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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

Do Air Purifiers Kill Dust Mites

 

Dust mites, a common cause of allergies and asthma world-wide, are tiny, microscopic creatures related to the spider. Although they can survive in all climates, they thrive in warm, humid places and prefer temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Favoring humidity levels of 75-80, they feed on dead human and animal skin cells and are often found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture.

Since these organisms are 0.25–0.3 millimeters in length, which is invisible to the naked eye, they float into the air when anyone vacuums, walks on carpet, or disturbs bedding. Once airborne they can easily be inhaled, ingested and trapped on your body. Although some people do not have a reaction to dust mites and their feces, as many as 20 million people in the United States suffer from allergies or asthma; so many have asked: Can you get rid of dust mites, and if so, how?

Health Concerns

Some signs that you might be allergic to dust mites are:

•    Runny nose
•    Itchy eyes
•    Watery or red eyes

•    Sneezing

•    Congestion of the nose
•    Coughing
•    Post nasal drip
•    Pain and pressure in the face
•    Itchy nose and throat
•    Difficulty sleeping
•    Swollen eyes
•    Puffy, bluish skin under the eyes
•    Rubbing of the nose, typically in children

If a dust mite allergy persists and triggers asthma, a person may also experience:

•    Tightness or pain in the chest
•    Trouble breathing
•    Wheezing
•    Shortness of breath and coughing that interferes with sleep

How to Control Dust Mites and Manage Your Symptoms

By following a few precautionary steps, you can reduce your symptoms and minimize your exposure to these unwanted guests in your home. Here are a few solutions:

1.    Dust mite covers are recommended to help prevent the spreading of dust mites in your home. To keep them out of the bedding, you can cover your mattress, pillows, and box spring with a fabric that has pores small enough to keep dust mites and their waste products out.

2.    Wash your bedding, as well as the pillows, comforters and mattress pads with hot water, preferably over 130 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill dust mites. Once a week is recommended, and if hot water is not available, using a special laundry detergent that can kill dust mites at any temperature is recommended.

3.    If washing your items is not feasible, i.e pillows, delicate fabrics and stuffed animals, place them in a large plastic bag and in the freezer for up to 48 hours. This extreme temperature will kill dust mites.

4.    Since dust mites are fond of humid environments, operating a humidifier to keep your humidity levels at 50 percent or less will help stop them from multiplying. It’s ideal to keep your humidity at 35 percent, although very low humidity may be uncomfortable for some people.    

5.    Clear your home of clutter. This could mean the corner with your childhood stuffed animals, or your blanket fort, complete with a pillow pyramid. Areas that are not well maintained can become a breeding ground for dust mites, so keeping your home, especially those areas that are carpeted, as neat as possible can help keep dust mites under control.

6.    Vacuuming properly is crucial to keeping dust mite populations down in each room, especially those that have carpeting. The problem with most vacuums is that they cannot capture particles as small as dust mites, so after sucking them out of the carpet, they quickly and easily, return back into your environment. A vacuum with a HEPA filter will not only trap dust mites, but it will actually pick up their waste and eggs as well.

7.    Dust mites and their waste products are weightless, so they can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time. Operating an air purifier with a true HEPA filter will pull in the microscopic particles into the filters so that they are no longer airborne. For an extra added oomph, the MinusA2 has a Customized filter, called the Germ Defense, that’s been specially designed to trap and reduce dust mites, as well as mold spores and other particles.

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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November is National Sleep Comfort Month

The cool, crisp, and rainy days of November make this the perfect time of year to celebrate National Sleep Comfort month, so curl up, get comfortable, and change your sleep habits to make sure that every night you get the rest you need.

Getting a good night’s sleep does much more for your body than simply making you feel rested and awake in the morning. Doctors and scientists have found that the amount of sleep we get has a big impact on many areas of health; from improving our memories to strengthening our immune systems. Despite the benefits of getting a full night’s sleep, polls across the United States continually show that as many as 40% of Americans are regularly sleeping fewer than the doctor recommended 7-9 hours a night. There are many reasons that people miss out on sleep, but improving even one or two sleeping habits can not only make you less reliant on that cup of coffee every morning, but it can help to improve your overall well-being. Here are some of the ways that you can help to improve your sleep habits:

Turn Out the Lights
Though sleeping in the dark seems obvious, many of us don’t realize that simply turning off the lamp is not enough to get it truly dark in the bedroom. Many gadgets and gizmos have LED lights that shine all the time, and lights from neighbors and streetlamps can slip in through curtains. Exposure to light that is similar to sunlight – that is, lights with many blue hues – can suppress levels of melatonin and make it harder to catch your zzzz’s. Using black-out curtains and an eye mask is the best way to make sure that you get true darkness.

Wind Down with a Nightly Ritual
It takes time for your body to relax and shift from active daytime mode into readiness for sleep. If you are active right until the time you drop into bed, then you are more likely to toss and turn as your body gets used to the idea that it is really time for sleep. Instead of going directly from watching a movie or working on the computer into bed, give yourself an hour of quiet time with screens off before you get under the covers.

Enhance Your Bedroom Environment
Making your bedroom into a sanctuary of rest and relaxation is one of the best ways to ensure that you make the most out of your time asleep. Comfortable bedding is important, and choosing the right softness of pillows and the right number of blankets can keep you from tossing and turning. Also choosing a hypo-allergenic mattress cover can help keep pesky, allergy triggering dust mites from overrunning the bed. If you ever wake up in the middle of the night coughing, or find yourself with a recurring scratchy throat in the morning, invest in a room air purifier. An air purifier with a true HEPA filter is one of the best ways to remove pollutants, like mold spores, dust mites, and pollen that can trigger allergic reactions at home.

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Dealing with Dust Mites

DustDust Mite mites may be tiny, but they can cause big problems for those with allergies. These microscopic bugs feed on dead skin and hair, and can be found lurking on fibrous materials like bedding and carpets. Since they thrive in environments that are warm and humid, our bedrooms are one of their ideal habitats. While these creepy crawlies are harmless for most people, dust mites and their droppings contain a protein that can cause allergic reactions for some people when they are inhaled. Though the worst symptoms of dust mite allergies usually occur after direct contact with a contaminated area, dust mites and their droppings can be released into the air as well, making it possible to inhale them and suffer a reaction even if you are not in direct contact with furniture.

Tackling dust mites can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to control their numbers. One of the best things to do is to cover beds in special air-tight plastic. This alone can drastically reduce the amount of dust mites in the home and can help those with allergies sleep better at night. Frequent cleaning can also help to deter dust mites; so make sure to wash sheets and blankets often and vacuum carpets and furniture thoroughly. You may even wish to steam clean furniture on a regular basis, as high heat can kill dust mites. Adding an air purifier can help to capture any dust mites or dust mite droppings that escape from carpets or furniture into the air. Air purifiers with HEPA filters, such as our MinusA2, are particularly well suited to this task.  While it may seem hard to reduce dust mites numbers, the effort will feel well worth it when you and your loved ones begin to breathe better.

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