Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ozone Alert! They Warn Us About High Ozone Levels…But Then We Use Ozone-Emitting Air Purifiers?

It makes no sense to have ozone air quality alerts in cities around the country and then choose air purifiers that put high levels of this harmful air pollutant into our homes. Some states like California have outlawed the sale of ozone emitting or producing air purifiers, and still there are companies selling air purifiers that create / use large amounts of ozone to ‘clean the air’. And while ozone is highly antibacterial, antimicrobial, etc, repeated exposure from ozone ionizer type air purifiers can easily be harmful to your health, irritating the respiratory system, making breathing difficult, increasing allergy and asthma sensitivity, and more.

Ozone often causes coughing / respiratory problems by irritating and sometimes damaging the cells in the lining of the lungs; over time, this damage can be permanent. Ozone can also make chronic lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis worse. Scientists are concerned that ozone may be harmful to the developing lungs of children and may reduce their ability to fight off respiratory infections. So, though ozone can be a form of ‘ionic air treatment’, ozone is a harmful ion and actually increases indoor air pollution and health concerns. Air purifiers that use ozone create a smell that is similar to when you open a window so if you smell that smell, you know harmful ozone is there.

Many ionizer air purifiers still use or emit ozone so also be aware when you see the words ‘ion’ or ‘negative ion’ or ionizer. That said, some air purifiers or air cleaners use the RIGHT kind of negative ions, a hydroxyl ion, that is very effective for home air purification, but without the harmful effects of ozone. Hydroxyl ions (OH-) actually reduce indoor levels of ozone, disinfect the air, help remove smoke / odors, and even help with depression so if you’re looking for an ionizer type air cleaner or air purifier, make sure it only produces hydroxyl negative ions. Hydroxyl negative ions are also great for reducing pet dander, pet odors, cooking odors, and other home odors, including ozone smell.

Some of the best ionizer-type air purifiers or air cleaners  that we have found and tested are made by Blueair. Blueair air cleaners are known worldwide for superior home air purification. With incredibly effective HEPA filters, healthy negative OH ions that reduce ozone levels, and activated carbon, Blueair air purifiers can thoroughly clean the air in your home—without harmful ozone. These air cleaners feature quality Swedish construction and lifetime warranties, too. A couple of particular ionizer-type, ozone-free air cleaners from Blueair that we recommend are the Blueair 450E or 650E for larger rooms. These units have all the air purifier features you want, no ozone, healthy negative ions (hydroxyl ions), come with automatic air quality sensors AND a remote.

If you currently use or have an ozone producing or emitting air purifier, we highly recommend that you replace it with a quality no-ozone air cleaner, such as one from Blueair.

If you have any questions, please call us toll-free at 1-800-701-2513. Our air quality experts are standing by to help!

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Bad News: Allergies & Asthma Could Be Coming from YourCar, Truck or RV. Good News: There’s a Low-Cost, Easy Solution!

Believe it or not, your allergy / asthma attacks could becoming from poor air quality--in your car, truck or RV. Why? If you think aboutit, most people only clean their vehicles out maybe once a month, and usually that is not a deep cleaning. 

And every time we get into our cars, trucks, RV’s, we track dust, mud (dries, turns intodust), pollen, bacteria, mold spores and lots of other ‘organic matter’ from streets, concrete floors, bathrooms, etc. Then, we go down the road blowing air through the vent with no real filters, either! Add food particles that breed bacteria, carpet fibers, etc., and we’ve got a very dirty, ‘allergic’ environment.  To clean up a mess like that, you need a lot more than a simple ionic air purifier. That’s where the Clean Air 5000 Car /Truck Air Purifier is a GEM!

The Clean Air 5000 from Vapor-Eze combines FIVE air purifier technologies—true HEPA air filtration, activated carbon filter,ionizer, catalytic filters, and an ultraviolet (UV) lamp. The Clean Air 5000 from Vapor-Eze is highly effective at killing germs, absorbing odors / toxicfumes, and eliminating allergens. This powerful little car air purifier removes99.2% of airborne particles and 88.5% or airborne germs, bacteria, and viruses.Also features a cotton wick for adding fragrance to the air. 

Remarkablycompact--only 9x6x2”(LxWxH) so it works well in cars & trucks without getting in the way. Includes both AC/DC adapters for use indoorsand in vehicles. The Clean-Air-5000 is available online, comes with a one-year warranty, and it’s only $69!

For orders / information, contact Rex Murphy at 1-800-701-2513 Dealers Wanted!

Got Mildew Smell in Your RV? Here's a Low-Cost Way To Get Rid of It and Keep Cool!

So many RV owners deal with the constant smell of mildew. We clean and clean, but it seems like there's no getting rid of it so we get used to it. Well, that's because the 'smell' comes mainly from a living organism--mold. And if you spend time in your RV, you and your family are inhaling mold spores, bacteria, and other pollutants (dust, dust mites, pollen, carpet fiber, etc) that become airborne with any movement, foot traffic, etc. And who wants another sinus infection or allergy / asthma attack to ruin a vacation? Is there anything we can do?

Yes there is!  You can simply buy a portable upright air conditioner that not only provides excellent cooling (and heating with some models!) but also naturally dehumidifies the air-removing the moisture that causes over 80% of mold and mildew smell!  Brands such as Danby and Newair offer great, low-cost units with powerful output, light weight, easy operation and no ducting necessary.  You might also consider adding a small air purifier such as the Austin Healthmate Plus Junior to remove over 99% of any mold spores and most odors. This Austin unit is one of the very best values on the market with the most powerful filters and output for the money.
Best of all, you can buy both of these top-rated units at our online store where we offer a full line of discount air conditioning systems and portable air purifiers at cheap discount prices with free shipping every day.   Call us toll-free for fast answers to your questions at 1-800-701-2513. We're here to help!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

UV Light: Great for Killing Bacteria, Mold, Viruses-But Is It Enough for Clean Home Air?

UV or ultraviolet light is one of nature’s best sanitizers, killing bacteria, viruses, and mold pretty much on contact or in a few seconds. For this reason, hospitals and doctors have used UV light and UV air purification systems to treat skin conditions and create clean air rooms for many years. UV light creates hydroxyl ions or OH- ions when UV-C rays strip one of the H’s from H2O or water molecules in the air. These hydroxyl ions have a charge that destroys bacteria, viruses, and similar organisms on contact, without producing or using harmful ozone.

And many people are now using only whole house in-duct UV / ultraviolet light air purification systems in their air conditioner ducts, thinking this is all they need for effective home air cleaning, allergy / asthma control, and good health. But when only some of their allergy / sinusitis / asthma symptoms are alleviated, UV light air purification systems often get a bad name as some think they ‘don’t work’.

Truth is, while in-duct UV air treatment systems (using 36 watt bulbs minimum) are very good for instantly killing the bacteria, mold, viruses, other germs, even algae as air passes by, ultraviolet light is not a filter--it does not trap anything, such as the destroyed bacterial cells, virus particles, mold spores, or any allergy / asthma aggravating chemical molecules that may be in the air. And the typical furnace or air conditioner filter doesn’t have a pore size small enough to catch most of these particles, and most don’t have have activated carbon, either, and can’t remove irritating chemical residues responsible for many allergy / asthma attacks.

So, even though the bacteria, mold spores, viruses, dust mite particles, etc. are technically ‘dead’, without a HEPA filter,  these dead ‘parts’ or remaining particles are often still floating in the air. And most of these germ ‘parts’ / particles are still powerful allergy and asthma triggers. That is why UV light is a powerful air sterilizer or sanitizer, but only one part of an effective air purification system. To truly sanitize the air, you have to kill, trap, and absorb—using UV light PLUS the right filters.

To trap tiny bacteria, virus, mold spores and other particles, you need a true HEPA filter, and to absorb chemical residues found in most homes (from cleaning products, paints, etc), you need activated carbon. Many quality air purifiers have HEPA filters, activated carbon, and UV light systems all in one, such as air purifiers from Aller Air. An in-duct UV light air purification system plus a HEPA air purifier that has activated carbon (such as those from Aller Air) will usually take care of over 99% indoor air / allergy / asthma / sinus problems.  Austin Air is another very good air purifier brand to consider, with excellent HEPA filters and 15 pounds of activated carbon / zeolite. At very least, using an in-duct UV light air purification system in your air conditioner duct work and an allergy-rated air conditioner filter (1500 rating minimum) will make a huge difference in your home’s indoor air quality.

Duct mounted UV air cleaner systems are very effective, but to get really clean air in your home and truly prevent / eliminate air quality problems, allergies, asthma, etc., we recommend that you 1) make sure the duct mounted UV air cleaner system uses 36 watt bulbs (minimum wattage), 2) add a quality air purifier or two, with HEPA filters and a good amount of activated carbon—either a portable unit or a purifier that retro-fits to your HVAC system, and 3) for maximum protection, add an allergy rated filter to your air conditioner, as well.
As always if you have any questions, our air quality experts are standing by to help—just give us a call at 1-800-701-2513.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bed Bugs and Dust Mites: One Bites, The Other Doesn't. Both Are No Good!

Bed Bugs and dust mites are often thought of as the same type of 'bug' or 'mite'. Both are very different animals, but both have been proven to cause allergy symptoms. The smaller of the two, dust mites, have actually been found to be the cause of as much as 60% of all allergy and asthma cases worldwide. So if you have household allergies, lots of sneezing / coughing while at home or the office, you really could have an infestation. But bed bugs are no fun either, and they do bite. Let's take a closer look at both of these pesky invaders, their characteristics and some things you can do to get rid of them.

A bed bug is literally a 'bug', being more from the family of arthropods or insects. Bed bugs definitely do bite by piercing the skin with a 'beak' of sorts, and feed on human blood. Bed bugs are much larger than dust mites, with the adult bed bug growing to 3-5 mm in length. Symptoms of bed bugs include red blotchy, itchy skin, and some psychological effects such as a feeling of something crawling on the skin when nothing is there. Bed bugs and their eggs, like dust mites, are often tracked indoors by humans and pets. Fortunately, there are affordable, natural bed bug treatments that really help get rid of them without pesticides.

Dust mites are much smaller than bed bugs, with adults growing to only 0.25 mm in length, which is barely visible. They feed on pretty much any kind of organic matter, such as dead skin flakes, food particles, other animal parts such as decaying bed bugs, etc. Dust mites are more related to spiders, have 8 legs, but can't really bite as their mouths or mandibles are designed for chewing, not piercing. They do, however, cause intense skin irritation and itching from the powerful digestive enzymes and body parts of dead dust mites. In fact, the enzymes and body parts are two of the strongest known allergens in the world.but cause far more allergies and asthma than even the pollen count. This is why HEPA air purifiers such as those from Austin Air, are one of the best ways to prevent dust mite allergies, since they can remove the majority of any dust mite parts from the air.

Dust mites are most often found wherever there is dust-carpets, furniture, your bed, mattress covers, dust bunnies, etc. If you see dust, you can bet there are about 200 dust mites per gram of dust. Many beds have been found to contain up to 2500 dust mites per gram of dust! Symptoms of dust mite infestation include wheezing, coughing, skin irritation, watery, red eyes, repeated sneezing, to more frequent asthma attacks with no 'apparent' cause. To be sure, you can use air quality test kits that test for the presence of dust mites, allergens, etc. (see author box below).
There's usually no need to test for bed bugs, as they are much larger and you can often see them with the naked eye--in the 'bed', couches, or other sleeping areas. If you do want a bed bug detection kit, you can buy one and they're very expensive. Treatment for bed bug bites usually involves hydrocortisone creams, Benadryl, and other antihistamines / allergy skin creams, etc. Getting rid of bed bugs, like most insects, often require pesticides. Switching to white sheets can sometimes make them easier to see, however, so you can determine if bed bugs are present or not.

Treatment for dust mites mostly involves getting rid of them through regular / vigorous vacuuming, using polyethylene mattress covers, and installing one or more HEPA air purifiers. HEPA air purifiers are much more effective than simple ionic air purifiers because they will trap 99.97% or higher of these offending particles / animals, whereas ionic air purifiers simply attract particles to an electrode with decreasing performance as the electrode becomes dirty and re-releasing particles back into the air as a result. Air purifiers may even be a legitimate medical expense and covered by insurance--check with your doctor.

We constantly review and test air purifiers and there are two highly-effective air purifiers that we would recommend: 1) The Blueair 403 and 2) the Healthmate Plus Air Cleaner from Austin Air. Both have excellent warranties, solid steel construction, and money-back guarantees. We hope this article helps you understand the difference between bed bugs and dust mites and how to get rid of them. If you have any questions, please let us know.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Is Air Pollution The New Silent Killer? Prevent Yourself with Large Room Air Purifiers

We’ve heard a lot about air pollution. But according to a WHO (World Health Organization) report in September 2011, air pollution is now a major health risk, causing contagious infections and diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and heart disease, lung cancer, and allergy and asthma symptoms. The EPA recently placed indoor air pollution in the TOP FIVE health threats, as well. It’s estimated that about 2 million deaths per year worldwide are caused by indoor air pollution / poor air quality where no air purification systems or air purifiers / cleaners are used. That’s 5,479 deaths per day, with 2,739 of those children under 5. Air quality is a problem, no doubt about it.

Indoor air-related infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections / sinusitis are the most frequent serious complications from poor indoor air quality in homes and offices. Heart disease and lung cancer are also often caused by poor air quality.  With contagious airborne bacteria, often it’s a chain reaction--a sinus infection turns into bronchitis, and if pneumonia bacteria are present, full blown infection like pneumonia or walking pneumonia can occur, often requiring antibiotics, if available. Outdoor air pollution causes over 1 million deaths worldwide per year. 

And, with no air purification systems or air purifiers/cleaners in place, outdoor air pollution is added to indoor air through our air conditioning systems, which makes the indoor air quality problem worse, and infections more likely—especially in / around cities where air pollution / poor air quality is an issue.

The GOOD news? Since most people are currently spending 90% or more of their time indoors, at home, the office, etc., many of these health risks like pneumonia, bronchitis, heart disease, lung cancer from poor air quality / air pollution is mostly preventable by using the RIGHT air purifier/cleaner or air purification system.  Purely ionic air purifier/cleaners ionic are not enough, however; they don’t trap as many particles as a HEPA air purifier and air cleaning degrades over time.

The best HEPA air cleaners feature true HEPA air filters to remove bacteria, mold, dust, dust mites, pollen, dander, activated carbon to remove cancer-causing volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s), healthy negative ions (no ozone) to destroy bacteria and viruses, and ultraviolet light to further destroy germs like pneumonia or pneumococcus bacteria.  By using an air purifier/cleaner, you can often reduce or eliminate the chances of pneumonia, bronchitis, antibiotic costs, doctor visits, and allergy / asthma medication—and the savings may literally pay for the air purifier/cleaner, or other purification system.

And, if your doctor prescribes your air purifier or air purification system, insurance may even cover the cost.  Air purifiers/ air cleaners and clean air are fast becoming the new secret weapons against air pollution. Getting an good air purifier is a simple, effective step toward clean indoor air and better health—for you and your family.  It’s especially important for parents with infants / babies as air pollutants can have an impact on the baby’s development.

For all-around excellent air cleaning in the home or office, we recommend large room air purifiers such as the Blueair 450E, which features a superior HEPA filter, activated carbon, healthy negative ions, no ozone, and a remote—and it’s very quiet. Another very good choice is the Austin HealthMate Plus, with a medical-grade HEPA filter and 15 pounds of activated carbon / zeolite for excellent removal of chemicals, organic compounds from the air (important for highly sensitive individuals).

At Air Purifiers and, since we know that the air quality in your rooms, offices, and homes affects how you feel, your health, everything, we stock only the best air purifiers / cleaners / air purification systems designed to thoroughly clean your indoor air. Our staff is composed of air quality experts ready to answer any air purification questions you may have.  Call us toll-free today at 1-800-701-2513 and let us help you live better, feel stronger, with clean healthy air!

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