» Indoor Health Matters

Condensation on Windows – Not A Good Sign

Posted by John on August 1st, 2008

I recently moved, and I’ve noticed some condensation on windows in my new place. This concerns me because it’s a sure sign of excess humidity.

When indoor humidity is too high, water droplets typically show up on windows since the glass is cooler than the air; when warm, humid air touches a window, the air cools down and releases moisture – condensation.

High humidity sets the stage for the growth of mold and dust mites, and it can also damage household materials. Since I have allergies, I like to keep the humidity under control. Continue reading

Snoring and Allergies

Posted by John on July 28th, 2008

Dennis Ledford, MD, recently explained the connection between snoring and allergies in the Tampa Bay Tribune.

“Nasal congestion, one of the major symptoms of allergic nasal disease, contributes significantly to the obstructed air flow that leads to snoring,” wrote Dr. Ledford. “Snoring, in turn, may disrupt the quality or duration of sleep and is associated with a serious medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.”

Allergy BeddingAccording to Dr. Ledford, allergy-related snoring is most often associated with chronic or year-round allergies caused by particles found on the bed or in the bedroom. Pet dander and dust mites are the two main culprits. If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom at all times. Invest in allergy bedding and an air purifier for your bedroom to keep dust mite allergen at a minimum. Continue reading

Vapor Steam Cleaners: Dream Machines for Green Cleaning

Posted by John on July 27th, 2008

Thanks to National Geographic and other news media outlets, more Americans are beginning to realize that toxic chemicals are all too common in modern, everyday life. From bottled water to cleaning supplies, hazardous chemicals leech into our lives and build up in our bodies.

Green cleaning, or chemical-free cleaning, not only protects the environment from toxic contamination, but it also protects your health! Because of the immensely popular green cleaning trend, even the most toxic chemical cleaning solutions are “going green” – at least in the design of their labels, if not in their composition. But cleaning solutions made from toxic chemicals are still harmful, no matter how green their labels may be.

Vapor Steam CleanersIf you’re wary of using toxic chemicals to clean your home, try a vapor steam cleaner.

Vapor steam cleaners harness the power of hot, “dry” steam to kill bacteria, mold, dust mites, and other allergens and germs. Continue reading

What Makes a HEPA Filter Special?

Posted by John on July 26th, 2008

HEPA FilterA HEPA filter is a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter. The first HEPA filter was developed by the U.S. military in the 1940s to prevent the spread of radioactive particles. Today, while HEPA filters are still used in the nuclear fuel industry, they’ve also become popular in homes, hospitals, and various industries that require contaminant-free air.

HEPA air purifiersA HEPA filter consists of a maze of randomly arranged fibers. As small particles pass through this maze, they inevitably collide with one of the fibers and stick to it. In the case of HEPA air purifiers, a large fan forces a room’s air through the filter repeatedly, thus ensuring a constant supply of fresh air. Continue reading

Santa Fe Compact Dehumidifier Review

Posted by John on July 25th, 2008

Santa Fe Compact DehumidifierEditor’s Note: The original Santa Fe Compact Dehumidifier has been replaced by the Santa Fe Compact 2 Dehumidifier. It packs all the same features as the original model, but has a slightly higher moisture removal capacity along with a more compact and efficient design.

Don’t let its size fool you; this 65-pint capacity dehumidifier may not be much bigger than a breadbox, but it’s twice as powerful as the 65-pint dehumidifiers at your local hardware store – and it’s more energy efficient.

The Santa Fe Compact Dehumidifier is made to fit in small places – crawlspaces, basements, closets, and even between floor joists. You can suspend it from above with the optional hang kit; make it a truly portable dehumidifier with the caster kit; or hide it inside a utility closet with the ducting kit. Continue reading

Top Environmental Control Products for Allergy Relief

Posted by John on July 23rd, 2008

Allergy medication can be an effective treatment for allergies, but it’s not the only treatment option available. Some people choose to receive allergy shots (immunotherapy); for many, these shots decrease their sensitivity to certain allergens. (I received allergy shots for mold and grass pollen nearly 20 years ago, and the shots worked well, but now I’m allergic to cat dander!)

The most effective treatment for allergies is environmental control. In a nutshell, if you can control the allergens in your environment, then your allergy symptoms will fade away. Environmental control is also cost-effective, and there are no side effects. Continue reading

Allergies & Indoor Humidity: A Delicate Balance

Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008

Perennial allergies (or year-round allergies, as opposed to seasonal allergies) are caused by reactions to indoor particles like dust mite droppings, mold spores, and pet dander.

Mold and dust mites are two of the most pervasive indoor allergens; they’re everywhere! Luckily for us allergy sufferers, these two organisms share a weakness: they cannot survive in low-humidity environments.

Dehumidifiers for AllergiesYou can prevent the growth of mold and dust mites by keeping your relative humidity below 50 percent. Dehumidifiers lower indoor humidity by removing extra water vapor from the air. Most dehumidifiers also contain a built-in hygrometer that displays the relative humidity. Continue reading

How to Kill Dust Mites in Your Pillow

Posted by John on July 20th, 2008

Dust MiteMost house dust mites have it made. They lounge around in your bed all day, getting fat off your dead skin and reproducing like little dust bunnies. Of course, these microscopic arachnids also go to the bathroom in your bed. Yes, that’s certainly a disgusting thought, but you need to know about this. You see, it’s the fecal matter from dust mites that causes allergies and asthma among sensitive people. Continue reading