black mold inside your home

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

The Dangers of Black Mold Inside Your Home

3 minute read

We all love a good spooky story, right?

Well, as long as it’s not too scary.

And if we’ve got a calming cup of hot cocoa close by.

It also helps if the story is completely made up…

This fall, AprilAire presents a series of bone-chilling tales of a mysterious creature that you just might find lurking in your very own home.

This is:

The Case Of The Black Mold Inside Your Home

Tale #1 – Symptoms

Ahhh, fall has arrived. You take a step outside to greet the new day and you’re met with crisp air and a warming sun on your face. The dewy grass adds a shimmering comfort to the shifting of seasons, as the colorful leaves drift down onto your lawn.

You’re ready for a break from the summer heat. Calming visions dance through your head: hot apple cider, comfy scarves, afternoons of football, and weekends at pumpkin patches. Everything is exactly how it should be. You head back inside to continue your delightful day.

But then something changes. Something disrupts that new-season-sensation and a different, darker feeling starts to set in.

You can’t see anything that’s changed. You don’t hear anything strange. But you feel it. Deep down you know it’s there.

The feeling crawls slowly up the back of your neck. You close your eyes as you feel it get closer and closer, you know you can’t avoid whatever it is that’s ruining your perfect morning.

You sneeze. It’s a big one. You probably woke up the kids.

But what caused it? Simple fall allergies?

Or something much, much darker?

Tale #2 – Seeking Out

The kids straggle out of bed, earlier than normal on a Saturday morning. (Probably because of that echoing sneeze.)

After a quick hug and covering weekend plans, you notice little Billy is rubbing his eyes. It’d be normal to work a little tiredness out of your eyes first thing in the morning, but it only seems to be getting worse for Billy.

He just can’t stop itching his eyes.

Your mind goes into investigation mode. First the sneeze…and now the itchy eyes.

Something is in your house.

While the kids finish up their eggs and bacon, you head out on a mission, of sorts. You’re no home expert, but you know a thing or two.

You check the bedrooms…nothing. Well, the kids’ rooms desperately need cleaning, but a few piles of dirty clothes aren’t ruining your fall.

You take a peek in the attic. Probably a bat or two flying around up there, which gets you even more in the fall spirit. They can stay for now.

Nothing in the living room. Nothing in the kitchen. The bathrooms seem to be normal.

Now you know what you have to do. You have to go into the deepest, darkest place of your home. The spot where unneeded blankets go to waste away. Where half-started projects rest, frozen in time.

This thing…whatever it is, must be in the basement.

Tale #3 – Vanquishing

You didn’t think fall would start like this.

Here you are, slowly descending the steps into your cold, dark basement. On edge. Uncertain of what you’ll find.

But you know you have to go there.

You can sense this is where all the problems are coming from. The sneezing. Billy’s itchy eyes. That feeling of discomfort that’s slowly pervading your home, your sanctuary.

You reach the bottom of the steps and flip on the lights. You’re greeted by the familiar faces of stacked storage containers and that extra sofa for when Billy goes off to college.

But there’s another thing. Something in the air. A smell that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. And, you guessed it, this thing makes you sneeze yet again.

You walk toward it, knowing you need to take it on directly if you’re ever going to be free of the hideous stranglehold it has on your family and your home.

Then, as the smell gets stronger and stronger, you see it. You’re face to face with this horrible creature, and it’s just too much to bear.

The Black Mold seems to be dragging itself out of your crawl space, creeping closer and closer until you feel like you have to scream.

It’s just another sneeze.

But you’ve had enough. You can’t live like this.

You’re calling in backup.

You go to AprilAire’s Find A Pro database to seek out professional help for this monster that has infiltrated your home.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an AprilAire professional near you.

You talk it out with a knowledgeable indoor air quality professional, who gives you the resources you need to rip the monstrous Black Mold out of its stronghold and return your home to a place of peace.

It’s your favorite time of year, after all. You deserve to enjoy it in a healthy, happy, unhaunted home.

get-kids-active-this-summer

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

How to Get Kids Active This Summer

2 minute read

Click play to listen to How to Get Kids Active This Summer article. 

School is out for many children across the United States, leaving families with more quality time together and a lot more energy to expend. Travel plans will make for great experiences and memories. But don’t leave all the fun for the road! Let’s see some great ways you can keep the whole family engaged and entertained at home and in nearby areas.

Parks and Beaches

Can you name all the public parks and beaches near your hometown? Use the summertime to explore everything in your area, and keep a checklist to make sure you hit every one you’re interested in. Then you can narrow them down to your favorites, and visit those again and again! Use this handy park finder tool to get started.

Indoor Adventures

On days that are too hot and humid or when allergen levels are high, find indoor spaces with air conditioning and activities for everyone in the family. Museums and aquariums offer great learning opportunities, or you can visit a movie theater to check out the latest family-friendly summer blockbuster.

Staycation

Many families made upgrades to their home during the pandemic, making them more comfortable and full of entertainment options. So if you’ve got a new home theater setup or enough space for a blanket fort, don’t be afraid to spend some quality time right at home.

Plus, simple activities like a board game or putting together a puzzle offer great, low-cost opportunities to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.

To make sure you stay comfortable for at-home activities all summer long, make sure your air conditioner is cleaned up and properly maintained.

Home Cooking

The best way to wrap up a day of activities is with a nourishing homemade meal. If you want to avoid turning on the stove or oven on hot days, try cooking with an air fryer or slow cooker. To get fresh ingredients, take your family to a local farmers market and pick out local items to take back home and prepare.

And of course, the grill master in the family will take any excuse to fire up some outdoor cooking. In addition to proteins, add some fresh, seasonal veggies to the grill for an all-around satisfying meal.

Indoor Exercise

With all the different activities at your fingertips during the summer, it’s easy to forget about fitness and exercise. But on days with summer storms or extreme heat, getting the whole family moving indoors is a great way to burn off some energy and to create stronger bonds.

Start with creating a healthy exercise space, then let each member of the family choose simple indoor exercises that everyone can take part in. Even if the workout lasts for only 10 minutes, it’s worthwhile and you’ll be glad you did it.

If you want to get more creative, create a game or contest out of household chores. This gets the entire family involved in home responsibilities and creates a tidier, more peaceful space to enjoy.

summer-travel-2022-what-to-know

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Family |

What to Know About Summer Travel 2022

2 minute read

Click play to listen to What to Know About Summer Travel 2022 article. 

What’s on your travel list this summer?

Most estimates show that travel for summer 2022 will return to or exceed pre-pandemic levels, with many people making up for lost time by taking domestic and international trips in the coming months.

Your experience will vary whether you’re traveling by car for a road trip, or doing some globetrotting by plane. But in any case, you’ll want to keep in mind some basics around booking and planning, etiquette in crowds, and keeping your family healthy and safe.

Booking Travel

You’ve likely noticed that prices for things like plane tickets and hotels have risen dramatically in recent months (not to mention the increase in gas prices).

This indicates that there’s a strong demand for these services, so it’s best to book as early as you can. You should also be prepared for last-minute changes to your itinerary, and know ahead of time who you’ll contact if you have a delay.

You often have more control over your itinerary when you book directly with an airline or hotel, rather than through a travel agency.

Travel Industry

While the number of people willing and excited to travel is way up, many of the jobs in the travel industry haven’t been filled at the same pace. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the leisure and hospitality industry has lost 1.4 million jobs since the start of the pandemic.

That means understaffing in airports, hotels, restaurants, and other vacation destinations. While the reasons behind this shortage are varied and intertwined, it will have a real impact on your travel, likely resulting in more time spent waiting and the unavailability of certain amenities.

Try your best to build in time delays to your schedule, and remain patient in scenarios where understaffing is impacting your experience.

COVID-19 and Masking

Pandemic restrictions have been rolled back in many areas of the world. By deciding to travel, you’ll need to assume that it’s possible you and your family will be exposed to COVID-19 and other health risks.

Masking is no longer required for air travel in the United States, and many restaurants, hotels, and events you attend may not require them either. Plan ahead for these scenarios, and keep in mind the best practices for avoiding airborne diseases, which include: not gathering in large crowds, keeping six feet distance from those you don’t know, and being outside to encourage airflow around you.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their recommendations for those traveling this summer, recommending that everyone test for COVID-19 close to their departure date, regardless of vaccination status.

Staying Healthy Away from Home

Many of us have been stuck at home for the past couple years, getting us accustomed to immediate access to our daily medicines, food, water, and the bathroom. But keep in mind that this won’t be true while you travel.

Plan ahead by getting the medications you’ll need for the duration of your trip. And be aware of when you need to pack along food and water for your family. Staying hydrated and nourished are important parts of staying healthy while you travel.

Remember to have everyone wash their hands before eating, and educate yourself and your family about the risks of foodborne disease away from home.

Interview with the American Lung Association

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages |

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

AA Homepage Articles |

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.

Summer Pests

AA Homepage Articles | Environment |

Summer Pests to Be Aware Of

3 minute read

Click plays to listen to Summer Pests to Be Aware Of.

As you spend more time outdoors in the summer, you probably notice a lot of bugs and critters throughout the day. Their numbers grow and they become more active during the warmer months, and that means these creatures can quickly turn into pests whether you’re at home or out camping. Let’s review the most common summer pests and ways to avoid both indoor infestations and unwelcome guests in your camping area.

Summer Pests in the Home

Termites

Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year, making them a real concern for homeowners across the country. In many cases, termites go undetected until they’ve caused a major issue with the woodwork of your home.

Preventative measures go into most new constructions, and there are steps you can take to retrofit an existing house.

In general, it’s important to ensure proper drainage around your home, keep firewood away from the home, and seal up any exposed woodwork.

Ants

A trail of ants in the kitchen or bathroom is something no homeowner wants to see.

They enter the home through small cracks and crevices, lured in by food and moisture sources they commonly find in the kitchen.

Removing the ones you can see is only half the battle, and to truly remove the issue you need to focus on sanitation and avoiding exposed food and water sources.

Fruit Flies

Potted plants, kitchen sinks, fruit bowls, and anything else with sugar—these pests seem to hover around everything in the summertime.

In addition to being annoying, fruit flies also have the potential to spread harmful germs from surface to surface and onto things we eat.

There are a number of ways to trap them when they become an issue. To prevent them from popping up in the first place, keep fruit in the refrigerator, clean out your sink drain often, and let the soil in potted plants dry thoroughly between waterings.

Summer Pests Outdoors

Because you’ll be outside so much during the warm summer months, let’s take a look at the most common outdoor pests that can impact your camping trip or picnic in the park.

Mosquitoes

A sure sign of summer, these little biters are most active during sunrise, sunset, and during the night.

In addition to painful bites and an annoying rash, mosquito bites can spread disease like West Nile virus.

There are various strategies you can use to avoid being bitten, and you can help prevent the prevalence of mosquitoes in your outdoor space by removing standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Ticks

Checking for ticks at the end of a day spent outdoors is a good habit to develop. These parasites carry a number of diseases that can affect humans and animals, alike, and they’re becoming more prevalent across the United States.

Ticks are most commonly found in dense grassy and wooded areas, so keep an eye on pets when outside and try preventative tips to avoid being bitten.

To prevent a large number of ticks from invading your backyard, the key is in removing things like leaf litter and any other trash where ticks can hide. You should also mow your grass regularly, and prevent wild animals that carry ticks (like deer) from entering your yard.

Wasps and Bees

Telling the difference between bees and wasps is an important skill for safely interacting with these creatures without causing unnecessary harm to the benefits they offer.

While bees produce honey and pollinate, wasps can help control garden pests that munch on your greenery, like caterpillars, grubs, grasshoppers, aphids, and flies.

Despite their benefits, a sting from these creatures is painful and can cause serious allergic reactions in some people, so hives and nests can be removed if they’re interfering with everyday activities. If you’re unsure of how to deal with it, call an exterminator who specializes in bee and wasp removal.

Other Ways to Prevent Pests

Insects are common in the summertime, but they’re not the only pests that can cause issues in the home. Rodents and birds can also find their way into your home or garage, causing damage over time. Here are some steps to consider for long-lasting pest protection.

  • Clean up food waste and remove garbage promptly
  • Ensure dry conditions in your basement or crawl space using AprilAire dehumidification systems
  • Seal up holes and gaps around your home where insects or rodents may enter
  • Inspect window screens for holes or gaps, and keep windows and doors closed when not in use
  • Keep your yard groomed and store firewood away from structures. Elevating firewood can also reduce the risk of termites and other pests