Controlling Winter Allergies

WinterWhen we think of allergy season, the image brought to mind is often of flowing plants and pollen or the dry leaves of fall.  Yet allergies can happen all year round, even during the months of winter. Often winter allergies get mistaken for being cold or flu symptoms and do not get properly treated, making sufferers go longer without relief.   Here are a few tips on how to reduce allergies during the winter.

Control Humidity at Home
Cold winter months means that we spend more time indoors, thus making our homes warmer and more comfortable.  Make sure to check water heaters and pipes regularly for signs of leaks, and if you cannot resist the urge to warm up with long baths or showers, be certain to run fans and ventilate the room once you are done so that mold does not have a chance to grow.

Decorate Without Dust
While it might be easier to pull last year’s tinsel and lights from their boxes and straight onto the tree, doing so might introduce a lot of unwanted dust into your home.  Unpack boxes away from carpet and upholstered furniture, and make sure to give everything a good dusting before putting it festively on display.

Beware of Guests Bringing in Pollen Along with Presents
Although many guests will be courteous and wipe their shoes before entering a home, the truth is that we bring pollen, dust, and pollutants inside on more than just our feet.  Our hair and clothes can pick up these tiny pollutants and transfer them inside.  Allergy sufferers are often advised to shower and put on a clean change of clothes after coming home, but when guests come to call, this is not an option.  Instead, if you have lots of family and friends coming to celebrate, make sure to clean more than usual by vacuuming carpets and upholstery, cleaning sheets frequently, and capturing any pollen that escapes by running an air purifier with a true HEPA filter.

Introducing the BioGS 2.0

biogs2_gallery6Since its debut in 2006, our BioGS air purifier has been providing excellent filtration and allergy relief for thousands of customers throughout the United States and even around the world. Although the original BioGS has been extremely popular, one of Rabbit Air’s core values as a company is the belief that we should always be looking for new ways to improve ourselves and our products.  With that goal in mind, we set out to revamp the BioGS and make it even better than before.  We listened to the opinions of over three thousand customers to see where they saw room for improvement, and we searched far and wide for the latest technology and the most modern, stylish design.  Finally, we are proud to introduce our new BioGS 2.0!

biogs2_gallery8Our BioGS 2.0 starts with the advanced, efficient filtration technology that you have come to expect from Rabbit Air.  The BioGS 2.0 has a four stage filtration system, including our bio-engineered HEPA filter and our Charcoal Based Activated Carbon filter that uses real pellets of porous charcoal.  Taking our next cue from our customers, we updated the user interface of the BioGS to be even more user friendly and easy to use.  The BioGS 2.0 is a smarter machine than before – with new features such as an adjustable Automatic mode and a filter replacement countdown so you always know how much life is left in your filters. Our unique display makes each function easy to understand, and will automatically dim after five minutes to reduce light pollution.  To wrap all these features in an exciting package, we went to Brazilian designer Guto Indio da Costa, who created a whole new look for the BioGS that was sleeker, more sophisticated, and that embodied the idea of “flow.”  We are excited to present the new BioGS 2.0, and we hope that you will love it just as much as we do!

Allergy Proofing Your Home

HomeYour home should be your castle, yet if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies or asthma, home can feel more like a prison of sneezing, wheezing, and sniffling.  Indoor air quality is often much worse than outdoor air quality, causing sufferers to have frequent and frustrating allergic and asthmatic reactions at home, particularly during high pollen seasons. Here are a few suggestions on how you can improve indoor air quality to help you sleep better, breathe easier, and enjoy being at home.

Remove Carpets, Drapes, and Rugs
Plush carpets and thick fabric drapes may seem luxurious, but they are prime places for dust and other airborne pollutants to settle.  Replacing them with hardwood floors and easily cleanable blinds can significantly reduce the amount of pollutants in your home.

Add an Air PurifierMinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly Edition
Once you have removed the places that allergens like to settle and hide, keep them from circulating through the air by adding an air purifier with a true HEPA filter.  An air purifier like our MinusA2 will not only filter out pollens, but it can trap dust, mold spores, harmful chemicals and unpleasant odors as well, making it useful all throughout the year, even after allergy season is over.

Keep it Clean
Keep harmful pollutants from coming back by setting up a thorough cleaning routine and using products designed to keep allergens at bay.  Keep floors and furniture clean by using a vacuum with a true HEPA filter, and learn to love breaking out the duster and wiping down bookshelves, tables, and any other places dust might settle.  Wash your bedding frequently and think about using a special mattress cover to keep away dust mites for an easier time sleeping.

Creepy Crawly Cockroach Allergies

Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of flicking on the lights in the kitchen late at night, and seeing a dark shape quickly skitter back beneath the fridge.  Cockroaches usually keep themselves hidden when people are around, and so many people are unaware that the creepy critters are lurking beneath cabinets and appliances around the home.  It is estimated that over three quarters of urban homes have hidden cockroach infestations, and seeing one roach is a good indicator that hundreds or even thousands more are hiding nearby.  An infestation of cockroaches is more than just unsanitary; the feces, saliva, and body parts of these bugs can cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks in as many as 23 to 60% of sufferers in urban areas. The more severe the asthma or allergies a person has, the more likely they are to have a reaction to cockroaches, and the more important it is to eradicate the infestation.

Cockroaches are notoriously hardy and difficult to get rid of, so if an infestation is suspected, the most important step is to contact a pest control service that specializes in removing the unwanted houseguests.  You can also take precautions to make your home more hostile to the bugs by covering trash and keeping all food stored tightly and off of counters.  While you work to clear your home from these pests, you can help to relieve some of the allergy symptoms they cause with frequent cleaning.  Keep the air in your home clean and breathable by using an air purifier, like our MinusA2, to trap any feces or roach byproducts that may be circulating in the air. Make sure to wipe down surfaces frequently, and clean floors and upholstery using a vacuum with a true HEPA filter. With a proactive approach and a good pest control company to help, you can say goodbye to roaches and start breathing better at home once more.

How to Stay Safe and Healthy During the Summer

Summertime is here; when the temperature rises and we long for lazy days spent lounging on the beach.  Here are some tips for staying safe and healthy while you enjoy the season!

mediterranean beach - italy

Limit Your Sun Exposure
It can be hard to resist the relaxing pleasure of lying out in the sun, but too much time spent outside can cause serious sunburns.  Make sure not to doze off by the pool, and limit direct exposure to less than fifteen minutes.  During outdoor activities, make sure to wear a high quality sunscreen, and learn to love wide brimmed hats, long flowing sleeves, and other clothes that provide protection.

Stay Hydrated
Spending time outdoors when the heat is high can leave you feeling dehydrated, sick, and put you at risk for heat stroke. Keep a water bottle with you when you go out, and remember to sip from it often.  Although strenuous activities put you most at risk, even casual strolls can leave you needing water.  You can also make keeping hydrated fun, by making creative fruit infusions that add natural flavor and color to your water.

Hiking BootsKeep Bugs Away
Humans aren’t the only ones that love to come out in the summer – pesky bugs, like mosquitoes and ticks, do too.  These pests can cause irritation when they bite, and can even cause more serious illnesses, so keeping them at bay is a top priority. Wear long sleeves and pants when hiking or camping, and use mosquito repellent or netting to keep a barrier between you and the bugs.

Keep an Eye on Air Quality
The summer sun can cause air quality to worsen by heating up chemical compounds lingering in the air and combining them with nitrogen oxide to create unhealthy levels of smog.  Check local air quality forecasts when planning outdoor activities, and when you are cooling off inside, keep your indoor air clear by running an air purifier that uses a Charcoal Based Activated Carbon filter to absorb harmful chemicals.

New Research on Trees and Air Quality

New TreeResearchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are shedding some light on an air quality mystery that has had scientists stumped for some time.  While we know that plants have a positive effect on air quality by helping to remove carbon dioxide from the air and providing us with oxygen, scientists had long suspected that isoprene, a molecule emitted by trees as a means of protecting their leaves from harm, played a part in creating particulate air pollution; they just were not sure how.   Surprisingly, the study found that when the isoprene molecule was heated by the sun, it reacted with nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere to create tiny particulate matter that became suspended in the air, which has the possibility to cause or exacerbate respiratory ailments, such as asthma.

But wait! Don’t blame the trees for these dangerous particulates – it is the abundance of nitrogen oxide that is the real problem. These polluting chemicals are man-made by-products of cars, factories, and other coal burning sources.  The more that scientists investigate the ways that particulate pollution occurs, the more effective our efforts at improving our air will be.  Over the past decade many major cities in the United States have been able to improve their air quality, but smog and ozone remain in much higher concentrations than what is healthy.  We can help to continue reducing these levels by being mindful about our daily choices – for example, making efforts to carpool or switching from plastic bags to reusable canvas ones. As we work on decreasing the amount of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere, we can protect ourselves from particulate matter by monitoring city air pollution levels before leaving the house, and by filtering particulates out of our indoor air by using an air purifier with a true HEPA filter like our MinusA2.

How to Choose the Right Air Purifier

We know that shopping for an air purifier is tiresome, especially with so many options out there. You may spend hours on end, trying to find the best air purifier for your situation. In fact, you may be reading this at 2:00am because those pesky allergies won’t let you sleep.

Thankfully, our Rabbit Air Team has put together some helpful tips to aide you in your air purifier shopping experience.

Technology
How are you going to clean my air?

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration air purifiers are definitely the way to go. They are the most recognized and reliable air filtration technology with an efficiency of trapping particulates down to 0.3 microns in size, 99.97% of the time. They are also highly recommended by allergists due to their effectiveness.

There are also other technologies that are beneficial at cleaning the air. One of them is activated carbon. Known for its high absorption capability, activated carbon can effectively trap toxins such as VOC’s, smoke and odors. Another recommendation is to select an activated carbon filter that is charcoal-based. Individual charcoal pellets are highly porous and are able to trap all types of gases in its large internal surface area.

Air purifiers to avoid? We do not recommend any type of “filter-less” air purifiers. These include ozone generators and electrostatic precipitators, also known as “ionic” type purifiers. Electrostatic precipitators are not as effective as HEPA-filtration air purifiers and both air purifiers are culprits for emitting ozone, which is a respiratory irritant for allergy and asthma sufferers.

 

Room Coverage
Does room coverage matter?

Room coverage is very important, especially when you suffer from asthma or allergies. When shopping for an air purifier, look past the room size an air purifier covers and look at how many air changes per hour that particular air purifier has.

What is an air change per hour? An air change per hour translates to how many times an air purifier can clean a room in one hour. For example, 2 air changes per hour shows that an air purifier can clean a room once every 30 minutes. An allergy and asthma sufferer needs at least 4 air changes per hour, which means an air purifier can clean a room at least once every 15 minutes.

 

Noise
How loud is too loud?

Noise is measured in decibels. Although sensitivity to sound varies from person to person, there is some agreement over what is comfortable to the ear. Since we recommend that our customers operate the air purifier 24 hours a day, we advise choosing an air purifier that does not go over 55 decibels.

Be sure to check the decibel level of each speed before making a purchase, especially if you are a light sleeper. Once the noise decibel level goes over 60, it is considered to be “loud” according to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

 

Maintenance and Cost
Do I have the time and the money?

Not only do you need to consider the initial costs of the air purifier, you also have to look into how costly it is to operate.

One big cost is replacement filters. Look into how often you have to replace and how expensive the filters are. Also, choose an air purifier that requires less cleaning maintenance.

Do you think the costs stop there? Definitely look into purchasing products that are Energy Star Certified or at least one that consumes less energy since you will most likely be operating your air purifier 24 hours a day. To put power consumption into perspective, it will cost over $120.00 a year to operate a 100 watt air purifier 24/7 in the state of California.

 

Customer Service
Add great value to your purchase.

Vote for a company that has your best interests in mind. Besides, what’s more enjoyable than dealing with a company that makes everything seems so easy?

We suggest that you choose an air purifier company that offers great customer service, and is easily accessible. Many companies frequently discontinue models, so make sure you are able to find replacement filters when the time comes.

You also want to choose a company that provides a great warranty and return guarantee.  Aim for a company that offers a warranty longer than one year and one that does not charge a restocking fee to return a product.

Last, but not least, consider the reputation of the company. Check consumer reviews online to see if you are dealing with an honest company. It’s not uncommon for a company to go out of business or disappear after a short time, which will leave you out of luck when trying to buy replacement filters or receive customer support.

UC San Deigo Researching Portable Air Quality Monitor

City SmogIn December 2012, the University of California at San Diego discussed an exciting new advance in Air Quality monitoring. Researchers there had created a small portable device that measured air quality in real time, letting users know in the moment whether they were breathing clean air or if they had wandered into a spot of highly concentrated pollutants. This advanced technology allowed for those concerned with air quality to have more precise information about the environment around them, allowing them to make informed decisions about the air they breathed. Runners and bikers, for example, would be able to avoid areas with higher pollution, protecting their lungs as they exercised. The device could even be useful in indoor areas, as one study participant found when he realized that the air quality in his office was quite poor, prompting his company to take steps to improve the air for its employees.

We hope to see more research into this area, and look forward to the day when personal air quality monitoring is available to all. Until then, there are still steps one can take to be proactive about air quality and protected from pollutants. City-wide daily pollen and pollution counts are easily accessed on websites such as Pollen.com and AirNow.gov. These sites are great tools for learning about air pollution in your city, and can help to plan your outings during times when pollutant levels are low. When you’re in your home, you can be smart about air pollutants as well by using a HEPA air purifier such as our MinusA2 to filter out harmful pollutants and keep the air clean and fresh.

The Benefits of an Air Purifier for Your Vacation Home

Summer is just around the corner, and many families are getting ready to start going to their vacation homes. While many have fun accessories at their vacation homes, like a pool, barbecue grill or an outdoor deck for entertaining, most have forgotten one of the most important accessories for their vacation homes: an air purifier. Let’s talk about the benefits of adding a HEPA air purifier to your vacation home.

An air purifier can add a little fresh air to a stale house. You’ve probably noticed when you first go to “air out” your vacation house that it smells a little stale. This is because it has been sealed or boarded up all winter long. If you’re like most, you haven’t been there in months! Running an air purifier while you are there will help make the air fresher, smell better, and even make it better for you to breathe. While we’re not advising you to stop opening your windows to freshen the air in your homes, turning on your purifier will help keep your vacation home fresher and allow you to breathe high quality air for you and your family.

CHARLES WELEK, REALTOR, POSES IN FRONT OF A $7...

Charles Welek, Realtor, poses in front of a vacation home in Lake Ozark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having a home by the beach can have its challenges when it comes to air. Many beach vacation homes have the tendency to attract mold. If you have someone in the family with a mold allergy, be careful of mold spores as they can trigger allergic reactions. While you need to remove and/or clean the mold from the home – an air purifier in addition to this process will remove the tiny mold spores that still stay in the air after you’ve cleaned or gotten rid of the mold.

A Great Way To Welcome Guests

There’s nothing like a deep, relaxing night of sleep in a vacation home. There’s also nothing more memorable than tossing and turning, and not being able to sleep in someone’s vacation home. We’ve probably had both experiences, and we all know which one we’d rather have again! Putting an air purifier in your guest room will purify the air and let your guests breathe deeper and sleep more sounder. Any guest staying with you will certainly appreciate this thoughtful touch.

The Perfect Addition To Your Baby Or Child’s Room

Today, many air purifiers are “whisper quiet” so there’s usually no worry about an air purifier keeping your child up at night. If you’ve used one at home, you’ll especially want to use a purifier in your vacation home. Not only will your child sleep deeper and more comfortably, you’ll have the peace of  mind knowing that they’re sleeping with healthy, clean air.

Air purifiers are easy to maintain in your vacation home. While some things need a lot of maintenance, your air purifier doesn’t have to be one of them. When you arrive at your vacation home, you’ll want to bring extra filters for your air purifiers so that you can be sure to start your vacation on a clean slate. Check that your air purifier turns on and that all the functions work, just as you would with any appliance you haven’t used in awhile. That’s it!

Remove Mold Successfully with Your Air Purifier

Did you know that you can remove mold successfully with your air purifier? Surprisingly, not everyone knows this important fact. Removing mold is critical, especially for those with asthma and allergies. But even if those living in your home do not have allergies or asthma you’ll still want to remove mold from the air with your air purifier. Mold can be quite troublesome, and in some cases, cause mild to more severe health problems.

Most of us know that mold grows under damp conditions. You can often see and smell mold as it grows, and it sure isn’t pretty! But there can also be mold spores in the air sometimes before it has appeared in your home, or even after you think you have removed it. These tiny spores can get into your lungs and cause irritations. For some, this means feeling like you have a cold or a sinus problem. If you have asthma it can aggravate your symptoms. For those with mold allergies it can cause mild to severe reactions, depending on the type of allergy you have. Even those without allergies or asthma often feel the effects of mold. They may sniff and sneeze, or feel like they are coming down with a cold. It is irritating and uncomfortable.  No one wants their family and friends to feel this way, especially if it can be avoided. But what is the most important thing about mold? It loves to grow! So if you do not take care of the problem, it probably will continue to grow and spread, lingering in your home until it is removed.

Your air filter can help to purify the air, removing tiny mold spores. This can be a tremendous help, and soon you’ll start to feel more comfortable. Note that not every air purifier can remove and purify mold; you should check to make sure that your air purifier can do the job. Rabbit Air’s MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier has an optional Customized Filter called the Germ Defense that will effectively trap and reduce airborne mold spores and particles that can carry viruses.

Help your air purifier do the best job it can, and tackle your mold problem hands on. Once you’ve targeted the areas that have mold, place the air purifier next to the locations to stop the spread of mold spores. If you don’t see mold right away, take your time and search through each room patiently. Try especially to check rooms that have the potential to be damp and wet, like the laundry room and bathrooms. If you really can’t find the source of the mold, you may need to call a mold specialist to help solve the problem.

Your air purifier can clean the air and remove the tiny particles of mold from the air, but remember that if you do not remove the source of the mold, it will continue to grow and you will continue to have a mold problem. Worst of all, your symptoms may increase as time goes on if the source is not removed. No one wants their family and friends to suffer, so it is important to act quickly!

Mold most often is a problem that can be solved. With the help of your air purifier, your family and friends will be quite comfortable in no time!