We checked the label on the bottom - 2002. Surely it wasn't the motor. It was only 12 years old! To further test this theory (and win my wager), I brought in my multi-meter from home, the next morning. After checking the cord reel, the motor and the plug, it started to become increasingly clear that I was going to win my bet.
With the multi-meter we were able to narrow the source of the problem down to the plug. After replacing the cord and reassembling the Flamenco, it was time for a test. Sure enough, it started right up without issue!
There were a couple things I took away from this. Something we often talk about with a Miele vacuum is the initial cost but viewing a Miele as an investment. Each is built to provide you 20 years of reliable cleaning service, and in the age of "throwaway" everything, including cheap home appliances, this is no small thing. Even after twelve years of use, this Flamenco was going strong, and a simple replacement of the plug had it up and running like new. The other thing I took away from this was.... lunch!
To see the full line of Miele vacuums.
Author: Kevin Gilmore
Like the Danby and other models we offer, the Albert is a room dehumidifier, but unlike other models, Albert has actually been a "Belle of the Ball." What I mean is, the Albert is one of very few dehumidifiers that has won a Red Dot Design Award. Each year thousands of home appliances and products are submitted to an international design contest that includes entries from over 50 countries, worldwide. In 2013, when the Albert was first released in the European market, it won. Stadler Form home appliances have a reputation of blending modern form and aesthetic appeal with function, and in this regard, the Albert dehumidifier is no different.
That's not to say Albert is all style and no substance. Far from it, this home dehumidifier is loaded with convenient features to complement its style and design points. Hidden casters, a smooth rolling water bucket with splashguard and collapsible handle, seven feet of drain hose (to port the dehumidifier and eliminate the need of emptying the water bucket), oscillating louvers, and integrated handholds are all substantive but practical features. And that's not to mention the LED display. With the display you can quickly see and set your fan speed (3), the desired humidity, the current humidity level, and even a 24 hour timer. Indicator lights let you know if the unit is defrosting or if the tank is full. For more severe humidity problems, you can set the Albert to run continuously, regardless of the humidity level in the space. The entire display adds a sophisticated look without complicated controls.
For light sleepers or those who have had problems with loud dehumidifiers, rejoice! The Albert is likely the quietest refrigerant-style dehumidifier on the market. Starting around 33 decibels, this model is whisper quiet on its lowest fan speed, and even on its highest setting it is quieter than most comparable models on their lowest fan setting! Dim the LED display with the "Sleep" feature and you're all set for a peaceful night's sleep.
Albert will remove about 43 pints of water per day, making it the perfect complement to your HVAC system when it is not keeping up with humidity and excess moisture removal. Lastly, when you compare it to other 45 pint humidifier models, you'll see that it uses 1/3 less power! So, if you're looking for a home dehumidifier that offers the performance you need with the style you want, the Stadler Form Albert is the perfect choice!
Author: K. Gilmore
On a more recent run, it occurred to me that there must be runners with asthma. But how do they manage it? What happens if they have an asthma attack? Could they run marathons and races or hit the trail for long distance runs?
Most of us are familiar with the common causes of asthma attacks, tobacco smoke, air pollution, dust mites, mold, cockroach allergens, or pets. However, exercise-induced asthma is triggered by physical exertion and is a common cause that might seem counterintuitive to some, particularly since severe asthma can often limit physical activity. The severity of exercise-induced asthma attacks can be affected by many factors including overall health, medication taken (or not taken), how long you are exercising, and the environment (temperature, pollution, etc.).
To better understand how asthma affects an active person’s lifestyle, I spoke to Ali McDonald, co-owner of AchooAllergy.com, and Christina Kenney a current student at Kent State University and past cross country and track runner. Both are currently active runners with asthma.
How long have you been running?
I’ve been running since I was five. I’ve always loved running!
Do you run 5Ks, marathons, races?
No, I run for exercise- 3-5 miles, a few days a week.
What triggers your asthma attacks?
My asthma attacks are triggered by pollen, but mostly cold weather induced.
What happens when you start to have an asthma attack?
I can’t get a breath when it does happen. You can’t get a full breath in, it’s shortened… like when you exercise really hard, and you try to slow your heart beat down to catch your breath, but you can’t. That’s how I would explain it to people who don’t have asthma.
So do you just slow down, or try to relax yourself? How do you take care of it?
I use my inhaler. It’s the only way, basically.
What about when you’re not running? What do you do if, let’s say, you have an attack while walking around in the park?
Since I have exercise-induced asthma, I don’t generally have asthma attacks when I’m not running. But if I do feel a shortness of breath, or anything like that, I take my time, slow down and focus on slowing down my heart rate.
What’s the perfect run for you?-Perfect weather, inclines?
When the temperature gets below 32° C it becomes difficult to run, so between 50° and 60° is great, and without seasonal allergens. Inclines don’t affect me so much as temperature.
What sports did you do when you were younger?
I was a gymnast and I did cheerleading. I never had asthma attacks in gymnastics, and in cheerleading there were enough breaks in between that it really didn’t affect my asthma.
Do you have any advice for those with asthma who may want to start running?
Carry your inhaler. It can be scary to have it in your car a few miles away, while you’re having an attack. And avoid exercising in situations where you’ll be affected by triggers like ragweed and pollen.
How long have you been running?
I’ve been running since freshman year of high school, so about 6 years ago.
Did you start running for sports?
I started with track then cross country.
Have you always had asthma?
Yeah, it was much more severe when I was little. I had to take treatments three times a day, breathing treatments with a nebulizer from the time I was a baby until I was old enough and switched over to a once-a-day preventative pill.
When did you decide to start running?
As I got older it wasn’t as severe, then one day in gym we had to run a mile. Everyone hated it, but I wanted to push myself so I ran as hard as I could and beat everyone. The gym coach said I should try out for track after that. She said that there were plenty of runners with asthma that could run.
What happens when you start to an asthma attack while running? How do you feel, what are the symptoms and how do you take care of it?
I slow down a lot, sometimes walk, with my hands on my head. It was really hard at first when I started running- I started as the slowest one. When the weather is cold, it stings a lot and burns. It’s a harsh feeling. In warmer weather, I can’t breathe and I have a heavy weight on my chest. When it is cold out, I take my inhaler before my run to try to prevent it, but if I don’t take it before I have to use it during and after my run.
Describe the perfect run for you- the weather, incline, no incline, etc.
I’d say like… 60°, 70° degree weather.
What advice do you have for running with asthma?
Definitely don’t get discouraged just because of asthma. I went from the slowest distance runner in freshman year to one of the fastest on varsity. Get used to it, and carry an inhaler. It’ll be hard at first, but as you go running gets easier. It’ll even improve your asthma.
Why do you think that?
Because it helps you out, makes your lungs get stronger. Running gets easier, you just have to get used to it.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d also tell people wanting to distance run, with asthma, to be diligent. Try not to take a really long hiatus from running if they enjoy what they get out of it. It takes a good amount of time and perseverance to get back in shape as an asthmatic. Not only are you getting your muscles back in shape but you're also building your lung capacity.
Before interviewing Ali and Christina, I thought asthma was just a general respiratory ailment. But it was a nice surprise to see a contrast in exercise induced asthma and regular asthma. I learned that cold weather is not a good running partner while inhalers are, and as Theodore Roosevelt promoted, running could actually be beneficial for asthma. Thank you ladies!
Author: R. Power
Many of you may recall seeing Primatene Mist on drugstore and market shelves when you were younger. For me, it was a common occurrence as my cousin, who suffers from severe asthma, would often have this inhaler with him. After spending time in the backyard with my cousins and brothers playing football, he would pull out his inhaler, flip the top and use it if his asthma flared up.
In 2011 Primatene Mist was phased out and removed from store shelves. These pocket-sized inhalers used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to propel the epinephrine out and into the lungs of the asthma sufferer. As part of an overall move away from CFC-based propellants, the axe finally fell on Primatene Mist in December of that year. Since then, the manufacturer, Armstrong Pharmaceuticals, has been attempting to gain OTC status for a replacement inhaler, the short-acting beta2-agonist (SABA) bronchodilator, Primatene HFA. Currently, the only forms of this type of drug available are prescribed. If you have asthma, you might be familiar with their names, albuterol and levalbuterol. However, there is some need for an OTC alternative, particularly in case of emergencies or when people run out of their prescription at inopportune times.
In addition to ultimately voting no to OTC use, the 25 member advisory panel also voted on the efficacy and safety of the new inhaler. While there is still another ongoing clinical trial, the panel discussed the results of two other clinical trials that showed significant results. On a vote over the efficacy, 14 yes votes won out.
Lastly, the panel discussed and voted on the safety of the proposed drug. Like most drugs, Primatene HFA did show some side effects, though even with the most severe side effect being tremors, all cases were mild. Other side effects were infrequent. A larger safety issue was likely found in the correct use of the inhaler. While the new inhaler uses an ozone-friendly propellant, the new formula is a suspension that can settle. Consequently, the inhaler must be primed four times before the first use and twice after two weeks of nonuse. It must also be washed and dried each day, and both of these present significant hurdles when it comes to ease-of-use and proper use. With regard to labeling, some members felt that patients may be led to believe that it is for daily use when only actually intended for intermittent use. All of these things resulted in 17 panel members voting no, in terms of safety.
The end result, for now, is that the new Primatene HFA will not be in pharmacy and store shelves any time soon, but the drug does show promise. It does work, and there is a need for it. Undoubtedly, Armstrong will revisit the inhaler and attempt to address issues of misuse or mishandling.
Author: K. Gilmore
To read past Ask an Allergist questions and answers.
Oh, and just a reminder, there is only ONE week left of our Annual White Sale! Take advantage while you can on discounted allergy bedding, organic cotton bedding and other healthy bedding products.
Author: K. Gilmore
Halle Berry is one of the seven million people who cannot enjoy shrimp cocktails or a romantic lobster dinner, or any mollusks because of her shellfish allergy. Luckily this doesn't include Swordfish! Shellfish allergy symptoms can include hives, itching, swelling of the lips, face, tongue throat, or any body part, trouble breathing, stomach pain, dizziness, and even anaphylaxis. Unfortunately, many do not know they are allergic until they are adults.
Quirky Zooey Deschanel can only have oatmeal with almond milk for breakfast. Well, that’s what I would serve her, due to her lactose intolerance, celiac disease and egg allergy. Lactose intolerance and egg allergies can be hard on the digestive tract while celiac disease leads to the inability to absorb sufficient amounts of calcium and iron often leading to osteoporosis and anemia.
Let’s be grateful that Kim Kardashian is not allergic to latex. That would cut her wardrobe in half! However, she is allergic to cats. Approximately 10 million people are allergic to cats, making this the most common pet allergy in the U.S. What makes Kimmie sneeze and sniff is not the cat hair itself but the protein in the dander of felines.
Bouncing over to the world of sports, Serena Williams does not go to peanuts as a source of protein. Peanut allergies can cause anaphylaxis, wheezing, nausea and itching and tingling in or around the mouth and throat. Almond butter is a great alternative with high amounts of magnesium, iron and calcium.
And last but not least, Miley Cyrus could possibly be allergic to pants. Sadly, she can’t go anywhere that’s not similar to LA weather.
Have a great weekend, and enjoy the weather before another snow storm drifts our way!
Author: Rachel P.
As a non smoker, I’m not a fan of the stench of smoke in my hair and clothes, and it’s the number one “no-no” for my teeth and skin health (along with overall health, of course). Moving from a state that had no indoor smoking establishments (except BBQ joints, hardy har-har!) to a state that permits smoking in restaurants and bars that serve to persons over 18, this was just one more thing to adapt to. But it would seem that thanks to electronic cigarettes, we can all have our cake and eat it too.
Electronic cigarettes, aka e-cigarettes, hit the scene around 2007, following the hookah fad which took to trend in 2005. They are becoming mainstream with shops opening up in cities like Atlanta, New York, and Philadelphia, offering a plethora of flavors to "vape" or "smoke". The design is similar to an actual cigarette (some even look like real cigarettes) but includes a colored LED light which lights up when the nicotine solution is heated in an atomizer, vaporized and ready to inhale.
As these electronic cigarettes become more mainstream, we have to ask if they are a healthier alternative to cigarettes. We can consider that they cut down on second hand smoke, which is harmful to children, asthmatics and those with MCS, and they cut down on waste (cigarette butts take over 12 years to biodegrade).
Western Europe has embraced them. University of Auckland in New Zealand sees them as effective as nicotine patches, and the University of Athens, Greece considers them a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking. Dr. Jacques Le Houezec, a French consultant in public health and tobacco dependence, declares cigarettes to have levels of toxicants that are 9 to 450 higher than in e-cigarettes.
For the most part it seems that they are getting the thumbs up as a healthier alternative to Camel, and Lucky Strike (ever seen the pilot for Mad Men? You must if you haven’t!). Research and regulations are only beginning to make progress to ensure that use of e-cigarettes, or vapins, is safer than actual cigarettes, a claim long held by e-cigarette manufacturers and supported by some in the medical community.
Overall, there has been a relative lack of research as to longterm health effects of using e-cigarettes, but initial studies do show an impact on the airways after just a few minutes of use. While they do contain less of the 400 chemicals (40 of which are carcinogens) found in conventional cigarettes, it is probably too early to deem them "healthy". But perhaps most troubling for many is the proliferation of sweet and candy-like flavors that have cropped up in recent years. Like Cherry, Vanilla, and Berry flavored smokeless tobacco and the old Joe Camel cartoon character before them, sweetly flavored e-cigarettes seem to be geared toward children. Though some flavors contain nicotine while others do not, Bananas Foster, Caramel Apple, Cheesecake, Strawberries & Cream, and Watermelon Bubblegum are all nicotine flavors available for e-cigarettes.
Currently there are no federal age restrictions on the sale or use of e-cigarettes, though some states limit sales to those over the age of 18. Growth in this industry has been tremendous, particularly in the last few years, and this trend doesn't show any signs of slowing down. As things surrounding this topic continue to change, including research as to their health vs. harm, I'll keep you updated.
Author: R. Power
There are a several reasons why Santa Fe is the preferred choice for homeowners.
- Performance - With several models to choose from, the entire line offers you a range of models that vary by coverage and moisture removed, among other things. From 70 pints per day all the way up to a whopping 155 pints per day, Santa Fe dehumidifiers get the job done when it comes to keep your basement or crawlspace dry!
Ease of Use - Once you've placed your Santa Fe dehumidifier and leveled it, run your drain line and power, and you're all but ready to go! Simply adjust the dial to choose your desired humidity level, and you're all set. A couple times each year you will want to check on your dehumidifier and clean the air filter, but other than this, it is very easy to use and nearly maintenance-free!
Efficiency - There is simply no other brand of dehumidifiers available that perform as efficiently as Santa Fe. Each model meets or exceeds Energy Star guidelines with the most efficient model surpassing the minimum Energy Star requirements by 50%. For a machine that will likely give you 10+ years of performance, the annual savings on your power bill can more than pay for any Santa Fe dehumidifier in just a couple years.
Rugged Build - Each Santa Fe dehumidifier is constructed of steel to withstand the rigors of use in crawlspaces or basements. Unlike plastic, steel will not warp, fade or break, and while it does add to the weight of each of these dehumidifiers it adds far more in terms of durability.
Range of Options - Each Santa Fe dehumidifier is a little different, in terms of coverage, efficiency, and performance. Some, like the Compact2, Classic and Rx dehumidifiers are built for specific settings, like a tight crawlspace, basement or any room actually in your home or office, respectively. Regardless of the space in your home that you're trying to dry, you can be sure that you have options when it comes to selecting the one right for you. In addition to the dehumidifiers themselves, each has an array of optional accessories. From condensate pump kits and casters to ducting kits, Santa Fe dehumidifier are versatile and highly customizable for your specific needs.
Author: K. Gilmore
Immunotherapy has been a successful form of allergy relief for wasp-sting allergies and grass pollen. At its core, immunotherapy is a long, slow process of reintroducing tiny amounts of a particular allergen to patients. Over time, the amounts of the substance patients ingest or are exposed to increases with that hope of leading to a higher, long term tolerance of the allergen. With regard to peanut allergies, this has been the most successful study so far, and gives hope to parents who are constantly on the lookout for even trace amounts of peanuts that can send the severely allergic into anaphylactic shock. In the future this type of treatment could relieve much of the worry associated with trace amounts of allergens causing severe reactions and help lift many of the precautionary diet restrictions those with food allergies often have to impose.
While we wait for more research, long term test results, and potential FDA approval for this treatment, avoidance remains one of the best options for those dealing with food allergies. Though peanut butter might not be one the menu just yet, here are some Peanut/ nut substitute suggestions without the risk of allergic reactions.
- Sunflower seed butter
- Soy nut butter
Author: R. Power
If allergies have gotten you down this winter, take a look at any in our line of mattress, pillow and duvet covers. Each effectively blocks dust mites, pollen and other common household allergens that can hide in your bedding and keep you from getting a peaceful night's sleep.
If the cold weather is taking its toll, consider one of our many types of blankets. From USDA-certified organic cotton, or snuggly warm microfleece to Vellux and custom down comforters, we've got what you need to stay warm this winter.
Pillow worn, stained, or just lost their fluff? Try our exclusive Allergy Armor Ultra pillow. With the industry's smallest pore size, the Ultra dust mite and allergen barrier fabric is sewn right in! No need for a separate pillow cover. And if sheets are what you need, we've got you covered with GOTS certified organic cotton sheets, perfect for people with sensitive skin, eczema or multiple chemical sensitivities. And lastly, if you were looking to make a big purchase, like upgrading to a custom-crafted Royal Pedic mattress, now is the time to save big!
Regardless of what your bedding needs are, shop now and save 15% by using coupon code WHTSALE14 when checking out!
Author: K. Gilmore