2020 Holiday Season

Family |

2020 Holiday Season: How to Be Happy and Healthy and Stay Safe

3 minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned 2020 into a uniquely tough year. With the stress and isolation many of us are experiencing, the 2020 holiday season might seem like the perfect remedy to boost our spirits. However, as cases continue to rise across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a set of recommendations to keep in mind when planning your seasonal gatherings.

These recommendations continue to emphasize the importance of handwashing, mask-wearing, and keeping at least six feet apart from those you don’t share a living space with. Some added safety measures include: evaluating community transmissions, considering guests’ recent behavior/exposure, as well as limiting the location, duration, and size of your gatherings.

Whether you’ll be celebrating with just your household or completely alone, following these guidelines and modifying your traditional holiday plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can help keep your friends, family, and communities happy and healthy.

Here are some festive ways to still celebrate and make memories together.

Recommendations for the 2020 Holiday Season

Virtual Togetherness

By this point, we’re all pretty familiar with the group video platforms that we prefer. Here are some ideas for what you can virtually share with family and friends:

  • Schedule a video dinner party with friends or family
  • Share recipes of everyone’s favorite dish from the meal for the ultimate menu for future holidays
  • Say something you’re thankful for or reminisce about some of your favorite holiday traditions that you’re looking forward to doing again next year
  • Play a game to keep the party going

Household Fun

If the thought of spending your holiday with the same people you’ve spent the last nine months with doesn’t sound like much of a celebration, try some of these ideas to change things up:

  • Let kids help in the kitchen
  • Get out all your seasonal decorations and let the whole family help. You can even get creative by turning household items into decorations to avoid going out to buy more.
  • Weather permitting, do something fun outside or active together: scavenger hunt, bike ride, lawn games. Maybe you can even make shoveling snow a “fun family activity”

Party of One

If you find yourself alone for the 2020 holiday season, it doesn’t mean you don’t have reasons to celebrate.

  • Choosing to spend the holidays alone is probably for a loved one’s sake and that is important to keep in mind if you start to feel lonely
  • Make good use of technology so you don’t have to miss out on all the love that’s spread on holidays
  • Acknowledge the uniqueness of this year. It is not forever, it is just for right now
  • Embrace your freedom to have a day to yourself and make it your own. Get back into a passion project, play your favorite video games, or schedule your own movie marathon
  • Don’t be afraid to cook yourself a delicious meal with all your traditional favorites. You can always freeze the leftovers

Shopping

Thankfully, we live in a time when shopping from home has never been easier and there will be lots of chances to cross off that gift-giving list.

  • Shop all the sales and price drops online
  • Utilize in-store or curbside pick-up for items that are unable to ship
  • Hold a Zoom shopping party with friends or family so you can all do your sale-hunting “together” in the comfort and safety of your own homes

Gift Giving

The 2020 holiday season will most likely look different when it comes to the amount and the type of gifts being given due to so many families struggling financially and people’s priorities shifting.

  • Don’t try to prove your love with gifts; stick within your budget no matter how tight that is this year
  • Try virtual gift exchanges after mailing gifts to your loved ones or send IOUs/rain checks for when you can finally spend time together
  • Give a gift that will keep on giving: Healthy Air. The AprilAire Healthy Air System®, and AprilAire air filters or room air purifiers are gifts that can help you and your family stay healthy at home during this holiday season and into the new year.
get-kids-active-this-summer

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

How to Get Kids Active This Summer

2 minute read

Click play to listen to How to Get Kids Active This Summer article. 

School is out for many children across the United States, leaving families with more quality time together and a lot more energy to expend. Travel plans will make for great experiences and memories. But don’t leave all the fun for the road! Let’s see some great ways you can keep the whole family engaged and entertained at home and in nearby areas.

Parks and Beaches

Can you name all the public parks and beaches near your hometown? Use the summertime to explore everything in your area, and keep a checklist to make sure you hit every one you’re interested in. Then you can narrow them down to your favorites, and visit those again and again! Use this handy park finder tool to get started.

Indoor Adventures

On days that are too hot and humid or when allergen levels are high, find indoor spaces with air conditioning and activities for everyone in the family. Museums and aquariums offer great learning opportunities, or you can visit a movie theater to check out the latest family-friendly summer blockbuster.

Staycation

Many families made upgrades to their home during the pandemic, making them more comfortable and full of entertainment options. So if you’ve got a new home theater setup or enough space for a blanket fort, don’t be afraid to spend some quality time right at home.

Plus, simple activities like a board game or putting together a puzzle offer great, low-cost opportunities to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.

To make sure you stay comfortable for at-home activities all summer long, make sure your air conditioner is cleaned up and properly maintained.

Home Cooking

The best way to wrap up a day of activities is with a nourishing homemade meal. If you want to avoid turning on the stove or oven on hot days, try cooking with an air fryer or slow cooker. To get fresh ingredients, take your family to a local farmers market and pick out local items to take back home and prepare.

And of course, the grill master in the family will take any excuse to fire up some outdoor cooking. In addition to proteins, add some fresh, seasonal veggies to the grill for an all-around satisfying meal.

Indoor Exercise

With all the different activities at your fingertips during the summer, it’s easy to forget about fitness and exercise. But on days with summer storms or extreme heat, getting the whole family moving indoors is a great way to burn off some energy and to create stronger bonds.

Start with creating a healthy exercise space, then let each member of the family choose simple indoor exercises that everyone can take part in. Even if the workout lasts for only 10 minutes, it’s worthwhile and you’ll be glad you did it.

If you want to get more creative, create a game or contest out of household chores. This gets the entire family involved in home responsibilities and creates a tidier, more peaceful space to enjoy.

summer-travel-2022-what-to-know

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Family |

What to Know About Summer Travel 2022

2 minute read

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What’s on your travel list this summer?

Most estimates show that travel for summer 2022 will return to or exceed pre-pandemic levels, with many people making up for lost time by taking domestic and international trips in the coming months.

Your experience will vary whether you’re traveling by car for a road trip, or doing some globetrotting by plane. But in any case, you’ll want to keep in mind some basics around booking and planning, etiquette in crowds, and keeping your family healthy and safe.

Booking Travel

You’ve likely noticed that prices for things like plane tickets and hotels have risen dramatically in recent months (not to mention the increase in gas prices).

This indicates that there’s a strong demand for these services, so it’s best to book as early as you can. You should also be prepared for last-minute changes to your itinerary, and know ahead of time who you’ll contact if you have a delay.

You often have more control over your itinerary when you book directly with an airline or hotel, rather than through a travel agency.

Travel Industry

While the number of people willing and excited to travel is way up, many of the jobs in the travel industry haven’t been filled at the same pace. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the leisure and hospitality industry has lost 1.4 million jobs since the start of the pandemic.

That means understaffing in airports, hotels, restaurants, and other vacation destinations. While the reasons behind this shortage are varied and intertwined, it will have a real impact on your travel, likely resulting in more time spent waiting and the unavailability of certain amenities.

Try your best to build in time delays to your schedule, and remain patient in scenarios where understaffing is impacting your experience.

COVID-19 and Masking

Pandemic restrictions have been rolled back in many areas of the world. By deciding to travel, you’ll need to assume that it’s possible you and your family will be exposed to COVID-19 and other health risks.

Masking is no longer required for air travel in the United States, and many restaurants, hotels, and events you attend may not require them either. Plan ahead for these scenarios, and keep in mind the best practices for avoiding airborne diseases, which include: not gathering in large crowds, keeping six feet distance from those you don’t know, and being outside to encourage airflow around you.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their recommendations for those traveling this summer, recommending that everyone test for COVID-19 close to their departure date, regardless of vaccination status.

Staying Healthy Away from Home

Many of us have been stuck at home for the past couple years, getting us accustomed to immediate access to our daily medicines, food, water, and the bathroom. But keep in mind that this won’t be true while you travel.

Plan ahead by getting the medications you’ll need for the duration of your trip. And be aware of when you need to pack along food and water for your family. Staying hydrated and nourished are important parts of staying healthy while you travel.

Remember to have everyone wash their hands before eating, and educate yourself and your family about the risks of foodborne disease away from home.

Interview with the American Lung Association

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages |

Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

4 minute read

At AprilAire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why AprilAire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both AprilAire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

“I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

“The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

How did AprilAire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

“AprilAire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

Since 2020, AprilAire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, AprilAire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. AprilAire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the AprilAire Healthy Air System®) and nine AprilAire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, AprilAire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

“The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

AprilAire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

AprilAire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

“Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, AprilAire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

“Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

Fight for Healthy Air

At AprilAire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both AprilAire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

*Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

2021 Good Neighbor Values

AA Homepage Articles |

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.

Total Home Performance Consultation

AA Homepage Articles |

Total Home Performance Provides Solutions Based on Building Science

2 minute read

Total Home Performance, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, utilizes a science-based, top-down approach in creating healthy homes for its clients. They see their customers as their neighbors, utilizing a no-pressure sales technique to provide the best solution, not just the one that’s going to make the biggest impact on the bottom line. They provide an informative and visual-based process that walks the homeowner through any issues they’ve spotted and how they can be addressed based on the latest building science principles.

Total Home Performance Grows Steadily

Over the last 13 years, Total Home has steadily grown from an energy audit service to a full-service home performance contractor. While its growth has led to expanded expertise, more employees, and more infrastructure, the company has remained true to its humble roots to make a positive impact on the lives of homeowners they service. Many of the company’s employees have been with them since the beginning, creating a unique family atmosphere that leaves owner Matthew Hargrove proud.

“We are a true family here. We have committed our lives to this business…We feel very fortunate and proud to not only be supporting this amount of people but providing this type of work that is of such great benefit to our customers.”

Like many other home performance contractors, Total Home Performance has seen increased demand for its services since the COVID-19 pandemic. More homeowners are concerned about their home’s indoor air quality and if their home is making them sick.

Healthy Home Assessments Help Homeowners

As a result, Total Home Performance began offering healthy home assessments to evaluate the health and safety issues that could be negatively impacting homeowners. This begins with a visual inspection of the property to identify things like moisture, mold, pest intrusion, or other potential contaminants. Based on this inspection, they can perform specific tests for things like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold, and moisture to pinpoint the root cause and lay out a plan to eradicate these issues.

Humidity control is especially vital for many homeowners along the eastern shore since they butt up against the Chesapeake Bay and other inlets leaving them vulnerable to the impacts of excess humidity like mold, mildew, discomfort, and structural damage.

The Big Three

The Total Home team also shores up any poorly insulated areas ensuring the home is energy-efficient and protected from whatever mother nature may throw its way. Sealing up the house also helps create a perfect structure for Total Home Performance to apply, what Hargrove calls “The Big Three”—ventilation, filtration, and moisture management strategy—which helps eliminate household viruses, VOCs, and other health issues within the home.

Contact Total Home Performance

If you want to feel the difference in your home, see an improvement in your health and save on your energy bills, contact Total Home Performance today.