protecting yourself during the reopening

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Protecting Yourself During The Reopening With Healthy Air

4 minute read

COVID-19 has come under scrutiny by health experts. The virus transmits from coughs, sneezes, and talking through projected aerosols. These projected aerosols enter air streams. This becomes especially problematic in tightly enclosed spaces where the air is recirculated without proper filtration, ventilation, and humidification, or a Healthy Air System™. This makes protecting yourself during the reopening with Healthy Air a top priority.

An associate professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, Erin Bromage, Ph.D., found most transmission has occurred in tightly enclosed indoor spaces such as restaurants, funeral homes, churches, and nursing homes. Other scientists have found one of the first places of transmission was a restaurant in Wuhan, China.

CBS News recently released a report on restaurants and the way we can protect ourselves as we venture out of our homes and back into public dining spaces.

Protecting Yourself During the Reopening

While using facemasks can be used in certain places and can help reduce transmission, it is not the perfect solution. Masks cannot be worn while dining and it is not a good substitute for proper filtration, ventilation, and humidification. States and local officials, as well as business owners, continue to weigh the pros and cons of requiring masks.

Companies are looking at different ways to implement proper indoor air quality strategies as states are reopening across the country. Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors whether inside their own home, work, restaurants, bars, malls, grocery stores, hardware stores, and/or churches.

Air Filtration

Without a vaccine, there is no proper way to fully protect yourself against COVID-19. Proper air filtration, humidification, and ventilation can help reduce the amount of harmful airborne particulates circulated throughout the air stream. By installing the right healthy air products, your own forced air HVAC system can help. Air filtration with a MERV 16 filter can be installed as part of a home’s HVAC system and can capture 98% of airborne that pass through its filter. This can be especially crucial in situations where people are placed in situations where social distancing is not possible and the air is being recirculated among a large group of people. Scientists are still trying to calculate the amount of time these aerosols stay in the air.

Ventilation

Ventilation helps further dilute contaminants by bringing in fresh air from the outside. There are several ways of providing filtered air through either natural ventilation, supply ventilation, or mixed-mode ventilation. Air that passes naturally through windows, doors, or cracks in the foundation is natural ventilation. There is no filtration process with this air. It is the same air that is outside and serves to help dilute the stale air of indoor spaces. If you’re near a factory or a highway, the outside air is polluted. Some cities are experimenting with increasing the outdoor dining spaces of restaurants since it is clear that COVID-19 is far less transmittable in outside air than it is indoor air.

Supply ventilation uses a fan to bring in air from the outside. This air is properly filtered and humidified. The poor indoor air is also pushed out and replaced by the outside air.

Mixed-mode ventilation uses both natural and supply ventilation to treat stale indoor air. Ventilated air also forces droplets to land on surfaces more quickly and pushes air into the HVAC system’s return air ducts to reduce airborne virus transmission and help protect yourself during reopening.

Proper Humidification

Thirdly, proper humidification is an important step in treating indoor air. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends keeping your humidity between 40-60 percent. Anything lower than that results in dried out nasal passages, dry skin, scratchy throat, and a weakened immune system making it easier for airborne viruses to get into your body. Evidence suggests that viruses last longer on surfaces and are transmitted easier in overly dry air conditions. Anything above that 40-60% range results in the perfect breeding ground for airborne viruses, pests, and mold/mildew.

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    How Reopening Businesses with a Healthy Air System Affects Employees

    Another factor to consider for reopening business owners is that healthy air is not just to the benefit of the consumer, but also for the employees. Harvard’s Building Science Program has found that a healthy workplace fosters better workers and a better company. Productivity and creativity increases and blood pressure lowers. Better employee wellness is a major recruiting pitch to prospective employees. Extended breaks, snacks, and healthy indoor air are all important benefits and pitches for your employees.

    Protecting Yourself Safely During Reopening Is A Long-Term Investment

    Outside of the purview of the COVID-19 pandemic, indoor air quality is still important. It does help to reduce airborne viruses such as the flu or common cold, mold and mildew, dust, and other allergens. Cooking and other interior spaces release Volatile Organic Compounds. These VOCs contain toxic gases.

    A Healthy Air System reduces odors making it harder for guests to decipher if you live with a pet or last night’s dinner.

    The air inside our homes continues to be much worse than the air outside our homes. The EPA estimates the air inside to be 5 to 10 times worse than the air outside.  To make matters worse, we are spending more time inside and our homes are being more tightly-built. This makes it harder for fresh air to get in the home without the use of a supply ventilation system. Polluted air can lead to major health problems such as cardiovascular issues, cancer, respiratory infections, and cognitive impairments.  Air pollution is one of the burgeoning health concerns.

    Indoor Air Quality Adds Wellness to Your Life

    Just as we seek wellness in all parts of our life from eating well, exercising, meditation, indoor air is an important part of this procedure. Just like in all of those other fields, data plays an important role in this field. AprilAire’s IAQ systems allow you to monitor your home’s IAQ to adjust your temperature, relative humidity, and fresh air ventilation systems. Panasonic has released a system that can help monitor your home’s indoor air in real-time. Although the data may be helpful in determining a problem, it has little relevant value if you do not have a system set-up to tackle those problems.

    To completely protect yourself, make sure you continue to sanitize high-traffic areas in your homes and businesses. Also continue to wash your hands and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

    As states and more business are reopening, COVID-19 will continue to be scrutinized by governments, businesses, and the general population. It’s hard to determine what normal will look like and what happens if there is another jump in cases. It is possible restaurants and other public spaces may have to advertise the health of their indoor air. One thing is certain though, it’s that Healthy air is crucial for protecting yourself during the reopening.

    Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month

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    Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month

    2 minute read

    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:

    1. Fresh Air Ventilation — Helps dilute and remove contaminants from indoor air, and brings in fresh air from the outdoors
    2. Air Filtration — Aprilaire MERV 16 Allergy & Asthma Filters capture up to 99% of airborne particles (Contaminants removed based on air passing through the filtering system.)
    3. Humidity Control — Keeping humidity between 40–60% minimizes virus survival rates, makes the environment more comfortable, and can lower energy costs
    4. Radon Testing and Mitigation — Testing helps detect radon early, so an AprilAire Radon Control Professional can redirect any harmful gas away from your home
    5. 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.

    On top of comfort and cost savings, proper humidity control also promotes better sleep, preserves valuables in your home, and makes it harder for viruses to survive.

    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.

    Capture Back to School Germs

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    AprilAire MERV 16 Air Filters Capture Back-to-School Germs

    2 minute read

    Tens of millions of students are heading back to school and will start sharing the same air with many different people for several hours a day. In what is known as the “back-to-school plague,” these first few weeks provide a fertile breeding ground for both students (and their families) to get ill due to the swapping and recirculating of aerosols. Luckily, there is a solution.

    Use AprilAire MERV 16 Air Filters with AprilAire Whole-House Air Purifiers

    Coughing and Sneezing Facts

    Use AprilAire MERV 16 Air Filters to capture back-to-school germs from coughing and sneezing.

    Using an AprilAire whole-house air purifier with an AprilAire MERV 16 Air Filter can help protect you and other family members at home from the common cold, influenza, and other airborne viruses that crop up throughout the school year.

    Capture Infected Aerosols

    AprilAire MERV 16 air filters capture 98% of airborne viruses that flow through the filtering system reducing the number of infected aerosols that are in your home’s air. These highly efficient filters add an extra layer of protection against poor handwashing and respiratory etiquette.

    Sneezing and coughing expel aerosols into the air at speeds of 50–100 miles per hour propelling them 3– 6 feet from their host. Without a proper air filter, some of these aerosols may linger in the air for several hours, get picked up by your HVAC system’s ducts, and infect people in completely different rooms.

    Reduce In-Home Respiratory Irritants

    AprilAire MERV 16 air filters also protect your home’s air from other respiratory irritants like dust, dander, and pollen which can trigger health problems like asthma attacks or allergies and can settle on your home’s furniture. AprilAire MERV 16 filters capture 99% of asthma and allergy triggers that flow through the filtering system offering superior HVAC system protection and up to a 6-month filter life.

    Upgrading your home’s air filters to MERV 16 can help keep you and your family healthy.

    Choose Your AprilAire Air Filter

    Use AprilAire MERV 16 Air Filters for superior protection.

    Purchase MERV 16 Air Filters

    Contact your local AprilAire Healthy Air Professional to get started with MERV 16 filtration today. You can also purchase AprilAire MERV 16 filters directly from the AprilAire website where they will be shipped directly to your home. You can install the filters yourself or contact your local professional or the AprilAire support team for assistance.

    Upgrading Whole-House Healthy Air Solutions

    Upgrading air filters from MERV 13 to MERV 16 in your whole-house air purifiers can help capture germs to better protect your student and your family throughout the school year.

    For complete and effective whole-house virus protection, contact your local Healthy Air Professional about the AprilAire Healthy Air System®. This unique, all-in-one system provides whole-house filtration, humidity control, fresh air ventilation, zoning control, and radon mitigation for Healthy Air throughout

    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.