black mold

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

The Dangers of Black Mold

3 minute read

We all love a good spooky story, right?

Well, as long as it’s not too scary.

And if we’ve got a calming cup of hot cocoa close by.

It also helps if the story is completely made up…

This fall, Aprilaire presents a series of bone-chilling tales of a mysterious creature that you just might find lurking in your very own home.

This is:

The Case Of The Black Mold

Tale #1 – Symptoms

Ahhh, fall has arrived. You take a step outside to greet the new day and you’re met with crisp air and a warming sun on your face. The dewy grass adds a shimmering comfort to the shifting of seasons, as the colorful leaves drift down onto your lawn.

You’re ready for a break from the summer heat. Calming visions dance through your head: hot apple cider, comfy scarves, afternoons of football, and weekends at pumpkin patches. Everything is exactly how it should be. You head back inside to continue your delightful day.

But then something changes. Something disrupts that new-season-sensation and a different, darker feeling starts to set in.

You can’t see anything that’s changed. You don’t hear anything strange. But you feel it. Deep down you know it’s there.

The feeling crawls slowly up the back of your neck. You close your eyes as you feel it get closer and closer, you know you can’t avoid whatever it is that’s ruining your perfect morning.

You sneeze. It’s a big one. You probably woke up the kids.

But what caused it? Simple fall allergies?

Or something much, much darker?

Tale #2 – Seeking Out

The kids straggle out of bed, earlier than normal on a Saturday morning. (Probably because of that echoing sneeze.)

After a quick hug and covering weekend plans, you notice little Billy is rubbing his eyes. It’d be normal to work a little tiredness out of your eyes first thing in the morning, but it only seems to be getting worse for Billy.

He just can’t stop itching his eyes.

Your mind goes into investigation mode. First the sneeze…and now the itchy eyes.

Something is in your house.

While the kids finish up their eggs and bacon, you head out on a mission, of sorts. You’re no home expert, but you know a thing or two.

You check the bedrooms…nothing. Well, the kids’ rooms desperately need cleaning, but a few piles of dirty clothes aren’t ruining your fall.

You take a peek in the attic. Probably a bat or two flying around up there, which gets you even more in the fall spirit. They can stay for now.

Nothing in the living room. Nothing in the kitchen. The bathrooms seem to be normal.

Now you know what you have to do. You have to go into the deepest, darkest place of your home. The spot where unneeded blankets go to waste away. Where half-started projects rest, frozen in time.

This thing…whatever it is, must be in the basement.

Tale #3 – Vanquishing

You didn’t think fall would start like this.

Here you are, slowly descending the steps into your cold, dark basement. On edge. Uncertain of what you’ll find.

But you know you have to go there.

You can sense this is where all the problems are coming from. The sneezing. Billy’s itchy eyes. That feeling of discomfort that’s slowly pervading your home, your sanctuary.

You reach the bottom of the steps and flip on the lights. You’re greeted by the familiar faces of stacked storage containers and that extra sofa for when Billy goes off to college.

But there’s another thing. Something in the air. A smell that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. And, you guessed it, this thing makes you sneeze yet again.

You walk toward it, knowing you need to take it on directly if you’re ever going to be free of the hideous stranglehold it has on your family and your home.

Then, as the smell gets stronger and stronger, you see it. You’re face to face with this horrible creature, and it’s just too much to bear.

The Black Mold seems to be dragging itself out of your crawl space, creeping closer and closer until you feel like you have to scream.

It’s just another sneeze.

But you’ve had enough. You can’t live like this.

You’re calling in backup.

You go to Aprilaire’s Find A Pro database to seek out professional help for this monster that has infiltrated your home.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

You talk it out with a knowledgeable indoor air quality professional, who gives you the resources you need to rip the monstrous Black Mold out of its stronghold and return your home to a place of peace.

It’s your favorite time of year, after all. You deserve to enjoy it in a healthy, happy, unhaunted home.

Bad Air Quality Days

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Keeping Your Kids Healthy, Cool, and Happy on Bad Air Quality Days

2 minute read

Click play to listen to the Keeping Your Kids Healthy, Cool, and Happy on Bad Air Quality Days article.

We hope you’re enjoying as much time outdoors as you can this summer! The extended sunshine hours and long list of activities offer plenty of reasons to have the whole family outside.

But the summertime can also force you indoors. Poor air quality days can result from things like unsafe temperatures, high allergy counts, smog, and other adverse weather events.

Keeping air quality in mind is especially important for kids, as they will more quickly feel the effects of allergens, pollution, and extreme heat.

Let’s look at some ways you can create fun, safe indoor activities this summer when the outdoors are a no-go.

Tips for Entertaining Kids on Bad Air Quality Days

Indoor Exercises

Help your kids burn off some energy with games and fun exercises indoors. Try out a dance party to their favorite music, or set up an obstacle course in the living room.

A classic game of hide-and-seek is another perfect way to pass the time and get some exercise.

No-Heat Cooking

If it’s hot and muggy outside, you probably won’t want to turn on the oven or stovetop. There are lots of great no-bake recipes out there that are kid-friendly.

Some of our favorites include: fruit popsicles, fruit and cheese kabobs, and pinwheel sandwiches.

Field Trips

Staying indoors doesn’t always have to mean staying cooped up at home.

Take the kids for a field trip to a museum or aquarium. These spaces are typically air conditioned and large enough to keep a comfortable distance from others who are also escaping the heat.

Science Experiments

Fun and education can go together. Try out some simple science experiments like tabletop volcanoes and DIY lava lamps.

We also have some recommendations for simple demonstrations of staying healthy that kids can understand and enjoy.

Optimizing Indoor Air

When you’re staying indoors to escape the unhealthy air outside, you need to be proactive about keeping your home environment safe.

The Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ is a three-part approach to Indoor Air Quality. It combines fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control to keep your home fresh for all your indoor adventures this summer.

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

Learn More

Use our Find A Pro tool to get started today.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

summer camps

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

What to Know About Reopening Summer Camps

3 minute read

Click play to listen to the Reopening Summer Camps article. 

Is your kid eager to get out of the house this summer?

As the United States begins to reopen, thanks to vaccinations, there are more and more opportunities to enjoy summertime favorites. For many, that means a trip to summer camp.

While parents and kids, alike, are excited for the return of traditional summer activities, you may still have questions about the safest ways to approach them.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest guidance.

Is It Safe?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its recommendations for summer camps after confirming that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for everyone aged 12 and older.

The big takeaway is that summer camps are safe, and don’t require masking or physical distancing if everyone at the camp is vaccinated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also released guidelines, and emphasized the social importance of the summer camp experience for children.

During the summer, it is important that children begin to reestablish connections with their friends, peers, and non-parental adults in an environment that supports their development while also consistently practicing the recommended principles to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2.”  – AAP

Here are the crucial recommendations from the CDC to ensure a safe summer camp experience. You can confirm with your child’s camp that these measures are taken prior to the start of activities.

  • For camps where everyone is fully vaccinated prior to the start of camp, it is safe to return to full capacity, without masking, and without physical distancing in accordance with the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People; except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Although people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks, camp programs should be supportive of campers or staff who choose to wear a mask.
  • Consistent and layered use of multiple prevention strategies can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including campers, staff, and their families.
  • Campers should be assigned to cohorts that will remain together for the entire camp session without mixing, to the largest extent possible. A “cohort” means campers and staff who are staying together in a cabin, bunkhouse, or similar defined space.
  • Outdoor activities will generally be the safest, though most indoor activities are also safe when all are vaccinated.

How To Prepare Your Child

For many children, it’s been a while since they’ve interacted with a large group of their peers. It’s possible they may feel intimidated by the summer camp experience, or a bit wary of having close interactions after more than a year of limited contact with others.

Start by having a conversation with your kids about what they can expect at camp, and emphasize that it’s alright if they feel overwhelmed and need to take a break from the activities.

Kids should also know that, even if they don’t need to wear a mask or socially distance, it’s perfectly fine to do so if those things make them more comfortable. Camp counselors should make an extra effort to accommodate the safety and comfort of each child to ensure a positive summer camp experience.

Other considerations:

  • If it’s safe for your child, get them a vaccine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose.
  • Follow the CDC’s guidance for travelers before dropping off your child.
  • Ask your camp about plans and protocols for testing and contact tracing.
  • Send along hand sanitizer and extra face masks with your child. The camp may provide these supplies as well.
St. Vincent de Paul

AA Homepage Articles | News |

2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

2 minute read

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We take the importance of caring for others to heart at Aprilaire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

 Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

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.

American Lung Association

Aprilaire Partners Logged In Homepages | News |

Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

4 minute read

At Aprilaire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why Aprilaire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both Aprilaire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

“I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

“The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

How did Aprilaire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

“Aprilaire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

Since 2020, Aprilaire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, Aprilaire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. Aprilaire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™) and nine Aprilaire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, Aprilaire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

“The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

Aprilaire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

Aprilaire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

“Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, Aprilaire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

“Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

Fight for Healthy Air

At Aprilaire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both Aprilaire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

*Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.