Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


Gift Ideas for Healthy Homes from Sylvane!

Posted by Tony on December 18th, 2012

Still doing last-minute Christmas shopping? Home products are often overlooked as gifts but can make great ideas for friends and family members. From space heaters to humidifiers, customers have written us about various products they’ve given or received as gifts. These products are useful and make life easier at home. Let’s look at what customers have to say about Sylvane products they’ve received as gifts:

Crane Adorable Humidifiers: In addition to their cute animal designs, these humidifiers also provide cold mist to dry air and can help soothe stuffy noses, itchy throats, and other cold symptoms. These features make them popular in children’s rooms. Designs include a pig, tiger, cow, frog, and more!

  • As a Gift: “We received Penelope the Pig as a baby gift. We use it to help my daughter breathe easier at night now that temperatures are dropping. It’s really easy to use and a breeze to keep clean. Looks super cute in her nursery too!” -Ashley, Sylvane team member See what other Sylvane customers say about their product gifts!

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.

November Air Quality Evangelists

Posted by Tony on December 5th, 2012

Each month we feature Air Quality Evangelists who offer helpful information to people regarding the importance of air quality. These Evangelists make clean air (and a healthy environment) a priority in their lives. We appreciate the information they provide, so let’s hear from November’s winners who discuss everything from allergies to reducing toxins in your home.

Scientific American Blog Network – Observations

If you haven’t heard of the Scientific American, then you’re one of the few. It’s read in print by nearly 4 million people a year and has long been a leading source for science, technology, and policy information.

Last July it launched the Scientific American Blog Network, which has quickly become the go-to hub for various editorial, community, and opinion blogs. Their wide range of topics include Energy & Sustainability, Health, Evolution, and Technology. “Observations” posts feature opinions and analysis from Scientific American editors.

Winning Post

Warmer weather is increasing pollen counts across the country, and this winning “Observations” post analyzes research about climate change and its influence on seasonal allergies. Research suggests allergy issues increase significantly with climate change and will only get worse moving forward. Allergy season will start earlier and affect a larger segment of the population, so review the findings and what they mean for you. Learn More About November's Air Quality Evangelists!

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.

Sylvane’s 2012 Cyber Monday Deals: Save on Heaters, Air Purifiers, and More!

Posted by Tony on November 22nd, 2012

There’s nothing like shopping for your favorite products online—that is, unless they’re also on sale! After the madness that is Black Friday, enjoy our Cyber Monday 2012 sale from the comfort of your own home. Our extensive deals include 10% off all orders of $150 or more* and other great discounts on heaters, humidifiers, air purifiers, and more!

You’ll find big discounts on 3 products that are useful around the holidays: 2 of my favorite Vornado heaters and our popular Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier.

Both heaters are compact, lightweight, and can sit anywhere in your home. All Vornado heaters have patented Vortex technology that uses a strong motor and fan to generate tornado-like airflow that circulates warmth throughout your entire room. Most portable heaters only heat the areas in front of them, so this feature separates Vornado from other brands in the market. Read more about these great products below!

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!

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!

Is That Artificial Air Freshener Harming Your Daughter?

Posted by Pam on September 6th, 2012

Artificial Air Fresheners May Pose Health Threat To Young GirlsMy mother, a long-time smoker, loves every product on the market that makes her house smell “clean” and “fresh”. As for me, I’m not so sure. The intellectual part of my brain eschews this whole concept of corporate fragrance, but those smells from a bottle do fill my heart.

“What’s the harm?” My emotional brain pleads with the intellectual brain.

For the longest time, Intellectual Brain could only argue that those fragrances were so strong and artificial, there simply had to be something wrong with them. Science will figure it out someday.

Well folks, that day is here. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has linked dichlorobenzene, one of the chemical common to air fresheners, to early puberty in girls.

In the past 100 years, the age of a girl’s first menstrual cycle has decreased about 4 years, with the average onset now around 12 to 13 years. In the 1990s, nearly every American tested was positive for the presence of dichlorobenzene in their urine.

Read more about how we are exposed to this pollutant.

Should You Be Worried About Formaldehyde?

Posted by Pam on August 28th, 2012

Formaldehyde SmellsEver opened up a new toy for your kid, or a box of assembly-required furniture, and been knocked over by the smell in the box? After romanticizing about being the first person to breathe in that air since the box left its country of origin, my attention goes to a little voice inside my head that says, “Cough cough – run! Nobody should breathe that stuff in!”

But then I shrug it off, believing that if there really were a danger, my government would put a label on the box or run public service announcements warning me of the danger of breathing in factory air from China.

Turns out we should give pause when opening that box.

A recent study followed formaldehyde release from the unpacking and assembly of self-assembly furniture. Researchers found that unpacking and setting up a 2-door wardrobe increased the formaldehyde concentration in the home in a measurable way. And the formaldehyde levels differed with the finish on the wardrobe, with the unfinished models emitting higher levels of formaldehyde than the highly-lacquered glossy models.

Read more about surprising sources of formaldehyde in your home.

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

Headaches, Asthma, Nausea: Is It Something in Your School’s Air?

Posted by Ivey on August 7th, 2012

Teacher in Classroom with StudentsIt seems like it just began and already the 2012 summer season is quickly coming to a close, which can only mean one thing for many parents, teachers, and kids. It’s time to head back to school. While students worry about first impressions, parents race around to secure the necessary school supplies, and teachers get their curriculum in order, there may be unseen dangers lurking in schools.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution levels can be two to five times higher than outdoor areas. The EPA also points out that approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population spends their days indoors in elementary, middle, and high schools. USA TODAY notes that thresholds for chemical exposure are typically based on results from adults exposure. As a result, little is known or can be accurately predicted about child and adolescent exposure to airborne chemicals. This is significant since children can be more vulnerable to the effects of chemical exposure due to a variety of factors, including still-growing bodies and their inability to properly protect themselves from exposure to environmental hazards.

Find out ways that you can improve your school's indoor air quality.