AchooAllergy.com Blog
Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Electrolux EL7063A Ultra Silencer Canister Vacuum Cleaner:  AKA, the Unofficial Vacuum of Every Boise State FanOver the next few weeks, look for some new Electrolux vacuum cleaners to begin appearing on our site. With a variety of new styles and designs, and a range of prices, Electrolux has some very unique and allergy-friendly vacuums rolling out. As the first of our new models, we're going to take a look at the Electrolux EL7063A, the UltraSilencer Deep Clean vacuum cleaner.

There is a pretty wide array of features to like about the EL7063A. The look is stylish and colorful, and an LCD screen provides useful, easy to read info, while the weight is actually lighter than comparable HEPA canister vacuums. In terms of filtration, it comes standard with a sealed HEPA filter and the Electrolux standard S-Bag Classic, but both of these can be swapped for similar replacement products better suited for your specific needs. Have a pet? Try the Anti-Odor bags after you've used the included bags that come with the UltraSilencer. Want a washable filter? Pick up a pair of these and rotate them in and out, while washing, for years of service. Allergens a problem? Opt for the Anti-Allergy S-Bags.

As for cleaning, the El7063A Deep Clean is on top of its game. There are two floor tools, one ideal for smooth floors with the other, an independently driven powerhead, perfect for all types of carpet. From deep cleaning to simply sprucing up, the UltraSilencer provides tools for tidying up your floors, dusting and removing allergens, dirt and debris from some of the hardest to reach areas.

Like other UltraSilencer models, this vacuum is quieter than most others you'll find at your local store. I wouldn't say it's "Super Sneaky Quiet" like a Miele, but it falls into the next-step-down, "Sneaky Quiet" category, which is rarely used for most of your common brands. They tend to fall into the "Wake the Dead" or "Quiet as a Tornado" category.

Super Sneaky Quiet?  Not Quite, But CloseConvenience is the last big step up with the Electrolux EL7063A Ultra Silencer vacuum. Automatic cord rewind, dust bag and filter change indicators are standard on most quality canister vacuums these days, but this vac goes further by offering complete control, right on the handle! This includes, turning the entire vacuum off and on, adjusting the height of the powerhead, adjusting your suction level and turning the brushroll on/off. Most canisters usually lack the ability to power the vacuum up or adjust the height, from the handle.

Whether you're looking for an effective home cleaner to fit in with home decor that's beyond ordinary or you simply need a lightweight addition for a large home, the Electrolux EL7063A HEPA vac might be just what you had in mind! Seriously, I don't know if Electrolux had this in mind, but the color scheme also makes it a great choice for any discerning Boise State Broncos fan. To see more of the Electrolux EL7063A HEPA vacuum cleaner or to browse our entire selection of high quality, HEPA vacuum cleaners.

Author: KevvyG

Posted by R. Power on Friday, May 23, 2014
Once in a while our customer service department receives calls asking what we suggest for traveling with allergies, most often, peanut allergies. As of now there is not much we can say aside from informing your airline of your allergies, wearing a mask and asking your doctor for any additional medical advice. But now we can tell our curious callers to fly with Swiss! Swiss Airlines has proudly earned ECARF (European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation) quality seal of approval in becoming the first allergy-minded airline on the globe!

Switzerland has a history of being a very innovative and efficient country, so it doesn’t surprise me that they would make such an impression with the airline industry as they have done with chocolate, banks and pharmaceuticals.

Here’s what their allergy-minded airline includes to minimize the presence of allergens within the cabin and lounge areas:
  • High efficiency air conditioning to filter out pollen, pet hair and dander and any airborne particulates on board.
  • Removal of air fresheners for flyers with chemical sensitivities.
  • Selection and use of hypoallergenic fabric for upholstered items.
  • In the lavatories they provide soap friendly for those with sensitive skin.
  • Your meal, snack and drink selections are free of glucose, lactose and a variety of other common allergens.
  • Swiss Airline cabin crew members are trained to respond, and are equipped with the histamine tablets in the case of allergic reactions and emergencies.
I think this is a great idea for an airline to specialize a plane for allergy prone travelers. Perhaps this will start a trend for other airlines, especially here in the U.S. If not, well, then twist my arm, I guess I'll have to book a flight to Switzerland to fly allergy-free. On second thought, how would I bring back my precious Swiss chocolate covered cheese snacks?

Author: R. Power

Just a reminder for those local to the Atlanta area, if you have peanut allergies but want to catch a game at Turner field Saturday as part of your Memorial Day Weekend, they do have a Peanut Free Section. Check out the Braves site for more details, and Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, May 22, 2014
I cannot deny, that the older I get, the more I become a bit of a germaphobe. It is not something I’ve consciously done, but it is something I am fully aware of, and with a trip to visit friends and a couple flights on this holiday weekend’s agenda, for the first time ever I am going to be wearing a mask.

MERS Virus Under Electron MicrographYes, I am fully aware that I’ll likely not have to worry about catching tuberculosis, H1N1, or even the most recent virus to scare us back into our homes, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)… and just in time for summer! All kidding aside, MERS is a very nasty bug that first made its presence known nearly two years ago. New viruses do often make headlines. Typically, the mortality rate for novel strains, like this coronavirus, is initially high. Often, not all of those who are infected with new viruses report it. Information is often scant, and with so much unknown, the stories that tend to make headlines are those cases which are ultimately fatal. Initial mortality rates followed a curve that was also found with SARS and other new viruses. From 2012 into 2013, mortality rates for this virus were stated to be as high as 50%, an impressively terrible number. Since that time, the mortality rate has fallen, and latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) projections estimate it to be 30%, still a shockingly high number. Just earlier this month, the first case of MERS sprung up in the U.S. On May 2nd and then again on May 11th, there were two confirmed cases in the U.S., both travelers to Saudi Arabia. Then on May 16th of this month, the first confirmed case by an individual who had NOT traveled to the Middle East made headlines. This was in Illinois, and with me traveling to that area of the country this weekend, well….

MERS Infected Vero CellsHaving assessed the risk of infection very low for the average American, the CDC currently has few recommendations other than avoiding close contact with those who are ill, frequent hand washing, and to avoid touching your face, pretty standard fare for reducing the spread of any viruses. If you dig a little deeper into published information on the CDC website, there are additional guidelines for healthcare providers that stress testing, reporting and quarantining patients who are diagnosed. There is mention of the use of a mask, but with so little known about the virus, it is yet unclear how effective this would be in preventing the spread of MERS.

CDC recommendations for past viruses, such as H1N1, SARS, and the Avian flu have included the use of an N95 rated mask. N95 masks filter 95% of particles, including pathogens, that are 0.3 microns or larger. Though, it is not yet known how effective an N95 mask would be for MERS, previous experience would suggest that it can only help.

Like SARS, MERS is a coronavirus similar to those more commonly found in bats. As of now, the exact origin of this particular pathogen is not yet known, but there have been instances of the virus and/or antibodies to the virus show up in both camels and bats. There are a few things, however, that are known about MERS. First, it can be transmitted by close personal contact with someone who is infected. People who are caring for someone who is infected with MERS but exhibiting traditional flu-like symptoms are susceptible. This is partly why cases of MERS have cropped up in small clusters. Infection is punctuated by the development of "severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath." As of now, there is no vaccine for the virus.

With all that being said, my growing paranoia has firmly taken grip of me. So in addition to my pillow, pillow cover, camera, and toothbrush, I'll be toting a mask. For now, I'm leaning toward one of the Vogmasks (probably the Parallax). Polks Dots Are IN This Year!  And Yes, I DO Look Like I Have LEGO HairIt's small enough to put in my pocket, and doesn't make me look like I escaped from a containment lab.

I have to admit though, a small part of me wants to wear this simply to do a very small part in normalizing mask wearing. While it's fairly common in places where air quality is extremely poor (think Beijing), in the U.S. people wear masks for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, wearing a mask can also bring along questioning looks, but ultimately people wear masks for health reasons. Whether it's to reduce exposure to air pollution, heavy perfume, smoke or microbes, it all boils down to trying to add a small but not insignificant layer of protection. And that, shouldn't carry a stigma or unwanted looks.

In any event, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Author: Kevin Gilmore

UPDATE: A coworker just passed this along to me.
http://www.ajc.com/news/business/auburn-university-researchers-study-airplane-cabin/nf4Nt/
Ah-ha! Justified!



Posted by kevvyg on Monday, May 19, 2014
Introducing AirPura HEPA Air PurifiersAirPura is one of the newest companies in the air filtration business, but don't let that fool you into thinking that this means they lack for experience. AirPura was founded nearly a decade ago by veterans in the air purifier industry. One look at the style and design on AirPura HEPA air purifiers may give you some idea as to where they draw their experience from. Taking this experience and know-how, they took existing standard in air filtration and improved them. As a result, AirPura has a line of air purifiers that exceeds even industry leaders in some very noticeable ways. So what did they improve and what does that mean for those dealing with allergies or asthma?

There are three areas where AirPura has made changes to provide a better product.
  • Filtration - From tried and true to cutting edge, AirPura offers a range of filtration styles to remove particle allergens like pollen, dander, and dust mites as well as odors, smoke and chemical vapors. Air Pura Filtration A HEPA filter is standard in most models, as is a carbon filter and large particle prefilter. Some models integrate UV light while others integrate AirPura's TitanClean technology for some of the most comprehensive filtration available. Regardless of which AirPura you choose, each filter type can be independently changed. So unlike some combination filters that result in one of the combined filter medias wearing out before the other, each type of filter in the AirPura can be changed exactly when it needs to be.
  • Components - For some of the most sensitive individuals, the solution to air quality problems can actually create more problems. From plastics that off-gas and UV bulbs that emit ozone to compounds in the carbon and rubber/foam/plastics found throughout the machine, many modern air purifiers can emit harmful byproducts that can aggravate conditions for those coping with chemical sensitivities or severe respiratory problems. AirPura takes a different approach by greatly limiting the use of adhesives, rubber, foam and plastics. This is why you will notice felt gaskets around the filter assembly, a steel shell with powder coat finish, a coconut shell based activated carbon (one of the most MCS friendly carbon bases available), UV bulbs that are CARB compliant (meeting California's stringent UV standards and exceed EPA standards), and electrical components that rest outside of the flow of cleaned air through the machine. Particularly for anyone who has dealt with problems caused by cheap air purifiers, these small details add up to a big difference.
  • Air Flow - Air and water share some similar characteristics, and in this case, kinks or bends in the flow can dramatically reduce coverage. The more sharp bends air has to negotiate inside the air purifier, the less efficiently it flows through the machine and the more energy it uses. Things like 90° angles inside the machine can dramatically reduce not only airflow but also coverage. AirPura air purifiers have a very streamlined internal flow with no sharp bends. This is why it has the highest CFM of any residential air purifier, 560. This is also why an AirPura can cover up to 700 sq. ft. at a rate of 6 full air exchanges per hour. Thanks to the internal design and a powerful motor, you get more coverage for your buck with an AirPura.
  • Noise - On the lowest fan speed, each AirPura air purifier registers about 28 decibels at six feet away. This makes them some of the quietest air purifiers on the market. This also means you can simply turn the fan down at night and make the bedroom more accommodating for light sleepers.
Air Pura Air Purifier Color Options: White, Cream, BlackThere are some similarities with other well known brands. A steel shell for durability and powder coat finish that eliminates off-gassing, casters, no frills design, an easy to use control panel, and 360° air intake are all features that are shared by AirPura and some of the leaders in the industry.

Currently, the three models we offer are the base model, the AirPura HEPA R600, which provides excellent three stage filtration suitable for most people dealing with allergies, asthma or COPD; the carbon-rich AirPura C600, which employs a thick, 26 lb carbon filter ideal for chemical abatement, removing high levels of smoke, odors, vapors; and, the most comprehensive, the AirPura HEPA P600, which uses five-stage filtration to tackle the widest range of allergens, pollutants, pathogens, and irritants of all AirPura models. Each model offers a unique solution for general or specific air quality problems.

If you want to learn more about what AirPura has to offer you, visit our AirPura page or view our entire line of high quality HEPA air purifiers.

Author: KevvyG

Posted by kevvyg on Friday, May 09, 2014
As we focus on providing you the tools and resources you need to take control of your indoor environment and reduce symptoms from allergies, asthma or MCS, there is often a focus on large products. This time of year, as pollen settles down but rain and humidity increase, a dehumidifier is common a tool you use to drive relative humidity down. This means making your home less hospitable to mold, insects and dust mites as well as eliminating that "sticky" or "muggy" feeling that can even accompany rooms where there is air conditioning.

Many dehumidifiers like the top rated Danby 70 pint come with a humidity gauge built right in, yet many do not, and if you're like me, there may be some level of skepticism as to how reliable those gauges really are. There may also be instances where you are using a crawlspace or basement dehumidifier, and since they often lack digital humidity displays, you're left in the dark as to what is really going on in those spaces. What humidity was it down there before you started using the dehumidifier? What is the humidity now?

One option is to wire a humidity gauge into your home. Some whole-home dehumidifiers like some of the Aprilaire models give you this option, but this can be more expense, time and hassle than you want. You could also pick up an inexpensive humidity gauge like a mini humidity gauge that can be left in the space. That way, each time you check on the dehumidifier you can get a better idea of what the humidity is and if any adjustments are necessary. Another alternative would be the new AcuRite wireless humidity gauge. Look Mom!  No wires!Similar to the original AcuRite, the newer version offers a wider array of features a larger, more visible display and most significantly, it's wireless. This gauge provides temperature and humidity readings (both indoor and outdoor), as well as time, date, and daily high/low temps and humidity. There are a few other features, that can be considered more "take 'em or leave 'em" like the current moon phase and a freeze warning, but the wireless sensor provides a lot of flexibility that other gauges and weather centers do not. You don't have to drill any tiny holes, just place the sensor where you want your secondary readings, and you're set! For those using a basement or crawlspace dehumidifier that lacks a humidity gauge, this sensor could be placed in those spaces and give you accurate readings without having to actually go down to the basement or spend a super fun time hunkered down in your crawlspace.

An Empty Ice Cream Cup Is A Sad Ice Cream CupIf you're using a humidifier during the winter months, the wireless AcuRite again provides you with an accurate humidity reading. This is significant in that than most inexpensive humidifiers lack any type of humidity gauge and use a dial control with settings like "kinda damp" and "super soaker". So maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but you get the point.

If you want to read more about this nifty little device, you check it out here. And lastly, it's Friday, so do what I did, and go have ice cream for lunch! (I'd post a better picture, but honestly, the ice cream never stood a chance.)

Author: Kevin Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Danby Dehumidifiers Now In StockThis spring has been a very wet one for many, particularly for those in the Midwest. Muddy roads, soggy yards, and wet basements are seemingly the norm this time of year. As your basement or home begins to feel more damp than it should, now is the time dry out with a Danby home dehumidifier!

For years the Danby Premiere line of dehumidifiers has been one of the best selling for home owners across the country. With consistently high rating by consumer testing agencies, superb moisture extraction and easy use, a Danby dehumidifier is a simple and effective way to reduce humidity in your home and help prevent the growth of mold, all while keeping insects at bay.

While there are smaller sizes, the most popular model is 70 pint. Rated to remove 70 pints of moisture per day, the Danby DDR70A2GP 70 pint dehumidifier will actually surpass that under more humid conditions. With a powerful fan, a wide coverage area and built-in humidistat, the 70 pint gives you the ability to dry some of the largest spaces in your home, reducing humidity and restoring comfort. A quick glance at the LCD display can provide you with a real-time relative humidity level in that space, and push button controls allow you to set your desired humidity level, select from two fan speeds and even set a timer.

The Poweful Danby DDR70A2GP Premeire DehumidifierIf emptying the water bucket is something you want to avoid, you can use the supplied hose to port these dehumidifiers and allow condensate to flow from the Danby directly into a nearby floor drain. This means no more lugging around a bucket full of water and less downtime when no one is around to empty it. If you're using this in a home near the beach or in a rental cabin, you don't even have to worry about the power going out! When it's restored, the Danby will restart and resume dehumidifying at original settings.

Priced right and built to the last, Danby dehumidifiers offer a convenient and easy way to remove moisture without hassle or constant supervision.

To view all Danby Dehumidifiers, all ofyour dehumidifier options or the top five basement dehumidifier options.

Author: K. Gilmore

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