AA Homepage Articles | Environment |

Glossary of Terms for COVID-19 Outbreak

6 minute read

A slew of terms has been introduced in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak. Let’s go from A to Z with new people and terms to help you understand the unfolding situation.

COVID-19 Glossary

Adams

  • Jerome Adams is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. He served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner before being sworn in as the Surgeon General in 2017. His role is to advance the health of the American people and he has been instrumental in COVID-19 response.

Bans

  • The United States has issued a travel ban from Europe to the United States as of March 16th and most companies have grounded all non-essential travel domestically and internationally for the next several weeks.

COVID-19

  • COVID-19 or coronavirus is a virus in the same family as the common cold and flu. It has turned into a pandemic and has been compared to the 1918 Spanish Flu. The 19 is in reference to the year it was discovered

Diamond Princess

  • The Diamond Princess Cruise ship was for COVID-19. Passengers were quarantined on the ship and left to their rooms and many health officials have criticized the decision saying that it allowed the virus to rapidly spread. Passengers and crew were eventually allowed to leave the ship after a month total on board and nearly two weeks after reports of the first case.

Epidemiology

  • Epidemiology is the study of infectious diseases and how they spread, occur, and are controlled.

Flattening the Curve

  • The term refers to reducing the exponential growth of an infectious disease if people start distancing themselves from other people. Reducing gatherings with people through quarantining and other social distancing practices can drastically reduce the number of cases. The practice is especially important in alleviating the burden on hospitals.

Source: Britta Jewel/MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis/New York Times

Gatherings

  • Late Sunday on March 15th, multiple governors and health officials called for social gatherings to be limited to 50 people or less. President Trump has asked for people to limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people to continue to reduce the spread of the disease. This practice has led to the closing of bars, restaurants, and retail stores across the country.

Handwashing

  • Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water. All health organizations have advocated for everyone to wash their hands often to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Here are some fun

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Immunocompromised

  • A group of people, young and old, who have weakened immune systems due to underlying conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Down Syndrome, or heart disease A person with an immunocompromised system who contracts coronavirus may result in hospitalization. Those who are not immunocompromised may be asymptomatic (without symptoms) or experience mild symptoms.

January

  • On January 17th, the CDC and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol started health screenings at all S. airports for passengers returning from Wuhan City, China. On January 23rd, the United States reported the first case of coronavirus.

Killing the virus

Leisure time

  • Find ways to relax during the COVID-19 outbreak and to take a break from social media and the news. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. The CDC has several recommendations to manage stress and anxiety.

Mike DeWine

  • The Governor of Ohio, Republican Mike Dewine, was one of the first governors to initiate school closures, public gathering bans, and the closing of restaurants and bars. He recently decided to postpone the Ohio Democratic primary election as a result of COVID-19.

Novel

  • According to the World Health Organization, the coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to MERS and SARS. COVID-19 is a novel, or new, viruses in the coronavirus family. It was not previously identified in humans until November 2019.

One percent

  • One percent is considered to be the mortality rate for the coronavirus, according to many science and public health officials. The percentage has ticked higher in places where hospitals have been overwhelmed by sick patients who are unable to get the care they need. Current mortality rates in the US are hovering at 0.5 percent.

Pandemic

  • An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that attacks many peoples at the same time in one area. A pandemic is a disease that spreads across many countries and affects a large number of people. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization.

Quarantine

  • Quarantine refers to the restriction of movement for people. Currently, the United States is asking people to self-quarantine to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Other countries such as Italy and China have established national quarantines to slow the rate of infection. In isolation, healthy people are separate from the sick but with COVID-19 it’s hard to know who is and is not a carrier.

Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

The United States enacted $8.5B in aid to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 titled the Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. President Trump initially asked for $2.5B. The bill includes money for research, public health funding, medical supplies and to help fight the disease internationally. The bill was enacted on March 6th by President Trump. Senators and other members of Congress have asked for another round of efforts of economic relief for small businesses, middle and low-income families, and the travel industry.

Social Distancing

  • Social Distancing refers to maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people, in addition to minimizing contact, public transportation, and other large gatherings. The strategy has been used to help save lives during other pandemics. You can still go outside, but you must avoid close contact with people even if they appear to be healthy. A person can still be a carrier even if they are asymptomatic.

Toilet Paper

  • Toilet paper became one of the first products to fly off the shelves. Many people on social media have spread pictures of empty aisles in Target, Kroger, and other major department store chains. Despite the empty aisles, producers say they have plenty of food and supplies in stock.

U.S. Public Health Service

  • The U.S. Public Health Service is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services and is the largest public health program in the globe helping staff the local health departments throughout the country. The coronavirus is being monitored by the public health service at both the local and federal levels. Check with your community’s public health department to see what restrictions are being implemented.

Virulence

  • Virulence refers to the severity of the harmfulness of a disease. Many epidemiologists are still trying to quantify the virulence of COVID-19. To keep up with the current outbreak, the World Health Organization has an interactive map to track cases worldwide.

Work from home

– Working from home has become the new reality for millions of workers across the country as many offices have shut down and school closings have kept many parents home. It’s unclear how long offices will remain closed as health and government officials determine the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, but working from home might be the new normal for many workers.

(e)Xtra time

– One of the benefits of being home and quarantined is spending more time with your family and loved ones. Most of the time, we are bustling from school to work to other activities, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has allowed many of us to spend more quality time with our families.

Yellow fever

  • Yellow fever is an infectious disease spread by mosquitos was catalyzed by trade as infected patients traversed between Europe, America, and Africa. Many doctors initially hypothesized that you had to come in contact with an infected patient as widespread epidemics occurred in major port cities in the United States such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and New Orleans. Many more Americans who fought in the Spanish-American war died of Yellow fever as opposed to combat. A vaccine was developed in the 1940s, but there are still cases of yellow fever throughout Africa and Central America resulting in approximately 30,000-60,000 deaths annually. Pandemics such as yellow fever have created the modern medical system we know now and spurred the creation of the National Quarantine Act in 1878. COVID-19 does not have a vaccine and while it should not take hundreds of years to create, it is expected to be another year or so, although preliminary testings have started.

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Family | Wellness |

Helping Your Child Adjust to Learning from Home

3 minute read

Schools across the country are shutting down for the next several weeks. The important thing is to make sure your children do not treat this as a prolonged break. Learn more about how you can help your child successfully transition to this time at home.

Learning From Home

If this shift might cause problems with your student due to a lack of resources, check in with your child’s teacher or school to see what resources they have available so your child does not fall behind academically.

Even if your child does have all of the resources to access the material online, e-learning can present other challenges. School provides an enriching social experience, built-in scheduling, and an established format for students to ask questions. Without these norms, it may be difficult for students to focus on schoolwork when they have easy access to their smartphone and other more appetizing options.

Learning from Home for older students

Help your child adjust by creating an atmosphere that’s more akin to a school than home. Like we advised in our Tips for Working From Home blog post, set your child up in an atmosphere that limits distractions but is also comfortable for them while they watch lessons and do homework. When your student needs a break, let them grab a snack, text with friends, or take a prolonged lunch break to decompress from schoolwork. Try and keep your student on as much of a schedule as possible. If you have a student who is a bit older, you can even work together with them to create an at-home schedule so they feel like they have some input and ownership.

Learning from home for younger students

This can be more difficult for younger students and you may have to stay more on top of them to watch online lessons, help them with logging in to multiple programs, or answering their questions regarding class material.

Depending on their age, you may even have to find other ways to keep your child engaged by having them download books from the local library. Several companies are offering free e-learning programs in the wake of coronavirus to help parents and children with this new reality. Scholastic is offering free courses for students from pre-kindergarten to grades 6 and higher. For other free online programs, check with your child’s teacher.

Easing the anxiety of learning from home

There will likely be growing pains for both you and your child as you transition to e-learning. As the rest of the nation continues to grapple with the pandemic, it is difficult to forecast how long your student will be learning from home. If you have any questions about how to talk to your child about the coronavirus, the CDC has a great guide to help answer your child’s questions and help alleviate any anxiety they are feeling. Another way to help with these feelings of anxiety and uncertainty is by engaging in physical activity.

Getting exercise is a great way to break up the monotony of your child’s day. Go for a walk outside on a trail or around the neighborhood. Boosting your physical well-being can help both you and your child focus on work. We also have a blog post on at-home exercises.

Staying informed

It’s uncertain how long this will last as school administrators continue to develop plans for the coming months in alignment with recommendations from health and government officials. Find the best way to communicate with your child’s teacher or other school officials so you can stay informed about procedures or other resources to help you and your student.

We will continue to provide helpful tips and information regarding the coronavirus. Check out Aprilaire.com for more information regarding Aprilaire Products to create a Healthy Home.

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Clean Air | Wellness |

The Impact of Indoor Pollution – A Closer Look at the Air We Breathe

2 minute read

The air pollution conversation used to revolve almost entirely around pollutants emitted from gas-burning vehicles. But in the age of electric, hybrid, and other clean, fuel-efficient cars, and during a time when people are spending more time indoors than ever before–that conversation is starting to change toward volatile chemical products (VCPs).

“It’s time to think about the indoor environment as being a source of pollution the same way we’ve thought about cars contributing to pollution in the past.”

 This quote is from Matthew Coggon, a Research Scientist II of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Chemical Sciences Division of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory.

Thanks to recent studies in Los Angeles, we can see that volatile chemical products contribute as much to the abundance of urban volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as the emissions from motor vehicles.

What are Volatile Chemical Products and Volatile Organic Compounds?

VCPs are products that easily become vapors or gases and are predominantly emitted in the indoor environment, where they release VOCs. They can then be transported to the outdoors via building exhaust where they add to the pollution of the ozone layer.

VOCs are up to 10x higher indoors. They are also released from several everyday consumer products containing volatile chemicals.

Listed below are common Volatile Chemical Products:

  • Cigarettes
  • Paints and thinners
  • Air fresheners
  • Personal care products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc.)
  • Solvents found in adhesives, cosmetics, cleaners, spot removers, nail polish removers, lacquers, and dry-cleaning fluid
  • Copy machines and printers
  • Building materials and furnishings
  • Pesticides

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The top two categories of indoor air pollution and volatile chemical products are personal care products and adhesives.

The good news is that there are several ways to keep VOCs out of your home.

Control and Eliminate sources of VOCs

  • Look for fragrance-free products that don’t contain fragrance materials or masking scents.
    • Be careful not to confuse unscented for fragrance-free, as unscented typically means that chemicals have been used in the product to neutralize or mask the odor of other ingredients.
  • Choose non-toxic cleaning products that are water-based as opposed to products containing solvents.
  • Reduce the overall use of personal care products.
  • Don’t stock up on products that you only use occasionally, rather buy only what you will use right away so you’re not storing unnecessary chemicals in your home.
    • Things like paint, fuel, and chemicals should be stored far away from your living space.

Use As Directed

  • Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when it comes to storing household products that contain chemicals.
  • Never mix household cleaners or other chemicals unless the label gives specific directions.
  • Keep all products out of reach of pets and children.

Purify Your Air

  • Use an air purifier or whole home ventilation to ensure a healthy indoor environment for your family.
  • Aprilaire Air Purifiers reduce airborne pollutants, allergens, microbes, odors, and more. They can be a key piece in reducing the amount of VOCs in your home.

 

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AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Home |

Tips for Working From Home During Coronavirus Outbreak

3 minute read

For many of us, the idea of working from home during the coronavirus outbreak will provide more freedom but also more distraction. It’s a concept that many of us are unfamiliar with.

Create a Work Space to Work from Home

As we transition to working from home, we will have to create a workspace. The easiest thing to do is to transition into your home office, but some of us will have to create a new space. Finding space that can function as your personal work station can be especially challenging if you have limited space. Find a spot in your home that will provide comfort and limit distractions.

It may be difficult to use public spaces such as the library or a coffee shop due to the spread of the coronavirus but check with your local city and county governments on restrictions if you work better from home.

Dress for the Day

The transition can be hard. It can be difficult to maintain a routine when you do not have to get up at the same time or you do not have the same schedule of daily meetings or a commute. You’ll now be presented with different distractions and interruptions that you didn’t have at your office such as kids, pets, and binging your favorite shows.

To help combat these shifts, create a daily schedule where you map out your day with tasks. For example, if you usually start your day drinking coffee and checking email then continue to do that. Keep as many of your daily routines as possible to help keep you in work mode despite the shift in setting.

You’ll also want to have a schedule throughout the day to keep you focused on your work. This schedule can be a daily schedule, a weekly schedule or even a bi-weekly schedule. I work best with a series of general projects planned out over the next several weeks and several smaller tasks that may change day-to-day. You know yourself best so whether a more detailed list with specific times or a more general list of daily tasks, find the right method to keep you focused and motivated.

If you need to take a break from work, don’t be afraid to do so.

Look after yourself

Humans are social creatures. We like interacting with and being around other people. Being isolated can present a certain set of social challenges so make sure you find time to catch up with coworkers, friends, and family.

You can suggest doing a daily video chat with your coworkers to keep up with what’s going on with the company, everyone’s lives, and other updates for projects. These little check-ins will help strengthen your team’s bond and will provide an injection of social interaction.

And definitely take time to recharge with your family. If you have kids, spend time with them in the morning and throughout the day in small tasks like making lunch. Most of the time, our work lives can interrupt our family life so cherish these moments of spending time with your kids and significant other.

Find ways to also recharge physically as well like taking a short walk outside, going to the gym, or doing a mid-day yoga session at home. If you’re unable to go to a gym given the direction of community officials, find other ways to stay active like stretching or standing up every hour. We also wrote another post about exercises to do at home. You can find that post by clicking here.

Boosting your physical well-being can have an impact on your creativity and mood. Weight gain can be an unexpected side-effect of working from home where snacks and other food is more readily available. Plus, you may not be burning the same amount of calories you were while at work.

While there will be an obvious adjustment to working from home, don’t stress if the transition is difficult for the first couple of days. For most of us who do not work from home regularly, making this transition will prove to be difficult until we adjust to our new schedules. Following these simple tips above will hopefully provide a more seamless transition.

 

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.

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air | Wellness |

Airborne Viruses and Healthy Air

3 minute read

At Aprilaire we believe healthy air is essential – especially in your home. The coronavirus pandemic has brought indoor air quality to the forefront as you and your family are spending far more time in your home.

Healthy air is all we do at Aprilaire, and as the industry leader we want to take this opportunity to share information with you on how to create healthy air in your home. More than ever we feel a responsibility to spread the word on the importance of healthy air in the home, the science behind how a home’s air system works, and proven, best-practice healthy air solutions.

Unfortunately we do not have cure for the coronavirus, but Aprilaire does offer solutions to help prevent the proliferation of airborne viruses and other air quality issues in your home

We support the findings and recommendation of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) that the most effective way to prevent proliferation of airborne viruses is by installing a whole home Healthy Air System containing 3 essential elements: Air Filtration, Humidity Control and Fresh Air Ventilation.

These components are designed to work with your heating and air conditioning equipment to create a healthy air environment in your home by introducing healthy, fresh air into your home, maintaining a level of humidity that helps prevent the proliferation of viruses, and helping to remove airborne dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses.

Air Filtration

Proper filtration of both the air in your home and incoming ventilation air is key to removing particulates from the air.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)the coronavirus nominally has a particle size of 0.13 microns and most airborne viruses range from 0.03 to 0.3 microns.

Aprilaire MERV 16 Allergy & Asthma Filters provide the highest rate of effectiveness. They can capture up to 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses.

Our whole-home Aprilaire 5000 Electronic Air Cleaner is an effective product to capture airborne viruses. It is up to 90%* efficient at trapping airborne virus-size particles.

Healthy Humidity Solutions

Proper Humidity reduces the transmission of viruses. ASHRAE promotes keeping humidity between 30-60% to minimize virus survival rates.

Aprilaire provides humidifier products such as the 600, 700, and 800 and the 1850 dehumidifier to help keep the home between this optimal range.

Fresh Air Ventilation

Having a properly functioning whole-home ventilation system is critical to maintaining a healthy home environment. Fresh air is not only clean and refreshing but ventilation also helps dilute and remove contaminants.

Homeowners should use a ventilation system to bring in fresh air from the outside to dilute stagnant indoor air. The air inside the home can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. Products such as the Aprilaire Model 8126X Ventilation System or Model 8140 Fresh Air Ventilator bring in the recommended amount of fresh air. They also have patented control logic to minimize energy usage. Coupling these systems with our IAQ thermostats allows homeowners to easily adjust the amount of fresh air being brought (into) your home.

Whole-Home Product Control

The Aprilaire whole-home products work with our IAQ thermostats to provide easy user experience and control through the thermostat and Aprilaire app.

Professional

Help combat airborne viruses and particulates in the home with Aprilaire Products. Our products are not only manufactured in the United States, but our engineers and manufacturers maintain the highest standards in design and assembly.

Aprilaire products are professionally installed and serviced by Healthy Air Partners. To help find the perfect Healthy Air product for your home, go to our Find A Pro page to locate a dealer in your area.

Please note:

Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne viruses but can help in the reduction of airborne viruses in your home.

*Contaminates removed based on air passing through the filtering system.

 

Healthy Home | Healthy Air |

10 Tips for a Mold-Free House

4 minute read

October is the time of the year when most of us start thinking about sealing the hatches in our homes for the season. But before you do that, it’s healthy to check if your home is mold-free. You might be trapping it inside to keep you company all winter long.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold growth can exist practically anywhere. Whether you are inside or outside, mold spores are there. They can enter your home through openings as large as doors or windows, or as small as the tiniest gap you ever chased with a caulk gun. Once in your home, the spores can grow on clothes, shoes, toys or even pets. Worse yet, mold is almost certain to release clouds of potentially harmful spores that, once airborne, can take the shortest path to your lungs.

Some molds are harmful, others are benign. And, how mold affects you can depend on your own personal sensitivity. Mold expert Jeff May learned this first hand. The Johns Hopkins University Press author of three books (‘My House is Killing Me,’ ‘My Office is Killing Me’ and the ‘Mold Survival Guide’), wasn’t always such an accomplished expert on how mold can make you really sick.

“For years, I had an office air conditioner that was probably too big for the space. As a result, my office was always damp and I’d cough whenever the AC came on. Then one day I opened it up and found that everything inside had turned black — with Cladosporium mold. That was the defining moment when I put two and two together,” he said.

According to May, the first step to making your home mold-free is to understand what makes it tick. Mold needs three things to grow: moisture, air and food, and this combination can be found just about anywhere in your home. “Mold grows where it can find food: the dust on a bathroom ceiling, the starch paste on the back of wallpaper, or the plant fibers that make up the jute pad under a carpet. Add moisture, and mold growth begins,” said May.

Keep your home mold-free:

Mind the Moisture

Keep humidity below 50 percent in basements. Improve outside grading and drainage by keeping gutters clean and soil always sloping away from your home. Cover dirt crawlspace floors with plastic to reduce moisture.

Store Safely

Keep all storage at least several inches up off concrete floors and away from foundations where dampness can easily seep in. This is especially important with organic material like cardboard boxes. Avoid using wooden shelves; metal or plastic shelves are preferable.

Heat Finished Basements

Below grade spaces like finished basements are more likely to become infested and should always be heated to at least 60 degrees, even when not being used. The warmer the space, the less the chance that condensation will form and feed a mold problem.

Build Mold Resistant

When choosing building materials, use materials that don’t feed the mold. Tom Combs took this option when remodeling the bathroom in his family’s 1990 lake house outside of Atlanta, Georgia. “The ceiling was covered with mold and I wanted to take immediate action before the situation worsened.” Combs’ solution was Dens Armor Plus, a wallboard made by Georgia Pacific that is specifically designed to create a mold-free space. Unlike regular drywall that has a paper face, Dens Armor Plus has a fiberglass face that cannot feed a mold problem. For roofing specifically, make sure to consider algae, mold and bacteria resistant shingles when installing a new roof. Metal infused in these shingles will kill off the bacteria that causes algae and mold growth naturally without the need for chemicals.

Ventilate Vigorously

Poor or missing ventilation fans in damp spaces like baths and kitchens can leave enough moisture behind to sustain a mold problem. Make sure all baths and kitchens are vented by properly sized fans that take moisture outside and NOT into attics. Keep the bathroom door open after bathing to speed the drying of surfaces.

Avoid Basement Carpets

More than almost any other material in a house, carpets can be incredibly effective havens for mold. Even non-organic carpets can collect dirt, dust, and moisture that combine to provide mold a fertile ground in which to grow, especially in below-grade spaces where relative humidity tends to be higher. Hard surface products like laminate flooring or engineered hardwoods are always a better choice for basement and other mold-free spaces.

Filter the Air

If your home has a forced-air heating and cooling system, using a top quality air filter is a must. May recommends pleated filters with a MERV rating of at least six to eight, or 11 if the family is prone to allergies. Another option is a whole house electronic air cleaner. Mounted permanently to the home’s HVAC system, a whole house air cleaner uses ionization technology to charge particles making them stick to filters like a magnet. According to Consumer Reports, the most effective unit is the Aprilaire Model 5000, which can trap virus-sized particles as small as one micron (one millionth of a meter) and needs just yearly filter replacement.

Insulate Ducts

Duct systems that carry heated or cooled air throughout your house must be insulated whenever they pass through unheated or uncooled spaces like attics or basements. If not, condensation can form inside the ducts and, when combined with dust in the air, can allow mold to grow in the ducts, and then spores can easily circulate throughout your entire house.

Clean Carefully

Use mold-inhibiting cleaners in bathrooms and kitchens. Portable air conditioning units should be taken apart and cleaned at the start of every season. When painting damp spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, use paint with a mold inhibitor EPA-approved for indoor use.

Fix Floods Fast

If you do have a major leak or flood, quick action can stop mold before it starts. Thoroughly dry soaked carpets and padding, and remove any wet upholstery. Then wash and disinfect all surfaces before the carpet and pad are replaced.

Mold may be a part of Mother Nature’s plans, but following these tips will make sure recovering from the sickness it can cause doesn’t ever have to become part of your plans. For more information, visit the Web site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or review the Mold Resource Guide on the Web site for the national radio show, ‘The Money Pit.’