What’s the big deal if you sweep one little dust bunny under the rug? Turns out, a lot! Most of the time, when there’s one, more will follow. So, the best thing to do is to get a handle on things before it gets out of control. The question is – how do you get rid of something that keeps coming back? The answer is: PREVENTION. Below are handy tips that you can utilize to prevent dust build-up in your house.
Minimize Dust-Gathering Knickknacks
This would be recommended for rooms where you spend a lot of time such as the living areas and bedrooms. The less things there are for dust mites to latch onto, the less dust you will have to deal with.
Mattresses & Pillow Allergen-Reducing Covers
If you’re allergic to dust mites or wake up with a stuffy nose more often than not, consider buying allergen-reducing covers for your mattresses and pillows. These are zippered in and keep dust mites at bay – just wash the covers in hot water twice a year!
Heavy Duty Doormats
Place heavy-duty commercial-style doormats (tight weave, rubber backs) outside of every door used to enter the house. This helps prevent dust and dirt from being tracked into your home on a daily basis.
Place air purifiers in your most-used rooms to help suck up dust before it settles down. Here at Guardian Technologies, we have many different product options available, including the AC4100 3-in1 Table Top HEPA Filter Air Purifier which fits into small spaces and is aesthetically pleasing, and the AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System which is a 3-in-1 air cleaning system perfect for allergy sufferers.
Stay Away from Cheap Furnace / Air Conditioning Filters
Cheap filters for your furnace or air conditioner do little to prevent dust. You should choose pleated filters with a higher MERV rating (mean efficiency reporting value), but don’t exceed your furnace’s abilities. Ask a furnace technician for suggestions if you’re unsure.
Stay Away from Drapes
Wood, metal or plastic blinds are easier to clean than drapes. All you have to do is wipe them down with a microfiber cloth or an electrostatic duster. If you have drapes, dust or vacuum rods or valances first, then clean the length with your vacuum’s brush or upholstery tool on lower suction.
Hopefully if you take the steps above, you will be on your way to being dust-free in no time at all!
Sneezing, wheezing, coughing, itching, watering, and runny noses – too many of us know these symptoms far too well throughout the year. Allergies spell misery for about 50 million Americans according to the AAFA, or the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Whether it’s a dramatic change in the weather outside, the growth and flying of new pollens or coming in contact with something that your body is just hypersensitive to, all sufferers have their kryptonite. However, according to an article published by WebMD, there are ways to manage allergies instead of letting them constantly interfere with your life.
Identify What You Are Allergic To
Most people suffer from environmental allergens including animal dander, dust mites, molds and pollen. Sometimes people are even allergic to more than one. Process of elimination helps some people figure out what their allergen is, but it is not always so easy. A simple skin test at the doctor’s office can pinpoint exact allergens and your reaction to them so that you know what you are fighting against.
Control Your Allergen
Once you know what you are allergic to, the next step is to find ways to either control your exposure to the allergen or find a way to eliminate it.
For people that suffer from animal dander allergens, it can be very difficult to keep a pet. The allergens lie in the animal’s saliva, dandruff and in the
urine – which can settle into floors and around the house. For most people, not having a dog or cat when there is an allergy is the best solution. However,
if parting with a pet is impossible, it is suggested to keep at least one “safe room” in the house where the animal cannot enter. It is also suggested to
brush the animal regularly outside to get rid of dead skin cells and to get leather furniture over fabric furniture since it is easier to clean.
For dust mite allergies, cleanliness and blockading the microscopic allergen are key. Dust mites feed on house dust and skin cells and their fecal matter is what produces the allergen. The bedroom is the number one spot to consider when controlling dust mites, as bedding is their favorite habitat. Hypo-allergen covers for pillows, mattresses and other furniture helps create a barrier that prevents the mites from digging down into our mattress. It is also suggested to wash bedding in hot water to kill the mites that are clinging to it. The suggested washing temperature is 130 F, so some water heater adjustment might be needed. The AAFA also suggests avoiding wall-to-wall carpeting, upholstered furniture, wool blankets and down-filled bedding.
Pollen counts at the turn of a new season are of high interest to many people who suffer outdoor allergies. Pollen count is the amount of plant pollen
found in one cubic meter of air in a 24-hour period. Plants and trees release it when they pollinate and it can travel great distances. Trees pollinate in
late winter and spring while plants pollinate in late spring and summer. Since the pollen is outdoors and we cannot control the environment, it is
suggested to limit outdoor activity during high pollen count periods. It can be helpful to use websites such as The National Allergy Bureau and Pollen.com
– they track pollen counts throughout the country. You can also keep windows shut and use air conditioning on “recirculation” to keep pollen out of your
Outdoor mold is much like pollen except for that it is a fungus and that the allergen is found in the spores that become airborne. Mold allergies flare up most frequently in the summer and are highly affected by humidity levels. Knowing your mold allergen’s spore releasing conditions can help you decide what outdoor conditions to avoid. Indoor mold is easier to spot and can be eliminated by a simple cleaning solution of 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent.
Find Good Allergy Treatment
Allergies cannot be cured, but there are treatment solutions to help in coping with symptoms. Antihistamines and decongestants are popular for itchy and runny noses. Nasal steroid sprays are a prescription treatment that helps lower inflammation of your mucus membrane. They can be highly effective in controlling symptoms when they are used on a consistent basis. For the person that does not want to have to do a daily treatment, allergy shots are also a good option. The shots, or immunotherapy, are good options for people with severe allergies that are hard to control with basic treatments. People who start immunotherapy typically start out with two a week, but eventually taper off to only needing one once every four weeks.
We recently posted about the Cities with the Worst Air Quality. Today, we explore the cities with the best air quality!
When searching for places with high qualities of living, we usually look at crime statistics, local school performance, and neighborhood amenities. However, a city’s air quality can have a huge impact on one’s quality of life. The Center for Disease Control sites respiratory problems such as Asthma and bronchitis as dangerous and negative for living conditions. The Clean Air Act of 1970 has actively sought solutions and legislation towards improving air quality so that the living conditions of Americans could be enhanced. While significant improvements have been made across the country, some cities are much cleaner than others. The American Lung Association (ALA) has labeled the following six cities as the highest-ranking cleanest cities in 2013:
Nestled in the southeast corner of the state, Cheyenne is both the capital and the most populous city of Wyoming. However, it is still relatively small and sees less traffic than most cities. Cheyenne’s low measure of year-round particle pollution combined with its fine PM2.5 particulate make it the city with the best air quality. With a population of 92,680 people, less than 9% of its population suffers from either adult or pediatric asthma.
St. George, UT
With beautiful, red canyon walls setting the scene for its 75,500 residents, St. George, Utah has much to offer for those looking for peaceful and playful serenity. This reason might be why it is considered one of the fastest growing cities according to US Census statistics. It also has much to offer the lungs – the city is ranked number one in the country for 24-hour particle pollution and number two for annual particle pollution.
Santa Fe, NM
A colorful mecca for the American art world, Santa Fe is both breath taking and breath giving. Santa Fe boasts its inclusion on many “Best of” lists when it comes to the standards of living it provides and cleanest air is one of them. The American Lung Association’s 2013 report lists Santa Fe as being number one in the country for low ozone pollution and number two for annual particle pollution.
If a true taste of the Wild West is what you seek, look no further than Prescott, Arizona. With its historic structures and lush surrounding hills, Prescott has been named one of America’s best old western towns by numerous sources including True West Magazine and This Old House. Ranked number one for cleanest 24-hour particle pollution and number four for its annual particle pollution by the ALA, Prescott’s clean air has been serving its population since the its old frontier origins. Prescott was a number one destination for those suffering with tuberculosis and other respiratory illnesses in the late 19th century.
Despite the county of San Juan having a huge coal mining industry and coal plant, its largest city enjoys some of the cleanest air in America. Farmington is home to 45,000 residents and offers a rich Native American history and a beautiful outdoor landscape. The American Lung Association gives Farmington a number one ranking for 24-hour particle pollution and a number five ranking for its annual particle pollution.
When pioneers sought a new life of riches and gold during the Gold Rush, Pocatello, Idaho served as an important stop both for the Idaho railway and along the Oregon Trail. Today it still provides economic opportunity as one of Forbes list’s Best Small Places for Business and Careers. The American Lung Association gives Pocatello a number six ranking for its annual particle pollution.
If you don’t live in any of the cities listed above and are in need of healthy air to breathe, try one of our germguardian® UV Air Sanitizers. Start shopping Guardian Technologies today!
Our goal here at Guardian Technologies is to help you create a better home environment to keep your body in top-notch condition. Our air purifiers provide the perfect way to keep the air you breathe healthy and clean. Along with breathing in healthy air, it is important to keep your body up to par with exercise. What better way to get exercise AND keep the air flowing than running? Below, we outline an easy to following guide about how to train for a marathon. It’s a new year – try it, and you just might like it!
Step One: Consult Your Doctor & Start Eating Healthy
Begin by consulting your doctor, make sure you don't have any underlying medical conditions that could affect your training or prevent you from competing. Evaluate your diet, begin by getting rid of any fast food or unhealthy snacks, your training will mean nothing if you eat pizza every day. This is one of the hardest mental tasks of training. Phase out your unhealthy diet for healthier options in the correct portions. There is no harm in getting involved in some light exercise while doing this, obviously the more the better but you don't want to put yourself off the marathon by training too hard too early.
Step 2: Start Your Training Program
Once your diet is sorted out, you can begin your training program. If you are completely out of shape you will need to turn excess fat into muscle and begin to tune your body in to the idea of regular exercise. You may find that a heavy gym session or lengthy jog will put you out for a couple of days, this will change, but you have to be determined. You should focus primarily on running and jogging as this is what you're aiming for but any other cardio activity is beneficiary.
Build up a regular exercise routine over a couple of months (about 3 times per week). In between your exercise days go for a light jog, to help your muscles develop a faster recovery rate. Exercise 6 days a week but only train hard on three of those days, have a complete rest day on the weekends but if you feel like it, go for a casual swim or walk.
Six months before the race, turn your attention mostly to running but keep some other cardio activities. This is vital as it is not just about your fitness but also the use of appropriate muscle groups and strengthening your joints and feet. Make sure you run 6 days a week and change your rest day to a Monday as you will need the weekends for your lengthier runs if you work. Run about 5 miles per day on average and 10 miles at the weekend. If you do get bored of running make sure you vary the length and route of your runs. If you have ever watched a marathon on TV you will notice that almost every single person in the crowd presses their watch when the gun fires, they are timing themselves to compare to their personal best, this is a big part of marathon running as it will give you the motivation to succeed and help you keep track of your training. Invest in a stopwatch and begin to time yourself, note down these times against the distances you run and aim to beat your times each week, map out a chart as a visual reference is very motivational.
Step 3: Take Things Up A Notch
In the final three months leading up to the marathon increase the intensity of your training, run an average of 8 miles per day Tuesday to Saturday and between 10 and 20 miles at the weekend with inclinations each week. On any particular Sunday, run a half marathon at race pace, this will give you an idea of how you will feel at the event. In the last three weeks before the race run an average of 6 miles including Sunday and take two rest days, in your final week run 3 - 4 miles on three of the days, taking three rest days but not the day before.
Step 4: Last Minute Details
If you are going to buy new clothes for the race make sure you use them before to make sure they are comfortable, then wash them! Purchase your running shoes at least three months before the event but if something happens to them and you need new ones buy the exact same pair to avoid discomfort. Sip water regularly from the moment you wake up to fully hydrate, don't eat for the last two hours before the race. Don't drive to the race as parking will be limited and traffic will be heavy and these are stresses you can do without. Arrange to meet friends/family away from the finishing line to avoid congestion and stand a chance of spotting them. Finally, don't forget to set your alarm clock on the day. Good luck!