Fresh Air Ventilation

Healthy Air |

FAQs: Aprilaire Fresh Air Ventilation

3 minute read

What is fresh air ventilation and why do I need it?

Ventilation is the term used to describe the process of bringing fresh air into a home. Modern building practices have made homes energy efficient, allowing less natural airflow in and out of the home.

Mechanical ventilation introduces fresh air into the home by way of a controlled, normally closed damper. Bringing in fresh outside air dilutes the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), airborne contaminants, and odors present within the home.

What settings should the controller be set at for my Aprilaire ventilation system?

The settings of the controller should be determined by calculating the amount of ventilation needed in a specific house. This will vary from house to house, due to factors such as region of the country and square footage. Aprilaire’s new controllers (Model 8126X) have a built-in program, whereas older controllers require a formula based on the size of your home and the number of occupants. This should be completed by your Healthy Air Pro.

Do I need to use a transformer for the damper in the Model 8126X?

Yes, the controller does not transfer power over to the vent terminals.

Should I use the Code or the Comfort setting? What’s the difference?

The answer depends on how important proper daily ventilation requirements are to your home’s needs among other factors like how much cooking you do, how often you clean, and the number of occupants.

codE (Code) – No RH limits and any missed ventilation due to the temperature being outside set parameters is made up per ASHRAE code 62.2. This will result in no missed daily ventilation requirements.

cFrt (Comfort) – Adds indoor RH limits to ventilation; ventilation missed due to limits is not made up. This may result in missed daily ventilation requirements.

For changing these settings after installation, consult your owner’s manual or Healthy Air Pro.

What maintenance is needed?

After installation, an Aprilaire ventilation unit that utilizes a filter should be checked and cleaned after three months. After that, the unit should be checked every six months.

What is an ERV and what does it do? Does Aprilaire make a HRV?

There are two types of air exchangers: Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) and Energy (or Enthalpy) Recovery Ventilators (ERVs). Aprilaire currently offers an ERV, which simultaneously moves an equal amount of air out of the home and into the home. The two airstreams never mix but pass each other through an energy transfer core to efficiently maintain temperature and humidity. It is an effective way of way balancing the airflow into and out of the house.

What are the Aprilaire Model 8140 and 8145 Ventilation Systems? What are the differences?

The Model 8140 and 8145 are both powered fresh air ventilators. They have a powered fan, powered damper, and a MERV 6 filter. They are primarily installed in new homes where fresh air ventilation is required by building codes. The 8145 was introduced as a successor to the outgoing 8140.

The 8145 is lighter, more durable, and has a lower CFM compared to the 8140 (210 CFM vs. 250 CFM), which greatly improves the unit’s energy efficiency. The 8145 is recognized as ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2021. The 8145 also allows for easier filter removal and replacement.

Why does the ventilation intake need to be 10 feet away from an exhaust?

A 10-foot separation reduces the likelihood that stale air is drawn back into the home through the fresh air intake. The code requirement for an intake is that it must be 10 feet from any hazardous or noxious contaminants. The most likely qualifying contaminant sources in a house would be plumbing vents and/or combustion exhausts.

 

WHO new air quality guidelines

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The WHO’s New Air Quality Guidelines: By the Numbers

2 minute read

Click play to listen to The WHO’s New Air Quality Guidelines: By the Numbers article. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) released new air quality guidelines in 2021, with the aim of providing people and governments with a better understanding of the impact of air pollution.

The last time these guidelines were updated was in 2005. Since then, there have been large changes in how scientists measure and understand air pollution and its impact on human lives.

Here’s a look at the updated guidelines in six areas of air quality, with the numbers indicating what the WHO views as an acceptable level of exposure:

Air Quality Parameter Common Sources 2021 Guidelines 2005 Guidelines % Change
 

PM2.5, µg/m3 (particulate matter,  diameter equal to or less than 2.5 μm)

Annual exposure

Exhaust from automobiles; burning wood and coal; tobacco smoke; cooking 5 10 -50%
 

PM10, µg/m3 (particulate matter,  diameter equal to or less than 10 μm)

Annual exposure

Dust; fire smoke; sea salt; industrial exhaust 15 20 -40%
 

O3, µg/m3 (ozone)

Peak season exposure (warm weather)

Harmful at ground level; present in smog; exhaust reacting with sunlight 60 N/A New parameter
 

NO2, µg/m3 (nitrogen dioxide)

Annual exposure

Exhaust from automobiles; burning wood and coal; tobacco smoke; cooking 10 40 -75%
 

SO2, µg/m3 (sulfur dioxide)

24-hr exposure

Fossil fuel combustion at power plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities 40 20 +100%
 

CO, mg/m3 (carbon monoxide)

24-hr exposure

Exhaust from automobiles; stoves; grills; lanterns; other heat sources 4 4 Unchanged

 

Global Impact of Air Pollution

These health-based air quality guidelines are meant to help governments create laws and regulations that will reduce the exposure of their citizens to the adverse effects of air pollution.

A 2018 study found that air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for 8.7 million deaths that year around the world. And part of the WHO findings show that while air quality has mostly gotten better in high-income countries, it has generally gotten worse in low- and middle-income countries.

As you’ll notice, most of the parameters have become more strict since the last guidelines were released. This indicates a better understanding of the large impact air pollution can have on health and wellness, and should push laws and regulations toward lowering the levels of these pollutants globally.

In addition to improving life expectancy for people, reducing the main producers of these pollutants (like burning fossil fuels) could also slow the impact of climate change.

Air Quality in Your Home

Voting and purchasing decisions are two areas where you can have a say in lowering air pollution. More directly, you can take steps in your home to ensure you and your family have access to Healthy Air.

The Aprilaire Healthy Air System is a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that provides a blueprint for creating a Healthy Home environment in three key areas: fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control.

1. Fresh air ventilation: Fresh air ventilation removes stale, stagnant air from your home and replaces it with fresh air from the outdoors.

2. Air filtration: Air filtration works with your home’s HVAC system to remove harmful particles like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores from the air circulating in your home.

3. Humidity control: Aprilaire whole-house humidifiers and dehumidifiers keep the humidity level of your home between 40% and 60% for optimal health and comfort.

healthy air solutions

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Guide to Aprilaire Air Purifiers – Healthy Air Solutions to Fit Your Needs

2 minute read

Click play to listen to the Guide to Aprilaire Air Purifiers – Healthy Air Solutions to Fit Your Needs.

Are you and your family breathing the best air possible?

Air quality can vary based on where you live, and each region of the country deals with certain risk factors throughout the year.

Bringing in fresh air from the outdoors is an important part of creating a Healthy Air environment in your home. Crucial to that ventilation process is filtering out pollution and allergens before distributing the air throughout your home.

No matter if you live in a house or an apartment, you want your living space to be filled with fresh, filtered air. And Aprilaire wants to help you get there with our guide to air filtration solutions to fit your lifestyle.

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

Learn More

Aprilaire Whole-Home Air Purifiers

Whole-home air purifiers work behind the scenes to keep the air in your home fresh every day, helping remove dust, pollutants, and odors.

Aprilaire Whole-Home Air Purifiers can be installed as part of your home’s central heating and cooling unit, or specifically in the basement, attic, or closet. To match the amount of space being purified by whole-home units, you’d have to buy multiple single-room units, which can cost more and be less efficient in the long run.

Some whole-home units can even be programmed through your thermostat, giving you the ability to schedule “event-based cleanings” that increase the level of purification when you’re cooking or cleaning or want a quick refresh before having company over.

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

Learn More

Aprilaire Room Air Purifier

If you live in an apartment or any other space where you can’t make permanent changes to the structure, consider adding a room air purifier to keep things fresh.

The Aprilaire Room Air Purifier removes airborne dust, pollen, mold spores, germs, and pollutants, so you can refresh the air in any room of your living space. Plus, the portable design makes it simple to move from room to room.

If you have a whole-home air purification system in your home, you can still benefit from using single room units. They may be helpful in high traffic areas like the living room and kitchen, or in a bedroom to ensure quality air while you sleep.

If you have pets, adding a room air purifier to their areas can help cut down on lingering odors, dander, and hair.

Filter Options

For both whole-home and room air purifiers, you’ll likely have the choice of what filter to use. If possible, you should always opt for MERV 16 air filters, which can trap up to 99%* of asthma and allergy triggers, and 96%* of virus-sized particles.

Aprilaire filters can save you time and money. While traditional air filters need to be changed every 1-3 months, Aprilaire filters are effective for 6-12 months before they need to be replaced.

Check out the Aprilaire Filter Buying Guide to see your options for purifying the air in your home.

 *Contaminants removed based on air passing through the filtering system

American Lung Association

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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.

St. Vincent de Paul

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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.

flights

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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