» Indoor Health Matters

Celebrate Earth Day with a Green Cleaning Routine

Posted by Ivey on April 22nd, 2010

Earth Day 2010Today marks the 40th annual Earth Day celebration. Started in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Earth Day is still bringing awareness to pressing environmental issues around the globe and helping people discover new ways to lead environmentally friendly lives. This Earth Day, consider greening your cleaning routine to improve your indoor air quality, boost your family’s health, and protect the Earth.
Read more about starting a green cleaning routine

Consumer Reports’ Best Vacuum Buys

Posted by Ivey on February 19th, 2010

Best Vacuum BuysWith a home occupied by two dogs, carpet, and loads of potential allergy triggers, I am always on the lookout for a great vacuum. For their March issue, Consumer Reports tested and rated 67 different vacuum cleaners. Two upright vacuum cleaners offered by Sylvane were chosen as CR Best Buys and an Electrolux canister vacuum ranked among the top five for canister vacuum cleaners.

Vacuums were compared and ranked among similar models based on price, weight, replacement bag costs, and overall score. The ratings also figured in test results based on carpet cleaning, bare floor cleaning, total airflow, noise, emissions, handling, and pet hair removal.
Learn more about top-rated vacuums from Sylvane

Cockroaches Trigger Allergies and Asthma

Posted by Ivey on February 5th, 2010

Eliminate Food Sources to Avoid CockroachesCockroaches. They’re creepy, crawly — and a leading cause of allergies and asthma!

Cockroach allergens are found in the feces, saliva, and body parts of the insects. They cause allergy symptoms, such as irritated skin, itchy eyes and nose, scratchy throat, and can exacerbate asthma conditions. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, there is a correlation between exposure to cockroach allergens and the development of asthma in children.
Read more about controlling cockroach allergy symptoms and asthma

Fend Off Spring Pollen

Posted by Ashley on April 6th, 2009

IQ Air Healthpro Plus Air PurifierSpring pollen is back – and it’s in full force. As reported by CNN, ABC News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – and quite possibly, that thick layer of yellow powder on your car – this year’s spring pollen is apparently going to be worse than ever. (Let’s all let out a collective groan.) According to countless reports, we can expect higher than normal pollen counts in many parts of the country.

For instance, if you live in the Northeast, you can expect heavier pollen levels as a result of the area’s high population as well as the large number of pollen-producing plants in the region. The Midwest will also likely see a more severe allergy season, stemming from the late winter flooding and snowstorms, which have made the ground ripe for tree and grass growth. In the Southeast, there are conflicting predictions. While some numbers predict a less severe allergy season, allergists at the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, say residents in the region should hunker down for a particularly tough season, based on recent pollen trends and weather patterns. Read more about the spring pollen forecast

Nilfisk Backpack Vacuum Review

Posted by John on October 17th, 2008

Nifisk backuumsIn the home, a backpack vacuum, or “backuum,” is not necessary (unless you happen to live in an enormous mansion). However, the backpack vacuum is ideal for industrial vacuum jobs in which you have to clean large areas as quickly as possible. Built for speed and efficiency, the Nilfisk GD10 Backpack vacuum boosts cleaning productivity by up to 30%.

Ergonomically designed and weighing in at just over 10 pounds, the backuum is very comfortable. You won’t even notice the canister on your back. In fact, the backuum actually helps to alleviate back strain and pain because it eliminates repetitive bending over. The Nilfisk backuum allows you to stand up straighter and work faster. And since you’re not dragging a canister behind you, there’s less chance of causing an accident in the workplace.

Read more about Nilfisk backpack vacuums

Vacuum for Allergy Relief

Posted by John on September 28th, 2008

allergy vacuums“If you suffer from allergies and asthma, vacuuming does more than make your home look better,” writes respiratory therapist Shane McGlaun at “It can be as important as taking medications to control your condition. Vacuuming is an essential part of limiting exposure to asthma and allergy triggers, such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen and other allergens.”

McGlaun says that allergy sufferers should look for HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners so that allergens are not returned to the air through the vacuum’s exhaust. If your vacuum does not have a HEPA filters, then you’re simply moving allergens around rather than capturing them. This could actually make your allergies worse! Read more about vacuums for allergies

Posted in Allergies, Vacuums | No Comments »

Enter Your Pet in the Bissell Pet Games Video Contest

Posted by John on September 3rd, 2008

Do you have a funny feline, comical canine, or humorous hamster? If your pet knows any unique tricks, submit a video to the Bissell Pet Games today!

Note: Your pet doesn’t have to be a star athlete like the dog above to win. Cuteness and humor score points, too! Viewers vote on new winners each week.

Bissell pet vacuumThe Grand Prize includes $10,000 plus a Bissell Lift-Off Revolution Pet vacuum. On top of that, your pet’s picture will also appear on the Lift-Off Revolution Pet Vacuum packaging – and the winning video will be featured on Read more about Bissell pet games and Bissell pet vacuums

Deep Carpet Cleaning for a Healthy Indoor Environment

Posted by John on August 23rd, 2008

Bissell deep cleanerI’ve always recommended against the use of carpet cleaning with hot water extractors (also known as steam cleaners or carpet shampooers) because most of them leave the carpet damp, setting the stage for mold growth. They can also leave a sticky film on the carpet that just attracts more dirt.

Then I saw the Bissell ProHeat CleanShot deep cleaner. This system works much better than any steam cleaner that you can buy or rent. And, for about the same price as renting one, you can have your own to use whenever you want. (If you have light-colored carpets like I do, a deep cleaner will come in handy quite often!) Read more about Bissell deep carpet cleaners

Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum Review

Posted by John on August 21st, 2008

Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum 5770If Austin Powers materialized from the movie screen and asked for a vacuum cleaner that wouldn’t destroy his shag carpet, I’d recommend the Bissell Healthy Home vacuum. This bagless vacuum lets you to turn off the brush roll while maintaining the powerful cyclonic suction, thus allowing you to vacuum shag carpet and other delicate materials that might otherwise get scratched or tangled in the brush. The brush also stops rolling when the vacuum is not moving forward, making the vacuuming experience remarkably quiet.

My first question about a vacuum cleaner, however, is always this: Does it effectively eliminate household allergens? The Bissell Healthy Home vac not only features eight cyclonic chambers to suck up allergens, but it also contains a HEPA filter within a sealed system. The HEPA filter eliminates 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size, and the sealed system ensures that no dirt or allergens get back into the air. Plus, it has built-in Microban antimicrobial protection to keep mold, mildew, and bacteria from growing inside the vacuum. Read more about Bissell Healthy Home vacuums

Roomba Vacuum Review: Don’t Waste Your Money

Posted by John on August 16th, 2008

I recently attended my grandmother’s 90th birthday party (Happy Birthday, Grandma!) at my aunt and uncle’s house. I noticed that they had an iRobot Roomba vacuum, and being in the business of indoor health products, I just had to inspect the little robot.

I remember the first time that I saw the Roomba in a magazine. An intelligent, robotic vacuum that does the work for you! What could be better? “The future has arrived,” I thought. “Before long, we’ll all be living like The Jetsons.”

Well… Not quite. Read more about Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners

Sebo X4 Vacuum Review

Posted by John on August 5th, 2008

Sebo X4 vacuum cleanerI’ll admit it: As an allergy sufferer, I don’t vacuum as well as I should. When it comes to vacuuming, I like to get it over with as soon as possible. That’s what I enjoyed most about testing out the Sebo X4 vacuum: I was able to get my floors extremely clean with minimal effort. This upright vac is a powerhouse with an S-class filtration system (the British equivalent of HEPA). I knew that the carpet was clean without having to go over the same spot twice.

I prefer upright vacuums, and I can tell you that few upright vacuums match the cleaning power of the Sebo upright. The Sebo X4 contains two fans for twice the suction power. (Be warned: don’t get this vacuum near a frayed rug because it’ll suck the edges right up!) Read more about Sebo X4 vacuums

Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums Lower Plant Operating Costs

Posted by John on July 29th, 2008

When you have to clean a dusty 48-acre plant full of machinery, even the best household vacuum won’t get the job done. In this case, you need a specialized industrial vacuum.

Jim Ford, CEO of Harris Woolf Almonds, is in charge of a 48-acre almond processing plant in California. The plant packages 45 million pounds of almonds per year. But before the almonds can be packaged, they must be shelled and cleaned – and this creates a lot of dust.

“It’s a very fine dust,” explains Ford, “and it’s very difficult to sweep.”

Almond dust is problematic because it attracts insects, creates a fire hazard, and can interfere with the functioning of machinery. In the past, a team of sweepers had to work around the clock to keep the plant dust-free.

To combat the dust problem, Ford sought help from Nilfisk, the world’s leading manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment. Read more about Nilfisk industrial vacuums

Electrolux Pronto Vacuum Review: 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum

Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008

Electrolux Pronto bagless vacuumI tried the new Electrolux Pronto stick vacuum a few weeks ago. Although I loved the entire design concept of the 2 in 1 vacuum and its actual performance, I must admit that it’s not the right vacuum for my home – but it may be the perfect vacuum for you!

The Pronto vacuum is ideal for apartments, lofts, and small houses with mostly hard floors. While it works well on low-pile carpets, it is not made for use on high-pile carpets. (I have high-pile carpet and two pet cats, which is why I need a larger vacuum made for carpet cleaning.) Read more about Electrolux Pronto 2 in 1 vacuums

Halo Vacuum Review: UV Germ-Killing Power

Posted by John on July 16th, 2008

Halo UV vacuum cleanerI recently had the opportunity to “test-drive” a Halo UV vacuum cleaner, and I was very impressed by its design, handling, and germ-killing ability. Halo UV vacuums feature a UV-C light bulb that kills viruses, bacteria, dust mite eggs, flea eggs, mold spores, and other germs. UV-C light bulbs have been used to kill germs in water treatment plants and hospitals for many years, and more recently, some supermarkets have started using them to sterilize shopping carts. Read more about Halo Vacuums