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WHAT CAN I DO MYSELF TO ENHANCE MY HOMES AIR QUALITY?

There is a common belief that the air outside your front door is much worse to breathe than the air inside your home. But, as studies show, the air inside your home may also come with health implications. How did your indoor air get dirtier than your laundry? Think of fumes off-gassed by furniture, paint and building materials, chemicals from household cleaning products and fragrances, combustion devises, dust, bacteria and mold. These are all common culprits of poor home air quality.

When you consider that we spend most of our time indoors, this is a big problem. But it can be especially debilitating for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. Here are some simple solutions to improve your home air quality—many of which are quick, easy and affordable.

Tip#1: Air it out
Open a window to air out harmful chemicals and let cleaner, healthier air in! Even if it’s for a few minutes a day, it’s one of the simplest (and most affordable) things you can do to improve your home air quality. You can also turn on a ceiling or portable fan while windows are open to recirculate household air and push out stale air.

Tip #2: Use non-toxic household cleaning products
Traditional household cleaning products are one of the leading contributors to poor home air quality. Your home is not a science experiment. Rather than spend money on household cleaning products, look no further than your pantry for ingredients that possess natural cleaning prowess. Ingredients such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, tea tree oil, hot water, coarse salt, and castile soap all do a bang-up job without spewing harmful chemicals in your home.

If you prefer something in a bottle, don’t just trust what they tell you on the label. Do some research before you buy. Look for products that tap into plant-based ingredients for cleaning power without artificial dyes and/or fragrances to better your home air quality. And remember, traditionally, the fewer ingredients on the label, the better.

Read more about making your own natural cleaners

Tip #3: Invest in healthy houseplants
Believe it or not, there are some plants that act as renegade air filters by sucking up harmful chemicals that rest in your air and pumping out fresh oxygen. Not just any plant will do. A study conducted in part by NASA found that a handful of plants are particularly skilled at eating up some of the more harmful chemicals: formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide to name a few. Here are a few of the top plants that proved to be most effective at removing harmful chemicals:

• Bamboo Palm – Dypsis lutescens
• English Ivy – Hedera helix
• Gerbera Daisy – Gerbera jamesonii
• Janet Craig Dracaena – Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’
• Red Edged Dracaena – Dracaena marginata
• Mass cane/Corn Plant – Dracaena massangeana
• Warneckii Dracaena – Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’
• Mother-in-Law’s Tongue – Sansevieria laurenti
• Pot Mum – Chrysantheium morifolium
• Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum species

Tip #4: Skip the scent
We are all guilty of associating fresh, aromatic scents with a clean home, but synthetic fragrance found in air fresheners, household cleaning products, detergents and candles infuses your air with harmful chemicals. Since the actual components of a fragrance are considered a “trade secret,” companies are only required to list the catch-all term “fragrance” on the label—but they are not required to disclose what they actually are4. In this case, the devil is in the details. A study conducted by Washington University found that nearly 100 volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) were emitted from six popular air fresheners. Of the 100 VOCs emitted, none were listed on the label and five of them released at least one (or more!) cancer-causing chemicals. Many fragrances have not been tested for human safety, and a group of plasticizers known as phthalates are commonly used to make the scent last longer. Phthalates have been linked to hormone disruption, cancer, and reproductive and developmental issues.

To protect your home air quality, look for household cleaning products, detergents and aerosol sprays that are fragrance-free or scented with 100 percent natural ingredients. You can also use essential oils, lemons, or baking soda to freshen up your home. Check out these recipes.

Tip #5: Buy safer furniture
Your furniture can off-gas VOCs, which can be highly toxic to human health. Conventional woods in furniture such as plywood and particleboard are fused with toxic glues that can contain formaldehyde and harmful chemicals, and are finished with paints, lacquers, and varnishes that contain even more harmful chemicals. These chemicals can be detrimental to those with allergies and asthma, while contributing to serious diseases like cancer. If you can, avoid buying furniture made from woods that have been treated with formaldehyde and look for furniture that was assembled with non-toxic glues and water-based or low to no-VOC finishes. Certifications like GREENGUARD also serve as a great guide by identifying products that have lower chemical emissions for better home air quality. Since healthier furniture can be more expensive, you can always buy second-hand—a good indication that the furniture has already done most of its off-gassing. You can also open a window for better air ventilation (See Tip #1).

Tip #6: Be picky about paint
Are you familiar with that funny odor that fills the room after you have freshly painted the walls? It makes you dizzy for a reason. Conventional paints can emit toxic fumes into your home over its life cycle . Look for safer paints that are labeled “Zero VOC or “Low-VOC.” The most ideal option is “Zero VOC, no toxics and no solvents,” which states that the canister of wall color does not contain any of the harmful chemicals found in traditional paints.

Tip #7: Invest in a HEPA filter vacuum
Carpets and floors can harbor chemicals and commons allergens, which accumulate in household dust. Vacuuming a few times a week is key, but cheap vacuums can just make matters worse. The problem with cheap vacuums is that they suction chemicals in, and then spew them back out in the exhaust to exacerbate poor home air quality. Purchase a vacuum with a true HEPA filter, which is capable of suctioning up dust, dirt and even the smallest irritants.

Looking to improve your home’s indoor air quality? Contact a Team Harding Specialist today!

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Nick Roy
Nick Roy
18:16 07 Jun 24
Quick, friendly, and informative service on the initial free consultation, fantastic pricing, a fast install time on the new furnace we purchased, and generous warranty support. Harding has been... excellent for us and we are grateful to have done business with them!read more
John Owens
John Owens
15:37 30 May 24
We recently purchased a new wood burning fireplace from Team Harding and are delighted with the experience. From John in sales, Christine in sales support and coordination, Luc and Austin the... installers, and Jason and Brandon the finishers that did an amazing job on a challenging tile installation, Team Harding did a fantastic job and the project went extremely well. We are thrilled with the final result and highly recommend Team Harding.read more
Madawaska
Madawaska
17:56 19 Apr 24
Very skilled, knowledgeable, personable service with this team.My fireplace was assessed, needed parts, and works like new now.The office communicates very well on timing of appointments.I will... recommend them to my friends and family.read more
Robin Barrientez
Robin Barrientez
18:43 18 Mar 24
Great customer service. From sales to technicians, everyone was friendly and quick to respond. They provided us with proper documentation, and installation was quick. We purchased a heat pump and A/C... this time around but also purchased an A/C years back and had no issues. Definitely recommend!read more
Jesse T
Jesse T
21:00 10 Mar 24
Thank you to Jill and the two techs that serviced our fireplace. Great work and service.
Dave Storey
Dave Storey
18:49 29 Feb 24
Excellent service from Sam today. We had a few issues with our humidifier connected to our furnace and also our HRV system, and Sam easily corrected them and also explained very well how things work... and need to be maintained. Very happy now!read more
Chantelle Petrie
Chantelle Petrie
14:50 17 Feb 24
Quick response, friendly customer service and technician. The technician found the problem and replaced the part to get our furnace back up and running fast! Thank you so much!
Eduardo P
Eduardo P
21:47 25 Jan 24
Experiencing heater malfunctions in the beginning of January is never ideal, specially with 2 lil'Ones. Luckily the Tech on call was Colin. He was Patient, Knowledgeable and quick to answer the... call. As a Family of 4 humans & 1Pup we give Colin 👍x4 & 🐶x1.Thank You.read more
Ang Seguin
Ang Seguin
23:57 06 Jan 24
Amazing service from Steve To!Came home to a freezing cold house and found my furnace not working. After making a call, Steve was here in less than an hour and within 30 min my furnace was running!... Thank you!Highly recommend!read more
Kathy Rochon
Kathy Rochon
22:10 20 Dec 23
The Technician was very professional and explained what needed to be done to keep the humidifier running efficiently.
Bev Catherwood
Bev Catherwood
20:19 13 Dec 23
Harding installed a new furnace and heat pump. The technicians were very professional and did a great job working with a complex wiring system. We would highly recommend Harding.
Joel Ebeye
Joel Ebeye
14:18 12 Dec 23
Very fast and efficient. Removed old furnace and Installed a brand new Furnace within hours and under a month of quote approval. By far the best pricing compared to other HVAC companies.
Ralph Rajaballey
Ralph Rajaballey
20:09 11 Dec 23
Prompt response when my furnace died. Repair technician assessed my furnace and we determined I needed a new one. Sale person was able to come the same day. Install was booked a few days later and... they offered some portable heaters since we had no heat. Installer were on time and everything was done in a few hours.read more
Lee Carlson
Lee Carlson
18:40 11 Dec 23
We've been supported by Team Harding for over 20 years. Great products, great service and wonderful people. Dependable, conscientious and thorough. I believe it's because of a "customer comes... first" attitude amongst the people at Harding. Cheersread more
Laith Hajsaid
Laith Hajsaid
18:19 11 Dec 23
Great company to deal with!
Judy, Gord Richardson
Judy, Gord Richardson
14:10 09 Dec 23
Team Harding provided quick and efficient service with a leaking water tank a week before going holiday. .
Atul Srivastava
Atul Srivastava
22:42 07 Dec 23
Very good service. Explained everything very well.
Louise Schryburt
Louise Schryburt
21:23 05 Dec 23
Very good experience! John is very knowledgeable and efficient.
Mike M
Mike M
18:51 03 Dec 23
I am very happy with my purchase and the fireplace installation. My wife and I have used it multiple times since it was installed and it works exactly as advertised. It turned a cold room in to a... comfy room that we thoroughly enjoy.My wife and I were leaning towards purchasing a fireplace with high BTU output and a fan. The team at Harding pushed back, and said we would be too hot. I appreciate their honesty. Consider they gave up a bigger sale.The installers (James + Adam) were thorough, neat and patient answering our many questions. I told them that my former wood fireplace had an ice-cold hearth. I asked them why, and they showed me that the original fireplace was not assembled correctly; it allowed cold air to come down around the fireplace, especially the hearth. It was awful. I really appreciated how they sealed the leak and added insulation. The problem was eliminated.The finishing team (Brandon and colleague) were also meticulous. They did not rush the job. I was out of town during the finishing and they suggested WhatsApp video calls, which worked very well and allayed my concerns.I would especially like to acknowledge Kirsten Neumarker. She is the project coordinator at Harding who schedules resources to install and finish fireplaces. She is very organized and is an excellent communicator. She reached out to me proactively and worked hard to accommodate my schedule also. She would often answer my emails and phone calls in minutes. I find this uncommon among contractors. She made a difference.Overall, a positive experience and I recommend them without reservations.Oh, and check out the photo attached of the finished product. We love it!Mikeread more
Layi Ibrahim
Layi Ibrahim
13:57 01 Dec 23
Team Harding is reliable, trustworthy, and professional. I would recommend their services to anyone.
Lisa Leblanc
Lisa Leblanc
12:57 30 Nov 23
We have used Harding repeatedly over the past few years. First when replacing our furnace/AC unit, and most recently when moving duct work before a basement renovation, and now a new gas fireplace!... Team Harding is conscientious, professional, with attention to detail and quick turnaround. I could not recommend them more!read more
Janyee Lau
Janyee Lau
21:04 29 Nov 23
We had a great experience with Harding! They came to do a complimentary walk-through with us when we moved into our new build and walked us through everything we needed to know for HRV, etc. We also... hired them to install a humidifier -- the team was very professional, and responded to emails/calls very quickly. The were able to schedule us in asap for the install before winter hit! They showed up on-time for the installation and all went well! Definitely recommend.read more
Tyler Williams
Tyler Williams
15:14 28 Nov 23
We had Luc and Dylan from Team Harding to our house to relocate a gas line for our kitchen range. The mechanics showed up on time and were very nice and friendly during the whole appointment. Not... once did I get the feel it was a 'get in - get out' job for them and that makes any service appointment much more pleasant!read more
Frederick Burt
Frederick Burt
19:37 26 Nov 23
Great service! Great crew. Fast install and attention to detail.
Gina Oliver
Gina Oliver
15:23 26 Nov 23
Team Harding has been responsive, reliable, and professional! Each interaction with them as been amazing.
Yong Wang
Yong Wang
00:29 25 Nov 23
I've been using services a few times from Harding for more than 10 years. Their technicians are always professional and polite. The whole process of calling until service is done has always been... smooth. It's just peace of mind with Harding.read more
Michael Gregory
Michael Gregory
18:50 24 Nov 23
The installation of our AC went well and appreciate the coordination and efficiency of the entire crew.
SA
SA
20:36 19 Jul 23
We have used them for warranty work on our new home build and have been happy with the after care service provided by Lindsay and Bob.
yuan zhang
yuan zhang
16:30 06 Feb 23
I changed the rate because the reaction from site office is extremely satisfy. I have no heat during the weekend and complained. I got a respond very quickly from their site office and find out the... reason of no respond. Then a new appoint was scheduled right way! Also a report has been filed towards this issue and I believe communication will be taken to improve future services. I really like this manner! Thank you.//I have no heat on the coldest day this winter. I called for service at 10:28am, and the office lady said someone will reach me ASAP. I called at 17:26pm again because NO ONE called me the whole day. And I was told there is a long list so THEY DON'T CARE! I HAVE TO WAIT! And this is a same problem happened second time in two years. Do not recommend.read more
Syd Curry
Syd Curry
12:04 01 Feb 23
Very professional, clean install. High quality product.Extremely pleased with overall experience. Highly recommend.
david whelehan
david whelehan
21:24 28 Jan 23
I had an extremely positive experience with Team Harding from beginning to end. I had them install a Sterling Model GG 45,000 BTU Natural Gas Garage Heater with a Nest Learning Thermostat in my... double garage (Man-Cave).The sales rep, Brian was professional, friendly, he wasn’t pushy at all and he came under budget. Kirsten constantly kept me up to date on the installer’s scheduling and was a true professional. The installers came on time, did a tremendous job with the installation and they even cleaned up afterwards. Absolute Rock Stars!Again, thank you so very much to everyone that worked on this project for me.I highly recommend using Team Harding for your home projects.read more
Dipesh Chhabra
Dipesh Chhabra
18:30 06 Jan 23
Great experience, technician Steve was very knowledgeable, Thankyou
Tina Thompson
Tina Thompson
21:07 30 Oct 22
We had issues with our air conditioner in the summer.Colin was diligent to determine the issue and get it fixed.Great job!
Brittney Rush
Brittney Rush
18:45 21 Oct 22
Friendly staff & efficient service!
Natasha Wright
Natasha Wright
17:16 21 Oct 22
Harding is an exceptional company that has always been there for all my HVAC needs.
Don Cumming
Don Cumming
20:10 14 Oct 22
I had a Daikin furnace installed by Harding Heating and Air Conditioning on Sept 9/22.I was totally impressed by the competence, knowledge and professionalism displayed by the Sales Rep Brian... Chartier, the Sales Support Specialist Kirsten Neumarker and the Installers Dan and Luc.I have no reservation in recommending this Company to anyone looking for a Furnace or Air Conditioner.read more
Jurgen Neumarker
Jurgen Neumarker
19:03 14 Oct 22
Harding was best decision we have ever made regarding our heating and A/C service. After switching from another company, we have not looked back. Service is reliable, punctual, professional and... friendly.read more
Charlene Van Hofwegen
Charlene Van Hofwegen
00:11 24 Aug 22
Thank you for a huge job very well done ! Marc went above and beyond to find the problem and remedy the situation.Natasha, thank you for scheduling us in quickly and a big thanks to Marc who worked... tirelessly to get the job completed.read more
Eric Lavoie
Eric Lavoie
13:48 25 Jul 22
I purchased a new home that Harding mechanical install the full system, the first week I took possession an advisor came over to explain the system in details, I have never had 1 issue with this... equipment and installation. In the past 5 years, I have hired Harding mehcanial for my annual maintenance and filter replacement, I just pick up the phone and talk to a live person and get quick answer. I have never met an HVAC company that operates this way, very efficient. Thank you for the amazing service and I will keep on referring family and friends to your company.read more
Georgie Lavoie
Georgie Lavoie
01:28 22 Jul 22
This company installed a new air conditioner at my house and came over quickly and made sure I was satisfied, they called me the following day to make sure I understood everything and that my unit... was working at full capacity.I highly recommend this company, great technician and service from front office to install crew. Thanks and unit working fine especially during this heat wave.read more
Shawn Ku
Shawn Ku
00:57 24 Jun 22
Harding Heating & Air Conditioning were excellent. We had an issue with our furnace fan and I spoke to Natasha Wright (Service Coordinator) who first tried to troubleshoot the problem with me to... save costs, etc. Once that didn't work, a technician, Marc Gagon, attended. He quickly diagnosed the problem (faulty control board), but didn't stop there. He investigated the source - water under the AC coils. Further, he went outside to ensure the A/C unit was working properly. Marc Gagon is very professional, competent and took the time to explain things. He is a asset to Harding Heating & Air Conditioning, along with Natasha Wright. I highly recommend this company for your heating and a/c needs. Shawnread more
Tim C.
Tim C.
21:43 29 Jan 22
Brenden from Harding came and fixed the furnace by replacing the blower. He did a great job. And also well explained the membership plan. 10 out of 10.
Pam Burwash
Pam Burwash
18:14 16 Jul 21
From the very start the quotes I received were very fair. The estimator took the time assess the work that would need to be done and walked me through all the options. My furnace and AC were... installed by a polite, professional crew who also took the time to ensure that I was satisfied with the equipment being installed.Team Harding was there for me during a heat wave. I am thoroughly impressed with their professionalism.read more
Galina Khavrenko
Galina Khavrenko
15:17 15 Jul 21
Got Harding H&AC to deliver and install 2 AC units.Everything was fast, affordable and their customer service is 24/7 for you.
Tim Cinnamon
Tim Cinnamon
18:28 30 Jun 21
We had Brodie and Marc out to our cottage to install a heat pump and they did a fantastic job. Professional, very efficient, clean and knowledgeable. We would definitely use them again in the future.
Lifebeyondpanicattacks
Lifebeyondpanicattacks
04:02 29 Jun 21
Lindsay is a gem, she saved us money and time in this heat wave by fixing our problem over the phone. She went above and beyond her job with her kindness and expertise. We've used Harding multiple... times and have always had the best results! And awesome company with wonderful employees, especially Lindsay!!!read more
Wayne Calvert
Wayne Calvert
19:10 05 Feb 21
Woke up this morning with no heat in the house. Within a couple of hours a Harding service technician was at the door and was able to replace the blower unit in less than 20 minute restoring heat to... my home. Just want to state that the service was great and the staff were professional and friendly.I'm glad I've been with Harding for the past 8 years,...here's to many more.Great job!read more
Amanda
Amanda
20:24 20 Jan 21
Excellent customer service and friendly staff!
Vince Petrella
Vince Petrella
20:59 09 Nov 20
Provided a great and honest service at a reasonable price. I would use their services again in the future.
Gerry Moore
Gerry Moore
13:33 30 Oct 20
Harding Heating and Air Conditioning installed our Furnace and Air Conditioning when we purchased or new home in 2011. We have enjoyed excellent service from them for the last 9 years. We would not... hesitate in using their company again in the future.read more
Sketchyinkblot
Sketchyinkblot
22:02 03 Oct 20
We’ve used Harding for 6+ years and they always exceed our expectations. Friendly staff, knowledgeable technicians and reasonable prices. We couldn’t ask for better. They installed the ac unit at our... first house and anytime we needed them the service calls were great. We bought a new house July 2019. It wasn’t long after that we were told we needed a new furnace and ac. We went withHarding...obviously.read more
Paul
Paul
21:59 15 Aug 20
Fair price, good follow up. Appreciated!
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