CleanAir Solutions Blog
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.