reduce the impact of dry winter air

Healthy Humidity | Wellness |

How to Reduce The Impact of Dry Winter Air on Your Home

3 minute read

What’s the best way to maintain winter wellness? Reduce the impact of dry winter air, of course. Dry winter air can have a profound effect on your family’s health. Achieving proper humidity levels in your home should help prevent irritating winter conditions such as influenza, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, and dry skin.

Question One: Does the flu virus really thrive in low humidity? How?

Good question! Research has shown that the influenza virus thrives in cold, dry air typical to our winter season¹. The likely reason for this relates back to how the virus is transmitted from person to person. Influenza spreads through tiny respiratory droplets that stay suspended in the air after someone coughs or sneezes. Low humidity allows these droplets to stay in the air longer, which in turn increases the likelihood of transmission¹.

¹Lowen AC., Steel J. 2014. Roles of humidity and temperature in shaping influenza seasonality. July 2014 vol. 88 no. 147692-7695

Question Two: What about dry winter air causes people’s sinuses to act up?

Low humidity is a trademark of winter air, which can lead to irritated sinuses. Our nasal passages need a certain level of moisture to fend off the nasty bacteria, viruses, and allergens that cause our sinuses to act up. Because winter air is so dry, it often robs our sinuses of needed moisture, leaving our nasal passages dry, irritated, and less able to fight off wintertime illness.

Question Three: Does dry winter air affect children and adults differently? How?

Dry winter air can be problematic for children and adults alike. However, kids can be more susceptible to wintertime colds and illnesses due to increased exposure and an immune system that is still developing. As noted above, proper humidification can be key in stopping the spread of illness and helping you and your little ones stay healthy all winter long.

Question Four: How can we protect ourselves from dry winter air at home?

Staying hydrated inside and out! Drinking plenty of water helps our bodies maintain hydration from the inside. Combating dry air through home humidification helps our bodies stay hydrated from the outside. Various methods of increasing humidification in your home include taking hot showers with the door cracked to let the steam circulate, utilizing a portable humidifier in the most used rooms of your home, and installing a whole-home humidification system.

Question Five: What about when we’re not home? Do you have any tips for maintaining winter wellness at work or in the car?

It certainly can be challenging to control your environment when traveling or when at work. The following tactics can help you and your family stay well when on the go this winter:

  • Proper hand washing: Washing your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds can prevent the spread of so many illnesses. The CDC has a great website for more information on the dos and donts of proper handwashing.
  • Limit sharing: Germs do a great job of getting around, so limit your exposure to them by keeping your food, drink, and other items to yourself as much as possible this winter.
  • Eat well, sleep soundly, and don’t forget to exercise: Your body needs to be taken care of so it can properly take care of you! Make sure to give it all it needs this winter by eating nutritious food, getting a good night’s rest, and staying physically active.
  • Stay hydrated: Getting 8-10 cups of water per day makes such a difference in keeping your body healthy and well, particularly during the dry winter months. If you find that you are having a hard time drinking water throughout the day, try bringing a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go. Adding in healthy options to your water such as mint, lemon, or cucumber not only makes your water taste more interesting, but it adds a nutritional boost to your beverage as well!

Ideally, you should aim for 40-60% humidity in your home year-round. In the wintertime, a trusted humidifier can help you prevent these winter conditions and help you hydrate your home.

Disclaimer:

The information contained on the AprilAire website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. All information is for informational and educational purposes only and any use thereof is solely at your own risk.

 

health impacts of humidity

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Humidity |

Humid Air and Frizzy Hair—Plus Other Health Impacts of Humidity

2 minute read

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It’s probably happened to you: spending time and energy to create a hairstyle that quickly unravels once you step into the high humidity of summer. So why does high humidity cause straightened hair to become frizzy and curled styles to droop? Humid air adds moisture to your hair, similar to running a wet comb or brush through it. As the moisture is added and removed (by the sun and heat), the drying process causes your hair to change shape and revert back to a natural, unstyled look—often frizzy or curly.

Other Health Impacts of Humidity

While frizzy hair is an obvious sign of humidity’s impact, what are some other ways that humidity impacts the body and our health?

Respiratory Health

Low humidity is associated with increased risk of respiratory infections. In part, this is because our mucus membranes work best at fighting germs and viruses when they’re properly hydrated. Additionally, viruses thrive in dry conditions.

Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can increase when low humidity dries out sinuses. On the other end, high humidity can aggravate allergies because it creates a suitable environment for the growth of mold, dust mites, and other common allergens. This is why it’s important to maintain an indoor relative humidity level between 40–60%.

Heat Illnesses

High humidity can prevent sweat from evaporating, making it more difficult for the body to cool down in high summer temperatures. Keep an eye on the heat index this summer, which combines temperature and humidity levels to give a more accurate picture of how outdoor conditions will affect the body.

Skin Conditions

Dry, itchy skin can worsen when the humidity is low. And when humidity is high, some people can experience skin irritations like acne breakouts or develop heat rash. The key is to stay hydrated and balance indoor humidity levels.

Restful Sleep

According to the Sleep Foundation, “high humidity can increase wakefulness and reduce the amount of time you spend” in the stages of sleep associated with bodily recovery and memory consolidation.

Control the Health Impacts of Humidity with AprilAire

While you can’t control how humid it is outdoors, balancing your indoor humidity levels throughout the year is simple with AprilAire whole-house humidification and dehumidification systems. Balanced humidity plays an essential role in creating a healthy environment for you and your family.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

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Cost Savings With Humidity Control

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Facts about Healthy Humidity Cost Savings on Your Energy Bill

2 minute read

 

When the humidity level in your home is between 40–60%, you’re creating an environment that’s both healthy for you and unwelcoming for things like bacteria growth, virus prevalence, respiratory infections, and allergy and asthma symptoms.

And with other benefits like optimized sleep, better indoor workouts, and lower stress levels, Healthy Humidity can ensure overall wellness and comfort throughout the year.

If you’re not yet convinced about the necessity of Healthy Humidity in your home, wait till you see the last big benefit: cost savings.

The Environmental Protection Agency analyzes the efficiency of energy systems, and has released information on the cost benefits of optimal humidity levels in the home. To accurately measure the humidity levels in your home, you’ll need a versatile AprilAire thermostat or other monitoring system that makes it simple to see temperature, humidity, and other factors.

 

Healthy Humidity By the Numbers Cost Savings

By changing the relative humidity in your home, you can make the indoor environment feel colder or warmer without overtaxing your air conditioning or heating units, helping you feel comfortable while reducing costs.

 

Decrease-the-thermostat-4%-savings-on-your-energy-bill

Moist air holds heat better than dry air. So in the wintertime, by keeping the humidity in the 40–60% range, you can feel warm and cozy without cranking up the thermostat. These conditions may not be recommended or achievable in certain regions of the country during winter. Your local Healthy Air Professional can provide guidance specific to your area.

 

Relative-humidity-increase-equals-energy-savings

Do the math on your savings! Winter heating costs can be more manageable when you prioritize Healthy Humidity.

 

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In the summertime, forcing your air conditioner to keep the humidity in check can really run up your energy bill. That’s when a dehumidifier can help. The AprilAire e-series Dehumidifiers are designed to remove more moisture per day using less power. Models E080, E100, and E130 are all recognized as ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2022, delivering 23% annual energy savings above conventional products.

Find A Pro for Healthy Humidity Cost Savings

Contact a local Healthy Air Pro to get Healthy Humidity cost savings in your home.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an AprilAire professional near you.

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.

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How Smart Thermostats Create a Healthy Home Environment

2 minute read

 

Creating a Healthy Air environment in your home is great for your family, and can save you money on energy costs over time. One way to make the process even more beneficial is to automate the systems that control your temperature, humidity level, and air quality.

AprilAire Wi-Fi thermostats are designed with your health and convenience in mind, pairing with your AprilAire whole-house solutions and the AprilAire Healthy Air App to deliver simple, round-the-clock control of your home’s air.

Smart Thermostat Benefits

Control from Anywhere

No more wasting electricity while your home is empty. AprilAire Wi-Fi thermostats and the Healthy Air App give you consistent control over your heating and cooling systems, and all of your AprilAire whole-house solutions from anywhere you have a mobile connection.

The connected thermostat even lets you create temperature schedules, so you can turn down the heat at night to create an environment that’s more conducive to restful sleep.

Balanced Humidity

Humidity levels fluctuate throughout the seasons and during large weather events. It’s crucial to ensure a balanced humidity level between 40–60% in your home, with benefits for your health, finances, and property values.

AprilAire Wi-Fi thermostats let you set up your preferred humidity levels and automatically maintain those levels through every season.

Fresh Air Ventilation

Working with your AprilAire fresh air ventilation system, AprilAire Wi-Fi thermostats offer total control of the fresh air intake for your home. Whether you do it manually or set up an automatic schedule, the system will let you know when fresh air is pumped into your home, giving you peace of mind that your family is breathing Healthy Air.

Air Purification

Certain events can make the air in your home less than fresh. When doing things like cooking, using your fireplace, or kicking up dust while cleaning, you can protect your air with Event-Based™Air Cleaning. When paired with an AprilAire whole-house air purifier, this feature gives you a simple way to scrub pollutants and irritants from your home’s air.

It’s also a huge benefit for allergy and asthma sufferers. On days with a high pollen or other allergen count, you can schedule a cleaning cycle and enjoy Healthy Air indoors throughout the allergy season.

Check out all the options available for AprilAire thermostats, and see what will best fit your home and lifestyle.