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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

Spring Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Spring is in the air, but that means so is plant pollen. For many, spring indicates the start of something fresh and new, but for allergy sufferers, it is the start of wheezing, coughing, and other dreaded symptoms. However, with some simple spring cleaning, you can banish many allergens lurking in your home and pave the way for a happier and healthier season.

One great way to spruce up your home is by decorating with plants. Before you go running for the tissues, consider buying some air-purifying plants that are a great way to refresh the room, while adding a spring-like touch. According to a recent article in DNAinfo, aloe and spider plants are the way to go to bring a bit of relief so that you can enjoy the warmer weather.

While you are redecorating, throw away that old shower curtain! If you are using a vinyl shower curtain, it is easy for soap scum to build up on it. Try switching to nylon, organic cotton, or polyester that can be easily washed.

If you are allergic to mold, the fridge can be a hidden enemy. Make sure there are no hidden leaks, which can lead to mold build up, and that old food is disposed of, making room for all the delicious in season fruits and vegetables. 

With just a few simple tips, you can alleviate your allergy symptoms and make your household a place of calm and comfort.

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An Air Purifier May Be the Answer for Allergy Sufferers

If you suffer from allergies, you know that springtime brings more than just warm weather. It also brings air that makes you itch, sneeze, cough, and twitch. While you may not be able to combat the outdoor air, an air purifier is an easy way to clean up your indoor spaces where you spend most of your time.

What Is an Allergy?
An allergy is the body’s overreaction to an outside substance. When you have an allergic reaction, your immune system tries to fight off the foreign material, causing sneezing, wheezing, nasal discharge, coughing, and itching of the skin or airways.

Mild allergies can cause considerable discomfort, but serious sufferers may experience chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma or sinusitis. In severe cases, allergies can even be fatal. An allergic reaction may be caused by an insect bite or a certain food, drug, or synthetic substance. However, the most common allergic reactions occur from airborne particles.

Air and Allergies
Breathable air is primarily composed of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon gases. The air is also filled with unnatural byproducts from burning fossil fuels, as well as natural substances like pollen from trees and grasses. These particles cause major discomfort for allergy sufferers. Rhinitis and sinusitis are two of the most common allergic diseases. In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that nearly 40 million Americans suffer from one or both conditions.

The Allergic Defense
The human body naturally resists airborne particles in attempt to prevent them from entering your lungs. Your nose and trachea, for example, are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. These hairs serve to filter and trap particles before they enter your body. The walls of your airways also produce mucus in order to keep the pathways moist enough to collect particles that are passing through.

Under normal circumstances, these defense mechanisms work behind the scenes. If you suffer from allergies, however, your system goes into overdrive and mistakes natural particles for foreign substances. This triggers the release of histamine, which is the body’s natural inflammatory response. The blood vessels begin to dilate and the airways produce an excess amount of mucus. This is when the itching, coughing, and sneezing begin.

Cleaner Air Means Milder Symptoms
Allergies affect people worldwide, especially during the spring season when flowers are blooming and the pollen count is high. While there are plenty of anti-histamine medications that help slow these defenses, you may find that cleaning the air in your living spaces gives you the best relief. By filtering your air before you breathe it, you are exposed to a much lower amount of defense-triggering particles. Air purifying units draw in polluted air from indoor spaces and trap those particles and contaminates onto micro filters. Some systems even incorporate several layers to make filtration more effective.

Moreover, many air purifiers use HEPA filters, which are held to strict government standards. Made of stainless steel, a true HEPA filter traps 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 micrometers.

Buying an Air Purifier
Allergy sufferers looking for an effective air purifier should consider the following:

  • Choose a purifier that is designed to run continuously. This is the best way to ensure your air is always clean.
  • Use a HEPA filter to trap smaller particles.
  • Ensure a high CADR rating for larger areas.
  • Go for high efficiency. Most allergy suffers do best with an air exchange rate of at least 4. This means your room’s air is being cleaned every 15 minutes.

Clean air means a better way of life, especially for people with allergies. Modern air purifiers are a great way to fight these conditions before they even begin.

Let us help you choose the correct air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

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5 Reasons Why Buying an Air Purifier is Worth Your Investment

Chances are you have heard at least one person you know who has talked about, or recommended, using an air purifier. Because they are becoming more and more popular, it may be tempting to wonder if they are simply a fad that will eventually disappear. In reality, these carefully designed filters have been created to greatly improve air quality by effectively eliminating the most harmful and bothersome particles. These pollutants include dust, pet dander, smoke, allergens, and environmental pollution that always seem to find a way into your home or office. As you consider whether or not purchasing an air purifier is worth your investment you may wish to consider some of the most compelling reasons why this product is well worth every penny you will spend.

 

 You Are an Animal Lover with Allergies

Many people who adore animals and live with pets experience allergies related directly to the pet dander, hair, and fur that are a consequence of living with these lovable creatures. An air purifier works effectively to filter this dander from your air to leave the environment cleaner and healthier. In some cases, small children are more sensitive to pet dander than adults, so for families with both small children and pets, an air purifier is an excellent investment.


 Your House Smells Dirty

Sensitivity to smells is something a lot of people find bothersome and at times sickening. If your home seems to absorb odors from sports playing teenagers, a smoking roommate, dirty diapers, or your furry friends, an air purifier could be just what you need to eliminate unwanted smells and leave the air fresh and enjoyable to breathe.

 

Residents of apartments or employees in an office building, may also experience drafts coming from another part of the building that carry odors with them. Oftentimes, unpleasant smells may waft through into your work or living space. Positioning an air purifier at the entrance of these odors can help to eliminate them before you ever smell them.

 

 You Have Loved Ones With Respiratory Problems

Respiratory diseases such as asthma are unpredictable in the sense that certain allergens can immediately set off an attack that can reduce lung function and in severe cases, result in an inability to breathe. For families with children or parents with such diseases, doctors often recommend keeping air quality as high as possible to allow easy breathing and to eliminate the possibility of health problems from occurring.

 

Air purifiers are designed to filter air of harmful allergens that often trigger these attacks. Whether smoke, dander, or dust seem to make breathing harder for suffering family members, the right air purifier can increase air quality and provide everyone with peace of mind.

 

 You Live With or Near a Smoker

Studies have shown that secondhand smoke is incredibly harmful to the human body and can have serious side effects. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are specifically designed to eliminate smoke and tobacco pollutants and odors. If you live with or near a smoker, your decision to invest in a purifier could make a significant difference in the way you feel.

 

 You Have a Brand New Home

Moving into a brand new home can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. However that “new house” smell can be filled with pollutants such as formaldehyde which is a dangerous toxin that has been shown to cause health problems. An air purifier can help filter this toxic air and give everyone in the home a bit more confidence that they are breathing healthier air. This is an especially smart decision if you have small children or babies.

 

With these compelling reasons why investing in an air purifier is beneficial and rewarding, it isn’t any surprise that many people are making the decision to purchase one today. Increase the quality of the air in your home or office with this revolutionary product.

 

Let us help you choose the correct air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

 

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Rabbit Air Featured on Tiny House Nation

Tiny House Nation, a new show on the FYI network, is out to prove that bigger isn’t always better.  Hosts, John Weisbarth and Zack Griffin, both experts in renovation, present a new family in each episode, some who have already been living the tiny house lifestyle, and others who are just embarking on their own tiny adventures.  The homes are all under 500 square feet in size, but John and Zack believe that with a little creativity and careful planning, these small spaces can become not only livable, but they can allow homeowners to relieve some financial tensions, decrease their reliance on material things, and bring families closer together.

On Wednesday, July 9th, Tiny House Nation introduced John and Chelsea, a couple from Tennessee and parents to an adorable toddler.  Their tiny house move was a real big challenge; they downsized to a home just 173 square feet in size.  Though it might seem like an impossible challenge, the Tiny House Nation team created an incredible home for the family.  What was our favorite part of the finished home?  The Rabbit Air MinusA2 Artists Series air purifier that the team added to the kitchen!  The MinusA2’s thin profile and large coverage area was a perfect fit for this family, and by running the purifier in the kitchen they will keep the small space smelling fresh and clean.

Want to see more?  Check out Tiny House Nation on Wednesdays at 10pm ET

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Forest Fires and Health

Forest FireForest fires can be more dangerous than you might think. Though the most immediate danger comes from the fire itself, the smoke from a fire can harm people up to hundreds of miles away from the actual blaze. During a forest fire, a number of harmful emissions are released into the air in high concentrations, including small particulate matter, such as carbon monoxide, atmospheric mercury, and volatile organic compounds. As these pollutants are released during a fire, winds can spread them further than one might expect, leaving people unprepared or unaware of the health hazards.  Breathing in these pollutants can exacerbate symptoms for those who have lung or heart disease, and even otherwise healthy people can also be at risk for symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and headaches.  The longer one is exposed to these pollutants, the higher these risks can be.

We can all do our part to stop wildfires before they start. When camping, make sure to never leave camp fires unattended and douse them fully with water when you are ready to put them out.  During dry summer days, make sure to keep a close eye on barbeques, bonfires and even lawnmowers – they can create sparks that can ignite dry grass.  When fires do occur, you can protect yourself by checking local air quality reports and staying inside when air quality dips.  It is also advised not to do any indoor activity that will add to pollutant levels if possible. This includes using wood burning stoves, lighting candles, and even vacuuming, as vacuums can throw particles that have settled on surfaces back into the air.  Using an air purifier is the best way to keep the indoor air clean, and if you live in a fire-prone area, consider adding an air purifier with a true HEPA filter before fire season starts so that you know you are protected even before pollutant levels begin to rise.

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New Research on Trees and Air Quality

New Tree Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are shedding some light on an air quality mystery that has had scientists stumped for some time.  While we know that plants have a positive effect on air quality by helping to remove carbon dioxide from the air and providing us with oxygen, scientists had long suspected that isoprene, a molecule emitted by trees as a means of protecting their leaves from harm, played a part in creating particulate air pollution; they just were not sure how.   Surprisingly, the study found that when the isoprene molecule was heated by the sun, it reacted with nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere to create tiny particulate matter that became suspended in the air, which has the possibility to cause or exacerbate respiratory ailments, such as asthma.

But wait! Don’t blame the trees for these dangerous particulates – it is the abundance of nitrogen oxide that is the real problem. These polluting chemicals are man-made by-products of cars, factories, and other coal burning sources.  The more that scientists investigate the ways that particulate pollution occurs, the more effective our efforts at improving our air will be.  Over the past decade many major cities in the United States have been able to improve their air quality, but smog and ozone remain in much higher concentrations than what is healthy.  We can help to continue reducing these levels by being mindful about our daily choices – for example, making efforts to carpool or switching from plastic bags to reusable canvas ones. As we work on decreasing the amount of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere, we can protect ourselves from particulate matter by monitoring city air pollution levels before leaving the house, and by filtering particulates out of our indoor air by using an air purifier with a true HEPA filter like our MinusA2.

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Why Thunderstorms May Trigger Asthma

Lightning April showers bring May flowers, but they may also bring increased asthma attacks for those whose asthma is triggered by allergens. While rain can help your air quality by washing away pollutants that may be lingering in the air, a 2008 study by scientists at the University of Georgia and Emory University, found that emergency room visits for asthma attacks would rise in the days following a thunderstorm. They discovered that the wind and rain during a thunderstorm can break apart pollens into smaller pieces, making them easier to spread throughout the air and cause irritation to lung tissues. When winds pick up after a storm, they carry these tiny pollutants with them, and if sufferers are not prepared, then they may experience a sudden and surprising increase in their symptoms.

Managing triggers is one of the most important parts of a comprehensive asthma prevention plan, and research like this may help sufferers to better plan and prepare for the times when they need to exercise caution and keep inhalers or other medicines close. Keeping an eye on local pollen counts can also help sufferers by showing when pollens counts are highest, so that they can avoid going outdoors during peak times. While indoors, asthma sufferers can protect themselves from pollen and other irritating pollutants, by running an air purifier with a true HEPA filter, such as our MinusA2. By preparing for asthma triggers after a thunderstorm, sufferers can spend less time wheezing and more time splashing in puddles and enjoying the springtime showers.

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UC San Diego Researching Portable Air Quality Monitor

City Smog In December 2012, the University of California at San Diego discussed an exciting new advance in Air Quality monitoring. Researchers there had created a small portable device that measured air quality in real time, letting users know in the moment whether they were breathing clean air or if they had wandered into a spot of highly concentrated pollutants. This advanced technology allowed for those concerned with air quality to have more precise information about the environment around them, allowing them to make informed decisions about the air they breathed. Runners and bikers, for example, would be able to avoid areas with higher pollution, protecting their lungs as they exercised. The device could even be useful in indoor areas, as one study participant found when he realized that the air quality in his office was quite poor, prompting his company to take steps to improve the air for its employees.

We hope to see more research into this area, and look forward to the day when personal air quality monitoring is available to all. Until then, there are still steps one can take to be proactive about air quality and protected from pollutants. City-wide daily pollen and pollution counts are easily accessed on websites such as Pollen.com and AirNow.gov. These sites are great tools for learning about air pollution in your city, and can help to plan your outings during times when pollutant levels are low. When you’re in your home, you can be smart about air pollutants as well by using a HEPA air purifier such as our MinusA2 to filter out harmful pollutants and keep the air clean and fresh.

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What are Negative Ions?

Waterfall One of the wonderful things about hiking through the forest or lounging at the beach is breathing in the clean, fresh air of nature. The air in these places not only smells great, but breathing it can make us feel energized and excited. What gives the air in natural places such good mojo? Negative ions! Also called anions, these are molecules that have become negatively charged due to strong natural forces such as sunlight, wind, or churning water. There is evidence that breathing air abundant with negative ions has a positive effect on our mood and our health. Doctors and scientists, who are studying the effects of negative ions, say that they can promote alertness and positive feelings in some people, and may help to increase oxygen to the brain. Research is ongoing to learn how to harness the use of negative ions to positively affect health.

While negative ions are plentiful in natural places, they are far less common indoors. Many air purifiers, such as our MinusA2, now come equipped with a negative ion generator in order to infuse our indoor air with these negatively charged molecules. In addition to the possible health benefits, negative ion generators pair well with air purifiers because they can help to increase filtering efficiency. Negative ions are attracted to particles in the air, weighing them down and causing them to sink. You may have experienced this cleaning power yourself after a rainstorm – the negative ions generated by the storm help to clean particle pollution out of the air. When used in the home, negative ions are attracted to the particles of indoor air pollution, weighing them down and making it easier for them to be captured by your air purifier’s filters.

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