didn’t take long… did you just start using your central air conditioner? Yes, she had. I told her we’d come over and wash her air conditioning coil for her. We did that and also cleaned her ducts. That problem was easily solved.
It won’t always be just so easy to figure out. It depends on what the problem is.
Consider these items as well…
1. Do you or a family member have allergies, asthma, or any respiratory ailment?
2. Is your home new, energy efficient, or recently weatherized (new windows, insulation, caulk)?
3. Does anyone in the house have hobbies that involve chemicals, glues, paints or fragrances?
4. Is there a smoker in the house or do you burn candles?
5. Do you have concerns about airborne dust, pet dander, pollen, bacteria, viruses, etc.?
6. Do respiratory illnesses cost you and your family time and money?
7. Does your home ever smell stale or musty?
8. Do you have pets in the home?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, talk to your City Duct Cleaning trusted advisor for a customized indoor air quality (IAQ) solution.
Note that we do not do indoor air quality testing ourselves. We generally refer this to an outside company as the need arises. We do, however, provide many of the solutions to the problems that are being caused and in many cases we can help you narrow down what is causing the problem in the first place and then figure out a plan to deal with it.
The video below explains that the EPA breaks down potential indoor air quality issues into 5 danger levels, and what those are. It can help you to learn more about what is in the air and what could possibly cause an indoor air quality problem in your home.
Top Three Reasons For IAQ Improvement
Here are the top three reasons why people are generally interested in improving the indoor air quality in their homes:
While no known health problem has yet been directly linked to the home, there are young children in the family. Hearing about serious cases of contamination from friends or family is a common motivational factor for improving the indoor air.
- A known problem
Someone in the family has been diagnosed and/or may be suffering from allergies or asthma. There is a concern that the air quality in the house may be a factor.
- A serious health problem is identified
One or more occupants may be environmentally hypersensitive. For these people, improving the indoor environment is critical to their health.
Besides having your air duct system professionally cleaned and sanitized, there are a number of additional options available that can help to greatly improve the indoor air quality of your home. Upgrading your air filter, installing ultra violet lights or introducing fresh air into the structure are three of the most-considered options.
If you need help with any of these items, please call on City Duct Cleaning Inc. We are here to serve you and we are indoor air quality specialists. We service the Greater Toronto area.
Duct Cleaning Tools – The Predator Whip
Whether we’re cleaning air duct systems in a home or a commercial building, We’ve always got several duct cleaning tools at our disposal. Which ones we do use depends on the specific job.
You’ve likely heard of a skipper ball or an air snake, and this is a common air tool that we always use in every case. But there are several kinds of skipper balls too… spinning ones, forward-blowing balls and reverse-blowing skipper balls. These should be common tools for most air duct cleaners.
Besides the skipper balls, there are also scorpion and predator air whips available as well. These are attached to a high pressure air line as well, and once they are inserted into your ductwork they whip around violently while removing all of the built-up dirt from all of the interior surfaces of a duct.
These special tools whip the dirt off the top, bottom and sides while it is inside the duct, but this excellent tool does not actually blow the dirt back towards the suction. It is only a matter of switching tools and then using our skipper to easily get all the loosened dirt back towards our suction hose.
We (the owners of City Duct) have been in the duct cleaning industry each for 30 and 27 years respectively now, and the scorpion and predator air whips came about because of our very own recommendations. We didn’t make these things ourselves, but merely gave our specifications to someone who did, and they did such an amazing job on it that these tools are now almost standard equipment in any real duct cleaner’s tool pouch.
At City Duct Cleaning Inc. we have the expertise to easily handle all of these tools. In fact, we make it look pretty easy.
If you require air duct cleaning for your Toronto area home or office, please give us a call. We would be happy to serve you. We can clean any HVAC system and we are the problem solvers.