Dress Appropriately - Few things will cause you more problems than not dressing appropriately. In addition to simply being uncomfortable, extreme cold temperatures can lead things like frostbite and hypothermia. Granted, these are extremes, but when a stiff breeze drives the wind chill well below zero, these become real concerns.
Wear a Mask - Whether going for a stroll or trying to exercise outdoors, breathing in cold, dry air is an almost instant trigger for asthma. The cold air coupled with the extreme dryness of cold air can be mitigated with a quality cold weather mask. Masks trap heat and moisture as you exhale, which means as you inhale, some of this trapped heat and moisture warms and humidifies the air you breathe in. Simple but effective, a cold weather mask can make all the difference when outdoors during the winter.
Remember Your Medication - Many people with asthma take a daily preventative, and during cold weather, it becomes even more paramount to maintain this regimen. Additionally, rescue inhalers should always be on hand, particularly if you are exercising. Being cooped up indoors is often not much better, but by maintaining your medication and cleaning the home regularly to remove allergens, you can reduce reactions.
Maintain Proper Indoor Humidity - If you've spent time outdoors in freezing temperatures, few things refresh you and help you clear out your airways better than a hot shower. Why? The warmth and the humidity soothe dried airways and help loosen mucus that has cooled and settled in your airways. Beyond a warm shower, maintaining proper indoor humidity levels can keep your home comfortable and eliminate dry air that aggravates asthma, and the easiest way to accomplish this is with a room humidifier. They come in a variety of styles and sizes and offer warm or cool mist to restore moisture and soothe airways.
Good ole Ricola -Their trademark "Magic 10 herbs"(Lemon Balm, Horehound, Elder, Peppermint, Mallow, Sage, Thyme, Lime Flowers, Hyssop & Wild Thyme) all happen to be within the mint (lamiaceae) or mallow (malvaceae) families, with the exception of the Elder. All of these plants seem to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties to help fight bacterial infections. In my opinion, Ricola's are also delicious so they're not really a burden and taste much better than other cough drops.
Echinacea tea - This was a pleasant surprise! I was recently given a box of tea of what I thought was just peppermint tea (a natural decongestant), but when I opened the box I saw that it was also filled with Echinacea tea! Echinacea is great for your immune system, and has been used by Native Americans for over 400 years as a "cure-all" plant. It contains flavonoids, alkamides, and glyoprotiens, all chemical components that contribute to this aster's therapeutic role in herbal remedies. The combination of these two teas have definitely made my cough easier to deal with.
Local Honey - Honey is a natural cough suppressant. I have many memories of my mom making me and my cousins eat a spoonful of honey, lime juice, and a slice of a beet. I used to whine more than all the rest about this, but now that I'm older the trio isn't bad at all... though I still don't know why the beet was ever added to this mix.
Morning showers - I feel like a completely different person after a hot shower! It helps me loosen up the congestion that's collected in my body throughout the night and lets me drain it all out without feeling dirty or gross afterwards. If I'm feeling really ambitious in the morning, I'll put a few drops of Silk Swan eucalyptus essential oil in a dish and set it in the corner of my shower to aid the decongestion process.
Stadler Form Anton humidifier - this compact humidifier has been doing wonders for me this week! As the temperature drops, so does the amount of moisture air can hold, and putting much needed moisture back into the air is where a humidifier can make all the difference. As soon as I started to notice a drop in humidity, I pulled it out of the closet and plugged it in. Already I can feel a difference. Stadler Form humidifiers are nice because some models allow you to use essential oils in the tank, which I love.
Hopefully, with all of this natural relief paired up with plenty of sleep and water, I will be completley cough-free by next week. I think the most helpful tools that I'm using to fight this cough are my Stadler humidifier and the herbal teas. If you are trying to go on a natural path for decongestion and sore throat relief, I highly suggest the humidifier, herbal teas with honey, and plenty of beauty rest!
Author: R. Power
A comedian I greatly enjoy once described fall like this,
...the weather is completely nonsense. You don’t even have a proper Fall coat. Nothing you wear is right. You wake up, it’s sunny out, you put a coat on, you go out, you’re sweating like a pig, you take it off, then it’s cold. [...] The sun’s out, you’re sweating, but there’s a breeze, so you’re freezing - it’s not weather it’s malaria!"*
It can certainly feel that way at times! One morning you get up, and it is freezing cold, but that afternoon the temperature can stretch into the mid 70s. The next day you can be greeted by a cool breeze and 22% relative humidity, while two days later can start a week of rain and mild temperatures. It's enough to make you throw up your hands and just go back to bed.
There are two things that make this time of year so frustrating for some. Temperature swings are what we most often feel. Cold in the morning but afternoons can still be very warm. You can find yourself turning the heat off in your home before you leave for work but running the air conditioner in your car on the drive home.
In addition to temperature being completely neurotic, humidity levels can vary widely. On one hand, it is quickly becoming drier, inside and out. Fall is often punctuated with dry conditions and cooler temperatures that many will first notice from the dry patches of skin appearing on your elbows or chapped lips. On the other hand, days upon days of rain and milder temperatures can make you feel as if you're living inside a refrigerator where it rains every day.
So what do you do? Carry a coat and a jacket? Use your humidifier and dehumidifier? Until we can dial up on-demand weather, it appears this is just the way it's going to be until temperatures finally fall to their usual winter levels. Unlike years past, we're seeing this same dynamic play out later and later in the year.
Interest in products like crawlspace dehumidifiers has remained high, even now, less than two months away from Christmas. With so much rain throughout the Midwest, it's not difficult to understand why people are concerned with mold and insects (which as the temperature drops, begin to make their annual pilgrimage into your home). By the same token, home humidifiers have also seen their usual level of interest as people look for ways to combat dry skin, eczema, and sore throats, as well as the flu and other seasonal illness that increase as the humidity and temperature drops.
Regardless of the seasons have in store for us, it's important to remember that we have a great deal of control how we feel during this time of year. Simple things like washing your hands more frequently and getting a good night's sleep can help prevent you from catching the cold or flu while using moisturizers and drinking plenty of water can help keep your skin healthy and resilient. More intensive solutions like using a humidifier can restore comfort to dry indoor air, while a crawlspace or basement dehumidifier can help to make these spaces unfriendly to ants, cockroaches, and other insects. With humidifiers or dehumidifiers, there's a wide variety that ranges in price, size, and even color. Stay healthy, stay warm, and take control!
Want to learn more about how humidity affects the human body?
Author: K. Gilmore
*Thank you Lewis Black!
Last season, the Oskar humidifiers quickly took their place as some of the most popular humidifiers we offer. From a unique modern design and quiet operation to an easy, top-fill feature and the ability to use nearly any type of water, it's fairly easy to see why the Oskars have been a strong choice amongst those looking to restore moisture and comfort to their homes during the cooler, drier fall and winter months.
Initially, the Oskar was available in white or black with the Oskar Big only being available in black. In addition to those colors, the smaller Oskar (the Economist) is available in Berry and Metal, while the Oskar Big now also comes in white. If you want to learn more about the Oskar Humidifier by Stadler Form for to see the Oskar humidifier in action.
This season, Pure Guardian has a couple new humidifier to help combat dry indoor air and restore humidity levels to healthier, more comfortable levels. The first of these is the Pure Guardian H4610 dual mist humidifier. As an ultrasonic humidifier the H4610 operates in near silence and features a large, two gallon capacity tank. For you this means fewer trips to the faucet since this model can run for up to 120 hours between refills. Second, for light sleepers, there's less chance of being kept awake by this appliance running. A nightlight, timer, and auto shutoff round out some of the features of this large room humidifier.
If you're looking for something a little smaller, the Pure Guardian H1510 ultrasonic humidifier might be a good fit. This model is more simplistic in design, but also comes with a lower price point to match. With easy-to-use manual dial controls, this no frills humidifier offers pre-warmed or cool mist humidification for small and medium size bedrooms. Like the larger H4610 it is quiet and requires very little maintenance, and does have a small nightlight that illuminates the blue water tank.
Both of these humidifiers have pretty reasonable price tags, and like all Pure Guardian humidifiers, there are no standard replacement parts. If you have hard water, you can opt for a demineralization cartridge, but because their Silver Clean Technology is embedded into the water tank itself, there are no hygiene accessories to replace. Plus, each comes standard with a three year warranty.
You can see the full line of Pure Guardian ultrasonic humidifiers or if you just want to enter into a drawing for a FREE Achoo! Allergy t-shirt, visit the AchooAllergy.com Facebook page, like, and post your Halloween picture.
Author: Kevin Gilmore
The Air-O-Swiss U700 is an ultrasonic humidifier that offers both cool mist and prewarmed mist features, and if you are trying to restore comfort to a dry home, there are few better ways to go about it than with the U700. With a tank that holds a full two gallons of water, the U700 will run longer between refills than comparable models while putting more moisture back into the air. Over a full day, this home humidifier can put four gallons of moisture back into your indoor air, enough to handle very large spaces and some of the most severe dry conditions. Both of these figures, for tank capacity and output, surpass all other Air-O-Swiss humidifier models.
As a U series humidifier the AOS U700 has the soft-touch control panel and LCD screen that you may be accustomed to. While it's really simple to set your humidity, get a quick read of the current humidity level and adjust your output the control panel of the U700 offers several more features. It will remind you when to periodically clean the tank and allow you to set a timer. You can take advantage of the automatic feature and let the Intelligent Temperature Compensation (ITC) mode adjust humidity output based on changing temperatures in the space, keeping humidity optimal despite fluctuations. There is also a new self-cleaning feature. So, once you add EZCal, it will run through a descaling process for you. Lastly, the control panel has an auto-shutoff and auto dimming feature for night time use.
For light sleepers, the auto dimming display and extremely quiet operation of this humidity will allow you to sleep through the night, undisturbed, and when you wake in the morning, no sore throat, no dry cough, and no dry or cracked sinuses.
The AirOSwiss U700 humidifier offers a new look from other U series models. Like the others, it has a clean, white finish and smooth lines. Unlike the others, it has a collapsible handle on top that seats flush with the body, and definitely has an Apple-like look to it, with rounded corners and a transparent center. While filling you'll also notice that there's a second handle built into the bottom of the tank, so top of bottom, you always have a.... handle of the situation. (My terrible Friday pun of the day!)
Overall, I really liked this model. Fewer refills, excellent design, and it retains the hygienic features that have been staples with Air-O-Swiss humidifiers: Hydro Cell (with activated carbon), Demineralization Cartridge (with ionic silver in the housing), and Ultrasonic Technology. The warranty is a good three years, though if the U700 is like other AOS models, you can expect to get two to three times as many years of use.
To read more about, view more photos, or to Buy the Air-O-Swiss U700 humidifier or to view all home humidifiers.
When out on a friend's boat the other day, I noticed that the bottoms of a few seats were starting to freckle with mold. Right away I thought "they need some Vital Oxide spray". This mold remover and disinfectant spray will not only kill the mold with plant-based ingredients, but it will keep the sprayed surface mold free for several months. In this case it should at least get through the summer, but beyond seat cushions, Vital Oxide disinfectant has a wide variety of uses in and around the house. For those backpackers and hikers, this stuff is also safe for hiking boots, sleeping bags, packs, hammocks and tents.
While Vital Oxide takes care of mold once it's already there, a better idea is to try to prevent it before it happens. Your best option for this is a heavy duty dehumidifier. Depending on the local climate, a more permanent installation, like a dehumidifier that ties into the HVAC or a large crawlspace/basement dehumidifier may be your best option, but if you find yourself mainly dealing with excess humidity during the summer months, a room dehumidifier might be a better option.
I have three good options for you. All are effective, but each has something that makes it stand out.
A winner for the 2013 Red Dot Design Award, the Stadler Form Albert dehumidifier places a great deal of emphasis on not looking like your average dehumidifier. From a sleek look and modern design, to a variety of little features and added touches, the Albert is extremely quiet. Noise is often a big problem with many dehumidifiers, but part of fitting in well in any room, the Albert doesn't look or sound like your typical dehumidifier. An LED screen gives you accurate humidity readings in the room, allows you to set a timer, adjust the desired humidity, set your fan speed, and even dim the display at night, while fold-flat, oscillating louvers keep air circulating around the room more efficiently. Expect the Albert to remove about 40-45 pints of moisture per day, depending on conditions. If I had to give star ratings for style and substance on the Albert,
If the performance of the Albert is a little less than what you were looking for, take a look at the Soleus 95 dehumidifier. With the most powerful fan of any residential dehumidifier we carry, it's suitable for drying spaces as large as 1500 sq. ft., and can remove up to 95 pints a day. With a coverage area this large, you could use it in a large, open floor plan cabin or basement. Complete with digital controls to adjust to your unique HomeComfort settings and an automatic shut off with a "Bucket Full" indicator, the Soleus is a lot of power and convenience in one appliance.
So we've covered quiet & stylish as well as large & powerful, and what we have left fits right in between the other two. Danby Premiere dehumidifiers are some of the most dependable and popular home dehumidifiers available. They're basically the dehumidifier equivalent of Baby Bear - just right. The Danby 70 pint has been a huge help in my parent's home, where it is prone to mold in the summers. It's a very low maintenance machine, easy to move around the house, and has auto restart and auto de-icing features. It is also Energy Star rated, and offers coverage good enough for even very large rooms.
These products will give you complete coverage of your home, boat or camping gear, making sure you enjoy your summer, inside or out. Now you can focus more on tan lines and your grilling skills and less on worrying about mold.
Author: R. Power
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. 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.
If 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
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.
If 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
Like the Danby and other models we offer, the Albert is a room dehumidifier, but unlike other models, Albert has actually been a "Belle of the Ball." What I mean is, the Albert is one of very few dehumidifiers that has won a Red Dot Design Award. Each year thousands of home appliances and products are submitted to an international design contest that includes entries from over 50 countries, worldwide. In 2013, when the Albert was first released in the European market, it won. Stadler Form home appliances have a reputation of blending modern form and aesthetic appeal with function, and in this regard, the Albert dehumidifier is no different.
That's not to say Albert is all style and no substance. Far from it, this home dehumidifier is loaded with convenient features to complement its style and design points. Hidden casters, a smooth rolling water bucket with splashguard and collapsible handle, seven feet of drain hose (to port the dehumidifier and eliminate the need of emptying the water bucket), oscillating louvers, and integrated handholds are all substantive but practical features. And that's not to mention the LED display. With the display you can quickly see and set your fan speed (3), the desired humidity, the current humidity level, and even a 24 hour timer. Indicator lights let you know if the unit is defrosting or if the tank is full. For more severe humidity problems, you can set the Albert to run continuously, regardless of the humidity level in the space. The entire display adds a sophisticated look without complicated controls.
For light sleepers or those who have had problems with loud dehumidifiers, rejoice! The Albert is likely the quietest refrigerant-style dehumidifier on the market. Starting around 33 decibels, this model is whisper quiet on its lowest fan speed, and even on its highest setting it is quieter than most comparable models on their lowest fan setting! Dim the LED display with the "Sleep" feature and you're all set for a peaceful night's sleep.
Albert will remove about 43 pints of water per day, making it the perfect complement to your HVAC system when it is not keeping up with humidity and excess moisture removal. Lastly, when you compare it to other 45 pint humidifier models, you'll see that it uses 1/3 less power! So, if you're looking for a home dehumidifier that offers the performance you need with the style you want, the Stadler Form Albert is the perfect choice!
Author: K. Gilmore