Water Filtration at Home: Better Alternative to Bottled Water
Water is everywhere in Canada. Canada has 1,169,561 square kilometers of freshwater alone – accounting for 11.7% of the country’s total area and yet one in five Canadians choose to drink bottled water over tap water.
According to Statistics Canada, 69% of Canadian households reported that they primarily drink tap water at home in 2015, while 19% reported that bottled water is their main type of drinking water at home.
Harmful Chemicals in Tap Water
Fear of tap water is one of the reasons why Canadians turn to bottled water; this fear isn’t misplaced.
According to Health Canada, tap water can be broken into three parts: 1) source of water; 2) drinking water system; and 3) distribution system which carries the treated water to your home.
“As drinking water travels on its journey to you, it can become contaminated in many ways,” Health Canada said.
Here are some of the harmful chemicals that may contaminate your tap water:
Lead is a soft metal that has a low melting point and resists corrosion. Because of these characteristics, lead has been used sizably since the Roman times and has since become widely distributed in the environment.
In terms of drinking water, lead comes into play as it was used in drinking water systems since ancient Rome; lead was used to make water pipes.
The National Plumbing Code of Canada prohibits the use of lead in pipes in 1975 and as solder in water distribution systems in 1986. According to Health Canada, while the prohibition was in place decades ago, many drinking water systems in Canada “may still have some of these lead components in place today”.
Health Canada, the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for national public health, noted that there’s little lead in natural water sources in Canada, as well as water coming out of the drinking water treatment plants.
The department said that the most significant sources of lead in tap water usually come from water pipes that link the house to the main water supply and from lead solder in plumbing, or from fittings such as faucets made of brass.
The department added that the amount of lead that goes into your tap water depends on many factors, including the age of the plumbing system, the length of time the water sits in the pipes and the chemistry of the water.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead is a toxic metal that affects multiple body systems, including the neurologic, hematologic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal systems.
“Children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, and even relatively low levels of exposure can cause serious, and in some cases, irreversible neurological damage,” WHO said.
Health Canada said that lead toxicity can increase blood pressure and kidney dysfunction in adults, as well as adverse neurodevelopmental and behavioral effects in children, including reductions in intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)said that there’s no safe blood lead level in children. “Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body,” CDC said. “Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.”
Benzene is another chemical that may be hidden in tap water. Natural sources of this chemical include volcanoes and forest fires. Other sources of this chemical include oil and gasoline. This chemical is also used to make plastics, resins, nylon, synthetic fibers, some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents and pesticides. Benzene mixes with drinking water through industrial effluents.
A person can be exposed to benzene by drinking contaminated drinking water and through both inhalation and skin absorption from showering and bathing.
According to Health Canada, benzene is a human carcinogen, which means that any level of exposure in drinking water may increase the risk of cancer.
WHOsaid that exposure to benzene has been associated with a range of acute and long-term adverse health effects and diseases, including aplastic anemia and cancer.
According to CDC, benzene causes cell dysfunction; for instance, it can cause bone marrow to not produce enough red blood cells, resulting in anemia. The CDC added that benzene can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.
Lead and benzene are just two examples of harmful chemicals that may contaminate your tap water. Other chemicals that may be hidden in your tap water include the following:
Water Filtration System vs. Bottled Water
Lead, benzene and the above-mentioned harmful chemicals can be removed by using the Simply Pure Chemical Remover, a water filtration system fitted for home use. This water filtration system removes up to 99.9% of harmful chemicals in your tap water, eliminating your fear of drinking tap water.
A home filtration system also eliminates the cost of bottled water. According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spent $41 on bottled water in 2015. Many Canadians, however, spend more than this amount on bottled water today.
Turning to bottled water isn’t a guarantee of getting harmful chemical-free drinking water. As shown in the test conducted by the researchers at the McGill’s Biocolloids and Surfaces Laboratory, 30 of the 50 bottled water tested (from Canada’s five leading brands of bottled water and purchased in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal) contained microplastics.
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic less than five millimeters (5,000 microns) in length. The types of plastics found in the bottled water tested by the researchers include polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl acetate, nylon, rayon, polystyrene and polytetrafluoroethylene.
Contact ustoday, and start enjoying the health befits of clean water in your home, and protect your family.
Top 4 Benefits of Using Google Wi-Fi
If you no longer want to put up with the headaches brought about by your traditional router, consider replacing it with a modern router: the Google Wi-Fi.
Here are the top 4 reasons why Google Wi-Fi is better than your traditional router:
1. Google Wi-Fi offers better signal over a wider area compared to a traditional router.
Google Wi-Fi offers a better signal over a wider space when compared to the traditional router as it uses what’s called a “mesh network”.
But what is a mesh network? Most likely you have a single router in your home. A single router is enough to cover a small home or apartment (500-1500 square feet).
You’re faced with Wi-Fi headaches – the likes of spotty connections and dead zones – if you have a medium or large home and your home is subdivided into different parts for bedrooms, dining room, basement, etc.
For a medium home (1500-3000 square feet), it’s recommended that you install 2 Google Wi-Fi devices in your home and if it is a large home (3000-4500 square feet), it’s recommended that you install 3 Google Wi-Fi devices in your home.
The Google Wi-Fi devices will form part of a “mesh network”, acting as a single Wi-Fi network. This mesh network provides a better signal over a wider area as Wi-Fi is broadcasted from each Google Wi-Fi device, not just from a single router. You can opt to add more Google Wi-Fi devices if you want to increase the Wi-Fi signal in your home.
Relying on a single router in a larger home with subdivisions makes your Wi-Fi connection weak. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the Wi-Fi signal gets. With Google Wi-Fi’s mesh network, you have multiple Wi-Fi devices around the house, so you’re always close to one.
The mesh network eliminates spotty connections and dead zones. It allows you to binge watch your favourite show from your bedroom and then continue watching the show, uninterrupted, while you walk around your house.
Another advantage of the mesh network is that in case one device breaks down, you’ll still be able to get a Wi-Fi connection as the communication is simply rerouted through another device. This rerouting process only applies when the main Google Wi-Fi device is operational. If the main Google Wi-Fi device is down, the additional devices won’t function as well.
Another advantage of the mesh network is all your Google Wi-Fi devices are connected to each other wirelessly. Since they operate wirelessly, there’s no need for Ethernet cables all throughout your house.
Keep in mind that Google Wi-Fi isn’t a modem, it’s a router. Like other routers, you still have to connect it to a modem with an ethernet cable. You also need a Broadband connection in order to set up Google Wi-Fi.
2. Google Wi-Fi offers faster Wi-Fi speed.
Another benefit of using Google Wi-Fi is that it offers faster Wi-Fi speed.
Faster Wi-Fi speeds enable you to stream videos and play online games effortlessly. All Google Wi-Fi devices use the technology called “Network Assist,” ensuring that all devices always choose the fastest route to the internet.
3. Google Wi-Fi offers family-friendly controls.
You can control your Google Wi-Fi devices via your smartphone or tablet using the Google Wi-Fi app. Through this app, you can schedule a regular Wi-Fi operation pause; this allows for your family to spend quality time together, during dinner for instance, or to prevent your kids from spending too much time accessing the internet (especially during bedtime).
Millions of adult websites can also be blocked using the Google Wi-Fi app to protect your kids from internet menace.
Aside from the above-mentioned family-friendly controls, the Google Wi-Fi app can also be used for monitoring to see who’s connected to your Wi-Fi network, run a speed test, set up a guest network or for troubleshooting.
4. Google Wi-Fi offers better security.
When you’re using Google Wi-Fi, you’re assured that your internet connection is secure.
One of the security features of the Google Wi-Fi is that it automatically updates itself. Malicious hackers are always on the lookout for security vulnerabilities in devices connected to the internet, including Google Wi-Fi.
Google, on the other hand, is always on the lookout to fix any known security vulnerabilities that cyber attackers could exploit. Google fixes security vulnerabilities through automatic updates.
Many of today’s cyberattacks are simply the result of device owners’ failure to install the latest security update on their devices. However, not everyone has the time to install these updates or the knowledge to do so. Thus, the automatic updates in Google Wi-Fi is a safety precaution.
An example of a security vulnerability that affects every Wi-Fi device is the security vulnerability called “Krack”, short for key reinstallation attacks. This Wi-Fi security vulnerability enables cyber attackers to steal Wi-Fi passwords, emails, chat messages, photos and other sensitive information.
To protect consumers, Googleautomatically updated all Google Wi-Fi devices to fix the KRACK security vulnerability. This automatic update ensures that your personal data is protected from KRACK attacks.
“Wi-Fi is an integral part of daily life,” the Wi-Fi Alliance said. “Billions of people all over the world depend on Wi-Fi in their homes and businesses, to shop, bank, coordinate life and stay connected. Securing Wi-Fi connections is an important element of securing personal data ….”
If you want a better Wi-Fi signal over a wider area, faster Wi-Fi speed, family-friendly Wi-Fi controls and secure Wi-Fi connection, choose Google Wi-Fi as your new home router.
Contact us today for additional information.
How Video Streaming Becomes Easier with Google Home
One of the remarkable things that you can do with Google Home is stream videos straight onto your TV.
What You Need to Stream Videos Using Google Home
In order to stream videos straight onto your TV using Google Home, you need the following:
- Google Home
There are currently three versions of Google Home: the regular version, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. All versions of the Google Home enable you to stream videos provided the other requisites are present.
- Chromecast Built-in or Enabled TV
Chromecast is the second requirement in order to stream videos straight onto your TV. Developed by Google, Chromecast comes as a built-in feature in some select TV models such as Vizio, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Philips, Polaroid, Skyworth and Soniq.
Even if your TV doesn’t come with a built-in Chromecast, you can still stream videos to your TV by purchasing an external Chromecast. An external Chromecast refers to the thumb drive-sized device that’s plugged into your TV’s High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port.
- Another Smart Device
You also need a smart device in order to stream videos directly to your TV. This could be smartphone, tablet, laptop, Chromebook, or other smart home devices such as Nest Hello, Nest Cam Outdoor IQ or Nest Cam Indoor IQ.
Connecting Google Home + Chromecast enabled TV and a Mobile Device/Laptop
Here are the steps in order to connect your Google Home, Chromecast enabled or Chromecast built-in TV and your mobile device (smartphone, tablet) or laptop:
- Make sure that your Chromecast, Google Home and mobile device/laptop are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Once these devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, open the Google Home app on your mobile device.
- In the top left corner of the app’s home screen, tap Menu.
- Confirm that the Google Account listed is the one linked to Google Home.
- Tap More Settings next and under “Services,” tap TVs and Speakers. You’ll then see a list of linked devices – tap add in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- To add a device, tap the checkbox next to the device’s name.
Connecting Google Home + Chromecast enabled TV with a Security Camera
In order to connect Google Home, Chromecast enabled or Chromecast built-in TV and a security camera, follow these steps:
- Open the Google Home app.
- In the top left corner of the app’s Home screen, tap Menu and then Home Control.
- At the bottom right in the Devices tab, tap Add.
- Tap the device you want to connect and then follow the steps.
- When the pairing is complete, tap Done.
Benefits of Video Streaming with Google Home
Here are some of the benefits of streaming videos using Google Home:
- Play Your Favorite TV Shows and Movies
Once you connect the three devices, you can play your favorite shows and movies.
Chromecast works by mirroring the screen of your smartphone, tablet or laptop. For example, you can view TV shows and movies on Netflix and HBO if you have accounts on these streaming services.
If you want to watch the Netflix TV show Stranger Things via your Chromecast, you can tell your Google Assistant through the Google Home; just say “Ok Google (or Hey Google), watch Stranger Things on Chromecast”.
If you use your smartphone to watch a TV show through Netflix for instance, you can watch it on your TV without the need of logging into your Netflix account again or downloading anything. The great thing about streaming your favourite shows or movies using your smartphone to your Chromecast is that this won’t drain the battery of your smartphone.
- Stream Your Security Cameras
With your Google Home, Chromecast enabled TV and your security cameras, (Nest Cam Outdoor IQ, Nest Cam Indoor IQ or Nest Hello) you can stream the live footage straight to your TV.
To stream your security camera to your TV, you can say, “Ok Google (or Hey Google),” and add any of the following statements:
“Show [camera name]”
“What’s on [camera name]?”
“[Camera name] on [Chromecast device name]”
“Play [camera name] on [Chromecast device name]”
“Show [camera name] on [Chromecast device name]”
- Use Only Your Voice
One of the benefits of using Google Home and connecting with your Chromecast enabled TV and your other smart devices, such as mobile devices and security cameras, is that you can stream shows, movies and security footage without using the remote control for your TV or doing anything on your mobile devices or computers.
All that you have to do to stream your favorite shows, movies and security footage is use your voice. For instance, you can monitor via your TV what your dog is doing in your backyard while you’re cooking at the same time.
Other family members or friends can also tell Google Home to stream shows, movies or security footage, as six people can use a single Google Home. You simply have to set-up voice match to enable Google Home to be able to recognize specific voices.
If you want to watch your favorite shows, movies or monitor what your security cameras have captured on a bigger screen hassle-free, go on and connect Google Home with your Chromecast built-in or enabled TV and with your other smart devices.
Contact ustoday and learn more about Google Home and stream away!
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ: Outdoor Security Camera with Brains and Brawns
If you’re looking for an outdoor camera that’s smart enough and yet sturdy enough to brush off bad elements, then the Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is the right outdoor security camera for you and your family.
Brain Features of Nest Cam Outdoor IQ
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is smart enough to tell the difference between a person and a thing.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is a state-of-the-art outdoor security camera that has an incredible sight. Its camera is capable of spotting a person 50 feet away. Within this distance, this outdoor security camera can determine whether what it spotted is a person or a thing. Once it determines that what it spotted is a person, it then sends a notification alert – a photo of who’s there – via Nest app installed in your smartphone or tablet.
This camera is equipped with a 4K digital sensor, HDR and 1080p HD video and can be zoomed in up to 12 times for an enhanced view.
Once this camera detects a person, it automatically zooms in and follows the person. The camera will show you a close-up tracking shot with a wide 130° view.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is smart enough to tell the difference between a stranger and a familiar face.
If you subscribe to Nest Aware, in addition to receiving a photo of who’s there, you’ll also be informed whether this person is an unknown person or a family member.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is smart enough to identify a person talking or a dog barking.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is equipped with a speaker, a three-microphone system, noise suppression and echo cancellation. This outdoor security camera sends you an alert via your smartphone or tablet if it hears (even if it doesn’t see it) a person talking or a dog barking. So, you’ll be alerted via your dog’s bark when someone is lurking near your home or simply inform you that your dog is harassing the neighbors with its non-stop barking.
With the camera’s built-in speaker, you can also hush – via the speaker – your dog from further barking or tell the intruder in your home to get off your property or threaten the intruder that you’re reporting the incident to the police.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ won’t let you miss a thing.
If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you won’t miss a thing with what’s happening outside your door as Nest Aware continuously records what’s happening, 24/7 for up to 30 days, allowing you to review the entire 30-day video history, not just clips.
If after scanning the video, you’ve noticed that your dog was making some funny antics, you can share the video clips with family and friends. If an intruder tried or entered your home, you can share the video clip with the police to help the authorities capture the intruder quicker.
Brawn Features of Nest Cam Outdoor IQ
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is tamperproof.
You’re assured that the footages captured by Nest Cam Outdoor IQ stay safe in the cloud as Nest encrypts data with TLS/SSL and AES 128-bit encryption. Two-step authentication is also in place to keep your data safe and private.
This camera has a base that completely conceals the power cord. The power cord of this camera plugs into an indoor outlet. It’s, therefore, hidden, preventing intruders from tampering it.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ gives you a strong Wi-Fi connection.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is equipped with 2×2 MIMO chip, making streaming experience faster.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is weatherproof.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ received an IP66 rating. IP, which stands for Ingress Protection, refers to the level of sealing effectiveness of a device against intrusions such as dirt and moisture.
IP66 means that the Nest Cam Outdoor IQ is protected against dust and powerful jets of water. With Nest Cam Outdoor IQ, you’re assured that this device will still function come heavy rain or storm.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ can be used day or night.
Shadows or no light can’t deter Nest Cam Outdoor IQ from producing clear images. This camera is equipped with daytime HDR, combining multiple 4K images to even out challenging lighting conditions. So you’ll still see clear images even if they’re originally blown out or lost in the shadows. It’s also equipped with high-power infrared LEDs for clear, even night vision.
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ functions well even in a noisy environment.
With Nest Cam Outdoor IQ’s HD talk and listen built-in speaker and mic, you’re assured that you’ll still receive audio alerts even in noisy environments with the noise and echo suppression features.
On its own, Nest Cam IQ outdoor may deter intruders from breaking into your home. This outdoor camera also works with other Nest security cameras, including the smart video doorbell Nest Hello and Nest Cam IQ indoor cameras.
Security cameras have been proven as crime deterrents. Studies have shown, including that of theUrban Institutestudy, that security cameras have indeed helped prevent and solve crimes. Criminal elements don’t want to be seen on camera. The presence alone of a security camera scares would-be intruders away.
These Nest video cameras will serve as a secure alarm system, protecting your home from intruders. If you’ve put in place Nest Cam IQ outdoor cameras outside your home, Nest Hello for your front door and Nest Cam IQ indoor cameras inside your home, you’ll be alerted of intruders trying to enter the front side, back side and everywhere in between of your home. Contact ustoday to learn more and protect your family!
3 Types of Indoor Air Pollutants Your Home Air Filter Should Be Able to Remove
Your home’s indoor air quality can have an important impact on your family’s health. Your home’s air filter plays an important role in ensuring that you and your family breathe clean air. Here are the 3 types of air pollutants that your air filter should be able to remove:
1. Particle Pollutants
Particle pollution is one of the air pollutants that your home air filter should be able to remove. Particle pollution, also known as particulate matter (PM), is made up of tiny pieces of liquids, solids or a mixture of both that are in the air.
Particles differ in sizes; some particles are big enough for you to see, while some are too small. The bigger particles are called PM10 – referring to particles 10 micrometers in width or more than 2.5 micrometers. Dust is an example of a bigger particle.
The smaller particles, meanwhile, are called PM2.5 as they’re less than 2.5 micrometers in width. Examples of smaller particles are pollen, dust mites and soot (produced when materials are burned).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breathing in bigger particles can irritate your nose, eyes and throat. The CDC said breathing in smaller particles are more dangerous as they can enter into the deep parts of your lungs or even into your blood.
CDC said people who are most likely to experience health effects as a result of particle pollution include those with heart or lung diseases (for example, asthma), older adults, babies and children.
2. Bioaerosol Pollutants
Bioaerosol is a subcategory of particle pollution that refers to any airborne particles that are biological in origin. Bioaerosols vary in sizes. Based on their sizes, they can either be a bigger particle or a smaller particle.
Animals, plants, soil and water are potential sources of bioaerosols. Given that these biological sources are present in nature, this means that bioaerosols are present in just about everywhere. Mold is an example of a bioaerosol.
According to Health Canada(PDF), molds are of special interest in terms of human health as some molds contain inflammatory properties, others contain allergens, and some have toxic properties. Major causes of mold growth, according to Health Canada, are condensation of moisture on surfaces as a result of excessive humidity, lack of ventilation, water leakage (from a broken pipe), and water seepage from the outside (from a leaking roof, cracked basement or flood).
Health Canada and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec published reviews of the scientific literature relating to the health effects of molds on human health. The organizations concluded that exposure to indoor mold increases the prevalence of asthma-related symptoms, including chronic wheezing, irritation symptoms and non-specific symptoms.
3. Odor/Chemical Pollutants
Odors can be both pleasant and unpleasant. Some odors can be health hazards and some aren’t.
Harmful odors can come from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), harmful chemical contaminants found in many home environments. Examples of harmful odors derived from VOCs are paints, wall coverings, cleaning agents, carpeting, vinyl flooring, fabric materials and furnishings, air fresheners, perfume and shampoos.
“If these VOCs and other chemical contaminant sources are not controlled, indoor environmental quality problems can arise, even if the building’s ventilation system is properly designed and well maintained,” the CDC said.
Formaldehyde is another example of a harmful odor. At room temperature, formaldehyde has a pungent, suffocating odor. Formaldehyde is used as a food preservative. It’s also used in household products, including antiseptics and cosmetics.
“Exposure to formaldehyde can irritate the skin, throat, lungs, and eyes,” the CDCsaid. “Repeated exposure to formaldehyde can possibly lead to cancer.”
Lennox Healthy Climate HEPA Filtration System
The Lennox Healthy Climate HEPA air filter eliminates particle pollution, bioaerosols and harmful odors through its 3-step air filtration process. This air filter uses the same filtration technology used in hospital operating rooms and science labs. It functions like a vacuum; it pulls dirty air and then undergoes a 3-step cleaning process.
Stage 1 of the Filtration Process
The first stage of the Lennox Healthy Climate HEPA filtration process is called “Pre-Filter”. In this stage, bigger particles – those particles that are more than 2.5 micrometers in width – are removed from the air.
Stage 2 of the Filtration Process
The second stage of the air filtration process is called “HEPA”, which stands for high-efficiency particulate air. In this stage, smaller particles – those particles that are 0.3 micrometers in width and less than 2.5 micrometers – are removed from the air. At this stage, 99.97% of particulates, including bioaerosols, are removed from the air.
Stage 3 of the Filtration Process
The third stage of the Lennox Healthy Climate HEPA filtration process is called “Carbon”. The word “Carbon” refers to the 1/2-inch thick carbon filter used for removing odors and chemicals from the air. This air filter comes with an optional carbon canister that removes more odors and toxins like formaldehyde. After this last filtration stage, the clean air is then released from the air filter to be introduced into the air you and your family breathe.
Keeping your home free from air pollutants is important as according to Health Canada, Canadians spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Installing Lennox Healthy Climate HEPA air filter in your home ensures that 99.97% of particle and bioaerosol pollutants, as well as harmful odors, are removed several times a day.
Health Canada recommends that your home air filter should be used along with good ventilation and reducing and eliminating sources of indoor air pollutants. Call ustoday to improve your air quality and protect your family.