Posted by Tony on November 9th, 2012
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!
Posted by Ivey on November 7th, 2012
I’ve moved quite a few times—for school, career, and even to find the perfect neighborhood once I decided to call Atlanta home. Regardless, I always had a familiar place to lay my head since I’ve had the same mattress since high school. Unfortunately, my trusty mattress no longer provides a comfortable night’s rest. After several sleepless nights, I have decided to say, “Goodbye,” and look for a replacement.
After trying out several types of mattresses, including innerspring and memory foam models, I decided that a memory foam mattress was best for me. The mattress seemed to contour perfectly to my body and provided just the right amount of support. Search over, right?
Not quite. I only slept on a memory foam mattress a few times, so I decided to do a little more research to find out about people’s long-term experiences with these beds. As I read review after review, one concern kept re-appearing: “Why does my mattress smell?” I was a little shocked to find out that the smell is the result of off-gassing. When a new mattress is removed from the packaging, it sometimes emits a strange odor as the result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being released. Some of the most common VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, ethanol, and acetone.
Read on to find out how to reduce VOC emissions from your mattress
Posted by Allison on November 5th, 2012
No matter your focus this time of year, the air you breathe plays a big role. Air pollution and the environment are key factors for many voters in the upcoming Presidential Election. Hurricane Sandy caused devastating water damage and impending mold infestations for millions in the Northeast. Even the type of tailgating heater you use at the football game next weekend can impact your respiratory health. See this month's Air Quality Evangelists.
Posted by Jenna on October 31st, 2012
In honor of Halloween, we’ve compiled the weirdest, foulest facts about the things in your house that really cause allergies and colds. Before you read this, put away those fun-size Twix bars you’re snacking on. You won’t be hungry anymore.
Dust Mites: The Vampires of the Insect World
You may have heard the commonly thrown-around statistic that dust is 90% dead skin cells. Gross, right? Turns out, the truth is much worse. Dust consists of dead skins cells, sure, but also the creatures that dine on them—dust mites. Specifically, their corpses and poop. Read More About Creepy-Crawly Home Allergens!
Posted by Kylie on October 25th, 2012
When I clean my home, I do so in order to make it a safer, healthier place for my family. That’s the idea, right? Well, you might be just as upset as I was to learn that many of the household cleaners on the market today contain ingredients that are detrimental to our well-being.
Fortunately, safe alternatives do exist. Find out how to choose healthier cleaning products.
Posted by Jenna on October 24th, 2012
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!
Posted by Tony on October 22nd, 2012
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!
Posted by Ivey on October 15th, 2012
Recently, 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.
Posted by Tony on October 9th, 2012
At Sylvane, we always stress the importance of indoor air quality and how it affects our health. After all, we spend most of our time indoors. Read more about IQAir's New Edition Air Purifiers.
Posted by Ryan on October 8th, 2012
Football 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.
Posted by Allison on October 1st, 2012
A true quest for knowledge never ends. We can tell ourselves we know it all, but what’s the point? The internet is full of information – some true, some questionable – and to ignore that would be a tragic waste.
Each month, we highlight some of our favorite blogs and websites that are good resources for discovering more about air quality. We call them Air Quality Evangelists. You may recognize them as you surf the web, as many sport the Air Quality Evangelist badge. See Air Quality Evangelists for September 2012.
Posted by Stephanie on September 25th, 2012
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.
Posted by Ivey on September 19th, 2012
Are 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.
Posted by Pam on September 17th, 2012
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.
Posted by Ivey on September 10th, 2012
Have you noticed a strange pungent odor in your home lately? Perhaps you have been coughing, sneezing, or suffering from other allergy-related symptoms and can’t find the trigger? These can all be signs that your home has a mold problem. Before you condemn your home and call a demolition crew, here are a few tips for identifying a mold problem, treating it, and avoiding future issues.
Most mold experts agree that small amounts of mold are present in every home. However, large amounts of mold can cause hay fever symptoms and be particularly irritating to people with allergies, immune suppression, and asthma, according to the CDC.
Find out where to look for mold, how to remove it, and more