Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


Celebrate Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month with a Clean Office Space

Posted by Ivey on May 14th, 2013

Desk filled with paperWith the average American working at least eight hours a day, your office may seem like a second home. That’s why for those of us with allergies and asthma, it’s just as important to keep our offices clean and allergen-free as it is our own homes. In honor of May being Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, here are some tips to help employees and employers maintain a comfortable working environment for everyone, ensuring the best productivity possible.

  • Clear the clutter: While stacks of paper may seem like the mark of a busy employee, they’re also a great way to collect dust and other particle irritants on your desk. Take some time each week to tidy up your desk area by removing or recycling unnecessary paperwork. Also, view and save documents on your computer and/or company’s shared space to reduce waste.
  • Wash your dishes: Busy days are just a part of work life. Regardless of the lengthWashing dishes of your to-do list, remove dishes and food containers from your desk and wash them as soon as possible. Dirty dishes (especially your coffee cup!) and used food wrappers can be a breeding ground for mold and other allergens.
  • Encourage a fragrance-free work environment: Fragrances from perfumes, hand lotions, cleaning products, and more can cause reactions like headaches, nausea, or even asthma attacks.

Find out more ways to allergy-proof your office

Tips for Running Outside During Allergy Season

Posted by Ivey on April 25th, 2013

Running on grass trail.Spring is finally here, and I’m ready to enjoy the nice weather with a run or bike ride outside. There’s only one problem—or maybe millions of tiny ones—pollen! If you have pollen allergies like I do, I’m sure you know how quickly a workout can be ruined by allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, or even shortness of breath.

You can do more than enjoy the view from inside the gym though, so lace up your running shoes and get outside! These tips can help you keep pollen allergy symptoms at bay while exercising outdoors:

  1. Know your triggers. Most runners and cyclists take regular routes. If you notice  your symptoms flaring up at certain points on your route, there may be a large concentration of trees or other plants producing pollens that aggravate your allergies. Take notice of the plants and trees around you, and discuss them with your doctor. An allergy test can also be helpful at determining precise triggers.  You may even consider altering your route. Read more tips

Don’t Let Pollen Ruin Your Spring Vacation

Posted by Ivey on April 16th, 2013

Road leads to SunsetWith the spring travel season in full swing, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released its annual “2013 Spring Allergy Capitals” list. For the past 10 years, the AAFA has ranked the worst 100 continental U.S. cities for people with allergies. This year, Jackson, MS, takes top honors on the list. However, several popular vacation destinations made their way into the top 25, including Louisville, New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Chattanooga, Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Knoxville. Furthermore, a Discovery Fit & Health article points out that the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern states are generally worse in the springtime for those with allergy sensitivities.

While these areas may be the worst offenders, no vacation destination can truly be allergy-free. Why? Well, just like many of us, pollen is pretty good at traveling. These tiny airborne particles can travel by wind, as well as by settling on the bodies of insects and other animals. Pollen can even be an unwelcome travel companion by settling on your clothes, in your hair, and even on your skin. Plus, regardless of your travel plans, there’s always the possibility of encountering mold and other allergens.

Fortunately, these simple tips can help you reduce pollen exposure and allergy symptoms so you can enjoy your vacation from beginning to end:

  1. Plan to vacation at a beach or on a cruise, if possible. These getaways tend to be easier on allergy sufferers.
  2. Monitor the pollen counts of your intended destination before and during your vacation. Read more tips to keep your vacation allergy-free.

Miele S8 Canister Vacuums: The Next Generation of Cleaning

Posted by Tony on March 12th, 2013

Miele S8 Series Vacuums Banner

A cleaning revolution may sound a bit dramatic, but it’s exactly what Miele has created. Their new S8 line of canister vacuums are packed with extras and leading the charge in changing how we clean our homes.

I was lucky enough to chat with a Miele rep about these “next generation” vacuums. I really only had 2 questions: What makes one S8 model different from the others? And who should buy each one? I’ll share what I learned, but let’s run through the premium features they all share first. These vacuums filter air better than most canister vacuums, and they’re the lightest and quietest vacuums Miele has ever created. All Miele S8 vacuums include:

  • Parquet Twister Floor Tool: All S8 models come with this floor tool, which is air-driven and perfect for smooth floors.
  • AirClean Sealed System: It’s one thing to vacuum up dust, allergens, and other particles, but this sealed system ensures it stays in the vacuum’s bag and out of your indoor environment.
  • One-Touch Controls: No wrapping a cord, holding down a button, or even bending over. Simply touch a button with your foot to rewind the cord automatically or turn the vacuum on and off.
  • 6 Suction Settings: Different surfaces have various heights and textures; these settings let you control how much suction you use. For example, you’d use much more suction on high-pile carpet than when cleaning upholstery.
  • Onboard Accessories: Easy to find and store, use these for cleaning furniture, upholstery, and various other areas of your home. See which Miele S8 vacuum is best for you!

February Air Quality Evangelists

Posted by Tony on March 7th, 2013

February may be a short month, but there was no shortage of intriguing air quality posts! A wide-range of articles from around the world made this month’s Air Quality Evangelists list—and they’re some of our most diverse choices ever. Check out our favorite blog posts and learn a few tips to keep you healthy indoors and out: Meet our Air Quality Evangelists for February!

Sylvane’s Presidents Day Sale: Discounts on Heaters, Humidifiers, Vacuums and More!

Posted by Tony on February 13th, 2013

Presidents Day Sale Sylvane

The end of February is a mixed bag of weather across the US—some people see record-breaking snow or horrible thunderstorms, while others (including myself) are preparing for an early spring allergy season. Presidents Day happens to fall around this time every year, and at Sylvane we’ll be celebrating with a major sale on products you can use in any weather.

Until February 19, we’re offering discounts on everything from heaters and humidifiers to vacuums and steam cleaners. Read on to learn more about our deals and who should consider taking advantage of them. See Our Presidents Day Sale Information!

Is Your Furnace Polluting Your Indoor Air?

Posted by Kylie on December 12th, 2012

Eco-friendly heating options.Although it took a while to feel like winter in many parts of the country, there’s no doubt that cold weather has arrived. As we start turning on our furnaces and space heaters, there are a few things to keep in mind. An overload of dust can be dispersed by running your furnace, especially for the first time. Help keep your air clean and fresh (and lower your risk of feeling bad around the holidays) by completing a few small tasks around your house.

When you turn on your furnace for the first time each year, you might notice a “burnt dust” smell in the air—I know I did! During warmer months, your heating ducts accumulate a lot of dust and other allergens. When it’s time to turn it back on, your home is flooded with all that has accumulated over the last year, which can lead to allergies and other respiratory issues.

It may not seem like a huge deal, but the dust and other particles floating around can also compromise your immune system. If your body is busy fighting off the impurities in your air, you’re more vulnerable to other infections like the common cold or flu.

Fortunately there are a couple of ways you can diminish this problem:

  • Use air filters to catch the dust and debris. Clean permanent filters and use HEPA filters to catch as many unwanted allergens as possible.
  • Install eco friendly heaters that don’t spread as much dust and allergens into the air.
  • Have your heating ducts cleaned regularly, especially just before you fire them up for the year.
  • Use a humidifier if your air is dry. Dry air can irritate your sinuses and cause sore throats, so make sure your humidity is between 35% and 50%.

The best way to improve your indoor air while running your furnace or heater is to use all of these strategies. The bottom line is that it’s not the air that’s bad for you; it’s the dust and allergens that accumulate when your heater’s not in use. Be sure to have adequate filtration and cleaning processes, so you can enjoy a warm home without some of these nasty side effects.

I’ve been running my heat for more than two months now (I live in North Dakota)! When did you decide it was time to kick on the furnace?

Photo Credit: Fireplace by Travis Wiens on Flickr.

Indoor Air Quality Featured on the TODAY Show!

Posted by Tony on November 29th, 2012

Since Americans across the country are spending most of their time indoors this winter, healthy indoor air is more important than ever. This morning the TODAY show mentioned 7 easy tips to improve the air quality in your home.

There are several easy, inexpensive ways to improve your indoor air quality—it can be anything from adding more fresh air to using air purifiers for multiple chemicals or large room humidifiers. Check out the video to hear their tips, and click the links below to see a few of our product offerings that may assist you this winter.

As they mention in the video, adding an air purifier with HEPA filtration is one of the easiest ways to remove unwanted particles and allergens from your home. We offer a number of HEPA air purifiers, so see if one is right for you. Get More Tips!

Welcoming Pets Inside – Without Sacrificing Indoor Air Quality!

Posted by Kylie on November 28th, 2012


Reduce pet allergies in the home.The weather is cooling down, and for many of us, that means our pets will be spending much more time inside. Unfortunately, our beloved furry friends can bring in a lot of allergens – especially when it comes to their hair and dander.

Even those of us who don’t have these allergies should aim to diminish pet hair and dander in the home to keep the indoor air as pure as possible. Plus your pet-allergic friends will thank you!

Fortunately, we can enjoy our pets’ company without suffering from reduced indoor air quality.

Read on to learn more about improving indoor air quality with pets in the home.

Don’t Let Allergies (or Airplane Air Quality) Ruin Your Holiday Travel Plans

Posted by Tony on November 20th, 2012

This is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, and millions of Americans are flying to visit friends and family. In addition to Thanksgiving, a growing number of people are vacationing over the holiday weekend. Between the close quarters, air quality issues, and peanuts being tossed around, airplanes have long been a concern for people with all types of allergies.

The Issues

People believe air quality on planes is an issue because the air is recirculated and windows can’t be opened for ventilation. Stagnant air only gets worse when air circulators are turned off as passengers board or when planes sit for long periods of time. This reused, dry air can cause problems for passengers.

General illness can easily be spread on planes because of a lack of air circulation and confined space. Airplane toilets, soap dispensers, and tray tables can also harbor infectious germs.

Peanut and other food allergies are a concern since reactions can be as extreme as death (although it’s rare). Allergic reactions to food can be triggered by touch, so the close quarters make airplanes a worry for some travelers. Find Out What Airlines Are Doing, What You Can Do, and What Cites You Should Consider Visiting!

The Best Hotels for Allergy Sufferers

Posted by Tony on November 14th, 2012

Traveling around the holidays is unavoidable for people across the US. Some travelers are lucky (or unlucky?) enough to stay with relatives, but others don’t have that option or prefer to stay in a hotel.

The problem with hotels is that you never know what you’re walking into. Several chains don’t clean their rooms properly let alone have allergen controls in place. This can mean a less than enjoyable experience for people like me who suffer from allergies. So what are our options? Are we doomed to the basement couch this holiday season? Based on our research, the answer is no. See the Top 5 Hotel Chains for Allergy-Sufferers!

Why Flood Clean Up Is Important for Your Indoor Air

Posted by Tony on November 9th, 2012

Between Hurricane Sandy and a powerful “nor’easter” storm, the Northeast United States has had a rough couple of weeks. Some much needed sun is in the forecast for this weekend, but unfortunately, water damage doesn’t leave with the clouds.

In fact, water damage can do more than just ruin your favorite items; it can actually make the air in your home unhealthy. Failing to remove contaminated materials and reduce moisture in your home can present serious long-term health risks. It’s a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and mold.

When household items are wet for more than a day or two, they usually get moldy, collect germs, and become a hot-bed for bugs. So what you can you do? Here are a few tips to make sure your home is dry and safe to enter after flooding: Learn More Flood Clean Up Tips!

Home Allergies: The Halloween Gross-Out Edition

Posted by Jenna on October 31st, 2012

scary home allergiesIn honor of Halloween, we’ve compiled the weirdest, foulest facts about the things in your house that really cause allergies and colds. Before you read this, put away those fun-size Twix bars you’re snacking on. You won’t be hungry anymore.

Dust Mites: The Vampires of the Insect World

You may have heard the commonly thrown-around statistic that dust is 90% dead skin cells. Gross, right? Turns out, the truth is much worse. Dust consists of dead skins cells, sure, but also the creatures that dine on them—dust mites. Specifically, their corpses and poop. Read More About Creepy-Crawly Home Allergens!

The Miele S8 Series: A Vacuum Without Limits

Posted by Jenna on October 24th, 2012

miele s8 line

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love when I went to the Miele S8 premiere party in Atlanta last month, where I rubbed elbows with the Southeast’s most avid vacuum aficionados and Miele ambassadors. And then, from across the room, I locked eyes with the Alize.

This vacuum is everything I ever wanted: artisanal quality, check. Next-level filtration, check. Criminally cute design? Yeah buddy. We just received the S8 line at our corporate headquarters, and before I run away to Reno with my Alize, let me tell you what makes these vacuums so cool. Read more about the S8 line!

Sylvane’s 20% Off Space Heater Sale – Prepare for Winter Weather Now!

Posted by Tony on October 22nd, 2012

Sylvane Space Heater Sale

The leaves just started changing, but cooler weather is on its way—and in some places, it’s already here. High electricity costs and expensive, outdated heating systems can waste a lot of money this winter. Combine that with consumers’ desire to only heat specific rooms (the ones they actually use!), and it’s pretty clear why space heaters have become so popular across the country.

A space heater can save you money, energy, and provide spot heating to any area of your home. With a wide-range of heater types, capacities, and safety features, finding the right space heater is easier than you may think.

It’s a great time to buy one too, because many of our most popular models are 20% off during Sylvane’s Space Heater Sale going on now. Read More About Sylvane's Space Heater Sale!