What is Radon

Healthy Clean Air | Radon |

Everything You Need to Know About Radon

3 minute read

What is radon? It’s a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless gas that is known to impact the health of you and your family if it enters into your home. Radon gas can build up inside homes, workplaces, and even schools. Because it’s odorless and colorless, it isn’t easily detected by smell or look, making it possible for it to unknowingly rise to dangerous levels. With radon being the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, it’s incredibly important to know whether you and your family are being exposed to radon gas. Below, we answer all your radon-related questions.

How Does Radon Gas Form?

Radon comes from uranium present in rock and soil. Eventually, that uranium breaks down and turns into radium, which forms into radon gas.

How Does Radon Get into Your Home?

Being odorless and colorless, radon can be pretty sneaky. It can enter into your home through cracks in walls, basement floors, foundations, and other kinds of openings. It’s rare but in some cases, radon can enter through your home’s water supply or building materials as well.

When radon gets trapped indoors, it can linger in dangerous levels. As it decays, it releases radioactive byproducts, which can enter into your lungs as you breathe and increase your risk of lung cancer and other serious health complications.

How Do You Know If There’s Radon in Your Home?

It can definitely be hard to detect since you can’t experience it by smell or sight. Health-related symptoms are a key sign that you’ve had radon gas exposure. If you experience possible signs or symptoms of lung cancer, it’s possible that you’ve been exposed to radon and should immediately contact your doctor. These symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • New or worsening cough
  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Hoarseness
  • Trouble swallowing

Another way to know (and the best way to find out) if there’s radon in your home is to test for it. There are plenty of testing options and they’re generally inexpensive, costing about the same as other common home repairs. Some options include:

  • DIY, At-Home Tests: These tests can take anywhere from two to seven days to measure your home’s exposure. Other, more detailed tests can take anywhere from three months to one year. All you have to do is follow the instructions and send the results back to a lab which will test your sample for present radon.
  • Professional Tests: A certified radon professional can come to your home and test for radon, which is the recommended route. Professional tests can not only be more accurate, but can give you the peace of mind that your findings are conclusive and in good hands.

It’s important for your home’s radon levels to be as low as possible. If in your own testing efforts, or with a professional’s test, you find a spike in your levels, remediation is necessary to lessen your exposure to this harmful gas.

AprilAire Short-Term Radon Test Kits provide reliability, convenience, and peace of mind—order yours today.

What Remediation Options Are There?

If your findings show that your radon gas levels are high, you must look into remediation. Good news: Radon remediation systems can reduce your levels up to 99%, making them incredibly effective. The most popular, and widely used, remediation method is a vent pipe and fan. With this system, it’s necessary to seal all cracks on your home’s exterior or foundation in order to keep radon at bay. This combination traps radon gas and vents it to the outside of your home so it doesn’t enter your indoor air. Learn more about AprilAire radon mitigation solutions.

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Other remediation methods include making sure you’re using radon-resistant materials around your house, like gravel and crack sealing, to reduce future exposure. If you’re starting a new home project, it’s best to use these methods for radon remediation.

Curious how much these methods actually cost? Learn more about potential radon remediation costs.

Clean air is Healthy Air, pure and simple. Ensuring your home is filled with Healthy Air will put your mind at ease and keep your family safe. Get started with Healthy Air today with help from a Healthy Air Professional in your area.

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Radon Control Professional

Radon |

Real Talk with an AprilAire Radon Control Professional

3 minute read

Whether you’re thinking of moving, settling into a new house, or enjoying your longtime home, radon testing and mitigation are not something you should neglect. Over 30 states across the country have elevated average levels of radon, but no matter where you live, it’s important to incorporate annual testing into your home maintenance routine.

If all this sounds confusing to you, no worries! That’s why our AprilAire Radon Control Professionals are ready to help, like Marcus Nelson, President & CEO of Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. He’s here to answer some important questions about the entire process so you can stress less!

Thank you for speaking with us, Marcus. Can you start by telling us about yourself, your responsibilities at Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc., and what your business does for the community?

“I’m currently the president and CEO of Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. and I’ve been working here for over 15 years, but Harker has been around since 1949. As the president and CEO, I oversee the day-to-day business operations.

Harker is a medium-sized HVAC company that currently has 50 trucks servicing all of Dane County, Wisconsin. We work in both residential and commercial buildings providing HVAC maintenance emergency service, HVAC equipment replacements, water heater and softener replacements, and radon mitigation. We’ve been working with and selling and installing AprilAire products for almost 30 years.”

At AprilAire, we recommend testing for radon annually. Can you tell us about the importance of ongoing testing and monitoring for radon?

“It’s one of those things that people think about when they’re buying a new house but then forget about and never revisit. I like to think of it as people that have a well are supposed to get their water tested annually. The same actually is true about radon. It can fluctuate over time, so it’s good to monitor any changes.

They say levels above 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) is considered hazardous. When my wife and I built our home back in 2019, we actually tested for radon when it was done. The levels came back over 12 pCi/L, which is three times higher than the hazardous level. And if you’re exposed to high levels of radon for an extended period of time, it can lead to lung cancer. Radon gas is the #1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

My wife said, ‘We shouldn’t move into the house.’ But since we had worked so hard on it, I knew that wasn’t the right plan. I got a radon fan installed to mitigate the radon levels, and when we retested, the levels came back below 1 pCi/L.”

radon-control-infographic

Use this radon control infographic to properly use an AprilAire Short-Term Radon Test Kit.

If radon levels are high, homeowners will want to seek out mitigation services. Can you tell us how mitigation works and what the process looks like for your customers?

“We send out our radon professionals to meet with the homeowner and look at the basement, or the lowest livable space in the home where the test would be placed. Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is install a fan, either outside the home or in the attic and pipe it down below the slab of the house. That fan draws the radon gases that build up underneath the house up and out. The pipe discharges above the roof line so radon can rise away. From getting the test results to installation, the whole process takes around one to two weeks, with installation usually taking just one day.

Even with a fan installed, we like to remind customers about radon testing when they have us out either to do the furnace or the A/C. It’s still important to make sure that the fan is continuing to run properly.”

Put Radon Control on Your Radar

To get started on your own, simply order an AprilAire Short-Term Radon Test Kit for your home. Or, if you would prefer the help of an AprilAire Radon Control Professional like Marcus, find a pro near you today.

 

what realtors should know about radon

Radon |

Everything Real Estate Professionals Should Know About Radon

2 minute read

As real estate professionals, you know better than anyone that the homebuying process can be stressful and confusing for homebuyers and sellers. You can alleviate some of this stress while helping ensure your clients have a safe and Healthy Home by offering guidance on radon testing as they work toward sealing the deal. We outlined some frequently asked questions about radon testing and mitigation that can help you and your client get through the homebuying process with ease.

What is Radon?

You’re probably familiar with the dangers of radon, but your clients might not be. Radon is a radioactive, odorless, colorless gas that can enter the home through cracks in the foundation. Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and can become harmful even in relatively small amounts. This is why testing and mitigation are so important!

Is Testing for Radon Required?

Thirty-seven states across the country require radon testing before a real estate transaction can be finalized. While the remaining 13 states may not require disclosure of radon levels, it’s always a good idea to have the home tested for peace of mind.

How Should My Clients Go About Testing?

Thanks to the experts at AprilAire, the testing process could not be easier! Your client can purchase their AprilAire Short-Term Radon Test Kit online. The kit includes easy-to-follow instructions for set up and your clients’ local AprilAire Radon Control Professional can help with walking them through the fast, easy, and reliable process if assistance is needed.

AprilAire’s short-term radon tests are deployed for 3–7 days in the home and then sent to a third party for analysis.

Radon Levels Are High and Mitigation is Needed, Now What?

If your test results come back high, there’s no need to panic! As the only company that services radon control solutions as well as additional Healthy Air solutions, AprilAire has trained reliable and trustworthy specialists to help your clients breathe easy. Each AprilAire Radon Control Professional goes through forty hours of classwork to get certified in radon mitigation, meaning your clients are in good hands.

To get started, it’s as easy as visiting aprilaire.com, purchasing a test kit, and then finding a professional if mitigation is needed.

Seal the Deal with AprilAire

Make sure your clients are as educated as possible about the importance of radon testing. Keeping homebuyers and their families happy and healthy in their new homes starts with Healthy Air. Help them breathe easy by having them purchase a test kit before they sign on the dotted line.

Interview with the American Lung Association

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages |

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.

2021 Good Neighbor Values

AA Homepage Articles |

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.

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Healthy Home |

What Causes Static Shocks in the Winter?

2 minute read

 

As soon as the temperatures drop, the snow starts falling, and the furnace kicks in, you may start noticing a lot more static shocks as you move around your home. Why are static shocks so common in the wintertime?

Let’s review some common sources of static shocks this time of year, and find out how to avoid them.

Dry Air

Humidity level is the biggest factor when it comes to static shocks. Dry air is a conduit for those painful zaps because it doesn’t allow electric charges to dissipate and find balance in the same way moist air does. This causes some items to gain a positive charge, leading to a sudden transfer when they come into contact with negatively charged items.

To offset the prevalence of static shocks during dry, cold weather, you can maintain a balanced humidity level in your home between 40–60%. This will allow electrons to harmlessly move to the moisture in the air, rather than sit on surfaces, waiting to shock you when they transfer rapidly.

As a bonus, balanced humidity can also reduce your energy costs in the winter by making your home feel warmer at lower temperatures.

Clothing Materials

Certain fabrics are more likely to have a negative charge and lead to static shocks. Wool, nylon, and polyester clothing are the most susceptible. For instance, you may notice a static shock when putting on a wool winter hat.

Additionally, rubber-soled shoes will contribute to the buildup of electricity as you move across things like carpeting. This is less of a problem with leather-soled shoes.

Clothes Dryer

Dryer sheets have anti-static properties that reduce the likelihood of clothes sticking together in the dryer, and of clothes creating a static shock when you touch and wear them. You can also rub dryer sheets on areas where you often feel a static shock, like door handles or the metal parts of your vehicle.

Around Gas Pumps

In general, static shocks aren’t dangerous even though they’re uncomfortable. The only sites where they could pose a serious problem are at the gas pump or near other flammable areas. Because of this, the American Petroleum Institute recommends touching your metal door to release any static charge before touching the gas nozzle.