Sylvane.com » Indoor Health Matters


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 High electricity costs and expensive, outdated heating systems can waste a lot of money this winter.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 Your Cold Really an Allergy?

Posted by Ivey on October 15th, 2012

Woman SneezingRecently, I woke up with a stuffy head, congestion, and runny nose. My first thought: I seriously do not have time for this. My second thought: Where did this come from because I felt fine yesterday? If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, take inventory of your symptoms before immediately reaching for cold medicine because allergies could be the cause.

Allergies and common colds have many of the same symptoms, but the causes are different and need to be treated differently. Colds are caused by viruses, which can be airborne or passed by an infected person through handshakes, food sharing, uncovered sneezes and coughs, and similar social gestures. Cold viruses can also live on countertops, computer keyboards, desktops, dishes, and other surfaces. For most healthy people, cold symptoms only last a few days to a couple of weeks. Read more about differences between a common cold and allergy symptoms.

Tailgating Heaters & Tips to Stay Warm

Posted by Ryan on October 8th, 2012

TailgatingFootball season is a great time of year. In many parts of the country, people say it’s their favorite time of the year. Football season means friends, family, nostalgia, and of course tailgating.

After hosting and attending at least a hundred tailgates in my life, I’ve seen it all. Sports fanatics all around the country debate and argue that their way of tailgating is the best. But there’s one thing that all tailgaters can agree on: It gets cold in the winter! Especially when you spend hours at a time outside before and after the big game. Read some tips for staying warm at your next tailgate, without sacrificing your health.

How to Enjoy Your Patio This Fall

Posted by Stephanie on September 25th, 2012

enjoying your patio this fall

Summer has come to an end, and if you’re like me, you’re not quite ready to pack up your patio furniture, put away your grill, or move your decorations indoors.

Luckily, you won’t have to this fall! As cooler weather begins creeping in, adding an outdoor heater and colorful fall decor to your patio can help you enjoy your outdoor retreat – even on the chilliest autumn nights. See more tips for enjoying your patio this fall.

5 Most Common Household Allergens and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Ivey on September 19th, 2012

Sneezing Woman with AllergiesAre watery eyes, itchy skin, runny nose, or hay fever symptoms keeping you from relaxing at home? Chances are your home comfort could be compromised by allergens.

Here’s a quick rundown of five of the most common household allergens to help you identify the source and restore the health of your home. Read more about common household allergens.

An Expert’s Take On Air Quality and Pollution Risks

Posted by Pam on September 17th, 2012

Smoke Stacks

I’m an environmental consultant that specializes in air quality, so people are always surprised to hear I live in one of the United States’ major centers for oil refining. It’s known as one of the most air quality-challenged regions of our country, and needless to say, I get a lot of questions around town about air quality and the risks associated with where I live.

Here’s what I know:

Exxon Mobil’s largest North American petrochemical complex is in the middle of my town. This is where plastic ingredients and the specialty chemicals for foods and personal products come from. In fact, most of the other big oil and chemical companies are also within a half hour drive.

Find out more about this expert's take on air quality.

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.

Dyson Vacuums, Fans, and Heaters on Sale This Labor Day Weekend

Posted by Tony on August 31st, 2012

Historically, Labor Day celebrates American workers, but we’re switching it up here at Sylvane by giving our customers great deals! Along with your day off on Monday, enjoy discounts on some of our most popular brands and products—including Dyson’s top-of-the-line products that are always consumer favorites.

Find out more about our Labor Day Sale!

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.

Traveling with Allergies: The Secret World of Allergy-Friendly Hotels

Posted by Vivian on August 1st, 2012

Traveling can be fun and relaxing, but if you have allergies or chemical sensitivities, it can also be stressful. Luckily, hotels are increasingly offering “allergy-friendly” room options, and some hotels are entirely allergy-friendly.

According to a 2010 survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, in fact, 38 percent of hotels offer allergy-friendly rooms.

What do these promises mean, however? Can you count on hotels that claim to be allergy-friendly to really be so?

Allergy-friendly offerings can vary greatly from hotel to hotel, so as a traveler, it’s up to you to find out exactly what a hotel will offer before you book a room and stay there. Doing your research upfront will help save you headaches down the road.

Read on for more tips for finding an allergy-friendly hotel.

July Air Quality Evangelists

Posted by Allison on July 31st, 2012

Air Quality EvangelistsDo you ever come across a blog or website that makes you feel validated? One that answers the questions that have been burning in your head for a while, and some you hadn’t even considered? Us too.

Occasionally, we stumble upon a new website and think, “Wow…these guys get it.”

That’s why we started the Air Quality Evangelists award program. Each month, we share our favorite websites with you, including the best articles written during that month (in our opinion). These sites may focus on green living, energy efficient design, allergies – anything, really – and they show a clear appreciation for indoor air quality.

Check out the latest Air Quality Evangelists!

See this month's Air Quality Evangelists.

Can Dogs Prevent Childhood Asthma?

Posted by Vivian on July 24th, 2012

Dogs are beloved members of many families. They offer unconditional love, reduce stress levels, encourage exercise, and even lower blood pressure. And now, research has shown they might also reduce cases of childhood asthma.

According to research presented at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, children who live in homes with dogs may be less likely to develop asthma. In the study, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco fed house dust from homes with dogs to mice. Compared to a control group, the mice exposed to this dust had increased immunity to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is associated with childhood asthma.

While still in its early stages, the research suggests that children who spend time around dogs might have a similar immunity to this virus. This is exciting news for dog-lovers, especially since a study last year proved there’s no such thing as hypoallergenic dogs.

Read on to discover tips for healthy living with dogs.

What NOT to Clean with Steam Cleaners

Posted by Vivian on July 18th, 2012

what not to steam cleanSteam cleaners are wonderful, since they can clean just about anything without the use of harsh chemicals – car exteriors, sealed hardwood floors, leather upholstery, most kitchen appliances, windows, mirrors, and showers.

There are some surfaces, however, that aren’t ideal for steam cleaners.

Let’s look at how steam cleaners work. Essentially, they turn ordinary tap water into deep-cleaning steam vapor. They do this with heat – lots of it. In order to kill germs, they need to heat water to at least 225 degrees F. In fact, the most powerful steam cleaners, like Ladybug steam cleaners, heat the water as high as 325 degrees F.

Read more about surfaces that can't be steam cleaned and non-chemical alternatives to steam.