Posted by Allison on June 8th, 2012
Is there anything worse than a broken air conditioner on a hot summer day? Frozen yogurt and swimming pools will cool you down for a while. But when you walk through your door after a day of fun in the sun, there is nothing like that blast of chilly air on your face.
The official start of summer – June 20th – is just weeks away. (Although here in Georgia, it feels like we have been deep in it for months.) Prepare your air conditioner for months of heavy use and sweating bodies using these 4 easy steps.
1. Clean or replace the filters.
If your AC filters are dirty, the entire system has to work harder to cool your air. This increases energy consumption and ultimately translates to a higher electricity bill. Also, some of the dirt and dust that a clean filter would catch blows through and settles on the coil. This keeps the coil from absorbing as much heat, restricting the effectiveness of your air conditioner.
Keeping the filter clean can cut energy usage by 5-15%, according to the department of education (DOE).
See 3 more tips for summer-prepping your air conditioner.
Posted by Allison on June 1st, 2012
Swimming is my favorite form of exercise. To feel so weightless while working every muscle in your body is invigorating to me. I’ve been on swim teams since I was twelve, and as an adult I try to swim three times a week; and almost every pool I have used has been indoors.
Is it a miracle I haven’t developed asthma?
For years, studies have shown that children who spend a lot of time in indoor pools have a higher risk of developing asthma than non-swimmers. This is traditionally attributed to the addition of chlorine to the water.
Actually, the problem with chlorinated pools isn’t the chlorine itself, but the gases produced when it combines with organic chemicals like sweat and saliva.
Learn more about the link between chlorinated pools and lung damage.
Posted by Allison on May 30th, 2012
It’s that time again! Each month, we give shout-outs to some of our favorite websites and blogs. These sites are written by folks who appreciate the importance of indoor air quality. Whether they suffer from allergies, have children with severe asthma, or work as respiratory therapists – everyone has a story to tell, and we want to share theirs with you.
Here are this month’s Air Quality Evangelists!
Green Building Advisor
Green Building Advisor is the go-to website for green builders, remodelers, and designers. Their articles are written by experts in a variety of fields – sustainability, design, energy-efficiency, indoor air quality, and more. This site covers everything about green building, from product guides to building strategies. If you are in the business of building, you should definitely check them out.
Winning Post: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 4.6 million of asthma cases in the U.S. are attributable to dampness and mold exposure in the home. Often rain and plumbing leaks are the cause of moisture problems. In this article, Allison Bailes III (Ph.D and asthma-sufferer) discusses a scarier reason there is so much mold growth in homes: wet, moldy building materials.
See the rest of this month's Air Quality Evangelists!
Posted by Tony on May 26th, 2012
It’s shaping up to be yet another scorching summer in most U.S. cities. Make sure you’re ready by taking advantage of our site-wide Memorial Day Sale! You’ll save 10% on all orders over $150 this weekend, May 26-May 28, 2012, using coupon code MEM10*.
We offer several new products to help you beat the heat, including air conditioners, misting fans, and dehumidifiers. They’ll all keep your indoor environment cool and comfortable during the fast-approaching, hot summer days.
Posted by Ashley on May 18th, 2012
May is the peak of spring allergy season and it also marks an important event, National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. This month is a great time to educate yourself on the best ways to relieve your symptoms and eliminate common triggers from your home. You probably already know that HEPA air purifiers and HEPA vacuums remove sniffle-causing allergens in your space. Did you also know that portable dehumidifiers can help you conquer your symptoms even further? The key is controlling your humidity.
Here are 3 ways these popular basement appliances keep your symptoms in check.
- Dehumidifiers stop mold growth.
Damp, humid air in your home (above 50% humidity) creates the ideal environment for mold to grow and thrive. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, mold can trigger the same symptoms as outdoor pollen. Using a dehumidifier stops mold growth by reducing the moisture content of your air and keeping your home’s overall humidity under control. To eliminate and prevent mold indoors, use your dehumidifier to maintain a humidity level between 45 and 50%.
Read more on how dehumidifiers curb your symptoms
Posted by Tony on May 11th, 2012
When you think about vacuum cleaning, you probably imagine your mom pushing around a heavy upright vacuum. But vacuums have come a long way since then. Lightweight designs and updated technology have changed the way we clean our homes.
If you still settle for traditional uprights with limited features, check out Dyson’s canister vacuums. They may (finally) change the way you look at vacuum cleaning. Here are a few features that many Dyson models offer:
Keep reading to learn more about Dyson's updated features!
Posted by Allison on May 4th, 2012
Last Saturday, a band of eight fearless Sylvane team members took their passion for better air to the stairs – 1,012 of them!
For years, the American Lung Association has hosted stair climbs in some of the tallest buildings across the country. The Fight for Air Climb event raises donations and awareness to benefit those suffering from lung diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer.
Georgia’s Climb took place at One Ninety One Peachtree Tower, the 4th tallest building in Atlanta. Over 400 climbers (including firefighters wearing full fire gear) hustled their way up 45 flights of stairs to honor loved ones and strangers alike struggling with lung disease.
Read more about Team Breathe and the Fight for Air Climb Atlanta 2012.
Posted by Allison on April 30th, 2012
What is an Air Quality Evangelist? This term goes to certain bloggers or writers who demonstrate a clear knowledge about and appreciation for indoor air quality. Their sites may focus on green living, energy efficiency, allergies – anything! Like the guidance on our site, the information they offer can help you better understand how your actions impact the air you breathe.
It’s time for another roundup of Air Quality Evangelists!
Go Green America TV
Go Green America TV (GGATV) is an upcoming series about getting started on an eco-friendly lifestyle. Until the series launches in May, host Jeff Davis (also known as the Go Green Guy) offers online news and tips about staying green.
Winning Post: The Go Green Guy breaks down NASA’s findings about house plants that improve indoor air – which chemicals were tested, what health concerns they pose, and the top 21 plants that help clean the air around you.
See other April's Air Quality Evangelists.
Posted by Allison on April 27th, 2012
You know breathing clean air benefits your lungs and heart. But what about your waistline?
More and more researchers are uncovering links between obesity and long-term exposure to toxins, chemicals, and compounds.
A recent hypothesis suggests that rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the environment might be contributing to the obesity epidemic in our country. The idea is that breathing too much CO2 causes our blood to become more acidic, which triggers neurons that regulate appetite, sleep, and metabolism to fire more rapidly. As a result, we could be eating more, sleeping less, and gaining more weight.
Read more about air pollution's impact on this rising obesity epidemic.
Posted by Allison on April 20th, 2012
Since its inception in 1970, Earth day has marked a time for festivals, rallies, and celebrations focused on the awareness of environmental issues that impact our planet’s health. People across the globe gather to plant trees or pledge energy conservation goals.
But what if you can’t find the time? You care about the Earth, and you’d like to do something to promote its well-being.
One of the best ways you can celebrate Earth Day is to inspect your indoor environment for ways you could improve energy efficiency, eco-friendly behavior, and indoor air quality.
You may be asking: how does my behavior indoors impact the health of our planet? While the air you breathe in your home can be drastically different than the air you’re exposed to outside, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consistently ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.
Find out how to celebrate Earth Day without leaving the comfort of your home.
Posted by Tony on April 18th, 2012
Whynter is known for having some of the most eco-friendly portable air conditioners on the market. Their features aren’t just good for the environment: They save money and make your life easier. Combining efficient designs with powerful cooling and convenient features make Whynter ACs a top choice for our customers.
Whynter’s “Go Green” Mission
Whynter does their part to preserve the environment’s natural resources. Their mission to “Go Green” means that all Whynter models use the eco-friendly R-410A refrigerant, meet RoHS standards, and consume less energy than comparable portable ACs.
Learn more about the benefits of Whynter ACs
Posted by Ashley on April 13th, 2012
Dehumidifiers are getting smarter when it comes to getting rid of stuffy mold-causing humidity, helping cut your energy costs, and being easier on the environment. The newest line of Soleus Air dehumidifiers leads the pack with the Soleus Air SG-DEH-70-2 Dehumidifier, recently named a Best Buy for efficiency, among other features, by a leading consumer reporting magazine.
But what exactly makes a dehumidifier eco-friendly? These days, it’s much more than an Energy Star seal of approval. Mostly, it comes down to energy-saving features that help reduce the machine’s impact on the environment. If you’re looking for a home dehumidifier and you’ve got energy and the environment on your mind, let these bells and whistles guide the way as you narrow down your choices.
Dehumidifiers with adjustable humidistats let you set your desired humidity level for your space. These give you more control over the humidity in your home and automate the dehumidifying process, so you have the best shot at energy savings. Onboard humidistats also mean that once your ideal humidity is reached, the fan and compressor run intermittently to maintain humidity, reducing the unit’s energy consumption overall.
Learn what other dehumidifier features help with energy savings
Posted by Allison on April 6th, 2012
For those of you planning to dye Easter eggs this weekend, you may be concerned about what kind of dye to use. While most conventional dyes are labeled non-toxic, many FDA-approved dyes are made with toxins like coal, tar, and other petroleum-based products. This can be an issue for those of us with sensitivities or parents who prefer to raise their children in an eco-friendly home.
Instead of buying store-bought chemical dyes this year, make your own Easter egg dyes using fresh produce. This natural dyeing method protects your children from chemical exposure, and you probably have many of these ingredients lying around your house.
Learn how to make your own chemical-free Easter egg dyes!
Posted by Ashley on April 2nd, 2012
Just in time to help you manage your symptoms through a pretty trying pollen season, a leading consumer reporting magazine has released its 2012 list of top consumer-rated air purifiers. Four of Sylvane’s bestselling models round out the top 5, with impressive ratings in allergen removal and noise level. If you’re in the market for a room air purifier, be sure to check out these picks as you shop.
Best Buy – Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier
Receiving the highest ratings out of 33 tested air purifiers, the Whirlpool Whispure 510 Air Purifier continues its streak as a Best Buy and best bang for your buck. Equipped with a true HEPA filter and a light carbon filter, the Whirlpool 510 received Excellent and Very Good ratings for allergen, pollen, and smoke removal on its highest and lowest speeds, respectively.
As noise level goes, at 40 decibels on its lowest speed, the 510 is just about as quiet as gentle falling rain—great for the overnight hours when you need a soothing sound to lull you to sleep. The Whirlpool Whispure 510 is designed to remove dust, allergens, and other particles from rooms up to 500 square feet.
Find out which other air purifiers made the list of top-rated models for 2012
Posted by Allison on March 26th, 2012
Last month, we announced the launch of our new Air Quality Evangelist program. The goal of this project is to celebrate other blogs and websites that appreciate good air quality and provide insight on how you can improve yours.
Now it’s time to announce this month’s Air Quality Evangelists!
Kathy Scoleri is a web designer, author, and mother of two boys. When she was expecting her first child in 2007 – and spending hours researching Bisphenol-A, hormone mimicking chemicals, and toy recalls – she knew she couldn’t be the only parent scouring the web for this information. So she created SafeMama to keep it all in one place.
Winning Post: There are many choices you can make to Keep Toxic Chemicals Out Of Your Home. In this article, SafeMama hits some major points – from losing the shoes while inside to using HEPA-filtered vacuums.
See March's Air Quality Evangelists!