Increasing evidence shows the impact of highway air pollution on people who live near heavily trafficked areas is of major concern. Roughly 30-45% of the North American urban population is being exposed to the harmful effects of living next to a busy road. And while children and teenagers are most vulnerable, they are not the only ones at risk.
Health Impact of Highway Air Pollution
According to a study by the Health Effects Institute, long-term exposure to traffic air pollution to those that live or work within 300-500 meters from the highway can result in an increased risk of any of the following:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Decreased lung function
Poor overall cognition
Asthma attacks in children
Death from cardiovascular morbidity
Overcoming The Impact of Highway Air Pollution
There are environmental benefits to urban density. Living close to a transportation hub, for example, reduces the number of cars on the road.
Current best-practice mitigation measures to reduce the impact of highway air pollution exposure, such as better air filtration systems and vegetation barriers, are also making a difference.
But the consensus is clear, the farther out you live or work from the high-volume roads, the greater the health benefits.
There are measures you can take to protect your respiratory health if moving is not an option, starting with monitoring the air quality by visiting the EPA website airnow.gov.
When air quality is low, follow these tips.
Tips from an Air Quality Official
Try to avoid rush hour on your commute to work if possible by taking back roads or going through a park if you need to walk
Keep your home clean by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, a wet mop on floors, and never dry dusting. Bare floors are much safer because they don’t hold on to dirt and dust like carpets do
Don’t smoke, burn candles, or use a fireplace
Never wear your shoes in the house and change clothes when you get home for the day
Keep windows closed
Remain indoors as much as possible in a building with air filtration like a portable air filter (home, office, etc.)
Install air filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13 in your HVAC system for the cleanest air possible without decreasing efficiency
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.
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.
AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Healthy Air |
Click play to listen to the Indoor Quality Awareness Month article.
The fall season is bringing cooler temperatures to many regions of the country. That means you and your family will likely be spending more time indoors, making October a fitting time to recognize “National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month.”
Why should you care about Indoor Air Quality? One reason is the amount of time we spend in indoor spaces. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 90% of their time indoors, where pollutants can be concentrated 2–5 times higher than in the air outdoors.
On top of that, innovations in home construction that increase efficiency by tightly sealing homes from outdoor conditions also trap more pollutants indoors. These pollutants are increasing with the growing prevalence of synthetic building materials and off-gassing from things like household cleaners and furniture.
AprilAire’s Plan for Healthy Air Awareness
Now that you know why Indoor Air Quality is something you should be aware of, let’s figure out what you can do to ensure your home is a healthy environment.
At AprilAire, our focus is on the health and wellness of your home. We’ve assembled the AprilAire Healthy Air System® to help protect you and your family from polluted indoor air. It provides:
Fresh Air Ventilation — Helps dilute and remove contaminants from indoor air, and brings in fresh air from the outdoors
Radon Testing and Mitigation — Testing helps detect radon early, so an AprilAire Radon Control Professional can redirect any harmful gas away from your home
IAQ Zone Controls — Precise monitors and controls are designed to ensure a comfortable environment throughout your home
Let’s take a closer look at one of the most crucial aspects of healthy indoor air as we head into the cold, dry months—balanced humidity.
Itchy skin, dry sinuses, and static shock are all signs of low humidity in your home. One of the best investments you can make to improve comfort and wellness during the winter is an AprilAire whole-home humidifier.
Balanced humidity feels warmer and maintains heat better than dry air, so your home feels more comfortable without the extra strain on your heating system.
October is the perfect time to assess the health and comfort of your indoor air. If you find issues you need to address, reach out to an AprilAire Healthy Air Pro to find solutions that will make a real difference for your home environment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the simple steps that go into radon detection in your home:
Start by filling out the included information card
Hang the test kit at breathing level in the lowest used area of your home
After the kit has been exposed to the air for 3–7 days, record the required info and seal the test kit
Mail your test kit using the included prepaid postage. A 3rd party lab will analyze the sample
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.