|How I Made My New Home Allergy Sufferer Friendly|
|The first thing you should know is that my own allergies are much better in the past few years because of "walking the walk" and using everything that we sell in my own home. The recommendations I make to you always come from real life experience.|
My summer house has a rather minimalist look to it, which as any allergy sufferer knows is the style you adopt out of necessity.
Pre-finished hardwood floors are everywhere, so no out gassing, and the only carpet is in a rarely used lower level guest suite. There are no dust-collecting drapes, just blinds. An anti-microbial mat from Dr Doormat (priced at $59) greets us at our garage entrance, which is how we usually enter the house. A couple of wipes on that mat and we are not bringing in pollutants into the house from the outside.
The builder told us to expect some dust in the ductwork for the next three months before it settles down, which is typical with new construction.
Envirosept Furnace Filters
An effective furnace filter then becomes critical to catch a good part of that circulating dust. I chose the BoAir because at $79.95 it is great value for the money, and has the least drop in air-flow of any furnace filter we sell. This means I will still get good air circulation through the air conditioning system and do not risk burning out the fan.
If I could have used the Envirosept furnace filter at $364.95, I would have done so, but it would not fit in the tight area in my furnace room and needs a nearby electric socket. The Envirosept is by far the most effective of all our furnace filters, although it still uses replacement pads and is not washable.
For my vacuum cleaner, I chose a Sebo C2.1 at $599.00. It has a wonderful soft floor brush and dusting brush for all that dust which is going to be everywhere on all surfaces. I think that the Sebo provides good value for money in a high-end vacuum cleaner.
(Note: Most Sebos are having a manufacturer's price increase on 4/3/05 so ordering now can save you up to $70 on certain models. See previous section.)
Sebo Vacuum Cleaners
Given I have almost no carpet, I certainly did not need the Miele Red Velvet at $1249, which I would have bought if I had big thick rugs or wall-to-wall carpet (see why this Miele is our category winner).
Ladybug Steam Cleaner
Since this is a brand new house, it will not have severe cleaning problems in the near term, but I will certainly use a steam cleaner such as the Ladybug (starting at $1199.95) to do my routine cleaning, so my house will always smell great. This vapor steam cleaner disinfects and sanitizes everything in its path and has plenty of attachments for those small nooks and crannies. I love the Ladybug for its continuous fill features and quality through and through.
Central air conditioning takes the edge off most of my dehumidification issues but the Ebac 880 at $529.95 is a quiet, low temperature dehumidifier for basements which I will put in my furnace room, and it will drain continuously into my furnace. It can take the humidity down to the low 40% range.
I will put the low temp Comfort-Aire dehumidifier starting at $319.95 in the unfinished part of the basement, and it will drain into a pipe in the floor, while sitting on a stool thoughtfully provided by the builder.
My home is wired so an alarm goes off it the humidity rises above 50% - the temperature at which mold and dust mite flourish. To be truthful, I am disappointed that my tiny furnace room would not accommodate a Sante Fe dehumidifier at $1459.95 which is a superb large space dehumidifier for residential basements. It is the perfect dehumidifier.
I had no choice but to purchase the builders central humidifier in order to protect my wood floors from warping. I will also use a room humidifier such as the Air-O-Swiss humidifier at $135 which I use at home, because it helps me not wake with sinus pain, and it really helps keep my husband's snoring down to manageable levels. I like this room humidifier because it requires very low maintenance, can be warm or cool mist, is very quiet, and humidifies a room in no time flat.
As an allergy sufferer, this house will be filled with air purifiers. A Hamilton Beach 04163 Hepa air purifier at $134.95 (currently on sale), will help my guests who are allergic to trees and pollens, of which there are plenty right outside their bedroom window. This is the best value air purifier on our website right now, and perfectly good enough for our occasional guests. A Blueair 402 at $399.95 graces another guest room which is my back up refuge if my husband's snoring gets out of control. I have used a Blueair 501 air purifier at $499.95 for years in my bedroom at home, and with great success because my husband does not grumble about any noise.
IQAir HealthPro Compact Plus
Since the house is full of dust, and will continue to be dust prone for a few months, I am putting coarse dust filters onto an IQAir HealthPro Hepa air purifier (starts at $649 for the Compact size) which extends the life of this superb pre-filter and is recommended for those who have pets, have undergone renovations or are breaking in a new home.
I will run these IQAir air purifiers for 24 hours a day for the next few months, which will keep the dust level down and make it easier for me to breath in the house. By the time I am finished, I will achieve a squeaky clean home. I will of course keep vacuuming up the dust diligently.
A whole house Rhino Water filter by Aquasana at $843.15 makes life easy as I only have to remember to change one filter a year. We use a Double Crown under-mount water filter at $299.95 at my primary home and a massage shower filter from Aquasana at $61.95. My big problem is remembering to stock enough replacement shower filters, so I do not ever run out. I would have put in a whole house filter at home, but for the fact you have to be a contortionist to get at the central water supply.
All my lighting is by and I have put their all over the new house. The at $286.95, a newly designed pharmacy-styled full spectrum light, graces our den, and provides a wonderful reading floor lamp for my husband while he enjoys his new swivel rocker.
Verilux Heritage Lamp
I was so thrilled with the Arts and Crafts Maple bed starting at $625 which I use in master bedroom at my home, that I decided that my guests should be treated to a version with no footboard. I find it annoying to try and tuck in a coverlet inside a footboard and prefer to let the coverlet hang naturally. These beds are beautifully handcrafted of maple hardwood, and now I am going the whole nine yards with a maple wood full dresser at $970 and two bedside tables at $290 each. In the master bedroom, which will have a cherry pencil post bed, which is not available yet on our site, I added two cherry stained side tables, which were as good looking and better quality than I could find anywhere.
Hellenic jute carpets from $199.95 greet you at the entry hall and in our den, while a slightly more expensive Athena rug from $699.95 graces our dining room. It looks like jute but is in fact wool.
Royal Pedic Latex Beds
No home is complete without a Royal Pedic latex bed with a separate Royal Pedic 3" mattress pad in order to rest my weary bones.
I have used Royal Pedic in my home for three years and have nothing but rave reviews. It is a wonderful bed mattress with superlative comfort and support from $1042.
I have put Elite wool mattress pads everywhere. I have used them on my bed at home, and it wicks away moisture, as I can get hot and sweaty at night.
I bought Euphoria summer weight wool comforters for me (starting at $324.00) and all my guests, for a blissfully light and comfortable night's sleep. No more sweaty nights under down comforters. Wool comforters are such a delightful surprise as a textile. For a touch of luxury, these wool comforters get encased in a silk duvet cover (starting at $229.95), and a soft latex pillow (from $96.95) which I can scrunch up beneath my head, completes the picture.