seasonal-allergy-relief-healthy-air

Healthy Clean Air |

Seasonal Allergy Relief: Tips for Combating Allergy-Related Dizziness

3 minute read

Spring means allergies. When you think of spring and seasonal allergies, what comes to mind? For us, it’s the nature-related things going on outside, like pollenating flowers and trees or freshly cut grass. But, what we fail to think about are the allergies we experience indoors in the springtime, too. With open windows, pets, and frequent time outdoors, we’re bringing allergens inside, and once they’re in here, they don’t have many ways to escape. After all, our indoor air is 5 times more polluted than the air outside, and since we spend about 90% of our lifetime indoors, it’s possible to see increased allergy symptoms while at home even when we’re not directly exposed.

What allergy symptoms do you experience? Some of us see the general, well-known spring allergy symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. But there’s a lesser known symptom: allergy-related dizziness. The allergens around us—whether they’re indoors or out—can affect a tunnel that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat, called the Eustachian tube. This tube helps regulate balance and equalizes pressure so we stay upright and stable. When the tube is blocked with mucus caused by allergens in the air, it struggles to regulate balance and pressure, making you unstable and causing symptoms of dizziness and even vertigo.

What types of allergens are the cause of dizziness? Well, it can range from foods (like gluten, wheat, and dairy) to airborne allergens (like pet dander, dust, or mold). The only real way to avoid feeling symptoms of dizziness is to avoid allergens altogether…but that can prove difficult with all that goes on in our world that we can’t control. Luckily, we can help you tackle the feat of reducing the airborne allergens in your home and even help you combat allergy-induced dizziness or vertigo-like symptoms with these tips.

Remedy Your Allergy-Related Dizziness

First things first, try these home remedies to help reduce your symptoms of dizziness:

  • Drink water to promote hydration
  • Consume foods high in Vitamin C, D, and E like strawberries, spinach, or oranges
  • Raise your iron levels by eating meats or beans

Suppress Allergy Symptoms

Now that your symptoms of dizziness have subsided, you can begin to focus on what’s causing your symptoms and get to the source. It’s best to know what you’re allergic to so that you can reduce your exposure and lessen the symptoms you experience. Get started with:

  • Allergy Testing: See an allergist to learn exactly what you’re reacting to and how you can limit your exposure or symptoms
  • Medication or Allergy Shots: Talk to your doctor about OTC medications, like Benadryl, that you can try for relief. Or, if your allergies are more severe, you can discuss prescription medication or allergy shots
  • Dietary Changes: If you’re experiencing food-related allergy symptoms, consider trying an elimination diet to figure out what foods you may be sensitive to

Fight Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)

When you’re a routine allergy sufferer, you may experience this pretty common condition that comes from frequent mucus buildup in your Eustachian tube. It can also be caused by changing altitudes, like when you’re in an airplane and need to pop your ears. If you’re having symptoms of fullness or pain, try:

  • Home Remedies like chewing gum or using saline nose spray
  • Medications like Benadryl, Tylenol, Advil, or doctor-prescribed ear drops

Maintain a Healthy Humidity

To reduce allergens in your home, get a firm handle on your indoor humidity. Balanced humidity will help reduce asthma and allergy triggers floating in your indoor air. Get started by:

  • Keeping humidity between 30-60 percent
  • Investing in a humidifier or dehumidifier to help keep allergens at bay

Healthy Air Is on the Way

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Purify the Air

Clean air is Healthy Air, pure and simple. To keep your air healthy, invest in an air purifier and fight back against invisible allergy triggers. With our MERV 16 air filters, you can remove up to 99% of allergy and asthma triggers*, including dust, pollen, and bacteria.

Don’t let symptoms of dizziness caused by allergies stop you from enjoying springtime walks or outdoor activities. And, for when your symptoms follow you inside, see how you can breathe easy and enjoy a heathier home for you and your family with a little help from a Healthy Air Professional in your area.

*Contaminates removed based on air passing through the filtering system

Breathe the Fullness of Life
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Luxury Heating Company

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Clean Air |

Get the Facts: Interview with Healthy Air Hero Paul Samek

6 minute read

Here at Aprilaire, our mission is to fill your home with Healthy Air. But first, it may help to understand what’s actually in your home. While almost every home comes with standard ventilation and air filtration systems, what’s the difference between those systems and systems upgraded with Aprilaire products? We interviewed Aprilaire Healthy Air Hero and President of Luxury Heating Company Paul Samek to get the facts, share the benefits of caring for your air, and help you figure out what’s really in your home.

Thank you so much for helping answer some of our questions, Paul. Can you start by telling us about Luxury Heating Company—where in the country do you do business and what kind of services do you provide?

“My name is Paul Samek. I’m among the third generation at Luxury Heating Company. We are on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio, and next year will be our 75th year in business. We primarily offer HVAC and Indoor Air Quality solutions for residential and light commercial applications.

While we’re an old company, we’re still very much evolving as we become more diverse and bring on new services that make sense for our business. With this evolution has come this increased awareness about Indoor Air Quality systems. A portion of our business, about 35–40%, is still new construction, which is nice because we have an opportunity to actually talk to the homebuilders and the clients.”

Let’s talk about indoor air. Why is it important to have fresh air ventilation and air filtration technology in each home?

“I don’t think it’s any surprise to a customer when we bring up air filtration—so the concept of having the filtration and air purification in whatever capacity that might be is important. They understand very easily the difference in upgrading from a one-inch filter to a media air filtration system.

When it comes to ventilation, that’s a much bigger conversation. These houses are built so tight today. We have more and more builders that we are working with that are building these ENERGY STAR® homes. So, it’s an airtight house and with our cold climate, we don’t open the windows. Natural ventilation isn’t sufficient anymore because you don’t have the opportunity to open up the house like you used to.”

A lot of people are buying homes these days. What can new homeowners or those who are looking to buy new homes expect from a standard HVAC system compared to one upgraded with Aprilaire fresh air ventilation and air filtration products?

“Whether it’s a new home or even an older home, your most standard HVAC systems have that one-inch, horsehair-style filter that doesn’t really filter air properly. We will explain to customers that all a one-inch filter is really doing is protecting the equipment from big particles circulating throughout the house and throughout your duct system. Now there’s also the 3M filters: one-inch filters that are like sticking a sheet of glass in there, so those are what I would consider within the standard HVAC system. Another part of having the standard system is that the fan only runs when the system is in heating or cooling mode. Any homeowners that have allergies or asthma know that they typically are the worst in the spring or in the fall when your system is running the least.

With a new HVAC system, whether it’s a gas furnace or an electric air handler, most have a true ECM motor that is going to continuously be filtering the air, regardless of whether it’s heating or cooling or not. Coupling that with a ventilation system and an Aprilaire media air cleaner, it’s going to not only continuously be moving the air throughout the house and throughout the system, but it’s also going to be cleaning it—not just recycling it. You’re not only bringing that fresh air in to help make the indoor air much healthier, but you’re also filtering it. So, a standard system is just recycling. A new, modern HVAC system that we can incorporate an Aprilaire whole-house ventilation system into will help homeowners feel much better and it’s going to be a much cleaner environment inside.”

So, what are the added benefits of upgrading to Aprilaire products when dealing with ventilation and air filtration?

“We found that, throughout the pandemic, so many people were cooped up in their houses, especially during the early phases when there were lockdowns. The pandemic created these conversations and awareness of Indoor Air Quality, and we had a lot of customers—and even some of my family members—who had pets and allergies who were experiencing the effects of poor indoor air. But when we add in the ventilation and air filtration systems, the feedback we would get on that is ‘I don’t have to use my inhaler like I did’ and ‘I can tell the difference from when I go outside to when I come back in the house.’

One of our customers that I worked closely with had a premature baby, and she shared that they did not want to leave the house. When they did, her son’s breathing changed, and once they got back in the house, he was breathing much better. That was a direct result of having the appropriate amount of ventilation and filtration in place. This was a real eye-opening case of the added benefits of these systems. Yes, you’re going to have a cleaner home, people can see that, but they don’t understand that what you’re breathing, and what your children are breathing, that’s the big difference between not having the systems in place versus having them in place.

As another example, my younger sister has really bad asthma and allergies. She has a dog and a cat, and she lives in an older home. She even noticed she wasn’t using her inhaler anymore when she was inside the house because of having that ventilation. By having that controlled ventilation, when coupled with the media air cleaner, it brought the health of the home to the point where she maybe uses her inhaler every now and then, as opposed to a couple of times a day. Our team loves to see these real life and very close to home situations and the impact that our work can have. How can you not want to talk about it when you know what type of impact that it can make?”

We recently conducted a survey and found that the majority of people don’t even know if their home has a ventilation system. Is there a way people can conduct an audit of their own systems so they can see if they need to upgrade?

“For anyone that is not mechanically inclined or doesn’t have any type of trade or mechanical background, it’s hard for them to conduct their own audit. A lot of times, customers think they have a ventilation system because they have that duct that is just sitting in the basement. But to be able to identify it on your own is tricky. One of the benefits of having your system serviced is that you can have the conversation with the service technician to be able to say, ‘Do I have one? How does it work? Where is it located?’ We like to try and help our customers as much as we can, but that’s one that I think would be hard for them to truly be able to identify or help them identify over the phone because of all the ductwork.

As far as signs of needing an upgrade—on the ventilation side, moisture is probably one of the biggest things that would come to mind. When homeowners start to see condensation on the ductwork or see the ductwork sweat, they should consider upgrading it to a ventilation system that’s more controlled versus just bringing in air. Regardless of the outdoor temperature and humidity, one of the key things is to eliminate and reduce the number of unintended consequences of a ventilation system. So, I’d say moisture is one of those things that you can see that’s telling you that you need something better.”

What is one piece of advice you would give the readers about caring for the air inside their homes?

“I think that trying to research things online is such a slippery slope, and it’s hard to find really credible information that is unbiased. I think that when you talk to a NATE-certified service technician, they’re the ones who are in and out of homes more than anyone. You should find a contractor with that certification and that has an investment in Indoor Air Quality. They care for the customer and want to give them the most appropriate information versus the most convenient information. So, I think that it’s really important to get somebody certified and qualified to talk about all different homes and their equipment needs.”

Make Indoor Air Quality a Priority

Aprilaire uses practical science to bring you real, human benefits through our Indoor Air Quality solutions. Who wouldn’t want to breathe easy knowing they are breathing the best air possible? Get the facts from experts like Paul Samek, and make sure you know what’s really in your air. Take the first step. Find a certified Aprilaire Healthy Air Hero in your area today!

Healthy Air Is on the Way

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protecting your indoor air quality

Healthy Clean Air |

3 Climate-Related Reasons You Need Healthy Clean Air This Fall

5 minute read

What’s the State of Your Air this fall? Let’s take a look! Depending on where you reside in the nation, your air quality (indoors and outdoors) could be impacted by unplanned weather-related events, like drought, flooding, or poor air quality from nearby city smog or local wildfires.

As we fall into autumn, there are three distinct air quality inhibitors that we think about depending on where we live. Keep reading to find out what you should be on the lookout for this season and how you can protect your home and family from the residual effects outdoor air can have on your Indoor Air Quality.

The State of East Coast Air in Fall 2021

For four season lovers on the East Coast, fall ushers in orange-red leaves, pumpkin patches, warm apple cider, and you guessed it, the potential for hurricanes. While living on or by the water is a huge plus for East Coasters, hurricane season leaves less to be desired. Because hurricanes can affect areas more than 100 miles inland, this weather event poses a threat to your family’s and home’s safety, no matter how far off the coast you reside.

For many, resulting air quality issues are often forgotten in the aftermath. Although hurricanes tend to be brief, yet disruptive, they can leave a lasting effect on your air quality once the storm rolls by. Plus, floodwaters and damage from high-speed winds and rain can lead to excess moisture in the air, leaving behind the potential for unwanted mold growth indoors.

Hurricane Season: What to Expect in 2021

Who could forget last year’s record-breaking season? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2020 season “serves as a reminder to all residents in coastal regions or areas prone to inland flooding from rainfall to be prepared for the 2021 season.” But, is 2021 predicted to be as worrisome as 2020? Yes…and no.

Like the record-breaking 2020 season, says Live Science, “2021 is expected to see above-average activity. The NOAA predicts a 70% probability that there will be a total of 13 to 20 named storms this season. Of those, they expect 6 to 10 to reach hurricane status, up to 5 as major hurricanes with at least 111 mph winds.”

With this research in mind, it’s safe to say that East Coasters should prepare for an above-normal hurricane season. How can you ensure that you and your family are protected through the season’s end in November? Equip your home with the necessary Aprilaire Healthy Air solutions now for better Indoor Air Quality year-round—no matter what weather event is passing through your region.

Hurricane Season: Protecting Your Indoor Air Quality

To keep your indoor air healthy throughout hurricane season, you’ll need to opt for a whole-home, award-winning solution: the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™! Each of the components of the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ are crucial to filling your home with Healthy Air and protecting your family from the aftermath of a hurricane, including the residual air quality concerns that can trickle in from outside.

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Here’s how each award-winning component helps your family Breathe the Fullness of Life at home during hurricane season and beyond:

  • Aprilaire fresh air ventilation and air filtration work together to help capture and remove mold spores and other indoor particulates like dust, pollen, and viruses.
  • By controlling your humidity with an Aprilaire dehumidifier, you can help remove moisture from inside your home, limiting mold’s ability to grow. Balancing your home’s humidity within our Healthy Humidity Zone (between 40–60%) will help keep your family protected from mildew, airborne viruses, and home damage like wood warp.

The State of West Coast Air in Fall 2021

Fall for West Coasters looks a little different. While the air may (in a typical season) cool slightly, making way for activities like hiking, autumn and its weather concerns can leave you on the edge of your seat.

No matter how far you are from the source of a wildfire, the threat of smoke-filled skies, property damage, and health concerns can stir up feelings of worry throughout your community. Wildfire burns create excessive amounts of smoke, polluting the air outdoors for miles. And since wildfires travel quickly, smoke can enter your home at a moment’s notice, impacting the health of you and your family and potentially creating long-term respiratory issues. Even if you are able to evacuate, there will still be lingering smoke in your indoor air after it’s been deemed safe to return.

Wildfire Season: What to Expect in 2021

You guessed it—this wildfire season is also predicted to be above-average, and we have the climate crisis to thank for that. With most of the nation currently experiencing droughts and higher temperatures, experts predict wildfire season could last longer than normal.

Of the wildfire news we’ve heard so far this year, one story highlights the poor impact these burns have on our air quality no matter how close or far you live from the source. In July, Oregon’s Bootleg Fire (the nation’s largest wildfire) burned for hundreds of square miles, creating an overwhelming amount of smoke and ash that East Coasters in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania even experienced! Although the wildfire was burning throughout Oregon, the air quality in these three eastern states, which are over 2,500 miles away, was impacted for days. This phenomenon further underscores the importance of implementing Indoor Air Quality solutions inside your home, no matter your location.

Wildfire Season: Protecting Your Indoor Air Quality

When the air quality outside your door is threatened, it’s important to keep windows closed and turn off in-home ventilation systems to protect the air inside your home. With the addition of an Aprilaire whole-home air purifier and MERV 16 air filter, you can remove fine particles from your air, ensuring you’re Breathing the Fullness of Life with Healthy Air. Aprilaire MERV 16 filters can remove up to 99%* of allergy and asthma triggers, including smoke, pollen, mold, and more. As a bonus, these filters also reduce up to 96%* of virus-sized particles that can make you sick.

The State of Fall Allergies in 2021

Yes, allergies come back around in the fall and after a pretty pollen-filled spring season, we don’t have much relief to look forward to this time around. And, with air pollution playing a critical role in triggering allergy symptoms, all regions of the nation will be impacted. Are you a fall allergy sufferer? Here’s what you need to know this year.

The spring allergy season usually sets the tone for fall. If there’s too much rain in the spring, it could lead to mold growth that forces your symptoms to last throughout the fall. Another common trigger of fall allergies? Ragweed! Ragweed pollen can trigger your sneezes, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, certain climate factors could contribute to your symptom severity, including high heat and humidity that causes mold growth and warm winds that cause pollen counts to surge.

While it’s almost impossible to control your exposure to outdoor allergens, you can suppress your exposure when indoors, thanks to Aprilaire whole-home Indoor Air Quality solutions.

Fall Allergy Season: Protecting Your Indoor Air Quality

With an Aprilaire whole-home air purifier, you can trap up to 99%* of airborne contaminants, including those that trigger your allergy and asthma symptoms! To combat the mold growth that comes as cause for concern during the fall, an Aprilaire dehumidifier will keep your home within our Healthy Humidity Zone (between 40–60%) to ensure your home feels comfortable and is protected from mold, mildew, and even airborne viruses.

Breathe the Fullness of Life with Heathy Clean Air

From coast to coast, Aprilaire has you covered with over 4,500 Healthy Air Heroes nationwide. Find a pro in your area today to discover how fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control solutions from Aprilaire can help protect your home and family from outdoor air pollutants and natural disasters this fall.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

To learn more about what could impact your air this season and beyond, check out our State of Your Air tool.

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*Contaminants removed based on air passing through the filtering system.

American Lung Association

Aprilaire Partners Logged In Homepages | News |

Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

4 minute read

At Aprilaire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why Aprilaire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both Aprilaire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

“I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

“The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

How did Aprilaire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

“Aprilaire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

Since 2020, Aprilaire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, Aprilaire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. Aprilaire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™) and nine Aprilaire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, Aprilaire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

“The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

Aprilaire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

Aprilaire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

“Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, Aprilaire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

“Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

Fight for Healthy Air

At Aprilaire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both Aprilaire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

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

St. Vincent de Paul

AA Homepage Articles | News |

2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

2 minute read

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We take the importance of caring for others to heart at Aprilaire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

 Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

flights

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

2 minute read

Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer