Environment |

Aprilaire and Zyrtec® Alexa Skills Go Hand-in-Hand

2 minute read

Aprilaire and Zyrtec® Alexa help allergy sufferers

Nobody wants allergies. In fact, we’re certain that 98% of the world would do away with them in a heartbeat if they could. The sneezing, the itchy eyes, the throbbing headaches and constant sinus pressure – gross. Fortunately, Aprilaire and Zyrtec® Alexa skills can help with both, giving you a 360° plan of attack against allergies.

What if we all just moved on?

Since that’s obviously not possible right now, there are two options: prevention and treatment.

P®®revention

The Aprilaire and Zyrtec® Alexa skills can both help in the prevention of allergy symptoms.

For instance, Alexa-enabled Aprilaire Wi-Fi thermostats can help you purify the air in your home, removing airborne allergens in the process. In addition, you’ll be able to maintain ideal humidity levels, which go a long way toward reducing mold, dust mites and allergens. The Aprilaire Alexa skill will allow you to command control of these aspects without lifting a finger.

Zyrtec®’s Alexa skill provides you with a daily AllergyCast® report, which Zyrtec® describes as a “real-feel forecast” containing weather, pollen count and predominant allergens in your area. However, probably the most exciting part of this skill is the Allergy Impact Score, helping you track how you feel over time to determine what it is that’s setting off your allergies.

Treatment

Through long-term and short-term treatments, many allergy sufferers should be able to keep allergies at bay with the Aprilaire and Zyrtec® Alexa skills.

While it may not exactly be considered “treatment,” playing the long game

with Alexa-enabled Aprilaire Wi-Fi Thermostats can set you up for greater success in the fight against allergies. Over time, you’ll be able to remove lingering allergens and contaminants, using only your voice with the Aprilaire Alexa Skill.

Of course, Zyrtec® allergy medication is one of many obvious choices for fast allergy relief. Pairing their treatment with greater indoor air quality thanks to the Aprilaire Alexa skill as well as Zyrtec®’s AllergyCast® skill can attack allergies from all angles.

* * *

For improved allergy systems, first be sure to consult your physician. Secondly, try improving your indoor air quality for increased long-term effects with Alexa-enabled Aprilaire Wi-Fi thermostats. Find a dealer today!

green building

AA Homepage Articles | Environment |

What Is “Green Building?” The Benefits And Where To Begin

2 minute read

Put simply, “Green Building” is a construction method that efficiently uses sustainable resources to create healthy, energy-smart homes and commercial buildings.

Oftentimes, there are tax incentives associated with going green. And while installation costs are higher than standard builds, you can save money on energy consumption over time.

One example is the Bullitt Center in Seattle, which claims to be, “The Greenest Commercial Building In The World.”

What features make it so eco-friendly?

Here’s a shortlist:

  • Solar Panels: 575 solar panels generate more energy than the building needs each year
  • Rainwater Harvesting: Built-in purifiers clean rainwater for safe consumption
  • Irresistible Stairs:” Building design encourages physical activity with a centrally located and attractive staircase, plus hidden elevators
  • Regenerative Elevator: A regenerative mechanism captures energy as the elevator slows down into electricity, which can be used elsewhere in the building
  • Efficient Windows: Shades and operable windows increase thermal control, ventilation, and sun-blocking
  • Radiant Heating: Spaces are heated with warm water circulated in tubes embedded in concrete floor plates

While you may not be installing a power-saving elevator in your home any time soon, this building gives several examples of changes you could consider to make your home more energy-efficient.

Any building–a home, a school, an office, a hospital–can be a green building when it includes any or all of the following features:

  • Renewable energy source, such as solar energy
  • Efficient use of resources, primarily energy, and water
  • Non-toxic building materials that are ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Measures to reduce pollution and waste through reuse and recycling
  • Healthy indoor environmental air quality
  • Environmental consideration in all aspects of design, construction, and operation
  • A design that can adapt to a changing environment

Green Building and Indoor Air Quality

If you’re ready to do some green home improvement, Indoor Air Quality is a great place to start.

On average, we spend about 90% of our time indoors, and most of that time is spent in our homes. The problem is that the air indoors can be up to five times more polluted than the air outdoors due to the amount of potentially hazardous substances that get trapped inside.

Invest in greater health, virus protection, fewer
allergens, more productivity, and better sleep.

Learn More

Whether you’re building, renovating, or maintaining your home, Aprilaire can help you reduce Indoor Air Quality problems with the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™, made up of three award-winning components:

Fresh Air Ventilation – Think of your Aprilaire fresh air ventilation system as your home’s own set of lungs. It inhales fresh, outdoor air, and exhales stagnant, polluted indoor air. This helps dilute and remove contaminants so you can breathe easy at home.

Air FiltrationAn Aprilaire whole-home air purification system—paired with the right air filters, of course—can capture up to 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses while reducing other even smaller contaminants from lingering in your home.

Humidity Control – It’s important to keep your home’s humidity between 30% and 60%. Depending on which you’re looking to combat—dry or damp air—Aprilaire whole-home humidification as well as whole-home dehumidification can help you maintain a Healthy Home.

*Contaminants removed based on air passing through the filtering system.

hurricanes

Environment | Healthy Home |

Rainfall from Hurricanes Increases Need for IAQ

2 minute read

Hurricanes repeatedly strike the Atlantic Ocean coastline

Twenty-seven hurricanes will hit the United States Atlantic Ocean coastline this year, which is one shy of the record 28 storms in 2005. Between now and then, hurricanes have continued to wreak havoc on the cities and towns dotted along the coastline. Homeowners have faced repeated floods from heavy rainfall leading to health issues and irreparable damage from mold.

Hurricanes lead to an increase in excess moisture

While mold is not a death sentence for normally healthy adults, it can lead to common symptoms of a respiratory infection including but not limited to headaches, coughing, and sneezing. For those who already have other health complications, mold can present a major challenge to an already depressed immune system.

For children, complications are more serious. Children exposed to mold are more likely to develop asthma, which is a serious health condition that does not have a cure and can be fatal in some circumstances.

In addition, mold removal can be costly. In fact, mold has been linked to sick building syndrome, which is a term related to buildings that make people sick.

Coastal towns serve as a warning for the rest of the country

The mold outbreaks in these coastal towns serve as an example of what can happen without proper planning. Homes need to be waterproofed to help prevent mold outbreaks and to have proper indoor air quality products like a dehumidifier installed.

Waterproofing and IAQ Products Help

This threat of flooding and excess moisture is not just limited to coastal regions and is currently threatening inland states including Iowa, which has seen record-setting floods recently.

Climate change has accelerated the need for products to provide healthy air solutions as homeowners and regions continue to grapple with indoor air quality issues from natural disasters like hurricanes.  For more information about the state of the air in your region, check out our newest site to see if you’re at risk for flooding and the steps you can take to prevent excess moisture from damaging your home.

experiments

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Family Learning: Child Friendly Experiments For Staying Healthy

2 minute read

There has never been a more critical time to teach children the importance of keeping their germs to themselves. But more than simply telling children they need to wash their hands and wear a mask, you can have a real impact by showing them in enjoyable experiments what germs are and how they spread.

Staying Healthy Experiments For Kids

Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere

In this experiment, glitter is used to represent our germs and how they spread from one thing to another throughout our day if we don’t wash our hands.

Most parents already know that glitter is difficult to get off, which reinforces the importance of washing hands for at least 20 seconds to thoroughly remove harmful germs.

Make A Wish

Typically you want to blow out all the candles on your birthday cake or it means your wish won’t come true. But with this experiment, the more candles left burning, the better!

Everyone’s favorite science guy, Bill Nye, showed how this experiment works in a short video. By trying to blow out the candles through various types of materials, kids can see how some are more effective than others. And it serves as a reminder that masks are an important part of reducing the spread of germs when we cough, sneeze, spit or breathe too close to someone else.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

It can be a hard concept for young children to understand: There are things in the air that we can’t see that can make us sneeze, cause food to go bad, or make us very sick.

With a few simple household items in this experiment, you can help shed some light on the mystery and reinforce the lessons you’re trying to teach kids about staying healthy. This particular experiment focuses on air quality, which is important to keep in mind at home, in school, and wherever kids venture off to.

Goals For Kids

All these experiments share common learning objectives.

The goals are for kids to:

  • Understand what germs are
  • Know that germs are everywhere (the air, our hands, surfaces we touch), but are too small to see with our eyes
  • Understand that everyone has germs and some germs make people sick
  • Understand that washing hands, wearing masks, and keeping our hands out of our mouths, eyes, and noses will help reduce the spread of germs

 

 

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

Before the Fight For Air Climb

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.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

Healthy Air | News |

Aprilaire Partner Contractor Joins Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

“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.

For more information about the Fight For Air Climb and to find an event in your area, go to https://www.lung.org/aprilaire. To learn how to train for your own climb, head to our page where we share training tips to help you prepare for your own Fight For Air Climb.

It’s Time to Care About Healthy Air
Breathe a sigh of relief.

Learn More