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Archive for October, 2017

Clogged Dryer Exhaust Ducts: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

To be effective, a dryer exhaust duct shouldn’t be clogged. If it is, the drainage of the water won’t be optimal, and the dryer will have a hard time doing its job. Do you want to take full advantage of your household appliances? Here are 3 mistakes that you should avoid if you want your dryer to keep working properly.

1 – Choosing an overly long hose

Have you decided to purchase a dryer, but the hose provided by the manufacturer doesn’t seem long enough? Be careful: you should definitely avoid installing a longer hose, even if the layout of the room doesn’t allow for the drainage of the water. In that case, you should choose another place for the dryer so that you can use a hose that is at most 2 metres long. If you don’t follow these instructions, the water will tend to condense, and your home will often be flooded. In addition, an overly long hose creates bends when it turns, and this can slow or even block the drainage. Finally, a long hose will be more exposed to the risks of clogging than a short hose.

2 – Installing the dryer in the wrong place

The dryer must be installed in a room with an area of at least 96 square feet. The air must be ventilated to avoid inconveniences. If you decide to put your dryer in a room that’s too small or poorly ventilated, or you don’t make sure that your equipment is placed on a perfectly level surface, you’ll undoubtedly have problems with your exhaust duct. Take care to clear the area around your dryer to prevent anything from falling on the hose or crushing it. To do this, you should install furniture to properly store your things around the dryer. In addition, check that children can’t get behind your equipment so that they don’t have the opportunity to step on the hose.

3 – Putting too much laundry in the dryer

Does your dryer seem to be struggling? Do you feel like it’s taking more time than usual to dry? It’s possible that the exhaust duct is clogged or that you’re putting too much laundry in the dryer. In the latter case, the hose is receiving far too much water at the same time and its diameter doesn’t allow for optimal drainage. You should therefore make sure to load your dryer reasonably. If you don’t take this precaution, you risk damaging your dryer and its hose.

 

Bonus: some things to check

 

Here is some information that will help you tell if your dryer exhaust duct is working properly. For better performance, the duct should ideally be:

  • Made of metal, preferably smooth and rigid;
  • Short (less than 2 metres long);
  • Protected by an insulation sheath if it runs through an unheated space;
  • Connected to an external vent (with a valve that opens when the dryer is working).

 

If you take the time to check that the hose is working properly and that it isn’t at risk of freezing, being crushed or blocked, or generating condensation, then the lifespan of your dryer will certainly be increased.


Does your dryer have weaknesses despite your inspections and interventions? Don’t hesitate to rely on a specialized company; that way, you may not need to replace your equipment, because the team from the company will definitely be able to repair your dryer and give you excellent advice for maintaining it.

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Air Exchanger Filter: How to Know if It’s Time to Replace It

As you probably know, breathing quality air is a guarantee of good health. Modern homes are particularly airtight and insulated, so it’s not always easy to refresh the air inside without having to open the windows. This can cause real problems, especially during periods of extreme cold. Fortunately, some equipment – such as air exchangers – let you refresh the air inside the house. Are you wondering if it’s time to replace your air exchanger filter? Here are some possible answers.

Why is it so important to replace the air exchanger filter?

The role of the air exchanger is to suck up the clean air outside and expel it inside the house (and vice versa) to provide fresh, healthy air. Indeed, indoor pollution is significant; it can be caused by the presence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the furniture, toys, appliances, etc., but also by the presence of paints that release harmful substances, by cooking, and by many other factors.
In principle, the air exchanger should – as its name indicates – “exchange the air” between the inside of the house and the outside, but after a while, it’s no longer effective, especially if the filter is clogged. A filter with obstructed holes is useless; it blocks the air supply or expels polluted air inside the house (especially when toxic particles or allergens get lodged in the filter). It’s therefore essential to replace the air exchanger filter regularly.

How often should the air exchanger filter be replaced?
It’s strongly recommended to replace the filter at least once every three months. In some cases, it’s best to repeat the operation even more often. You should check your filters every month if you live near a busy street, a dirt road that creates dust, an area where firewood is widely used, or even during pollination periods. If it seems that your home is particularly exposed to pollution, you should also check the condition of your air exchanger filter without waiting three months.

Important note: make sure to turn off and unplug the device before doing any work on it.

How to know if it’s time to replace the air exchanger filter
It’s quite simple to know if the time has come to replace the filter. To do this, just observe your equipment; if the air diffusion grille on the wall looks dirty, then it’s very likely that the filter needs to be replaced. Does the filter seem clogged? If that’s the case, don’t wait any longer, because that means that the air in your home is polluted. It’s therefore best to turn off the exchanger while waiting to buy a new filter. Ideally, consider always having spare filters or make an appointment with a company specializing in air exchanger maintenance. Relying on a professional will let you make sure that the air in your home is healthy and clean; you’ll also be able to count on their know-how to take advantage of an optimal cleaning of your device.

If you want to clean the air exchanger filter yourself, you should check several points. For example, consider cleaning the intake grille as well as the ducts; if water is stagnating inside, your air will be polluted due to mould. You should also take a look at the grilles inside the house. If necessary, clean them with a vacuum cleaner, then a microfibre cloth. These few precautions might let you keep your filter longer, but you’ll still need to call on a specialized company to check the condition of your air exchanger from time to time.

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How to Clean the Ventilation Ducts in Your Bathroom?

The bathroom is a humid room that absolutely must be ventilated. Are you wondering how to clean a ventilation duct? Here is some information that will let you keep the air in your bathroom clean and healthy.

Why is it important to clean a ventilation duct?

The role of the ventilation duct is to sanitize the air in your home by letting the clean air in and expelling the polluted air. When the duct gets dirty, the function of the ventilation becomes obsolete: the equipment becomes useless and can even be harmful to your health! Indeed, a duct that’s polluted or hiding mould and bacteria will expel the polluted air inside the house (in this case, the bathroom). To avoid this type of problem, which can cause diseases such as asthma, you must remember to clean your ventilation ducts regularly.

When to clean a ventilation duct

We’re usually talking about once every five years, but this can vary according to many parameters. A family of 4 where the parents are smokers and where the teenagers take showers or baths frequently and for a long time will need to check the filters quite often. The same goes for people who keep furry pets in their home. Apartments near large boulevards or busy roads will also need to be checked more often. If you think that the profile of the inhabitants of the house is conducive to the clogging of the ducts, then you should clean them more often and not wait 5 years.

How to clean a ventilation duct

It’s very difficult to successfully clean a ventilation duct yourself. It’s best to rely on a specialized company that will perform a complete and effective cleaning. Cleaning companies use agitation tools such as air nozzles, rotating brushes, and large suction hoses. This veritable arsenal is extremely powerful: the suction-friction process is much more effective than simply vacuuming the duct with tools found in stores.

Precautions to take in the bathroom

It’s quite possible to slow the clogging of the duct; to do this, you’ll need to take a few precautions. The first involves airing out the room by opening the window and/or door when you’re running the hot water. Continue to air it out as long as the steam is present in the room. Consider avoiding aerosols as well (deodorants, for example), and use natural materials for your cleaning, maintenance, and body care products. That way, the air in your bathroom will be less polluted.

 

If you live in a city and the exterior ventilation grille is in an area where the pollution level is high, it will definitely be hard to slow the appearance of dirt in the duct. To avoid breathing bad air, consider contacting a cleaning company and possibly asking for a diagnostic. You can also check the condition of your grilles yourself: if you notice that they’re clogged or dusty, you can imagine the condition of the ducts!

 

Don’t wait, because a dirty ventilation system is a ventilation system likely to cause diseases, especially due to the bacteria present in the ducts. It’s not enough to open the windows to breathe fresh air; you also need to take care of the ventilation ducts present in your home.

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Improving Indoor Air Quality: What Actions to Take Every Day?

Improving the quality of the air inside is definitely possible. It’s all about taking a few simple actions every day.

1 – Open the windows regularly

Opening the windows regularly and creating air currents in your home will let you improve the air quality considerably. Make sure to open them on nice days so as not to let the moisture in when it’s raining or the snow when it’s very cold.

Each morning – while making your bed, for example – consider airing out your bedrooms and the bathroom. The living rooms must be opened every day to let all the invisible pollution escape. As a reminder, the air inside is often more polluted than the air outside, because the items that make up a house contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and many other substances that are harmful to our health (especially for children and pregnant women).

2 – Install ventilation systems

It’s not always easy to air a place out by opening the windows; in addition, some rooms don’t have an opening. If you’re often away and you don’t have time to air out your apartment or if some rooms in your home don’t have openings, you should undoubtedly install a ventilation system. This will let you recycle the ambient air to prevent indoor pollution.

3 – Clean the air exchanger ducts

While the goal of air exchangers is to improve the air quality in your home, they can also make it deteriorate if they’re dirty or damaged! You should therefore make sure to maintain your air exchanger by ensuring that no mould settles in the ducts. For best results, rely on a specialized company.

4 – Clean the mould

Mould can settle anywhere. It’s discreet at the start, then quickly turns grey, green, or black. Once it appears, mould isn’t easy to remove, and it pollutes the air in your house (it can cause allergies and asthma).

To avoid any inconveniences related to poor air quality, remember to clean the joints in your bathroom with a suitable product and never let moisture settle in.

5 – Vacuum regularly

The ambient air isn’t just polluted by VOCs; dirt and dust also deteriorate its quality. To maintain a healthy atmosphere in the house, don’t hesitate to vacuum regularly and check the condition of the filter so as not to disperse microparticles of dust in the house. It’s best to opt for a vacuum cleaner with a bag.

6 – Install a range hood

Cooking has a negative impact on the ambient air quality. A range hood will let you suck up all the particles that can pollute the inside of your home.

7 – Don’t smoke inside

Smoking or burning incense or Armenian paper, for example, are actions that are harmful to the air quality. To breathe better and feel good, avoid smoking or burning things in your house as much as possible.

 

These few simple actions will let you enjoy healthier air in your home. The important thing is to keep your house ventilated, even in the heart of winter. If your home is particularly humid, consider installing ventilation systems and possibly an air exchanger. These precautions will have positive consequences for your daily life, and you’ll feel much better. Living in a healthy home lets you avoid certain illnesses and allergies.

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Spring Cleaning: Don’t Forget About Your Garage!

Each year, many families decide to do a big spring cleaning, which lets them approach the summer with peace of mind and regain a healthy home before the beautiful days arrive. Are you thinking of cleaning your house from top to bottom? Don’t forget about your garage!

1 – Empty the garage to clean it

To do a spring cleaning, you’ll need to show some courage and empty your garage completely. This will let you access all the areas, even the dirtiest ones!

Get to work early in the morning, because you’ll definitely need several hours to complete this task. Begin by emptying the garage on a nice day. Once all the items have been taken out, you can dust them in the open air, which will prevent the dust from spreading inside the garage.

While your equipment and all your items are stored outside, you can start the cleaning.

2 – Clean the floor and walls of the garage

For this spring cleaning, you should clean the floor with plenty of water. If it’s a tile floor and it’s studded with oil stains, you can use a special hydrocarbon degreaser. If it’s concrete, you’ll need to soap up the floor and brush it vigorously to remove the marks.

Above all, don’t sweep in your garage, as you risk moving the dust around and having to wait for it to settle again before you can finally do the cleaning. Instead, use a water jet and a stiff-bristled brush; that way, you’ll be able to remove the mud and dust easily. For more stubborn stains, use baking soda. Sawdust can also help you get rid of oil stains.

If your floor shows signs of rust, use a specific anti-rust product and rinse thoroughly with clear water.

Are your walls dirty and full of dust? Use a water jet to loosen the fluff, then scrub the walls with a push broom. Pay special attention to the electrical outlets.

All done? Give your garage time to dry before moving on to the next step.

3 – Install the right furniture

These days, there are many pieces of equipment that let you save a lot of space. For example, you can buy hooks to hang your bicycles, racks to place your coat hangers, etc. Some sliding coat racks are very practical.

For your tools, you can opt for wall-mounted furniture or shelves that can be installed.

Taking out all your things will let you sort them. In principle, your garage should be much less cluttered once you’ve done the spring cleaning. Take advantage of this opportunity to organize a garage sale: that way, you’ll earn a few bucks while enjoying a clean and tidy garage!

4 – Put away your things

Is your furniture ready to receive your items and knick-knacks? All that’s left for you to do is to put away all your things and make sure they’re organized. Take the time to note what’s in the boxes, for example. In addition, consider placing the tools that you use most often in an easily accessible area.

5 – Prepare your garage for the year to come

A garage gets dirty very quickly, so you should prepare it so that it doesn’t get too exposed to dirt. You can place pieces of cardboard under the wheels of your vehicle or in the area where oil leaks are starting to form. In addition, place a mat at the entrance of the garage for you to wipe your shoes before entering.

These few tips will help you regain a clean and practical garage.

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Persian Carpet Cleaning: What Products Should You Use?

Do you have a Persian carpet and want to clean it? If so, there are several solutions available to you: you can decide to use a carpet cleaning product yourself or rely on a specialized company.

Stain removers

If your Persian carpet is stained, then you’ll need to remove the halos and other marks with a stain remover. However, you should be careful, because Persian carpets are often made of wool and are therefore quite fragile. Before applying it to a stain, consider testing the stain remover on a discreet area. For example, you can apply the product in a corner, on a non-visible part of the carpet. That way, you’ll make sure that the stain remover doesn’t attack the wool.

Marseille soap

Marseille soap is one of the most interesting cleaning products. It’s cheap, natural, and effective.

Mix half a teaspoon of Marseille soap shavings in a glass of warm water, then soak a clean sponge in this solution. Wring the sponge out gently, then scrub the stains by making small circles, without forcing it. Then, rinse with clear water, still using the sponge. You should get impressive results.

Note: You should absolutely avoid cleaning your Persian carpet with large amounts of water.

Soda crystals

These natural products can remove certain stains on a carpet. To do this, mix a cup of soda crystals in a litre of warm water. Apply the solution with a slightly dampened sponge and scrub gently. Rinse with clear water and a wrung-out sponge.

Vinegar

White vinegar is one of the most appreciated products for cleaning without needing to use chemicals. If your Persian carpet is stained, you can definitely try to remove the marks and halos with a sponge soaked in water and white vinegar.

Earth of Sommières

Earth of Sommières is effective when the stains are still fresh and wet. For example, if you’ve just spilled some oil on your carpet, earth of Sommières can be sprinkled immediately on the stain. This clay soil has the ability to absorb greasy and wet materials, so you just have to let it dry, scrub gently, and vacuum the earth to find a carpet that looks like new again.

Should you trust a specialist with your carpet?

Persian carpets are quite expensive and require some maintenance. To preserve their colours, it’s recommended to vacuum the surface once or twice a week and avoid excessive exposure to sunlight (if your house is bright, opt for curtains to protect your carpet from the UV rays).

Taking care of a Persian carpet is time-consuming, and the results aren’t always there. The risk when deciding to clean a carpet yourself is damaging it further and/or accentuating the stains by sometimes creating halos.

If you decide to trust a company specializing in cleaning with your carpet, you’ll enjoy many benefits. First, the company will be able to clean your carpet thoroughly because it has cutting-edge equipment. Then, the team will be able to bring some shine back to the colours of the carpet. Your carpet will regain its initial appearance, while you will get rid of any allergens buried in the wool of the carpet, as well as any other embedded dirt.

Cleaning a Persian carpet isn’t something that can be improvised. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, don’t hesitate to rely on a cleaning company.

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How to Clean the Ventilation Grilles in Your Kitchen?

Do you like to cook and prepare delicious meals for the enjoyment of your whole family? A fan of cooking with steam or oil, you can’t escape the chore of degreasing, and not only your work surface or your stove. In fact, if you’re not careful, the grease can seep in and wind up getting deposited everywhere, including your ventilation grilles.

Which grilles are affected?

The filters in your kitchen exhaust hood aren’t the only ones affected. While it seems natural to wash and degrease them regularly, you should know that these aren’t the only ones to be subjected to grease deposits. All the grilles in your ventilation system are affected, whether you have an air exchanger, a heat pump, a CMV system, etc.

Why clean the ventilation grilles?

Degreasing your ventilation grilles isn’t just a matter of cleanliness but an essential operation if you want your system to work properly. Indeed, the dust and grease that accumulate on the grilles can damage the operation of your device. They get encrusted and prevent proper air circulation, which causes an increased humidity level in your kitchen and your home and may lead to the appearance of mould.

Furthermore, the air that flows through dirty, greasy grilles is of poor quality, which can have consequences for the health of the inhabitants, especially people with allergies or breathing problems.

Cleaning your ventilation system also helps you maintain a lower energy consumption by allowing your system to function optimally.

When to clean your ventilation grilles

Generally speaking, the ventilation grilles in a home should be cleaned at least once a year and dusted about every three months. When it comes to the grilles in the kitchen, your attention must be increased, because these are subjected to dirt more often due to the culinary activities that take place in this part of the house. Don’t hesitate to check their condition more regularly.

How to clean your ventilation grilles

Depending on the ventilation system in your house, you can perform the maintenance yourself by referring to the user manual provided at the time of installation. You have to take apart the grilles and any filters and let them soak in a solution of hot water and degreaser. Of course, remember to check if the filters are washable: some are not and must be replaced periodically.

If your ventilation system is really dirty, it may be worthwhile for you to rely directly on a professional. Degreasing the vents in a kitchen requires special attention when the grease has accumulated. A cleaning professional knows how to measure out the products perfectly for maximum effectiveness. They also know the different types of ventilation and will be able to adapt their cleaning accordingly. For example, depending on your system, some parts of your vent may be humidity-sensitive, and therefore they can’t get wet.

Cleaning the ventilation grilles, whether they’re in your kitchen or elsewhere in your house, is a step that shouldn’t be neglected, both for your health and to get the most out of your system.

If you can’t or don’t want to do this yourself, there are companies that specialize in this type of service, and you can even take out a maintenance contract with them, which will ensure the impeccable hygiene of your home.

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Cleaning the Central Heating System: What Techniques Are Available to You?

Canadian winters are known for being relatively cold. The expenses related to the use of central heating systems are therefore a big part of many household budgets. Whatever your system – boilers, air exchangers, or heat pumps – regular maintenance is essential to optimize your investment and take full advantage of its features. However, the cleaning of the central heating system is too often neglected. Some of the maintenance can be done directly by the owner, such as the filters and grilles. When it comes to the ducts, however, it’s best to rely on a cleaning professional who has the right equipment.

For gas, oil, or wood-fired boilers

Wood-fired boilers are bi-energy – that is, they work with wood and electricity or wood and oil, unlike other systems. These boilers are used for both heating and hot water distribution.

Generally speaking, the heat is delivered by radiators, underfloor heating, or hot water flowing through the pipes distributed in the house to the radiators. It’s also useful to insulate these pipes to maintain a maximum temperature.

Their routine maintenance is simple. Empty the air from the radiators at least once a year to let them fill completely with water and verify that the water level in the expansion tank is normal.

Wood-fired boilers require regular inspection of the chimney and the connecting pipe to avoid any fires due to the accumulation of deposits. However, it’s strongly recommended to have your system inspected by certified professionals each year. They will be able to perform the necessary adjustments and maintenance to ensure the effective, risk-free operation of your central heating system.

For air-source heat pumps and geothermal pumps

Air-source heat pumps have the advantage of both heating and cooling your home. The difference in temperature between the outside air and the inside air will be used to power your needs, depending on the season.

For their part, geothermal pumps use the soil or groundwater – and sometimes even both combined – to heat or cool your home.

These two systems transport the heat (or cold) through a system of ducts distributed in the walls of the house. Air distribution grilles then ventilate each room.

You can do some of the cleaning of your central heating system yourself by periodically checking the cleanliness of your grilles and any filters on them. If they’re dirty, just take them apart, wash them with soapy water, and replace the filters if they’re not washable. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to clean any ducts that are accessible. Don’t forget to clean the exterior grilles; debris, leaves, and insects can clog these air intakes.

When it comes to cleaning the coils, the network deployed inside the walls, only professionals have the right equipment for this type of system.

Central heating system cleaning professionals

Relying on qualified professionals ensures that the quality of the cleaning of your air exchanger ducts is optimal. They are familiar with the standards and technologies present on the market. They have efficient spraying tools and products at their disposal. They are the only ones who can perform a complete deep cleaning of your central heating system. Your home will be purified, and your equipment will work at full capacity.

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Installing an Air Exchanger in the Attic: Is This a Good Idea?

The purpose of an air exchanger is to purify the air in a house. Thanks to a mechanical ventilation system, it refreshes the ambient air and provides a more pleasant atmosphere to the occupants. Do you want to install an air exchanger in the attic of your home? Are you wondering if this is a good idea? Here, we invite you to discover the advantages and disadvantages of such an installation.

Disadvantages of installing an air exchanger in the attic

Generally speaking, installing an air exchanger in the attic is strongly discouraged in Canada. When a house is well insulated, its attic stays cold in the winter. If you decide to do the work yourself and you leave the ducts connected to the air exchanger in an unheated space, you run the risk of having your ducts freeze. The air exchanger causes condensation due to the meeting of the warm air from inside the house and the cold air from outside and the attic. This condensation can then freeze and break your equipment.

If you want to install an air exchanger in your attic, it’s essential to place your ducts in the walls or the floors so that they are somewhat insulated from the cold; this requires advanced DIY skills. But freezing isn’t the only problem related to an air exchanger placed in the attic! The condensation creates droplets that may turn into mould and fungi if the ducts aren’t regularly cleaned. In this type of case, the air that circulates is dirty, it deteriorates over time, and the inhabitants breathe contaminated air. This can lead to respiratory diseases and many other ailments.

Advantages of installing an air exchanger in the attic

Air exchangers can be noisy, and they usually take up a lot of room. By placing it in the attic, the inhabitants aren’t bothered by the noise of the fan and can take full advantage of the benefits of such an installation.

It is forbidden to install an air exchanger in a garage, because the contaminants that it contains could spread throughout the house. It is also not recommended to install an air exchanger in living rooms or walk-in closets (for noise and moisture reasons).

The attic may therefore be an attractive option for people who don’t have a basement. However, they’ll need to call on professionals to install the system according to the rules. Otherwise, they’ll probably have to buy another air exchanger if it doesn’t survive the winter.

Installing an air exchanger in the basement

Installing an air exchanger in the basement can be an excellent solution for people who have enough space and whose attic is unheated. Thanks to this ingenious system, they’ll be able to take full advantage of the clean air brought in by the exchanger.

However, it’s not necessary to use an air exchanger if the humidity level in your house is lower than 40%. Indeed, you run the risk of drying out the air in your home and suffering from breathing problems.

For best results, don’t hesitate to outfit your home with an HRV system (an exchanger with heat recovery); this will help you keep your heating bill down. Finally, consider using CMV (controlled mechanical ventilation) systems in your most humid rooms, especially the bathroom. Air out your house regularly and check the air quality in your home from time to time.

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