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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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Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets?

Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets?

David Chao/flickr

Air purifiers seem like a great solution to the odors and dander produced by your pets. However, some purifiers can be potentially hazardous to your pet’s well-being.

Having pets are awesome. They entertain you, they provide companionship, and some of them even protect you. If they’re allowed inside, they also make for great cuddle buddies. But with all that cuteness, there’s the occasional price to pay. One of these downsides is smell. You know -- that musty cat-litter smell? That’s the last thing you want to encounter when you come home from a long day of work.

The other, of course, is allergies. Even if you’re not actually allergic to pet hair or feathers, they can still aggravate your sinuses. When birds rub their feathers together, a fine dust is emitted that can give you a serious allergic reaction.

Luckily there’s a solution for your cuddly, but stinky problem – an air purifier.

Bless you!


Gerson Leite/ flickr

Before you storm out and buy the first air purifier you see, you need to know about a few things that should influence your decision. One big no-no is purchasing a purifier that emits ozone. This can be deadly to your pet parakeet, parrot, or flying squirrel (we don’t judge what kind of pet you have).

An ozonator (also called an ionizer) is a type of air purifier that oxidizes and destroys bacteria, fungus, mold, viruses and mildew, and leaves pure oxygen in their place. Too much of this oxygen can be harmful to your bird, and according to BirdChannel.com, the FDA has set a limit of 50 parts per billion of ozone from electronic air cleaners.

So if you have a feathery friend, it’s probably best to steer clear of anything with “ozone” or “ionize” in its name, or at least to consult your veterinarian before you fork over your hard-earned cash.

Pet hair can also lead to a sneeze or two, but it’s not the hair itself that’s giving you trouble. Just like humans, animals shed dead skin cells, and these little buggers are what really wreak havoc on your sinuses.

That’s where a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can help you out. According to WebMD, a HEPA filter works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.

Aromatherapy

While avoiding the accidental death of your pets with an ionizer is an admirable step in the right direction, that’s only half the problem solved. Improving the air quality might address the allergy problem to an extent, but that odor is still lingering around the house, right?

A carbon-based filter in your air purifier can absorb odors effectively, but if you have a severe urine-odor problem that could use a little more oomph, opting for an air purifier that has an additional carbon filter is the way to go. One air purifier that has just that is the Rabbit Air MinusA2, which can be fitted with an extra Customized filter made specifically to deal with pet odors and allergens.

Also, make sure that your air filter has the capacity to run 24 hours a day -- otherwise, you won’t be able to fully reap the filter’s benefits.

Verdict

So are air purifiers safe for pets? Definitely. By doing your research, checking specifications thoroughly, and maybe having a chat with your vet, you can find the ideal air purifier to improve the air quality that you and your furry, feathery friends breathe in.

Maggie Marx is a writer from South Africa with a penchant for Labradors and hedgehogs.

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Sick of That Nasal Spray? Try These Natural Allergy Cures!
With record amounts of Americans suffering from allergies, more people will be competing for that last bottle of nasal spray on the shelves of your local pharmacy. What happens if they run out? Worse yet, what if you're like me and can't stand nasal sprays in the first place -- who really likes that burning sensation associated with an older sibling dunking your head in the swimming pool?

There are a few natural remedies that can complement -- or in some cases stand in for -- better-known allergy treatments like antihistamines and nasal sprays. And with increased levels of pollen production caused by global warming, you're going to need these extra defenses against hay fever.


Neti Pot

Joel Kramer/flickr

A neti pot resembles a small teapot and is used to rinse pollen and other irritants out of the sinuses. A bit milder than a forceful nasal spray, this device can take some getting used to. It sounds like it might be just as uncomfortable as a spray, you’ll quickly get used to it and love how it soothes your irritated nose.


To use a neti pot, fill it with warm (read: not hot) water and mix in some table salt, no more than half a teaspoon per cup of water. Leaning over a sink, tilt your head to elevate the side of your nose that you're going to put the neti pot to. Next, bring the pot up to your nostril and tilt it, allowing the solution to flow into the sinus cavity. Don't try to hold it in — allow it to flow out the other nostril, and remember to lean forward to keep the fluid from going down your throat. Pour about half of the solution before stopping and repeating on the other side.


And that's it! Oh, and wash the pot very thoroughly when you’re done, of course.

Quercetin

SuperFantastic/flickr

Okay, so you've probably heard of neti pot before, even if you've never used one. But I doubt you've heard of quercetin. It's a naturally occurring compound that works by preventing the release of histamine, the neurotransmitter involved in the body's inflammatory response to germs. For the best results, take a 1,000 mg tablet every day, starting about two months before allergy season sets in. Quercetin is unsafe for those with liver problems, so it's best to ask your doctor before taking any.

Stinging Nettle


Here's another one you might not have heard about. Taking a 300 mg tablet of stinging nettle every day will provide temporary relief of your allergy symptoms. It seems counter-intuitive, given that stinging nettle is notoriously irritating to the touch (hence the name). However, it’s actually a natural antihistamine, keeping the body from producing it rather than preventing its release, as in the case of quercetin.

Butterbur

Another unlikely supplement, butterbur, is a type of weed that works as well as Zyrtec when ingested. There are a couple of catches, though. You have to take a tedious four doses of eight milligrams a day for the best results. And, more importantly, there's a chance that taking it will actually make your symptoms worse. Try it out, but some of the other options might work better for you.

Diet

Camila Rueda López/flickr

Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, and flax, to reduce the severity of allergies. Also, steer clear of anything you might be even slightly allergic to. The proteins that cause you to react to those foods are similar to the ones responsible for your seasonal allergies, meaning that any reaction you normally get from those foods will be exacerbated.

Hopefully these ideas are helpful in your search for allergy relief. Try out several of them and keep note of what works! Sadly, the tale told to us by our parents that eating local honey will help fight off allergy symptoms is a myth. Feel free to eat honey when you have allergies, but only for the sake of deliciousness.

It's an unpleasant time to be outdoors if you suffer from severe allergies. Pay attention to pollen count forecasts and stay inside when you're able to. Keep the windows shut, try not to use window fans, and purify the air inside with Rabbit Air purifiers. You need a pollen-free sanctuary if you want to get your allergies under control, and Rabbit Air is unmatched in both quality and design.

Dan Powell is a student at Columbia University who comes from a long line of allergy-shot recipients. He somehow won the hereditary lottery and escaped the miserable sniffles of the allergy-afflicted.

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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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The 8 Best Ways to Use Air Purifiers

Using an air purifier can do much more than just improve your indoor air quality; it can also improve the quality of your life. There are many reasons that people find themselves searching for a quality air purifying product, ranging from allergies to eliminating food odors. Here are seven ways you can put an air purifier to good use.

  1. Help Your Health

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, your indoor air quality has a direct impact on your health. The agency lists the following as common side effects of exposure to pollutants:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Eye, nose and throat irritability
  • Headaches

The EPA notes that these issues can show up immediately or even within years of exposure.

An air purifier works to do just that: purify the air you breathe. Millions of particles can float throughout your home or business' air, such as mold spores and dust mites, causing the problems that the EPA outlines. The right kind of purifier will filter out these contaminants and eradicate them from your indoor air.

  1. Battle Your Allergies

If you are someone who regularly suffers from seasonal allergies, air purifiers can greatly help reduce your symptoms. While a purifier may not be able to prevent pollen or mold counts from jumping outside, it can keep the condition indoors much more pleasant. These products fight the airborne allergens that are typical in spring and fall.

  1. Cut Down on Dusting

There are likely few people who actually enjoy dusting their homes. Good news for the rest of the population: air purifiers can capture airborne dust particles, preventing them from settling on your television, bookshelves and tables. This will greatly reduce the amount of dust that collects, meaning that you have even less cleaning to do.

  1. Make Your Home Fido-Friendly

You love your pet, but you may not love some of the issues that having a pet can cause. For example, every time your dog wags his tail, he is probably spreading dander, which can trigger allergies and even lead to breathing problems. Additionally, pets can cause unwelcome odors in your home. You can use an air purifier in rooms where your pet spends the most time especially where he or she sleeps. This can help to reduce the amount of hair, dander and odors that circulate throughout your house.

  1. Get Rid of Odors

Cooking fish is a healthy alternative to some of your favorite foods, but it can leave an unpleasant odor hanging around your kitchen or dining room. Aside from cooking, there may be guests, pets, or even your own children who create smells that you wish you could remove with just the wave of a magic wand. Scented candles may work well temporarily, but you are essentially just covering up one smell with another.

Fortunately, an air purifier is up to the challenge. You can combat cooking odors, diaper pail smells and more with just the push of a button. A purifier will actually eliminate the particles in the air that are causing the odor, rather than just covering up the problem.

  1. Fight Germs in the Office

Most people have found themselves in this situation before: You go into work one morning to find that a co-worker is sick but refuses to go home. This means that those germs are circulating through the office and resting on door handles and shared equipment. Check with your supervisor to see if you could add an air purifier to your workspace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that having a proper filtration system plays a key role in protecting not only office buildings themselves, but also the people inside. In addition to having clean HVAC systems, it is important to have purifiers to eliminate airborne germs.

  1. Clean the Classroom

Children have a way of bringing home every germ known to man. When they are in school, kids are exposed to a variety of illnesses because they interact so closely with each other. A purifier cannot prevent your child from ever getting sick, but it can greatly reduce the number of airborne particles in the classroom. You can check with the school or the teacher to see if you could donate a purifier to be used in your child’s room.  Air purifiers are also beneficial in the classroom for students that suffer from asthma and allergies. When kids come in from outdoor play, they bring allergens like pollen, mold spores, and dust along with them on their clothes and the soles of their shoes.  Using an air purifier in the classroom can help remove these allergens from the air, helping to reduce allergic triggers and allowing kids to focus more on their schoolwork.

  1. Reduce the Effects of Natural Disasters

A flood or a wildfire can cause major damage and destruction. Even when the situation appears isolated, there are byproducts that stem from these events, including toxins that are released into the air. Flooding can often result in dangerous mold growth, and wildfires emit a host of smoky substances that can make it hard for residents nearby to breathe easy. An air purifier will help to combat the potentially harmful mold spores or smoke particles that could be in your house.

If you are not sure which type of purifier to get, it is best to consult with a professional. He or she can help you to understand which product has the features you need.

Sources:

Environmental Protection Agency, “Indoor Air Pollution and Health,” 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Indoor Environmental Quality,” 2014

Let us help you pick the precise air purifier that fits your lifestyle. 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 Things You May Not Know About the Air Quality in Your Home

The majority of our lives are spent indoors, whether sleeping, in school or working. Unfortunately, the lack of ventilation found in many homes and buildings can result in higher quantities of contaminants, creating poor indoor air quality. This, in turn, can result in a number of health ailments. The type of air you breathe in your own house has quite the effect on your life in general. Here are five things you may not know about the air quality in your home.

A Little Mold Can Have Big Effects
Mold finds its ideal home when the tiny spores locate an area containing moisture. It doesn’t have to be a large area of wetness or even an obvious one, so if you have had a flood, a broken pipe or a slow leak, you want to be proactive in drying the area and getting humidity under control. Once mold finds its way in, it quickly becomes invasive, growing and damaging your property at a rather fast pace. However, it can affect more than just the structure of a building. Mold is transferred in small spores that are lightweight and easily airborne, making it easy to breathe in the contaminants without realizing it. For someone with an allergy to mold, this can result in sneezing, rashes, itching and other symptoms of hay-fever. It can also exacerbate asthmatic symptoms. Even if allergies aren’t present, mold can irritate one's eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Extended exposure can result in even more serious conditions and ailments. While the first step is to remove the conditions that helped create the mold in the home, such as fixing leaks and ensuring all areas are dry, the air needs to be purified as well to ensure the airborne spores have been removed.  

Better Air Quality = Higher productivity
If you have a home office, you might want to take measures to increase your air quality if you want to get more out of your workday. A study published by the International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, an organization from the Technical University of Denmark, shows that the better the indoor air quality is, the higher the output of productivity you can achieve. In fact, there can be upwards of a 9 percent difference based solely on the air around you. While it may cost a little extra to make the initial changes, it is projected that those particular expenses can be recouped by the boost of productivity that will come afterwards.

Radon May Be Present
Radon may sound like something out of a science-fiction film, but unfortunately it’s more than just a fictional plot twist in many homes. When naturally occurring uranium breaks down in the soil, radon is released. Openings in your home that are near this part of the earth can become a portal for the odorless, colorless – and very dangerous -- gas to enter your home. It can be a slow but deadly process. Once it is breathed in, it breaks down further in your lungs, resulting in increasing damage to your respiratory tissue. Over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year are now being attributed to radon poisoning.

Pets Affect Air Quality
Most people associate pet allergies with an animal’s fur. However, this isn’t actually the case. The allergen is found in the dander (dead skin cells that have been discarded) and secreted fluids from the animal’s saliva or urine. These allergens can easily attach themselves to the hair, which is why the presence of the fur is commonly associated with allergic reactions. However, even when that fur is cleaned from an area, that doesn’t mean the dander is gone. Micro in size, dander is lightweight and can become airborne for some time before finding another surface on which to attach itself, whether fabric, flooring, carpets or clothing. Vacuuming and dusting can remove some,  but these activities also stir up the air, causing some dust and dander to become airborne again. Even if a person with an allergy keeps their distance from a pet, they are still exposed to the dander simply by breathing in the air, which can trigger an allergic reaction. Air purification is necessary to filter out these pollutants that are too small to be visible, thus difficult to remove by manual cleaning methods.

What Gets Inside Stays Inside
Today’s homes are built with amazing precision and with much tighter construction, which is usually viewed as a positive characteristic. After all, that means warm air stays in during winter months, less conditioned air seeps out in the summer, and nature is kept outdoors. Unfortunately, this all means there is less natural ventilation in today’s homes. When doors and windows are opened, outdoor pollutants that make their way in can’t easily make their way back out again. This also goes for indoor contaminants such as chemicals associated with cleaning products, byproducts of heat sources, allergens, smoke and pet dander, which become trapped.

The risks associated with poor air quality are seldom visible to the naked eye, making them difficult to pinpoint and rectify. It is important to remain vigilant in removing pollutants from the air you breathe in your own home with purification and continued testing to ensure it remains the highest of quality.

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Using an Air Purifier for Pets and Pet Dander

 If you’re like many Americans, your pets are as much a part of your family as the kids. They love you unconditionally, they think you can do no wrong, and they seldom roll their eyes at you. While their furry little selves can be a comfort to their humans, they can also have quite the impact on the air quality inside your home. Over 60 percent of households today include pets, with many of the animals spending all or at least part of their time indoors. Since our furry friends clearly aren’t going anywhere, the next best bet for an animal lover is the use of an air purifier throughout the home.

Breathing Easy

When people have allergies to animals, it is not the actual hair they are allergic to but the dander from discarded skin cells or fluids secreted by the animal that attaches to the hair. These are the actual allergens causing the reaction, however it is so small that we often assume that the larger particle that we can see, the pet’s hair, is the cause. The dander can adhere to just about any object throughout the house, including furniture, walls, carpets and other flooring. The animal doesn’t need to be in close contact to the area where the allergens land as the small particles can be airborne for quite some time. The fluids are often produced through urine and saliva and can remain on surfaces and in areas where there has been contact. Both the fluids and dander easily attach themselves to a pet’s coat.

Dander and the allergens in fluid are both micro in size and can be difficult to eliminate. A person cannot locate them with the naked eye and so often doesn’t even realize the severity of the issue in their home. It can take reoccurring respiratory ailments or allergy attacks before many realize the source of the issue is in their own living space. Asthma sufferers can be affected greatly by this. About a quarter of those with asthma have allergies to animals or have severe sensitivities, which can result in tightening of the chest and wheezing when they come into contact. Since dander can remain in the air for a while, cleaning surfaces have no effect on removal of many of the allergens. Air purifiers work specifically to remove these small particles from the air, decreasing the occurrence of both respiratory and dermal ailments.

Due to its lightweight size, dander is easily transferred. Even if you do not have pets, there is likely dander in your home, as well as in public spaces that you frequent such as schools, stores, offices and hospitals. Petting, holding or being licked by an animal is a surefire way to become a vehicle for it but even visiting an area where dander has been present can result in the same. The airborne particles can attach to ­hair and clothing, moving into your personal space with you none the wiser.

Removing Odors

Pet odors don’t just come from having dogs and cats. Birds, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even fish at times can create strong and unwelcome odors in your home. A quick fix is to use a deodorizer or air freshener that is sprayed throughout the room containing the offensive smell. Unfortunately, that technique simply masks the problem without eliminating the cause. In addition, you are often spraying chemicals and newer – albeit prettier smelling – pollutants into your living space. Using an air purifier can get to the root of the problem, removing the actual odor causing particles. ­­

Traditional Cleaning

While traditional cleaning methods do make an impact on the air quality of your home in relation to pet dander and the allergens that come with it, it may not be the impact you are thinking. When you vacuum or dust, large surface pollutants may be removed but many times allergens that are too small to be visible are sent flying. Disrupting areas in your carpet where dander has settled can actually increase the amount of allergens that become present in the air you and your family then breathe. Coupling traditional cleaning methods with a filtering system assists in removing these disrupted particles from the air quickly before they find their way into your lungs.

How Purifiers Can Affect Your Pets

Having an air purifier in the home can be as advantageous to your pets as to the human residents. It is not uncommon for animals to have allergies themselves and removing allergens from the air can help to reduce their symptoms, such as scratching, biting, or licking their paws and legs. Animals, especially those of the smaller variety, can also be sensitive to chemicals released from cleaning products and synthetic fragrances. Mold particles can also cause detriment to your furry friend. When pollutants are removed from the air, their respiratory system benefits much in the same way yours does.

Having pets in your home should be a positive part of your life without causing worry as to how their dander is affecting your indoor air quality. Making a simple change such as placing an air purifier in your home can help you and your pets breathe easy and maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle.

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Indoor Air Quality Impacting Employee Productivity

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the smoggy atmosphere outside. Most people pay attention to the pollution warnings on their local news channels, even staying inside their homes or office buildings in order to stay “safe.” Unfortunately, these individuals may be breathing even more contaminants while spending time in their houses and offices.

 

Chatting Around the Water Cooler

At work, employees might be sniffling, coughing, and even wheezing, but they might not suspect that their office buildings are to blame. Instead, they may gather around the water cooler and blame the weather, the flu, or whatever seasonal plant is blooming outdoors. Some of the symptoms that occur include:

In addition to these ailments, individuals who are inhaling in polluted air-spaces might suffer from limited attention spans and low productivity on the job. This can cost companies that are housed in airtight buildings some big dollars. In fact, OSHA estimates that poor indoor air quality (IAQ) costs employers in the neighborhood of $15 billion in sick leave and poor work performance each year.

 

Employers Take Action

Today, companies are taking action to create a healthier workforce, but their tactics are often missing the mark. Ignoring their indoor air as a cause of employee ailments, employers are focusing on the home life of their employees and instituting wellness programs. These encourage workers to:

  • Eat more nutritious cuisine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Practice stress management

While these practices are certainly beneficial and generally good advice to help improve quality of life, they won’t help to relieve symptoms caused by poor IAQ. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s performed research that showed that an employee’s performance at work can be improved by 10 percent if air quality is cleaned up.

 

Reasons for Indoor Air Pollution

Why is the air inside office buildings so polluted? For one thing, workers are spending much more time indoors than they did in previous eras. Today, an American spends 90 percent of his or her time inside, and there are hazardous pollutants looming in the air, such as:

  • Chemicals in a Work Space: There are chemicals emanating from technological hardware, cleaning products, furniture, and construction materials.
  • Copiers and Printers: Volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, are emitted from printers and copy machines.
  • Floor and Wall Coverings: Ozone and tiny particulates are released from flooring materials and wall coverings.
  • Paints and Furnishings: Formaldehyde and toluene are just a couple of the hundreds of VOCs being released from furniture and the paint in a building.
  • Computers and Electronics: These products send emissions into the environment from adhesive, circuits, and plastics. Because computers and electronic gadgetry heat up, the effects are magnified.
  • Pest Control: Most commercial facilities have some sort of weekly or monthly pest control service to kill bugs, and while employees may deeply appreciate a pest-free workplace, these treatments send toxins into the air.

What Can Be Done

Although The World Health Organization estimates the nearly a third of all renovated or new construction has problems with IAQ, steps can be taken to improve the situation. After smoking was banned in American offices, for example, air quality drastically improved. Changes can be made to curtail other pollutants as well, for example:

  • Bring outdoor air in with proper ventilation.
  • Confine networked printers in well-ventilated areas.
  • Use slower print speeds on personal printers.
  • Install an air purifier.
  • Purchase green, low-chemical office products, furniture, and paints.
  • Maintain a stable temperature to discourage condensation and mold growth.

Every step employers take to create a healthier environment for workers can lead to increased productivity and a healthier bottom line. Employees will feel more comfortable and well, which may help prevent them from calling in sick. Small steps can lead to big results, allowing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.

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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How Indoor Air Quality is Affecting Asthma Sufferers

With industrial waste and the ever increasing amount of car emissions contaminating our air, it is easy to blame external air pollution for asthma issues. However, poor indoor air quality is now being pin pointed as having a huge impact on increased asthmatic problems as well. Here are a few ways the air inside your home can have an impact.

Secondhand Smoke
It is no secret that smoke is dangerous to the smoker, but to those around them there is also serious risk. Secondhand smoke places hundreds of poisons into the air including carbon monoxide and formaldehyde and can be instrumental in the development of asthma. Secondhand smoke affects the severity of attacks as well as the amount suffered by 200,000 plus children, with that number possibly being as high as a million. While being near a smoker who is currently puffing away is a large factor, being around a person who has smoked (but is not smoking at that particular moment) or in a room or household where smoking has happened is also a factor. The chemical residue that is left behind even after the cigarette is put out is still an asthmatic hazard.

Combustion Pollutants
Combustion pollutants are the byproduct of appliances that utilize fuel such as gas, coal or wood to operate. This includes water heaters, fireplaces, gas heaters and furnaces. Pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide can increase asthma issues by displacing the amount of oxygen that the body would otherwise receive. Maintenance and attention is needed for these appliances and a home monitoring system is helpful in signaling leaks or issues.

Radon
The natural breakdown of uranium found within soil, water, or rocks causes the radioactive gas known as radon to be released. Unfortunately, this natural gas can seep into a home through openings or cracks in its structure. When found in concentration, this pollutant can result in increased respiratory issues, including asthma. Unfortunately, it is not easily identifiable and an indoor air quality test is instrumental in locating issues.

Biological Pollutants
One of the biggest biological pollutants to keep watch for is mold, which can often result from having high humidity or areas covered with prolonged moisture in the household. If there is a crack in the structure, a leaky plumbing issue or flooding that was not properly taken care of, mold and bacteria can quickly set up shop and begin spreading, allowing dangerous spores to infiltrate your air and trigger allergic reactions and asthmatic episodes. Keep an eye out for any wet breeding grounds and keep potential trouble spots dry and well ventilated.

Other biological pollutants can include seasonal pollen, which can make its way in through open windows and doors, as well as dust mites or hidden excrement left behind from uninvited pests. Dander, which is lightweight and the result of shed skin cells or bodily fluids from pets and other animals, can also increase asthmatic attacks and affect the severity of them. Air filtration can assist in keeping biological pollutants to a minimum in your home.

Household Cleaners
Common household cleaners are often used in the hopes of removing triggers when, in fact, they can add pollutants to the air. Anti-bacterial mixtures, surface cleaners and furniture wipes are just a few of the perpetrators that leave dangerous chemicals behind that can irritate the respiratory system and result in inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Try instead to use more natural bases in your cleaning supplies such as vinegars, essential oils and other plant based items.

Building Supplies
Chemicals such as formaldehyde are often found in building supplies like adhesives and other agents used to bond materials such as carpets, paneling and upholstery. Formaldehyde can cause severe irritation triggering asthmatic episodes and increasing the number of attacks and severity over time. Check into the ingredients of building materials when doing any work on your home to avoid the inclusion of such items.

While it may not be possible to create a perfect indoor environment, it is possible to greatly reduce pollutants responsible for decreasing indoor air quality. Reducing these toxins can result in easier breathing for asthma sufferers.

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

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