AchooAllergy.com Blog
Posted by kevvyg on Friday, March 30, 2012
Danby DehumidifiersSince spring came early, we all fully expect summer to come early too! In anticipation of a hot and humid summer, our Danby dehumidifiers have arrived!

Consistently a top rated model by consumer ratings agencies, the Danby 70 pint is by far our most popular dehumidifier. Not only is the water removal impressive, the auto-restart, timer, and direct drain option are all valuable features that provide convenience without needless expense.

During the warm, humid summer months, the indoor humidity levels can soar. Even with a central air conditioner running, the temperature can be cool yet the humidity high. To keep humidity levels low enough to prevent dust mite and mold growth, a room dehumidifier is a handy solution.

With the included hose and direct drain option, they are a convenient way to lower the humidity level in your basement without having to empty a condensate tank. Overall, they are one of the easiest ways to prevent mold from growing in your home. Currently only the 70 pint models are in stock, but 50 pints dehumidifiers will be arriving soon!

In addition to Danby's, we offer a wide selection of dehumidifiers to fit nearly any space in your home, from a small cupboard to industrial warehouses!

Shop Dehumidifiers or Check out the Danby 70 pint dehumidifier.

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Readers spoke, and we listened.

With the spring allergy season in full swing, we've been talking quite a bit about face/allergy masks. Though masks are a simple and easy solution to blocking allergens and dust, many Pink Roses Vogmaskpeople still refuse to wear them, so with the introduction of the new Vogmask we hope to remove aesthetics and "look" out of the equation.

Pronounced "v-o-g," these masks come in two styles of fabric/filtration and six patterns. For mild allergy sufferers or those wanting a natural cotton fabric, the organic cotton masks filter particle allergens and fit snugly on the face. For those with those with more moderate to mild allergies, the microfiber Vogmask traps 99% of particles 3 microns and larger.

This means most of the spring pollens and dust are effectively blocked. Despite record pollen levels across the South, you can still enjoy the outdoors without the sneezing, itching and watery eyes.

To see our full line of allergy masks.

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, March 26, 2012
Atlanta Home ShowThis weekend folks from around the metro area visited the Cobb Galleria to see some of the latest products and technologies from local and national companies offered at the Atlanta Home Show. AchooAllergy had a booth and showcased not only our allergy bedding but also Dyson vacuums, and our new Allergy Armor memory foam products.

AchooAllergy.com at the Atlanta Home ShowThe memory foam pillows as well as the new Dyson canister and Ball uprights were hot items. The Allergy Armor memory foam pillow is contoured to support the head and neck, and includes a free Ultra pillow cover. So not only is the foam dust mite resistant, the cover keeps out dust mites and other allergens and is treated with a permanent antimicrobial finish.

As one of the newest additions to Dyson's line of vacuums, the DC41 Animal features some of the best innovations that Dyson has to offer. Not only does it include staples like the Ball and Root Cyclone technology, but it features a new streamlined designed, lighter weight and self-adjusting head. So as you move from surface to surface, the powerhead adjusts to optimal height.

Overall, it was a great weekend! Achoo staffers got to interact with a wide variety of people and offer the local Atlanta community allergy relief products and information during this busy allergy season.

Posted by kevvyg on Friday, March 23, 2012
New Peanut Allergy TestFood intolerances and allergies can be some of the most painstaking and dangerous to accurately pin down. While a definitive method, a food challenge, exists, it consumes a great deal of time and expense. Worst of all, it requires patients to consume the food that they are possibly allergic to, and that can potentially lead to anaphylaxis. A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has shown that there might be a better way.

Researchers in Australia have found a new two-step approach to testing for food allergies, and the hope is that this can reduce some of the cost and time now spent in diagnosing peanut allergies. Unlike the food challenge, this new series of tests could be done without having to expose potential allergy sufferers to the allergen.

A peanut protein, identified as 'Arah2', is proving to be an accurate identifier in this new 2 stage approach. How it would work is the patient would go through a blood test followed by the Arah2 screening. The results of these two combined have been shown to be very accurate and predictive of a true peanut allergy, moreso than either test alone.

Longer term, this testing procedure could reduce the number of food challenges by four fold. This means four times as few people being put at risk of anaphylaxis, in addition to a reduction in the time and cost required for an accurate diagnosis.

There is also a unique upside for children. Increasingly, more and more parents are waiting to allow their children to eat peanuts and other possible allergens for fear of a reaction, and this is particularly true if there is a family history of the allergy. This test could accurately predict a peanut allergy without ever having to expose the child to peanuts.

Overall, better and more accurate tests can help get millions of allergy sufferers the relief that they need sooner. And who knows, if this test holds out to be a viable and accurate alternative, perhaps it could be adapted to test for other allergies?

For more information on Food Allergy products.

Posted by kevvyg on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Just as an update on a couple recent posts....

Vogmask Pink Rose Coming Soon!First, look for the addition of the Vogmasks to our mask line up. We're a couple weeks away, but this will also include a product review by Achoo staffers. We had been leaning towards giving these masks a trial run, and the positive feedback to this post just gave that effort a little more momentum. The feedback is very appreciated! Besides, that's why we're here - to provide the products you want!

Second, the pollen count yesterday in Atlanta was 8164, and that smashed the old record... until this morning. The current count from this morning is 9369, and judging by the amount of sniffling sneezers, it's not going unnoticed.

The margin of difference between the last week's record and the new one, as it relates to Mr. Chestnut? 106. I think your record is safe for now Joey.

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, March 19, 2012
Microscopic Pollen GrainsAs we settle in to the last official day of winter (who knew, right?), temperatures across the south have been hovering around record highs - Think 80-85 degrees. Like the high temperatures, pollen counts are also setting records, and for many allergy and asthma sufferers, all of these records mean miserable weeks ahead.

Don't Let Record Pollen Counts Get You DownThis morning, the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic recored a pollen count of 8164. This leaves the old record, set in 1999, in the dust - figuratively in that the old record was 6013, and literally, like the greenish/yellow cloud of pollen that is currently blanketing the city.*

From sore throats and sneezing to pain in the ears and congestion, allergy symptoms can truly make a person miserable. To combat some of the record setting pollen and allergy symptoms, there are a variety of things you can do to reduce exposure.

First, limit your time outdoors while the pollen is the heaviest. If you must spend significant time outdoors, consider wearing at least an inexpensive dust mask if not a true allergy mask. Second, keep up with the cleaning and vacuuming. Each time your, a family member or pet comes back in, pollen is hitching a ride into your home, so it's important to keep these allergens from spreading throughout the house.

For pets, pet wipes are handy to have in that you can quickly wipe your pet's coat and paws as they enter the house. They are a great way to prevent the pollen paw prints all over your floors. Family members and guests should be encouraged to take their shoes off at the door.

Opening the windows is something many people enjoy, particularly during temperate spring months. This can mean letting in a lot of pollen during peak months, but to combat this, try a window filter. While they do not eliminate all particles, they allows some fresh air in while trapping most of the pollen in the outdoor air.

Lastly, irrigate. Proper use of a neti pot or nasal irrigator can not only clear away pollen and allergens trapped in your sinuses, but they can also rinse away congestion. And nasal irrigation is not just to relieve symptoms in your nose and sinuses. Nasal irrigation can also sometimes help relieve pain in the ears that is caused by sinus pressure.

With warm, dry weather driving pollen counts up, St. Patrick's Day isn't the only reason you'll see green. Just remember a few simple steps, and don't let seasonal allergies get you down.





Pollen Record Falls Faster than 93 Hot Dogs*The old pollen count record not only fell, but was crushed by over 30%. To put this into perspective.... For someone to beat Joey Chesnut's record (68) at the Nathan's hot dog eating contest by the same margin, they'd have to consume 93 hot dogs!

Posted by kevvyg on Friday, March 16, 2012
For a couple of years we have been bouncing around the idea of having a memory foam mattress pad. Many people really like memory foam, and dust mite allergy sufferers find it to be an ideal bedding material.

However, memory foam can be expensive, particularly if you are looking at beds. Alternatively, a memory foam mattress pad or topper can much more affordable and provide at least some of the characteristics that make this type of product so popular.

Allergy Armor Memory Foam Mattress PadOur new mattress toppers are two inches thick and come in Twin, Queen, and King sizes. We know that yellow might not be your favorite color (even for something that you cover with a fitted sheet, flat sheet and comforter, so we are currently in the process of sewing covers for them. Even if you purchase now, the soft stretchy covers will soon be available for purchase separately. And regardless of appearance, they are SOFT!

Like quality memory foam, they supple yet supportive. They conform to your body without creating pressure points, which can lead to soreness and stiffness after a night's sleep.

I have a two inch down mattress pad, and feathers are a CONSTANT source of irritation. To combat feathers poking me while I sleep, I've resorted to using two fitted sheets. Unfortunately, this extra layer of fabric being stretched across the bed actually stiffens the feel of the mattress. The Allergy Armor memory foam mattress topper is the perfect solution to that problem!

Memory foam is dust mite resistant, and a hypoallergenic style of bedding material. For many allergy sufferers, it's a great alternative to traditional bedding that makes a ready home for dust mites and dust mite waste.

Having tested one, I recommend you unpack it and allow it to air out for a day. After twenty-four hours, not only does any foam scent dissipate, but more importantly, the topper expands out to its full two-inch depth.

So as a less expensive alternative to a memory foam mattress or to down toppers, the Allergy Armor Mattress Topper is an excellent choice. Try it today, and don't forget to check out our Memory Foam Pillow.

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, March 14, 2012
With nearly 80 degree weather here in Atlanta and everything in bloom, it seems like an excellent time to make sure you are set for this year's spring allergy season. One of the simpliest measures people take to protect themselves is wear an allergy mask.

Masks come in a variety of styles and sizes, and being such a personal item, it can be difficult to find the one that balances all your needs: filtration, breathability, aethestics, and price. Here at Achoo, we focus on filtration and breathability first, then comfort and price.

One big complaint about allergy masks is the look of them, but would you be willing to sacrifice some filtration for style? You may be familiar with some of the masks below, but browse our Andy Warhol-esque selection below and see which you would prefer. Allergy Mask Styles
  • a. Vogmask (Microfiber) - Non-woven microfiber, 3-ply, that offers basic particle filtration, roughly equivalent to the Silk Mask.
  • b. Vogmask (Organic Cotton) - Organic cotton, 2-ply, that offers slightly less filtration and the Vogmask microfiber.
  • c. ICanBreathe Organic Cotton - This organic cotton face mask uses no latex, dyes, perfumes or plastics. The filtration is similar to the Silk Mask.
  • d.Respro Techno - With the European equivalent of N95 filtration and activated carbon, the Techno filters chemicals, smoke and particles.
  • e.Respro Aero/Allergy - Like the Techno, the Aero offers N95 equivalent filtration of particles with optional smoke/chemical filtration.
  • f. ICanBreathe Silk - Very popular, the Silk is lightweight, easily stored and blocks medium to larger particles, like dust and many pollens, less than N95 filtration.
The Vogmasks are new masks that incorporates a lot more style into the design. The filtration varies, and both are washable and reusable. So for around $20 in price, would you sacrifice some particle filtration for a more stylish mask? Which mask would you choose? We'd love to hear your comments below.

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Posted by kevvyg on Monday, March 12, 2012
* Editor's Note: We apologize, but there seems to have been a glitch with the comments section on our blog. It's fixed now, but we’ve missed out on some really interesting comments from our readers! So keep it up, and you should start seeing your comments appear. Enjoy today’s post!

While it is only March but, Spring is well upon us. The trees and flowers are in bloom; pollen’s in the air, and it seems like it might be a good time to pull the dehumidifier out of winter hibernation to prep for this spring and summer. Maintenance is not extensive, but it is important in keeping your dehumidifier running properly throughout the wettest part of the year.

Rodents Think Cords are Chew ToysDepending on where you have been storing the unit, it’s always a good idea to do a visual inspection, and for good reason. One spring I pulled my dehumidifier out of an out-building I had been storing it in, only to find the power cord had been chewed into thirds. You will also want to check the tank, and while many have smaller openings, it never hurts to inspect for… critters or things that might be nesting.

A cloth dampened with warm water or a mild soapy mix will remove most markings, dirt or debris on the exterior, and it never hurts to spray parts of the dehumidifier tank that touch water with Vital Oxide. I have found this to be an indispensible tool when sanitizing or removing mold around the house.

Dehumidifier Air FiltersMost modern dehumidifiers come with an air filter. Some, like Aprilaire dehumidifiers are styled similar to your HVAC filter, and work well at trapping large and medium sized particles that can accumulate and damage the motor and fan. Others are simply a mesh type filter meant to really only keep dust bunnies and hair out of the unit. Replace the filter if needed or simply use compressed air to blow the filter out.

For larger dehumidifiers, you may have easy access to the coils or motor. If so, now is the perfect time to again use compressed air to blow out debris, dust or dirt that may be accumulating around the coils or motor. Take care to use a lower pressure air as not to damage the soft copper or aluminum coils.

After you’ve reassembled the dehumidifier, you’re all set to try it out. Before you start the machine, be sure that is has sat in the normal, upright, operating position for 24 hours (particularly if it has been stored on its side or for some reason, upside down.... don't ask).

With all the complete, plug it in, and turn it on. If you have any problems, check the tank. An improperly seated water tank is the most frequent and easily remidied problem. Next, take a look at the troubleshooting section in the user manual. If you don’t have the manual, check the product page on our site, as each will have a copy. If all else fails, contact us or the manufacturer to try and resolve any issues.

A dehumidifier is an important part of many households across the country. So when the humidity goes up and the rain falls down, keep mold growth and dust mite levels in check by maintaining the proper relative humidity with a home dehumidifier.

Posted by kevvyg on Friday, March 09, 2012
Each spring ushers in a yellow-green flood of pollen, and Atlanta begins to resemble a pastry that some giant chef has sprinkled yellowish green powdered sugar all over. So with the average pollen count in Atlanta doubling over the last 30 days, adjusting the clocks Sunday isn't the only changes allergy and asthma sufferers have on their To-Do list.

Though the yellow pine pollen that coats the city isn't usually the cause of all the sneezing in Atlanta, it does signal the start of seasonal allergies. For the next several weeks, there will be a few things that allergy sufferers can do to reduce their headaches, congestion, sneezing and other symptoms.

Though staying inside for the next month isn't something most people can or want to do, what can be done is limiting the time you spend outside. This not only reduces your exposure but also limits how much pollen you'll bring back inside.

If you are going to spend significant time outdoors, an allergy mask can dramatically reduce your exposure. There are a variety of styles from the thin, light Silk Mask to the more effective respirators. Regardless of what you select, each offer some level of protection from pollen and other particle allergens.

Another helpful tip is to make sure you take your shoes off at the door. Ultimately, it is a much easier to keep your home free of pollen if you aren't tracking it all through the house. Same goes with your clothes. If you are particularly sensitive, change your clothes once you get home to further avoid spreading pollen through the house.

After spending a winter with the windows closed, spring seems like a natural time to let a fresh, cool breeze in. To allow air to circulate without allowing so much of the pollen in, a window filter is a great device. Mexican Statue Wearing a FacemaskAnd since REP tweeked the design of their filters, you can now swap out the filter media instead of having to buy all new filters.

Lastly, you might want to consider nasal irrigation. While constantly rinsing can create problems for some people, flushing your sinuses during allergy season is a great way to clear away pollen that has become trapped in your nasal passages. And unlike many OTC drugs, there are no side effects.

While I know lament the absence of sunny days, I hope that this spring brings plenty of wet weather! Rain not only washes away the pollen that has accumulated and effectively lowers the pollen count, but as my personal favorite, it helps delay our seemingly annual drought! Plus, I think we'd all like to avoid looking like this guy to my right.

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