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.
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. Continue reading
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.
Posted by Tony on September 13th, 2013
It’s been a rough week for Gree Electric Appliances—more than 2 million of their dehumidifiers have been recalled for overheating and catching fire. This massive dehumidifier recall has people scrambling for information and replacement dehumidifiers.
If you need information about the recall or want a full dehumidifier recall list, check out the recall information and products included in it.
If you’re looking for a dehumidifier that HASN’T been recalled, you’ve come to the right place. Sylvane offers plenty of replacement dehumidifiers that can be sent to you in no time—so don’t let the recall get you down…and don’t let your indoor air suffer because of it.
NONE of the dehumidifiers currently being sold on our website have been recalled. Remember, only certain models from specific manufacturers were affected. All affected models have been permanently removed from the marketplace.
Posted by Ashley on September 6th, 2013
Oransi Erik Ultra Plus Air Purifier
What do Oransi’s newest line of air purifiers and a classy BMW have in common? They’re simply the ultimate in what they do.
Oransi, maker of the wildly popular v-hepa Finn and v-hepa Max air purifiers, knows just what it takes to build a quality air purifier that offers fast relief from your allergies and a great long-term value. Now, Oransi is shaking up the market once again with the introduction of its first line of premium-grade air purifiers. Take a moment and feast your eyes (or rather, your lungs) on the “ultimate cleaning machines,” Oransi Erik Air Purifiers!
On the outside, the Erik is a slim and sleek monochromatic unit that resembles a piece of modern art much more than your run-of-the-mill air purifier. On the inside—well, that’s where there’s a little bit of filtration magic.
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.
Posted by Tony on August 26th, 2013
Labor Day is an interesting time of year—in some areas it still feels like summer, while in others fall and even winter is clearly on the horizon. At Sylvane, we’re here to make sure your indoor air feels fresh regardless of the weather in your area.
To celebrate Labor Day and the end of our rainy summer here at Sylvane HQ, we’re having a huge Labor Day sale from August 27-Sepemteber 2. The sale offers 20% off select brands of dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and swamp coolers, and also features deals on some of our most popular products like Alen air purifiers and Dyson fans and vacuums.
With deals on so many top products and brands, now may be the best time to buy. Keep reading to see some of our featured products: Continue reading
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.
Posted by Ivey on August 1st, 2013
For many families, the garage becomes a multi-use facility. Whether you use it as a work station, place to restore your dream car, or it’s the practice space for your band, summer brings one common problem: soaring temperatures. Unfortunately, this heat can transform your crucial band practice into what seems like heat survival practice—and in some areas of the country, it’s going to be hot for a while longer. Not to mention the toll that keeping an attached garage cool can take on your electricity bill. Despite the heat, there’s no reason to list your car for sale or break up the band; instead, try out a garage portable air conditioner.
Portable air conditioners let you keep your attached or unattached garage cool within a budget. Even better, they take up very little room and are easy to wheel into place, so you’ll have room open for your tools, storage items, and more. A compact portable AC you can easily move in and out of your space is a common feature to consider.
Since garages don’t have good insulation and can get super-hot, it’s important to get a portable AC that’s powerful and rugged. If your garage has a window, venting a portable AC is simple using its window kit; if not, you’ll have to vent through a wall or out the main garage door—but either way, all portable ACs need to be vented.
Posted by Ivey on July 22nd, 2013
With morning temperatures registering at nearly 76 degrees F, there is no doubt that summer is officially here. While I am happy for the sunny, outdoor weather, I also live in a renovated bungalow that was originally built in the 1950s. Needless to say, uneven cooling throughout my otherwise-adorable home is a well-known problem, along with electric bills that rival the thermometer in terms of scary heights.
Like many who choose the charm of an older home, I’ve had to get creative with my cooling decisions to keep power bills within reason while, of course, maintaining a cool environment. Using fans to supplement my air conditioning has become my starting point for creating a comfortable home during the dog days of summer. In fact, Bob Vila points out that air conditioners not only account for roughly 25% of a home’s electricity costs, they also cost as much as 36 cents per hour to operate. Fans, on the other hand, only cost about a penny for the same operating time (when used on medium speed.)
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.
Posted by Tony on June 28th, 2013
The best keep getting better—it’s an old saying that almost always seems to be true. While I’ve never heard it used to describe a dehumidifier, it’s exactly what Santa Fe has done to its massively-popular Santa Fe Advance Dehumidifier. Many considered the American-built Advance the best dehumidifier around, and yet it just got even better thanks to the new upgraded version: the Santa Fe Advance 2 Dehumidifier. Specifically, the top-of-the-line crawl space and basement dehumidifier is even more efficient, quiet, and durable.
The Advance 2 shares a lot of the great features its predecessor included: it removes 90 pints of moisture a day and keeps spaces up to 2,200 square feet full of fresh, dry air. It’s also Energy Star-rated, uses superior filtration, and has multiple installation options.
But a few design improvements help the Advance 2 run more efficiently and quietly. The biggest change is it now offers dual-exhaust outlets for increased airflow and efficiency. As opposed to 1 exhaust in the original Santa Fe Advance, the Advance 2 uses dual-exhausts to quickly push dehumidified air throughout your basement, crawl space, or other area. This means it delivers the maximum amount of treated air in a shorter amount of time, so your space will be full of treated, dehumidified air quicker than ever before.
A more durable, sheet metal shell is another design upgrade. This update not only helps your dehumidifier last longer but allows it to operate more quietly than before. Santa Fe engineers also made their new model slightly smaller, so it’s easier to install and place in your home space.
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. Continue reading
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.