Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


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!

5 Most Common Household Allergens and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Ivey on September 19th, 2012

Sneezing Woman with AllergiesAre watery eyes, itchy skin, runny nose, or hay fever symptoms keeping you from relaxing at home? Chances are your home comfort could be compromised by allergens.

Here’s a quick rundown of five of the most common household allergens to help you identify the source and restore the health of your home. Read more about common household allergens.

Mold: Evicting the Unwelcome Houseguest

Posted by Ivey on September 10th, 2012

Woman Cleaning MoldHave you noticed a strange pungent odor in your home lately? Perhaps you have been coughing, sneezing, or suffering from other allergy-related symptoms and can’t find the trigger? These can all be signs that your home has a mold problem. Before you condemn your home and call a demolition crew, here are a few tips for identifying a mold problem, treating it, and avoiding future issues.

Most mold experts agree that small amounts of mold are present in every home. However, large amounts of mold can cause hay fever symptoms and be particularly irritating to people with allergies, immune suppression, and asthma, according to the CDC.

Find out where to look for mold, how to remove it, and more

Must-Haves for a Healthier, More Comfortable Dorm Room

Posted by Ashley on August 17th, 2012

college signSchool is getting back in session. Whether you’re heading off to college, heading back to college, or sending your child off for the first time—there are some things that can make the experience go much smoother. Most dorm packing lists cover the basics, but they don’t take into account those things that can help you feel more comfortable in your home away from home. Plus, if you suffer from allergies or asthma, you have more to think about, not knowing what symptom triggers await you.

To help you (or your studious son or daughter) create a healthier, more comfortable dorm room, check out our list of must-have products.

Table Fan

Many dorms lack central air conditioning. Other dorms have it, but it might not be powerful enough to cool you during the late summer months and you might not have control over the thermostat. A great stand-in, a compact table fan fits easily on your bedside table, window sill, or desk to circulate a gentle breeze that cools you and keeps your space refreshed while you hit the books.

Vornado 573 Air Circulator FanOur Pick: Weighing just under 4 pounds, the Vornado 573 Air Circulator features 3 cooling speeds, quiet operation, and a sleek minimalist design that looks great on your nightstand.

Read on for more dorm room essentials

Traveling with Allergies: The Secret World of Allergy-Friendly Hotels

Posted by Vivian on August 1st, 2012

Traveling can be fun and relaxing, but if you have allergies or chemical sensitivities, it can also be stressful. Luckily, hotels are increasingly offering “allergy-friendly” room options, and some hotels are entirely allergy-friendly.

According to a 2010 survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, in fact, 38 percent of hotels offer allergy-friendly rooms.

What do these promises mean, however? Can you count on hotels that claim to be allergy-friendly to really be so?

Allergy-friendly offerings can vary greatly from hotel to hotel, so as a traveler, it’s up to you to find out exactly what a hotel will offer before you book a room and stay there. Doing your research upfront will help save you headaches down the road.

Read on for more tips for finding an allergy-friendly hotel.

Can Dogs Prevent Childhood Asthma?

Posted by Vivian on July 24th, 2012

Dogs are beloved members of many families. They offer unconditional love, reduce stress levels, encourage exercise, and even lower blood pressure. And now, research has shown they might also reduce cases of childhood asthma.

According to research presented at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, children who live in homes with dogs may be less likely to develop asthma. In the study, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco fed house dust from homes with dogs to mice. Compared to a control group, the mice exposed to this dust had increased immunity to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is associated with childhood asthma.

While still in its early stages, the research suggests that children who spend time around dogs might have a similar immunity to this virus. This is exciting news for dog-lovers, especially since a study last year proved there’s no such thing as hypoallergenic dogs.

Read on to discover tips for healthy living with dogs.

Wildfires Create Unhealthy Air in Colorado & Beyond

Posted by Vivian on July 12th, 2012

Colorado Wildfire Air QualityThe Colorado fires have affected more than just homes, forests and livestock. They’ve also impacted many people throughout the state and beyond who live downwind from them. Toxic smoke has filled the air around Colorado for weeks, and people with a sensitivity to smoke have had little relief from the fumes.

Forest fire smoke contains a soup of nasty chemicals, including nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and more. When these fires start burning houses the chemicals get even more toxic. The air was rated as “unhealthy” for days throughout Colorado this summer by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. According to AIRNow, this smoke can cause an increase in asthma attacks and other respiratory disorders among those exposed to it even for short periods, and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk of negative health effects. Those with heart or lung diseases, the elderly, and children are particularly susceptible to the dangers of smoke exposure.

Read more about how you can protect the respiratory health of you and your family in case of a wildfire.

Fireworks and Air Quality

Posted by Vivian on July 3rd, 2012

FireworksIt’s that time of year again, when we celebrate 4th of July by watching fireworks displays and setting off backyard fireworks. It’s a time of fun, family and happiness, and fireworks have come to symbolize all of those good things we associate with the holiday.

Unfortunately, though, all the chemicals and smoke associated with fireworks contribute to unhealthy air conditions. The fine toxic dust created by fireworks can enter our sensitive nose and lung tissues and cause health problems. The dust, in particular, threatens those people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or asthma. In addition to the dust, firework smoke contains a toxic mixture of chemicals, gasses, heavy metals and sulfur.

Keep reading for safe firework alternatives you can try on Independence Day.

3 Ways Dehumidifiers Help Relieve Allergies and Asthma

Posted by Ashley on May 18th, 2012

Allergy and Asthma Awareness MonthMay is the peak of spring allergy season and it also marks an important event, National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. This month is a great time to educate yourself on the best ways to relieve your symptoms and eliminate common triggers from your home. You probably already know that HEPA air purifiers and HEPA vacuums remove sniffle-causing allergens in your space. Did you also know that portable dehumidifiers can help you conquer your symptoms even further? The key is controlling your humidity.

Here are 3 ways these popular basement appliances keep your symptoms in check.

    1. Dehumidifiers stop mold growth.

    Damp, humid air in your home (above 50% humidity) creates the ideal environment for mold to grow and thrive. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, mold can  trigger the same symptoms as outdoor pollen. Using a dehumidifier stops mold growth by reducing the moisture content of your air and keeping your home’s overall humidity under control. To eliminate and prevent mold indoors, use your dehumidifier to maintain a humidity level between 45 and 50%.
    Read more on how dehumidifiers curb your symptoms

    March Air Quality Evangelists

    Posted by Allison on March 26th, 2012

    Air Quality EvangelistsLast month, we announced the launch of our new Air Quality Evangelist program. The goal of this project is to celebrate other blogs and websites that appreciate good air quality and provide insight on how you can improve yours.

    Now it’s time to announce this month’s Air Quality Evangelists!

    SafeMama SafeMama

    Kathy Scoleri is a web designer, author, and mother of two boys. When she was expecting her first child in 2007 – and spending hours researching Bisphenol-A, hormone mimicking chemicals, and toy recalls – she knew she couldn’t be the only parent scouring the web for this information. So she created SafeMama to keep it all in one place.

    Winning Post: There are many choices you can make to Keep Toxic Chemicals Out Of Your Home. In this article, SafeMama hits some major points – from losing the shoes while inside to using HEPA-filtered vacuums.

    See March's Air Quality Evangelists!

    Pollen Contest: Show Your Yellow, Win Some Green!

    Posted by Allison on March 23rd, 2012

    It’s springtime, and you know what that means: yellow-covered everything. Especially here in Atlanta, where pollen counts are breaking records and a sick yellow tinge coats the city streets. For allergy-sufferers, this is devastating. So we wanted to give you something to smile about.

    Send us a picture of your pollen-covered car, and you’ll be entered to win a free $50 Visa gift card!

    Car Covered in PollenThat should cover a few good car washes to rinse away that nasty pollen.

    Post your photo on our Facebook page, tweet us a link, or email it to us at contest@sylvane.com. On April 6th, the most pollen-soaked car will win a $50 Visa gift card!

    Show us how desperately your car needs a good cleaning. Send us your photo today!

    And remember to keep those windows rolled up and wash your clothes when you get inside. That pollen settles quickly on our cars, but there are steps you can take to keep it out of your home.

    Good luck!