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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

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

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5 Reasons Why Buying an Air Purifier is Worth Your Investment

Chances are you have heard at least one person you know who has talked about, or recommended, using an air purifier. Because they are becoming more and more popular, it may be tempting to wonder if they are simply a fad that will eventually disappear. In reality, these carefully designed filters have been created to greatly improve air quality by effectively eliminating the most harmful and bothersome particles. These pollutants include dust, pet dander, smoke, allergens, and environmental pollution that always seem to find a way into your home or office. As you consider whether or not purchasing an air purifier is worth your investment you may wish to consider some of the most compelling reasons why this product is well worth every penny you will spend.

 

 You Are an Animal Lover with Allergies

Many people who adore animals and live with pets experience allergies related directly to the pet dander, hair, and fur that are a consequence of living with these lovable creatures. An air purifier works effectively to filter this dander from your air to leave the environment cleaner and healthier. In some cases, small children are more sensitive to pet dander than adults, so for families with both small children and pets, an air purifier is an excellent investment.


 Your House Smells Dirty

Sensitivity to smells is something a lot of people find bothersome and at times sickening. If your home seems to absorb odors from sports playing teenagers, a smoking roommate, dirty diapers, or your furry friends, an air purifier could be just what you need to eliminate unwanted smells and leave the air fresh and enjoyable to breathe.

 

Residents of apartments or employees in an office building, may also experience drafts coming from another part of the building that carry odors with them. Oftentimes, unpleasant smells may waft through into your work or living space. Positioning an air purifier at the entrance of these odors can help to eliminate them before you ever smell them.

 

 You Have Loved Ones With Respiratory Problems

Respiratory diseases such as asthma are unpredictable in the sense that certain allergens can immediately set off an attack that can reduce lung function and in severe cases, result in an inability to breathe. For families with children or parents with such diseases, doctors often recommend keeping air quality as high as possible to allow easy breathing and to eliminate the possibility of health problems from occurring.

 

Air purifiers are designed to filter air of harmful allergens that often trigger these attacks. Whether smoke, dander, or dust seem to make breathing harder for suffering family members, the right air purifier can increase air quality and provide everyone with peace of mind.

 

 You Live With or Near a Smoker

Studies have shown that secondhand smoke is incredibly harmful to the human body and can have serious side effects. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are specifically designed to eliminate smoke and tobacco pollutants and odors. If you live with or near a smoker, your decision to invest in a purifier could make a significant difference in the way you feel.

 

 You Have a Brand New Home

Moving into a brand new home can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. However that “new house” smell can be filled with pollutants such as formaldehyde which is a dangerous toxin that has been shown to cause health problems. An air purifier can help filter this toxic air and give everyone in the home a bit more confidence that they are breathing healthier air. This is an especially smart decision if you have small children or babies.

 

With these compelling reasons why investing in an air purifier is beneficial and rewarding, it isn’t any surprise that many people are making the decision to purchase one today. Increase the quality of the air in your home or office with this revolutionary product.

 

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

 

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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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