Best Air Purifier for Unwanted Pet Odor, Hair and Dander

Best Air Purifier for Unwanted Pet Odor, Hair and Dander

Best Air Purifier for Unwanted Pet Odor, Hair and Dander

Sharing your home with your furry family members – cats, dogs and other furry animals – doesn’t mean that you’ve to endure their unpleasant odor, hair and dander.

An air purifier will help filter out pet odor, hair and dander, giving you and your family – including your furry family members – clean and fresh air.

Consider the following facts:

Pet Ownership

According to the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), approximately 41% of Canadian households have at least one dog, while 37% have at least one cat.

“Over the last ten years cat and dog has increased by about 10%,” said Colleen McElwain, CAHI Programs Director. “Overall approximately 41% of Canadian households include at least one dog, and similarly around 37% include at least one cat.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), owning a pet can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, feelings of loneliness. They can also increase your opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and opportunities for socialization.

The 2016 survey of pet owners conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) showed:

  • 74% of pet owners reported mental health improvements from pet ownership
  • 75% of pet owners reported a friend’s or family member’s mental health has improved from pet ownership
  • 54% of pet owners reported physical health improvements from pet ownership
  • 55% of pet owners reported a friend’s or family member’s physical health has improved from pet ownership
  • 83% of baby boomers and 82% of greatest/silent generations reported more personal experience with mental health improvements from pets than millennials (62%) and generation X (72%)

Asthma Trigger

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PDF), in 2009-10, more than 2.4 million or 8.4% Canadians aged 12 years and over were living with asthma – a chronic condition characterized by shortness of breath, cough, wheezing and chest tightness.

Furry or feathered pets – cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters – as a group was named by the Public Health Agency of Canada as the number 9 common trigger of asthma symptoms in Canada.

Furred or feathered animals on their own don’t trigger asthma. What, in fact, trigger asthma are the dead skin cells, also known as dander, that are being shed off by our furred or feathered family members. All furred and feathered animals shed off dander.

Allergy Trigger

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), millions of pet owners have an allergy (allergic rhinitis) to their pets.

The proteins found in pet’s dander, AAAAI said, can cause allergic reaction. The organization said that pet hair or fur can collect pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens.

“Contrary to popular opinion, there are no truly ‘hypoallergenic breeds’ of dogs or cats. Allergic dander in cats and dogs is not affected by length of hair or fur, nor by the amount of shedding,” AAAAI said.

Pet allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and congestion.

Asthma and allergy many now sound confusing. Rightly so, because these two are very much related. Asthma and allergy have different symptoms and severity. The two, however, are often triggered by the same things like pet dander.

Pet Odor

Pet odor isn’t just unpleasant, it’s also potentially dangerous. Pet waste releases ammonia into the air. According to CDC, low levels of ammonia may harm some people with asthma and other sensitive individuals.

How to Eliminate Pet Odor, Pet Hair and Pet Dander

Our pets play a vital role in our lives. They make us laugh; they make us cry. Indoor pet odor, hair and dander would have been a non-issue if we decide to prevent our pet to enter indoor. But we can’t live with that.

“Giving up a pet in order to prevent allergy symptoms isn’t always necessary,” AAAAI said.

Here are some ways to eliminate pet odor, pet hair and pet dander indoor:

  • Clean the house with a vacuum cleaner to reduce hair, dander and other allergens
  • Bath your pet at least once a week
  • Let someone groom your pet outdoors to reduce the amount of pet dander indoor
  • Keep your pet out of your bedroom since you spend about 8 hours every day in this room
  • Wash your pet’s bedding regularly
  • Remove carpet or upholstered furniture where allergens can accumulate or if this can’t be done, train your pet to keep off these areas

Air Filter System

The use of air filter system like the Lennox HEPA air filtration system is a big help in removing unwanted pet odor, pet hair and pet dander.

The Lennox HEPA air filtration system has 3-stage filtration process. Each filter is independent of each other and can be changed individually.

Stage 1: Pre-Filter

During the pre-filter stage, particulates – tiny pieces of liquids or solids that are in the air – are filtered. At this stage, the hairs of your pet that are released into the air are filtered. Filtration of larger particulates also prolongs the second filter called HEPA filter.

Stage 2: HEPA Filter

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. As a filtration method, the HEPA filter removes 99.97% of air pollution that trigger allergic reactions or asthma.

HEPA filter effectively removes close to 100% of air pollutants as it’s capable of removing particles as small as 0.3 microns or larger. To visualize 0.3 microns, think of a human hair. An average human hair is about 75 microns.

At this stage, pieces of dander are filtered. Nearly 75% of pet dander particles are 5 to 10 microns, while 25% are 2.5 microns or smaller.

After removing the tiniest air pollutants, the air inside the Lennox HEPA air filtration system then goes to the third filtration stage.

Stage 3: Carbon Filter

The Lennox HEPA air filtration system has a ½-inch thick carbon filter for removing harmful chemicals and odors from the air. Lennox also has an optional heavy duty granular carbon canister available for maximum removal of chemicals and odors.

At this stage, the unpleasant odor of your pet is removed. The clean air is then released from the air filtration, giving you and your family members, including your furry family members, clean and fresh air.

3 Reasons Why Your Home Needs Water Treatment Solutions

3 Reasons Why Your Home Needs Water Treatment Solutions

3 Reasons Why Your Home Needs Water Treatment Solutions

Clean and fresh water is essential for our daily needs, from drinking water to washing our hands with it.

The water that runs out from faucets and showers may contain chemicals that could harm our bodies. Below are examples of these harmful chemicals.

1. Lead

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood.

Lead levels of 10 micrograms or more in a deciliter (about half a cup of liquid) of blood in infants and young children can negatively impact their ability to learn. Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure as their growing bodies absorb lead more easily compared to the bodies of adults. Lead ingested by a mother can also affect her unborn child.

“In adults, the strongest scientific evidence to date suggests low levels of lead exposure may cause a small increase in blood pressure,” Statistics Canada said. “The current blood lead intervention level is 10 µg/dL. This is the level at which action is recommended to reduce exposure. However, there is evidence to indicate that negative health effects are occurring at lower levels of exposure than previously thought.”

The CDC added that at much higher blood lead levels, lead can damage the kidneys, blood and nervous system and lead to coma, convulsions or death.

Lead can enter tap water when service pipes that contain lead corrode. Corrosion is defined as the wearing away or dissolving of metal as a result of a chemical reaction between your house plumbing and the water that runs through it. The following are the factors involved in the extent to which lead enters your tap water:

  • Water chemistry, including alkalinity, acidity, the types and amounts of minerals in the water
  • Amount of lead that water comes into contact with
  • Temperature of the water
  • Amount of wear in the pipes
  • Period of time that water stays in the pipes
  • Presence of protective coatings or scales inside the plumbing materials

Homes that were built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, solder and fixtures.

2. Chlorine

Chlorine is available in gas, solid and liquid form. The liquid form of chlorine is used by municipal water systems as a water additive to kill harmful bacteria.

Exposure of small amounts of chlorine in drinking water isn’t harmful. The taste and smell of chlorine, however, make drinking from the faucet off-putting.

Taking a long bath or shower also increases a person’s risk for chlorine gas exposure. According to the CDC, the extent of poisoning caused by chlorine exposure depends on the following aspects: amount of chlorine, how the person was exposed and the length of time of the exposure.

The following are the signs and symptoms during or immediately after exposure to dangerous concentrations of chlorine:

  • Blurred vision
  • Burning pain, redness and blisters on the skin if exposed to gas
  • Skin injuries similar to frostbite can occur if it is exposed to liquid chlorine
  • Burning sensation in the nose, throat and eyes
  • Coughing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) that may be delayed by a few hours
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

“Long-term complications may occur after breathing in high concentrations of chlorine. Complications are more likely to be seen in people who develop severe health problems such as fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) following the initial exposure,” the CDC said.

3. Calcium & Magnesium (Hard Water)

Hard water is defined as water with high dissolved minerals, particularly magnesium and calcium. The National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences) considers drinking hard water as beneficial in contributing a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium in human dietary needs.

Hard water, however, has its negative effects. Below are some of the negative effects of hard water.

1. High Cost of Soap or Detergent

Hard water results in high cost if you’re using most of your residential water for washing, be it your hands, hair, your dishes or clothes. With hard water, more soap or detergent is needed to get things clean. Hard water requires more soap to produce a lather.

2. Mineral Buildup

Hard water causes mineral buildup. This mineral buildup isn’t just caused by calcium and magnesium. Other minerals – aluminium, barium, iron, manganese, strontium and zinc – in tap water also contribute to this mineral buildup.

This mineral buildup can be seen in faucets – in the area where the water flows. This isn’t just ugly to look at but it also causes bacteria to buildup, it can restrict the water flow and clog the pipes. This mineral buildup also leaves spots on dishes, flatware and glassware.

3. Destroys Home Appliances

Just like the faucets, mineral buildup can also happen in appliances like water heater, dishwasher, coffeemaker and other home appliances that heat tap water.

When hard water is heated like in a coffeemaker, solid deposits of calcium carbonate can form. That’s the reason why people pour vinegar into the pot of the coffeemaker – to eradicate this mineral buildup.

These solid deposits or mineral buildup can reduce the lifespan of the appliance, increase the costs of heating the water and lower the efficiency of the equipment.

4. Scratchy Clothing

Minerals left by hard water on clothes can shorten the lifespan of your clothes, cause discoloration and leave clothes hard or feel harsh on the skin.

Water Treatment Solutions

Water treatment solutions can remove up to 99.9% of harmful chemicals and hardness in your water. Water filtration solutions include water softeners and chemical removers.

Simply Soft Water Softeners removes all hard water through an ion exchange process at high salt efficiencies. Simply Pure Chemical Removers, meanwhile, removes lead, chlorine and other volatile organic chemicals, including the following:

  • Benzene
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Dichloroethane
  • Trichloroethane
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Dibromochloropropane
  • Ethylene Dibromide
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Styrene
  • Toluene
  • Dichloropropane
  • Dichloromethane
  • Dichlorobenzene
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Trichlorobenzene
  • Trichloroethane

Call today and protect your family, and save on appliance maintenance

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What is it and how can Nest Alarm prevent it?

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What is it and how can Nest Alarm prevent it?

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What is it and how can Nest Alarm prevent it?

As winter approaches, cases of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning begin to rise. However, it can be easily prevented by utilizing an alarm system like the Nest Protect carbon monoxide alarm.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, also known as “CO”, is a gas which is undetectable by the human senses; you cannot see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide. It can only be identified through the aid of a detector, such as the Nest Protect carbon monoxide alarm.

Carbon monoxide silently attacks the human body; breathing in too much can be deadly in just a few short minutes. If carbon monoxide is present in the body, our red blood cells will choose carbon monoxide over oxygen. Our body tissues – especially brain tissue – stops functioning if it doesn’t receive a continuous supply of oxygen. The body being starved of oxygen is what makes overexposure to carbon monoxide deadly.

“Exposure to carbon monoxide impedes the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to body tissues and vital organs,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. “When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it combines with hemoglobin (an iron-protein component of red blood cells), producing carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), which greatly diminishes hemoglobin’s oxygen-carrying capacity. Hemoglobin’s binding affinity for carbon monoxide is 300 times greater than its affinity for oxygen. As a result, small amounts of carbon monoxide can dramatically reduce hemoglobin’s ability to transport oxygen.”

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

According to Canada Safety Council, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of fatal poisonings in North America.

Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the elderly, infants and those with chronic heart disease, anemia or breathing problems are more susceptible to becoming sick from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to CDC.

Majority of the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are brain related due to the lack of oxygen.

Symptoms vary based on the concentrations of carbon monoxide exposure:

  • Low Concentrations: dizziness, nausea, slight headaches, and shortness of breath on moderate exertion
  • High Concentrations: severe headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, vision and/or hearing impairment, collapsing or fainting on exertion
  • Extreme Concentrations: unconsciousness, coma or death

Carbon monoxide is classified as potentially hazardous to the human reproductive system. Studies indicate that women who are exposed to carbon monoxide during pregnancy have a higher rate of low birth weight, miscarriage and stillbirths. According to the CDC, carbon monoxide exposure can be dangerous during pregnancy for both the developing fetus and the mother.

At high concentrations, carbon monoxide vapors can also cause fire and explosion.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a material is burned. Homes with attached garages and those with fuel-burning appliances are more likely to encounter carbon monoxide issues. Examples of fuel-burning appliances are gas stoves, charcoal grills, wood fireplaces and generators. 

Some ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning inside your home include:

  • Never leave your car running in the garage, even if the garage door is open.
  • Have your heating system, water heater and other appliances that use gas, coal or oil regularly checked and serviced by a qualified technician.
  • Never use portable, flameless, chemical heaters inside the home.
  • If you’re using a gas refrigerator and it is emitting an odour, have it checked by a qualified technician. An odour from a gas refrigerator could mean that it’s leaking carbon monoxide.
  • Have your flues, chimney and vents regularly checked and serviced to ensure that they’re properly connected, in good shape and free of blockages.
  • Never use your oven or gas range for purposes other than cooking. Using these appliances for heating your home can cause carbon monoxide to build-up.
  • Burn charcoal outdoors only. Burning charcoal indoors can cause carbon monoxide to build-up inside your home.
  • Using a portable gas camp stove indoors is also not advisable as this again can cause carbon monoxide to build-up.
  • Only use portable generators, pressure washers or any gasoline-powered engine outside of the home and make sure that it’s not placed near open doors, windows or vents.
  • Open your window slightly whenever you use a wood-burning fireplace to get fresh air and to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.

Nest Protect Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Installing a Nest Protect carbon monoxide alarm is one of the most effective ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning inside your home.

The Nest Protect carbon monoxide alarm has been tested to comply with safety standards by Underwriters Laboratories Inc., Canadian Standards Association, California State Fire Marshal and British Standards Institution.

Whenever Nest Protect detects high levels of carbon monoxide, it will inform the home occupants in three ways:

1. Visual

The device’s light ring will glow either red or yellow, giving occupants an emergency visual warning.

2. Sound

Nest Protect will sound an 85 decibel alarm and advise occupants of what type of danger is present as well as the location. For example: “Emergency, there’s carbon monoxide in the kitchen. Move to fresh air.”

3. Mobile Notification on NEST Alarm

When you install your Nest Protect, also download the Nest app. This will ensure that you’ll receive a notification whenever there’s a high level of carbon monoxide and it’ll also notify you about the exact location of the emergency.

This Nest Protect carbon monoxide alarm also doubles as a smoke alarm. Similar with the CO alarm, it will also notify you through a visual alert, as well as differentiate the type of danger (smoke or CO) through the alarm sound and mobile notification.

Aside from the three observable notifications, in case of emergency, the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm also uses a “wireless interconnect” – a system that works independently of Wi-Fi, so it’ll still function even if your home Wi-Fi is down.

If you’re also using the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest Protect will tell your thermostat to turn off fossil fuel heating during smoke and carbon monoxide emergencies.

Have questions, or need help? Call us today, and protect your family.

7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Nest Outdoor Camera

7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Nest Outdoor Camera

7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Nest Outdoor Camera

There was once a time where the world was safe enough that people didn’t feel compelled to lock their doors. Unfortunately, we no longer live in such a society.

Security is a top concern in today’s society. There are security measures in place everywhere you look: locks on doors, alarm systems at the office, security personnel at banks and even surveillance cameras at intersections.

At home, an added layer of security – that most people don’t consider – are surveillance cameras. The Nest Outdoor Camera is a great asset in helping to secure your home. Below are seven deciding factors that set the Nest Outdoor Camera apart from the rest:a

1. Rain or Shine, 24/7 Security

The Nest Outdoor Camera records everything that’s going on outside your door, day in and day out.

Unlike its human counterparts (security personnel), this security camera doesn’t sleep on the job, ask for a leave during a storm, or take breaks. The Nest Outdoor Camera plugs directly into a power source so you don’t miss a thing due to dead batteries.

If you subscribe to Nest Aware, it records nonstop for up to 30 days and securely saves video footage to the cloud. This camera is also waterproof so not even a storm could stop it from recording.

2. Receive Alerts

The Nest Outdoor Camera doesn’t just record what is happening outside your home, it also alerts you when something out of the ordinary is detected. This camera is able to send a standard notification to your phone, tablet, or email whenever it detects any motions or sounds outside of your home.

However, if you are subscribed to Nest Aware, you’ll receive more intelligent alerts as the following situations occur: 

People Alert

In People Alert, whenever the camera detects a person – even if it only sees a portion of the person’s body – it’ll send you a notification. The Nest Outdoor Camera has facial recognition and is able to recognize the faces that you tell it to. Upon seeing a familiar face, the camera will send you an alert to notify you.

Intelligent Sound Alert

In Intelligent Sound Alert, whenever the Nest Outdoor Camera detects speech, it will send you a notification. This camera can also detect a dog’s bark and send you an alert for that too.

Activity Zone Alert

The Activity Zone Alert allows you to choose up to 4 areas in your camera’s view to receive motion and sound alerts for those specific areas only. This area-specific alert is convenient if you’re receiving too many alerts from a huge volume of motions and sounds.

The Nest Outdoor Camera even helps you choose an activity zone; the door is automatically identified as an activity zone. Once motion or sound is detected in this activity zone, a notification will be sent to you.

What makes the Activity Zone feature different from the standard motion notification is that it also tells you which particular area the motion or sound comes from. You also have the option to turn off each alert zone independently.

3. Scare off Intruders with Your Voice

Many have criticized CCTV cameras for being a passive security measure. With the Nest Outdoor Camera, you wouldn’t be just a passive observer if something illegal were to happen right in front of your home.

For instance, if the Nest Outdoor Camera detected an intruder jumping over your fence, it would send a notification to your smartphone. Upon receiving the notification, you would then have the ability to yell at the intruder – even if you are away from home – by using the Nest app and via the Nest Outdoor Camera’s built-in speaker.

Through the Nest app and the camera’s built-in speaker, you can also speak to friendly visitors; for instance, if a delivery man came to your door, you could tell him leave the package at the front door.

4. Never Miss an Alert

With the Nest Outdoor Camera, you can always review an alert later just in case you missed it. You can review the activities and alerts for the past three hours through the Nest app. If an intruder entered your home in the last three hours, rest assured that the Nest Outdoor Camera caught a photo of him or her.

If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you’ll have the ability to review alerts and activity prior to the last three hours. For instance, if an intruder broke into your home three days ago, the Nest Aware feature called “Sightline” would help avoid scouring through hours of footage. Sightline won’t show you random, useless thumbnails; instead, it’ll automatically pinpoint that moment three days ago where activity was detected in front of your door.

5. High-Definition Image Quality

With the Nest Outdoor Camera, you don’t have to worry about grainy, blurry, hard-to-see images. This camera has an all-glass lens that constantly provides true, high-definition image quality (1080p). Other features of the Nest Outdoor Camera include a 130° wide-angle view, night vision, and the ability to zoom in up to eight times.

6. Keep the Neighborhood Safe

The Nest Outdoor Camera doesn’t just keep your immediate vicinity safe, it can also prevent crime in your neighborhood. This can be achieved by making the live stream of your outdoor camera public or password-protected for your neighbors to see what’s going on in front of your house.

If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you can download video footage and share it with your neighbors or even the police, in the event that a crime has been committed within view of your Nest Outdoor Camera.

Many crimes have been solved using the footage provided by the Nest Outdoor Camera. A resident of Joplin, Missouri posted footage on Facebook of two thieves stealing a generator in front of his home. In less than 24 hours, the thieves were identified and the footage was used by the police to prosecute the perpetrators.

7. Connect with Other Smart Home Devices

You can connect the Nest Outdoor Camera with other smart home devices, such as the Philips Hue smart light bulb, to make it appear that you’re at home even if you’re not.

The Nest Outdoor Camera has Google Home and Chromecast integration to make your home safer than ever before. Simply say, “Ok Google, show me my front porch”, and the live footage of your porch from your camera will be casted to your TV via Chromecast.

It’s time to take your home security seriously. Connect with us today to get started.

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