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Improve Indoor Air Quality During Wildfires

2 minute read

Wildfires and Indoor Air Quality

Wildfires are currently raging in Canada and some parts of the northern U.S. While the situation is especially scary for those in the immediate vicinity, pollution from wildfires can actually carry for thousands of miles, impacting indoor air quality.

Can you see Indoor Air Quality?

If it’s bad enough –  yes, you can see poor indoor air quality as smoke or as dust floating in front of a window. However, the majority of particles that make up air pollution are too small for the human eye to see. Combustion particles, such as those from forest fires, are many times smaller than a single grain of sand.

Impact on health and comfort

Wildfires are far from the only source of pollution. Dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, smoke and other irritants are constantly floating in a home’s indoor air. All of these things become trapped, especially during heating and cooling seasons, and wind up in our lungs.

This isn’t good news for anyone, but has a very negative impact on family members with asthma, allergies or other respiratory conditions.

What should I do?

Our infographic below has some tips for staying healthy during wildfire season. To keep the air in your home healthy year-round, follow these simple tips:

  • To reduce pollen during allergy season, remove clothes and wash immediately after being outside and shower before bed.
  • Keep windows closed during air quality alerts or when pollen counts are high.
  • Use an air purifier to help trap pollutants and improve indoor air quality.
Improve Indoor Air Quality

Tips for improving indoor air quality during wildfires.

Archive |

A smarter, safer, healthier and more comfortable home

2 minute read

Wi-Fi and Your Home

Homes have changed quite a bit since the days of dirt floors, wood stoves and even round, manual thermostats. Today’s home not only shelters people from the elements, but is a family’s most valuable asset. It’s a central location for entertainment, comfort and often work. You probably spend a lot of time in your home – and a lot of time worrying about it when you’re gone. Wi-Fi is changing how connected we are to homes everyday.

A Wi-Fi Wine Bottle?

Smart devices allow us to control and monitor door locks, garage doors and much more. Recently, a startup company announced its release of a Wi-Fi wine bottle – presumably so you can monitor how much wine you have left?

While some smart devices may seem a little pointless (just look at the bottle!), the ability to control temperature and indoor air quality from anywhere through a home’s Wi-Fi internet connection is anything but frivolous. With mobile control, homeowners truly have safety, comfort and health in the palm of their hands.

Reduced energy costs with Aprilaire Wi-Fi

One significant benefit of Wi-Fi Control is reduced energy costs. With a thermostat that allows you to easily set – but also easily override – heating and cooling schedules, you can avoid wasting any money cooling a vacant home this summer. Additionally, you can control your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) by adjusting humidity, ventilation and air purity. All of these aspects can affect your comfort, your health and your energy savings.

wi-fi

Mobile control of temperature and indoor air quality can improve energy savings and protect your family’s comfort and health.

Increase the IQ of your indoor air with smart technology

Learn more about Aprilaire Wi-Fi Thermostats with IAQ Control and how you can improve your home’s indoor air from anywhere!

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Healthy Clean Air | Environment |

Spring Cleaning for Your Indoor Air

2 minute read

One of the best parts of annual spring cleaning is the chance to open up and air out the house. It feels good to clean up the dust, flush out stale odors, and take a breath of fresh air. However, soon enough, rising temperatures will mean it’s time to turn on the A/C and close up the house again. Start thinking about what you can do to improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality. Check out these tips and suggestions for keeping your indoor air pure and fresh.

Ditch the Chemicals and Scents

Many household cleaners, air fresheners, and even scented candles can fill your home with harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These VOCs irritate asthma symptoms and other respiratory conditions. One solution is to opt for more traditional cleaners, like vinegar, and use dried potpourri instead of aerosol fragrances. When you begin spring cleaning, properly dispose of or use up what’s left of harsh chemicals and replace your stock with alternatives.

Whole-Home Air Purification

High-efficiency air purifiers, installed as part of your home’s HVAC system, can drastically cut down on dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses. Unlike room air purifiers, whole-home systems improve the air throughout the entire house on-demand and anytime the air conditioner is running. Noticeably cut down on dust for a cleaner, more comfortable home and a healthier environment for family members with asthma, allergies, or breathing problems.

Whole-Home Ventilation

All homes—especially newer construction—can build up high concentrations of VOCs along with bad odors, smoke, and excess humidity. All of these conditions can greatly impact health and comfort as well as damage your home. Whole-home ventilation solutions expel dirty air and replace it with fresh, outdoor air without negatively impacting your energy bill. Just because your A/C is running doesn’t mean your home should be filled with stale, unhealthy air.

 

Environment | Family |

Need Date Night Ideas? Try Hiking and Stargazing!

2 minute read

date, date night, dating, date ideas

If your traditional date night is becoming a little boring, try these date ideas that get you up and moving! Summer tends to fill up fast with family trips to water parks, sporting events, and even yard work. Before school is out and things get busy, don’t miss the chance for a romantic date night.

Is Date Night Dull?

However, if your date night has gotten a little stale or routine, try something a little more adventurous. In a world of smart phones and streaming TV, who wants to use date night to go stare at another screen? Here are some getaway ideas that take you out of your comfort zone for a night you won’t forget.

Hit the Dusty Trail: Whether on foot, bike, or even a horse, a trip into the woods for a day can help you escape the minutiae of daily life and rediscover your passion and romance! Chances are you’re not too far from a forest preserve or nature center that would be a great getaway. America’s State Parks website even has state-by-state search function!

Look Up: If your hike runs late (provided the park is open after dusk), don’t miss the chance to see the stars. While we have plenty to keep us entertained at ground level nowadays, for centuries, watching the sky was the only show in town. If you’re not sure what to look for, there are a number of mobile apps that can help point your eyes in the right direction – just stay off the work email and social media!

Be Young at Heart: Walk to the ice cream shop, go for a swing at the playground, even ding-dong-ditch the neighbors if you’re up to it! Well, maybe not the last one… but don’t be afraid to act like kids, even when you leave them at home. Studies show that health and relationships improve when we take on the positive, curious attitudes associated with youth.

Healthy Date Night

As the seasons change, the days lengthen and the air warms – revitalize your date night plans as well. Not only is it fun, but it may even reduce stress, improve health, and lead to some exciting adventures.

You can also improve your family’s health and comfort with whole-home air purification!

Archive |

El Nino, Climate Change and Your Allergies – Is there a Link?

2 minute read

allergies, Allergy Symptoms

It could be a bad year for allergies. Make sure your home and family are ready.

Even if your allergies are seasonal, their severity could be linked to weather patterns or global temperature trends that have existed for centuries. According to U.S.A Today*, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to a rise in the amount of pollen in the air. Warmer temperatures mean pollen season is lasting longer. Allergy sufferers symptoms increase in lockstep with an increase in pollen.

What causes allergy symptoms?

While climate change is one factor that may be increasing allergy rates, there are likely others as well. Whatever the causes, allergists agree they are seeing more patients with seasonal sniffles and respiratory issues. The worst times of year are generally the spring. That’s when trees bloom. Then again in late summer when ragweed pollen becomes airborne. Regardless of the allergy, remedies are similar since the actual symptoms are caused by the body’s immune system and not the pollen itself.

When the immune response strikes, some folks suffer from itchy eyes, while others have a runny nose or even skin issues. There are essentially three ways to deal with allergies: avoidance, symptom management, and antihistamines.

Top tips for surviving a brutal spring

Antihistamines: These drugs are available “over the counter” and through a doctor. They suppress chemicals in your body called histamines, which cause allergy symptoms like itching, runny noses and watery eyes. While they don’t cure your allergy, they prevent it from causing any symptoms – at least in the short term. Most people find if they skip a pill, their symptoms will return quickly. The medicines may also have some mild side-effects, such as drowsiness.

Symptom management: People who don’t want to use an antihistamine can manage their symptoms in other ways – often with natural remedies. A neti pot or a hot shower, for example, can help clear out nasal congestion. Many supposed “folk remedies” exist for treating or preventing allergies, but it’s best to consult a doctor if you’re serious about managing your symptoms.

Avoidance: People can also work to avoid contact with the triggers that cause their symptoms. However, even indoors, pet dander, pollen and mold spores can wreak havoc on your family’s comfort. One way to avoid allergens in the home is with the use of a high-capacity, whole-home air cleaner that traps these tiny particles before they aggravate allergies and asthma.

Other Allergy Tips

Other ways to avoid allergens include keeping windows closed, using a HEPA vacuum and leaving coats or other clothes that may have allergens on them in garage. It’s also a good idea to wash clothes immediately during allergy season, don’t bring them in and leave them on the floor or in a hamper.

For more information on preparing your home and family for allergy season with whole-home air purifiers, visit Aprilaire.com!

Archive |

Blizzard season – here’s how to stay safe

< 1 minute read

When a blizzard strikes, staying safe means being prepared. The most common issues are power outages and dangerous commuting. If you know a blizzard is coming, assume that you could lose power and have candles and flashlights ready. Because you may not be able to drive during a snow storm, have some non-spoilable food and drinking water on hand.

Blizzard safety infographic

blizzard, blizzards, snow storm, polar vortex

Stay safe if you get caught in a blizzard this year.

Pass this infographic along to friends, family and co-workers this year and remind them how they can stay safe when a snow storm strikes. The best advice is to prepare long before the forecast turns grim. Stocking up on batteries, water and food can help.

You can also prepare for wicked winter weather by ensuring your indoor air quality is under control. Proper humidity can help improve comfort, health and protect your home from dry winter air.

Visit the Aprilaire website to learn more about humidity control this winter.

Archive |

Basement flooding can lead to other issues

< 1 minute read

Crawlspace or basement flooding can occur any time of year. Snow melt and thawing ground water can lead to flooding in the cooler months. Heavy rains can cause problems in the summer.

When you walk downstairs and find you’ve had a flood, your first priority will be removing the standing water. However, even when standing water is gone, the problems associated with wet basements and crawlspaces don’t go away. Damp conditions can lead to mold, mildew and even insect infestations.

Stay dry after basement flooding with a high-capacity dehumidifier

basement flooding

Basements can flood or become damp anytime of year, leading to a wide range of problems.

Aprilaire high-capacity dehumidifiers more completely and efficiently fight damp conditions due to flooding in the basement or because of high summer humidity. Visit the Aprilaire website for more indoor air quality solutions and to learn about high capacity dehumidification.