AchooAllergy.com Blog
Posted by kevvyg on Monday, October 28, 2013
Morning frost, warm afternoons, fall foliage, and specials on candy all add up to one thing - me loving this time of year. As one of my favorite times, the only downside for me is those oaks in the front yard that are going to begin dumping leaves for the next six months. With Halloween, and likely a steady stream of candy-seeking children, nearly on my doorstep, it is a good idea to go over five basic food safety tips for kids, specifically for children with food allergies or sensitivities.

Candy Corn - Quite Possibly the World's Worst Halloween CandyI have one general rule when it comes to handing out candy. I always give out things that I will want to eat if there's any left over. As I've gotten older, my sweet tooth has gotten larger, and this means not only stocking full-size candy bars but also suckers and gum balls. Having worked at AchooAllergy for several years, I've gotten into the habit of keeping things on hand that lack the nuts or dairy ingredients that can cause many food allergic kids problems. Some years I've also taken a handful of two dollar bills (the novelty never wears off on me) and put one each in a plastic Easter egg. On the big night, I bundle three suckers or six gum balls together, since in my mind, those are about equal to one candy bar. I keep each of these different types of things in different bowls and make up a little sign for each, i.e. "Diary-Free," "Dairy & Nut Free," and "Cavities Ahoy!"

This doesn't cover everything, but it does touch on some of the major food allergens. For me, it's not only important to have food allergic alternatives, but also for any kid who shows up at my doorstep not to feel slighted simply because they have a food allergy. Halloween is supposed to be fun, not disappointing!

Not everyone is going to take the time or effort to be so accommodating, and for many people food allergies are not something with which they have experience. So despite efforts that people do or do not take, here are a list of helpful tips that any parent of a food allergic child can keep in mind.
  • Wait to Eat - As the most basic tip, try to avoid letting your child eat the candy while trick or treating. Wait until you get back home to not only tally the evening's sweet plunder but also sort out any potentially dangerous candy or sweets.
  • Keep Your Own Stash - I like this tip! This is like your currency that you can use when the evening is over. As you sort and pick out any potentially dangerous treats, trade your child for a safe one from your stash. It's a win-win!
  • Wearing a Costume Is One of the Best Parts of Halloween!Always Read the Label - Even treats that have been safe in the past can change, so always, always check the label. Avoid candy that is unlabeled, and if unsure, use the trade-in technique from above.
  • Have Fun - Halloween is particularly loved by candy makers, but it isn't all about the sweets. Being in costume, visiting neighbors, and just spending time together can make the evening more fun and sweeter than any candy. If candy, and the possible problems from this, just seem like too much, go to party or host your own! There are always fun alternatives if you're willing to put in a little effort.
  • Keep an Auto-Injector Handy - It always bears repeating, but keep epinephrine on hand when out and about.
Halloween can be such a fun time for everyone. And though food allergies can put a wrinkle in the usual routine, with a little vigilance and effort, you can help make sure the evening is fun and safe. As for me, it's time to dig my penguin costume out of the closet!

Author: KevvyG

Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, October 24, 2013
New Room Humidifiers at AchooAllergyAs one of our expansion projects this fall, we have finally completed our new offering of humidifiers, just in time for the winter season. Previously I've mentioned the addition of new Stadler Form and Crane models, but even within mainstays like Air-O-Swiss and Pure Guardian, there have been some notable changes.

There are now four new Stadler Form humidifiers available, Oskar, Oskar Big, Hera and William. Oskar is a compact, lightweight, nearly silent, evaporative humidifier. Oskar Big is just as the name implies, like Oskar… but bigger! Both of these models use almost no electricity, so they go virtually unnoticed on the winter power bill, and likely their best feature, both are top-fill humidifiers. So, there's no tank to remove and filling can be done without even turning them off.

In addition to the evaporative models, there are also two ultrasonic models available, William and Hera. Both have an array of digital features and controls. Like the Oskar twins, both Hera and William are cool mist humidifiers, but these two also have a pre-warm feature, as well as built-in, digital hygrostats, so you easily set your desired humidity level and eliminate the guesswork. Hera, the white model, is in short supply, so pre-orders are being taken for the next shipment that arrives.

Top Crane HumidifiersWe have also added four of the best Crane humidifiers. These include the popular children's models, Daphnie the Duck and Freddy the Frog. All of the Crane humidifiers are super-easy to use and deliver cool mist humidification. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles with these models, but they are pleasing to the eye, fun for the kids, and very easy on the wallet.

Lastly, we've had a couple new additions to our existing lines. Pure Guardian has added another large model to their line of ultrasonic humidifiers. The big advantage with this humidifier is the tank capacity - almost two and a half gallons! That means less filling and more humidifying. In our mainstay line, Air-O-Swiss, true warm mist is back with the S450. This model is a true steam humidifier that unlike the pre-warm featured in ultrasonic humidifiers, does actually heat the water to full 212° F. It separates itself from other steam humidifiers in that the steam that actually comes out of the unit is truly warm, not scalding, making it the best steam humidifier on the market. So unlike steam humidifiers of the past, the AirOSwiss S450 is actually safer for use around children or pets.

The other addition to the Air-O-Swiss line isn't necessary new, more a reintroduction. The AOS 7142 was very popular model when first introduced. The look, efficiency, and tank capacity all made it a top humidifier model, and after some time away, the 7142 is back again. I'm still not sure why it took a break, but we're glad to reintroduce it to the rest of the AOS line of ultrasonic humidifiers.

In addition to the new humidifiers, we have also updated our humidifier buying guide as well as the humidifier FAQ's page and other informational pages related to humidifiers and maintaining a healthy, comfortable relative humidity. So relieve symptoms of winter time dry air safely and effectively with any of these home humidifiers. And if you have questions, we have answers, so as always, you can call, email, submit a customer FAQ, fax, chat or send us a letter!

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, October 21, 2013
Sneezy Weeds - Lambs QuartersYou're sneezing, congested and watery eyed, battling nature's small wonders. So today we're going to shine a spotlight on these little airborne particulates that are giving you such a hard time, and this week we'll start with pollen.

Since the biodiversity of plants is immense, so is the variety of pollen types. For those dealing with allergies, the most troublesome pollen comes from trees and wind pollinating plants such as grasses and those of the Aster (daisy) family.

Tree Pollen
Trees can produce massive amounts of pollen and start pollen production as early as January through as late as June. This makes Spring and Fall the most irritating seasons for allergies. Size of pollen grains vary in size, but are light enough to allow the wind to carry them for miles. Amongst the trees mentioned below, their pollen sizes range from 18-38 micrometers (microns). Pecans have the largest pollen of 77 microns! Stuffy nose, watery eyed, and congested individuals can thank the following trees for their irritating pollens:
  • Elm
  • Walnut
  • Pecan
  • Hickory
  • Sycamore
It's also interesting to note that pollen is released from the male structure of the plant (the anther). Some tree species have seperate sexes, instead of having both male and female reproductive parts. So the female versions of lets say, maples, do not release pollen. Here is a list of male trees that contribute to allergy season:
  • Ash
  • Box elder
  • Cottonwood
  • Maple (silver and red)
  • Poplar
  • Willow
PigweedRagweed Pollen
Ragweeds are from the Aster family, and often inhabit dry sunny fields, or interrupted areas such as roadsides or vacant lots. There are 17 species nationally with a few dozen found worldwide. Ragweed pollen season runs in the autumn, with September traditionally being the peak month for high levels of ragweed pollen. Aside from being very light and easily carried by the wind, another thing that makes ragweed so potent is that though it has a short season, it makes the most of its time. Single plants can produce over a billion grains of pollen in a single season. Ragweed pollen grains range from 16-27 microns. Though ragweed is what most people are familiar with, here are some other weeds to beware of:
  • Curly Dock
  • Lambs Quarters
  • Pigweed
  • Plantain
  • Sheep Sorrel
  • Sagebrush
Grass Pollen
There are approximately 1,200 species of grass in North America, but of that number, there are only a few that cause allergic reactions. Grass is extremely wind dependent for seed and pollen dispersal though the pollen sizes can be as large as 35 microns. So, with their large pollen size they are less likley to irrittate lower airways, thus not quite as irritating as ragweed or tree pollen. Some of the most common grass pollens are:
  • Bermuda
  • Kentucky
  • Johnson
  • Orchard
  • Sweet Vernal
  • Timothy
Although pollen is everywhere (even at the North Pole!), there are ways to deal with it. Between 5-10 am., it's a veritable pollen party. So stay indoors until after 10, and you'll be less congested and red eyed. Drying clothes outside exposes clothes to pollen, which can then be transported inside. Depending on your specific allergies, you may want to limit how often you do this, depending on the time of year. Wearing a mask while cutting the grass, doing yard work, or working in the hayfield will help make these chores less miserable. Keeping the grass shorter, instead of allowing to grow tall and come to seed, can also help alleviate allergies.

Author: R. Power

Posted by kevvyg on Friday, October 18, 2013
World Health Organization  (WHO) Labels Air Pollution a CarcinogenA recent announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified "air pollution" as a carcinogen. The agency within the WHO that specializes in cancer research, the IARC, released these findings yesterday. For many who follow and keep up with the steady stream of studies that are released annually, this announcement may seem a bit anticlimactic, but it does put a proverbial bow around what amounts to decades of research and thousands of studies. There are two reasons why I consider this announcement significant, but before I get into those, let's take a look what exactly we're talking about.

Here at Achoo!, we touch on such research several times throughout the year, particularly with regard to how air pollutants (both indoor and outdoor) cause problems for people with respiratory conditions. Many point towards a causal relationship between things like asthma and vehicle exhaust. This publication, though, is based upon the review of epidemiological studies that include millions of people spanning five continents. Particularly telling are many of the studies coming out of rapidly industrializing nations like China and other parts of Asia. This part of the world has seen an industrialized revolution similar to that which occurred during the early 1800's and again during the middle of the 19th century. With this boom in manufacturing, nations like China have struggled to keep up with emissions and toll they take on the population.

These findings focused less on the specific elements that make up air pollution, but looked more broadly at the pollutant. The components of air pollution can vary, depending on the location, but as a whole, air pollution is fluid and has effects that can cover very wide areas. The largest two broad components of air pollution stem from particulate matter and "transportation-related emissions." And while some air pollution is naturally occurring, much of it stems from vehicle emissions, power generation, and industrial emissions.

October Breast Cancer Awareness MonthIn my opinion, the significance of this announcement is two fold. First, it actually focuses on a cause of cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, typically a time when we see a flood of "pink" merchandise and marketing, all designed to raise awareness of breast cancer. From boxes of saltines at the grocery store to the helmets of the Oregon Ducks college football team this weekend, this iconic color raises awareness of breast cancer. Local organizations hold events, races, even free mammograms, all to raise money and awareness of this issue, yet by in large much of focus on cancer research, particularly in the U.S., seems to be on finding a "cure." A thought that I always have whenever I see anything related to a "cure for cancer" is, a cure, though important, wouldn't be as necessary if you could find, then reduce or eliminate the cause.

Smoking Causes Cancer?  Do Tell!Secondly, this study highlights a major environmental factor in the cause. We are all aware of certain things that cause cancer, like smoking or using tobacco, etc., but many of these types of things are causes that we expose ourselves too knowingly. There's little doubt that smoking or using smokeless tobacco can directly lead to things like lung, throat or mouth cancer, but air pollution is different. Mainly in that, you can't quit breathing!

The goal with this announcement, as stated by IARC Director Christopher Wild is

“There are effective ways to reduce air pollution and, given the scale of the exposure affecting people worldwide, this report should send a strong signal to the international community to take action without further delay.”

Sadly, to date, economic interests have largely trumped measures that could curb or reduce pollutants in areas where people are most effected.

To read the official WHO press release or to download the full IARC publication.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The New Alen T500 Air PurifierFor many people, a tower-style air purifier has a lot of appeal. They are generally lightweight, have a very small footprint, and blend into most rooms rather seamlessly. The Alen T300 has been a model that many people have chose over the years, and now it has received a makeover. So what's new with the Alen T500?

For starters, the new T500 is a bit smaller. Shorter and lighter, this model is now sized between the T300 and T100 but still retains the same size footprint. Other than this, the T500 retains most of the same features, functionality and style of the T300 model. It still has digital controls, 3 fan speeds, and a filter change indicator. It also retains the limited lifetime warranty, EnergyStar qualification, and coverage area. And, as the T300, the new T500 has an optional ionizer (produces no ozone), for your convenience.

The only downside with this model is the UV bulb, that came standard with the T300, is no longer included with the T500 model. In lieu of the UV bulb, there is a filter option, the HEPA-Silver that does the same thing - neutralizes microbes and germs. The standard filter with the T500 is the HEPA-Fresh filter, which is a HEPA-style filter that traps 95% of particles 0.3 microns or larger (think N95 filtration). Aside from the HEPA-Fresh and HEPA-Silver option, there is also a HEPA-OdorCell filter that uses Alen's MCP technology to target odors.

Lastly, it is priced the same as its predecessor - $299.00. This model is currently in-stock and available to ship today.

For a full rundown of the T500's specs and our review of this air purifier, visit our T500 page or to view all Alen air purifiers.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Saturday, October 12, 2013
Over seven years ago, I decided it was time for a change. So, after spending two weeks on a road trip through the South and up the Atlantic coast I came to the conclusion that Atlanta seemed like a good place to move.

Don't get me wrong, where I moved from in Ohio is beautiful, and life there moves at a somewhat slower pace. I have always said, if I was raising children, as my brothers are, that would be the place I would do it. As a younger adult though, the dirt roads, Amish neighbors and relative lack of people didn't make for the best of environments to meet people. I chose Atlanta, and a big reason was because of all the trees.

Proof Nature Has a Cruel Sense of HumorSince moving, I've never lived in an apartment, houses only for me. I've never cared for the lack of privacy or a yard that comes with living in an apartment. With a yard though, and a lot of trees, I spend a good amount of time picking up fallen limbs, mowing, and at this time of year, raking leaves. They can be enjoyable tasks, things to either take my mind off of whatever it is that is bothering me or simple things that when I'm finished I can take instant gratification in the results. There are three things that I use, though, that do make the task a little easier on me and my neighbors.

Pine Cone of Doom?!? Quite Possibly. If the leaves have been neglected, then I'll rake them then stuff them into refuse bags. However, if the trees around your home like to taunt you like mine do, then it's generally a slow trickle of leaves that fall, that typically last for about twelve months. Thanks nature! In this case, I prefer to simply mulch them up with a bagged mower.

Some kinds of bagged mowers have the hard shells attached to the back. Wrong Kind of TurtleMuch like the turtle do, these mowers crawl around your yard while the shell-like contraption keeps things tucked away inside. If you have a push mower, like me, there are some attachable baggers that are better than others. As an added bonus, bagged mowers also reduce the chances of turning a harmless little pine cone into a projectile of doom. The last bagged mower I had left my neighborhood looking like the dustbowl had come again! The mower I currently have though uses a tighter mesh material that allows less dust and debris to escape. While I've not been given an official award by the neighborhood for ending the Smryna Dustbowl, I'm sure they appreciate it, if for no other reason than they stopped leaving bags of sand on my front porch.

On the personal protection side of things, go with a mask. Because of the lay of my front yard, water settles there. This also means fine sediment like sand and allergens settle there as well. I'm Smiling Under My Dust MaskEven something as a simple as a dust mask can keep your lungs happy by blocking these fine particles. If you want something with better protection, there are semi-disposable HEPA masks that seal well and trap the vast majority of all particles you might be kicking up.

The last thing I like to use is a neti pot. This can be either the actual teapot shaped neti device or something as simple as a squeeze bottle. Either way, when I'm done, I dump one packet of into the neti, mix with lukewarm water, then rinse away. If you're using this to flush your sinuses, and you feel full afterwards because all of the mix made its way down your throat… you're doing it wrong. Sinus Rinse PacketNot to worry though because what you've drank is most basically water, salt and a little baking soda. In one nostril and out the other with half the solution, then, like a barn dance, halfway through, switch. (No barn dance images. Sorry, but I've had those sealed away in a vault.) It does take some getting used to, but this is one of the easiest ways to flush out allergens, dust, dirt and other things that would like to make your nose its new home.

So there you have it! Three things that can not only help reduce your exposure to fall allergens but likely improve your relationship with your neighbors.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Crane Adorable Child HumidifiersAs part of our expansion of our humidifier offering, we've now added select cool mist humidifiers by Crane. Crane is known for the animal/character themed design as well as their ease of use. So whether dry indoor air is making your child feel a little less than "froggy" or a night time cough is driving you "quackers," Crane has an inexpensive and simple solution!

Crane Child Humidifier ControlsBoth Daphnie the Duck and Freddy the Frog are cool mist humidifiers that use ultrasonic technology to quickly and effectively disburse moisture back into indoor air. Compact and lightweight, these models are perfect for a child's bedroom. Holding about a gallon of water each, both can help relieve symptoms of eczema (like itchy skin), asthma (like a dry night time cough), or just general symptoms of dry indoor air, like chapped lips, dry or painful nasal passages.

You simply remove the tank, fill, then set your humidity level and let it run! If you have hard water, you can pick up an optional demineralization cartridge/filter to remove mineral content. No hard water or you use distilled water? Then it's ready to go right out of the box.

Crane Ultrasonic HumidifierAs a couple other notes about these humidifiers, there are no BPAs or phthalates in the plastic used, and since both are cool mist humidifiers, there are no heating elements or boiling water to worry about if it gets knocked over or spills. And, both the Crane Duck humidifier and Crane Frog humidifier will automatically shut off once the tank is empty.

Each of these are in stock and ready to ship today or can be picked up from our showroom. I like them for a few reasons - cost, simplicity, and they're much easier on the eyes (especially in a kid's room) than most other models. Granted they lack some of the snazzy features and length of warranty of models that cost two to three times as much, but as basic way to restore humidity back into your indoor air, this duck (and frog), might fit the "bill."

And the last reason why I like these humidifiers? Bad puns galore! Just as a side note... is the "Crane Duck" anything like a "Lion Tiger"?

Author: KevvyG

Posted by R. Power on Friday, October 04, 2013
Typically, a research piece about botulism would fall outside of the scope of topics we cover, but with this most recent article's focus on vacuum cleaners and the suggestion that they maybe be potential vectors for disease (like botulism), we found this noteworthy. Yes, you read that right, a possible link between your vacuum cleaner and botulism. Most people think of vacuums as a tool to get rid of carpet frizz, dust, pet hair, stale crumbs under the coffee table, and the occasional gummy worm. They leave our carpets refreshed and clean feeling, and hardwood floors walkable for the bare feet again. But what we can't see or feel is what Caroline Duchaine and her research team from the Queensland University of Technology and Laval University wanted to study.

Vacuum cleaners can release large concentrations of particles, both in their exhaust air and from resuspension of settled dust (Duchaine et al. 2013). The aim of this study was to evaluate particles emitted into the air from various vacuum cleaners. Tests and measurements were made based on dust inside dust bags or dust bins (some were bagless) and from air emitted from the machine while in use. Clostridium botulinum Under a MicroscopeDuchaine and her team quantified how much bacteria and mold could be found within these tests with a particular focus on Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella spp and Penicillium/Aspergillus. While Salmonella is fairly commonly known, the other two are related to botulism and mold, respectively. For infants/toddlers and those with allergies or compromised immunity, this study can be somewhat worrisome.

There have been previous studies on vacuum cleaners that have established that dust bags can be a reservoir for certain types of microbes, and in one particular instance during the 1950's vacuums have gotten attention for this, as a dust bag was the sole source of a Salmonella outbreak amongst infants in a hospital ward.

Before, you toss your vacuum, consider some of the findings on this study. No appreciable levels of the microorganisms, with the exception of mold spores (which varied more widely in terms of measurable amounts), was found in the emissions. While there were some present, the concentration was extremely low. In the dust bag though, the story was a bit different. Concentrations of the different microbes found were fairly consistent, regardless of brand (of vacuum), and this leads researchers to believe that "vacuum emissions could potentially lead to short and more intense bioaerosol exposures than those due to resuspension of settled dust" given the emission rate of most vacuums.

At this point, it is likely worth noting a couple things. First, brands of the vacuum cleaners used were not disclosed. The near two dozen units were collected from the homes of staff and students at the university. The age of the vacuums tested ranged 6 months to 22 years and the prices from $75 to $800 (AUD - Australian), and each vacuum was tested as it arrived. Additionally, samples could not be obtained from all the units involved. A little over half of the models tested produced measurable results, in terms of emissions and dust bag content. The next thing to keep in mind is this. For test purposes, researchers used HEPA filter air through the vacuums, to ensure uniformity but also to introduce as pure of a medium as possible.

This was an interesting research topic, since dust is often overlooked as a conglomerate of debris with no life or benefit. But here we have live microorganisms amongst nonliving material. This could also shed some light onto what kind of vacuum do you want to purchase. If this blog has got you thinking about switching your vacuum to something a little more vacuum sealed, here are few things to consider.

Filtration matters - The fact that researchers used HEPA filtered air in their tests is telling, particularly when you compare it to the size of some of the microbes examined. Mold spores typically range in size from 3 to 40 microns while Clostridium botulinum, a rod-shaped microbe, can be .5-2 microns wide by 1.6 to 22 microns long. Certified HEPA filters capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns and larger.

Self Sealing Dust Bag, Automatically Seals When You Open the CanisterVacuums With a Bag Should Be Better - The entire point of the research piece was to focus on bioaerosols that vacuums can create and emit throughout the home. What is the point of trapping microbes only to expose yourself to them when you empty the dust bin?

Particularly Sensitive Groups, Pay Heed to What You Clean With - You often get what you pay for, and not all vacuums marketed as "HEPA" are equal. Some have been independently tested and certified (like Miele or Dyson), and other haven't. Even if you decide to pay for a vacuum with high end filtration, you are likely selling yourself short if you then use cheaper, aftermarket replacement dust bags or filters.

Lastly, On the Microscopic Level, Seals Matter - Vacuums that features seals to prevent air leakage and those that have dust bags that seal when you go to remove them are going to be advantageous.

Although this research does shed some light on potential bacterial exposure, don't fret because these types of infections are very rare. Overall, this statement from the study says a lot, "The vacuum characteristics here are likely to be the main predictor of emission, rather than dust content." However, if you're in a position where you have to crash on the floor at a friends or grandmas... you may want to consider a blowup mattress!

To read the full research article.

Author: R. Power

Posted by KevvyG on Thursday, October 03, 2013
Stadler Form William Ultrasonic HumidifierThe next new Stadler Form humidifier to grace the Achoo runway, is the William. Like the Oskar, William sounds more like the guy who sits in the cubicle next to you and less like a humidifier, but no, William is a compact ultrasonic humidifier that can put a LOT of moisture back into the air in a relatively short period of time. This humidity can particularly help people dealing with allergies, asthma or eczema during the dry winter months. We try not to be too terribly formal here at the office, so what's to like about "Lil' Bill?"

First, William is very quiet, nearly inaudible even when running at its highest setting. Second is the robust moisture output. Winter time means people are using furnaces, heaters and wood burners - all of which can dry out a house in no time at all. To combat this, William can pump out up to three and a half gallons of moisture back into the dry air in your home. This capacity is a bit more than comparable ultrasonic humidifiers.

Large Digital Display - Stadler Form William HumidifierAnother feature I really like about Stadler Form's William is the control panel. There's a nice big digital display that shows you the current humidity, output level, and whether or not the prewarm feature is activated. From this panel you can set your humidity level, use the "sleep" or "automatic" modes, and adjust your output. This is important since even during the winter months just enough humidity is good and comforting, and too much can be a little too comforting for things like mold or dust mites. As the foam finger in the picture points out, it's large enough to let you know all you need to with just a quick glance.

When you open up the William, there are two things you might notice. First, to help prevent the growth of microbes, germs and bacteria, William has a small white device located in the nebulizer compartment. This Ionic Silver Cube emits silver ions which keep the water in the tank hygienic and free of microbes. You also might notice the water is warm in the compartment (if you have the prewarm feature on).

William is Hygienic with His Ionic Silver CubeOverall the Stadler Form William humidifier is small but powerful (put two regular size cereal boxes back to back and that's about the size of this model). So whether you find yourself waking up with a dry cough, dry or painful sinuses, itchy skin or chapped lips, the William can help!

For more information about the popular Stadler Form William humidifier or to see the full line of Stadler Form humidifiers.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Stadler Form Oskar HumidifierThis season we are rolling out the addition of a couple new brands of humidifiers, so keep an eye out for the new offering in the coming weeks. Today, I'd like to introduce you to the Oskar by Stadler Form. Yes, I know. Oskar is a... unique name for a humidifier, but with all Stadler Form models, you will notice some interesting names. Without further ado, meet Oskar!

Oskar is an evaporative room humidifier that uses evaporative wicks/filters and a small fan to distribute moisture back into the air in your home. Compact and lightweight, the Oskar is small enough to fit on a desk, end table or on the floor. With two fan speeds and some basic indicator lights (that can be dimmed), Oskar won't keep you up at night with noise or light.

Oskar Control PanelA couple features of the Oskar include an Ionic Silver Cube to help keep the water inside this humidifier hygienic and free of microbes, as well as push button controls to regulate the speed and humidity output in room. (Match the indicator lights with the manual to set the humidity.) The Oskar also uses very little power, only 18 watts at its highest setting. This means you could literally run this humidifier, non-stop, for a year, and it would cost you less than a large pizza!

Refilling Oskar is Easy!Available in two colors (white and black), the Oskar has one really nice feature that adds convenience - a trap door! Push the side compartment, and it pops open, giving you an easy way to fill the Oskar without having any tank to remove and refill. You can fill a small pitcher with water, pop the side hatch and refill the Oskar without even turning it off.

Oskar is also a bit like a hobbit, short and squat. Square, with a steel base, the Oskar humidifier is more stable than taller models, and unlike ultrasonic humidifiers, you can use any type of water. Softened water is fine since there is no diaphragm (like with ultrasonic models) that can be damaged, and mineral content simply stays in the filter/wick or will settle in the base. Annually, you can take a small amount of vinegar and water or another descaling agent and remove any mineral buildup with just a dampened cloth.

Oskar Evaporative Wicks/Filters - Use Any Type of WaterOskar can be a big help during the fall and winter months, when home heating systems can dry out your home aggravating asthma and eczema. Easy to use, convenient, and priced right, this model works well in most bedrooms, and comes with a two year warranty. If you want to see more of the Stadler Form Oskar humidifier. Oh, and keep an eye out for the write up on his big brother, Oskar Big.

Author: KevvyG

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