Humidity - Common Flu

Healthy Humidity | Wellness |

4 Common Indoor Environments Where the Flu Virus Thrives

2 minute read

The flu virus is everywhere during the winter season, and it’s incredibly easy to spread. In fact, the Center for Disease Control says people with the flu can spread it to others up to six feet away!

That means, wherever you go, the opportunity for exposure to the flu virus is ever apparent. Even so, there are ways to prevent exposure and protect yourself and your family from getting sick. General awareness and avoidance when necessary is a great start, allowing you and your family to be more mindful about hand-washing, staying hydrated, getting vaccinated, and potentially even using natural remedies to prevent sickness  in the first place.

Indoor Environments Where the Flu Virus Thrives:

Shopping Malls and Department Stores

In years past, this one has been a tough one to avoid during the wintertime. As the holidays approach, many of us would prefer to get our shopping done quickly and efficiently without running the risk of infection. However, given the hoards of people hustling and bustling around, touching everything, and spreading germs, the risk runs high.

Today, however, the beauty of online shopping allows us to get all of our shopping done quickly and efficiently without having to leave our homes.

Schools and Day Cares

Kids are notorious for spreading germs throughout the winter season. Teaching your children to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, to wash their hands often, and to drink plenty of water will go a long way toward preventing the spread of germs and viruses.

Offices

Much like schools and day cares, the flu virus is no stranger to most office buildings.

“We are given a bucket of PTO [personal time off] days and whether you use them for vacation or staying home sick, the company doesn’t care,” one mom and vice president at a Fortune 500 company told Shape.com. “I’m not going to waste them sitting at home nursing a cold. To me, PTO days are for vacation or in patient hospital stays and that’s it.”

Apparently, that’s status quo for the majority of American workers. Be sure to steer clear of Karen in Accounting or Bill in IT, if you notice they’re looking bit ill.

And if you’re filling sick yourself…do yourself and your fellow office mates a favor and stay home.

Public Transportation

It goes without saying, most public transportation doubles as a breeding ground for germs and viruses. They aren’t well sanitized and are often filled with hundreds—sometimes thousands—of people per day.

Airplanes, in particular, are particularly disturbing around the holidays. So much so, in fact, that the Center for Disease Control created guidelines for airline crews to help them identify sick passengers and provide care.

If you’re traveling this winter season, take the necessary precautions to ensure you’re keeping your family safe.

Because the flu virus is so common in the winter months, a higher emphasis should be placed on winter wellness. One of the lesser-known ways to achieve winter wellness at homes to improve your Indoor Air Quality by adding humidity.

Studies show that proper humidification has been shown to reduce the flu by 30%. Create a safe haven at home from the risk of external flu virus contact by contacting an Aprilaire professional to discuss your options.

 

Supporting Articles/Quotes

  1. https://weather.com/health/cold-flu/news/places-to-catch-the-flu/
  2. https://molekule.com/blog/places-to-avoid-flu-virus/
  3. https://www.aprilaire.com/blog/2017/12/ask-nurse-kate-shedding-light-winter-wellness/
flood

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Humidity |

Resolving Flooded Homes from Winter Weather

2 minute read

Unusual winter weather stretched across much of the country in February 2021 leaving many without water or power for days. For some, burst pipes can lead to flooded homes. No matter the season, floods can cripple a home as the rushing water can destroy furnishings and damage the home’s foundation. Even after you’ve cleaned up your home from the resulting damage, lingering moisture inside your drywall or insulation can lead to major health problems primarily from mold and mildew outbreaks.

Health Risks Due to Flooded Homes

Sensitivity to these allergens varies from person to person, but for those with respiratory issues like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or asthma, a mold outbreak can lead to severely impacted breathing. For others with milder symptoms, you may experience wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. 

Excess moisture is also an invitation for pests and rodents due to newly formed cracks in your foundation. These critters are notorious for creating damage and are carriers of the disease. 

Airborne viruses, like COVID-19 and influenza, and bacteria also thrive in excess moisture leading to poor Indoor Air Quality inside your home. Air that is too moist can lead to higher transmission rates inside the home. 

Leftover excess moisture may be hard to spot. In fact, your first clue that something is wrong will be the smell. Musty odors are a typical sign that your home has excess moisture. 

How Aprilaire Can Help

Getting a Healthy Waterproofing expert into your home to check on damage is a must to make sure that any cracks in your foundation are sealed.

Secondly, an Aprilaire dehumidifier will help remove that excess moisture inside your home remedying any poor Indoor Air Quality issues resulting from flooding. Maintaining Healthy Humidity inside your home will help remove those airborne pollutants like mold, mildew, pests, and airborne viruses leading to Healthy Air throughout by helping you maintain humidity in the ideal range of 30-60%.

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Additionally, an Aprilaire fresh air ventilation system can also help dilute harmful airborne contaminants in your home’s air by bringing in fresh air from the outside. This system can also help with any excess moisture inside your home.

To make sure your home’s humidity is properly maintained and there are not any resulting humidity issues due to a burst pipe, find a local Aprilaire Healthy Waterproofing expert today. 

Healthy Air Is on the Way

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State of the Air

For more information on maintaining Healthy Air inside your home after a weather event, check out our State of the Air website

 

 

 

Humidity and COVID

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Humidity |

Humidity and COVID-19

2 minute read

 

If there’s one thing we know for sure about COVID-19, it’s that we’re still learning new things about it every day. As our knowledge and understanding expand, it’s important to stay informed on the latest facts and guidelines.

In a recent post, we took a look at the new variants of the virus and how air filters handle them.

Today, we’ll discuss how humidifiers and relative humidity levels can play a key role in protecting you and your family against COVID-19.

Humidity and COVID-19

It’s no secret that respiratory illnesses thrive in the dry winter air–we’ve all had those dreaded winter colds. And according to a group of scientists from around the world, your chances of contracting COVID-19 are also increased during the winter due to three main factors caused by low relative humidity:

  1. Respiratory Immune System Efficiency – Your respiratory immune system’s defenses are impaired
  2. Virus “Float” Time – Airborne droplets that contain viruses shrink due to evaporation, making them lighter and giving them more “air time” to spread more easily
  3. Virus Survival Time – The drying of airborne droplets that contain viruses allows them to survive longer

Per the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendation for health and comfort, the ideal relative humidity level for your indoor environment is below 60%.

In a home with balanced humidity, our respiratory immune system’s defenses are much more effective at capturing, removing, or fighting germs; airborne droplets that contain the virus fall out of the air quicker due to the extra moisture they retain; and because those airborne droplets containing viruses retain moisture, physicochemical reactions can deactivate the virus.

Humidity In Your Home

Thankfully, regulating your home’s humidity is no problem with Aprilaire’s systems. We’ve been in the whole-home humidifier game for nearly six decades and continue to focus on creating whole-home humidification solutions for health, comfort, and preservation.

Aprilaire’s humidifiers are built to fix your home’s dry air needs by adding the perfect amount of moisture: a relative humidity no lower than 30% and no higher than 60%.

Keeping your home’s relative humidity in the ideal range is key to maintaining proper Indoor Air Quality and has benefits that go beyond reducing your risk of contracting COVID-19:

  • Reduces asthma flares
  • Prevents cracks in your home’s wood furnishings
  • Reduces the transmission of other airborne viruses
  • Prevents your skin, eyes, and nose from drying out
  • Improves sleep quality

With our easy-to-use digital controls, you can set the correct relative humidity for your home and let our system do the rest. We also have an app you can use to control the humidifier from your smartphone, making it even easier to keep your Aprilaire whole-home humidifier and HVAC system running at optimal efficiency.

Best of all, Healthy Humidity is just one part of the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™. Balanced humidity complements fresh air ventilation and air filtration, greatly contributing to the overall health of you and your family.

As always, it’s important to follow all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it comes to protecting yourself and those around you from contracting COVID-19. Wear a mask, maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet, and avoid large crowds.

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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News |

Aprilaire Partners with Wellness Within Your Walls

2 minute read

Aprilaire is the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for 2020 for Wellness Within Your Walls.

Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) is an award-winning education and certification organization which supports reducing and eliminating toxins in living environments to improve overall health and wellness.

The organization’s one-of-a-kind education and certification process enables consumers and professionals to increase awareness about toxins in building materials and furnishings and guide them toward making homes healthier.

Wellness Within Your Walls partnership for national campaign

WWYW will partner with Aprilaire to launch a national “Breathe Healthy” awareness campaign in 2020 to educate consumers, homeowners and the build/design community about the latest products and services that help improve air quality in homes.

“We believe everyone deserves to breathe healthy air, and we believe in the power of education,” said Dale Philippi, president of Aprilaire. “Our mission is to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes. We are proud to partner with WWYW– an organization building awareness with consumers and professionals about the importance of healthy air.”

“We are excited by our new partnership with Aprilaire. They offer products that solve multiple issues relating to affordable ventilation and humidity control for homes and we’re proud to work with Aprilaire to further elevate the dialog about health and wellness in living environments,” said Jillian Pritchard Cooke, founder of WWYW.

In addition to the “Breathe Healthy” campaign with WWYW, Aprilaire is the FY20 National Healthy Air Sponsor for the American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb events which support raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. The two initiatives will dovetail to further educate consumers and professionals alike about why healthy air – especially in the home, is vital for good health. Good air quality improves overall wellness, helps prevent irritating allergens and pests, and helps shield homes from costly damages.

About Wellness Within Your Walls

Wellness Within Your Walls® is an award-winning informational resource group created to provide education and guidance on chemicals commonly found in living and working spaces. With a goal to empower and guide consumers and professionals toward healthier living environments, WWYW certifies people, places, products and programs globally through education and health and wellness protocols. WWYW’s 10-step holistic approach, known as the Healthy Living System™, results in a legacy of health, harmony and sustainability in living environments. WWYW was founded by Jillian Pritchard Cooke, a 30-year industry veteran with experience as president of interior design firm DES-SYN and owner of the eco-living lifestyle boutique BEE. While designing Atlanta’s EcoManor in 2006, the first Gold LEED-certified single-family residence in the U.S., a cancer diagnosis became the catalyst for turning Jillian’s expertise into a passionate commitment to create healthier living environments by reducing toxins. Wellness Within Your Walls was born. The organization provides frequent and sought-after speakers at trade shows, educational opportunities, workshops, seminars and other industry events. For more information, visit: http://www.wellnesswithinyourwalls.com.