healthy gardening tips

Environment |

Healthy Gardening Tips for Spring 2021

2 minute read

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Did you pick up a new gardening habit in 2020? You’re not alone. Better Homes & Gardens estimates that more than 20 million Americans started planting for the first time last year.

With a new spring underway, we want to keep you on the right gardening path so you can enjoy all the beautiful colors, sights, and smells of fresh produce and blooming flowers. But keep in mind that all those plants can bring unwanted pests and increased pollen.

Read below to discover some natural and preventative ways of repelling pests, and see how to enjoy a garden without a high pollen count.

Preventing Garden Pests

  • Start with healthy soil for healthy plants that are more resilient against pests
  • Choose resistant varieties that naturally repel pests
  • Attract insects and birds that will benefit your garden and prey on the pests by planting flowers that will meet their needs
  • Planting aromatic herbs like garlic, mint, coriander, yarrow, or lemongrass among or near plants can deter pests. Some of them also help attract the predators that control your pest population
  • Confuse pests by interplanting, or alternating specific crops, herbs, and flowers
  • Floating row covers can keep pests away from young plants until they’re established while still allowing water and light to reach them
  • Don’t scare away ALL the pests. Having a few pests can actually benefit your garden by keeping those beneficial insects and birds around
  • If your “few pests” turns into an outbreak, resist the urge to use pesticides, no matter how organic. Instead, remove the infested plant to stop any spreading

Managing Pollen Counts

  • Choose the right plants if you’re looking to add to your landscape:
    • Flowering plants are typically pollinated by insects instead of wind, so pick plants with bright, fragrant flowers whose pollen is too big to get in the air
    • Native plants are easier to grow compared to non-native plants that are more likely to struggle and therefore release more pollen under distress
    • Go for female trees—often labeled seedless or fruitless—because most pollen comes from male trees
    • Safe choices of trees include apple, dogwood, pear, plum, or magnolia. Safe shrubs include hydrangea, azalea, rhododendron, or boxwood. Safe flowers include daffodils, sunflowers, roses, daisies, or tulips
  • If your yard already contains high-pollen plants or trees, consider having them removed entirely or relocated away from any doors or windows to prevent the pollen from getting inside your home
  • Timing is everything when it comes to pollen counts. Early morning and evening hours are most suitable for gardening when you suffer from allergies
  • Weather also plays a key role. Pollen counts are lower on cool, cloudy, or damp days so check the forecast before heading outside
  • Trim your lawn often to keep it around two inches, which will inhibit seeds. Depending on how sensitive you are to pollen, you might need to ask a friend or family member to mow for you
  • Wear lightweight clothing to keep your arms and legs covered, and wear pollen masks, gardening gloves, and a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from flying pollen
  • After completing your yard work for the day, leave any shoes or gloves outside and shower as soon as possible since your clothing and hair can all carry allergens into your home
asthma

Environment | Healthy Air |

Expert Guidance on Dealing with Asthma

2 minute read

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Being outside during the hot summer months can expose you to asthma triggers like air pollution, excessively humid air, and allergens like pollen.

But with the right plan in place, you and your children won’t have to let asthma concerns prevent you from enjoying time in the sun.

Asthma Guidance Updates

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) regularly analyzes the best available scientific evidence, and then offers guidelines for treating and living with asthma.

In general, the NAEPP recommends that people with asthma should work with their health care providers to develop a comprehensive prevention and treatment plan that includes:

  • Taking prescribed medications
  • Addressing environmental factors that may worsen symptoms
  • Learning how to better manage their asthma
  • Monitoring and adjusting care as needed

In early 2021, the NAEPP released updated guidelines, with a focus on the varying types of medication available to treat asthma in different age groups. You can find more details here, and always make sure to discuss any medication changes with your doctor.

Indoor Allergen Reduction

The panel also recommended strategies for preventing exposure to asthma triggers, with a particular focus on using multiple methods of protection in your indoor environment. They found that singular prevention strategies do not significantly improve asthma outcomes.

For instance, those who are sensitive to dust mites should reduce the allergen by using pillow and mattress covers and vacuuming with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration.

Aprilaire Healthy Air System

Combining multiple protection methods to create an overall Healthy Home environment is at the heart of the Aprilaire Healthy Air System.

It ensures Healthy Air by addressing fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control.

Fresh air ventilation allows your home to inhale fresh outdoor air, and exhale stagnant, polluted indoor air. This helps dilute and remove asthma triggers, especially when you’re cleaning, cooking, and doing any home renovation.

Air filtration makes sure the fresh air that comes into your home is free of allergens and other contaminants that can linger in outdoor air. Invest in Aprilaire MERV 16 air filters for maximum protection.

Humidity control keeps your home between 40-60% to prevent pests, mold, and dried out sinuses that can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Plus, an Aprilaire dehumidifier can help you feel more comfortable during summer heat waves.

When choosing strategies for your home, consider some of the unexpected asthma triggers that may linger in your air. Then talk with an Aprilaire Pro and use these Healthy Air tips to turn your home into a sanctuary for you and your family.

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

Learn More
summer weather 2021

AA Homepage Articles | Environment |

Summer Weather 2021: What’s In Store For Your Region?

2 minute read

 

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Warmer weather is on the way, and as we all spend more time outdoors, Aprilaire wants to make sure you and your family are breathing the best air possible.

Increasing temperatures can bring extreme weather to every area of the United States during the summer. While the initial concerns with things like tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding involve personal safety and protecting property, these events can also lead to worsened air quality concerns that can linger in your area.

Aprilaire made an easy-to-use tool to keep you on top of air quality in your region this summer. Check out State of Your Air, and start by typing in your ZIP code for personalized results. You’ll find important information on what to expect in your area and Aprilaire Indoor Air Quality solutions that you can rely on to create Healthy Air in your home.

The State of Your Air
We’re shining a light on the link between
local weather and air quality.

Learn More

Below are some of the extreme weather events that will arrive in different regions of the country this summer.

Western States

Wildfires

With wildfires becoming more prevalent, smoky skies are nearly an annual event in many western states. During times of heavy smoke, it’s important to keep windows closed and in-home ventilation systems turned off to protect your Indoor Air Quality. Aprilaire whole-home air purifiers and MERV 16 filters can remove fine particles that enter your home during wildfires.

Midwest

Tornadoes

Having a tornado preparedness plan in place, along with listening to any instructions from local authorities, can help keep you and your family safe during a tornado. Once the storm subsides, use your Aprilaire ventilation system, along with an Aprilaire whole-home air purifier and MERV 16 air filter, to reduce indoor air pollution. Check for any water damage in your home–especially the basement and crawl space–and use an Aprilaire dehumidifier to bring your indoor humidity between 40-60% to prevent mold growth.

Coastal Areas

Hurricanes

Though typically short-lived events, hurricanes can have lasting effects on your air quality once the storm ends. Floodwaters and damage from high-speed winds and rain can lead to excess moisture, leaving behind the potential for mold growth. During cleanup, Aprilaire dehumidifiers can help remove moisture from inside your home, limiting mold’s ability to grow and protecting the air you breathe. Aprilaire whole-home air purifiers and proper ventilation can help capture and remove mold spores and other indoor particles like dust, pollen, and viruses that may have been kicked up by high winds.

Coastal Flooding

Floodwaters can negatively impact the air in your home. Floodwaters can carry mold, bacteria, and other chemicals that can make your indoor air unsafe. Even after cleanup, the air may contain harmful substances like carbon monoxide, lead, asbestos, and chemicals from the cleaning products you’re using.

All Regions

Smog

Ground-level ozone (known as smog) is created by power plants, chemical plants, refineries, automobiles, and trains. It tends to sit in heavily populated cities and can lead to various health risks with extended exposure.

Allergies

It can be difficult to keep outdoor allergens from entering your home, especially when things like pollen and ragweed are high during the hot summer months. While it’s almost impossible to control your exposure to outdoor allergens, you can suppress your exposure when indoors. Aprilaire whole-home air purifiers trap up to 99%* of airborne contaminants, including asthma and allergy triggers, to increase your Indoor Air Quality.

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

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.