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Clean Air Solutions Hamilton
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.
Ragweed Versus COVID: What You Need to Stay Healthier This Fall
After the year we've had so far, the annual arrival of ragweed season may feel distinctly anti-climactic…or it would feel that way, except for all those bothersome allergy symptoms.
Mid-August through October is quite simply prime time for ragweed allergies here in Ontario province, and this year the irritating pollen started showing up as early as late July.
Right now, however, is when pollen counts are highest. This is especially scary this year because ragweed can produce health symptoms that sound eerily similar to the onset of COVID-19.
How can you tell which one is causing your respiratory and health symptoms?
Even more importantly, how can you bolster your defences against all of it? Read on to find out!
Bumper Crop of Ragweed This Year in Ontario
Ragweed is an opportunistic plant - a weed, if you will. And guess where ragweed grows most abundantly here in Canada?
If you guessed southern Ontario, you know why many of us have ragweed on the mind right about now. This year, ragweed season came a full two weeks early. Warmer than usual temperatures have also helped this year's ragweed crop thrive.
And by "thrive," consider this: one single ragweed plant can easily release more than one billion pollen grains into the airspace around it. If you have allergies, this is about the worst time of year for flare-ups.
While ragweed season is never a highly anticipated annual event here in Ontario, this year it is even less welcome at a time when we are all trying to stay as healthy as possible to avoid catching COVID-19.
Ragweed Allergy Versus COVID-19 Symptoms
The symptoms of ragweed allergies versus COVID-19 can look quite similar because both ragweed and COVID-19 primarily attack the respiratory system.
First, let's take a look at what to watch for if you are sensitive to ragweed pollen.
- Post-nasal drip
- Runny nose
- Respiratory congestion
- Sinus pressure, pain and headache
- Itching of the nose, mouth and eyes
- Eyes that are red and watery
- Feeling of pressure in and around the nose and upper face
- Coughing, wheezing.
- "Popping" or blocked ears
- Skin rash
- Blue-tinged or swollen area under the eyes
- Decreased sense of smell
- Decreased sense of taste
- Decreased sleep quality
Do any of these sound like another set of even more worrisome symptoms we are all concerned about right now?
Next, let's take a look at some commonly agreed-upon symptoms of COVID-19.
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Nasal drip or runny nose
- Chills or fever
- Body aches
- Blue-tinged lips or face
- Chest pain or congestion
- Mental confusion
- Excessive sleepiness
- Loss of sense of smell
- Loss of sense of taste
It is true that there is a wider range of potential symptoms associated with the onset of COVID-19, but what matters more is both ragweed allergies and COVID-19 share less typical symptoms, such as loss of sense of smell or taste along with the more typical respiratory symptoms.
Do You Have a History of Ragweed Pollen Sensitivity?
Because ragweed allergies and COVID-19 do share some unusual symptoms, take a moment now to think back to previous years. Do you have a known sensitivity to ragweed pollen?
If you are not sure, consider that fully one-third of Canadians self-report as being seasonal allergy sufferers, and nearly all of these report sensitivity to ragweed as well as other seasonal pollens.
So, if you have suffered from any type of seasonal allergies in years past, you have a higher than average chance of being sensitive to ragweed pollen as well.
Preventing or Treating Ragweed Allergies or COVID-19
Another area where ragweed allergies and COVID-19 are too similar for comfort is in the steps recommended to prevent exposure.
There is no cure for ragweed allergies and no foolproof prevention. But you can take steps to reduce your exposure while out and avoid bringing the pollen into your home. This will protect your indoor air quality.
The best prevention is to avoid contact, just as it is with COVID-19.
This requires taking extra precautions when returning home after being outside. Wash your hands and your clothing. Leave your shoes at the door. Wash all produce thoroughly.
Just as with COVID-19, there is currently no cure, but there are medical treatments to ease the discomfort of some of the health symptoms.
There are also three indoor air quality systems that offer protection against exposure to ragweed and SARS-CoV-2.
Installing HEPA Filtration to Guard Against Ragweed and COVID-19
HEPA filtration is the best way to reduce airborne exposure to ragweed pollen. HEPA filters can block airborne solid particles like pollen with 99.97% efficiency.
Traditional HEPA filters will not work with any HVAC system rated MERV 16 or below.
The best way to add HEPA filtration is to install a standalone HEPA filtration system to work with your central (ducted) HVAC.
If you have window units or ductless HVAC, a portable freestanding HEPA filtration system will do the same job.
Ultraviolet Air Purification Adds Extra COVID-19 Protection
To guard against COVID-19 exposure, you will need more than just a HEPA filter.
You also need ultraviolet air purification, which can neutralize liquid and gaseous droplets that contain active SARS-CoV-2 viral matter.
Ultraviolet air purification systems are available for both ducted (central) and non-ducted indoor spaces.
Indoor Air Ventilation Is Critical to Increase Indoor Air Safety
Finally, pairing HEPA filtration and UV air purification with enhanced indoor air ventilation will give you the most protection against contact with SARS-CoV-2 and ragweed pollen exposure.
Get in Touch With Clear Air Solutions In Hamilton
Here at Clean Air Solutions in Hamilton, we are considered an essential business and remain open to serve our customers safely with contact-less options during this difficult time. Interested in improving your indoor air quality? Give Clean Air Solutions a call at 1-905-549-2470 or visit us online.
Researchers Just Confirmed COVID-19 Is Airborne: Steps to Protect Yourself
Even as our planet’s outdoor air becomes noticeably cleaner in the wake of the worldwide pandemic, our focus is increasingly shifting to a concern about the quality of our indoor air.
And with good reason, as it turns out.
Just this past week, a research team working at the University of Florida finally captured what researchers worldwide are calling a “smoking gun.” They were able to culture and grow live SARS-CoV-2 virus taken from airborne circulating infectious droplets.
What the team found simply confirms what 239 researchers previously stated in an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO). Social distancing is not enough protection. More must be done to contain the spread of COVID-19.
So now that we know, what can you do? That is the focus of this blog post.
4 New Research-Backed Lessons About COVID-19 in Indoor Spaces
Given that this new research is barely days old, it is too early to say for sure what the ripple effect will be at workplaces, in schools and even in the home.
What is clear already though, is that it is time to stop splitting hairs about how big or small the airborne droplets have to be, how fast or far they can travel and even the concentration that “must” be present to infect someone who encounters active airborne coronavirus.
The truth is, each of these variables still doesn’t factor in the health of the individual that encounters the virus. We must remember we still know very little about why some people get COVID-19 and some people do not get it.
This means more caution rather than less is absolutely the order of the day.
These are the four main lessons that have come out of this breaking research:
- COVID-19 lives quite well and lasts a relatively long time in an airborne state.
- Active, live virus particles can travel much farther than two meters.
- The smaller the aerosol particles are, the higher the risk of transmission.
- Social distancing alone is completely ineffective to stop the threat in indoor spaces.
4 Key Ways to Protect Yourself from Indoor Airborne COVID-19
Even if we learn everything there is to learn about COVID-19 – how it transmits, how much you have to inhale to get infected, how long it lives on this or that surface – we may never discover why one person gets infected and the next person does not.
We are, however, learning more every day about how to protect ourselves from becoming the next COVID-19 statistic.
These four tips will help you stay safer starting now.
1. Stay out of public spaces (yes, even if you are wearing your mask).
This is not easy to hear or pleasant to type, but the research study that delivered the “smoking gun” evidence was conducted in a COVID-19 hospital ward outfitted with every possible safety precaution, including laboratory-grade ventilation, air purification and filtration.
What this means is that, for the foreseeable future at least, all public spaces pose a risk of potential infection. So, the safest thing you can do for yourself and your family is to stay home.
2. Wear a proper mask and keep washing your hands.
While the wealth of customized mask products in cute patterns might suggest otherwise, a mask is not a fashion accessory. The only reason to wear a mask is to prevent active viral particles from entering your body.
Not all masks are created equal here. Be sure to do your research to verify that the mask type you have been using can actually protect you.
It is also vital to wear that mask properly so that it covers your nose and your mouth and fits snugly around the lower portion of your face.
Proper hand washing is still considered a vital source of protection as well.
3. Bolster your immune system and stay healthy.
If it seems like we learn something new about COVID-19 nearly every day, this is because we actually do. It is easy to forget we are still in the very earliest phases of even understanding the virus that is causing this pandemic, much less understanding how to stop it.
Your own immune system is the number one protection you have against the infectious droplets that cause COVID-19.
Everything from chronic stress to sleep deprivation to poor diet to a sedentary lifestyle to pre-existing health issues may weaken your immune response if or when you come in contact with the new novel coronavirus.
You want your immune system to be in its finest fighting form if this happens. So, get enough sleep and do everything you can to stay as healthy as you can.
4. Add indoor air ventilation, filtration and purification.
The research study you read about here earlier was conducted in a hospital setting, which means that simply installing indoor air quality improvements alone won’t offer you the full protection you need against COVID-19.
In fact, relatively bizarre factors ranging from your nostril size and shape to how much nose hair you have can also impact how easily you become infected as well as how sick you get after infection.
Yet again, this also means that every bit of extra protection can potentially lower your risk.
Here is an example. In that same hospital study, the concentration of active airborne viral droplets was very low.
Home, school and workplace versions of these same air quality protections are readily available to help you and your family reduce your risk of infection.
Get in Touch With Clean Air 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.