Archive |

RESNET Talks Proper Ventilation

< 1 minute read

Aprilaire had the honor to be one of the first guests on the new RESET podcast, RESTalk this September. The eighth episode of the newly launched podcast by the Residential Energy Services Network was all about proper ventilation in today’s tightly-built home.

Take the time to listen to Scott Grefsheim, Senior Product Engineer at Aprilaire speak with RESTalk host Bill Spohn about the mix of products, applications, understanding and innovation that go into delivering proper ventilation in the varied climates across the U.S.

Listen Today!

Episode 8 – Build it tight, ventilate right – Satisfying building codes & consumer expectations for health and comfort with Aprilaire. 

Healthy Air | Family |

Crafts for Kids: DIY Air Quality Experiment

2 minute read

Air pollution and allergies are concerning in certain areas and at different times of the year. No matter where you live, it’s important to help children understand the concepts of air quality and how it impacts their health and wellness.

Air Quality Experiment for Kids

The reality of air pollution is best understood when it can be physically seen.

Try this simple activity with kids to show them there really are things in the air that we cannot see.

Materials

  • 3-4 clear plastic plates
  • Permanent marker
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Masking tape/poster putty
  • 3-4 blank pieces of paper
  • Magnifying glass

Procedure

  1. Use a permanent marker to label each of your plates with a different location around the house (bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc.). The experiment is about Indoor Air Quality, but you could place at least one plate outside too.
  2. After your plates are labeled, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly on each. To make the experiment fair, be sure to use the same amount of jelly on each plate.
  3. Use your masking tape or putty to hang the plates in their respective rooms.
  4. Wait 2-3 days and then collect your plates.
  5. Place each plate on a piece of white paper and use the magnifying glass to observe the different particles that were collected.

Teach Kids Air Quality Awareness

Whether you use the above experiment or just want to talk with your kids, awareness in children is a great first step in getting them to care about air quality and their daily health.

Children who suffer from asthma and allergies especially have reason to be aware of the air around them because of the direct consequences air pollution can have on their breathing.

Teach kids to always get the help of an adult when they are experiencing shortness of breath, and show them ways to help themselves if they’re on their own when they can’t breathe.

Here are Some Helpful Reminders:

  • Find the Source: Now that kids are aware of air pollution, it can help them identify if the air around them is causing their shortness of breath. Cigarette smoke or mold spores are two examples of possible causes. In the fall, mold from leaf piles is a concern. In these cases, remind kids that getting some fresh air can help.
  • Deep Breaths: Try some of these deep breathing exercises with your kids. These can come in handy when kids leave a polluted or allergen-filled area and can breathe in fresh air to relax.

*Note: This is not intended to be medical advice for those with serious breathing or health issues such as asthma. Please consult your healthcare professional for in-depth instructions and strategies in these scenarios.

Archive |

Celebrate Good Neighbor Day

2 minute read

National Good Neighbor Day is September 28th this year. And here at Aprilaire, we’re using it as a chance to appreciate the communities we live and work in.

Local Volunteer Efforts

We’re proud of our long-standing tradition of providing volunteer and financial support to non-profit charitable organizations. Additionally, our employees donate their time and resources each year to efforts they care about, all in support of making our world a better place. We continue to believe in being good neighbors throughout our local communities.

One organization that Aprilaire is involved with is Sustain Dane, who is committed to sustainability in the Madison, Wisconsin area. We believe local efforts like theirs are a great way to initiate positive change on a worldwide scale.

Inspiring Neighbors

Most recently, we’re impressed by the dedicated efforts of The Ocean Cleanup Group to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Located halfway between Hawaii and California, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch(GPGP) is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. Not only does all that plastic cause harm to marine life, but it also poses health and economic concerns for humans as well. The passive cleanup system they created will corral the plastic that floats on the top layers of the seas.

As a show of support, we encourage Aprilaire employees to use reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and food containers to help stop the problem at the source.

Breath of Fresh Air

Another area that’s deeply connected to our mission at Aprilaire is the cleanup and recovery efforts for wildfires, particularly in the western United States.

This year alone in California, over 1.4 million acres have burned and thousands of homes have been destroyed. The estimated cost of damages is over $2.5 billion.

The first step is relief and recovery for the people displaced or otherwise affected by the wildfires. And that’s the goal of the California Community Foundation.

Long-term, the prevalence of wildfires needs to be managed. There  were over 6,ooo wildfires in California this year.

All those fires create smoky conditions that are dangerous for the health of anyone living within range. Aprilaire believes that a good living environment starts with having clean, fresh air to breathe. And that’s true for inside your home and in the great outdoors.

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

Fall Allergies: Common Culprits and How To Manage Your Exposure

2 minute read

Fall brings changing leaves, cool breezes, chilly nights, pumpkin everything, football games, and…ragweed season! (sigh) Purifying the air in your home is the first step in reducing fall allergies for you and your family. Keep reading to see how fall allergies typically present themselves and to learn some of the best ways to optimize air purification and improve your Indoor Air Quality to achieve a Healthy Home.

Indoor Air Quality: Fixing Fall Allergies 

Ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger during the fall season, followed closely by mold. Mold spores and ragweed travel easily through the air and can cause the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chest congestion
  • Dry, persistent cough

If you or a family member suffer from these symptoms during the fall months, it’s time to double check your Indoor Air Quality. Here are some steps you can take right away:

HVAC Check

Your HVAC and air purification systems do a lot to improve your Indoor Air Quality by filtering fresh air from the outside into your home. It’s important to hire a technician to do an inspection to ensure everything is running properly before you start running your heat in the cooler fall temperatures.

Run your HVAC

Once your HVAC is all checked out, it’s very important to continue using it even as the temperatures drop. As tempting as it is to shut off your A/C unit and open up the windows, it could mean serious problems for your Indoor Air Quality with the amount of pollen and other particles that can enter your home. The air conditioner helps to filter the air as it comes into your home, so even running those systems with their internal fans can be preferable to just opening the windows.

Replace Filters

It can be a pain, but be sure to change the filters in your air systems to get the highest quality air in your home. Most filters should be cleaned or changed every 30-60 days. With Aprilaire air purifiers, you need to change the filters only once per year.

Use a Humidifier

With cooler temperatures and the use of your heater, the air in your home can become dry and irritating. Remember to keep your home’s humidity level between 30-50%, with the help of a humidifier if necessary. A humidifier adds water vapor to the air to improve your Indoor Air Quality and prevent symptoms such as dry skin, nosebleeds, sinus problems, and dry eyes.

If you’re still looking for a way to rid your home of pollutants, contact one of our air quality professionals to perform a thorough test so you can enjoy your cozy fall days inside.

Healthy Air |

Air Quality Inspection IQ: Get the Most Out of Your In-Home Inspection

2 minute read

If you’ve ever worried about the quality of the air in your home, you know how frustrating it can be to not know what’s causing the issues. That’s when you know it’s time to call an expert. But what questions can you ask to get the best outcome from a professional in-home air quality inspection?

One place to start is with a DIY Air Quality Test. These are a simple, practical place to start, and they can give you an idea of where to explore further. If you find anything concerning, contact an Indoor Air Quality specialist to evaluate contaminant levels in your home.

Categories of Indoor Air Quality Specialists:

  • Consultants: This includes industrial hygienists, Indoor Air Quality specialists, asbestos and lead inspectors, and radon specialists. Their role is to diagnose and design remediation plans after doing an Indoor Air Quality inspection.
  • Professionals: This group carries out the actual remediation services to correct any Indoor Air Quality problems.

Often, companies will offer both services. But don’t feel pressured by a consultant to use their company’s remediation services. If you feel like your needs aren’t being met, you can always get a second opinion.

Questions to Ask IAQ Professionals:

Just like when you go to the doctor, you’ll want to ask as many questions as you can when a consultant or professional evaluates and treats the air in your home.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • What is causing indoor air pollution in my home?
  • How can I reduce the effect of my pet’s hair on my air quality?
  • What products should I use to reduce dust build up?
  • What products should I stop using?
  • Are my recurring headaches possibly related to the quality of air in my home?
  • Is it possible my air quality is making my allergies worse?
  • Why does my house feel muggy?
  • Why is my indoor air too dry?
  • Does my HVAC system improve air quality?
  • Is the age of my HVAC equipment affecting my air quality?
  • I can see and smell mold, but what other air quality issues should I be aware of?

Whether the solution is ventilation, filtration, humidity, or temperature control, it’s always possible to improve the air quality in your home. You just need to know where to start and what questions to ask.

We know the process can be stressful. That’s why our Certified Aprilaire Pros are trained to make quick, accurate diagnoses of air quality issues. And once the problems are identified, they can connect you with trusted, industry-leading products to improve your air quality for the long haul.

 

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

What’s In Your Air? Here’s How to Get Air Quality You Can Trust in Your Home

2 minute read

We’d all like to believe that the air quality inside our homes is clean and healthy for the whole family. According to the EPA, however, air pollutants can actually be up to five times worse indoors than outdoors. Respiratory issues and illness can easily result from the higher concentrations of pollutants.

To protect your family and purify the air inside your home, you need to identify the factors that affect Indoor Air Quality and learn ways to reduce indoor air pollutants.

Biggest Factors for Air Quality:

Chemicals: Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) are the name for the air pollutants floating around in almost every home. The key is to ensure levels don’t become too concentrated. Acetone, Formaldehyde, and Benzene are the most common forms of VOCs.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Considered to be safe in small amounts, CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas that you’ve most likely been exposed to.

Dust and Allergens: Over 20 million people are allergic to dust mites and dust is one of the most common allergens in the world. Other household air pollutants include mold, pollen, pet dander, and secondhand smoke.

Humidity and Temperature: High levels of humidity contribute to mold, and temperatures that are too high allow for chemicals from outside to enter the home at a more rapid pace.

How To Improve Air Quality

Source control is the easiest way to prevent indoor air pollution. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to not bring any air pollutants into your home. But you can make some changes to reduce your exposure to them.

  • Open windows as much as possible, even for just a few minutes
  • Regularly clean or change all filters in your home
  • Adjust your home’s humidity level to be between 30-50%
  • Get some green plants
  • Keep your house clean and uncluttered (vacuum and change bedding regularly)
  • Use eco-friendly, non toxic cleaning supplies
  • Avoid smoking indoors
  • Invest in an air purifier

There’s no “all in one” test for indoor air pollutants, and the multitude of tests can seem overwhelmingly expensive. If you are genuinely concerned about the air quality in your home, contact a professional.

Healthy Home | Healthy Air |

Homeowner Know-How: DIY Air Quality Tests

2 minute read

Air quality is important. That’s easy to say, but it can sometimes be tough to put into practice. First off, it’s not always obvious when there’s a problem with your air quality. Maybe something smells a little bit off or the air feels different in certain rooms compared to others. If you want to know for sure, it’s helpful to run some DIY air quality tests in your home.

Let’s take a look at the different DIY air quality tests available, see how much they generally cost, and decide when it’s time to enlist professional help.

Types of DIY Air Quality Tests + Costs

Mold

Sometimes the best test for mold is your nose. You or a relative likely have smelled mold before, and you shouldn’t be afraid to trust your instincts. But if you have a recurring problem area in which you want to confirm the source and type of mold, DIY kits can be useful.

Remember that mold is often the result of trapped moisture, so proper ventilation is important in preventing its growth.

Typical Cost: $8-85

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are the result of cooking, cleaning, and the presence of chemicals. They’re why it’s important to ventilate the kitchen and any area in which you’re cleaning, painting, or storing chemicals. There are a range of options available, so make sure you’re getting one that tests for the specific concerns you have in your home.

Typical Cost: $90-400

Carbon Monoxide

Constant monitoring is more important than testing for carbon monoxide. There should be a CO detector on every level your home. And if you have an attached garage or share walls or entryways with a neighbor in a condo or apartment, there should be a detector installed in that area.

Typical Cost: $15-30

Lead Paint

The dangers of lead paint have been known for decades, but some old construction might be at risk. So if you’re moving into or renovating a home built before 1978, you need to test for lead paint.

Typical Cost: $12-50

When to Call a Professional

It can seem cost-prohibitive or intimidating to hire a professional to test and analyze the air quality in your home. But it’s important to keep in mind that the sooner you can identify and remedy a problem, the less exposure you’ll have and the less you’ll have to pay to clean it up down the road.

The DIY air quality tests mentioned above are a great place to start, and it’s helpful to think of them as preliminary screening tools. If they reveal anything out of the ordinary, then you’ll want to call in a professional who can fully diagnose the problem.

Find a pro in your area. Among other offerings, they can test and repair your air filters and ventilation systems, two crucial aspects of creating a quality air environment in your home.

Airborne issues can form any time, but always remember that you can take control of the air quality in your home.