How Often Should You Get New Pillows

How often should you get new pillows? That’s a good question and one many of us tend to overlook.

Allergy PillowsWe have a habit of becoming attached to our pillows, so the prospect of tossing an old one and replacing it can be difficult. Most people we talk to say a comfortable pillow is one of the most important things to a ensure a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately many of us make a crucial mistake when it comes to our favorite pillows: We’re keeping them for way too long.

We get used to them, but unfortunately we’re not the only ones attached to that old pillow…there can be millions of dust mites in there too, not to mention dirt and oil and dead skin cells.

Some studies suggest we replace our mattress every 5 to 7 years and pillows every 6 months. Replacing a mattress can be expensive. Some of our customers say they spent $2,500 to $4,000 for a mattress. On the other hand pillows are much more affordable.

A good indicator of whether a pillow has outlived its usefulness is by folding it. If you fold your pillow and it remains in that position then it is no longer functional and should be replaced.

There are a couple of things we recommend to our customers. You can wash some pillows in hot water to kill dust mites and remove the dirt and oil. Problem is some pillows never feel the same after being washed. The other thing we strongly recommend is encasing them with a dust mite proof pillow encasing. That will keep the cleaner, fresher smelling and allergen free. When you get a new pillow just use the same cover.

All of this can help to extend the life of your pillow but none of it represents a permanent solution to the problem. How often should you get new pillows? The answer depends on how important your health really is to you. If you want to avoid allergies, than replacing your pillow every 6 months to a year is by far your best answer.

No matter how comfortable your favorite pillow may be, it’s not more important than your health. Do the right thing for you and your family and make sure you replace all of your pillows regularly. This will help keep dust mites at bay and let everyone get a good night’s sleep.

Wishing you the best of health

The Allergy Store

Is Frequent Vacuuming Helpful For Allergies?

Well that depends. The basic fact is that in many instances vacuuming often releases just as much dust into the air as it picks up out of the carpeting.

A study conducted in 2011 compared 21 vacuum cleaners from 11 manufacturers marketed for household and commercial use, ranged in age from six months to 22 years and cost from less than $100 to almost $800. They looked at the effects that age, brand and other factors had on the amount of small particles and bacteria released into air.

None were perfect, all of the vacuums released some fine dust and bacteria into the air. Not surprising to us, vacuums with so-called High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in some cases released only slightly lower levels of dust and bacteria. Newer and more expensive vacuum cleaners were generally less polluting than older or less expensive models.

The good news is that vacuums are improving and today’s vacuums are even better than they were in 2011, so if you have been dragging around a vacuum that is more than for or five years old, consider replacing it with a new one.

So, is frequent vacuuming better for allergies? We don’t necessarily think so. If you have a good vacuum cleaner, take your shoes off and don’t have lots of pets then  vacuuming every few days is ok.  If the carpet or floor is dirty by all means vacuum.

One of the things we tell all of our clients that seems to help is to do their vacuuming early in the day. It gives the dust time to settle before they settle in for the night or put the baby down for a nap.

BTW our Miele vacuum cleaner at home is 10 years old and we have no intentions of replacing it.

Vacuum Cleaner Emissions as a Source of Indoor Exposure to Airborne Particles and Bacteria
Environmental Science & Technology

Wishing you the best of health

Can Duct Cleaning Help Your Allergies

We have received several calls over the last few days from people wanting to know if we thought having their ducts cleaned would help their allergies.

dirty-ductWe know for a fact that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are a collection point for all sorts of contaminates that can make your allergies worse and trigger asthma attacks. The duct work in a home or office can have mold, dust, pet dander, pollen, bacteria and even dead bugs.

Now many people assume that just because they change their filter regulary that their HVAC system is clean and allergen free. Not really. Think about all the stuff you find under the fridge when you moved it after 1 year. Now multiply that by 20. In 25 years we have seen some really nasty duct work.

Hiring a quality duct cleaning company will not only remove these contaminates improving the air quality, it has been proven that it may allow you system to run more efficiently.  A dirty coil can add $30-$40 to your electric bill.

We believe duct cleaning when done correctly can help reduce allergy symptoms. The key is to hire a company that does it correctly. The guy who says he can clean you entire HVAC system for $69 is not going to really clean your duct work. To find a quality company in your area visit the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA)  website They can provide you with the certified member companies in your area.

Wishing you the best of health