2020 Holiday Season

AA Homepage Articles | 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.
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.

epigenetics-and-healthy-air

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Family |

Epigenetics and Healthy Air

2 minute read

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We know that breathing Healthy Air is essential to overall wellness. But why, exactly?

Every year, scientists and researchers discover more about how air pollution and other airborne contaminants negatively impact our health. One area of study is called epigenetics, which aims to understand how our behaviors and environment can affect the way our genes work.

Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are sometimes reversible and do not change the DNA sequence, but they can change how our bodies read a DNA sequence. For instance, smoking can lead to epigenetic changes. Smokers tend to have less DNA methylation, which is a common type of epigenetic change that determines whether genes are turned on (expressed) or turned off (not expressed).

After quitting smoking, former smokers can experience increased DNA methylation, and eventually reach levels similar to those of nonsmokers, showing that epigenetic change can evolve over a lifetime based on behaviors and environment.

While DNA methylation and other forms of epigenetic change are essential for normal human development, errors in epigenetics can lead to conditions such as cancers, metabolic disorders, and degenerative disorders.

Connecting back to Healthy Air environments, a study published in 2019 set out to understand the relationship between exposure to air pollution and DNA methylation in human genes.

Researchers found that exposure to air pollution is, in fact, associated with changes in DNA methylation over a lifetime. They observed early effects during pregnancy all the way through to old age.

Most often, these epigenetic changes in adulthood were associated with longer periods of exposure, showing that effects can accumulate over time and that exposure at a young age may lead to accelerated changes down the road. The study also notes that more research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms by which air pollution leads to epigenetic change.

Healthy Air for a Lifetime

This study reinforces the need for creating a Healthy Air environment in your home, which can have a lasting benefit for every member of the family.

The AprilAire Healthy Air Systemis a singular, whole-house solution that uses a three-pronged approach to address the core aspects of Indoor Air Quality, regardless of the air quality outdoors.

Fresh air ventilation helps bring fresh air into your home, air filtration helps to capture airborne pollutants from circulating in your air, and humidity control helps maintain a comfortable environment while reducing the risk of illness.

Air quality control will become increasingly important over time, as air pollution increases globally and we gain a better understanding of how breathing unhealthy air impacts our long-term health and wellness.

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.

St. Vincent de Paul

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.

Healthy-Exercise-Space-at-Home

AA Homepage Articles | Wellness |

How to Create a Healthy Exercise Space at Home

2 minute read

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Summertime offers endless opportunities to get active in the great outdoors. But sometimes things like extreme heat and high allergen levels will keep you indoors. On those days, you may not be able to run through a park or jump in the water, but you can still get the benefits of exercise with an indoor workout. Let’s make sure your home environment is optimized for safe and healthy indoor exercise.

Healthy Home Gym

Whether you’ve converted your entire garage into a gym or have just enough space for a stationary bike in the corner of your home office, a few key measures will ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout space.

Regular Cleaning

Don’t forget about your workout space when dusting, mopping, and vacuuming around the home. Keeping dust and grime at bay will help with odors and make it easier for you to breathe fresh air for all your workouts.

Start a habit of wiping down your equipment with a wet cloth and disinfectant spray after each exercise session. If you sweat onto a yoga mat or exercise pad, wipe them down and let them air out before rolling them up.

Air Purification

While regular cleaning is an essential step, it can also add chemicals to your space and kick dust up into the air. Air purification systems can remove those pollutants and work around the clock to make sure you and your family are breathing clean air.

An AprilAire whole-house air purifier works all through the home to remove pollutants and return fresh air.

If you want a boost to air quality in your exercise space, try out an AprilAire room air purifier, which uses a 4-stage filtration system to remove pollutants, allergens, and odors.

Balanced Humidity

Breathing and sweating add moisture to the air, which can exacerbate the high humidity levels of the summer months and increase the chances of mold and mildew growth.

An AprilAire whole-house dehumidifier delivers humidity control to your workout area and throughout your home, keeping moisture levels at a safe and comfortable level. Humidity between 40–60% is ideal for overall health and wellness.

Plus, a dehumidifier can reduce the burden on your air conditioning system, saving you money on energy and maintenance costs.

Deodorizing

Some gyms are easy to locate by smell—don’t let yours be one of them.

The battle against odors starts with fresh air ventilation, and because opening a window isn’t a great option in the summer, mechanical ventilation is a must-have in your space.

AprilAire whole-house fresh air ventilators remove stagnant air and bring in fresh, purified air. They reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants, and help kick out lingering smells. You can also use products that naturally absorb odors without disrupting your air quality, like baking soda or activated charcoal.