Environment | Family |

Crafts for Kids: DIY Water Filter

2 minute read

Water is as important to us as the air we breathe. After all, we use it to irrigate and grow the food we eat. And where does it come from naturally? In the form of rain! Use this DIY water filter to teach your kids about rain harvesting and its benefits:

  • Saves water
  • Used to water plants
  • Helps prevent erosion

This DIY water filter is made from easy-to-find items and can help sift out unwanted particles, which is important for preventing bacteria overgrowth if you’re going to store your rainwater long-term.

Simply catch the rain in the filter and watch as it trickles into the base.

Materials Needed

1 Clean Plastic Bottle

Gravel

Sand

Activated Charcoal Powder (Not grill charcoal, which may contain lighter fluid)

Box Cutter

Rubber Band

Cloth Fabric

Instructions

Step One: Cut your liter bottle bottom horizontally in the middle. The top portion will serve as your water filter.

Step Two: Turn your new water filter upside down and remove the lid. Fashion a piece of cloth fabric over the spout with a rubber band.

Step Three: With your water filter upside down and the cloth fabric secured, add the following, in this order:

  • A layer of sand
  • A layer of activated charcoal powder
  • An extra layer of sand
  • A layer of gravel

Step Four: Fit the water filter into the bottom part of the original bottle, which will serve as your water collector.

Step Five: Test your rain catcher by pouring colored water into the top portion.

Step Six: Have your kids place your DIY water filter system outside on a rainy day to collect water and watch as it fills with clean, refreshing rain.

*Disclaimer: Please exercise caution and use adult supervision when working with sharp objects and keep small pieces out of reach of young children.

coloring book

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Healthy Air Education: Coloring Your Way to a Healthy Home

2 minute read

At Aprilaire, we’re always finding new ways to give back to our community and educate about the importance of bringing Healthy Air into our lives and homes. But, this time, we’re working to engage the young minds of tomorrow in a fun new way.

Here at Aprilaire, we’re not just committed to filling your home with Healthy Air or helping you and your family live happily and safely inside your Healthy Home for years to come. We’re good neighbors to our core, and our work throughout communities across the United States — thanks to the help of our Healthy Air Heroes — is a testament to this company-wide value. From volunteering locally to promoting the importance of Healthy Air at nationwide events, being a good neighbor means more to us than just the traditional definition.

Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Approach

With that in mind, we’re always looking for new ways to give back to our community and educate about the importance of bringing Healthy Air into our lives and homes, including engaging the young minds of tomorrow. And this time, we had a really colorful idea! To show our commitment to education and being a good neighbor, our pros will be sharing our Aprilaire Healthy Air Coloring Book with kids across the country.

During installs, consultations, and more, you’ll receive a fun coloring book featuring our iconic polar bear illustrations and insightful Healthy Air-focused storytelling. Your kids can learn all about our Healthy Air solutions for each season and, more importantly, help us bring it to life with their creativity! The best part? This resource will also make parents feel good.

The Creative Benefits of Healthy Air

Did you know that, in addition to the many benefits of Healthy Air, good Indoor Air Quality can help improve focus and concentration, especially in kids? During virtual schooling or nightly homework sessions, it’s important that children work in an environment that fosters learning and creativity in order to help them reach their full potential. This coloring book can help exercise their young brains and teach them about how Healthy Air positively impacts their mind and body at the same time. A win-win!

Ultimately, the air we breathe matters to our own health, the health of our families, and the health of our communities. In shining a light on the impact air has on our health and well-being, we can shape the next generation and inspire them to carry this important vision forward. Because everyone deserves to breathe the fullness of life.

Let’s Get Started!

So, are you ready to take the first step? Find a Healthy Air Hero in your community today to learn more about Aprilaire’s Indoor Air Quality solutions and how your family (and home) can benefit from better, healthier air.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

Download Our Coloring Book!

Can’t wait to get your kids excited about Healthy Air? Download these coloring pages now and they’ll be Healthy Air experts before you know it!

reopening public schools

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Reopening Public Schools Means Facing Air Quality Issues & HVAC Upgrades

2 minute read

Many reopening public schools throughout the country are making marked improvements to the air quality inside their buildings, but many still face an uphill battle. 

A US Government Accountability Office report from June 2020 found that four in 10 schools needed HVAC upgrades. As many schools start to reopen, teachers and board members are requiring improvements to their school’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). 

While many schools are still behind, one of the benefits of the lockdown is that public schools have been able to upgrade their old or inefficient HVAC systems helping reduce absences and improve productivity. 

IAQ Upgrades at Home

You can make IAQ improvements at home as well to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as your child returns to in-person schooling. You can have Aprilaire IAQ products installed in your home, including the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 inside your home. Contact a Healthy Air Pro today to inquire about the benefits of Aprilaire products for your home. 

Reopening Public Schools In The News:

St. Vincent de Paul

AA Homepage Articles | News |

2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

2 minute read

Click the play button to listen to the post

We take the importance of caring for others to heart at Aprilaire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

 Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

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.

flights

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

2 minute read

Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer