seasonal guide to home projects

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The Seasonal Guide to Home Projects & Renovations

4 minute read

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Looking around your home, are there some things you’d change? You probably wish there was a button you could push to finish all those little projects and big renovations in an instant. But timing is everything. So, until that magic button exists, the easiest way to tackle all your to-dos is to make a seasonal guide to home projects. This is necessary for some projects, like outdoor modifications, and it also helps you pace the projects throughout the year to make each one achievable.

You can even try to time certain renovations during the least busy times of the year for contractors, plumbers, etc. This ensures your work gets done on time, and could even save you a bit on costs.

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Seasonal Guide to Home Projects

Winter

Additions

Looking to add on to the garage, or extend the back of your home? It’s typically better to dig new foundations and pour concrete when the ground is frozen and the air is dry, compared to mud and humidity. When precipitation comes, the worksite can be covered.

Redecorate

You’re going to be inside most of the winter, so why not take the time to overhaul your interior décor? With many retailers offering free fabric and color samples plus fast home delivery, it’s easier than ever to refresh the look and feel of your home without stepping a foot outside.

Declutter

Being home during the winter months can give you a better idea of what you need and don’t need around the house. After adding in new holiday gifts, it’s the perfect time to clear out old clutter by donating or trying to sell things you’re ready to say goodbye to. This practice can also help you keep a cleaner home.

Spring

New Windows

Beat the summertime rush for window replacements by scheduling yours for late spring, when rogue precipitation is less likely. Depending on the area you live, you could get them done faster and at a better price point during this time.

New Flooring

Depending on the type of flooring you’re installing, humidity and temperature can have a large impact. Spring offers a good balance of moderate humidity and tolerable temperatures, decreasing the likelihood of warping and cracking for your new flooring.

Paint

Late spring or early summer is the perfect time to paint. It’s not too cold or too hot outside to open windows and ventilate the paint fumes. Plus, the longer daylight hours will let you see your new colors in natural lighting.

Summer

Fireplace Maintenance

Take some time during late summer to check out your indoor fireplace. For wood fireplaces, clean them out thoroughly, check the chimney, and start stocking up on wood. Consider having a trained technician look at any gas and electric fireplaces to ensure safety and efficiency.

Heater/Furnace Cleaning

Stay ahead of the curve by getting your heating system cleaned and checked out before the fall, when most others scramble to get theirs up and running. Most professionals will be flexible in the summer, and this leaves you enough time before the cold weather arrives if any large changes are necessary.

Kitchen Refresh

Summer weather offers more opportunities to grill outside or eat away from home while you’re out enjoying the long, sunny days. That makes this a good time of year to swap out old appliances, or change the tile, flooring, and countertops.

Fall

Water Panel Replacement

Dry, winter air is tough on your health and your home. You can help combat these issues by replacing the water panel in your Aprilaire whole-home humidifier. Over time, water panels can get clogged with particulates, putting more stress on the heating and air conditioning units. An annual replacement is best, helping maintain proper Indoor Air Quality and increasing your energy savings.

Lawn Care

Raking up old leaves is just the start. The fall gives you the chance to ensure the long-term health of your lawn and plants with a few straightforward tasks. Start by aerating your lawn and garden beds to prevent oxygen deprivation in the winter. Then fertilize and winterize your gardens, small trees, and shrubs to ensure they’ll around come spring. These can make for fun family projects, or professionals can typically handle them all in a day or two.

Switch Ceiling Fans

Here’s an easy project to save some energy costs and keep you warmer in the cold months. When the temperatures start to drop, you should change your ceiling fans to turn clockwise so they push hot air back down into your living areas.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Don’t wait until the following summer to get your AC fully inspected. By cleaning and inspecting once the weather cools down, you can make sure the system wasn’t overtaxed during the summer, prepare for the winter season, and get it ready to go for the next time it’s needed.

All Year

Healthy Air

No matter what the weather is like outside, it’s important to prioritize Indoor Air Quality in your home. Aprilaire air filters should typically be replaced every six to 12 months, saving you time and money compared to traditional 1-inch filters, which need to be replaced every one to three months. It’s also a good idea to have a professional check out your ventilation and filtering systems once a year.

Air filtration is just one part of the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™. When building and maintaining your home, consider fresh air ventilation, air purification, and humidity control to create a Healthy Home for you and your family.

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Use Aprilaire’s Find A Pro resource to contact experts in your area.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

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what is dust

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

What Is Dust Made Of? And How To Manage It For A Clean Home

2 minute read

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Anywhere you look around your home, you’re bound to see dust. From the coffee table in the living room to the shelves in your bedroom, all home surfaces require some regular cleaning to get rid of dust and the allergies often associated with it.

But beyond being unsightly, what is dust exactly? And what are the risks of an unmanaged dust problem in your home?

What Is Dust?

Dust is commonly made up of the following (skip this section if you’re a bit squeamish):

  • Dead skin cells
  • Hair from humans and pets
  • Clothing fibers
  • Dust mites
  • Soil particles
  • Pollen
  • Microscopic specks of plastic

Additionally, all of these particles can also serve as hosts for other harmful things like air pollutants, bacteria, chemicals, and metals. These substances attach themselves to dust particles, which can make it easier for them to be inhaled.

Dangers Of Dust Inhalation

It’s not just an eyesore—dust can also be harmful to your health in large quantities. Here’s why:

Airways can filter out many of the harmful substances from the air we breathe, and lungs are self-cleaning organs that can heal once they’re no longer exposed to pollutants.

But if the body is constantly breathing in dust, it can add up to serious problems down the road. That problem has been seen for years in workers who are consistently exposed to dust. Pneumoconiosis is a lung disease that affects millions of people who work in dusty conditions that aren’t properly ventilated. It’s typically caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, silica dust, or coal mine dust.

But you can be impacted by dust even if you don’t work around it every day. Signs of excessive short-term dust inhalation include shortness of breath, coughing more than usual, and excess mucus. Over the long term, this can lead to inflammation, scarring, and one of several lung diseases. Dust inhalation can also exacerbate existing conditions like COPD and asthma.

How To Reduce Dust In Your Home

Now that many people are spending more time at home than ever before, it’s important to ensure the air you breathe there is as healthy as possible. Here are some strategies to consider:

House Rules

Dust accumulates faster when more particles are brought in from the outdoors. Try removing shoes before coming in the house, or have a rug for people to brush off their shoes with. You can also make sure windows and doors are sealed properly, to avoid small holes where dust can enter.

Vacuum Regularly

A good rule of thumb is to vacuum all floors once a week. You can increase the frequency in high-traffic areas like the entryway and living room. Some homes could benefit from a robotic vacuum that automatically takes care of cleaning on a regular schedule.

Air Filtration

In addition to removing things like viruses and pollen, air filtration systems will make a huge difference in dust accumulation in your home. By filtering the air that’s entering and removing stale air, an Aprilaire ventilation system with air filters can noticeably reduce the amount of dust and help prevent allergy triggers. Use an Aprilaire MERV 16 filter for maximum performance in your home.

coloring book

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Healthy Air Education: Coloring Your Way to a Healthy Home

2 minute read

At Aprilaire, we’re always finding new ways to give back to our community and educate about the importance of bringing Healthy Air into our lives and homes. But, this time, we’re working to engage the young minds of tomorrow in a fun new way.

Here at Aprilaire, we’re not just committed to filling your home with Healthy Air or helping you and your family live happily and safely inside your Healthy Home for years to come. We’re good neighbors to our core, and our work throughout communities across the United States — thanks to the help of our Healthy Air Heroes — is a testament to this company-wide value. From volunteering locally to promoting the importance of Healthy Air at nationwide events, being a good neighbor means more to us than just the traditional definition.

Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Approach

With that in mind, we’re always looking for new ways to give back to our community and educate about the importance of bringing Healthy Air into our lives and homes, including engaging the young minds of tomorrow. And this time, we had a really colorful idea! To show our commitment to education and being a good neighbor, our pros will be sharing our Aprilaire Healthy Air Coloring Book with kids across the country.

During installs, consultations, and more, you’ll receive a fun coloring book featuring our iconic polar bear illustrations and insightful Healthy Air-focused storytelling. Your kids can learn all about our Healthy Air solutions for each season and, more importantly, help us bring it to life with their creativity! The best part? This resource will also make parents feel good.

The Creative Benefits of Healthy Air

Did you know that, in addition to the many benefits of Healthy Air, good Indoor Air Quality can help improve focus and concentration, especially in kids? During virtual schooling or nightly homework sessions, it’s important that children work in an environment that fosters learning and creativity in order to help them reach their full potential. This coloring book can help exercise their young brains and teach them about how Healthy Air positively impacts their mind and body at the same time. A win-win!

Ultimately, the air we breathe matters to our own health, the health of our families, and the health of our communities. In shining a light on the impact air has on our health and well-being, we can shape the next generation and inspire them to carry this important vision forward. Because everyone deserves to breathe the fullness of life.

Let’s Get Started!

So, are you ready to take the first step? Find a Healthy Air Hero in your community today to learn more about Aprilaire’s Indoor Air Quality solutions and how your family (and home) can benefit from better, healthier air.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

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Download Our Coloring Book!

Can’t wait to get your kids excited about Healthy Air? Download these coloring pages now and they’ll be Healthy Air experts before you know it!

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
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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.