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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Space heaters provide quick and efficient heat to rooms, making them a great way to stay warm this winter without sky-high electric bills. But it can be tough to know which heater is best for you. Instead of wading through your countless options, here are our Top 5 Heaters for 2012:
Vornado TVH600 Touchstone Vortex Heater
The Vornado Touchstone TVH600 is one of the most advanced room heaters around. This lightweight, compact heater uses tornado-like Vortex technology to circulate warm air throughout entire rooms. Its thermostatic remote control accurately reads your room temperature while multiple modes and safety features show off its versatility. A digital touchscreen, programmable timer, and automatic temperature control make it an easy choice for customers looking to heat entire rooms.
View all of our Vornado Room Heaters!
Honeywell HZ-817 2 in 1 Whole Room Baseboard Heater
Recently rated a “Best Buy” by a leading consumer reporting magazine, this Honeywell baseboard heater features easy-to-use manual controls, an auto shutoff timer, and an Energy Smart mode. It’s considered 2 heaters in 1 since it offers a Heat Blast option for quick, directed heat and also a Convection mode that evenly disperses warm air across your entire room. It’s perfect for bedrooms and other quiet areas because it makes almost no noise while operating and takes up little floor space. See The Rest of Our Top 5 Space Heaters!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
Once you emerge from your annual turkey coma, there’s only one thing left to do—shop! Black Friday 2012 is here and this year, you don’t even have to leave your house to get the best deals on top air treatment products. Beat the crowds, bypass the traffic, and save your sanity when you shop Sylvane’s 72-Hour Black Friday Sale, kicking off Friday, November 23rd, 2012.
Find great Black Friday deals on air purifiers, dehumidifiers, heaters, vacuums, steam cleaners, humidifiers, fans, and more—everything you need to stay comfortable and allergy-free in your home. We’re offering deep discounts on our most popular brands and topping it all off with a 10% off sitewide sale on any order over $150*.
You’ve seen the commercials. A Dyson vacuum steers gracefully across a living room, under tables, and around chairs, picking up dirt and debris and locking it away, all while never losing suction. Isn’t it time to treat yourself to a better way to clean? Save up to 25% off Dyson vacuums, including our upright, canister, and handheld models to help get your house in order for the holidays. Be sure to check out our newest upright model, the Dyson Complete DC41 Animal Vacuum, which features Dyson’s signature Ball technology, automatic height adjustment, and a deluxe accessory set to swiftly tackle pet hair, dust, and debris.
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.
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!
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!
We all know that secondhand smoke is harmful, but less obvious is just how easy it is to pollute your indoor air with cigarettes. Even one or two cigarettes will do significant damage. With the holiday season approaching, it’s critical to set boundaries with visitors that might be smokers.
Small children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. While it might be awkward to set these boundaries – especially with certain family members! – you’ll be protecting the health of your whole family by doing so.
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!