HVAC Maintenance & Humidity with TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

4 minute read

We all know how harsh winter air can be. While you may think your indoor air is ready to keep you safe in the coming season, do you know if your humidity is properly taken care of? We talked to Brian Sloan, president of TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, to get the facts and shed some light on the benefits of Healthy Humidity with AprilAire whole-house humidifiers for your home and HVAC maintenance.

Thank you for talking to us, Brian. Can you start by telling us about TR Miller? Where in the U.S. do you provide service? How long have you been in business, and when did you start working with AprilAire?

“We are a family-owned and operated company located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago in Plainfield, IL. TR Miller focuses on home services in heating, cooling, and plumbing. I’m the president here at TR Miller and we’ve been partnered with AprilAire since 2009 when my dad founded the company.

We really focus on getting to know our customers and their needs. Once we have a good understanding of what our customers are looking for, we provide solutions customized for them.”

Winter is quickly approaching. While many homeowners want to prepare by keeping their homes warm and comfortable, they may not think so much about humidity. Can you explain the importance of balanced humidity in the home?

“Keeping year-round balanced humidity in your home is key to both your health and your home’s health. As the season transitions to winter, our customers start to run their furnaces. As they do this, it starts to dry the house out. This is why we love the AprilAire whole-house humidifier. The automatic control allows the homeowner to ‘set it and forget it.’ Once it’s set to the desired relative humidity, the humidifier keeps both the customer and the home healthy.”

At AprilAire, we recommend that humidity in the home is kept between 40–60% year-round. How would you define Healthy Humidity and why is it important for human health and home protection?

“From a measurable sense, Healthy Humidity is between 40% and 60%. If your humidity is too low, you’ll be more prone to sickness, your skin will be dry, and your house’s wood flooring and furniture will be more likely to crack from drying out. On the other hand, if your home has too much humidity you might start to see bacteria grow and condensation build up on your windows.”

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Lots of customers have questions about HVAC Maintenance. Can you talk about what proper upkeep should look like and how customers can get ahead of it?

“Proper upkeep really starts at the installation. You want to make sure your furnace, air conditioner, and Indoor Air Quality products are installed correctly. After that, manufacturers recommend having your HVAC system checked annually. At TR Miller, we actually offer a membership plan where we come out twice a year and maintain our customers’ furnace and air conditioning system. We call our maintenance plan members to schedule their appointments to make sure they’re never forgotten.

Maintenance is about inspecting the equipment to make sure it’s working correctly, performing preventative repairs and cleanings, and most importantly making sure the filters are changed. A lot of our customers upgrade to the AprilAire 1210 Air Filter which is great because it’s low maintenance and has a longer life span than a 1” filter. The investment in your equipment and the air you breathe is significant, which is why it’s important to stay on top of it.”

Ignoring your HVAC Maintenance can have consequences on the home and the wallet. What is the true cost of not upgrading to a reliable system and maintaining Healthy Air indoors?

“Most customers try to get 20+ years out of their equipment. Is it possible? Sometimes. However, it’s all the hidden costs they’re missing. Heating, cooling, and air quality products have come a long way in the last 10 years. By not upgrading your equipment you start to see recurring high repair bills, increase in energy consumption, and a lack of proper Indoor Air Quality.

Nowadays, when you upgrade, you are both dodging increasing repair bills and saving money on monthly energy costs. Also, there are some amazing add-on products out there to make your home more comfortable. You have everything from ultra-violet systems for bacteria and mold, humidification products, and air filtration solutions. There are a lot of great new innovations to make your home cozier.”

Lastly, do you have any tips for new homeowners who may not know how to care for their indoor air?

“One tip I have for new homeowners would be to focus on getting comfortable in your home. I’d first have the furnace and air conditioner inspected and make sure you’re all set for the hot summers and the cold winters in the first year or two. You want to make sure there are no unexpected repairs. Not every home inspector specializes in furnaces and air conditioners and can miss something that a trained technician would notice.

The second thing I would do is wait 6–12 months after the inspection and start to write down things you notice in your home. Are there hot or cold spots? Is it too dry in the winter, or too humid in the summer? After about 6 months, if you notice anything you want to address, talk to the technician at your next scheduled inspection. See what solutions their company offers, and if you see a solution that makes sense, proceed with it.”

Make Healthy Humidity a Priority

Healthy Humidity plays a key role in overall air quality, personal wellness, and the protection of your home. Making sure your HVAC system is in good shape is the first step in maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Take it from the experts and get the facts. Are you ready to take the next step and learn more about the benefits of Healthy Humidity with AprilAire humidifiers in your home this winter? One of AprilAire’s Healthy Air Heroes can help! Find a certified AprilAire Healthy Air Professional in your area today!

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Healthy Air |

AprilAire Showcases at IBS 2023

3 minute read

 

Meet AprilAire at the International Builders’ Show 2023! We offer the most complete line of Indoor Air Quality solutions, providing proven performance and reliability as well as a localized, dedicated support team (including national distribution, nationwide sales force, and in-house technical and customer support) to meet builders’ needs.

From January 31st–February 2nd, tens of thousands of professionals in the building and construction industry will descend on Las Vegas for the International Builders’ Show (IBS), which will feature over 1,300 exhibitors and hundreds of educational sessions.

AprilAire is proud to be an exhibitor at this year’s show. We’ll be showcasing several innovative additions to the AprilAire Healthy Air System®, which is our all-in-one solution that provides fresh air ventilation, air filtration, humidity control, zoning control, radon mitigation, and more to address all aspects of Indoor Air Quality.

We’ll also have information on our established, nationwide network of distributors and our reliable in-house technical and customer support.

If you’re a professional in the residential or light commercial construction industry and are planning to attend IBS 2023, stop by and say hello to our knowledgeable team members at Booth C7908.

Below is a short preview of what AprilAire has in store, with much more to see in person. If you’re a homeowner and not attending the show but want to learn how you can improve the air in your home, read on below for the latest in Indoor Air Quality solutions from AprilAire.

AprilAire Ventilating Dehumidifier

AprilAire dehumidifiers balance your home’s humidity by reducing mold- and mildew-causing moisture, keeping you protected against the harmful effects of allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as airborne viruses.

The Ventilating Dehumidifier (Models E100V + 8190FF) brings in fresh air to meet ventilation needs while removing excess humidity from the incoming outdoor air. This solution combines our ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2022 dehumidifier with best-in-class ventilation. Fresh air is brought in whenever the HVAC system or dehumidifier is running to meet that need. If the required time is not met through these run cycles, the AprilAire Ventilating Dehumidifier will bring in fresh air and remove any excess humidity.

AprilAire Model 8145 and 8144NC Fresh Air Ventilators

AprilAire ventilation systems help create Healthy Air in the home by bringing in fresh air from the outside to dilute trapped airborne contaminants like allergens, chemicals, viruses, and bacteria. They also push out trapped, humid air to help improve indoor comfort and health.

Beyond the benefits to the health of your environment, these fresh air ventilators are also optimized for energy efficiency. Both units were awarded ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2022.

AprilAire Sensors and Monitoring

Knowing the performance of your Healthy Air solutions gives you confidence in the health of your home environment. AprilAire products have sensors for temperature, relative humidity, radon, and the operational health of your systems.

Our recent partnership with Airthings for radon detection is just one example of innovations in monitoring for homeowner peace of mind.

Plus, our wireless sensors easily pair with the new AprilAire S86 Series Wi-Fi Thermostat to improve installation time, whole-home comfort, and personal health.

AprilAire Zone Control

When you choose AprilAire zone control, you’re choosing Healthy Air throughout your home. Our zoning systems let you control the temperature in every area of your home, delivering optimal comfort and reduced energy usage. You can even manage these controls from outside your home using the AprilAire Healthy Air App on your mobile phone.

NEW AprilAire Next-Generation Thermostats

The AprilAire S86 Series Thermostats are our latest innovation. They launched in Q4 2022 and are easy to install with real language menus, basic and advanced HVAC installer settings, programmable and non-programmable options, and home automation capabilities.

AprilAire UVC Coil Cleaner

The new AprilAire UVC Coil Cleaner operates with a proprietary innovation using a sub-band of ultraviolet light. The AprilAire UVC product kills up to 99.9%* of mold on the surface of the coils of an air conditioning system, preventing the coil from becoming a source of bad air quality.

*Testing performed on Aspergillus niger mold spores in a sheet metal duct with a new bulb placed 18 inches from the surface.

AprilAire’s Partnership with the American Lung Association

AprilAire 4-inch Air Filters are a part of the American Lung Association’s National Proud Partner program*, which allows responsible brands, after careful internal and external vetting, to use the non-profit organization’s Proud Partner logo on product packaging and approved promotional materials. These 4-inch filters feature MERV 11, MERV 13, MERV 13CBN, and MERV 16 ratings and improved performance from the patented AprilAire Self-Seal Technology which minimizes the amount of air bypassing the filter.

Using AprilAire Air Filters allows homeowners to vacuum and dust less often because the filter catches airborne particles, like dust, pollen, mold spores, bacteria, and pet dander, and prevents them from settling on furniture and flooring.

*The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

Radon |

January 2023 – Essential Info for Radon Action Month

2 minute read

 

What is radon and why should homeowners be aware of it?

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, which means the only way to know if you’re being exposed to radon is to test for it.

Additionally, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, and it is estimated to cause over 20,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

To raise awareness about the dangers of radon, each January, health and safety organizations in the United States recognize National Radon Action Month. The end goal is to encourage homeowners to test their homes for radon and seek mitigation solutions when necessary.

Whether you’re a new homeowner or have lived in the same place for years, radon can enter your home through cracks and openings in the foundation. Once inside, it can accumulate to dangerous levels if the space is not properly ventilated.

The only way to know if your home has elevated levels of radon is to test for it with a radon detection kit.

AprilAire Radon Detection

AprilAire Short-Term Radon Test Kits are easy to use and come with everything you need to test your home for radon.

Here are the simple steps that go into radon detection in your home:

  1. Start by filling out the included information card
  2. Hang the test kit at breathing level in the lowest used area of your home
  3. After the kit has been exposed to the air for 3–7 days, record the required info and seal the test kit
  4. Mail your test kit using the included prepaid postage. A 3rd party lab will analyze the sample
  5. See your results at home using any smartphone, tablet, or computer

If the test results show that your home has elevated levels of radon, you can find mitigation services through AprilAire Healthy Air Professionals in your area. If you can’t find radon-certified professionals near you, reach out to us and we can connect you with someone who can help.

One example of a solution for radon in your home is a mitigation fan, which can be installed in new or existing homes to ventilate the harmful gas safely out of your home. AprilAire radon mitigation fans include monitoring devices that alert you when the system may need maintenance to continue keeping your home safe.

Interview with the 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.

2021 Good Neighbor Values

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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.

Wellness |

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions—Focus on a Healthy Home

2 minute read

 

How will 2023 look different from 2022?

It’s time to reflect back on the year that was and to make plans for the year to come. As you put together your list of New Year’s resolutions, AprilAire has a few simple ideas for improving something you’ll experience every day: the health and comfort of your home environment.

Healthy Home Checklist

  • Declutter

This one is good for your mental and physical health. Removing excess items and tidying up can help relieve stress, especially in areas meant to be relaxing, like the living room or bedroom.

Clutter also collects dust and pet dander, and can lead to mold growth if moisture becomes trapped. Clearing out anything unneeded makes cleaning easier and helps you maintain a Healthy Home.

  • Test for Radon

Not every mess around the house can be seen or smelled. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into your home through cracks or gaps in your foundation. Extended exposure can cause lung cancer, and it’s important to address any issues as soon as possible. Learn more about at-home radon testing kits from AprilAire Pros and find solutions in our online store.

  • Change Air Filters

Air filters help keep your HVAC system running efficiently, while removing contaminants from the air you breathe. We recommend changing out AprilAire air filters every 6–12 months, compared to 1–3 months for traditional filters.

  • Switch Fan Direction

Ceiling fans are a great way to circulate air, keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. But they need to be spinning in the right direction to do so. If you haven’t already, make sure your fans are going clockwise during the winter. This creates an updraft, circulating warm air throughout each room.

  • Plan for Emergencies

Have a plan in case of extreme weather events or other emergencies. If you created one in years past, do a quick refresher to make sure it still makes sense. And restock any supplies that may be running low.

  • Swap Batteries

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are key aspects of maintaining a safe home. Swap out the batteries annually and use the testing function to make sure they’re operating properly in every room of the house.