variants

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

Mechanical Ventilation and Vaccinations Recommended Against Variants

2 minute read

While it may feel to some like the war against COVID-19 is over, the Delta variant is spreading through both vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. Subsequently, there are other variants being monitored by the World Health Organization. As pharmaceutical companies and health officials try to stay ahead of these variants, mechanical ventilation can serve as a trusted and effective solution since we spend 90% of our lives indoors. 

Ventilation Emerges As A Solution Against Variants

Throughout the last one and a half years, the HVAC industry has continued to work in tandem with major health organizations and prominent health scientists to showcase the benefits of Indoor Air Quality. COVID-19 made the invisible visible and accelerated the need for more research and data about the benefits of better indoor air especially as it relates to our workspaces, schools, homes, and the symphony

Prestigious Organizations Recommend Ventilation and Vaccinations

Several engineers and health scientists make the case for ventilation and air filtration in this Scientific American article

According to a recent Nature article, bringing up ventilation levels to the recommended amount “had the same mitigating effect as a vaccination coverage of 50% to 60%.”

Ventilation and vaccinations are also recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the risk factor of airborne viruses

How Mechanical Ventilation Works

Mechanical ventilation works by pulling in freshly filtered air from the outside while moving stagnant indoor air out. It filters the outdoor air, balances its humidity, and dilutes indoor air of other contaminants like dust, seasonal allergies, mold, volatile organic compounds, and odor. These contaminants can leave you and your family feeling ill and fatigued, and contribute to sleep issues. 

Aprilaire Healthy Air System™

For effective year-round virus protection, the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ combines fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control. This award-winning, whole-home system captures, dilutes, and rids the air of airborne viruses, variants included, to keep you and your family safe. Our American-made system comes equipped with a 5-year warranty to keep your all-purpose investment protected. 

Additionally, the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ can help protect your home from pests, wood warping and rotting, and wasted energy. If left unaddressed, these could lead to high energy bills, expensive repairs to your HVAC system, and even replacements.

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

Learn More

Breathe The Fullness of Life with Aprilaire Healthy Air Pros

To Breathe the Fullness of Life with Aprilaire and get Aprilaire Indoor Air Quality solutions inside your home, contact a local Healthy Air Pro.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

Note: Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne diseases. They can help in the reduction of airborne virus particles indoors. Continue to follow guidance from local public health officials, the CDC, and the World Health Organization about indoor and outdoor public gatherings. 

asthma

Environment | Healthy Air |

Expert Guidance on Dealing with Asthma

2 minute read

Click to play to listen to the Expert Guidance on Dealing with Asthma article

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.

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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


Click the play button to listen to the article.

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.

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