Posted by Ivey on July 22nd, 2013
With morning temperatures registering at nearly 76 degrees F, there is no doubt that summer is officially here. While I am happy for the sunny, outdoor weather, I also live in a renovated bungalow that was originally built in the 1950s. Needless to say, uneven cooling throughout my otherwise-adorable home is a well-known problem, along with electric bills that rival the thermometer in terms of scary heights.
Like many who choose the charm of an older home, I’ve had to get creative with my cooling decisions to keep power bills within reason while, of course, maintaining a cool environment. Using fans to supplement my air conditioning has become my starting point for creating a comfortable home during the dog days of summer. In fact, Bob Vila points out that air conditioners not only account for roughly 25% of a home’s electricity costs, they also cost as much as 36 cents per hour to operate. Fans, on the other hand, only cost about a penny for the same operating time (when used on medium speed.)
Find out how I use fans to cool my home
Posted by Ivey on July 9th, 2013
Parents have a lot to worry about these days, and a recent study shows you may need to start thinking about the air your baby breathes even before you give birth. The study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), reveals that in-utero exposure to air pollution may contribute to higher risks for autism.
For some time, we’ve been keenly aware of the link between air pollution and asthma, heart disease, chronic respiratory illnesses, allergies, and more. The HSPH findings, along with previous studies, indicate that autism may need to be added to this list.
Get more details about the study results
Posted by Tony on June 19th, 2013
Miele vacuums took home the JD Power and Associates top prize for “Highest Customer Satisfaction” for both upright and canister vacuum categories. In the annual survey, consumers ranked Miele vacuums highest in performance, styling and features. It’s the second win in a row for Miele’s upright vacuums as they continue to impress everyone who uses one.
HEPA filtration, a sealed bagged system, and powerful suction makes for years of healthy living. Its HEPA filtration is big part of why customers, particularly allergy-sufferers, appreciate Miele vacuums. Their HEPA filters capture up to 99.99% of airborne particles down to .3 microns and are part of Miele’s sealed 12-step air filtration system.
Read More on Miele Uprights and Canister Vacuums and How to Get Your Free HEPA Filter
Posted by Ivey on May 14th, 2013
With 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 length 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
Posted by Tony on March 12th, 2013
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!
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!
Posted by Ivey on March 5th, 2013
Let’s face it: When most people think of plants, they often think of allergies. As a result, many people choose to keep plants outside to reduce the likelihood of suffering from the sneezing, itching, and coughing that may occur in the presence of certain plants. However, a study published by NASA revealed that some common household plants can actually improve indoor air quality.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), levels of pollutants inside the home are often two to five times higher than outdoor pollutant levels. You’re probably thinking, “How is that possible? I clean my floors and counter tops regularly.” Well, don’t be too hard on yourself because these excessive levels aren’t necessarily the result of poor housekeeping. Find out which plants can clean your indoor air
Posted by Ivey on February 27th, 2013
Getting a restful night’s sleep is essential to your child’s health. Cold season and dry winter weather can make this difficult for your infant or toddler because of coughing, runny noses, dry skin, nasal congestion, and other uncomfortable symptoms often seen this time of year.
To help children rest easier both day and night, many parents often add a humidifier to their child’s room. Humidifiers blanket rooms with a soothing, delicate mist to help children breathe easier and get relief from flu-like symptoms. With so many people touting the effectiveness of humidifiers, including pediatricians and allergists, it’s no wonder that there are so many models available.
Here are a few tips about how to choose the best humidifier for your infant or toddler.
- Warm versus Cool Mist Humidifiers. Although some parents choose warm mist humidifiers for perceived protection against bacteria growth, cool mist humidifiers are frequently recommended for infants and toddlers. Unlike their warm mist counterparts that can cause burn risks for children due to heated water in the tank, cool mist humidifiers offer the same benefits and no possibility of hot water coming into contact with curious hands and fingers. Cool mist is also preferred for children with asthma. Read more tips for choosing a child's humidifier
Posted by Kylie on February 20th, 2013
A group of disorders known as Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB) is linked to a number of lifestyle factors, including age, weight and gender. A recent Harvard study shows that another cause is at work: poor indoor quality. With an estimated 17% of U.S. adults suffering from one of these disorders, this information is a breakthrough in SDB research.
While the link between poor health and poor air has long been known, this is the first known study on the relationship between air quality and sleep.
Read more to learn how to improve your sleep by improving your air.
Posted by Tony on February 13th, 2013
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!
Posted by Tony on February 5th, 2013
As we enter the second month of 2013, people are trying to keep up healthy habits and start the year off feeling good. Unfortunately, the flu and other health issues are making it more difficult this year. This makes understanding your indoor environment (and the air you breathe) even more important.
Our picks for this month’s Air Quality Evangelists all focus on the importance of your indoor environment and what your family can do to avoid health problems that originate there. Check out our favorite blog posts this month to learn what you can do to stay healthy! Read More About Our January Air Quality Evangelists!
Posted by Kylie on February 1st, 2013
Until very recently, phthalates (pronounced “THAL-ates” ) haven’t gotten a lot of coverage. Since they’ve been linked to a number of health issues, it’s a good idea to take a look at some of the common sources of this hidden danger.
The bad news is that list of dangers is pretty long. Phthalates, which are chemicals added to plastics to improve their durability, can be found in literally hundreds of products, many of which are found in most American homes.
Read more to find out sources of phthalates in your home.
Posted by Kylie on January 23rd, 2013
January has been designated National Radon Action Month by the Environmental Protection Agency to raise awareness and protect families against the dangers of radon. With more deaths from this colorless, odorless gas than from drunk driving, it’s wise to take some time to learn more about it and take action to lower your family’s exposure in the home.
Read on to learn more about radon and how to remove it from your home.
Posted by Ivey on January 18th, 2013
This flu season is shaping up to be one of the roughest in recent years. During a recent CDC Press Briefing on the rapid spread of influenza virus strains in the U.S., CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden pointed out that 47 states are currently reporting “widespread geographic influenza activity.” Additionally, Dr. Richard Besser, ABC Chief Health and Medical Director, warned in an interview that although flu activity seems to be decreasing in some states that were hit early on, such as those in the southern U.S., we could still be facing up to six more weeks of flu season. It’s no wonder that people are taking this year’s flu season seriously.
Beyond flu vaccinations, regular hand-washing, covering your cough and sneeze, and staying home when you feel sick, there are other flu prevention methods to give you the best chance of avoiding the illness this season.
Read on for our flu prevention tips.
Posted by Kylie on January 17th, 2013
Many people love burning candles and incense in their homes for the scent and atmosphere they create. Unfortunately, research shows that this isn’t the healthiest practice for your indoor air. According to a recent environmental study, candles and incense give off a high level
of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), damaging indoor air quality. This is due to the ingredients in many of them, particularly petroleum and fragrance.
Fortunately, there are less harmful ways to replace your habit of burning candles and incense—in fact, you can even improve your indoor air with some of these healthier alternatives!
Read on for healthy alternatives to candles and incense.