Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


Phthalates: The Indoor Air Pollutants in Everyday Products

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.

January is National Radon Action Month – Get Involved!

Posted by Kylie on January 23rd, 2013

Radon can enter the home through a cracked floor or foundation. 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.

Flu Prevention Tips to Keep You Healthy for Flu Season

Posted by Ivey on January 18th, 2013

Needle Inserted into Vaccine 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.

Choosing Healthier Candles and Incense

Posted by Kylie on January 17th, 2013

Candles 1 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.

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!