Shopping Ideas to Fight Indoor Air Pollutants

When planning to do your holiday shopping – both for gifts and for decorations, it’s important to consider any allergy sufferers on your list. That’s because many allergens associated with yuletide can quickly turn celebrations into sneezin’ season.

Before you deck the halls with decorations, remember this: artificial trees and ornaments tend to build up with dust and mold that can result in allergic reactions. Fortunately, a portable CADR-certified (cealn air delivery rate) air cleaner can help remove dust and other allergens from the air.

It is also important to clean your ornaments before putting them onto your tree and to store them properly when the time comes to pack them back up.

Live evergreen trees brought into the home may be carrying mold or pollen from ragweed and/or other plants on them. Before you bring the tree inside, use a leaf blower to remove the concentration of pollens from the branches. Finally, wipe the trunk with a diluted bleach solution to help remove any mold.

Meanwhile, the following holiday shopping list can help you meet the needs of allergy and asthma sufferers.

Allergy and Asthma Gift List

  1. A CADR-certified portable air cleaner
  2. A dehumidifier
  3. Replacement air filters for heating, cooling and air cleaning systems
  4. My House is Killing Me, a book by Jeffrey C. May
  5. A subscription to allergy publications, such as Coping with Allergies and Allergy and Asthma Health
  6. Pet shampoos with dander sealing capapbilities
  7. Micro-lined, two-ply vacuum cleaner bags that are designed to prevent dust from blowing back into the air
  8. Hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers
  9. Allergen carpet treatment
  10. Hypoallergenic laundry detergent formulated to fight dust and other allergens

For more information on certified room air cleaners, visit

Appliances Need Routine Maintenance, Too

Appliances, even small ones, are an investment and need to be properly maintained just like an automobile. Failure to do so can shorten the lifespan of the appliance and it can become a serious safety issue.

According to a recent article on, coffee machines should be cleaned regularly. “’It’s just like a car. Just because you have a $100,000 Mercedes doesn’t mean you don’t have to change the oil and check the brakes and tires,’ says Scott Kopin, president of the National Appliance Service Association. For espresso machines, Kopin recommends for daily use, clean out all removable parts every day and run a plain-water rinse cycle (e.g., without coffee) to push hot water through all the valves to flush out residue.??

Additionally, it is important to remember to properly maintain your clothes dryer to maintain performance and enhance safety.  AHAM recommends the following:

  • Be sure you can feel air flowing out of the vent to the outdoors when the air is on
  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer and replace any pieces that are damaged or crushed
  • Clean the lint filter after each load
  • Periodically clean the back of the dyer where lint can be trapped

These tips and others can be found in AHAM’s clothes dryer safety brochure, which you may order by clicking here. There is no charge for orders of less than 250 copies, and a nominal shipping charge for larger orders.

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