AchooAllergy.com Blog
Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, September 18, 2014
Cheap Way to Sanitize Floors - Soniclean Steam Mop A short while ago, we had to discontinue the popular Gruene steam mop. While people really liked the versatility of this steam cleaner, actually getting the product from the manufacturer was increasingly problematic. Fortunately, we realized we have a partner who has nearly the exact same product. So with a different name and color, the 2-in-1 steam cleaner is back in the Soniclean Steam Mop. How is this steam mop different than the Gruene and how can it help you maintain a healthier home through the upcoming flu season?

Soniclean 2-in-1 Steam CleanerWhen you look at the Soniclean steam mop, you'll notice a starting resemblance to the Gruene. From size and style to weight and performance, they are near identical. Why, you ask? Because it's the same machine! It's the same portable steamer that people have liked but at a lower price point and different color scheme.

Beyond the look, the Soniclean steam cleaner is a handy yet powerful addition to your cleaning tool box. Use the included floor pad to sanitize and deep clean your tile, linoleum, laminate and sealed hardwood floors quickly and efficiently. The low moisture content means the floor completely dries in a matter of minutes. With steam that gets as hot as 212° F. the Soniclean uses the simple and clean power of heat to kill germs and flu viruses while unlocking trapped odors and loosening stuck on grime. When you're finished with your smooth floors, you transition to above-the-floor cleaning in seconds.

Detach the body of the steam cleaner from the upright frame and attach your favorite cleaning brush to steam clean countertops, bathrooms, and even clothing. The Soniclean Two-in-One Steam Cleaner is very lightweight, only about eight lbs. (three lbs. when you're using it as a handheld) and includes a shoulder strap for use as a handheld steam cleaner. While using it, most people get eight to twelve minutes of use before having to refill the tank, and unlike cheaper steam cleaners (Lookin' at you, Shark!), as a steam mop the Soniclean only emits steam when you use the trigger on the handle.

Attachments include a garment hand tool, wire brush, three differently shaped/sized nylon brushes, a jet nozzle and more. Best of all, each of these attachments actually fits onto the back of the Soniclean. And, when it comes to the towel for the mop cleaning head, you're not pigeonholed into purchasing only clothes from the manufacturer. Any cloth that is sized right will work!

Steam cleaning is a convenient way to deep clean and kill germs without leaving behind the residues and odors that accompany traditional chemical cleaners. From the kitchen and bathroom to your basement and garage, the Soniclean steam cleaner is a more versatile way to clean. So, don't needlessly expose your family to an array of chemicals when you can clean just as efficiently with just heat and water.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Late last week many of you likely came across a story about Enterovirus D68 and how it is affecting school children in states across the middle of the U.S. I have to admit, I am a bit behind on this topic, but not having children is the likely reason for me to have missed it (well that and the fact that I average less than eight hours of television per week). Latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates confirm a total of just over 100 cases spread across ten states, with that estimate likely being a bit low due to confirmation process. What struck me about this virus were two things. First, I haven't heard of this before, and secondly, it seems to affecting children with asthma at a greater rate and more severely than other children. What is an enterovirus, and how is it spread? More importantly, what can children and adults do to help lessen the spread of this virus?

An enterovirus is a single-stranded RNA virus that is part of a genus containing twelve different species of viruses. Within each species, though, there can be a wide variety of serotypes (variations), but all have high mutation rates. In this case, the name "enterovirus D68" represents the variant of this particular genus of viruses, the 68th. Overall, this genus of virus actually contains some of the worst offenders when it comes to humans, both in severity (polio to hepatitis A) and in breadth of contagion (common cold - the Rhinovirus).

The CDC estimates that 10 to 15 million people each year are infected with the enterovirus, but with majority of these being the rhinovirus (common cold), this statistic is generally one that does not raise concern. What is raising concern is the spread of enterovirus D68, and this is for two reasons.

First, while we first discovered this particular serotype decades ago, it has not been commonly occurring. More importantly, it appears to disproportionately affect those with asthma. Those with asthma or other respiratory conditions are generally more prone to suffer more severe effects from external factors, not only viruses but also pollen and smoke. Smoke makes me cough, but if you have asthma, smoke can cause wheezing or an asthma attack.

A similar situation is what parents are seeing with this virus. While many likely shrug it off as the common cold or flu, CDC Chart of States Reporting Enterovirus D68 Caseswith the child exhibiting symptoms that are most akin to a cold or allergies, children with asthma may experience trouble breathing or wheezing. This is when parents are suggested to act. And recently, they have been.

Overall the scope of the virus is likely underestimated since many will see less severe symptoms, not enough to seek medical treatment. Hospitals and labs aren't likely reporting the full scope since the virus isn't one that is required to be tested for by the CDC. However, the image to the right shows the states reporting infections as of Monday with the lower image showing states reporting as of today. Yes, it is spreading, much like the common cold and flu does each year, and currently health officials are expecting this trend to increase before it finally tapers off with the onset of winter.

What do you do? The main concern right now seems to be with children with asthma. Touch base with your primary care provider and keep in mind what to do if your child is experiencing labored or troubled breathing or wheezing. Milder symptoms are going to be most common amongst children in general and like the cold, with plenty of fluids and rest, they will run their course with little worry. For more severe cases, supportive care is really the most that can be done. Medications to relax airways and supplemental oxygen are most common with the most critical needing ventilators.

In general, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, enterovirus D68 is making a lot of headlines, but it is generally a mild virus that acts much like the common cold. While all parents will want to be watchful of their children and symptoms, asthmatics are most at risk. Lastly, like the common cold, there is no vaccine or treatment beyond supportive care, so prevention techniques, like frequent hand washing and sanitizing surfaces are important things to keep in mind.

Author: Kevin Gilmore

Tags: Asthma
Posted by kevvyg on Friday, September 12, 2014

Is It Allergies or A Cold?

Every year a question most people struggle with at some point is, "Do I have a cold or is it allergies?". For most people, it's not a terribly difficult question to answer. People who cope with allergies are familiar with the symptoms and can usually tell the difference between the two. But what if you've never been diagnosed with allergies before? Ever Feel Like a Walking Sneeze Factory?I'm fall into this category, and recently had the same allergies vs. cold debate in my head.

Personally, I don't often get sick. Generally once a year or less I'll have the flu, but I've not had the joy of a head cold in quite some time... until last week. I woke up with a sore throat, and while I know for a fact that I was NOT sleeping on a sand dune that night, my throat was telling me otherwise. Congestion was hot on the heels of the sore throat, and later in the day I was a walking sneeze factory. These are three common symptoms for both allergies and the common cold, so how do you tell the difference between the two?

Let's start with the sore throat first. We've all had a sore throat, and the really the only way to describe this is, it hurts! Not slam-your-hand-in-the-car-door hurt, but you know what I mean. With allergies, your throat won't hurt so much as it may itch.

Allergies vs. Cold - Official Scorecard Round 1

One really wonderful thing I got to look forward to was a night of log roll sleeping. This is where I go to sleep on my right side and shortly after not being able to breathe through that side of my nose, I roll over to the left side and the same thing happens. You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. This was, as it always is, due to congestion. Tissues, toilet paper, even paper towels weren't safe from being filled with nose-goo. It was a never ending faucet of congestion. Congestion and runny nose are common symptoms of both allergies and colds, so how does this help? Ask yourself this. Did whatever symptoms you are experiencing show up together or was their arrival staggered? Symptoms almost all showing up at once is more likely to be allergies while staggered symptoms is often indicative of a cold.

Allergies vs. Cold - Official Scorecard Round 2

Nearly every morning I go through a small fit of sneezing. I'm guessing dust mites, but I do not know for sure. As someone who is classically trained in the art of "do as I say, not as I do," I feel completely right in recommending that if you experience this, make an appointment with your local board certified allergist. Over the first few days of my symptoms, my morning sneezing went on as usual, but randomly throughout the day, I would sneeze, 7, 8, 9, up to 10 times in a row. Sneezing isn't exclusive to colds or allergies. People with either will exhibit this symptom.

Allergies vs. Cold - We Have a Winner!

So that solves it! Cold it was. (Hooray?) It started with one symptom, and like an evil cake recipe kept adding more layers of moist misery - congestion then sneezing. While my situation was solved, there are a few other things to keep in mind. Colds start, then get worse, and ultimately clear up, even with no intervention. Allergies are much more likely to remain consistent as long as exposure remains. So if the ragweed pollen count is high for weeks on end, you're likely to see no improvement in your condition without treatment. An allergy symptom won't just "run its course". Lastly, the symptoms I had aren't the only ones you'll see. Itchy or watery eyes - allergies. Sinus Pressure - Allergies or a cold. Fever - cold (more often the flu). Coughing - a cold and more rarely, allergies.

Super Jumbo Tub of Antihista-Wow!  Not Available Anywhere!So if it's a cold, how do you get over it? The age old methods of chicken noodle soup, a mega-carton of tissues, and a Costco-sized tub of decongestant helps. Much like a fair barker, do nothing and eventually it will go away.

With allergies, the story is different. Unless you're willing to wait weeks or months, they won't just go away. From avoidance to treating the symptoms, there are a variety of things you can do to speed symptoms away and some that can prevent them from occurring (or at least lessen them). Medication is the easiest. Antihistamines, decongestants and other over-the-counter remedies will help, but many carry side effects. More long term solutions are allergy shots and treatments. Over the course of months or years these can help desensitize your system, causing it to react less to harmless allergens.

Avoidance is another way to help yourself, but avoidance requires a little more effort. Avoidance means making your home more hospitable for you and less so for allergens. Cleaning, using a HEPA air purifier, and things a simple as taking your shoes off at the door and regularly replacing your HVAC filter are all good places to start when it comes to avoidance and environmental control. Remedies to help symptoms can be as simple as rinsing your sinuses.

Ever since I was introduced to sinus rinsing, I've been a big fan. I do not have allergies, but I do get the occasional stuffy nose, and as a runner, I will feel "gunky" afterwards from time to time. Rinsing takes about as long as it does to brush your teeth and generally keeps your nasal passages feeling better and you breathing easier for hours.

Generally, maintaining an indoor environment that's more hospitable to you is something that can help year round, particularly since most people will deal with allergies multiple times throughout the year. For more tips on controlling your indoor environment, visit... just about any page on our site!

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by Kevvyg on Friday, September 05, 2014
It's been creeping up on us for several weeks now. Scattered reports coming in from across the country, the midwest, the northeast... It continues it slow but steady march across the nation. We've tried to push it to the back of our minds, but we can never truly forget. As sure as the sun will rise each morning, IT has finally made its presence known....

Ragweed Allergy Season's Not Quite As Scary As It Sounds Ragweed! What did you think I was talking about? Zombies? Nope, it's ragweed season. You can breathe a collectively sigh of relief that the zombie apocalypse is truly NOT upon us. Well, you could breathe a sigh of relief if your nose wasn't so stuffed up from all of this ragweed pollen.

All kidding aside, ragweed allergy season is here and is likely to stay here for several weeks. While sources like the Weather Channel do seem to particularly enjoy writing a "Worst Allergy Season Ever" article every single year, chances are this year is likely to be about what you'd expect, in other words, pretty average.

Average is pretty good, right? Well, it's certainly better than terrible, but for those who struggle with fall allergies and ragweed season, it will likely feel pretty terrible. Take heart though, each year millions of people are admitted into this club! Aside from taking some solace in the concept of "misery loves company" there are a variety of things you can do to help alleviate symptoms and avoid some of the worst that ragweed allergy season is serving up.

This Is NOT Proper Ragweed Allergen Avoidance... This Is Actually the EXACT Opposite!The first major piece of advice is avoidance. This doesn't mean you have to be a shut-in for the next two months. There are a lot of great outdoor events each fall, and now's the time to find some of the best produce at your local outdoor markets. , but what it does mean is you should take note of days when the pollen count is going to be particularly high and adjust your schedule accordingly. Avoidance isn't just for outdoors. Avoidance indoors can mean a variety of things, from removing pollen that is making it into your home to preventing it from getting there in the first place.

In addition to avoidance proper treatment can make a dramatic difference in how you feel during this time of year. From allergy shots to over the counter medication or simply rinsing your sinuses, there are a variety of treatments available that can lessen symptoms or even lower your sensitivity to ragweed pollen.

Over the years we've written quite a bit about ragweed and how to cope with ragweed allergies. So for more information on Ragweed allergies or more importantly, how to limit ragweed allergies, visit our informative Ragweed FAQs page. Here you can find some of the best and easiest way to combat fall allergies. Have a great weekend!

Author: KevvyG

Posted by kevvyg on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Shop Miele Vacuums - Free HEPA Filter!Free Miele HEPA Filter with Miele Vacuum PurchaseTo usher in September, we have a couple deals to help you save money on some of our most popular home cleaning appliances. From now until September 30th, purchase any Miele vacuum cleaner and get a FREE HEPA filter!

Miele vacuum cleaners have long been the standard of excellence when it comes to cleaning your floors while keeping the air in your home free of allergens and irritating particles that traditional vacuums spew out as they "clean". Conforming to strict H13 HEPA standards, the new Miele HEPA filter traps 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. This includes all of the common allergens like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores. Most Miele vacuums feature a sealed system in addition to the 9-ply filterbag, and it all three of these components that make a Miele the best allergy vacuum available.

For this limited time each Miele vacuum you purchase will include a free HEPA filter. If the Miele you choose already has one, then the addition of this free filter means you have all the HEPA filters you need for the next two years of use. And, if the model you select doesn't come with a HEPA filter standard, then you've received a free HEPA filter upgrade! Either way, you get a free filter, valued at $49.95. So whether you're looking for a top-of-the-line, premium Miele canister vacuum, a powerful Miele upright or something in between, shop now and save.

Reliable Enviromate Steam Cleaner $100 Discount Extended!

We also have good news for those of you looking for a steam cleaner. Reliable has extended their $100 savings on their premium home steam cleaners. In addition to free shipping, you can now take $100 off the top three Reliable steam cleaners. This includes the dual use Tandem EV1, a canister-style steam cleaner and HEPA vacuum cleaner, all-in-one, as well as the versatile E40 VIVA, and the durable E20 GO. Deep clean and sanitize throughout your home with any of these three models. Each offers a wide variety of accessories and attachments specifically suited to kills germs, remove stuck-on grime, and give you a healthier home, all without the harsh chemicals and fragrances that accompany other home cleaning products. Italian-made, these steam cleaners have a lifetime warranty on the boiler and durable ABS shell for years of consistent cleaning inside and outside your home.

For either of these great deals, there's no need for a coupon code. Simply drop them in your cart and your free filter or $100 discount will automatically be included. Take advantage of either or both of these deals before they expire, and if you have any questions or need some expert advice on which Miele or steam cleaner would best meet your needs, call, email, chat or submit an FAQ to us anytime.

Author: Kevin Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
In the last two years, there has been an incredible amount of research into what is called the human microbiome - the wide variety of microorganisms that live on and in us. It is still a difficult concept for many of us to wrap our heads around, but research has shown that the cells of all the microbes on and inside of us actually outnumber the total cells that make up the human body and by a pretty wide margin. Only recently have we started to consider the larger roles these tiny cohabitants play in our lives and in our health. Last year I wrote a piece about fungi in the lungs and how the types and numbers of them found in those with asthma vs. control patients varied. More recently, a research piece published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) highlights the link between bacteria in the gut and food allergies.

Mice, Peanut Allergies & Gut Bacteria - Probiotic Solution to Food Sensitivities?Researchers started by examining the role gut bacteria play in food sensitivities and food allergies in two groups of mice. Playing on the "hygiene hypothesis" researchers put together one group of mice that were raised in a sterile environment. In the other group, the mice were given a large dose of antibiotics at just two weeks of age. After being given peanut extract, both groups were observed, and from here researchers began introduction specific groups of bacteria to see if they had any effect on the allergic response. Specifically, Bacteroides and Clostridia bacteria groups were the focus, two types that are commonly found in wild mice.

The results were very interesting. First, mice that were given antibiotics showed a high sensitivity to the peanut extract. Antibiotics given early in life have recently been shown to be linked to a myriad Clostridia Bacteria Introduced Into Gut Reduced Peanut Sensitivityof problems later on, including things like the development of allergies and asthma. Of the second group, the reaction to the peanut allergen was even more severe with some showing signs of anaphylaxis. While the introducing Bacteroides into the gut of mice had little effect, Clostridia was another story.

In both groups of mice, the introduction of Clostridia bacteria into the mice resulted in reduced allergic responses to the peanut allergen. This is extremely important for two reasons. First, it shows a link between specific gut bacteria and the development of allergies, again highlighting the link between the microbiome and the health of the animal. Second, these results point toward the potential of treating food allergies with the use of probiotics.

This study also refines the "hygiene theory" somewhat. While traditionally, it was suggested that a lack of exposure to germs and microbes early on could lead to the immune system overreacting to innocuous substances like dust mites, peanuts, or pollen, these results would suggest that a more sterile environment or perhaps even an overuse of antibiotics could lead to less diverse and less numerous gut bacteria, which would in turn be setting the stage for allergen sensitivity.

While the notion of treating allergies or food sensitivities with probiotics are still many years away, this latest research solidifies the link between gut bacteria and allergies. More importantly, it opens the door for potentially novel, new treatments of allergies, asthma and possibly other allergic diseases.

To read the abstract of this study.

Author: KevvyG

Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, August 21, 2014
Tree nut and peanut allergies are some of the most common as well as some of the most commonly discussed food allergies. Without fail, every year we hear at least a handful of stories about those who are severely allergic coming in contact with and ultimately dying from food allergies. The standard way most deal with food allergies is with allergy shots (or another type of desensitization procedure) or strict avoidance. Yet neither is fullproof. A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are approaching this problem by not changing the person dealing with allergies but instead by changing the food.

Allergy-Free Cashews? Maybe!Allergy-free peanuts? While it may seem a bit farfetched, this is just what they are working on. Started with a cashew extract (oil), researchers are treating the proteins found in the oil with heat and sodium sulfite. You may recognize sodium sulfite, as it's a preservative commonly found in a variety of foods. What this process does is change the molecular look of reaction-causing protein in the cashew, making it more difficult for immunoglobin (IgE - the antibody that kicks off your body's response, aka, allergic reaction) to recognize and bind with the protein.

Test results showed that when mixing unmodified and modified cashew proteins with the IgE of a nut allergic person, 50% fewer of the IgE molecules bonded with the altered proteins. This is important for a few reasons. Even though this isn't the first experiment to attempt this, it is the first that uses a compound generally regarded as safe (GRAS) to disrupt the protein structure of the allergen. It is also important because unlike other treatments, it is aimed at treating the food, not the person. Lastly, its success shows the potential for reducing or possibly even eliminating the binding of IgE to food allergens, the root of the allergic response.

For now results show a allergy-reduced nut, which isn't as helpful a non-allergenic one. However, these results at least point towards the possibility of this as a solution. What's up next for researchers? Modifying whole cashews then ensuring the cashews still taste they way they should! Until then, avoidance remains the best option for most dealing with severe food allergies.

To read the full abstract of the research.

For more information on food allergies.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by Rachel P. on Monday, August 18, 2014
All of a sudden school is back in session and people are moving around, filling up dumpsters and sidewalks with furniture that won't fit in their co-ops, dorm rooms, apartments or simply clashes with their new interior decor. For dumpster divers, freegans, "urban foragers", or frugal residents eyeing the sofas and comfy upholstered furniture outside of the dumpster, don't forget about bed bugs! In all of the excitement of finding something new for your living room or bedroom, the last thing you want to do is bring home some very unwelcomed guests.

Free Furniture May Hold a Hidden PestBed bugs are excellent hitchhikers, and while the most common method for them getting into your home is by hitching a ride in your luggage when you travel, bed bugs can live for quite a long time in old furniture and bedding. For those that live in a dorm or apartment complex, once you have bed bugs, it doesn't take a great deal for time before all of your neighbors have them too.

In addition to being fairly mobile, bed bugs have a VERY high reproductive rate, and in a matter of days or weeks you could be faced with an infestation. This parasite (and they are parasitic with the whole "feeding on your blood while you sleep" thing) is about the size of an apple seed, and can be either flat and brown, or reddish after feeding. They greatly enjoy bedding, particularly mattresses, but any furniture or dark place where they can hide during the day but not be too far from their dinner (you) at night.

Here are a few clues that can let you know if you are housing bed bugs.
  • Though bed bug bites can be found anywhere on the body, you will typically find bites on your arms, face, legs and hands.
  • Bites appear to be red and swollen with a dark red center.
  • Often grouped together, bites can appear as bites in a line.
  • However, since there is about 30% of the population does not react to bed bug bites, check your mattress and box spring for tiny black dots, which are their droppings, or look for tiny, red smears (blood) which come from biting you.
Bed bugs are difficult to spot. Though you can see them with the unaided eye, they are nocturnal, which makes spotting one during the day something of a rarity. So what do they do all day? Sleep? Hibernate? Play Yahtzee? It doesn't really matter WHAT they do all day but it is a good idea to find WHERE they are all day. Some of the most common hiding spots for bed bugs are... nearly everything in your bedroom. This can include the bed frame and headboard, mattress, box spring, pillows, in the crevices or seams of furniture, under furniture, under the carpet at baseboards, curtain, and even behind electrical receptacles.

Why is it important to know where they hide? To get rid of them. Once you get bed bugs you need to call a professional pest control company to take care of the matter. Trying to take care of the problem your self can lead to a larger infestation and is often simply ineffective.

There are some methods for getting rid of bed bugs on your own. If you had encased your mattress and pillows, provided you're using a good quality bedding cover, you can prevent bed bugs from getting into certain articles of bedding. If not, a common technique is to wash bedding in hot water and dry on high heat. This is fine for pillows and linens but mattresses and furniture are another matter. Steam cleaning can help with some of these. Hot vapor steam generated from a high quality steam cleaner can not only deep clean but kills bed bug. On the professional side of things, pesticides are the most common treatment. Some pest control professionals will use high heat in a room to drive the temperature high enough to kill bed bugs. However, even with professionals, most people often end up getting rid of a lot of bedding and even their furniture.

The next time you see that cozy looking secondhand couch hanging around the dumpster, leave it! It could end up being much more trouble than it's worth. Even when you go to a thrift store, make sure you aren't purchasing upholstered furniture that was in a bed bug infested home. It never hurts to ask.

Author: R. Power

Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, August 14, 2014
For the last week we at AchooAllergy have been reworking our SEBO vacuum cleaner section. Now seems like as good a time as any to reintroduce you to the incredibly versatile SEBO Felix uprights.

The Versatile, Stylish SEBO Felix Upright Vacuum Cleaner

There are three different types of SEBO Felix uprights, but all share a core set of features. Of interest to most people visiting our site, one key feature they all share is high quality filtration. Each uses a 3-ply dust bag that seals up for hygienic disposal. This dust bag traps all of your visible particles and some of the microparticles found in indoor air. A motor filter then traps more of the fine particles that the bag cannot, and before the air leaves the vacuum back into your room, it passes through an electrostatic S-Class filter.Each SEBO Felix Has a Large Electrostatic S-Class Filter for Allergens & Dust

This last filter has a slight static charge, similar to what you see sometimes with socks in the dryer, and this is what enhances the microfilter, helping it to filter out 99.9% of all particles 0.3 microns and larger. Unlike traditional HEPA filters in vacuums, the S-Class found in the Felix is a full 250 square inches filter media. That's almost two square feet of filter media in one vacuum cleaner filter. This type of filtration is important for anyone dealing with allergies, asthma or worse, as it removes the fine particles that can trigger reactions, including things like the dust mite allergen, pet dander, and pollen.

The next feature all Felix vacuums share is the 1300 watt motor. This powerful motor provides more than enough suction to clean all types of carpet as well as smooth flooring. Even more, the motor is built to give you a good twelve to fifteen years or consistent, reliable service. In addition to a powerful motor, each Felix has a durable ABS shell, made to withstand the rigors of years of daily use.

SEBO Felix 1 and 2 Premium Uprights are Great for Pet HairThe last primary feature they all share is versatility. Their design will remind you somewhat of a canister, and it is this configuration that allows the Felix upright to double as a handheld vacuum cleaner. Remove the floor tool and lower the height-adjustable handle, and you can hold the Felix from the side while using the hose and wand to clean drapes, high overhead areas or dust. Unlike most handhelds, you never worry about a battery dying after 10-15 minutes of use.

SEBO Kombi Floor ToolWhere the SEBO models begin to separate themselves is in what types of flooring they are designed to clean. The SEBO Felix 4 Kombi vacuum is the most cost efficient in the line, and is designed specifically for homes with mostly smooth floors with small areas of low pile carpet. The included Kombi floor tool has retractable bristles that when out dislodge debris. When the bristles are retracted, the Kombi uses two felt strips and power suction to clean low pile carpet.

SEBO ET-1 Power HeadThe next step up from this is the SEBO Felix 1 Premium vacuum. Instead of the Kombi combination floor tool, you get two floor tools. The premium parquet brush is specifically designed for smooth floors, with low-cut bristles and a slim design that glides across tile, hardwoods and other hard flooring surfaces. The Felix 1 also comes with the ET-1 power head. This 12" wide carpet cleaning tool has an independently driven brush roll and gives you the option to turn the brush roll off and use straight suction to quickly clean small areas of smooth flooring. The ET-1 also makes it easy to remove entangled pet hair or carpet fiber by giving you quick access to the brush roll for simple cleaning or replacement if the bristles are worn.

SEBO ET-2 Power HeadIf you need a little more power or want a larger cleaning path, the SEBO Felix 2 Premium vacuum might be your choice. Like the Felix 1, it comes with the premium parquet tool, but instead of the ET-1, the Felix 2 features the larger, more powerful ET-2 power head. With a 15" wide cleaning path and more powerful motor, the ET-2 is the best SEBO has to offer for cleaning large areas of carpet. Like the ET-1 this carpet brush also has easy access to the brush roll as well as brush roll control and four height adjustments.

As a final note, one of the very first things most people will notice about the Felix vacuum cleaners is the style. Uniquely shaped and designed, Felix vacs come in your choice of colors/patterns. So when you get tired of replacing your boring, uninspired upright every two to three years and are looking for something more durable, effective and fun, a SEBO Felix upright is a good place to start.

Author: Kevin Gilmore

Posted by A. Howard on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
With the fall festival season right around the corner, it's time to hustle on getting your costumes and outdoor necessities together!

For years AchooAllergy's marked the start of this time of year with an annual sale for your outdoor necessities, like masks, sunscreen, blankets, and more. From large outdoor concerts to state and county fairs or just hanging out with 50,000 of your closest friends in the Nevada desert, fall events occur throughout the U.S., and in different locales, there are a variety of things to plan for. From sunscreen and blankets to masks that can filter out wood smoke, dust and sand, you can now save on some things to make your outdoor event more comfortable.

Top 3 Fall Festival Masks
  • Best Mask for Smoke, Dust & Sand - Respro TechnoRespro Techno - Made in the UK, the Respro has been a traditional favorite. It was originally created to filter out city air pollution and for those with active lifestyles. With Dynamic ACC (Activated Charcoal Cloth) and HEPA-style filtration, this mask does a very good job of not only filtering out particulate (like sand and dust) but also odors and wood smoke. Since the filters are replaceable, the Techno mask provides most people with years of use. A flexible neoprene shell, velcro adjustment, and two exhale valves make for a snug, comfortable fit and help to reduce heat around your face.
  • RZ Outdoor MaskRZ Mask - Also great for outdoor adventures, like a week out in the desert, and to protect you from dust storms and smoke, the RZ Mask is very similar to the Respro Techno. The RZ also comes with carbon/particle filter and dual exhale valves and neoprene construction. Though cheaper than Respro (it's made in China and doesn't carry the official filtration certifications that Respro does) the RZ has been independently tested and is effective for microparticles as well as odor removal.
  • VogmasksVogmask - There are a few different varieties of Vogmasks. From organic cotton dust masks to the CV99, each offers varying degrees of protection. The best is the CV99 mask. Not only does it have a layer of carbon to adsorb smoke from campfires but the particle filtration is officially certified. A respiration valve, lightweight design and wide selection of stylish prints and unique patterns makes these masks a big hit.

Take 10% Off Select ItemsFree Sample Size Vanicream Suncreen w/ Each Mask Purchase

Other Essential Items

Vanicream Sunscreen is great for sensitive skin, eczema and for those who don't want to slather on chemicals and fragrances that are found in most sunscreens. Nontoxic and free from PABA and preservatives, this lightweight, non-greasy formula won't clog pores, and stays water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Available in SPF 30, SPF Sport and SPF 50.

Allergy Armor Organic Blankets are soft and great for chilly nights around a camp fire. Made from USDA certified organic cotton and sewn right in Atlanta, GA, these organic cotton blankets are sustainably produced and free of the chemical, dye, fertilizer, and pesticide residues that are so prevalent in modern cotton production.

Just because the summer is winding down, doesn't mean the fun stops. There will always be communities having a great time, experiencing lights, nature and art. So make sure you have everything you need to get out there and enjoy what remains of summer and coming fall festival season!

Author: April Howard

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