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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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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.

Allergic ReactionallergyasthmaDust Mite AllergyDust Mitesenvironmental triggershealth issueshealth problemsHEPA filterIndoor Air Pollutionindoor air quality

Improve Your Home and Your Health

For many proud homeowners across the country, home improvement is top priority on their to-do list. There are several aspects to improving your house such as routine maintenance, renovations, redecoration, upgrades, and other enhancements and accommodations. There are also a variety of reasons homeowners decide to make these changes: they could be health-related, the desire for a change of scenery, a need to be more economical, or simply the urge to take on another engaging project. All of these changes will contribute to an improved quality of life in and around the home – and investing in the right projects and products can be an excellent way to achieve this while saving money.

How Your Home Can Impact Your Health

As homeowners become savvier about the kind of lifestyles which improve health, there are several ways to upgrade the home to make increased well being possible. One way is to improve the cleanliness of the home while reducing germs and pollutants, a critical factor not only for the young and the elderly, but everyone. “Sick house syndrome,” or “sick building syndrome,” is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a situation in which “building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.” It is an illness experienced by Americans across the country who are exposed to various chemicals and sub-par living conditions which are prevalent, yet not always visible, in older buildings or buildings which are not structured to meet basic health standards. The result is that non-suspecting occupants may be exposed to unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide and radon, combustion particles or gases, toxicity from household cleaners, interior mold, and old lead-based paint. Even incense, air fresheners and candles can contribute to potential problems.

Solutions for a Healthier Home Environment

Fortunately, in most cases there are solutions to these problems. Household cleaners can be replaced by homemade, environmentally friendly ones which are cheap and easy to make using basic ingredients like baking soda, tea tree oil, vinegar, alcohol, lemon and toothpaste. Homeowners can also plug in carbon monoxide detectors and have their houses checked for other gases. Qualified professionals can remove asbestos and other toxic materials from the home. There are other simple upgrades which are also effective. Eco-friendly air purifiers can reduce pollutants and other chemicals, as well as improve air quality for people with allergies to dust or animal dander, and those who experience sensitivity to dry or damp air. Natural air purifiers like bamboo, yucca, and other plants are excellent enhancements which also provide an aesthetic appeal. Homeowners may wish to go even further, however, making their homes more green as an approach to improving their immediate environment. This can be effective for a variety of reasons; energy efficiency means effective natural lighting, which provides natural detoxification; energy efficient windows not only insulate well but can be opened to improve air quality and provide coolness; the use of sustainable materials which are non-toxic; and many other improvements add to the overall health factor of the home.

Financial Benefits

The financial benefits of making these changes can be substantial. While initial upgrades at first may seem costly when implemented on a large scale (like installing solar panels for instance), the long-term pay-off more than compensates for the funds initially spent. Homeowners can also enjoy the immediate effects of an improved quality of life due to a healthier environment, which will ultimately save money on trips to the hospital and doctor visits. Smaller improvements – such as investing in Eco-friendly cleaners – will save homeowners on the money spent on more expensive brand names. Making your home a safe, healthy place to live, will not only increase its value on the housing market, but, depending on what aspects of your home you have improved (like upgrading old features and securing safety measures), your insurance premiums can improve. And, of course, it’s important to make sure that the contents of your home are covered too, especially if they are upgrades which are contributing to the overall quality of the home. This means money saved in the long-run, a consideration which often takes its toll on health.

Most importantly, an improved home which is maximized for healthy living will play a hugely positive role, and become a major factor in the health and well being of the homeowners and tenants. A home is, after all, more than a place to stop between commutes – it’s the center of family, the place where memories are made, and where we ultimately spend most of our time. It is a place where we cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to our health and the health of our loved ones.

By volunteer contributor Gemma Hunt

[i] RabbitAir.com. “The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.rabbitair.com/blogs/air-purifier

[ii] EPA.gov. “Indoor Air Facts No. 4 (revised) Sick Building Syndrome”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pdfs/sick_building_factsheet.pdf

[iii] ConsumerReports.org. “Is poor indoor air quality making you sick? Protect yourself against six hidden hazards in your home”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/06/is-poor-indoor-air-quality-making-you-sick/index.htm

[iv] GoodHousekeeping.com. “9 Cleaners You Can Make Yourself The key ingredients you need just might be hiding in your pantry” Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/make-at-home-cleaners

[v] EarthEasy.com. “The Top 10 Plants for Removing Indoor Toxins”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://eartheasy.com/blog/2009/05/the-top-10-plants-for-removing-indoor-toxins/

[vi] EnvironmentalLeader.com. “Sick Building Syndrome: Is Greening Your Building a Cure?” Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/05/02/sick-building-syndrome-is-greening-your-building-a-cure/

[vii] Realtor.com. “What Homeowners’ Insurance Discounts Are You Missing?” Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.realtor.com/advice/what-homeowners-insurance-discounts-are-you-missing/

[viii] QuoteZone. “Compare contents insurance quotes now”. Accessed January 8, 2015.

http://www.quotezone.co.uk/content-insurance.htm

Air Qualityenvironmental triggershealth issueshealth problemsindoor air qualitypolluted airpoor air qualityRabbit AirRemodelingToxins

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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Jump in on the World Cup Action and Start Scoring Goals!

Once every four years during the massively popular World Cup, America turns its televisions on and thoughts toward the world's favorite sport: soccer.  It is a myth that Americans don't play soccer; for years soccer has been the second most popular team sport among US youths.  Soccer is a sport that provides an all-around workout. It challenges your body, your heart, and your brain.  Running the field for 90 minutes provides your legs with an excellent workout, but it requires more than strong legs to make a great soccer player - kicking, heading, and defending the ball exercises your chest, upper back, core, and arms.  The combination of all those movements at the high speed of game-play revs up the heart rate to sky-high levels. So, naturally, the health benefits of playing soccer at least one to two times a week include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and can be used to supplement a physician's regimen to treat hypertension.  Also, as a high impact sport, soccer improves bone density, which reduces the risk of fracturing bones.

As great as the physical benefits of playing soccer can be, soccer is also excellent training for the brain and for the mind. Research has proven that excellence at soccer requires more than physical fitness - elite-level players are among the top two to five percent in the world in "executive functioning" - the ability to deal with sudden problems, and a key aspect in memory, multitasking and creativity.  Additionally, team soccer relies on extensive communication between teammates, communication that is proven to enhance social skills.  Finally, soccer is a game that induces "flow," a deep state of focus that allows you to forget time, fatigue, and worries and to feel motivated and happy.

So, start playing soccer today! Perhaps the simplest game to set up, all you really need to play soccer is a ball - the rest can be improvised.  Rabbit Air and Uncle Sam encourage you to take up the spirit of the World Cup and start playing soccer today!

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How Heat Waves Hurt Air Quality

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1397489While everyone loves a little summer sunshine, when temperatures keep rising dangerous conditions may occur.  Heat waves are more than mere annoyances; they can increase the risk of health concerns from mild conditions such as heat rash to more serious problems such as strokes.  Even when limiting one’s exposure to the sun and heat, heat waves can still create health risks in areas one might not expect.  Air quality can worsen during a heat wave, to the point of becoming deadly in extreme circumstances. When the air is heated, chemicals compounds such as the fumes from our cars combine with the already present nitrogen oxide in the air to create thick layers of smog. The risk for this is particularly strong in urban areas, where there is already a greater concentration of chemical compounds in the air due to larger populations and more industry.

Smog is never healthy to breathe in, and during a heat wave when smog is found in higher concentrations it can cause lung tissue to become inflamed which over time can cause more serious complications. The increase in smog during a heat wave is especially dangerous for those who are suffering from respiratory illness, such as asthma, as it can increase or induce symptoms. During a heat wave, keep your lungs as healthy as possible by avoiding spending time outdoors in highly populated areas.  While in your home, keep an air purifier running that can trap the harmful VOCs from smog, such as our MinusA2 with the Toxin Absorber Customized Filter.  Stay cool, breathe clean air, and avoid direct sun exposure to stay as healthy as you can during a heat wave.

Air PollutionAir PurifierAir Qualityallergiesasthmahealth issueshealth problemsHeat WaveHeathMinusA2

What is Air Pollution?

Anyone concerned about breathing better has probably thought about air pollution at some point. We know that it is unhealthy and we should take action to protect ourselves from it, but what exactly is air pollution and how does it affect our bodies?  Air pollution refers to the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials into the atmosphere that can cause harm to living organisms or damage the environment. Here in the United States, densely populated areas tend to have the highest levels of air pollution.  Every year the American Lung Association ranks the most polluted cities in America; you can view the 2011 rankings here.

Smoke While some forms of air pollution are not visible to the eye, smog is usually very noticeable. It is a mixture of smoke and fog commonly found in major metropolitan areas, and is notorious for turning the air an ugly color and obstructing views. A number of particulates can be found in smog, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, soot, ozone, dirt and dust.  Most of us know that these nasty substances are produced by cars and gas stations, but smog can also be caused by the smoke from fires or as a byproduct of waste treatment and industrial facilities.

The effects of breathing in air pollution differ depending on the duration and concentration of exposure; this means that those living in highly populated areas are more at risk.  Young children, the elderly, and those with illnesses are also affected more than others. The short term effects of breathing in air pollution can cause a host of unpleasant health issues.  Nausea, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat are common reactions.  Breathing in polluted air can also aggravate existing conditions such as allergies, asthma, or emphysema and can even cause respiratory infections.  Air pollution is even more dangerous in the long term, and can cause or exacerbate serious conditions such as chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and damage vital organs.

Luckily, we can help protect ourselves from air pollution. Monitoring air pollution levels during the day is a good way to find out the best times to venture outside and when you should try to stay indoors. Making changes to help reduce pollution in your city benefits everyone, and can be as simple as switching from plastic shopping bags to reusable canvas ones.  Of course, we at Rabbit Air know that if you want to protect yourself in your home or office, using an air purifier is a great way to keep the air clean and safe.

Visit the links below for more information on air pollution.  If you have other facts or knowledge about air pollution that you want to share, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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