Posted by Ashley on July 1st, 2011
If you’ve purchased an air conditioner, dehumidifier, or other appliance with a refrigeration system recently, you’ve probably noticed a change in the type of refrigerant being used. More specifically, you may have noticed the words “eco-friendly” or “non-ozone-depleting” popping up on product packaging or in sales literature when refrigerant is discussed.
First, let me assure you—these new claims aren’t just lofty selling points made by manufacturers in order to try to secure a sale. There is truth in these statements. However, as an informed consumer, it helps to understand this new change and what it means for you when you purchase an appliance equipped with “environmentally friendly refrigerant.” Here is the lowdown.
Read more about appliances and R-410A refrigerant
Posted by Ivey on April 27th, 2011
When dealing with allergies, it can often seem like the symptoms come out of nowhere and the causes are even more difficult to pinpoint. If you have been diligent about keeping surfaces free of dust and debris, washing your hands frequently, removing your shoes before entering your home, and washing your hair daily, along with taking other precautions to reduce pollen particles in your indoor environment, yet your allergy symptoms still persist, you could be targeting the wrong allergy.
According to WebMD, you could be among the 5% of Americans who suffer from mold allergies. Mold allergies trigger many of the same reactions as pollen and dust allergies, such as itchy eyes, irritated skin, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, and even asthma attacks. People often experience allergy symptoms in their home due to the presence of mold, which often results from excess humidity. Dehumidifiers offer an effective, simple solution for controlling excess moisture—and mold.
Find out more about dehumidifiers and mold allergies
Posted by Ivey on April 5th, 2011
With the launch of our Sweet Dreams Nursery Contest and Sweepstakes last week, things have been a little hectic around the Sylvane office. However, now that things seem to be a little calmer, let’s move on to the third installment of our 28 Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality blog series.
- Leave shoes at the door to keep pesticides, dirt, and other germs out of your home. Occasionally, the quick brushing that you give your shoes on the doormat is not effective at keeping harmful irritants out of your home. If possible, leave shoes on shoe racks or or other shelves located in a garage or other area close to your door.
- Choose a green paint to reduce exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Just because the noxious odors from your latest painting project are gone doesn’t mean that your indoor air is safe. Some paints can release harmful levels of VOCs into your environment causing headaches, dizziness, respiratory ailments, and other issues. Look for paints labeled “zero VOC” and “no VOC”.
- Use a carbon monoxide detector to protect your home. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled, so the best way to keep your family safe from this “silent killer” is to use a carbon monoxide detector like the Safety Siren Pro Series Combination Gas Detector. This gas detector samples your home’s air every 2.5 minutes for carbon monoxide. If this gas—methane and propane—is detected, visual and audible alarms will be activated.
Read more indoor air quality tips
Posted by Ivey on September 10th, 2010
Although leaves changing color and falling to the ground are one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles, this decaying of plant debris can promote allergy-causing mold growth. Oftentimes, this mold finds its way into your home thanks to autumn winds or warm early fall temperatures that lead to damp homes, especially basements and bathrooms. Mold and damp environments can trigger a variety of allergic symptoms including itchy eyes, noses, and throats, headaches, sinusitis, sneezing, and more. To keep your home dry and mold-free, we are offering 20% off on any DeLonghi dehumidifier that we carry for a limited time only.
Find out more about our DeLonghi dehumidifiers
Posted by Ivey on August 26th, 2010
Is your home making your child sick? A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports that dampness and mold problems in homes may increase children’s risk of allergic rhinitis. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis, sometimes referred to as hay fever, include congestion, sneezing, and of course, runny noses.
The study followed 1,900 Finnish children for a period of six years. Researchers found that 16 percent of children whose parents reported that damp conditions or mold were present in the home were eventually diagnosed with allergic rhinitis. Of the children whose parents reported no moisture problems in the home, slightly less than 12 percent were diagnosed with nasal allergies.
Find out how to make your home healthier for your entire family
Posted by Ivey on August 12th, 2010
On August 2, NBC’s Today Show aired a great segment on finding and removing mold from your home with advice from the DIY Network’s John DeSilvia. In the segment, DeSilvia points out that summer time is peak season for mold growth, which can cause a variety of health issues including respiratory problems and allergy flare-ups.
DeSilvia suggests looking for leaky pipes, condensation, and other wet or humid areas inside your home to determine if there is a mold problem. If you don’t see any potentially damp areas or actual mold but still think you may have a problem, consider purchasing a Mold Test Kit or a Toxic Mold Test Kit. Both of these do-it-yourself test kits will provide a comprehensive analysis of mold in your home. Plus, all the materials you will need and the lab fees are included in the cost of the kit.
Read more of John DeSilvia's DIY mold removal advice
Posted by Ivey on June 4th, 2010
As a lifelong resident of the Southeastern United States, I am all too familiar with the delicate balance of humidity and coolness necessary to stay comfortable during steamy summer months. To achieve this harmony, many people look for air treatment solutions such as dehumidifiers to remove uncomfortable and potentially harmful excess moisture from their homes. With so many of these appliances on the market, how do you know which one is the best value?
A leading consumer reporting agency recently ranked two Danby dehumidifiers offered by Sylvane among their top picks for efficient, cost-effective moisture removal options. The Danby DDR6009REE ranked among the top five for large-capacity dehumidifiers, and the Danby DDR5009REE ranked among the top five as well for medium-capacity dehumidifiers.
Find out more about these top-ranked Danby dehumidifiers
Posted by Ivey on January 29th, 2010
Maintaining an optimal climate in museum collections can be extremely tricky. Everything from the general climate of the region to types of items in the collection to the comfort of museum visitors and employees must be taken into account. Relative humidity is one key consideration.
According to an article by the Northern States Conservation Center that addresses temperature and relative humidity levels for museum objects, “there is no single relative humidity range that is ideal for all museum objects.” However, NSCC does recommend maintaining a non-fluctuating relative humidity (RH) above 25% and below 65% for mixed collections — noting that many museums maintain an RH of 45%.
Keeping a consistent relative humidity is crucial, as an RH below 25% “can cause embrittlement of hygroscopic materials such as leather and paper,” and an RH above 25% can lead to mold growth and metal corrosion.
Read more about controlling humidity in museums
Posted by John on October 30th, 2008
Mold can invade any home, but mobile homes are at increased risk of mold problems.
Tom Riley discovered this after his family moved into a mobile home in Mississippi. Within six months of moving in, his family experienced respiratory problems, coughing, and laryngitis. At one point, his seven-year-old son collapsed in the hallway.
Riley then found mold dots sprinkled throughout the mobile home in the top of closets, according to the Clarion Ledger.
“With the mobile home industry, structure and installation is a problem. Builders are in a hurry; things get in a hurry. Who wants to step up to the plate and fix this? It will be expensive to fix. Medical issues are expensive. Environmental cleanup is expensive,” Riley said. Read more about mold in mobile homes
Posted by John on October 1st, 2008
At first glance, the massive Santa Fe Max Dry Dual XT dehumidifier may look like a mummification chamber that you might find in Michael Jackson’s basement – but it’s not as big as it looks in the online photo. At just over three feet in length, it actually has a rather small footprint, especially when you consider its dehumidifying power. Intended for crawlspaces and large basements, the Santa Fe Max Dry covers 3,600 square feet and can remove 150 pints of moisture per day (and 300 pints at complete saturation).
Even though it’s one of the most powerful dehumidifiers on the market, the Max Dry Dual XT features an Energy Star rating. To get the same effect with off-the-shelf units, you’d have to plug in four or five of them – and use four or five times as much electricity! Read more about Santa Fe Max Dry Dual XT dehumidifiers
Posted by John on September 27th, 2008
Keep your indoor relative humidity below 50 percent to avoid growth of mold and dust mites. That’s standard advice for allergy sufferers. But what exactly is relative humidity?
Relative humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air expressed as a percentage of how much water vapor the air could hold. If relative humidity is 100 percent, for example, then it’s raining. Most people are comfortable with an indoor relative humidity of 45 to 50 percent. When relative humidity goes above 50 percent, the excess moisture in the air makes it easier for mold and dust mites to spread. Read more about relative humidity
Posted by John on August 21st, 2008
I know all about mold allergy. During my first few years of grade school, it seemed like I always had a cold. My chronic cold turned out to be allergies, mold and grass pollen allergies in particular. After the diagnosis, I was given allergy medication and allergy shots (immunotherapy) – but back then, I never learned about the other effective method of treating mold allergies: Environmental control. If you can eliminate the source of mold in your environment, then your allergy symptoms will subside.
PR Newswire recently published a press release from Sylvane.com: Creating a Healthy Home Environment: Mold and Mildew Free.
Stephen Hong, President of Sylvane.com, explains, “The key to mold control is moisture control… Indoor mold is a major cause of sinus infections, allergies, and asthma attacks, not to mention structural damage to buildings, but if you control your home’s humidity, then mold doesn’t stand a chance.” Read more about how to combat mold allergy using environmental control
Posted by John on July 25th, 2008
Don’t let its size fool you; this 65-pint capacity dehumidifier may not be much bigger than a breadbox, but it’s twice as powerful as the 65-pint dehumidifiers at your local hardware store – and it’s more energy efficient.
The Santa Fe Compact Dehumidifier is made to fit in small places – crawlspaces, basements, closets, and even between floor joists. You can suspend it from above with the optional hang kit; make it a truly portable dehumidifier with the caster kit; or hide it inside a utility closet with the ducting kit. Read more about Santa Fe Compact Dehumidifiers
Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008
This summer my baby sister (who is 18 months old) started taking swimming lessons at an indoor swimming pool. I think that all children should take swimming lessons – you never know when they’ll need those skills, and swimming is great exercise – but parents also need to be aware of the health risks associated with indoor pools. Chlorine byproducts contaminate the air above indoor swimming pools and have been linked to lung damage, asthma, and cancer. Indoor pools also increase humidity, which can lead to mold growth. Read more about health problems linked to indoor swimming pools