Posts Tagged ‘allergen’

Seasonal allergy treatment? How about prevention?

April 18, 2011

After a windy spring weekend outdoors, I found myself battling itchy eyes and a watery nose yesterday.

Seasonal allergy symptoms are back.

For those who suffer from pollen allergy symptoms, you know how easily the tiny allergens travel…everywhere.

But treatment of seasonal allergies isn’t the only option. I much prefer preventing symptoms altogether, rather than relying on allergy remedies once I’m already dealing with histamines.

Here are the two main ways I prevent allergy symptoms:

  1. Keep windows and doors closed. Pollen travels mostly through the air, so I don’t let it blow into my house.
  2. Wash your hair and clothes soon after returning from the outdoors. Pollen will attach to you outdoors, and you’ll help it set up shop around your house by simply moving around and making contact. (Think about everything you touch: your pillows and sheets, your furniture, your carpet…)

So, because vacuuming your floors and washing your clothes and sheets is such a huge component to prevention, those with terrible allergies have found relief in some  products designed with them in mind:

LG’s Allergiene cycle from its TrueSteam washer and dryer

LG’s Allergiene washer cycle uses steam power to gently remove over 95% of common household allergens, like dust mites and pet dander, from even the most delicate fabrics.

Plus, you can safely sanitize nonwashable items like pillows and toys in LG’s steam dryer, which is what I did with all my throw pillows last night.

AquaFilter system in the Rotho Twin TT 580 canister vacuum

Rotho uses water and a HEPA filter to trap dust and dirt, not a canister or a bag, so it’s no surprise it has a 99.999% retention capacity, making it the ideal vacuum for allergy sufferers. Vacuuming is supposed to get rid of all the stuff that irks you, not kick it up into your airway.

The Rotho vacuum sprays water and cleaning solution on the area, then simultaneously vacuuming up the used water and solution to free embedded soil, dust mites, allergens, and odors — not the stuff sitting on the surface.

The $795 price tag makes it spendier than the also-awesome Dyson DC 23 Animal canister vacuum, but the Rotho’s deep-cleaning features and water filtration make it the ultimate tool for an allergy-free home.

Water filtration vacuum: It really sucks

August 20, 2010

Yup, a water filtration vacuum cleaner.

You’ve heard of a HEPA filter vacuum. And bagless vacuum cleaners. But those all trap dust and particulate matter using air and manufactured materials.

One of our newest products, the ROTHO Twin TT Aquafilter is truly something I’ve never seen before.

German-made ROTHO (pronounced ROW-toe) traps allergens and dust in a water reservoir. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen (even though the murky water in the reservoir gets pretty nasty…that’s a good thing, though!).

So pet owners and allergy sufferers especially can cash in on the investment in a water filter vacuum (innovation doesn’t come cheap — we sell this for $795).

Not only can you use it to dry vacuum carpets and floors, you avoid expense carpet and professional cleaning fees and wet-clean your own carpets, upholstery, mattresses and tile/bare floors with the spray-extraction system.

We ship the ROTHO water filter vacuum for free (all vacuums ship for free!)

Check out this video (for as long as it stays posted online):

What HEPA is and why you should care about it

November 4, 2009

OK, before I talk about HEPA, I have to confess that us Warners LOVE our Miele vacuums. Most of us, and a number of our sales associates, are believers — actively seeking converts, so please excuse my enthusiasm.

mielevac

Don't you hate when your vacuum gets stuck on an area rug? Sorry, can't relate.

I never understood the whole $700-for-a-vacuum thing until I used my cousin’s Miele to vacuum her entire first floor without waking her twin babies. That thing is so quiet, you would think it’s broken if it wasn’t so darn powerful. Pennies, paperclips, short animal hair — just once over and it disappeared.

When I told my sister about this, she agreed but said it was really the HEPA filter that made the Miele great. And I nodded along, but admittedly, I didn’t haven’t a clue what HEPA meant.

So I asked our Miele rep on the phone the other day, “What is HEPA and why does my sister care about it so much?”

His response was pretty helpful (and humorous).

“First understand that I could put a HEPA filter on your shoulder and call you a HEPA person and it doesn’t mean anything,” he said. I had to laugh, but as I listened on, it made more sense.  Miele vacuums are the only truly HEPA certified vacuums on the market.

HEPA, or high efficiency particulate arrest, was invented by the Army Corps of Engineers to combat chemical toxins. The U.S. HEPA standard requires 99.75% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter be filtered. That’s teeny tiny — about 1/200th of a strand of hair.

“Well, how many of these things are actually in my house?” I asked.

The average home contains about 250,000 particles per square foot (1 million in an industrial warehouse setting like mine). And when we breathe, “gross stuff” (i.e. pet dander, pollen and even dust mite fecal matter) enters our blood stream through our lungs.

Does this matter to you? Maybe. If you have allergies or respiratory health problems, it definitely should. There’s no question using a HEPA filter to trap particles improves your breathing. And if you live in a newer construction home, HEPA becomes important because the quality of the insulation and windows mean that “fresh air” doesn’t really get in and current air simply recycles itself.

And if you’re already using a “HEPA” vacuum, you might want to double-check it.

“Some vacuum cleaners spit out particles through their exhaust system instead of trapping them inside the vacuum,” he said. “Just about every brand has a HEPA vacuum. But those units aren’t necessarily making use of the HEPA. It has to be able to filter all those particles to 99.7%.”

HEPA filters are tested to 10 cubic feet of airflow per minute, he said. Even low-quality vacuums can move about 60 cubic feet per minute. So what happens when you put a HEPA designed for 10 cubic feet per minute on a vacuum that moves 60 cubic feet of air per minute? The air is going to go around the filter and basically recirculate the debris.

“There are many vacuums created with leaks to help the air escape,” he said. “It’s like putting your thumb on a hose.” And that was it. The thought of dust mites and their “gross stuff” shooting out of a vacuum was enough to make me really, REALLY care about HEPA.

Miele vacuum cleaners generate over 100 cubic feet of airflow per minute and the HEPA filter is tested on the vacuum to ensure it’s truly sealed and can contain the debris. For more info, read our vacuum cleaner buying guide.

These vacuums are certainly an investment — they last upwards of 20 years — or a really, really generous gift (we ship for free!).  An all-surface vacuum with True HEPA filtration,  such as the S7 series uprights,  start at $649. Vacuum cleaners for smooth surfaces and low-pile carpeting start at about $300, after adding a HEPA filter.


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