Environment |

Summer’s Most Common Bugs

2 minute read

When it comes to a love of humidity, humans and pests are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While we tend to despise air that is thick with heat and water vapor, most bugs actually thrive in it and need it to live.

Unfortunately, this means that the impending summer humidity in certain parts of the country is about to bring these summer pests out in a big way.

Summer’s Most Common Pests

Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common roach species infesting our homes in North America. They are attracted to warm and humid places, making your kitchen and the water heater in the basement their most frequented hideaways.

Silverfish

These small, wingless insects are nocturnal and need to keep their bodies moist at all times in order to survive. You are likely to find them beneath boxes or furniture in your basement, the shower, or hiding in your kitchen.

Centipedes

Carnivorous and nocturnal, with their 100 feet, these pests can move quickly and spend most of the day hiding in humid, secluded places. They are highly attracted to the moist, humid parts of the home because they need to rehydrate constantly in order to live.

Earwigs

Known to burrow into topsoil outside, these nocturnal bugs can also infiltrate dark and humid areas of your home. You are most likely to find them around floor drains, bathrooms, or under rugs or furniture.

Roly-Poly Bugs

Also known as pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, or armadillo bugs, these bugs often infest damp basements.

Tips to Prevent/Eliminate Summer Pests:

Healthy Clean Air | Environment |

Top 5 Summer Allergens Invading The Home

2 minute read

Top 5 Summer Allergens

Summer Allergen #1: Pollen

  • Six out of ten people are exposed to pollen trapped indoors

Summer Allergen #2: Dust Mites

  • An estimated 10% of the general population, and 90% of people with allergic asthma, are sensitive to dust mites

Summer Allergen #3: Pet Dander

  • An estimated 10% of the entire population may be allergic to pet dander

Summer Allergen #4: Mold

  • Roughly 15% of Americans are allergic to mold. Moisture control is the most important strategy for reducing indoor allergens from mold growth

Summer Allergen #5: Mildew

  • Scientists have identified over 1,000 types of mold and mildew inside houses in the United States

Prevent Irritants from Entering Your Home

Take measures to reduce allergens by making sure dust, dirt, and other pollutants are prevented from entering the house. Remove shoes before entering the household. Be sure to close and windows and doors during high pollen days. Do not allow smoking indoors.

Install a Whole-Home Air Purifier System

Whole-home air purifier systems remove up to 99% of airborne allergens and contaminants (even those one micron in size) and are 40 times more efficient than a standard furnace filter. This system removes allergens such as dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, viruses, fungi, mold, and other dangerous substances from the air throughout the entire home.

Maintain Humidity Levels at Home

Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help control allergens with the perfect level of moisture—one in which dust mites, mold, and mildew are not likely to survive.

Environment | Healthy Home |

Spring Home Checklist: Your “Honey Do” list has arrived!

2 minute read

Your “Honey Do” list has arrived! Below are some important and relatively easy home maintenance projects you can complete in a few weekends. Print this page out, hang it on the fridge, and check them off as you go.

Home Maintenance “Honey Do” List

  1. Inspect Your Foundation: From outside your house (and inside, if you have a basement), inspect your home’s foundation for cracks.
  2. Look in the Attic: Especially if it’s unfinished, the attic may be a place you rarely venture. However, like the basement, it says a lot about your house. Look for leaks and signs of rodents or bugs. Also, look for mold, which may appear as gray or black stains.
  3. Check the Gutters: No one wants to go out in a storm. But the next time a moderate rain blows through, throw on a slicker and take a quick walk around your house. Confirm that water is making its way to the downspouts and not running off the sides or over the top of the gutter.
  4. Service the Air Conditioner: A spring check of the cooling equipment should be performed each year. Maintained equipment runs more efficiently and last longer.
  5. Use a Pressure Washer: While spring cleaning is going on inside, there is plenty of home maintenance to do outside as well. A pressure washer is a great way to remove algae, mold, dirt, and other stains from a house with vinyl, aluminum, or other engineered siding.
  6. Repair Cracks and Potholes: In cold climates, ice and snow do a number on sidewalks and driveways. Fill in or patch any defects that could lead to injury for you, a loved one, or a passerby.
  7. Inspect Your Deck: Take a look under your deck and make sure there are no rotted boards or broken supports. This could be dangerous when you invite a big group over for a BBQ.
  8. Reset the Patio: Prevent stubbing your toe or tripping your mother-in-law by leveling out raised or sunken bricks. You will need paver sand, a trowel and a level.Home maintenance can also serve as marriage maintenance too.
  9. Sharpen your Lawn Tools: Grab a file and put a nice new edge on the blade of lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and other gardening instruments.
  10. Perform General Indoor Cleaning: Deep cleaning carpets and dusting hard to reach places can remove allergens and other irritants. A whole-home air purifier also helps trap dust and allergens as they travel through the house.

Healthy Home |

Professionals Needed: Here Are The Home Projects You Should Never DIY

2 minute read

So you bought your first house and can’t wait to rip up that crummy carpet. Go for it! But if you hit dirt, you might need to call in backup. As more millennials take the plunge into home ownership, it’s becoming more and more common to see DIY projects big and small. Things like carpet removal are doable. But no matter how many tips and tricks you’ve picked up from HGTV, Pinterest, or YouTube, there are some projects that simply aren’t worth the money, time, or risk to do yourself.

Setting Limits on DIY Home Projects

Skill Level for DIY Home Projects:

For some people, DIY is a way of life. For the rest of us, we need to be honest about our skills and level of experience. Sometimes a “simple” job can actually be a lot more complex than it appears. Hire a professional for these projects before you try it yourself and make a mistake that costs way more to fix.

  • Paving your driveway
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom jobs – backsplashes, flooring, countertops
  • Pest removal
  • Window Installation

Time Commitment for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement jobs can take weeks to complete when you try to do them yourself. For big projects, hiring a professional will mean a quicker and more efficient job done well so you can get back to enjoying your home without interruptions.

  • Large landscaping projects
  • Flooring
  • Demolition

Permission for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement projects require permits due to building codes. Save yourself the headache, and possible code violation, by hiring a professional who’s familiar with the process when it comes to these types of jobs.

  • Additions and remodels
  • Deck or patio addition
  • Major electrical/plumbing work
  • Pool installation and repairs

Safety Risk for DIY Home Projects:

If there’s any question of your ability to do something without injury or structural damage to your home, it’s most definitely a job for a professional.

  • Mold, asbestos, lead removal
  • Tree removal
  • Roof and foundation repairs
  • HVAC system installation and repair

When you’ve decided you need a pro, try to keep the process simple to save you time and headaches. Start by reaching out to a few trusted contractors in your area to get estimates on the work, (recommendations from friends are a great place to start) and then consider price and professionalism before making your decision.

When it comes to HVAC work, we make it easy to find a pro. Along with plumbing and electrical work, HVAC is an area where it’s crucial to get the job done right the first time.

Sources:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennials-take-on-diy-projects-with-more-confidence-and-budgeting-discipline-than-previous-generations-300813538.html

https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/10-home-projects-you-should-always-hire-a-pro-for/

https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/8-household-projects-to-leave-to-professionals/

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/projects-you-should-not-diy_n_3923456

https://www.hallerent.com/blog/when-to-call-professional-for-home-improvement-repairs/

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U. S. states that are the most humid.

Healthy Humidity |

Which States Have the Highest Relative Humidity?

2 minute read

You’re in the hot seat: Which state has the highest Relative Humidity levels in the summer?

The answer: Alaska

You might be surprised to see that our most northern state tops this list, but there’s a reason that Alaska has the highest Relative Humidity (RH).

Alaska has an average RH of 77%. The next highest state, Florida, comes in around 74% average RH. While Florida is hot and balmy in the summer, Alaska is much more mild and comes out on top because of its low temperatures.

Because RH is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air relative to how much the air can hold, it can be much higher in colder areas despite there being much less actual moisture in the air. This is because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air.

While this is somewhat of a trick question, it goes to show the limitations of Relative Humidity. It isn’t always a good indicator of how much actual moisture is in the air, or how muggy it will feel outside.

Top 10 states for Relative Humidity:

1. Alaska
2. Florida
3. Louisiana
4. Mississippi
5. Hawaii
6. Iowa
7. Michigan
8. Indiana
9. Vermont
10. Maine

Is your state on the list?

While you can’t change the heaviness of the air outside, you do have control over the air inside your home. Here’ what a dehumidifier can do for your home, especially in the hot, humid summer:

Improve Health

Dehumidifiers allow you to breathe easier and feel comfortable in your home by reducing irritation to your skin and respiratory system. They make your home less hospitable to allergens like dust mites, mold, and mildew by reducing humidity levels. It can also reduce toxin levels, like formaldehyde, which can be released in hot and humid air.

Prevent Damage

Mold can grow in excessive humidity and attract pests like termites. A dehumidifier can help prevent decay and corrosion caused by those pests. They also reduce the amount of mold on furniture, clothing, and other linens.

Save Money

Dry air feels cooler, meaning you won’t have to use your air conditioner as often or at quite as low a temperature. Because it also allows your air conditioner to run more efficiently, a dehumidifier can lower energy costs and prolong the life of your A/C unit by taking on the task of removing moisture from the air.

Healthy Humidity Plays a Key Role in Wellness
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healthy living

Healthy Air |

Healthy Living Starts with Healthy Air

3 minute read

To lead healthy lives, one must indulge in necessities like food, water, and shelter. But there are some key necessities we may miss out on in our daily lives that are equally as important. Our partners at Wellness Within Your Walls created a 10-step approach for healthy living, known as the Healthy Living System™, to educate all about how to maintain a healthy home, life, and community.

What is part of the Wellness Within Your Walls Healthy Living System™?

The Wellness Within Your Walls Healthy Living System™ helps promote wellness in living spaces through maintenance and lifestyle strategies. This approach outlines the importance of:

  1. Clean Air
  2. Clean Water
  3. Natural Light
  4. Chemical Control
  5. Physical Wellness
  6. Mental Wellness
  7. Spiritual Wellness
  8. Conscious Consumption
  9. Food Science
  10. Behavioral Strategies

You can learn more about how to obtain these necessities and why they are important by checking out this resource from our partners.

Why is clean air number one?

Clean air is important to us (it’s what we do), so when we heard that clean air made it to the top of the Wellness Within Your Walls Healthy Living System™, we wanted to learn more about their ranking system and share those findings with you. We recently spoke with Wellness Within Your Walls founder, Jillian Pritchard Cooke, and asked her some important questions about the importance of Healthy Air and living well. Check out her answers below.

Why is clean air necessary and how can it change the way we live?

“Air that is not clean can cause a myriad of health problems, especially as it relates to our lungs. It can also have an adverse effect on our cognitive functions. Clean air can help reduce the risk of strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases like asthma. With proper clean air strategies, it can also help reduce airborne viruses.”

What is the best way to achieve Healthy Air at home?

“I would say with a new home, it is most important to take a holistic approach and make sure all systems work to their highest capacity. Good air quality is achieved by putting a whole-home system in place. It is imperative that all components are considered. An air quality strategy includes proper fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity controls. One of the best systems on the market is the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™. This system helps the occupant achieve healthier outcomes and helps reduce up to 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses. Since we all have been challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s good to know that Aprilaire has one of the highest-rated systems available to the consumer.”

How can your 10-step approach keep us healthy year-round?

“It goes without saying that the Wellness Within Your Walls Healthy Living System™ is the most complete residential approach to achieving healthy outcomes. It’s for everyone. It was created for all socioeconomic groups. This system helps you take control of your own destiny through accountability. Practicing these steps can help reduce stress, increase productivity, and most importantly, combat harmful toxins that adversely impact health.”

What are some of the main ways we can ensure we are following this 10-step approach?

“I would say the best way to achieve all 10 steps is to be educated on all aspects. Advocating for yourself is easier than you think. If you do one thing every day that aligns with these steps, it will help you get into the routine of thinking about your exposures and then applying healthy strategies. Taking it one day at a time will eventually result in a healthy mindset, which will result in healthy routines. There are some really wonderful products in the marketplace today that can help the consumer reach personal health goals. Aprilaire is making breathing easier more achievable for all.”

Ready to make clean air a priority? Find out if your home qualifies for an Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ or contact a Healthy Air Professional in your area to learn about how you can receive Healthy Air in your space.

Invest in greater health, virus protection, fewer
allergens, more productivity, and better sleep.

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Disclaimer: *Contaminants removed based on air passing through the filtering system.