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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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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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8 Ways to Get Clean Air in Your Home

You may not realize it, but indoor air is most likely anywhere between two and five times more polluted than outdoor air. Since we spend most of our time inside our homes and offices, you might as well make sure that the air you and your family are breathing is as clean as possible. Use these eight methods to effectively clean the air circulating in your home and keep it clean for as long as possible.

 

  1. Improve the Ventilation in Your Home

While opening the windows in your home is a good way to bring in fresh air, it’s not necessarily effective for bringing in clean air. The reason is that the air outside of your home is filled with mold, industrial pollution and dust in addition to harmful by-products created from the gas emissions expelled by vehicles. What you’ll want to do is utilize trickle ventilation, which is a screen with a series of filters that helps bring in fresh air and screen out harmful pollutants.

 

  1. Always Smoke Outside

Never allow anyone to smoke inside of your residence. Not only can smoke cling to the walls, ceiling, floor and your furniture, it’s also harmful to everyone, not just the individual who’s smoking. You might not realize it, but roughly 7,500 to 15,000 children are admitted to the hospital or become sick every year because of a respiratory tract infection. Anyone in your house who has a lung or cardiovascular illness will be at risk of further health complications.

 

  1. Install an Air Purifier with a HEPA Filter

A quality air purifier is one of the best ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. There are air purifiers that scrub the air in a single room and larger ones that can clean the air in your entire home. It’s best that you use air purifiers that offer quiet operation rather than models that can be quite noisy, since you are more likely to use a quiet air purifier at all times of the day. There are several different types of air purifiers for you to choose from, depending on the size of the room and which harmful particulates you’d like to filter out.

You can also install HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in your air conditioner as a way to increase clean air in your home. If you do decide to use HEPA filters, make sure that you change them regularly for maximum efficiency.

 

  1. Turn on Your Air Conditioning Unit

Running your air conditioner is also a great way to clean the air in your home in addition to cooling it down or warming it up. A majority of water pollutants are water-soluble, which means that while your air conditioner pulls water from the air inside of your home it’s also pulling pollutants out. Another advantage to using your air conditioner to improve your air quality is that it can get rid of particulate matter and pollen.

 

  1. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

It’s estimated that more than roughly 400 people die every year as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning in addition to thousands of people who either become sick or require medical assistance as a result of being exposed to carbon monoxide.

The largest issue with carbon monoxide is that you can’t smell it, which makes it harder to determine whether or not it’s present in your home. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include flu-like symptoms. You may notice that you feel better when you’re not in your home, and there’s a chance that you may notice a difference in your pets. It’s best that you install carbon monoxide detectors close to bedrooms and that you have all of the appliances in your home that burn fuel inspected every year by a professional technician.

 

  1. Clean the Gas Jets of Your Stove

If you use a stove that uses propane or natural gas, it’s recommended that you have your gas jets cleaned and maintained at least once a year by a reputable technician in order that you can be sure the gas is burning cleanly.

Your stove gives off nitrogen dioxide, which can create ozone if it’s exposed to sunlight. The irritating gas has been known to cause wheezing in perfectly healthy individuals. In addition to having your gas jets clean, it’s a good idea to open up a window so that any nitrogen dioxide your gas stove creates can be dispersed. You can also turn on the exhaust fan to keep the gas from building up.    

 

  1. Choose Your Cleaning Products Wisely

While keeping your home clean can also improve your air quality, you can do more harm than good if you aren’t careful of the cleaning products you use. It’s best that you use products that contain either low or no VOCs, which or volatile organic compounds. You might also want to switch to cleaning products that are fragrance-free, no matter how much you might like having your home smell like a blossoming lemon tree.

Another good idea is to use liquid or paste cleaning products since they don’t spread as many particulates in the air as sprays. As you’re cleaning, keep an eye out for spots of mold since there might be spores spreading through the air of your home.

 

  1. Take Care of Leaks

Have your basement, roof and foundation checked for leaks and signs of leakage and have any problem areas repaired as soon as possible. Rain and high humidity can enter your home through leaks and lead to mildew and mold, which can lead to coughing, wheezing and other asthma symptoms. In addition to having your home inspected at least once a year for leaks, you’ll also want to make sure that rain and water runoff is channeled away from your home’s foundation as much as possible to keep runoff from seeping into your basement.

Put these methods into practice and see if your breathing and health in general don’t improve. Not only can you save your indoor air, you might also be able to save on medical bills by introducing clean air into your home.

 

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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Improve Indoor Air Quality With Your Home Remodel

When you begin the process of remodeling your home, you are probably focused upon the aesthetics. A big part of the joy of remodeling is thinking of how your home will look upon completion, how the flow of the space will be, and how much easier you will be able to access certain spaces. Color, design, and convenience will surely be large components in how you plan. However, the one factor that is easy to miss but should most definitely play a large part is that how your remodel can also improve your air quality. With millions of people affected by respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies, this is the perfect time to change your home in such a way that indoor pollutants are minimized so that the health of the inhabitants may be improved.

Supplies and Materials
One of the first things to consider in the planning stages is the type of building supplies you will be using. Some materials such as bonding agents and adhesives can emit formaldehyde into the air, reducing the air quality. It can cause breathing difficulties, severe allergic reactions, wheezing, increased rates of cancer, and can trigger asthma attacks. It can also be found in in pressed woods, some types of drapes and certain foam insulation. Make sure the agents that are being used in the adhering of paneling, upholstery and carpets will not leave behind such contaminants. If they are present, be sure to increase ventilation both during and after the construction is complete.

Flooring
When choosing flooring, the formaldehyde content is only one of the factors to take into consideration. Be sure to choose flooring that will not be easily permeated by water, spilled or otherwise. If water can seep through into the subflooring, it can create an environment that where moisture lingers and can house mold spores or bacteria. These can contaminate the air at a quick rate. In addition, try to avoid using carpets in areas where the likelihood of water absorption is greater, such as near sinks, bathtubs and showers, or toilets. Regular water exposure is inevitable in these areas, making it difficult for moisture to be dried completely and thoroughly before it is once again exposed to wetness.

Windows
When replacing the windows in your home, efficiency is surely a top priority in regards to saving energy and money. Another benefit to high efficiency options, however, is the reduction in condensation that you are likely to experience. This removes another breeding ground for mold and bacteria.

If you are in an older home, there is the possibility that lead based paint was used at some point. Be cautious of this during construction and take the opportunity to either have it removed or sealed properly. Otherwise, the constant movement of opening and closing windows can disrupt the paint and release lead particles into your air. The risks of lead poisoning are high and can result in serious health issues including developmental issues in children, kidney damage, and fertility problems.

Painting
As with the windows, adding a fresh coat of paint to a room is the perfect time to ensure that any previously used lead based paint is either properly removed or covered. Do not sand down an area that may have lead based material beneath or you run the risk of disrupting and emitting it into the air. Also, do not paint over any areas that are flaking as it will continue to flake after the fresh coat has been applied.

When searching for the new color, research the brands that will emit fewer chemicals and have the least volatile organic compounds. Avoid using any that may include mercury in its content and be careful not to choose paints created for exterior use on interior projects, as they may release more chemicals. Water-based often emits fewer chemicals than oil-based tend to, but will want to verify the emissions information prior to choosing.

Ventilation
Remodeling is the ideal time to increase ventilation within your home. Unblock any systems that may be stuffed up, creating a slower process. Replace any old systems that may no long work properly. In the bathrooms, a well-functioning fan will be helpful in removing moisture and reducing the chances for mold or fungus to grow. You should also verify that the fan in the kitchen is whirring and operating smoothly to control moisture related to cooking and reduce the chances of biological pollutants settling in.

In addition to fans that are likely already in your home, remodeling is the perfect time to implement further ventilation throughout. By implementing filtration systems into your remodel, you can reduce the pollutants and pollens that make their way in from the outdoors as well as remove dust particles, pet dander and other contaminants that can impact indoor air quality.

Remodeling your home can improve the way you feel about your surroundings with a fresh appearance and updated décor. It can also be used to improve the way you feel in regards to your health. Do plenty of research before beginning your projects and tweak your plans to improve your indoor air quality at the same time.

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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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 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 Types of Smells You Can Get Rid of With an Air Purifier

Scented candles, heated oils, and other scented products are becoming increasingly popular as busy homeowners try desperately to cover up the smell of last night’s salmon dinner or get rid of pet odors before the in-laws come over. A home that smells bad is generally considered to be unclean and dirty, even if that is not really the case. While air fresheners and scented candles can quickly cover up undesirable smells, they cannot fix the root cause of the bad smell, nor can they make the air cleaner and safer to breathe.

If you want to simultaneously clean and freshen the air from bad odors, you should invest in a quality air purifier. Although an air purifier is more expensive up-front than candles or scented oils, it can be used for a much longer period of time, and it can actually clean the air instead of just covering up bad odors. These benefits alone make an air purifier well worth the initial investment. Here are five types of smells you can get rid of with an air purifier:

  1. Smoke

No one likes the smell of smoke in their home, whether it comes from cigarettes or a weekend camp-out. Unlike some other scents, the smell of smoke can be incredibly difficult to get rid of, especially if it has a chance to permeate your furniture, drapes, and carpet. If you want to drastically reduce or even eliminate the smoke scent in your home once and for all, adding an air purifier to your room is a fantastic first step.

There are a few different types of purifiers you can choose from, including:

  • Electronic air purifiers
  • Ionizers
  • Mechanical high efficiency particulate air filters

They all work in different ways, but their intended purpose is the same: to remove pollutants and odors from the air by trapping them in some sort of filter, or by forcing them to the ground so that they can be removed with a vacuum.

  1. Pet Odor

No matter how often you give your pet a bath, pets inevitably stink. By nature, cats, dogs, and all of our other furry friends are smelly creatures that constantly shed and fill the home with pet dander and unpleasant odors. Not only can pet dander be a nightmare for those with allergies, but pet odor throughout a home can be very embarrassing.

If you want to have neighbors, friends, and family members over without feeling ashamed of the way your house smells, or if you want to stop sneezing constantly due to an allergic reaction to pet dander, then an air purifier could be just what you need. The most efficient air purifiers will have filters that can remove not only the dander and hair that your pet sheds, but it will be able to absorb odors from pet beds and litter-boxes. Not only will your home smell cleaner after you place an air purifier in each main room, but you will also rid the air of many air-born pollutants that can make life miserable for those who have allergies or asthma.

  1. Food Smells

Health professionals advise that you eat at least one serving of fish a week, but cooking fish can make your home unbearably stinky for days afterward. If you avoid cooking healthy meals full of omega-3 fatty acids because you cannot stand the thought of dealing with post-dinner fish scent, then an air purifier can definitely help.

An air purifier will not only help to reduce or eliminate the scent from your leftover fish dinner, but it will also help reduce other food odors in your kitchen as well, including the strong scent that lingers after cooking with delicious but strong smelling spices like curry, or the smell of the occasionally-burned chicken breast. If you come home after a long day at work and you notice that your house has “bad breath”, get out your trusty air purifier and run it on a high speed to quickly freshen up the air.

  1. Garbage

Have you ever forgotten to take the garbage out after dumping raw chicken fat or old vegetables into your garbage bag? If you have ever been unfortunate enough to experience the smell of a day-old garbage can full of rotten meat or old vegetables, then you know how challenging it can be to rid your house of the smell, even after you have removed the garbage bag and washed out the trash can.

Rather than trying to mask the smell with an air freshening spray, use an air filter to trap the lingering, smelly particles that have escaped into the air from your garbage can. As the particles become trapped in the air filter, the smell of your home will improve drastically.

  1. Dirty Diapers

Whether you own some type of special diaper disposer or you throw dirty diapers away the old-fashioned way, there is nothing that can make your home smell like an outhouse quicker than a day-old used diaper. If you invest in a quality air purifier, you will be surprised how much the smell in your baby’s room and your home improves.

No matter what type of unpleasant smell you currently have in your home, a good air purifier will not only help to reduce or eliminate it, but will make the air you breathe healthier and fresher as well.

We can help you choose the correct air purifier for your home or office. Our friendly, knowledgeable, 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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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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What Can a HEPA Air Purifier Do For You?

With allergies and asthma on the rise, many people are wondering about the quality of the air they breathe. This is particularly a concern indoors where many people spend the majority of their time. For anybody looking to reverse the effects of poor air quality, a HEPA air purifier may be the way to go.

Why Air Quality Matters
The statistics on air quality and the effects that toxic chemical VOCs have on the body can be startling. Many cities have become known for their high levels of air pollution. What many people do not realize is that indoor air can also be harmful to the body. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that the air quality inside your home can be as much as ten times more polluted than outdoor air. Many people spend a significant portion of their day inside of buildings at their workplace, school, or home. This means that the majority of the air they breathe could potentially be loaded with pollutants.

The American Medical Association, American Lung Association, and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine would all agree that poor air quality puts people at risk. It has been linked to a variety of health conditions, including:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Other respiratory infections

There are also concerns about long term exposure to toxins in the air causing an increased risk for a variety of cancers.

With so much at stake, it is important to take a look at the quality of the air that surrounds you and your family in your home. You may decide that some changes are in order. Fortunately, there are good options available for improving the condition of your home’s air. The technology used in air purification systems is constantly improving, and it can be a relief to know that there is help available.

An Air Purifier Acts as Housekeeper for Your Home’s Air
There is only so much a person can do to improve air quality without a purification system. Basic cleaning, vacuuming, and aerating with exhaust fans will not be enough to remove all air impurities. It is possible to monitor carbon monoxide and radon with detectors, but these units also do not remove these toxins from the air.

Air purifiers are an excellent answer. They have the ability to filter out a variety of pollutants before they reach your lungs. They can remove:

  • Dust
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pollen
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Other gaseous pollutants

Once the particles are removed from the air, they can no longer be inhaled, your family, or your pets. By reducing the level of toxins in the indoor air you breathe, you can rest easy that you have reduced your risks and improved the overall healthfulness of your home. Depending on the severity of your initial problem, you may even notice a difference in the air once you have a system in place.

HEPA Filters Must Meet Very High Standards
A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is a particularly powerful type of filter that meets very high standards. The U.S. Department of Energy requires that filters with the HEPA label must be especially efficient. At a minimum, a HEPA filter must remove 99.97% of 0.3 µm particles from the air that passes through it. This is an extremely tiny particle that is the most difficult to filter out.

HEPA filters were first designed in the 1940s, and today they are most often made out of fiberglass. They are designed for maximum effectiveness using multiple techniques for removing pollutants from the air. The particles remain attached to fibers in the filter as the air passes through.

The Many Uses for HEPA Air Purifiers
HEPA purifiers are used in many different settings. These days you can find large ones in homes, medical facilities, workplaces, and other public settings. Smaller systems are used in airplanes, cars, and other vehicles. There are even vacuum cleaners on the market that are equipped with small HEPA purification systems. There are so many applications for these filters because they are so effective and efficient at removing impurities from the air.

Comparing Different Styles
Air purification systems come with a range of features. Some can be operated by remote control. Others are equipped with odor sensors or even have the ability to deodorize as they clean. Some units are designed to be very quiet, which can be especially useful in locations near where people are sleeping. You can purchase models that stand alone, such as in the corner of a room. There are also versions available that mount permanently on the wall.

If you are looking to purchase a HEPA purification system, it is a good idea to assess your needs and then compare the various features available. It is especially important that you consider the size of the space where the system will be located, as different models have different capacities. All HEPA systems meet certain minimum, but in addition each model has an efficiency rating. This will tell you level of air purification you can expect from a particular unit. Some are more powerful than others.

 

Some Final Tips
A representative from a company that specializes in air purification is in the best position to advise you on the system that is right for you. They have the experience to explain the advantages of various HEPA models and to make specific recommendations about which unit will best suit your needs.

For maximum efficiency, it is critical that consumers follow all directions that are specific to the model they choose. Keeping the air purifier running at its best will also require regular maintenance, cleaning and replacing the filters on schedule to ensure a long life for the machine.

There are few benefits to having poor air quality at home. For anybody who wants to help avoid allergy and asthma attacks and reduce the risk of cancer and other long term effects, a HEPA air purifier offers an excellent solution.

 

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. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

 

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