Your “Honey Do” list has arrived! Below are some important and relatively easy home maintenance projects you can complete in a few weekends. Print this page out, hang it on the fridge, and check them off as you go.
Home Maintenance “Honey Do” List
Inspect Your Foundation: From outside your house (and inside, if you have a basement), inspect your home’s foundation for cracks.
Look in the Attic: Especially if it’s unfinished, the attic may be a place you rarely venture. However, like the basement, it says a lot about your house. Look for leaks and signs of rodents or bugs. Also, look for mold, which may appear as gray or black stains.
Check the Gutters: No one wants to go out in a storm. But the next time a moderate rain blows through, throw on a slicker and take a quick walk around your house. Confirm that water is making its way to the downspouts and not running off the sides or over the top of the gutter.
Service the Air Conditioner: A spring check of the cooling equipment should be performed each year. Maintained equipment runs more efficiently and last longer.
Use a Pressure Washer: While spring cleaning is going on inside, there is plenty of home maintenance to do outside as well. A pressure washer is a great way to remove algae, mold, dirt, and other stains from a house with vinyl, aluminum, or other engineered siding.
Repair Cracks and Potholes: In cold climates, ice and snow do a number on sidewalks and driveways. Fill in or patch any defects that could lead to injury for you, a loved one, or a passerby.
Inspect Your Deck: Take a look under your deck and make sure there are no rotted boards or broken supports. This could be dangerous when you invite a big group over for a BBQ.
Reset the Patio: Prevent stubbing your toe or tripping your mother-in-law by leveling out raised or sunken bricks. You will need paver sand, a trowel and a level.Home maintenance can also serve as marriage maintenance too.
Sharpen your Lawn Tools: Grab a file and put a nice new edge on the blade of lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and other gardening instruments.
Perform General Indoor Cleaning: Deep cleaning carpets and dusting hard to reach places can remove allergens and other irritants. A whole-home air purifier also helps trap dust and allergens as they travel through the house.
Most of us crammed our lifestyles into cramped spaces at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s taken a toll. Achy, stiff joints are one of the byproducts of repurposing our couches for office chairs and kitchen counters for desks. In this article from The Atlantic, Amanda Mull describes the mental, emotional, and physical toll that the pandemic has literally and figuratively taken on our bodies.
What’s In My Home’s Indoor Air
There is one part of our homes that we have been forced to confront during the pandemic that has always been there and it might be a blessing in disguise. Our home’s indoor air was something most of us did not think about or consider prior to the pandemic like our lack of adequate office space or workout equipment. Indoor Air Quality is now top of mind for homeowners.
Volatile Organic Compounds
The EPA estimates that the air inside our homes is up to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. One of the biggest contributors to that is volatile organic compounds. These compounds emanate from paints, candles, disinfectants, cooking, and natural oil diffusers. Most new homes are tightly built making them energy efficient, but they prevent fresh air from coming into the home that can dilute the buildup of toxic chemicals. These chemicals can make us sick or lethargic.
Allergens also benefit from these tightly built homes too. As mentioned in a previous article, the pet industry received a boom as we sought companionship during these isolating times. Unfortunately, there are downsides to pet ownership too. Pets shed and are odorous even if your pet is hypoallergenic. Other outdoor allergens like pollen can be brought in by our clothes or shoes when we come in from the outside. All of this means that we are continually breathing in these trapped allergens inside our home’s indoor air resulting in watery eyes, scratchy throats, coughing, sneezing, and fatigue.
Dry Winter Air
This winter has brought another unwanted roommate into our already cramped homes—dry air. Your home’s heating system works by heating the air inside your home subsequently removing part of the air’s moisture. Dry indoor air results in dried out nasal membranes and scratchy throats, and makes us more susceptible to airborne viruses like COVID-19. We recommend keeping your home’s relative humidity between 30-60 percent as directed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Raise a Happy, Healthy Home
Breathe easy with the blueprints to a Healthy Home.
To remedy your home’s Indoor Air Quality issues, Aprilaire offers several whole-home products to remove airborne impurities. You can even bundle your whole-home solutions to form the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™, which combines fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control for effective virus protection and addresses your other indoor air issues.
Invest in greater health, virus protection, fewer allergens, more productivity, and better sleep.
Listen to the blog by clicking the play button above
In the past year, our homes have become so much more than the place we live. Our homes are where we work and relax; go to school and spend the weekends; work out and rest; where we shelter in place and where we find new interests. So, during a time when home is everything, how can we be sure it’s really a safe haven?
Acknowledge What’s Happening
There’s really no hiding the fact that we are living in a very difficult time, and we shouldn’t try to ignore that. Learning the facts can be a great way to curb anxious feelings, ease tension in your home, and model resilience.
Look to trusted resources, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for information on combating the virus and staying healthy. Stay informed on the news with your local NPR station. These aren’t things you need to be checking every hour of the day, but knowing the latest facts and recommendations can help you stay in control of your day and your health.
Build Firm Boundaries
Home used to offer freedom from the worries of work or the burdens of school. Now that the line between those areas is blurry, it’s more important than ever to set up some space and time where your family can still experience the freedom and relaxation of a home environment.
This will, of course, look different for every family, but here are some things you can try:
Schedule time together free from any work or distractions
Designate study/work spaces
Limit screen time
Provide uninterrupted alone time
Establish consistent workout routines
Make time to virtually connect with others outside your home
Set bedtimes that allow for adequate rest
Cultivate a Healthy Environment
While the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social wellness of the home might be the most obvious, the environmental wellness also plays a huge role in the safety of your home.
Did you know:
The air inside your home can be 5x more polluted than the air outside. That’s because homes are being built tighter than ever, making it hard for your home to inhale and exhale (or turn over stagnant inside air with fresh outside air).
The average person lives to be 79 years old. Of those 79 years, 70 of them are spent indoors. Of those 70 years indoors, 50 of them are spent in your own home.
Just one cubic foot of air can have more than 30 million air pollutants including dust, mold spores, allergens, and more. These irritants can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.
Fresh Air Ventilation – In order to stay well at home, Indoor Air Quality has to be a priority. With an Aprilaire whole-home ventilation system, you can let the dirty air out of your home and bring fresh, clean air in. This helps dilute and remove contaminants—airborne viruses, mold spores, allergens, and more—so you can breathe easy at home.
Air Filtration– Now that the fresh air is in, it’s time to purify it. An Aprilaire whole-home air purifier can decrease stagnant air in your home and minimize your family’s risk of allergy symptoms, asthma triggers, and long-term respiratory irritants. A purification system, paired with Aprilaireair filters, can capture up to 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses and reduce other contaminants from lingering in your home’s air. Purification is crucial to keeping your family healthy year-round and your children protected from seasonal allergy triggers and viruses.
*Contaminants removed based on air passing through the filtering system.
Humidity Control – Keeping your home’s humidity between 30% and 60% can minimize virus survival rates in addition to helping keep your home protected from the impact of dry or moisture-riddled air. Depending on which issue you’re looking to combat, there’s a tailored solution available to help you keep your home healthy. An Aprilaire dehumidifier can protect your home from the dangers of high humidity by stifling mold growth, decreasing allergens such as dust mites, and preserving your home overall. An Aprilaire humidifier can not only help keep your home feeling warmer in the cold months, but it also helps lower the survival rates of virus-sized particles that may linger in the air.
What difference does Healthy Air really make? Take a look at some of the basic benefits of breathing Healthy Air:
Reduces Illness – Remove airborne contaminants from your home so you and the family can breathe easy
Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.
This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.
They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.
Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.
During the Fight For Air Climb
One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.
Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.
Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.
With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.
After the Fight For Air Climb
Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.
As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.
Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.
“What can you do or say when your family is suffering such losses? It’s devastating,” said Christopher Ciongoli, HVAC salesman/estimator with Aprilaire partner Whalen & Ives.
Chris is participating in the NYC American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on April 4, 2020. When he heard that Aprilaire was the national Healthy Air sponsor of the event he signed on to the Aprilaire team.
“An opportunity to make difference just appeared to me on Jan 10th in an email from Aprilaire informing me about the Fight for Air Climb. This was it. This is how I would help make a difference and support my wife as well as so many others that are impacted by lung disease”.
Lung disease became an all too familiar fixture in Chris’s life last year when his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law all died from lung disease.
As of February 7, he’s raised 90 percent of his fundraising goal. Not only is Chris excited to help raise funds and awareness, he told us he’s already reaping the benefits of training for the 849-step climb.
“My blood pressure has dropped, my pants are getting loose, and my dog Crosby is getting back in shape too!”
Every morning he goes out with dog Crosby and strengthens his legs and increases his stamina to make sure he can make it to the 44th floor of the 1290 Avenue of Americas building in New York City.
Read more of Chris’s incredible journey by going to his page. Thank you for your efforts, Chris and we cannot wait to hear more.
Aprilaire is the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for 2020 for Wellness Within Your Walls.
Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) is an award-winning education and certification organization which supports reducing and eliminating toxins in living environments to improve overall health and wellness.
The organization’s one-of-a-kind education and certification process enables consumers and professionals to increase awareness about toxins in building materials and furnishings and guide them toward making homes healthier.
Wellness Within Your Walls partnership for national campaign
WWYW will partner with Aprilaire to launch a national “Breathe Healthy” awareness campaign in 2020 to educate consumers, homeowners and the build/design community about the latest products and services that help improve air quality in homes.
“We believe everyone deserves to breathe healthy air, and we believe in the power of education,” said Dale Philippi, president of Aprilaire. “Our mission is to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes. We are proud to partner with WWYW– an organization building awareness with consumers and professionals about the importance of healthy air.”
“We are excited by our new partnership with Aprilaire. They offer products that solve multiple issues relating to affordable ventilation and humidity control for homes and we’re proud to work with Aprilaire to further elevate the dialog about health and wellness in living environments,” said Jillian Pritchard Cooke, founder of WWYW.
In addition to the “Breathe Healthy” campaign with WWYW, Aprilaire is the FY20 National Healthy Air Sponsor for the American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb events which support raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. The two initiatives will dovetail to further educate consumers and professionals alike about why healthy air – especially in the home, is vital for good health. Good air quality improves overall wellness, helps prevent irritating allergens and pests, and helps shield homes from costly damages.
About Wellness Within Your Walls
Wellness Within Your Walls® is an award-winning informational resource group created to provide education and guidance on chemicals commonly found in living and working spaces. With a goal to empower and guide consumers and professionals toward healthier living environments, WWYW certifies people, places, products and programs globally through education and health and wellness protocols. WWYW’s 10-step holistic approach, known as the Healthy Living System™, results in a legacy of health, harmony and sustainability in living environments. WWYW was founded by Jillian Pritchard Cooke, a 30-year industry veteran with experience as president of interior design firm DES-SYN and owner of the eco-living lifestyle boutique BEE. While designing Atlanta’s EcoManor in 2006, the first Gold LEED-certified single-family residence in the U.S., a cancer diagnosis became the catalyst for turning Jillian’s expertise into a passionate commitment to create healthier living environments by reducing toxins. Wellness Within Your Walls was born. The organization provides frequent and sought-after speakers at trade shows, educational opportunities, workshops, seminars and other industry events. For more information, visit: http://www.wellnesswithinyourwalls.com.