Corbett Lunsford

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Home |

Healthy Home Guide – Q&A With Corbett Lunsford, Co-host of ‘Home Diagnosis’

3 minute read

Building a new home is an exciting time for you and your family. From picking the right neighborhood to finalizing the blueprints, the process is full of hope and potential. We talked about that topic and much more with Corbett Lunsford, co-host of the public television series ‘Home Diagnosis,’ which focuses on the science of homes.

At Aprilaire, we want that excitement to keep going well after you’ve moved in. We believe that starts with making sure the air in your new home is safe for you and your family from the beginning.

While buying an older, existing home presents its own air quality challenges, building a new home gives you the chance to create a healthy indoor environment from the foundation up.

Modern building techniques and materials make construction more efficient and less expensive, but some of them can emit pollutants into the air and introduce other potential air quality issues.

“Every home is a chemical experiment at work,” said Corbett Lunsford. “Think of the home as a planet, with millions of microorganisms, an ecosystem that evolves as more things are added to it.”

He added, “There’s no one prescription for all households. Lots of factors determine the health of a space.”

While there is no “one-size-fits-all” home advice, we know you still want to do all you can to make sure your home ecosystem is healthy. For that, Corbett Lunsford shared some expert tips on building a home that you and your family will grow and thrive in.

Corbett Lunsford’s Expert Advice On Home Air Quality

Excerpts are taken from a conversation with Corbett Lunsford on building a healthy home. All emphases added by Aprilaire.

3 Areas Of Focus When Homebuilding

  1. “Don’t bring bad things in.”
    “Try to avoid bringing reactive things into the house and things that will “off-gas” over the long-term, like insulation or materials with flame retardants.”
    “For example, don’t keep paints and solvents in the house. Keep them in an air-sealed garage.”
  2. “Keep it dry to prevent mold.”
    “You should have a dehumidifier, even if you have a humidifier for the winter. What you want to do is control the humidity so you don’t grow mold.
  3. “Outdoor air ventilation is crucial.”
    “If you have an outdoor air system that works, then things like chemicals and humidity won’t be as big of an issue.”

On Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

At Aprilaire, we give you ways to remove VOCs from your home. While it’s important to remove harmful VOCs, Corbett says that making a “zero-VOC” home is impossible.

“We’re always bringing chemicals and VOCs into the house with everyday activities like cooking and cleaning and breathing.”

“Ventilation is crucial for reducing the concentration of VOCs in your home. You definitely want to ventilate anywhere there is moisture introduced to the home, like the bathrooms and kitchen.”

On Kids’ Health

“Their lungs are developing right now, and it’s just not good for them to breathe certain chemicals or any particles. The more chemical combinations you add to your home, the more risk you’re creating for your kids.”

“Carpets hold onto a lot of particles. Children spend the most time next to that flooring that may have harmful chemicals in it.”

“I recommend against using foam insulation on houses. It’s a great insulator, but it contains toxic flame retardants that can travel through things like drywall and even sheet metal. This will likely impact lung development for kids.”

On Air Purifiers

Once you decide what air filters are needed in your home, check out Aprilaire’s filter options.“Air filtration is the only air purification tactic that will not have side effects that are going to endanger your family.”

“This is a really important concept. I recommend air purifiers that are just a fan and a filter. Anything else is unnecessary and potentially harmful.”

Never buy an air purifier that creates ozone. It’s very reactive and hard to measure, because it disappears when it reacts with other chemicals.”

“If you’re seeking healthier indoor air, especially for developing kids, you need a MERV 13 filter.

“If you’re really serious about indoor air, use a HEPA filter system. That’s what is used in hospitals.”

The Importance Of Testing

“All of this advice is predicated on testing and knowledge. You have to prove that air systems are doing what they say they do.”

“Cheap indoor air quality monitors that you buy online aren’t very good. To make sure your systems are working, you should ask for testing and diagnostics from the company that did installation, or an independent professional.”

“If you’re going to test your indoor air quality, the level of VOCs is not necessarily an indication of an unhealthy environment. Your nose is actually a much better VOC detector than most tests.”

Corbett Lunsford’s Recommended Resources

The HOMEChem Experiment

A deep exploration into how indoor air chemical compounds interact and transform throughout a normal day of activities.

Six Classes Approach

Information on household chemicals.

Toxic Chemicals and Home Performance

Biophysical chemist Arlene Blum talks with Corbett Lunsford and Grace (hosts of Home Diagnosis) to talk about the “Six Classes” of harmful chemicals.

Home Performance YouTube Channel

Over 500 educational videos on the science of homes.

home's indoor air

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Home |

COVID-19 Makes Us Confront Our Home’s Indoor Air

2 minute read

Most of us crammed our lifestyles into cramped spaces at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s taken a toll. Achy, stiff joints are one of the byproducts of repurposing our couches for office chairs and kitchen counters for desks. In this article from The Atlantic, Amanda Mull describes the mental, emotional, and physical toll that the pandemic has literally and figuratively taken on our bodies. 

What’s In My Home’s Indoor Air

There is one part of our homes that we have been forced to confront during the pandemic that has always been there and it might be a blessing in disguise. Our home’s indoor air was something most of us did not think about or consider prior to the pandemic like our lack of adequate office space or workout equipment. Indoor Air Quality is now top of mind for homeowners

Volatile Organic Compounds

The EPA estimates that the air inside our homes is up to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. One of the biggest contributors to that is volatile organic compounds. These compounds emanate from paints, candles, disinfectants, cooking, and natural oil diffusers. Most new homes are tightly built making them energy efficient, but they prevent fresh air from coming into the home that can dilute the buildup of toxic chemicals. These chemicals can make us sick or lethargic. 

Allergens

Allergens also benefit from these tightly built homes too. As mentioned in a previous article, the pet industry received a boom as we sought companionship during these isolating times. Unfortunately, there are downsides to pet ownership too. Pets shed and are odorous even if your pet is hypoallergenic. Other outdoor allergens like pollen can be brought in by our clothes or shoes when we come in from the outside.
All of this means that we are continually breathing in these trapped allergens inside our home’s indoor air resulting in watery eyes, scratchy throats, coughing, sneezing, and fatigue.

Dry Winter Air

This winter has brought another unwanted roommate into our already cramped homes—dry air. Your home’s heating system works by heating the air inside your home subsequently removing part of the air’s moisture. Dry indoor air results in dried out nasal membranes and scratchy throats, and makes us more susceptible to airborne viruses like COVID-19. We recommend keeping your home’s relative humidity between 30-60 percent as directed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). 

Raise a Happy, Healthy Home
Breathe easy with the blueprints to a Healthy Home.

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Aprilaire Healthy Air System™

To remedy your home’s Indoor Air Quality issues, Aprilaire offers several whole-home products to remove airborne impurities. You can even bundle your whole-home solutions to form the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™, which combines fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control for effective virus protection and addresses your other indoor air issues.

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

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Maintaining Healthy Air can help you save energy, protect your home, and make you feel better. 

To get started, contact a local Healthy Air Pro today.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

 

safe haven

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Home |

Making Your Home A Safe Haven

3 minute read

Listen to the blog by clicking the play button above

In the past year, our homes have become so much more than the place we live. Our homes are where we work and relax; go to school and spend the weekends; work out and rest; where we shelter in place and where we find new interests. So, during a time when home is everything, how can we be sure it’s really a safe haven?

Acknowledge What’s Happening

There’s really no hiding the fact that we are living in a very difficult time, and we shouldn’t try to ignore that. Learning the facts can be a great way to curb anxious feelings, ease tension in your home, and model resilience.

Look to trusted resources, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for information on combating the virus and staying healthy. Stay informed on the news with your local NPR station. These aren’t things you need to be checking every hour of the day, but knowing the latest facts and recommendations can help you stay in control of your day and your health.

Build Firm Boundaries

Home used to offer freedom from the worries of work or the burdens of school. Now that the line between those areas is blurry, it’s more important than ever to set up some space and time where your family can still experience the freedom and relaxation of a home environment.

This will, of course, look different for every family, but here are some things you can try:

  • Slow down
  • Schedule time together free from any work or distractions
  • Designate study/work spaces
  • Limit screen time
  • Provide uninterrupted alone time
  • Establish consistent workout routines
  • Make time to virtually connect with others outside your home
  • Set bedtimes that allow for adequate rest

Cultivate a Healthy Environment

While the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social wellness of the home might be the most obvious, the environmental wellness also plays a huge role in the safety of your home.

Did you know:

  • The air inside your home can be 5x more polluted than the air outside. That’s because homes are being built tighter than ever, making it hard for your home to inhale and exhale (or turn over stagnant inside air with fresh outside air).
  • The average person lives to be 79 years old. Of those 79 years, 70 of them are spent indoors. Of those 70 years indoors, 50 of them are spent in your own home.
  • Just one cubic foot of air can have more than 30 million air pollutants including dust, mold spores, allergens, and more. These irritants can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.

With the Aprilaire Healthy Air System, you’re bringing three award-winning, key components into your home environment.

Fresh Air Ventilation – In order to stay well at home, Indoor Air Quality has to be a priority. With an Aprilaire whole-home ventilation system, you can let the dirty air out of your home and bring fresh, clean air in. This helps dilute and remove contaminants—airborne viruses, mold spores, allergens, and more—so you can breathe easy at home.

Air Filtration Now that the fresh air is in, it’s time to purify it. An Aprilaire whole-home air purifier can decrease stagnant air in your home and minimize your family’s risk of allergy symptoms, asthma triggers, and long-term respiratory irritants. A purification system, paired with Aprilaire air filters, can capture up to 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses and reduce other contaminants from lingering in your home’s air. Purification is crucial to keeping your family healthy year-round and your children protected from seasonal allergy triggers and viruses.

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

Humidity Control Keeping your home’s humidity between 30% and 60% can minimize virus survival rates in addition to helping keep your home protected from the impact of dry or moisture-riddled air. Depending on which issue you’re looking to combat, there’s a tailored solution available to help you keep your home healthy. An Aprilaire dehumidifier can protect your home from the dangers of high humidity by stifling mold growth, decreasing allergens such as dust mites, and preserving your home overall. An Aprilaire humidifier can not only help keep your home feeling warmer in the cold months, but it also helps lower the survival rates of virus-sized particles that may linger in the air.

What difference does Healthy Air really make? Take a look at some of the basic benefits of breathing Healthy Air:

  1. Reduces Illness – Remove airborne contaminants from your home so you and the family can breathe easy
  2. Alleviates Allergies – Stay healthy and avoid the sniffles throughout the year
  3. Provides Better Sleep – Every night you’re not sneezing or scratching from allergies is a good night’s sleep
  4. Increases Home Value – A Healthy Home is less likely to be damaged by pests or humidity, and may increase property value
  5. Lowers Stress Levels – In addition to better health, sleep, and energy efficiency, Healthy Homes can improve our mental health

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.

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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.