clean air

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

Let’s Clear the Air: Whole-Home vs. Room Air Purifiers

3 minute read

For those who are ready to clear the air and take their Indoor Air Quality more seriously, congratulations! Air purifiers (whole-home, room, or both) can go a long way toward increasing respiratory wellness.

Unbeknownst to many, our homes are filled with dust mites, molds, allergies, VOCs, and more. Actively removing these indoor air pollutants can help fend off allergy and asthma triggers.

First off, there are two main things to look for in an air purifier:

  1. High-efficiency air filters allow you to better optimize your Indoor Air Quality. Look for HEPA or highly-rated MERV filters for a greater effect.
  2. Make sure your air purifiers don’t produce ozone. Ozone is a toxic gas that can have a detrimental effect on your respiratory health.

Let’s dive into the benefits of whole-home air purifiers vs. room air purifiers and identify reasons to utilize both.

Whole-Home Air Purifiers

As the name implies, whole=-home air purifiers help clear the air in entire homes, rather than just one or two rooms. These systems cast a wider net  that can filter out indoor air pollution and help your family avoid respiratory irritants.

Additionally, since they cover more ground, these air purifiers are usually more cost effective than purchasing multiple room units.

Whole-home air purifiers can also extend the life of your HVAC system by reducing the amount of dust moving through the system. A cleaner HVAC system offers greater long-term efficiency, so be sure to maintain its upkeep throughout the year.

These air purifiers are also, typically, hidden within your HVAC system and make little noise. They can even be programmed through your home’s thermostat, making it nearly a set and forget solution to breathing easy at home.

Room Air Purifiers

Obviously, opposite from whole-home air purifiers, room air purifiers clear the air in one or two rooms, rather than entire homes. Just like whole-home air purifiers though, room air purifiers are typically programmable and can filter out indoor air pollution, helping your family avoid asthma, allergies, and respiratory irritants.

If you live in a small space like a dorm room or an apartment, or if your home simply doesn’t have whole-home air purification, consider a room air purifier to supply supplemental bursts of fresh air throughout your home. When looking for a room air purifier, you’ll still want to look at the square footage offered to maximize your purification efforts.

Room air purifiers are also extremely portable, which is great. This allows you to use them where and when you need them most—say, allergy season—and then stow them away when they’re not needed any longer.

For some homes, you may find that you want to use them year-round in different scenarios…even if you already have a whole-home air purifier.

The Argument for Utilizing Both

For those with whole-home purifiers, you likely think you’re good to go with your current setup and therefore won’t need an air purifier.

That may not be entirely true.

Whether you have a whole-home air purifier installed or not, it’s never a bad idea to have a room purifier on hand to give your home that supplemental burst of fresh air in a variety of situations.

  • Whenever you’re painting or staining in a specific room
  • Rooms that double as high-traffic areas for pets
  • When the fireplace or wood stove is on
  • On days when allergy aggravators are high
  • In damp rooms where mold may be prevalent
  • In wildfire prone areas

The bottom line is this: being proactive about the air you and your family breathe goes a long way toward providing greater respiratory wellness. Clear the air, pure and simple, by removing indoor air pollutants and breathe easy.

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

Three Reasons to Get an Aprilaire Air Purifier

3 minute read

Does an air purifier work? Most people have no clue that their Indoor Air Quality is likely littered with indoor air pollution.

Based on the sheer volume of indoor air pollutants dwelling in our homes is, yes, air purification is beneficial.

In fact, just one cubic foot of indoor air can have more than 30 million pollutants. That’s five times more than the air outside. These pollutants include dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, miscellaneous particles, and more, all of which can:

  1. Affect your household’s lung health, triggering allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as long-term respiratory conditions, and…
  2. Be alleviated by air purifiers, particularly those that produce zero ozone (a noxious gas).

Whether you already have a whole-home air purifier built into your home or you live in a small space that just needs a purification boost now and then, it’s never a bad idea to have a room purifier on hand to give your home that supplemental burst of fresh air, no matter the situation. In fact, you should always consider using a room air purifier:

  • In rooms aren’t well ventilated
  • When renovations are being made and dust or dirt tracks into your home
  • When moving into or out of a new home as dust that’s settled is likely to kick up
  • In high-traffic pet areas
  • When painting, gluing, or enjoying hobbies that require using products that produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • In damp and musty rooms that may be breeding grounds for mold

In addition to supplemental air purification, a room air purifier can be beneficial to most of us throughout the year. Here are three reasons why:

Cleanliness

Just above, you learned that the air in your home is littered with pollutants like dust, mold, and more. On top of that, here’s another gigantic number: about 40,000 dust mites can live in just one ounce of dust. Not only is that a bit creepy to think about, but these dust mites can increase the chance of asthma development.

A room air purifier can help alleviate your home of these pollutants, especially in high-traffic areas where pollutants are more likely to get kicked up.

Ultimately, by keeping a clean home, and supplementing that cleanliness with a room air purifier, such as the Aprilaire Clean 9550, you and your family should enjoy a healthier home.

Allergens

Doesn’t it seem like the more we talk about “allergy seasons,” the more it seems as though dealing with allergies is a year-long endeavor? From hay fever in the spring to ragweed in the fall, various types of allergies can pop up throughout the year, leading to discomfort. In fact, some people even suffer from allergies in the winter when their windows are closed and they’re shut in with their allergens.

In addition to keeping a cleaner home, those with respiratory conditions will want to use a room air purifier.

If you suffer from allergies, regardless of whether or not you have a whole-home air purifier installed in your home, consider a room air purifier, like the Aprilaire Allergy 9550, to provide that extra burst of fresh air throughout allergy season – even if “allergy season” lasts all year.

Pets

Did you know that there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet? Some pets simply produce less allergens than others. Additionally, contrary to what many believe, an allergic reaction to pets typically is not caused by an animal’s fur or hair. In fact, pet allergies are largely due to pet saliva, urine, and dander.

That said, we’d never tell a pet owner to disown their precious pets. They’re part of the family! Instead, use an air purifier to help clean the air and even reduce pet odors.

A whole-home purifier is ideal for all pet owners. However, for those who live in smaller dorms, rentals, or simply don’t have a whole-home air purifier installed, a room air purifier, like the Aprilaire Allergy + Pet9550, is a perfect way to add a supplemental burst of fresh air all year long.

 

Healthy Clean Air | Environment |

Wildfires and Purifiers: How to Promote Clean Air at Home

2 minute read

Wildfires and Air Quality

Wildfires and wildfire smoke have become the norm in recent years, causing panic and poor Indoor Air Quality alike. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

According to research published in Environmental Health, “Smoke from landscape fires can affect communities in both rural and urban areas, sometimes hundreds of kilometers from the source. Additionally, exposures will become more prevalent as the global climate changes and wildfires become more frequent and intense.”

According to the EPA via the New York Times, children, older people, pregnant women, and people with asthma or cardiovascular disease may be more susceptible to health hazards of wildfire smoke.

Dangers of Inhaling Smoke

How can smoke safety be promoted to those on the outskirts who are being subject to inhaling wildfire smoke?

Tim Heffernan, a science writer and editor at Wirecutter, suggests people in smoke-prone, wildfire-affected regions run a HEPA-certified air purifier.

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance, which is essentially a rating system for air filters with HEPA. These filters are made to filter air at an exceptionally high scale removing 99.97% of the invisible intruders.

Air Purifier: Room vs. Whole-Home

In wildfire situations, it would likely be most beneficial to have a whole-home vs. a room air purifier installed. In fact, it would likely be beneficial to use both air purifiers, using the room air purifier in whichever room you’re in to add a supplemental burst of fresh air.

Other ways to steer clear of the risks that wildfire smoke possesses include keeping the fresh air intake in your ventilation system closed to prevent additional smoke from getting inside and staying indoor as often as possible. You should also keep an eye on air quality reports and ensure that your smoke detectors have fresh batteries.

If necessary, depending on the path of the wildfire in question, listen to authorities and consider evacuation.

Healthy Clean Air | Family |

Air Purifiers for Hypoallergenic Pets?

2 minute read

We love pets, but let’s clear the air: even hypoallergenic pets can have an effect on your family’s respiratory health. This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your pets, however. We’d never recommend that. You simply need to take a few quick steps to ensure your furry friend can stay part of the family.

The Truth About Hypoallergenic Pets

For starters, there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic pet. Some pets simply cause fewer allergy symptoms than others, but even those pets are shedding allergens throughout your home.

“There are some animals that are less allergenic, but they all make the allergen that can cause trouble. It’s a matter of how much they make,” says Dr. Oren P. Schaefer for VetStreet.com.

Most people think pet allergies are caused by pet hair, but that’s actually not the case. Truthfully, the real culprit comes from pet saliva, urine, and dander, which is basically pet “dandruff” as it comes from dead skin cells.

These allergens can ultimately lead to increased allergy symptoms, trigger asthma, and even lead to long-term respiratory conditions.

So, What Can Be Done?

Whole-home air purifiers can help reduce the amount of pet allergens and odors accumulating in your home. They’re able to handle the tasks of purifying the air throughout your entire home, filtering out pet allergens and other indoor air pollutants like dust, mold, and more.

You should also consider a room air purifier to keep in bedrooms or high-traffic pet areas, perhaps near a litter box or a dog bed. The beauty of room air purifiers is their portability, meaning you can move them room-to-room to add a supplemental burst of fresh air, even if you already have a whole-home air purifier installed.

Pet Hair and Dander Trap

Our Allergy + Pet9550 air purifier comes with a Special Pet Hair & Dander Trap that’s reusable, easy-to-clean, and can help you eliminate pesky pet allergens and odors in your home.

Some other ways to try and reduce pet allergens in your home include keeping pets out of bedrooms and off of your favorite furniture and bathing your pets often to prevent them from shedding. You may even want to consider going carpet-free or shampooing your carpet at home to minimize allergens and odors.

Again, we’d never tell anyone not to keep his or her favorite furry family members. However, it’s important that pet lovers know that even their “hypoallergenic” pet can have an effect on their family’s respiratory wellness. No worries, though. A few proactive precautions can be made to ensure your home’s air purity is healthy, pure, and simple.

allergies, food allergies

Family | Wellness |

Allergy-Free Alternatives for Healthy Eating

2 minute read

We’re taking a look at one of our favorite subjects: eating!

In particular, we think it’s important to learn about healthy eating and how it impacts our wellbeing. We know that eating a variety of foods is a great way to get all the nutrients we need while keeping our taste buds interested.

But for those with food allergies, it can be difficult to maintain a balanced, nutritious diet because it’s easy and comforting to keep going back to the same foods that they know are safe to eat.

Thankfully, your allergy doesn’t have to steal your variety! With the growing awareness of food allergies, there are lots of allergy-free, delicious options available in supermarkets and local grocery stores in many areas.

What’s even better is that many of the nutrients you might be missing out on because of a food allergy can be replaced by common, readily available foods! We picked out some of our favorite ways to satisfy hunger and get four key nutrients without worrying about allergies.

Protein

Allergies: Milk, Eggs, Peanut, Tree Nut, Soy

Alternative Sources: Fortified Milk Substitutes, Red Meat, Poultry, Sunflower Seed Butter, Beans, Lentils

Fiber

Allergies: Wheat, Gluten

Alternative Sources: Beans, Hummus, Potatoes, Flour Alternatives (coconut, almond, oat, rice)

B Vitamins

Allergies: Milk, Eggs, Soy, Shellfish

Alternative Sources: Fruits (especially bananas), Vegetables (especially potatoes and spinach), Fortified Cereals, Red Meat

Iron

Allergies: Eggs, Soy, Wheat

Alternative Sources: Leafy Greens, Legumes, Red Meat, Whole Grain Rice, Dried Fruit (especially raisins and apricots)

Of course, you should you always talk to your family doctor or nutritionist before introducing any new foods to your diet. They can also tell you the safest way to try these alternatives. It’s important to make sure food allergies don’t get in the way of a healthy (and delicious) diet!

Sources:

 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: National Nutrition Month® is a campaign started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

www.kidswithfoodallergies.org

Healthy Humidity | Healthy Air |

Ask Nurse Kate: Filtering Out Indoor Air Pollution at Home

3 minute read

Whether you like it or not, your home could very well be filled with indoor air pollutants. So, what’s the best way to increase Indoor Air Quality at home? Clear the air, of course!

By using an air purifier (whole-home or room), you’ll be able to alleviate your home of these respiratory irritants.

To drive this home, we asked our resident health expert, Nurse Kate, to answer some key questions.

Question One: Aren’t our bodies naturally able to filter air thanks to mucus and nose cilia? What does a purifier do that our bodies don’t do already?

Our bodies are pretty good at filtering out large pathogens and pollutants, thanks to our body’s structure.  However, we often experience unpleasant symptoms such as cough, congestion, and shortness of breath associated with this natural filtration process. At times, our bodies can have difficulty keeping up with all of the air contaminates we are exposed to. This can worsen respiratory irritation, illness, and chronic diseases. The right air purification systems can help support our body’s natural defenses by filtering out more pathogens and pollutants than our bodies can do alone, without all the pesky side effects.

Question Two: What conditions can stagnant, unfiltered air exacerbate in people with allergies or respiratory conditions?

Stagnant, unfiltered air can increase any of the symptoms associated with allergies and respiratory illnesses simply because our bodies are exposed to more irritants than if the air space was properly filtered and ventilated. If you find that your indoor air seems stuffy, stale, or stagnant, consider improving your Indoor Air Quality through source control, as discussed by the EPA.

Question Three: Are children more susceptible to the effects of unfiltered air than adults?

Children’s bodies are still developing, so they are likely to be more sensitive and susceptible to the effects of air contamination, particularly if they are prone to asthma and allergy attacks. The American Academy of Pediatrics took a stance on how indoor air quality can affect children’s respiratory health, going as far as to say reducing exposure to indoor air pollutants can be “as effective as medications.”

Question Four: When is it most beneficial from a health perspective to use a room purifier versus a whole-home purifier? Why?

Indoor Air Quality in your home can have a major effect on the health of you and your family. In fact, the EPA has classified indoor air pollution as one of the top environmental risks to public health. Whole-home air purification systems are typically regarded as the optimal way to improve Indoor Air Quality. However, there are situations where a portable room air purification system is more beneficial versus a whole-home purifier. The following are just a few examples of when a room purifier may be more beneficial from health perspective:

  • Cost: Whole-home air purification systems are very effective, but can be costly for some. Utilizing a portable room air purification system is an affordable alternative to make your home a healthier place by improving air quality in the areas of your home you spend the most time in.
  • Applicability: Many older homes don’t have central heating and cooling, making whole-home purification systems not applicable. Room air purification systems are an easy way to reap the benefits of air purification in any home setting.
  • Localized filtration: If someone is sick in your household, it may be beneficial to utilize a room air purifier for quick acting, localized filtration that will limit the amount of germs that spread to other parts of your home.

Question Five: How can people protect themselves from poor Indoor Air Quality outside of their home?

 It can be hard to control the factors that affect outdoor air quality, but you can take steps limit your exposure to pollution by doing the following:

  • Check outdoor air quality forecasts and plan your daily activities accordingly. The EPA’s website has a great resource for local air quality conditions.
  • Opt to partake in outdoor activities when the air quality forecasts are looking good, and limit your time near heavy traffic or idling vehicles.
  • Opt for more environmentally friendly practices such as walking, biking, carpooling, and conserving energy when possible. Doing your part to lower air pollution can improve not only your health, but the health of others as well.
  • If you live or work in an area where heavy air pollution is unavoidable, don’t be afraid to utilize a medical or industrial grade face mask to protect your health when venturing outdoors.

Disclaimer:

The information contained on the Aprilaire website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. All information is for informational and educational purposes only and any use thereof is solely at your own risk.

 

Archive |

History of Women at Aprilaire

3 minute read

Today is National Women’s Day – when we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the country and world. Observed since the early 1900s, it’s a day to reflect on the all achievements of past women, and acknowledge the progress that is still needed. Learn more at the IWD website to see how you can get involved. But we wanted to take a more local approach and celebrate the great work of the history of women at Aprilaire.

History of Women at Aprilaire: Bertha Weisman

Aprilaire would like to share the stories of some of the women who have made an impact at our company in Madison, WI!

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.

womens-day-aprilaire

History of Women at Aprilaire: Melinda Nelson

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.