AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

Healthy Air System™ Helps Combat Airborne Viruses

3 minute read

Coronavirus is going to have a major impact on our lives moving forward. As scientists and medical experts continue to grapple with the consequences of this and other airborne viruses, engineers and others are looking at preventable ways to reduce its spread.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers believes the best way to prevent the spread of airborne viruses is to utilize a three-pronged approach combining fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and healthy humidity in to a Healthy Air System™. These three methods can help reduce the chance of contracting and transmitting airborne viruses.

Fresh air ventilation helps bring fresh air into the space. Air filtration helps to help capture airborne viruses and other airborne pollutants. Humidity control helps to reduce the spread and proliferation of airborne viruses and other airborne pollutants that can be harmful to your health. These methods are used as source control to prevent the contraction and transmission of airborne viruses. Each of these techniques can be used separately to combat airborne viruses, but our Engineering Executive Advisor John Bloemer encourages using all three together.

Health experts also agree that this 3-part approach is important to reducing the spread of airborne viruses.

Air quality is a major health problem that has been cited as one of the leading causes of disease and preventable deaths worldwide. There has even been evidence linking the spread of COVID-19 to exposure to air .

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

Building design will be borne out of COVID-19, in the same way we design and aestheticize our bathrooms stemmed from tuberculosis and the flu. Slowly, the design from sanitariums used to treat TB patients eventually transitioned in to modern life. The idea of sanitation and cleanliness evolved from something very boring and stale to something elegant as the worlds of public health and design intersected. Bathrooms prior to these pandemics were covered in wood. This gave way to hard, solid surfaces and fixtures as design and function intersected for style as well as for cleanliness.

As public health experts continue to learn more about COVID-19 and its spread, the design of our homes and the importance of indoor air quality as a method of defense against airborne viruses will also develop. While the HVAC system is not the most aesthetically pleasing piece of architecture in your house, it is an important defense against airborne viruses. Technology and design have started to fuse together to create a more elegant and robust HVAC system that’s both aesthetic and convenient. It’s a trend that’s sure to continue as public health experts tout indoor air quality.

More drastic steps will have to be taken in other larger indoor environments like malls, grocery stores, shopping centers, theaters, and hair salons. Recirculating air inside congested indoor environments helps spread airborne viruses. To undertake such a measure, governments and the private sector will have to work together for the sake of public health. Moving forward non-healthcare commercial buildings in the United States will be encouraged to maintain temperature and humidity as applicable to the infectious aerosol to reduce the likelihood of an airborne virus being transmitted in these indoor spaces.

A Healthy Air System™ is a step toward the future in disease prevention. Even on its face, our homes are filled with volatile organic compounds, odors, pet dander, dust, mold, and mildew. The EPA estimates the air inside our homes can be up to 5 times more polluted than air outside. This can lead to a host of health problems like asthma, allergies, and cardiovascular problems. Just as you exercise, eat well, and use disinfectants to keep your home clean, maintaining indoor air quality is an important part of everyday wellness and health.

While some may look at using UV as a way to kill off viruses in our homes, there is not enough clear scientific evidence to conclude that it is an effective strategy by itself. We recommend using UVC treatments in adjunction with air filtration in combating airborne viruses.

Our 3-part approach is a matter of source control. Humidity control creates an environment that is difficult for airborne viruses to both live in and to spread. Air ventilation helps dilute the stale air in our homes that include airborne viruses and air filtration helps to capture the airborne viruses

It’s hard to know what the next several months and next year will look like as we continue to learn more about the importance of indoor air quality, airborne viruses, and prevention methods. It is clear that airborne viruses will continue to be an ongoing discussion in the public and private sectors as we continue to search for answers to better protect ourselves both inside and outside of our homes. Our homes still remain an important place to focus on for proper indoor air quality to ensure you’re breathing healthy air.

It’s Time to Care About Healthy Air
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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.

natural disaster

Healthy Air |

What Does a Natural Disaster Mean for Your Air?

3 minute read

We know the devastating damage that can be done by a natural disaster. Every year, natural disasters impact around 160 million people worldwide. But did you know that in addition to the visible damage caused, there’s invisible damage being done to the air we breathe, inside our home and out? Each region of the United States has its own set of disasters to worry about throughout the year. Think to yourself: are you at risk for wildfires? How about red tide? No matter where you are located, these events can impact you, your family, your home, and your air. So, let’s talk about air quality in relation to common natural disasters and how to combat associated Indoor Air Quality issues.

When it comes to natural disasters, preparation is key. We prepare, typically, by purchasing insurance, evacuating, investing in disaster-proof construction materials, and much more. And while these efforts may help protect us from an incoming wildfire or flood, we still see damage littered throughout our community and state long after the disaster has passed. While there’s a wealth of damage we can see (to houses, local businesses, trees, wildlife, etc.), there’s damage that we can’t see, including mold spores, dangerous chemicals, poor outdoor air quality, and even indoor air concerns. We don’t normally think of indoor air concerns when we think of natural disasters, considering most disasters happen outside of our homes. Truly, how can something happening outside impact the inside?

The Importance of Healthy Air Indoors

Creating a Healthy Home environment, filled with Healthy Air, should be a priority for all. Bringing Healthy Air into the home can yield many benefits for your health, body, mind, and overall wellbeing. Let’s take a look at some:

  • Reduced illness
  • Eliminated pests
  • Reduced allergy symptoms
  • Better sleep
  • Lowered energy costs
  • Increased home value
  • Lowered stress

Without the right solutions to promote Healthy Air, your home could be filled with dirty, polluted air. In fact, the air inside your home is five times more polluted than the air outside. So, just think about how polluted your home’s air could be after a disaster hits close to your community.

Protecting Your Indoor Air from Outdoor Intruders

When any disaster hits, the outside is compromised—and it’s obvious. From smog and smoke in the air to rainwater and flash flood damage on the ground, post-disaster damage can range from light to severe which can impact your home, belongings, community, and family. Each natural disaster creates a unique problem for our air quality. Take a look at how some frequent and well-known disasters can impact the State of Your Air:

  • A hurricane can promote mold growth
  • A flash flood can bring toxic, harmful chemicals into your home and promote mold growth
  • A drought creates potential poor air quality and long-term respiratory health issues
  • A wildfire fills your home with smoke, which can create long-term health concerns

For a full look at how disasters in your area can impact your health and the air you breathe, check out this resource.

With all this knowledge, we need solutions. How can we help you protect your home and family from polluted air? We want to introduce you to the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™.

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

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What is the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™?

This system, comprised of fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control, is designed to promote Healthy Air in your home all year long. How? Read on.

Fresh Air Ventilation

An Aprilaire whole-home ventilation system is critical to maintaining a Healthy Home environment. Fresh air is not only clean and refreshing, but ventilation can help dilute and remove contaminants that enter your home, like carbon monoxide, ozone, pollen, airborne viruses, mold spores, and more.

Air Filtration

Proper filtration of both the air in your home and incoming ventilated air is key to removing unwanted particles. Installing an Aprilaire whole-home air purifier will help decrease stagnant indoor air pollution and, in turn, provide your family with clean, healthy, breathable air. Our purifiers create Healthy Air by reducing contaminants that linger in your home, like dust mites, pollen, mold spores, gases, chemicals, and smoke.

Humidity Control

Proper humidity levels help reduce the transmission of viruses and can stifle mold growth in your home. Typically, it’s best to keep your home’s humidity as close to 50% as possible for optimal results. Controlling your humidity can be done through dehumidification and humidification.

High humidity is a breeding ground for indoor pollutants. An Aprilaire dehumidifier is used when your home’s humidity is too high, protecting your family and home from the dangers of excess moisture like odors, mildew, high energy bills, and more.

An Aprilaire humidifier is used when your home’s humidity is too low, combatting the effects of dry air. Humidifiers help reduce dust mites, allergens, and asthma symptoms. Plus, it can keep your family feeling well all winter long.

Getting Healthy Air in your home is easy. We can help you remove airborne dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses before, during, and after a disaster threatens your area. See how a Healthy Air Professional in your area can help keep you and your family safe and healthy at home – take the first step today.

Learn more about natural disasters and the State of Your Air in your region.

 

experiments

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Family Learning: Child Friendly Experiments For Staying Healthy

2 minute read

There has never been a more critical time to teach children the importance of keeping their germs to themselves. But more than simply telling children they need to wash their hands and wear a mask, you can have a real impact by showing them in enjoyable experiments what germs are and how they spread.

Staying Healthy Experiments For Kids

Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere

In this experiment, glitter is used to represent our germs and how they spread from one thing to another throughout our day if we don’t wash our hands.

Most parents already know that glitter is difficult to get off, which reinforces the importance of washing hands for at least 20 seconds to thoroughly remove harmful germs.

Make A Wish

Typically you want to blow out all the candles on your birthday cake or it means your wish won’t come true. But with this experiment, the more candles left burning, the better!

Everyone’s favorite science guy, Bill Nye, showed how this experiment works in a short video. By trying to blow out the candles through various types of materials, kids can see how some are more effective than others. And it serves as a reminder that masks are an important part of reducing the spread of germs when we cough, sneeze, spit or breathe too close to someone else.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

It can be a hard concept for young children to understand: There are things in the air that we can’t see that can make us sneeze, cause food to go bad, or make us very sick.

With a few simple household items in this experiment, you can help shed some light on the mystery and reinforce the lessons you’re trying to teach kids about staying healthy. This particular experiment focuses on air quality, which is important to keep in mind at home, in school, and wherever kids venture off to.

Goals For Kids

All these experiments share common learning objectives.

The goals are for kids to:

  • Understand what germs are
  • Know that germs are everywhere (the air, our hands, surfaces we touch), but are too small to see with our eyes
  • Understand that everyone has germs and some germs make people sick
  • Understand that washing hands, wearing masks, and keeping our hands out of our mouths, eyes, and noses will help reduce the spread of germs

 

 

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.

Healthy Air | News |

Aprilaire Partner Contractor Joins Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

“What can you do or say when your family is suffering such losses? It’s devastating,” said Christopher Ciongoli, HVAC salesman/estimator with Aprilaire partner Whalen & Ives.

Chris is participating in the NYC American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on April 4, 2020. When he heard that Aprilaire was the national Healthy Air sponsor of the event he signed on to the Aprilaire team.

“An opportunity to make difference just appeared to me on Jan 10th in an email from Aprilaire informing me about the Fight for Air Climb. This was it. This is how I would help make a difference and support my wife as well as so many others that are impacted by lung disease”.

Lung disease became an all too familiar fixture in Chris’s life last year when his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law all died from lung disease.

As of February 7, he’s raised 90 percent of his fundraising goal. Not only is Chris excited to help raise funds and awareness, he told us he’s already reaping the benefits of training for the 849-step climb.

“My blood pressure has dropped, my pants are getting loose, and my dog Crosby is getting back in shape too!”

Every morning he goes out with dog Crosby and strengthens his legs and increases his stamina to make sure he can make it to the 44th floor of the 1290 Avenue of Americas building in New York City.

Read more of Chris’s incredible journey by going to his page. Thank you for your efforts, Chris and we cannot wait to hear more.

For more information about the Fight For Air Climb and to find an event in your area, go to https://www.lung.org/aprilaire. To learn how to train for your own climb, head to our page where we share training tips to help you prepare for your own Fight For Air Climb.

It’s Time to Care About Healthy Air
Breathe a sigh of relief.

Learn More