Healthy Home | Family |

Summer Prep For Your Home and Your Family

2 minute read

Woohoo! It’s finally warm outside and that means we can stop complaining about the cold and snow and start complaining about being hot. (A good problem, right?) With the changing temperatures, it’s important to be aware of how your home and family are impacted. So, we’ve put together a few tips on summer prep.

Summer Prep For You And Your Family

It takes time for our bodies to adjust to the rising temperatures this time of year so here are some important ways to keep cool when planning your outdoor adventures:

Drink More Water

Increase your water intake from 8-10 glasses to 12-15 glasses of water every day. Staying hydrated is important for protecting yourself from the sun and for normal functioning.

Protect Your Skin

Use this chart from Hawaiian Tropic to determine which SPF is right for you and consider a cooling sunblock with aloe.

Camping:

  • Pitch your tent in the shade or reflect the heat away with thermal survival blankets
  • Camp near water for a quick dip or wetting your bandana
  • Get a fan tent or leave your vents open to get a maximum breeze

The Beach:

  • Rock that wide-brimmed hat for constant shade
  • Eat cold treats for a quick cool down or try spicy foods which cause your internal body temperature to rise so your body naturally works to cool down
  • Target your neck, ankles, wrists, back of your knees, and armpits with ice or water to cool down your whole body without getting completely soaked

Hiking:

  • Hike early in the day and try your best to plan a shaded hike. Even if your whole hike isn’t shaded, find shaded areas to rest
  • Pace yourself; it’s important to take frequent breaks for rest and hydration
  • Cover up in lightweight, light-colored clothing since dark colors absorb the sun’s rays and make you hotter. By slowing your loss of fluids, covering your exposed skin actually keeps you cooler than wearing less clothing

Summer Prep For Your Home

Now it’s time to get your home ready for the summer. Here are a couple tips for keeping your home cool.

Air Conditioner Checkup

In order to make sure your unit is in working order, you need to test it before the temperatures become intolerable. The air filter might need to be replaced and you will need to clear any debris from around the vents and exhausts, and make sure to remove any dirt from the unit itself. If all else fails, call a professional.

Turn the Breeze Around

Did you know that ceiling fans are made to rotate with the seasons? Clockwise in the winter to help circulate heat that’s risen, and counterclockwise in the summer to increase a cool breeze downward. So rotate those blades to get maximum cooling!

Basement Prep

If your basement is completely or partially underground, it will naturally stay cooler during the summer. And if you have a finished basement, you and the family can spend more time down there during the warm months. Just make sure the electricity and plumbing are functioning and there’s no residual mold or mildew.

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.

dander

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Home |

Remove pet dander with an Aprilaire Air Purifier

2 minute read

Pet ownership increases dander in the home

Pet ownership has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are looking for companionship while they are home alone and a new furry friend provides that. Pets also provide dander and odor. According to the Mayo Clinic, even if the pet is hypoallergenic, it is still going to produce dander.

Luckily, there is a solution to counteract these allergens, but it is not dusting and using scented air sprays. No matter how much you spray and dust, odor, and dander will still linger in the air and can even attach to fabrics in the home. These aerosols need to be captured. An Aprilaire Air Purifier is the perfect solution for removing those airborne irritants. You can either install a whole-home unit or use a room air purifier depending on need.

Whole-home Air Purifier

A whole-home air purifier can be installed as part of your home’s HVAC system to help trap and capture those aerosols and with its Pure Fit Promise, you can be guaranteed that Aprilaire Air Filters and Air Purifiers will work together to effectively trap odors and allergens. A whole-home unit also helps protect your HVAC unit. By trapping dust, and debris, it can help keep your unit running effectively for longer. Otherwise, they can clog up your HVAC system, diminishing the system’s efficiency and lifespan.

Portable Air Purifier

A portable unit is an ideal solution if you do not have an HVAC system with ductwork, you are in a smaller space such as a studio apartment, or if the pet is limited to one room. Equipped with a HEPA Filter, the room air purifier traps up to 99.97% of odors and allergens that flow through.  The unit is lightweight and can be easily transported from room to room. It also comes equipped with four separate modes to choose from including manual, automatic, turbo, and smart. In smart mode, the system automatically detects airborne impurities and you can watch the air particle level indicator move from red to yellow to green as it purifies your air.

There are also several other benefits to using an air purifier for your home including reducing the transmission of airborne viruses and bacteria, and other toxins that linger in your indoor environment and sometimes from unsuspecting sources like your couch. No matter your need, an Aprilaire Air Purifier will help purify your home’s air so you can love your pet without holding your nose or a tissue.

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.

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