Mother and child.

Archive |

Mom’s Health Tips for Kids during the Winter

< 1 minute read

Every year, moms and dads everywhere know that when winter hits – so does the endless cycle of colds, coughs, and flu. We asked some partner moms about health tips they use to keep their family healthy during the winter months.
But guess what? You can do something about that, and no it doesn’t involve keeping your kids in a plastic bubble.
We feel pretty confident that our products are the bee’s knees, but we wanted to put it to the test. We wanted to find out – does having a whole home humidifier or air purifier really make a difference in how often your family gets sick?

Health tips from moms

Kris and the McDonald family reported tons of health benefits and improvements, not just in winter, but all year long!
Dani Marie is a former RN and mom of littles – she counts having a humidifier as one of the main ways to keep your family healthy during winter months!
Michele’s family had a massive reduction in indoor allergy symptoms, which is a huge plus when you’re spending tons of time indoors!
Clarissa loved having an air purifier running to help control pet hair and allergens, which build up when you cannot open windows to clear the air!

To read more about keeping your family well this winter, click here.

Image of Aprilaire air filter types

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

Air Filter Types: Here’s What You Should Know

2 minute read

Allergies? Pet hair? Odors? Each home has air issues that need to be filtered out. But it’s not always easy to find the right air filter for your home’s ventilation or purification systems, and for your specific needs.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about our most popular air filters and how they can help you create a Healthy Home.

Self-Seal

Each Aprilaire Air Filter removes airborne particles including dust, pollen, mold spores, bacteria, pet dander, and dust mites, thanks to the patented Self-Seal Technology, which minimizes the amount of air bypassing the filter.

Easy Installation

It’s easy to swap out Aprilaire filters (we recommend once a year) thanks to the unique Interlock Rail System.
1. Unpack the filter
2. Slide it into the vent or purifier
3. Close the door to fully secure the filter

A Filter for Every Need

Find the filter that fits your air purifying needs. Make sure to match the size of the filter to your system requirements.

Clean Air Filter MERV 11
● Removes 98% of pollen and mold
● Vacuum and dust less often by preventing airborne particles from settling on furniture and flooring
● Ideal for fall months when mold and pollen are the biggest allergy triggers across the U.S.

Healthy Home Filter MERV 13
● Removes 97% of airborne bacteria
● Creates a Healthy Home environment by preventing airborne allergens from circulating through the air
● Ideal for homes that use pesticides, including products used to kill household pests (insecticides and disinfectants) and products used on lawns and gardens that drift or are tracked inside the house

Allergy and Asthma Filter MERV 16
● Removes 99% of airborne allergy and asthma triggers
● Prevents allergy and asthma triggers from circulating through the air by trapping them in the filter
● Ideal for asthma and allergy sufferers

Odor Filter MERV 13
● Reduces odor with activated carbon
● Odors from pets, cooking, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are reduced by passing through the carbon filter
● Most commonly used to remove gases

 

 

Archive |

Best and Worst Cities for Spring Allergies

< 1 minute read

Spring Allergies: Best and worst cities in the US

By this point in the year, it can feel like winter will never end. But when that cold and snow finally disappear, millions of Americans will trade the dry skin and cold noses for springtime sneezes and sniffles.

That’s right. Spring allergies are just around the corner and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released its list for the best and worst cities to live in for allergy sufferers.

The AAFA ranks the 100 largest U.S. cities using pollen counts, allergy medicine use, and allergy doctors.

10 best U.S. cities (as of 2018)for spring allergies:

1. Denver, CO
2. Provo, UT
3. Boise, ID
4. Portland, OR
5. Colorado Springs, CO
6. Ogden, UT
7. Seattle, WA
8. Salt Lake City, UT
9. Raleigh, NC
10. Spokane, WA

10 worst US cities for spring allergies:

1. McAllen, TX
2. Louisville, KY
3. Jackson, MI
4. Memphis, TN
5. San Antonio, TX
6. Providence, RI
7. Dayton, OH
8. Syracuse, NY
9. Oklahoma City, OK
10. Knoxville, TN

While these cities might present some issues for allergy sufferers, not all hope is lost if you call one of these places home.

5 tips for allergy relief:

1. See a certified allergist to diagnose your symptoms
2. Use over the counter meds or a neti pot to help relieve sinus issues
3. Keep an eye on the pollen count and stay inside when it’s elevated
4. Take spring cleaning seriously and stay on top of dusting and vacuuming
5. Invest in an Aprilaire Air Purifier to reduce airborne pollutants and allergens

Sources:

https://www.aafa.org/spring-allergy-capitals-2018.aspx

https://www.aafa.org/media/2113/aafa-2018-spring-allergy-capitals-report.pdf

Healthy Clean Air | Healthy Air |

Common Asthma Triggers Around The House

< 1 minute read

While asthma is not caused by air pollution, poor air quality can act as an asthma trigger and may even initiate an asthma attack.

Indoor air pollutants have been found to be 5times greater than outdoor pollutants.  And since Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, it’s more important than ever to make Indoor Air Quality a priority in your home.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

  • Mold, mildew, dust mites
  • Pest droppings
  • Pet dander
  • Furniture finished with flame retardants
  • Spray cleaners and disinfectants
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Smoke from fireplaces, wood stoves, or kerosene heaters
  • Nitrogen dioxide from natural gas heaters and stoves
  • Scented candles, spray and/or plug-in air fresheners, and potpourris
  • Incense smoke
  • Perfumes and hair spray

How to Limit Asthma Triggers

If you or a member of your family suffer from asthma, it’s never too late to get proactive about Indoor Air Quality. Here are some ways to limit common asthma triggers in your home:

Archive |

Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

< 1 minute read

Love is in the air, and this year why not go beyond the dinner and chocolates with your special Valentine? Get the whole family involved! Whether or not your kids enjoy the lovey-dovey stuff, they’ll always have some fun with Valentine’s Day crafts and games.

We’ve put together a list of ideas that kids of all ages will love.

You can find most of the supplies for these crafts and games just around your house too!

And after you burn all of those extra calories you can even sneak a few pieces of that yummy Valentine’s Day chocolate.

Let’s make Valentine’s Day awesome for everybody!

Babies and Toddlers Crafts:

I Love You Handprint Art
● Footprint crafts
● Handprint Bouquet
Games/ Sensory Activities:
● Touch and Feel Hearts
● Shake it Up Hearts
● Valentine Sensory Play

Preschool and Kindergarten Valentine’s Day Crafts:

● Love Bug Name Caterpillar
● Silly Heart Puppets
Pipe Cleaner Hearts
Games/ Activities:
● Valentine Discovery Bottles
● Stacking Hearts Game
● Pin the Kiss on the Frog

Elementary Valentine’s Day Crafts:

● Handprint Heart Frame
● Heart Mosaic
● Symmetric Hearts
Games/ Activities:
● Heart Viscosity
● Musical Hearts
● Valentine’s Bingo

Middle School Valentine’s Day Crafts:

● String Heart Cards
● Emoji Valentines
● Geometric Hearts
Games/ Activities:
● Music and Rhythm Game
● Valentine Science Experiments
● Minute to Win It Valentine Games

Wellness |

Why You Need More Sleep in the Winter

2 minute read

As the new year moves along and the days get colder, it can be harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. Thankfully, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. More sleep is natural in the wintertime, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The normal range is an extra 1.75 to 2.5 hours per night. The key thing is to limit your sleep to between 7-10 hours per night (for healthy adults). Any more than that can be a symptom of depression, illness, or other underlying issue.

Why You’re Tired

  • Less Sunlight: Your body produces more melatonin when you see less sunlight, which can make you more sleepy than normal.
  • Colder Temperatures: Exposure to cold temperatures has been shown to increase metabolism, requiring more sustenance and sleep. Plus, indoor heating can dry out mucus membranes and increase your chances of getting sick, which then requires more sleep for healing.
  • Change in Exercise or Eating Habits: Fresh produce is less available in the winter months, and you may find yourself turning to refined grains and sugars. It’s also more difficult to exercise and spend time outdoors with the cold weather. These changes to your diet and fitness can lower your energy levels and make you tired more often.

Benefits of Sleep in the Wintertime

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with getting more sleep in the winter. Just keep it between 7-10 hours per night, and you’ll enjoy these benefits and more:

  • Fight Illness
  • Regulate Appetite and Weight
  • Help Counter the Winter Blues

Getting Restful Sleep

More sleep is a good thing only if it’s quality, restful sleep. Here are some ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sleeping hours:

  • Maintain consistent bedtime and waking time
  • Keep the heat a bit lower in your bedroom (66-68°F)
  • Spend time outdoors and exercise regularly (Tire yourself out during the day so you can get to sleep at night. Makes sense!)
  • Regulate humidity levels with a humidifier or dehumidifier. The optimal relative humidity is 30-50%
  • Avoid distractions like a cell phone next to the bed or a TV in the bedroom

Sources:
National Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleep.org/articles/sleep-quantity-different-sleep-quality/
National Institutes of Health: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/cool-temperature-alters-human-fat-metabolism
Aprilaire: https://www.aprilaire.com/benefits/preservation/relative-humidity-chart

Healthy Air | Wellness |

Himalayan Salt Lamps and Air Quality

2 minute read

Do salt lamps really work? Himalayan salt lamps have grown in popularity in the United States in recent years. They are often marketed as natural air purifiers that can also help with respiratory issues, mood, and sleep.

Salt has been used in treating ailments for centuries, especially in “halotherapy”, which involves breathing in salt-rich air.

Few scientific studies have been done on the subject of in-home salt lamps, but research into some of the claims made by salt lamp producers has been mixed.

Here’s an overview of the reported benefits and some studies that have looked at the claims associated with Himalayan salt lamps. This information can be helpful to consider when thinking about adding a salt lamp to your home.

How Do They Work?

When heated, salt is a natural ionizer. It changes the electrical charge of the air around it. Other natural ionizers include waterfalls, waves, and storms, though these produce much larger numbers of negative ions than salt lamps can.

The idea is that as salt blocks are heated, they release negative ions into the air, which “attract particles of pollution and give them a negative charge, making them seek an electrical ground and causing them to fall harmlessly to the floor.”¹

Salt is also naturally hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water molecules from the air. Some salt lamp producers claim that the water molecules that are trapped by the salt block contain harmful impurities that are then removed from the air.²

Benefits and Evidence

Air Purification

The claims about benefits for people with respiratory issues, like asthma, probably come from the use of halotherapy, which has been shown to improve respiratory health in some cases

However, the concentrations of salt used in halotherapy are much greater than those found in common salt lamps. And no studies have focused directly on Himalayan salt lamps and respiratory health.

Other claims about removing impurities from the air are based on hygroscopy, which is a known process. But it’s unclear if common salt lamps are capable of removing significant amounts of contaminants like dust, pollen, smoke, and mold from the air.

Mood

Research has shown that people report improved feelings after exposure to large concentrations of negative ions.

It’s unclear how many negative ions salt lamps can produce when heated by a light bulb, and if those levels of concentration would compare to what was shown in the study.

Beyond negative ions, salt lamps look nice in a room and can make it feel cozier. This can help improve your mood, and make your environment more relaxing for others.

Bottom line, the Himlayan salt lamps can add a calming presence to any room in your home.

Sleep

At this time, there have been no studies that analyze the effects of salt lamps on quality of sleep. And there is no known association between higher levels of negative ions and better sleep.4

However, the lamp’s warm, inviting glow is a great alternative to glaring overhead lights as you wind down at the end of the day. And this may help you fall asleep faster.

Conclusion

Salt lamps are not a proven method for air purification, but can improve mood and make it easier to sleep.

Salt lamps have not been adequately tested. But their potential to improve your mood and the comfort of a your home environment can make them beneficial for you and your family.5

Sources

1 Solay Wellness, Inc.: http://www.natural-salt-lamps.com/howdosaltlampswork.html

2 Mind Body Green Lifestyle: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-health-properties-and-benefits-of-himalayan-salt-lamps

3 Journal of Medicine and Life: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4391365/

4 BMC Psychiatry: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23320516

5 Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/mind-and-mood

Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/59328-himalayan-salt-lamp-faq.html