Winter Cold Natural Remedies

Healthy Humidity | Wellness |

Natural Remedies for Winter Colds

2 minute read

Winter is often associated with negativity. It’s cold, harsh and for the most part, depending where you live, kind of inconvenient. Often times, winter and sickness also go hand-in-hand.  That said, if you or anyone in your family are prone to getting sick throughout the winter season, the good news is that there are some preventative natural remedies you can try to maintain winter wellness.

Apple Cider Vinegar

People have been using apple cider vinegar for relief for years.

According to WellnessMama.com, apple cider vinegar has been used as a natural remedy to help allergy sufferers for years.  Apple cider vinegar can also reduce acid reflux, fight candida (yeast), and lower blood pressure. It’s also high in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium, making it a sort of super food.

The best way to use apple cider vinegar is to dilute and ingest it. Our favorite recipe is this fire cider from Mommypotamus.com. Enjoy!

Elderberry Syrup

Another great natural remedy is homemade elderberry syrup, which  RealFoodRN.com says is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

One study in Norway tested the effectiveness of elderberries on 60 patients who had developed flu-like symptoms. You can read the results of the study here.

We suggest you read more about the effects of elderberry syrup and how to prepare it from a reputable, well-researched source such as the Franklin Institute of Wellness.

Green Tea with Honey

Some people swear by green tea as a natural health food capable of being a reliable cold and flu remedy, as green tea contains infection-fighting antioxidants.

For an extra boost, consider adding antioxidant-rich local, raw, organic honey to your tea. One study showed that honey works as a better night-time cough suppressant than some medications.

In addition to being great for winter cold symptoms, both green tea and honey host a number of additional benefits, including aiding in digestion.

Humidifiers

Truthfully, it’s not necessarily the cold itself that’s the problem throughout the winter. In fact, it’s the dry winter air.

Our airways, sinuses, blood vessels, and skin depend on moisture to keep our bodies running in top physical condition. It only makes sense that when we remove the moisture from the air, our bodies begin to react negatively to the environment.

Not to mention, studies show that the flu virus and other airborne pollutants actually thrive in environments with low humidity, leading to an increased risk for illnesses.

Prevention is the most effective natural remedy for winter-related illnesses. A whole-home humidifier set somewhere between 30-60% humidity in the wintertime can work wonders for you and your family’s health.

Contact your local Aprilaire professional today to discuss your home’s  needs.

Supporting Articles/Quotes

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319573.php
  2. https://www.aprilaire.com/blog/2017/11/does-the-cold-make-you-sick-here-are-5-conditions-escalated-by-winter-air/
  3. https://wellnessmama.com/8370/allergy-relief-remedies/
  4. https://www.fastcompany.com/3052970/the-norwegian-secret-to-enjoying-a-long-winter
Breathe the Fullness of Life

Healthy Humidity |

Breathe the Fullness of Life: Healthy Humidity Edition

3 minute read

What Breathing the Fullness of Life Can Mean for You

Aprilaire knows that Healthy Air shapes all aspects of our lives. It plays a key role in our wellness, while also bringing us everyday, practical benefits. Combined, Healthy Air can help us create the perfect balance in our worlds, proving the air we breathe truly matters. Speaking of balance, let’s explore how Healthy Humidity in your home can benefit you, your family, and your community.

What is Healthy Humidity?

Most people probably think it’s the temperature in their homes that dictates comfort and air quality. While this is true, humidity also plays an important role in how safe and energy efficient the entire home is. At Aprilaire, we believe keeping your home’s humidity in the Healthy Humidity Zone (between 40% and 60%) will lead to a number of benefits, both in your everyday life and in the larger scope.

The Potential to Live Better

Sleep Better

It’s no secret that high humidity can be really uncomfortable, especially when we sleep. But it’s not just feeling uncomfortable lying in bed. High humidity levels can actually increase the number of times we wake up, which can reduce the amount of deep, restful sleep we get. That deep REM sleep is important for bodily recovery and memory.

Lower Your Stress Levels

We all want to lower our stress levels, but sometimes it’s not just our daily tasks and responsibilities that cause our stress. When we are exposed to great heat or humidity, our body systems find it harder to function and compensate. Overheating can cause weakness, headaches, and dizziness. Maintaining balanced humidity is an easy way to help keep stress levels down, both physical and mental, and keep us functioning at our best!

Even Fight Illness!

Here’s a fun fact: Studies have shown that flu viruses thrive in dry air environments. Other viruses, molds, and pollutants tend to like either excessively dry or damp conditions as well. Humans, on the other hand, are most comfortable and healthy in a nice, sweet spot between 40% and 60%. Keeping your air balanced is not only best for you but will keep you safe from various airborne illnesses that thrive in extreme environments.

The Power of Practical Science

Enjoy Energy Savings

If you notice your energy costs are higher than they should be, it might be because your air is not being cared for properly. Having balanced humidity prevents your air conditioner or furnace from working overtime, thus saving you money on future energy costs.

Increase the Value of Your Home

Owning a home is an investment, and one day you might want to cash in on that investment. If you’re not focusing on the air in your home, it could be causing damage that you aren’t seeing until it’s too late. Dry air can lead to cracked wood, while damp air contributes to harmful mold growth and pests. Having proper humidity keeps your home safe and can help you in the long run.

Even Help Save the Planet with ENERGY STAR®!

Wouldn’t it be great to know that the choices you make have a greater impact on the environment? Aprilaire has worked on creating cost AND energy-efficient products and has received certifications from ENERGY STAR®, the nation’s leading innovation and energy efficiency expert. Our new e-series™ Dehumidifiers, recognized as ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2021, have increased energy efficiency and removal capacity without sacrificing ease of install or their wide variety of install applications.

Connect with a Healthy Air Hero for the Full Benefits Today!

 At Aprilaire, we want you to breathe Healthy Air in your home every day to help you realize the benefits of better health, less stress, and greater cost and energy savings. Healthy Humidity is a great place to start, but be sure to check out all of our whole-home solutions and systems designed to manage air purity, fresh air supply, and more. Find an Aprilaire Healthy Air Pro near you, because everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life.

healthy humidity

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Humidity |

How Healthy Humidity Can Help Fight Viruses and More, Season After Season

3 minute read

We’re all too aware of the sticky, tacky sensation we feel as a result of high humidity in the summertime and the itchy, dry conditions brought on by low humidity in the winter. But, did you know that both extremes can have an impact on your health and your ability to stay protected from airborne contaminants and viruses, like COVID-19?

Over the years, you’ve heard us and other experts like ASHRAE, the CDC, and the EPA talk about the importance of keeping your home’s humidity at a balanced level year-round in an effort to reduce the negative home and health symptoms caused by high and low humidity. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic inspiring us all to confront our Indoor Air Quality concerns, there’s no better time to start breathing the fullness of life—living healthier, more comfortable lives, thanks to Healthy Humidity.

Let’s explore further: By maintaining balanced humidity between 40% and 60% year-round (known as our Healthy Humidity Zone), health concerns like bacteria growth, virus prevalence, respiratory infections, and allergy and asthma symptoms (among others) diminish as your home reaches an optimal humidity level.

 

Maintaining Healthy Humidity in the Summer

While we typically tend to explore solutions that can improve our overall wellness during the low humidity points of the wintertime, it’s still possible to be impacted by viruses, bacteria, and more in the summertime when humidity is high. Regardless of the season, homes with balanced humidity can improve our respiratory immune system’s defenses, making them more effective at capturing, removing, or fighting germs.

To achieve optimal health in the summertime, adding an Aprilaire whole-home dehumidifier can help save you from the muggy, sticky feeling you may experience in your home while also offering standout health- and home-related benefits.

In fact, research shows that no matter the temperature of your space, a room with 50% humidity can not only provide the comfort you desire, but is proven to offer fast virus inactivation, with less than 1% of viruses viable after two days. These findings help us further underscore the importance of achieving balanced humidity that falls within our Healthy Humidity Zone of 40% and 60%.

 

Maintaining Healthy Humidity in the Winter

In the wintertime, using an Aprilaire whole-home humidifier can help keep you protected from dry air in your home that may impact your airways and skin, allowing you to achieve a wealth of valuable benefits as well. But, how can using a humidifier in the winter help protect you and your family from virus-sized particles, like COVID-19, in your home like Aprilaire dehumidifiers can in the summer?

Research shows that coronaviruses on surfaces stay viable for a week in heated, dry indoor air with humidity that falls far below (~20%) and above (~80%) our Healthy Humidity Zone, which is between 40% and 60%. By humidifying your air to 50%, this data shows that you can reduce viable viruses to less than 1% in two days and significantly reduce your risk of infection.

 

Humidity Control Based on Regionality

We’re all searching for ways to stay safe and healthy at home, but, depending on where you live, your humidity control needs may be different than a region that experiences all four seasons, one with harsher winters, or one with hot, low-humidity summers. No matter where you live or what your home’s needs are, a Healthy Air Hero in your area can help you find the right solutions so you can achieve Healthy Humidity year-round.

Take the first step today to find out how keeping your home’s humidity in our Healthy Humidity Zone (between 40% and 60%) can help protect your home’s air from viruses, like COVID-19, and other unwanted contaminants that tend to thrive in high or low humidity environments.

St. Vincent de Paul

AA Homepage Articles | News |

2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

2 minute read

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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