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 Cierra on July 15th, 2011
While long known to be a harmful substance, formaldehyde was officially declared by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) to be a known carcinogen on June 10th, 2011. Included in the 12th edition of the Report on Carcinogens, formaldehyde was noted to cause otherwise rare nasal, sinus, and throat cancers as well as myeloid leukemia. Formaldehyde had already been listed as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” in prior editions of the report since the 1980s; its updated status to “known carcinogen” was prompted by recent examinations of occupational and animal studies on the effects of prolonged exposure to the gas.
Formaldehyde, a colorless gas with many industrial applications, can be found in furniture glues, car exhaust, plywood and particle wood, building materials, cleaning products, cosmetic chemicals, and biological preservatives, among other places. It is also released during combustion and is therefore generally present in fireplaces, stoves and ovens, smog, and tobacco smoke. Traces of the chemical have been measured in food and drinking water, and our bodies naturally produce formaldehyde in small quantities.
Find out how formaldehyde can affect your overall health and what you can do to protect yourself.
Posted by Ashley on July 1st, 2011
If you’ve purchased an air conditioner, dehumidifier, or other appliance with a refrigeration system recently, you’ve probably noticed a change in the type of refrigerant being used. More specifically, you may have noticed the words “eco-friendly” or “non-ozone-depleting” popping up on product packaging or in sales literature when refrigerant is discussed.
First, let me assure you—these new claims aren’t just lofty selling points made by manufacturers in order to try to secure a sale. There is truth in these statements. However, as an informed consumer, it helps to understand this new change and what it means for you when you purchase an appliance equipped with “environmentally friendly refrigerant.” Here is the lowdown.
Read more about appliances and R-410A refrigerant
Posted by Ivey on April 27th, 2011
When dealing with allergies, it can often seem like the symptoms come out of nowhere and the causes are even more difficult to pinpoint. If you have been diligent about keeping surfaces free of dust and debris, washing your hands frequently, removing your shoes before entering your home, and washing your hair daily, along with taking other precautions to reduce pollen particles in your indoor environment, yet your allergy symptoms still persist, you could be targeting the wrong allergy.
According to WebMD, you could be among the 5% of Americans who suffer from mold allergies. Mold allergies trigger many of the same reactions as pollen and dust allergies, such as itchy eyes, irritated skin, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, and even asthma attacks. People often experience allergy symptoms in their home due to the presence of mold, which often results from excess humidity. Dehumidifiers offer an effective, simple solution for controlling excess moisture—and mold.
Find out more about dehumidifiers and mold allergies
Posted by Ivey on April 5th, 2011
With the launch of our Sweet Dreams Nursery Contest and Sweepstakes last week, things have been a little hectic around the Sylvane office. However, now that things seem to be a little calmer, let’s move on to the third installment of our 28 Tips to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality blog series.
- Leave shoes at the door to keep pesticides, dirt, and other germs out of your home. Occasionally, the quick brushing that you give your shoes on the doormat is not effective at keeping harmful irritants out of your home. If possible, leave shoes on shoe racks or or other shelves located in a garage or other area close to your door.
- Choose a green paint to reduce exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Just because the noxious odors from your latest painting project are gone doesn’t mean that your indoor air is safe. Some paints can release harmful levels of VOCs into your environment causing headaches, dizziness, respiratory ailments, and other issues. Look for paints labeled “zero VOC” and “no VOC”.
- Use a carbon monoxide detector to protect your home. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled, so the best way to keep your family safe from this “silent killer” is to use a carbon monoxide detector like the Safety Siren Pro Series Combination Gas Detector. This gas detector samples your home’s air every 2.5 minutes for carbon monoxide. If this gas—methane and propane—is detected, visual and audible alarms will be activated.
Read more indoor air quality tips
Posted by Ivey on February 4th, 2011
As Americans, we understand that outdoor pollutants not only affect the Earth’s well-being but our personal health as well. That’s why each day many of us recycle, use mass transit, drive hybrid vehicles, and take other green measures to protect the environment. However, most of us consider our homes a haven—never realizing that our indoor air could be even more polluted than the air outside. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air can be two to five times (and sometimes 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air! This is further compounded by the fact that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors.
Find out what you can do to improve your indoor air
Posted by Ivey on December 29th, 2010
As the year draws close, most of us are reflecting on the past year and assessing what we would like to change or improve in the upcoming year. Most of the time, these changes focus on ways to be healthier and improve your quality of life, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or going to the gym more often. Instead of making the same resolutions year after year, try something new for 2011—improving the quality of your indoor air!
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution levels can be two to five times higher than pollution levels outdoors. This increase in indoor pollution levels is even more shocking when you consider that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time doors. The good thing about indoor air quality is that it is absolutely within your ability to dramatically improve it. Find out how you can improve your home's indoor air quality
Posted by Ivey on August 26th, 2010
Is your home making your child sick? A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports that dampness and mold problems in homes may increase children’s risk of allergic rhinitis. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis, sometimes referred to as hay fever, include congestion, sneezing, and of course, runny noses.
The study followed 1,900 Finnish children for a period of six years. Researchers found that 16 percent of children whose parents reported that damp conditions or mold were present in the home were eventually diagnosed with allergic rhinitis. Of the children whose parents reported no moisture problems in the home, slightly less than 12 percent were diagnosed with nasal allergies.
Find out how to make your home healthier for your entire family
Posted by Ivey on June 17th, 2010
A recent article in the CNN series, Toxic America, discussed five hazardous substances that most people unknowingly encounter on a daily basis. Among those substances was formaldehyde, which is particularly harmful to your indoor air quality. A colorless gas with a pungent smell, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can cause cancers of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts as well as nausea, skin irritation, watery eyes, and burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat.
We are often exposed to formaldehyde as a result of breathing the volatile compounds that are released from products that contain it. Unfortunately, formaldehyde exposure is an ever-present threat in most homes. The toxic substance is commonly found in resins that are used as glue during the manufacturing of pressed wood products, such as particle board, plywood, paneling, and fiberboard. It can also be found in glues and other adhesives, durable-press fabrics like drapes, car exhaust, and cigarette smoke.
Find out ways to reduce your risk of formaldehyde exposure
Posted by Ivey on June 4th, 2010
As a lifelong resident of the Southeastern United States, I am all too familiar with the delicate balance of humidity and coolness necessary to stay comfortable during steamy summer months. To achieve this harmony, many people look for air treatment solutions such as dehumidifiers to remove uncomfortable and potentially harmful excess moisture from their homes. With so many of these appliances on the market, how do you know which one is the best value?
A leading consumer reporting agency recently ranked two Danby dehumidifiers offered by Sylvane among their top picks for efficient, cost-effective moisture removal options. The Danby DDR6009REE ranked among the top five for large-capacity dehumidifiers, and the Danby DDR5009REE ranked among the top five as well for medium-capacity dehumidifiers.
Find out more about these top-ranked Danby dehumidifiers
Posted by Ivey on February 11th, 2010
Finding ways to protect and preserve our environment seems to be on everyone’s minds these days. So, if you’re searching for new ideas to add to your green routine or just feel like you aren’t doing enough, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pick 5 for the Environment program.
Pick 5 encourages people to commit to five actions that promote conservation of the environment. The EPA provides a list of ten actions to help you choose your five. These actions range from using less water to eCycling. If after scanning the list, you’re still feeling stumped, Sylvane can help. Here are a few suggestions that help conserve the outdoor environment by treating problems in your indoor environment.
Read more about ways that Sylvane can help you do your part for the environment
Posted by Ivey on January 29th, 2010
Maintaining an optimal climate in museum collections can be extremely tricky. Everything from the general climate of the region to types of items in the collection to the comfort of museum visitors and employees must be taken into account. Relative humidity is one key consideration.
According to an article by the Northern States Conservation Center that addresses temperature and relative humidity levels for museum objects, “there is no single relative humidity range that is ideal for all museum objects.” However, NSCC does recommend maintaining a non-fluctuating relative humidity (RH) above 25% and below 65% for mixed collections — noting that many museums maintain an RH of 45%.
Keeping a consistent relative humidity is crucial, as an RH below 25% “can cause embrittlement of hygroscopic materials such as leather and paper,” and an RH above 25% can lead to mold growth and metal corrosion.
Read more about controlling humidity in museums