spread of viruses

Healthy Humidity |

The Relationship Between Dry Air and the Spread of Viruses

3 minute read

Dry air is an unpleasant and unavoidable part of the wintertime. It’s caused as the temperatures drop and moisture in the air becomes sparse. And just like excess moisture that lingers in the air during the warmer months, dry air too can impact your home, belongings, and health.

Speaking of health, we’re always looking for ways to stay healthy and safe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, throughout the incoming flu season, and every day in between. With kids going back to school and parents returning to work—plus, all of us staying inside more due to the changing weather—it’s become increasingly important to prioritize your home’s Indoor Air Quality to keep your family healthy throughout the season.

Did you know that there’s a strong relationship between dry air and the spread of viruses? Spoiler: It’s not a good one! So, let’s start with combatting the dry air in our home and reap the benefits of what comes after.

Healthy Humidity Plays a Key Role in Wellness
Breathe Healthy Air no matter when or where.

Learn More

Where Does Dry Air Come From?

Dry air is created as the temperature outside begins to drop and loses its moisture. And, as we’ve come to discover, what happens outside can also happen inside. Do you ever notice that you experience certain health-related symptoms during the wintertime, like sore throat or skin irritation? That’s a result of dry air. Our bodies need moisture to lubricate our airways and without the desired amount of humidity in our home’s air, we experience unwanted symptoms and can even get sick with viruses.

How Can Dry Air Impact Your Health?

As previously mentioned, dry air is known to negatively impact your health. Not only is it a nuisance that can persistently dry your airways and cause unwanted health symptoms, but studies show it can also have a big impact on the spread of viruses in your home’s air.

Typical Symptoms of Dry Air

Dry air is known to cause symptoms like:

  • Bloody nose
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Cracked skin
  • Certain illnesses (considering dry air can increase your risk of getting sick)

Dry air in your home can actually increase your chances of catching viruses, which is especially unsettling during flu season as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on around us.

Dry Air and the Spread of Viruses

Viruses are more likely to spread when your air is too dry or too moist and studies show that your home’s Relative Humidity (the amount of water vapor present in the air) can strongly influence how viruses spread while indoors. It’s true, in low-humidity environments, your immune system defenses may be lowered and therefore, can cause you to be more susceptible to viruses and other illnesses.

Overall, to help prevent the proliferation of viruses in your home, it’s important to keep your home’s humidity between 30-60 percent. Doing this will help you combat the harmful impact of dry air and ensure your family is safe at home this winter.

Ways to Combat Dry Air

Forget those winter humidity myths! Combatting dry air starts with an Aprilaire whole-home humidifier. Proper humidity control can reduce the transmission of viruses and minimize virus survival rates in your home. With an Aprilaire humidifier, you can combat the dry air that can make you sick. Plus, humidifiers can help you save energy as they make your home feel warmer by adding moisture back into the air – this means you spend less time heating your home in the winter!

Healthy Humidity plays a key role in our overall wellness. And with the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ (made up of humidity control, fresh air ventilation, and air purification solutions), we can help keep you and your family happy, healthy, and more comfortable in your home for years to come. Get started today by finding a Healthy Air Professional in your area.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

Breathe the Fullness of Life

Healthy Humidity |

Breathe the Fullness of Life: Healthy Humidity Edition

3 minute read

What Breathing the Fullness of Life Can Mean for You

Aprilaire knows that Healthy Air shapes all aspects of our lives. It plays a key role in our wellness, while also bringing us everyday, practical benefits. Combined, Healthy Air can help us create the perfect balance in our worlds, proving the air we breathe truly matters. Speaking of balance, let’s explore how Healthy Humidity in your home can benefit you, your family, and your community.

What is Healthy Humidity?

Most people probably think it’s the temperature in their homes that dictates comfort and air quality. While this is true, humidity also plays an important role in how safe and energy efficient the entire home is. At Aprilaire, we believe keeping your home’s humidity in the Healthy Humidity Zone (between 40% and 60%) will lead to a number of benefits, both in your everyday life and in the larger scope.

The Potential to Live Better

Sleep Better

It’s no secret that high humidity can be really uncomfortable, especially when we sleep. But it’s not just feeling uncomfortable lying in bed. High humidity levels can actually increase the number of times we wake up, which can reduce the amount of deep, restful sleep we get. That deep REM sleep is important for bodily recovery and memory.

Lower Your Stress Levels

We all want to lower our stress levels, but sometimes it’s not just our daily tasks and responsibilities that cause our stress. When we are exposed to great heat or humidity, our body systems find it harder to function and compensate. Overheating can cause weakness, headaches, and dizziness. Maintaining balanced humidity is an easy way to help keep stress levels down, both physical and mental, and keep us functioning at our best!

Even Fight Illness!

Here’s a fun fact: Studies have shown that flu viruses thrive in dry air environments. Other viruses, molds, and pollutants tend to like either excessively dry or damp conditions as well. Humans, on the other hand, are most comfortable and healthy in a nice, sweet spot between 40% and 60%. Keeping your air balanced is not only best for you but will keep you safe from various airborne illnesses that thrive in extreme environments.

The Power of Practical Science

Enjoy Energy Savings

If you notice your energy costs are higher than they should be, it might be because your air is not being cared for properly. Having balanced humidity prevents your air conditioner or furnace from working overtime, thus saving you money on future energy costs.

Increase the Value of Your Home

Owning a home is an investment, and one day you might want to cash in on that investment. If you’re not focusing on the air in your home, it could be causing damage that you aren’t seeing until it’s too late. Dry air can lead to cracked wood, while damp air contributes to harmful mold growth and pests. Having proper humidity keeps your home safe and can help you in the long run.

Even Help Save the Planet with ENERGY STAR®!

Wouldn’t it be great to know that the choices you make have a greater impact on the environment? Aprilaire has worked on creating cost AND energy-efficient products and has received certifications from ENERGY STAR®, the nation’s leading innovation and energy efficiency expert. Our new e-series™ Dehumidifiers, recognized as ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2021, have increased energy efficiency and removal capacity without sacrificing ease of install or their wide variety of install applications.

Connect with a Healthy Air Hero for the Full Benefits Today!

 At Aprilaire, we want you to breathe Healthy Air in your home every day to help you realize the benefits of better health, less stress, and greater cost and energy savings. Healthy Humidity is a great place to start, but be sure to check out all of our whole-home solutions and systems designed to manage air purity, fresh air supply, and more. Find an Aprilaire Healthy Air Pro near you, because everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life.

outdoor workouts

Aprilaire Partners Logged In Homepages | Wellness |

Indoor vs. Outdoor Workouts – Air Quality and Exercise

2 minute read

Click play to listen to the article.

Long, sunny days are more inviting than ever following a year-plus spent mostly indoors. Biking, hiking, sports, and trips to the beach are refreshing ways to get in some exercise this summer.

Whether you’re exercising to get in shape, relieve stress, or do something fun with the whole family, it’s important to prioritize a Healthy Air environment for your workout.

Here’s how to ensure optimal air quality while you crush your workout outdoors and indoors.

Outdoor Workouts

We’re all for getting outside as much as possible this summer. But keep in mind that air quality can suffer in the warmer seasons because of increased traffic pollution and pollen counts.

The hottest part of the day is typically from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., so try to do your workout before or after this time slot to avoid heat exhaustion

Check the allergen counts in your area, especially if you have asthma. When they’re high, find a way to work out indoors

Avoid areas with lots of traffic. If you live in a city, it can be hard to find an area away from cars and planes. Search out designated green spaces in your area to avoid the worst sources of pollution

While we appear to have reached a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic, those who are unvaccinated or at high risk of complications may choose to avoid crowded parks or group exercise classes.

Indoor Workouts

Because the outdoor air can be unpredictable, it’s important to have a gameplan for working out indoors this summer. Indoor workouts offer the ability to control the air environment and ensure you’re breathing Healthy Air all summer long.

Aprilaire Fresh Air Ventilation: Seek out a well-ventilated space to replace the stale indoor air with fresh air from outside. This is especially important with the increased inhalation/exhalation that comes with exercise

It’s Time to Start Fresh
Turn your home into a safe haven.

Learn More

Aprilaire Air Filtration: Because you’re trying to avoid outdoor contaminants, make sure you’re filtering the air that’s coming into your home. If your air purification system has custom controls, you can schedule a “cleaning event” for before and after your workout

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

Learn More

Aprilaire Humidity Control: Your sweat session is bound to add some humidity to your indoor air environment. For maximum comfort, keep the humidity level between 40-60%. Plus, an Aprilaire whole-home dehumidifier can relieve some of the burden on your air conditioner during heat waves

Healthy Humidity Plays a Key Role in Wellness
Breathe Healthy Air no matter when or where.

Learn More

If you don’t have much free space or workout equipment available, try some of these simple exercises that use common household items like: tricep dips with a chair, using a detergent bottle as a kettlebell, and door frame burpees

St. Vincent de Paul

AA Homepage Articles | News |

2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

2 minute read

Click the play button to listen to the post

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.

flights

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

2 minute read

Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer