Posted by Tony on December 23rd, 2013
Happy Holidays! We hope you enjoy this time in a safe, healthy indoor environment. As we turn the page on 2013, we want to thank you for visiting Indoor Health Matters for all your indoor air quality news. Be sure to check out Sylvane.com for any air treatment products, particularly heaters as we navigate through this cold winter season.
Our electric fireplaces add to holiday ambiance (and heat!) to any room. In fact, we’re using the Dimplex Winston Electric Fireplace in our office. Check out our photo above and feel free to share yours with us on our Facebook page. See you in 2014!
Posted by Tony on December 6th, 2013
Winter doesn’t officially start for another 5 weeks, but freezing weather came earlier than expected thanks to an arctic blast that hit the south and northeast over the last few days. People from Florida to DC and even Texas saw temperatures drop from fair to freezing in a matter of hours. As discussed on the various news channels (including CBS) this week, experts say this may be the start of a very long winter. These unusually cold temperatures are affecting millions of people across the country and have many worried about what lies ahead.
The current blast is producing record-breaking lows and freezing weather that residents haven’t seen (or prepared for) in quite some time. Considering these unpredictable weather patterns, it may be time to prepare for the cold winter ahead. Central heating systems are great, but when temperatures drop drastically with no warning, it’s a good idea to have a space heater available for quick, directed heat in specific rooms. Most of these inexpensive heaters are about as efficient as you can get–and can help save you money by keeping your thermostat at a lower temperature.
Whether you’re looking for a compact heater to place on your floor, a tabletop heater, or a heater that hangs from your wall, we have a variety of options for any room in your home. Here are a few good heater options depending on your needs:
- Convection Heaters: Looking to warm an entire room? Then a convection heater is definitely one to check out. Generally aided by fans, these heaters spread warmth across your room and are generally compact enough to move from room to room. So you can keep it in your bedroom when you sleep and then move it to your living room while you’re watching TV.
- Infrared Heaters: Consider an infrared heater if you need direct heat to objects in your space. They’re common for people looking to heat themselves and other direct objects–not necessarily an entire room. Just target yours right where you need it, and enjoy the warmth instantly.
- Garage Heaters: Working in garages when it’s frigidly cold outside sounds like a ton of fun, right? Probably not. Glance over our selection of garage and workshop heaters to see if any of them can help you out this winter. With rugged exteriors and powerful heating capabilities, they can withstand the tough conditions in your garage–and you will too!
Regardless of how you do it, do your best to get through the crazy weather patterns hitting the United States. Have you noticed any surprisingly low temperatures in your areas? Have any suggestions to deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted by Tony on November 27th, 2013
This year’s Black Friday is shaping up to be a wild one: Thanksgiving falls late so there are fewer weeks between now and Christmas, and it’s freezing pretty much everywhere—so expect an extra slice of crazy with your traffic and lines. So what’s your strategy?
Here’s ours: Offer huge deals on our most popular products, like 20% off select space heaters and select humidifiers. We’re also offering 10% off ANY purchase more than $150 (using coupon code THANKS13). The best part? You don’t have to deal with the cold, traffic, or long lines—and we’ll ship your quality products to you for free. Oh, and our Black Friday sale runs through Cyber Monday, so visit Sylvane.com to take advantage of our discounts all weekend (from 11-28-13 to 12-2-13).
For me, that’s enough incentive to buy useful products, but here’s a look at some of our best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals: Learn More About our Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales!
Posted by Ivey on October 18th, 2013
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was proud to announce that the city’s air quality recently reached its highest level in nearly half a century. In addition to the dramatic impact of smoking bans, public health officials credit buildings using lower-pollution heating oils or opting for cleaner-burning natural gas with the annual prevention of 800 deaths and 2,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
If a city with approximately 8 million diverse residents known for their headstrong personalities can make this change, I began to wonder what, if any, changes were taking place in other cities. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that in Atlanta (where I live) many programs and policies—most of which I have been taking for granted—are in place to improve our city’s air quality.
One of best-known programs is the Clean Air Campaign. With some of the infamous traffic in the nation, the Clean Air Campaign’s mission is to improve air quality by focusing primarily on reducing traffic congestion, which is a vital part of Atlanta’s journey towards healthier air. Clean Air Campaign promotes telecommuting, ride-sharing, public transportation, and has even partnered with schools to find unique ways to improve air quality so that students can enjoy the air on their campuses.
Read more about air quality improvement steps
Posted by Ivey on October 11th, 2013
Cool, pleasant autumn weather prompted my husband to suggest we get our yard and garden ready for fall. Later on, he complained of itchy eyes and a stuffy nose. “It feels like my allergies are acting up,” he said. “Do fall allergies exist?”
The short answer: Absolutely. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, of the people allergic to pollen-producing plants, about 75% have sensitivity to ragweed—one of the primary fall allergy culprits. In fact, the AAFA estimates that 10-20% of Americans suffer from itchy eyes, irritated skin, runny noses, and even interrupted sleep as result of ragweed pollen.
In addition to wind-borne pollen, mold also presents a significant source of aggravation for fall allergy-sufferers. The combination of rain and fallen leaves creates a breeding ground for mold.
Despite these seemingly grim odds, it’s still possible to enjoy fall weather in your garden! Check out these tips.
- Consult your allergist. From the first itch or sneeze, talk to your doctor and devise a plan for keeping your fall allergies under control. If this fall marks your first experience with pollen and mold irritations, a visit with the allergist is essential for finding your allergy triggers.
- Dress appropriately. Wear long sleeves and pants to keep pollen and mold spores away from your skin. Gardening gloves not only help you avoid unsightly cuts and blisters but offer a great line of defense against allergens. Sunglasses and a hat are also ideal for keeping airborne irritants away from eyes and hair, respectively. Read more fall gardening tips
Posted by Tony on October 3rd, 2013
In school, I was the only kid who dreaded having class outside on a nice day. I don’t hate nature, but this usually meant sitting in the grass for at least an hour…and unfortunately, I’m allergic to both pollen and grass. It isn’t that I can’t go in my yard (although it’s a good excuse to get out of yardwork), but if I sit in the grass for long periods of time my eyes itch, get red, and have even swollen shut. It’s very glamorous.
Who knew reading Men’s Health magazine could have potentially saved me a lot of trouble? They recently published an article offering one of the coolest ways to fight allergy symptoms: wearing sunglasses. That’s right, rocking sunglasses (the larger the better!) can help ward off allergy symptoms.
As strange as it may sound, wearing shades physically blocks out pollen, UV rays (which can stimulate symptoms), and other allergens. And it turns out this is pretty well known.
Participants in the study mentioned in Men’s Health wore large, wrap-around sunglasses, but doctors and other experts seem to agree that any type of sunglasses may help—if only slightly.
Sunglasses help by decreasing the amount of air that circulates over your eyes—which helps keep allergens from directly touching them. Since light exposure can increase allergy symptoms in your eyes, standard UV-blocking shades may even help control symptoms. Your eyes and nose are directly connected, so blocking your eyes will help keep your nose clear as well.
It makes sense if you think about it: The less allergens that touch your eyes, the better. So wear those big aviators all the time—they’re more than just a fashion statement. And if you’re an allergy-sufferer like me, you’ll take any bit of help you can get.
Have you noticed sunglasses providing any other useful purpose? Know another strange way to help fight off allergy symptoms? Tell us in the comments below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Posted by Ivey on September 24th, 2013
While a lot of attention is given to solutions and proactive steps for dealing with allergies, asthma, and other problems related to environmental issues, we often neglect the social aspects of living with these health issues. For children with allergies, asthma, or similar symptoms, these daily struggles can be even more frustrating. On top of avoiding environmental triggers and keeping an epi pen or inhaler handy, many young allergy- and asthma-sufferers are also tasked with explaining these flare-ups to friends, teachers, and even other parents.
Luckily, there are resources to help you talk to your children about allergies and asthma in fun, creative ways, as well as how to be considerate of those dealing with these issues. For example, Taking Asthma to School by Kim Gosselin is actually written for children without asthma to help them understand asthmatic students and what happens when they get occasional shortness of breath. This illustrated book also contains “Ten Tips for Teachers” and a fun quiz.
Find more resources
Posted by Ivey on September 4th, 2013
If there’s one word synonymous with my beloved hometown of Atlanta, it’s “traffic.” More than just an interstate and highway hassle, harmful pollutants emitted by vehicles in congested areas also impact school campuses—like when parents wait for their children with vehicles idling. Recognizing the rewards of early education about the importance of clean air, as well as the opportunity to directly build healthier school environments, The Clean Air Campaign launched The Clean Air Schools program.
The Clean Air Schools program aims to reduce air pollution and improve air quality by educating children about sustainability, air quality, and transportation. After working with Georgia schools for almost a decade, the program, which is part of the larger non-profit The Clean Air Campaign, is taking its efforts a step further with a star-rating system to recognize schools going above and beyond to make a difference in air quality.
Find out more about the Clean Air Schools Rating System
Posted by Ivey on August 12th, 2013
It’s time to head back to school. While this is an exciting time for returning students to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and embark on new experiences, students with asthma and fall allergies often struggle to keep symptoms under control. Here are a few tips for student’s of all ages to stay healthy:
Visit your child’s allergist: Before returning to school, make an appointment with your child’s doctor to for a health check-up. This is a great opportunity to discuss any new issues, as well as to develop a plan to keep your child healthy throughout the year.
Meet with teachers and school health professionals: Teachers are often a first line of defense for helping control allergy and asthma symptoms away from home. Discussing your child’s symptoms will help teachers respond quickly and appropriately in critical situations. Teachers and school health professionals should also have copies or access to information about your child’s wellness plan, including medications like inhalers and epinephrine kits.
Read more tips
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 24th, 2013
Mini-split air conditioners have become a common way to cool homes, offices, and basements. Their efficient zone cooling and ductless design, along with quiet operation, make them a great choice for many people. One thing holding some people back from jumping on the bandwagon is installing these units—professional installation is required for most models. But that’s changing thanks to Friedrich’s revolutionary, “do-it-yourself” Breeze mini-split models.
Being able to install a Breeze mini-split system through a window is one of its biggest advantages. This non-permanent installation is easy and changing the game when it comes to who uses mini-splits. Another bonus: installing it through a window won’t block your view like a window AC, since the indoor unit hangs on your wall and the refrigerant lines connect through a small window kit. Learn Why Friedrich Breeze Mini Split ACs Are So Popular!
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 June 3rd, 2013
This summer may be shaping up to be a hot one—above average temperatures are predicted across much of the Western and Southern United States—but that doesn’t mean you have to give up patio parties and pool fun in favor of staying cool this summer. Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, are a great option for keeping your outdoor areas comfortable even when temperatures soar.
Swamp coolers are a budget-friendly option for dispersing a perfectly chilled breeze among everyone on your patio—even the “grill-master.” So, how does it work? Well, do you know how you get a chill after stepping out of the pool on a hot day? That cool is the result of evaporative cooling. Portable swamp coolers, like the Port-A-Cool Cyclone 3000, put this natural process to work to cool indoor and outdoor areas. These devices use fans to draw warm, stale air into the machine where it comes into contact with a water-moistened pad and is cooled up to 20 degrees. The refreshing air is then distributed throughout your space to make it feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler than the actual temperature. Read more about swamp coolers
Posted by Tony on May 24th, 2013
You’re preparing for another hot summer—and so are we! To be sure you’re ready for the summer heat, we’re offering 10% off ALL orders over $150 from May 25-May 27, 2013. This site-wide Memorial Day sale includes all products (except Miele products). Simply use the promo code MEM10.
Whether you’re looking for an air conditioner, dehumidifier, fan, or air purifier—or maybe a few of them—now is the time to buy! Here are a few products on sale this Memorial Day Weekend: Read More About Our Memorial Day Sale!
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