Aprilaire Committed to Being a Good Neighbor

Behind any strong company is a set of strong values and Research Products, the parent company of Aprilaire, is proud of its values and our commitment toward upholding them.  Our values set standards for not only our internal employees and company initiatives, but also our presence in the community.

Aprilaire believes that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor” – one of our core values. We are committed to helping the surrounding community through local charities, shelters and food pantries.

Additionally, we are proud members of Sustain Dane, an organization committed to sustainability in the Madison, Wisconsin-area as well as across the nation. Aprilaire was recently named an M-Power business champion by Sustain Dane, which signifies our role as a leader for sustainability in our area.

Our biggest contribution to many of these organizations is directly through our valued employees. In 2017 alone, 121 Aprilaire employees have volunteered more than 285 hours to help the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and the St. Vincent de Paul Seton House.  In addition to volunteer hours, employees frequently participate in raffles and Good Neighbor Events hosted by the company to raise funds for St. Vincent de Paul.

Those funds have been used to provide pack-and-plays to mothers in need to ensure safe sleeping conditions for infants.  Employees also provide food to help stock the pantry and other monetary and in-kind donations throughout the year.

Aprilaire is extremely proud of its commitment to these organizations and our employees who are always eager to lend a helping hand.

History of Women at Aprilaire

Our month of Aprilaire history continues with a look at the impact women have had on the company since the very beginning.

Bertha Weisman was one of the founding members of the Research Products Corporation (Aprilaire’s parent company) back in 1938. She was the lone woman in the five-person group that started the company. In addition to her role as a founder, she served as Assistant Secretary and Treasurer.

The presence of women in leadership roles continues to this day at Aprilaire. Melinda Nelson is Manager of the Customer Service Department and the Call Center. She’s been with the company for 17 years total, and in her current role for nearly 14 years.

Customer Service employs the largest number of people at Aprilaire, and Melinda has more employees reporting directly to her than anyone. We’re thrilled to have her as such an integral part of our team, and we wanted to learn more about her and her experience at Aprilaire. Here’s what she had to say:

What’s your favorite part of working at Aprilaire?

I love the people and the culture. We hire and retain great people, and we’re not afraid to try new things here. Aprilaire is a great combination of a conservative company with a proven product, and a leadership team that’s not afraid to make changes that will make us better. That happens at every level, and it really makes this a great place to work.

How has your role changed since starting at Aprilaire 17 years ago?

I started out in the Call Center working with customers. I saw how we could be more efficient with the process and so I pitched the idea of streamlining the way we handled different areas of the job. That gave me an opportunity to go from working in the Call Center to being able to manage the workflow and the people within it. I had a great opportunity to change and evolve how we do customer service here.  I still get excited about the work I do every day.

How have things changed at Aprilaire since you started?

Both the industry and our company have grown greatly since I started. And along with that, the way we take care of our customers has evolved as well. We’re always looking for ways to be better, whether it’s our products, our process, or working with our customers.

A great example of the willingness to improve here is how we process our warranties. We had a paper-based system for a long time and I had been hearing from customers about how long it was taking. So I suggested that we take the process online. And the type of company Aprilaire is, I was fully supported in making the change because it made our customer experience better.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your work?

Just how much our customers value our team. Our customer service is the best in the industry and we have such a connection to our customers. What makes it all go is that the organization supports it. Really, they not only support it but they fully embrace it.

Another thing I’m really proud of is that within our Call Center, the average tenure is seven years. That’s unheard of. People who work in this department learn so much about our products and some of them end up moving onto other departments. I love to see them grow. I’m a people grower! I love to watch them advance in their careers and when they stay within the company here that’s even better.

What type of work culture have you experienced at Aprilaire?

It’s a great environment here. I feel so valued by my boss, and I know my team is valued by everyone here. I don’t think you can say that about every company. And I really do get excited about coming to work every day. I think that says something.

3 Aprilaire products designed for use during World War II

One of the great things about the “war effort” during World War II was that almost everyone gave something – even those who were not on the front line. All consumers made sacrifices on many goods that were better used to serve the troops, and production across the U.S. ramped up.

After Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt told Congress “powerful enemies must be out-fought and out-produced.” America set staggering new benchmarks for production during the war, doubling output in just 4 years. Because so much of the male workforce was enlisted, women did much of the labor that took place in factories for both the domestic and military goods produced. The growth and innovation that occurred during the war helped solidify the manufacturing boom that helped grow the middle class through the 1950s.

The War at Home for RP

Like many American companies during World War II, Research Products Corporation – the parent company of Aprilaire – designed and manufactured products specifically to support the war effort. Some of these products made their way to the battlefield while others were used on the home front.

  1. “Curtain is Raid Protection” – This was the headline in a 1943 newspaper clipping about some of the company’s war-related products. One photo shows Research Product’s office worker Ann Bock demonstrating the use of the company’s blackout curtain and flying glass protector. Blackouts were considered a means a defense against air raids during World War II because military aircraft still relied largely on human site when identifying targets on a bomb run.

Blackouts were more common on the east coast, and the caption of the article points out that Ms. Bock “doesn’t really fear Madison is going to be bombed.” She was happy to do her part for the war effort, though.

  1. RP Silica Gel – This was an absorbent material that helped prevent moisture damage and corrosion and damage to vital war goods from machine guns and airplanes to antibiotics. You still see silica gel packs today in new products like shoes (although Aprilaire’s parent company sold off the product line shortly after the end of the war).
  2. Expanded Fiber Material – Similar to the material used to make the blackout curtains, this heavy kraft paper was also used to make camouflage, air filters and other products for the battlefield. Newspaper articles discussing the products had headlines including, “Madison Sends ‘Silent Convey’ to Guard Vital War Machines,” and “Allies Depend on Research Products Corp.”

Aprilaire is proud of its history as one of the countless manufacturers who worked to support the war effort. The work done by people of all backgrounds in factories across the United States was vital to U.S. success during World War II.

Aprilaire: Our History  

 

People have always wanted to be comfortable and healthy indoors.

From living in cooled caves,to building cabins shaded by trees, to installing air conditioners in homes—the pursuit of a better living environment has consistently been a part of human life. The only thing that changes is the technology.

Let’s take a look at the history of Aprilaire, our technology, and how we’ve continued to improve the health and comfort of people’s homes.

The Beginning

Our story began in 1938 with the formation of Research Products Corporation, the parent company of Aprilaire. We started up in Madison, Wisconsin after former employees of the Burgess Battery Company purchased patents and buildings from their old employer with the goal of specializing in building materials and products that condition water.

These products increased in demand during wartime in the early 1940s and allowed the company to expand. But shortly after the end of WWII, a new direction was needed.

From Water to Air

Starting in 1954 the company switched some of its focus to indoor air quality by introducing the first truly effective whole-home humidifier. This was a game-changer for Research Products and for homes across the country.

Living in Wisconsin where seasons can be harsh, Research Products employees experienced and sympathized with the effects of dry winter air. That led to the creation of humidification solutions, which became the first indoor air quality products branded with the Aprilaire name.

Expansion

The humidifier became popular quickly. Shortly after its introduction, the company expanded into more buildings in Madison and purchased land about 25 miles north in the village of Poynette, Wisconsin.

It was also around this time that Research Products began looking for other areas of investment. In 1963, they were awarded a patent for an air-to-air solar heating system, later called SunCell. This forward-thinking approach has stayed with the Aprilaire brand ever since, influencing expansion past humidity control into all aspects of indoor air quality.

New Technology and Rebranding

In 1989, Aprilaire introduced the first automatic humidifier control, setting the stage for modern humidistats and many of the digital controls available today.

In 2000, all installed air quality products would bear the Aprilaire name.

Aprilaire continued to perfect and innovate with products like air purifiers, ventilation systems, temperature control units, and dehumidifiers. Plus, a full line of humidifiers for a range of different applications.

Today and Tomorrow

Aprilaire is still based in Madison, Wisconsin, and employs hard-working people all across the country. We remain committed to providing innovative indoor air quality solutions through research, engineering, product refinement, and practical experience.

 

Make this your last worst allergy season ever!

Are your allergies worse every year? While pollen levels and symptoms can vary from season to season, you may suffer from a short memory versus an actual increase in the severity of your allergies.

Because symptoms may not be present for much of the year, it’s easy to forget how miserable you feel in the springtime! As July approaches, many people with seasonal allergies may find their comfort level is quickly improving. Make no mistake, though, the pollen will be back next year and so will the sniffles, sneezes and host of other symptoms.

So, how can you make next year more bearable? Just like in sports, the best offense is a good defense. And, it’s easier to prevent a fire than put one out. And of course, knowledge is power. In case all these old adages aren’t doing the trick, here’s some more-to-the-point ideas for feeling better next year.

Tip 1: See an allergist

Before the pollen starts flying next spring, visit an allergist to learn exactly what types of it you’re allergic too. You can then follow detailed pollen reports and better prepare on days when you know your top allergens are high! If your allergies are somewhat limited, you may even be a candidate for allergy shots (immunotherapy), which greatly reduces symptoms in some people. Unless of course you’re afraid needles, in which case allergy shots may not sound like a great treatment option!

Tip 2: Take medication before the season starts

If you rely on allergy medicines to get through the spring, don’t wait until the season starts to begin taking them.  Oral antihistamines are more powerful if you’ve been taking them for a few weeks and most nasal steroids require that you begin up to six weeks before symptoms start. It’s best to discuss these medications with an allergist and if your doctor writes you a script, you can often get these great solutions at much less than the OTC price. Less symptoms and more cash in your pocket – that’s nothing to sneeze at! Seriously, you’ll sneeze less…

Tip 3: Don’t let allergens take up residence in your home

Most seasonal allergens are airborne – pollen, pet dander, mold spores – so protecting the air you breathe is a great line of defense against fighting allergy symptoms while you’re inside. A whole-home air purifier is an extremely effective way of removing allergy triggers from your house. Installed as part of your HVAC system, these solutions scrub your air of pollen by circulating the air through a high-efficiency pleated filter. You won’t see or hear the purifier – but you’ll know it’s working when your nose stops running!

Calling an HVAC professional today is a great way to prepare for next year’s allergy season. They can recommend a whole-home solution for you that will not only reduce allergy symptoms but also help protect your home and expensive HVAC system!

Top 5 Man Cave Cleaning Tips

The hallowed Man Cave—where men of all ages go to forget about the responsibilities of adulthood and act like carefree boys once again. But all that fun and “guy stuff” can create a smelly, cluttered mess that needs to be cleaned up—and mommy’s not around anymore to do it.

So be a man and do it yourself. Things don’t need to be “white glove” clean, but keeping the smells in check and the clutter to a minimum can make sure your man cave privileges remain in good standing.

Keep your Man Cave classy and comfortable.

And while real caves are damp and stinky, YOUR cave doesn’t have to be. Controlling the climate in your man cave helps protect the structural integrity of your home and your big-boy toys like pool tables and home theatres.

Here are some basic maintenance ideas that will keep your territory habitable and protected:

  1. Trash Removal

This is the easy one. Take out all those empty boxes, cans, and food containers that have been piling up since forever. This makes a world of difference for stopping odors, keeping your space organized, and preventing pests.

  1. Prioritize

Do you really need those box scores from your high school baseball games? Or the set of collectible plastic cups (that you’ve used) from the ‘80s?

Yes, you do need those things? OK, then you need to get rid of something else, like that third TV that doesn’t actually work but you’re planning on fixing up someday. Clear the clutter!

  1. Vacuum

Having cobwebs in the corners of your man cave might make you think a certain superhero has been hanging out with you and your buds. But, come on. You know those are from regular spiders and they’re not your friends.

Use the hose attachment on your vacuum to clean out the corners of the room, spruce up any furniture you’ve got, and manage dust that’s accumulated.

  1. Air Freshener

All that sweat you and your jamming buddies produce might smell like rock ‘n’ roll during your set, but afterwards it can seriously harsh your relaxing time.

Keep a couple oil diffusers (candles aren’t great for a confined space) in your man cave. Make sure to pick out some scents that won’t have your manliest of friends thinking less of you. A nice pine or warm clove scent will do the trick.

  1. Control Humidity

Most man caves are relegated to the forgotten spaces of the home—the basement or the garage. While that’s good for privacy, these spaces often have issues with humidity control, which can lead to a number of annoying headaches.

High humidity can worsen odors, damage electronics and wooden furniture, and make it difficult to cool down your man cave. Just like in the rest of your house, it’s important to control humidity consistently and efficiently, both for your comfort and for the longevity of your living spaces.

So make sure you have a humidity system that can keep up with the demands of man cave climate control. Keep in mind that a small, portable dehumidifier might not cut it—plus it can be noisy and a pain to take care of. You may need something more manly, like a whole-home dehumidifier that works within the existing ventilation system. It’ll keep your man cave clean and comfortable.

The Right Dehumidifier For Your Home

Many homeowners rely solely on air conditioning to keep their homes comfortable during the hot months of the year. This causes the AC unit to overcool the home, making the living environment uncomfortable. It also places a big burden on the air conditioner and electric bill.

One of the best things you can do for your air conditioner is give it a high-powered sidekick that can lighten its load—a trusty dehumidifier. These systems lower the amount of moisture in the air so that the air conditioner doesn’t have to work overtime to achieve a comfortable relative humidity in the home.

It’s important to find the right size and model of dehumidifier for your home. The decision largely comes down to the size of your home and the climate of its location.

dehumidifier
The right dehumidifier exists for every home in every location.

Here’s a quick chart to show the amount of water each Aprilaire model can remove from the air, and then a rundown of different locations and what they require for dehumidification. Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult your local Aprilaire dealer to make sure you find the ideal solution.

Aprilaire Model Water Removal House Size
Model 1830 70 (pints per day) Up to 3800 sq. ft
Model 1850 95 ppd up to 5200 sq. ft
Model 1870 130 ppd up to 7200 sq. ft

Wisconsin Cape Cod Home

A finished basement is a point of pride in the Midwest, so it’s only right to protect it and make sure it’s better than your neighbor’s.

Excess moisture seeps in from the surrounding earth and can make basements damp and musty, and even encourage mold growth. A dehumidifier works to control moisture levels and keep your prized basement a healthy and comfortable environment. In an average Midwest climate, the Model 1850 is likely your best bet.

Florida Bungalow

The southern United States is home to high humidity and snowbirds—the smart ones among us who move from the north to warmer climates during the winter months. Both of these factors can negatively impact the longevity and health of homes in this area.

Humidity can build up while residents are away during the hottest summer months, potentially leading to structural damage and mold growth. When the homes are occupied, the air conditioner is usually running nonstop and that can lead to overcooling. A whole-home dehumidifier is perfect for climates with constant high humidity because it helps make the air conditioner more efficient. It also keeps the entire home comfortable and free of wood rot and other moisture damage so you can focus on enjoying your winter getaway.

 Kentucky Homestead

Homes in this part of the country are often built with crawl spaces. When water gets into these areas, it can mean structural damage to the home and a shrinking condition for your wallet. What’s more is that excess moisture and temperature changes in the crawl space can travel up into the rest of the home, creating potential issues with mold, mildew, and insect infestations.

 The best way to solve this problem is to seal up the crawl space and manage the dew point, which can be done using a freestanding dehumidifier like the Aprilaire 1850F.

 Arizona Abode

The fabled “dry heat” of the southwest United States can present a different set of problems for home comfort. If you’re running an air conditioner to stay cool, it can zap the already low amounts of moisture from the air. Dry air leads to dry skin, a scratchy throat, and annoying electric shocks.

That’s when a humidifier can come in handy. It adds the perfect amount of moisture back into the air so your entire home can stay comfortable during the hottest, most arid times of the year. There are many options for humidification, so find what’s right for your home.

Dehumidifier Control where you want it

Worried about monitoring humidity levels? The Aprilaire thermostat and control lineup gives you intuitive command of the relative humidity in your home. It also includes smart settings that control humidity levels automatically. They make it easy to enjoy a comfortable living space without needing to sweat the details!

Before deciding on a humidity control system for your home, consult a certified Aprilaire installer. Our locator tool makes it easy to find a pro in your area.

The Best Temperature For Good Sleep

Have you heard of sleep hygiene? It’s not about washing your bed sheets on a regular basis (though, you should). It’s all about finding the best ways to get consistent, quality sleep by forming a healthy routine and optimizing your sleeping environment.

Sleep hygiene deals with everything from caffeine intake to light exposure to exercise. One of the most important factors on the list is the temperature of your sleeping environment.

sleep hygiene
Utilize temperature and indoor air quality to improve sleep hygiene

 If your bedroom is too hot, you’re tossing and turning all night and waking up in a puddle of sweat. Too cold, and shivering prevents you from achieving deep, restful sleep.

The body expends lots of energy trying to reach an ideal temperature, so by helping it get there you can prevent those restless, exhausting nights.

 Ideal Sleeping Temperatures

Everyone has a preference when it comes to temperature, and you should stick with whatever heat level gives you the most restful sleep. But the general rule of thumb for sleep hygiene is to opt for cooler temperatures over warmer, typically somewhere between 60-67°F.

This helps with a couple things:

  1. The body goes through normal temperature fluctuations throughout the day, naturally cooling off around nighttime. By creating a cooler environment, you can encourage natural feelings of tiredness and get to sleep fast.
  2. You get more restful sleep throughout the night when your body doesn’t have to waste energy regulating temperatures. This lets you wake up feeling fully restored and refreshed.

How To Control Temperatures

It can be difficult to find and maintain the perfect temperature for your best sleep. It’s a lot easier with a programmable thermostat that can deliver precise temperatures to any room in your house. The Aprilaire Wi-Fi Thermostat lets you control heating and cooling using your smart phone or the wall-mounted digital control panel.

You can program it to automatically lower temperatures around bedtime and raise them when you wake up. That means you don’t even have to think about creating an ideal sleep environment. You can just enjoy it.

 Clean Air

Air quality is another aspect to consider when creating your ideal sleeping environment. An air purifier can help you fall asleep fast and wake up feeling refreshed by removing allergens and irritants from the air.

So stop dealing with a stuffy nose as part of your morning routine. Program an “Air Cleaning” cycle for about an hour before you go to bed and you’ll breathe in fresh air throughout the night.

Prefer some white noise as you doze off? Schedule the Event-Based Air Cleaning schedule for whenever you typically go to bed, and the pleasant hum of the air purifier will help dampen noises that might otherwise disturb your sleep.

Source: National Sleep Foundation

3 Ways High Humidity Makes Life Difficult

Humidity can be annoying.

If your house is well insulated and lacks proper ventilation, excess moisture can build up from cooking, laundry, and bathing. In fact, these normal activities can add up to 25 pounds of moisture to the air in your home every day.

High humidity is impossible to ignore, so it needs to be dealt with head-on. If you’re experiencing any of the problems below, it may be time to consider a dehumidification system in your home.

high humidity
Control high humidity in your home or face challenges!

 Out of Control Hair

If you’ve ever tried to straighten your hair in high humidity, you know how frustrating it can be.

Here’s why: When there’s lots of hydrogen in the air, excess water molecules can easily bind together multiple keratin proteins in your hair. This causes the hair to fold back in on itself, leading to crazy frizz that can quickly get out of control.

Even if your hair is naturally straight, high humidity can make it look dull and limp no matter what you try. It’s safe to say that humidity is not a great hair stylist.

Makeup Issues

Makeup shouldn’t melt. I mean, eyeliner should only run when you’re brought to tears by the inherent majesty of life and love.

But persistent high humidity has other ideas in mind. If your house is saturated with excess moisture, it’s pretty impossible to get makeup to cooperate. Your skin is shiny no matter what you do, and don’t even mention the eyeshadow creases. Seriously, don’t.

While skipping makeup is always an option, there are some days where you just want to rock it. Don’t let humidity make that decision for you.

Allergy Triggers

Excess moisture can aggravate allergy symptoms by creating the perfect breeding ground for mold, dust mites, and even insects. In fact, dust mites thrive when relative humidity exceeds 50%, making them difficult to manage even when you clean your house regularly.

Dust mites and mold are also two of the leading asthma triggers. This increases the likelihood of an asthma attack, making high humidity more than just an inconvenience – it’s a health risk.

Home is a place where you should feel at ease, but humidity can make it uncomfortable and potentially unsafe. So take back control of excess humidity and create a welcoming environment year-round.

Dehumidification for the DIYer

You’re a DIYer.

When the house needs fixing, you pick up a hammer – not the phone. You have the tools, the skills and the motivation. A head full of plans and a cabinet full of bandages. When the job is done you can be proud not only of how it looks, but the knowledge that you did it.

Don’t let humidity take that way!

Protect your home and the work you do

Any craftsman be they weekend warrior or full-time contractor must deal with an invisible but damaging variable of home repair – excess or insufficient humidity. Indoor relative humidity impacts your house in many ways, but most noticeably by damaging woodwork, wood floors, cabinets and trim.

A lack of humidity leads to cracks, gaps and creaking in wood floors. You may also notice crown molding that is pulling away from the wall or ceiling. This is never a pretty sight, but it can be particularly distressing if you did the job yourself. Work you proudly pointed out at your last Super Bowl party is now an eye sore you hope your friends don’t notice.

So, what’s going on?

No matter how well you did the job, humidity control is a separate issue. As we all know, trees need water to survive. In fact, a living tree can be up to 50 percent water! Even after that tree is turned into flooring or lumber, moisture will always be a part of its makeup. In the winter, dry air in your home will pull some of that moisture out of the wood causing it to shrink. In the summer, the wood will pull excess moisture out of the air causing it to swell. Neither scenario is good for wood, so you need to control indoor relative humidity.

Protecting your projects from humidity

  1. Acclimate: Before installing flooring, trim, baseboard of even hanging a door, allow the material to sit in your home on a flat surface for 48 hours. During this acclimation period you will want the relative humidity in your house to be in a healthy and comfortable range – between 35-50%.
  2. Follow care instructions: Wood flooring products should come with instructions for care. Pay close attention to how they should be cleaned. Wet mopping a hardwood floor can add a lot of damaging moisture to the surface.
  3. Control humidity: Whole-home solutions for humidity and dehumidification can help protect the job. Installed as part of the HVAC system, these solutions make controlling humidity throughout the entire house incredibly simple. You will be able to maintain that healthy range of relative humidity throughout the year. A HVAC professional can help you select the right humidification product for your home and make sure its installed correctly.

If you’re a master with the skill saw, skilled with a paint brush and a sure shot with the nail gun – it’s time to conquer humidity control in your home with Aprilaire.