cleaning - disinfectants - healthy air - coronavirus - covid 19

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Home | Wellness |

How to Best Clean and Disinfect Your Home during COVID-19

3 minute read

Cleanliness has become top of mind for many of us during the coronavirus pandemic, but how often and what you should clean depends on your household.

The primary way the coronavirus spreads is through respiratory droplets from an infected person which often land on surfaces, but droplets can live on those surfaces for several hours.

It’s important to disinfect high-traffic areas as much as needed. These high-traffic areas include kitchen counters, doorknobs, bathrooms, TV remotes, light switches, and refrigerator handles.

The rate at which you need to disinfect is dependent on how often you and your household members leave your house. You definitely want to disinfect daily if you or another household member is leaving every day for work, the grocery store, or another area with lots of people. It’s important to remember that even if you or another household member has not interacted with someone who appears to be sick, they can be asymptomatic and still be infected with the coronavirus.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of the best cleaning products to use to disinfect your home.

The New York Times listed out best practices to disinfect your home including washing your gloves and then your bare hands after you’ve finished disinfecting.

If someone in your family is sick, follow these cleaning guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember to avoid sharing kitchen utensils – be sure to clean plates, glasses, and cutlery thoroughly after they’ve been used. Additionally, you should avoid licking a utensil and then placing it in a commonly used jar like peanut butter, or drinking directly from a carton of milk or juice.

The CDC does not recommend disinfecting your fruits and vegetables but instead suggests using soap and water especially if you’ll be ingesting the skin and not cooking it.

Remember that disinfecting does not eliminate the need for you or your housemates to wash their hands after sneezing, coughing, or after coming home from work.

Make sure to also disinfect your phone or tablet especially if it’s commonly used by other members of the household.

While these disinfectants will create cleaner surfaces, many chemical cleaners emit volatile organic compounds. These VOCs are harmful to the air inside your home.

The best way to combat airborne viruses is to clean those surfaces with disinfectants while combining it with a 3-part Aprilaire Healthy Air system.

A fresh air ventilation system will help dilute the VOCs in your air from all of those disinfectants or any other cleaning procedures like dusting or vacuuming.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

Air Filtration is the next step in the Healthy Air System. Air filtration through the use of a MERV 16 air filter or a whole-home air purifier will help filter out those harmful VOCs and other airborne particulates that can cause respiratory problems like allergies or asthma.

Our final step, Humidity control, will help keep your home and you in optimal health. The American Society of Heating  Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers recommends keeping humidity levels between 30-60 percent. Moisture is constantly added to your home’s air from daily activities such as showering, washing your hands, laundry, or the dishes. If humidity is not properly maintained between 30-60 percent, it can have harmful health effects and make your home more susceptible to mold or mildew or you more susceptible to airborne viruses.

By practicing these measures, you can best protect you and the members of your household from getting sick. While these practices will not totally eliminate every germ,  they will significantly reduce the risk of transmission.

Continue to monitor updates from the CDC and the World Health Organization to stay informed on the coronavirus pandemic.

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AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Home |

Healthy Home for a New Year

2 minute read

With 2020 behind us, we can collectively agree that we’re hoping for a happier and healthier 2021.

And there’s no better place to start on that journey than with Healthy Air for you and your family.  Whether the new year means a new home, renovating your current home, or continuing to enjoy the home you’ve already made, the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ can keep you and your family breathing easy.

Before Building or Buying a Healthy Home

Moving to a new home can be as stressful as it is exciting. Whether you’re building from scratch or looking to purchase a home that is new to you, there’s undoubtedly a number of expectations for your new space. And—while parking space and square footage are important—Indoor Air Quality should also be at the top of your wish list.

Healthy Home builders should pre-plan home construction using green building materials and techniques that are safe for future residents and won’t contaminate the air.

Healthy Homebuyers should ask the right questions of their real estate agents and home inspectors to determine any air quality threats:

– Find out about past, present, and future contamination concerns

– Check for harmful gases

– Rule out mold and moisture issues

– Locate and eliminate pathways where contaminants and other pollutants could enter the home

– Ensure the home’s ventilation and air purification systems are running efficiently

Healthy Home Upgrades

For almost any existing home, the right renovations can turn your space into a Healthy Home in no time with three key updates:

Fresh Air Ventilation – Think of your Aprilaire fresh air ventilation system as your home’s own set of lungs. It inhales fresh outdoor air, and exhales stagnant, polluted indoor air. This helps dilute and remove contaminants throughout your home.

Air Filtration An Aprilaire whole-home air purification system, (paired with the right air filters), can capture up to 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses while preventing other contaminants from lingering in your home.

Humidity Control – It’s important to keep your home’s humidity between 30% and 60% both for your own comfort and for the longevity of your home. Depending on which you’re looking to combat—dry or damp air—Aprilaire whole-home humidification as well as whole-home dehumidification can help you maintain a Healthy Home.

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

Daily Maintenance

Healthy Air has a whole list of benefits that can impact you and your family on a daily basis and over time. Things like reduced stress levels, allergy relief, virus protection, and more.

Getting those benefits from keeping up a Healthy Home is an ongoing commitment, but it can be achieved through routine maintenance and a few simple lifestyle changes.

Healthy Air Strategies:

Whether your home is brand new or generations old, you can ensure a Healthy Home for you and your family by taking the necessary steps. If you have any questions about the process, contact an Aprilaire Healthy Air Professional for personalized tips and recommendations.

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AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Home |

Wood Smoke, COVID-19, and Your Health

2 minute read

It’s beginning to smell a lot like the holidays! The cool, crisp smell of winter air paired with a fresh-cut pine tree on top of your car; the sweet and spicy aroma of gingerbread cookies and cinnamon-spiced mulled wine; and the warm, smoky scent of a roaring fireplace.

To keep those good times and great smells going all winter long, keep in mind that the smoke from your crackling wood fire may smell good, but it’s not good for you.

Wood smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles also referred to as particle pollution. It may contain toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Sounding a little less cozy already, isn’t it?

Well, according to information reported on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, you may be at increased risk of serious health effects from wood smoke exposure if you are recovering from COVID-19 due to your compromised heart and/or lung function.

It also works in the other direction, and exposure to wood smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, weaken your immune system, and leave you more susceptible to respiratory infections including COVID-19.

Residential Wood Smoke Safety Measures

To protect you and your family this winter from the adverse effects of both indoor and outdoor residential wood smoke, follow these safety measures:

  • Educate yourself on the short- and long-term effects of wood smoke exposure
    • Short-term: irritated eyes, throat, sinuses, and lungs; headaches; reduced lung function, particularly for children; inflammation or swelling of the lungs; risk of heart attack or stroke; worsened symptoms from existing lung diseases (such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, and bronchitis)
    • Long-term: chronic lung disease (bronchitis or emphysema); chemical and structural lung changes; cancer
  • Know the difference between symptoms of exposure to wood smoke and COVID-19
  • Invest in a more efficient and cleaner device to keep warm. Choose from this list put together by the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Always have your wood burning appliance, chimney, and vent professionally inspected at the start of each heating season to keep them in safe and working order
  • Winterize your home to make sure it’s comfortable and safe for the winter months
  • Follow best burn practices, including maintaining a hot fire, and burning only dry, seasoned firewood
  • Reduce indoor airborne contaminants including viruses and the fine particles in wood smoke by installing an air purifier or HVAC filter as part of the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™.
    It’s important to remember that air cleaning and filtration do not provide exclusive protection from exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. However, when used in conjunction with the CDC’s recommendations and guidelines for protecting yourself and others, filtration can help to reduce the possibility of indoor airborne transmission of COVID-19.

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.

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Aprilaire Partners with Wellness Within Your Walls

2 minute read

Aprilaire is the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for 2020 for Wellness Within Your Walls.

Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) is an award-winning education and certification organization which supports reducing and eliminating toxins in living environments to improve overall health and wellness.

The organization’s one-of-a-kind education and certification process enables consumers and professionals to increase awareness about toxins in building materials and furnishings and guide them toward making homes healthier.

Wellness Within Your Walls partnership for national campaign

WWYW will partner with Aprilaire to launch a national “Breathe Healthy” awareness campaign in 2020 to educate consumers, homeowners and the build/design community about the latest products and services that help improve air quality in homes.

“We believe everyone deserves to breathe healthy air, and we believe in the power of education,” said Dale Philippi, president of Aprilaire. “Our mission is to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes. We are proud to partner with WWYW– an organization building awareness with consumers and professionals about the importance of healthy air.”

“We are excited by our new partnership with Aprilaire. They offer products that solve multiple issues relating to affordable ventilation and humidity control for homes and we’re proud to work with Aprilaire to further elevate the dialog about health and wellness in living environments,” said Jillian Pritchard Cooke, founder of WWYW.

In addition to the “Breathe Healthy” campaign with WWYW, Aprilaire is the FY20 National Healthy Air Sponsor for the American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb events which support raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. The two initiatives will dovetail to further educate consumers and professionals alike about why healthy air – especially in the home, is vital for good health. Good air quality improves overall wellness, helps prevent irritating allergens and pests, and helps shield homes from costly damages.

About Wellness Within Your Walls

Wellness Within Your Walls® is an award-winning informational resource group created to provide education and guidance on chemicals commonly found in living and working spaces. With a goal to empower and guide consumers and professionals toward healthier living environments, WWYW certifies people, places, products and programs globally through education and health and wellness protocols. WWYW’s 10-step holistic approach, known as the Healthy Living System™, results in a legacy of health, harmony and sustainability in living environments. WWYW was founded by Jillian Pritchard Cooke, a 30-year industry veteran with experience as president of interior design firm DES-SYN and owner of the eco-living lifestyle boutique BEE. While designing Atlanta’s EcoManor in 2006, the first Gold LEED-certified single-family residence in the U.S., a cancer diagnosis became the catalyst for turning Jillian’s expertise into a passionate commitment to create healthier living environments by reducing toxins. Wellness Within Your Walls was born. The organization provides frequent and sought-after speakers at trade shows, educational opportunities, workshops, seminars and other industry events. For more information, visit: http://www.wellnesswithinyourwalls.com.