Posted by John on August 17th, 2008
I still clearly remember the day in sixth grade when I got called to the front office. I was wondering if I was in some kind of trouble when the secretary informed me that my mother was on her way to pick me up from school early. I was ecstatic about leaving early – until my mom told me that the bottom level of our house had flooded. My video games were down there!
My video games turned out to be okay, thanks to my fast-acting father. However, the carpet wasn’t so lucky. Instead of calling a water damage restoration professional immediately, my parents did what they could to clear out the lower level of our split-level home and dry things out. Unfortunately, they didn’t act fast enough. Continue reading
Posted by John on August 10th, 2008
Wyndham hotels now offer allergy friendly rooms designed by PURE Solutions. Dubbed “CleanAir Rooms,” they feature hypoallergenic bedding and medical-grade HEPA air purifiers.
Wyndham.com states: “The state of the art air purification system operates continuously, eliminating up to 98-100% of viruses and bacteria. In gest rooms, you’ll sleep on PURE mattress and pillow covers that are resistant to mold and dust mites.” Continue reading
Posted by John on August 6th, 2008
Last week in the Ithica Journal, indoor air quality expert Jackie Mouillesseaux-Grube wrote about the connection between indoor air quality and human health: “Daily behavior impacts indoor air quality, so we can minimize our exposure to harmful substances and manage the overall impact air quality has on our health by considering ventilation, excessive moisture and common pollutants.”
In the article, Mouillesseaux-Grube addressed two common indoor air pollutants: household chemicals and mold. Continue reading
Posted by John on August 4th, 2008
Steven Hong, President of Sylvane.com, recently appeared on the syndicated radio talk show “At Home with Cheryl Gillepsie” to speak about how to create a healthy nursery. He went on to cover all the basics of making a healthy home.
Here are some great healthy home tips from the interview:
- If you have a newborn on the way, paint the nursery well before the baby’s due date, as fresh paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause irritation, headaches, nausea, and more serious problems with high exposure. Low-VOC paints are also available.
Posted by John on August 2nd, 2008
If you’ve never slept on genuine silk bedding, you don’t know what you’re missing! Kumi Kookoon bedding is made from the highest quality charmeuse silk, which drapes you in silky smooth comfort.
My favorite thing about silk sheets is the way they feel. I tend to get hot when I’m sleeping, but Kumi Kookoon bedding doesn’t trap body heat. It’s very light against the skin, and it wicks moisture away from the body. Continue reading
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
Posted by John on July 30th, 2008
If you can’t stand the heat, don’t get out of the kitchen. Get a portable air conditioner instead! PACs, or spot coolers, have been around for a while, but their popularity has soared in recent years due to their convenience, versatility, and energy efficiency.
Here are the top five benefits of owning a portable air conditioner: Continue reading
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.
If 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
Posted by John on July 25th, 2008
Editor’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
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
Posted by John on July 23rd, 2008
Several studies have suggested that, in a typical home, the kitchen is by far the dirtiest room. This makes sense if you think about it; the kitchen is where you store and prepare food, which is a vast source of biological contamination. (Just think about all of the salmonella warnings for various vegetables in the past year!)
Of course, we all try to keep the kitchen clean, but even the act of cleaning often just creates more germs. Sponges, for instance, are notorious for being bacterial breeding grounds. Simply washing a sponge doesn’t destroy all the bacteria. The best way to sterilize a sponge is to wet it and then place it in the microwave for a minute or two. The heat from the microwave is sure to fry all living microorganisms. (Note: If you try this, be sure to wet the sponge first, and let it cool down before removing it.)
The AirFree Air Sterilizer also uses heat to destroy microorganisms – and the best thing about this air purifier is that you can literally “plug it in and forget about it.” There’s absolutely no maintenance involved – no moving parts, no filters, no bulbs, nothing to clean, nothing to replace. Continue reading
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.
You 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
Posted by John on July 22nd, 2008
This summer my baby sister (who is 18 months old) started taking swimming lessons at an indoor swimming pool. I think that all children should take swimming lessons – you never know when they’ll need those skills, and swimming is great exercise – but parents also need to be aware of the health risks associated with indoor pools. Chlorine byproducts contaminate the air above indoor swimming pools and have been linked to lung damage, asthma, and cancer. Indoor pools also increase humidity, which can lead to mold growth. Continue reading