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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

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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Be Aware of Indoor Air Quality

Air pollution affects more than just outdoor air; dirty air can be inside every building you walk into, including your home and workplace. If there is a pollution alert outside, you might decide to stay inside to remain safe. This, unfortunately, doesn’t always help. In fact, your indoor air may be even more polluted than what you’re breathing outside.

What’s In the Air?
Outside, smog, haze, or smog hangs in the atmosphere. If there’s been a fire nearby, there might be smoke dirtying up the environment. Factories near you might be belching out all sorts of irritating pollutants and particulates. Inside your home or office, it’s likely that you’re breathing in harmful substances, too, such as:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Fire-retardants
  • Lead
  • Radon
  • Chemicals
  • Fragrances
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Asbestos

How do all these indoor pollutants enter your space? They appear in multiple ways. For example, that new pseudo-leather sofa with its odd smell is releasing chemicals as it settles in. So is the laminate flooring you just had installed in your den. If you have dogs or cats, you already know where the pet dander originated. Your cleaning products also impact your environment, as most conventional cleansers get rid of grime through chemical concoctions.

Ventilation and Other Factors
There are multiple factors that magnify the effects of poor indoor air quality, also referred to as IAQ. Some of them you have more control over than others, for example:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Remodeling dust
  • Humidity levels
  • Leaks from roofs or plumbing

A poorly ventilated building is a surefire recipe for IAQ, as the healthiest spaces are those with free-flowing outdoor air. Remodeling jobs that involve drywall or lumber generate an amazing amount of microscopic dust particles that coat every surface and are inhaled as a matter of course. Low and high humidity levels impact air quality and leaks often lead to mildew and mold.

Modern Times Are Worse for IAQ
Indoor air has become more of a problem in modern times. This is because of several factors.

  • Central Air Conditioning and Heating: Today, our homes and offices have climate control systems that require closed windows and doors.
  • Chemical Cleansers: Many of the cleaning products we buy in the store are laden with harmful chemicals. If you want a spotless carpet or shiny faucet, you usually apply a squirt or sprinkle of air contaminants to accomplish your task.
  • Interior Decorating: More furnishings and flooring products are man-made from artificial materials than in yesteryear. For example, instead of having hardwood floors, homeowners install laminate reproductions. Polyester and plastic have taken the place of cotton and wood.
  • Time Indoors: People spend much more time indoors than they did in the past. This is true of workers on the job, school children in classrooms rather than on the playground, and family life in general (kids playing video games instead of freeze-tag, parents watching TV instead of taking walks).

Health Effects
When humans spend long hours inhaling polluted air, their health is adversely impacted. Many maladies and conditions are directly linked to IAQ, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Allergies
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Eye, nose, lungs, throat irritation

What Can You Do About It?
Happily, there are steps that you can take to improve the quality of your air. To start with, be more aware of what you bring into your home or office building. Here are some actions that can change the IAQ of your interior world:

  • Clean Your Vents: Cleaning the ventilation ductwork of your HVAC systems can make a substantial difference.
  • Open Your Windows and Doors: It’s a wise idea to open up your house or office building to the outside world to invite some fresh air in.
  • Use an Air Purifier: These units draw in dirty air and trap contaminates in a filter.
  • Read Labels: Take some time to read the labels on cleansers and furnishings that you bring into your home or work environment.
  • HEPA Vacuum: You can suck up allergen concentrations in your house by vacuuming with a machine that has a HEPA filter. You can even remove lead and other toxins with this type of vacuum cleaner, especially one with a rotating brush and powerful suction.
  • Mop with Water Only: After vacuuming, mop with plain water. Skip the detergents and just wash your floors with good old H2O.
  • Take Your Shoes Off: A helpful household custom is removing your shoes at the door. This keeps outdoor pollutants out of your household.

Be Mindful
Clean air is one of the things that all living beings need to live healthy lives. You don’t have to shrug your shoulders and accept poor IAQ as a phenomenon of modern existence. By making a few lifestyle changes and being mindful of what you inhale, you can help to improve your health.

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 Best Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

It’s no secret that vehicle and industrial emissions negatively impact air quality outdoors. However, when it comes to purifying the air that you breathe at home, don’t forget to think inside the box. While today’s energy-efficient homes are great at reducing heat transfer and lowering energy costs, they also trap in airborne toxins that are produced by synthetic building materials, cleaning supplies, and other chemicals used inside. This is sometimes referred to as Sick Building Syndrome. Indeed, the toxins in your home can be quite harmful, especially to those who may be suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions. In fact, some cases of indoor air pollution may be far worse than any corresponding outdoor conditions. Fortunately, there is a solution for purifying your indoor space, one that will save money and the environment at the same time – houseplants.

A Special Thanks to NASA
Plants are essential to human life; they convert carbon dioxide into useable oxygen. As a bonus, they also remove dangerous elements from the air. These toxins are either metabolized into harmless byproducts or simply absorbed into a plant’s tissues. It was NASA who first began researching houseplants during the late 1980s in an effort to maintain healthier air for astronauts who were on extended missions in orbit. They found that some botanical species are just as adept at filtering interior spaces as they are at cleaning outside air.

Most common houseplants come from tropical regions where they have adapted to low light under thick canopy ceilings. As a result, these species are expert photosynthisizers and can also absorb some of the most common and toxic airborne pollutants, including:

  • Formaldehyde –Released from cleaners and building materials like plywood and foam insulation.
  • Benzene –Emitted from paints, oils, and synthetic plastics.
  • Trichloroethylene –Found in adhesives, varnishes and paints.
  • Toluene –A common byproduct of nail polish and glue.

Seven Effective Houseplants
NASA scientists studied 19 different species over the course of two years. Here are some houseplants that are highly effective at purifying indoor air:

  1. Weeping figFicus benjamina2 –Also known as a ficus tree, the Ficus benjamina is a popular evergreen plant that helps rid your home of formaldehyde, toluene, and even xylene. It grows best under bright indirect light, with frequent watering, and at higher temperatures. Unfortunately, it is poisonous to animals, so you want to make sure to place it in an area that your dog or cat cannot access.

 

  1. Bamboo palmChamaedorea costaricana –As its common name suggests, the Chamaedorea sefritzii is a cross between bamboo and a palm. Due to its bamboo-like stalk, it is sometimes referred to as a bamboo reed plant. This is one of most popular houseplants all over the world. Not only do you get the lavish look of a palm, but you also get that ancient tranquility provided by bamboo. Perhaps this is because it is one of the best species on NASA’s list of formaldehyde-cleansing plants. This makes it a good choice for today’s synthetic-based homes. Try to mimic its natural environment with moist soil and low light.

 

  1. Snake plantSnake plant –The Sansevieria tifasciata is also famously called the mother-in-law plant. This African native is great at absorbing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, and nitrogen oxide. This is a hardy beginner plant that requires little attention. While it grows well under bright light, it can easily adapt to darker corners as well.

 

  1. Peace lilySpathiphyllum cochlearispathum RTBGSpathiphyllum includes many species that all share similar features. It is known in Hawaii as the Mauna Loa. This is a highly popular choice due to its beautiful white flowers and dark green foliage. It is highly effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Moreover, it tends to prefer low light and little water, so it’s fairly easy to maintain. The peace lily is moderately toxic, so avoid ingesting the leaves or flowers. More than anything, however, it’s just plain intoxicating.

 

  1. Hedera helix 'Buttercup' Urn 2000pxEnglish Ivy –The Hera helix is an outdoor vine that has been a vital part of the European landscape for centuries. Its invasive nature can be tamed by keeping it indoors. Here, it helps to remove formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene. As a bonus, it even reduces airborne mold. When it comes to care, it generally grows best under direct light at a constant temperature. Make sure to provide plenty of water in addition to well-drained soil.

 

  1. Gerbera daisy –This is one of two species from the NASA study that is not considered a true houseplant; however, the Gerbera jamesonii is the most effective for treating benzene-contaminated air. Many common tobacco products on the market contain significant amounts of benzene. Therefore, smokers may want to consider the hidden benefits of this showy piece; it’s known for its stunning, brightly-colored flowers. Just make sure to give it plenty of direct sunlight.

 

Maximizing the Air Purification Benefits of Your Plants
When taking advantage of the cleansing power of plants, don’t narrow in on the leaves alone. According to NASA, the root zone is where the action happens. In order to encourage maximum absorption, you need make sure that your soil is exposed to air. It helps to use pots that are at least six inches wide. You can even go one step further by incorporating an activated carbon filter near the plant’s base.

As another general rule of thumb, avoid overwatering these in-home cleansers. Not only does this kill most roots, but it also creates excess moisture, which can lead to further problems like mold. In addition, it is helpful to try to create the dense, low-light conditions that most of these jungle-dwellers prefer.

Ultimately, the more houseplants you have, the cleaner the air in your home. In fact, NASA suggests using one plant for every 100 feet of living space. With all the chemicals, detergents, and synthetics that may be used in your home on a daily basis, don’t you think it is important to keep an eye on those hidden health risks? Why not let nature take some of the responsibility? Get in touch with your local nursery for more tips and suggestions. Ultimately, houseplants are a great way to improve the look of your home and the well being of your family.

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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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Five Fun Facts About Air

Peace Lily1) Flowers can brighten up any home décor, but did you know that they can also help to add oxygen to the air and filter out pollutants?  While using plants alone won’t totally purifiy the air, you can give your air purifier a boost by placing certain potted plants around the home.  Some flower powerhouses include elegant peace lilies, which can help reduce harmful VOCs, such as formaldehyde, or colorful gerbera daisies that can help to filter out benzene.

2) Take a deep breath! Our lungs can hold between four and six liters of air on average, though we use only a small portion of this space with each breath. Each minute, the average adult breathes in and out around seven liters of air. That’s enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every 227 days!

3) Did you know that most of our oxygen doesn’t come from the forest, but from the sea? Ocean algae produce the majority of the oxygen in the atmosphere. These plants may be tiny, but due to their huge numbers they are able to pump out tons of clean air for us to breathe.

4) Not even astronauts are safe from having smoggy skies obscure their view!  Astronauts report that thick smog over cities or highly polluted areas can be seen from the international space station, and that the amount of air pollution visible to them from orbit has been increasing.

5) China has some of the smoggiest skies in the world, and in an effort to detect harmful pollutants in their air, they have come up with a surprising solution – a team of people trained to detect harmful gases using their sense of smell!  These special sniffers can tell the difference between a surprisingly large number of gases, and can help city officials become aware of potentially dangerous situations.

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