Monthly Archives: November 2016

Why Equip Your Home with a Wireless Thermostat?

Why Equip Your Home with a Wireless Thermostat?

Sundry technologies exist for improving the modern home’s energy efficiency. While most new builds still come standard with analogue thermostats, installing a Wi-Fi panel can greatly enhance the heating and cooling systems. Although some homeowners think wireless thermostats are novel, there are many overlooked advantages.

Fully Remote Controllable

Wireless thermostats are less about the connectivity and more about the control. Sure, changing the temperature from an app saves a walk to the thermostat, but there’s a bigger picture—the ability to change the temperature from anywhere in the world.

Consider how you could adjust your thermostat during your next vacation. Moreover, think about how useful it would be to program temperature changes based on the time of day. For instance, you can set the temperature to lower at night and then gradually rise until you wake. Same can apply for weekends when you go away.

Reporting and Alerting

To add to the allure of mobility, wireless thermostats often push notifications to their connected devices, informing homeowners of several things:

  1. Current indoor conditions;
  2. Forecasted outdoor weather;
  3. Past energy consumption trends.

Knowing your energy usage is an essential first step in becoming a more energy conscious homeowner. After all, how can you practice conservation if you have no data to benchmark? Apps help in this regard, showing where you’re spending the most energy. They can also alert you of maintenance calls.

Beautiful Home Accessory

Wireless thermostats are sleek. A lot of work goes into designing the user interface, too, so the product adds to the home’s aesthetic when the screen is on or off. Digital accessories are an integral part of contemporary design.

Why Put a Humidifier in Your Baby’s Nursery?

Why Put a Humidifier in Your Baby’s Nursery?

Parents in the process of planning their newborn’s room scrupulously research bassinets, toys and other infant care accessories. They also put considerable effort into baby-proofing their home with the focus on sharp, small objects and electrical and chemical hazards. However, a commonly overlooked area is air quality—particularly humidity.

Dry air poses various dangers to a newborn’s health. From something minor like eczema to severe respiratory infections, a baby’s skin, lungs and nasal passages are more sensitive to moisture levels than adults. Unfortunately, they are also too young to take the over-the-counter medications adults use to remedy the effects of dry air. For this reason, prevention is crucial.

How Humidifiers Work

Humidifies release moisture into the air, which can be useful in households located in harsh, dry or cold climates. Specifically, moisture affects the environment in two ways:

  1. Thermoregulation: Maintaining the perfect balance of heat and fluid for optimal health;
  2. Humidity: Preventing loss of heat or moisture to keep the integumentary and respiratory systems properly nourished.

Interestingly, babies sleep best in cool environments. However, temperature and humidity are entirely different, and dryness can disrupt sleeping patterns by prompting fits of coughing, itching and sniffling.

Ideal Humidity Levels for Infants

The recommended indoor humidity level for babies is 45 to 50 percent. It’s hardest to maintain such levels in the winter; however, the summer has its own challenges.

For one, summer can render a space too muggy, so the humidifier must remove moisture. Conversely, some air conditioning units supply cool, dry air and expel the natural warmth. Unless this exchange is monitored, too much moisture escapes.

Common Pollutants You Might Find Inside Your Home

Common Pollutants You Might Find Inside Your Home

The word pollution often conjures up images of smokestacks and exhaust pipes blowing dark grey clouds into the sky. We can attribute much of this imagery to the various political and environmental campaigns aimed at educating the public on greenhouse emissions and the damage they inflict on the natural world.

That said, far fewer resources exist for identifying the pollutants lingering inside our homes. Consequently, many people do not invest in the proper purification systems and remain exposed to harmful pollutants year-round. Here are just a few of those pollutants running rampage indoors.

Gases and Odours

Gases float among us everywhere we go—some naturally occurring, others (wo)manmade. The fact we can’t see them makes them easy to ignore; as the adage goes, “out of sight and out of mind.” There are various types of gases present in the home, two common ones being radon and carbon monoxide.

Radon exists everywhere—when uranium breaks down, it produces this gas. Nevertheless, overexposure can increase the risks of lung cancer. Carbon monoxide is a little more serious. When fossil fuels fail to completely combust, carbon monoxide is made. When present in the home, it affects the body’s ability to draw in sufficient oxygen. In high enough doses, carbon monoxide is lethal.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) have also become a large concern in aerosol products, paints and other household cleaners. VOCs are organic chemicals with a high vapour pressure, and although not acutely toxic, high concentrations of VOCs are suspected to have long-term health consequences. Common VOCs include formaldehyde, toluene, chloride, ethylene and benzene.

Odours fall into the gas category but are much easier to detect. Offensive odours from litter, pesticides and other chemicals immediately alert us of these gases. Interestingly, even pleasant smells can be harmful in excess. More air fresheners mask odours by introducing new chemicals, whereas purifiers work to remove the pollutants altogether.

Airborne Particles

Airborne particles like dander, dust, pollen and mold aggravate our respiratory systems. Some pose a much larger threat than others. For example, dander is known to trigger allergic responses that range from mild cold-like symptoms to complete respiratory failure. Likewise, fungal growth like mold can be toxic and overexposure can lead to serious health consequences. Bacteria, viruses and other pathogens fall into this category as well.