reduce mold spores inside your house

Healthy Humidity |

Reduce In-Home Mold Growth with a Whole-House Dehumidifier

3 minute read

We all try our hardest to reduce in-home mold growth or mold exposure in our homes. Try as we might, mold can find its way in through our windows, vents, or heating/cooling systems without our knowledge. We ourselves can even bring it inside on our clothing or shoes – our pets can also be carrying culprits. That said, these uncontrollable factors can make it pretty difficult to avoid mold in our everyday lives but, luckily, there are ways to reduce your in-home mold growth.

Mold loves moisture. Without moisture, there’s no mold growth so it’s essential to keep your home dry and free from water. Mold also tends to thrive around leaks in roofs, windows, and pipes. Sometimes, you can even see it on surfaces, appearing like spots of many different colors with a musty smell. It can show on cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, paint, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, and fabric. But, despite our best efforts, it’s possible to still expose your home to mold and fuel growth accidentally. So, if you have mold, you’re going to want to remove it. Here are some tips for mold remediation, removal, and prevention so you can say goodbye to mold in your home.

Best Tips to Reduce In-Home Mold Growth

Invest in Healthy Air & Humidity Control

First things first, if you’re looking to get ahead of future mold issues, you must invest in Healthy Air. Poor air quality can impact your health in many ways so it’s important to control your home’s humidity while ensuring proper ventilation, and air purification. Without these solutions, your polluted indoor air can directly impact your home’s susceptibility to mold.

As a general rule of thumb, your home’s humidity should between 40-60%, while ventilation should be present in areas prone to high moisture, like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements.

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    Build with Mold Resistant Materials

    When building or remodeling a home, be sure your materials are resistant to mold. Whether you choose to use mold-resistant drywall or paint, these quick adaptations can help prevent mold and moisture control issues in your home.

    Reduce In-Home Mold Spread

    If you see something, do something. It doesn’t matter what kind of mold you have or how much there is. If you have any mold, it must be removed. Mold poses a direct threat to your home’s environment and air quality, as well as your family’s health. Plus, mold can spread…just think: when one slice of bread gets moldy, eventually all of them become spotted and spoiled in no time. So, be sure to dry any wet areas immediately to help slow the spread and growth. If you think there’s mold in your HVAC system, it’s best to stop running it so the mold doesn’t spread further into your home.

    Best Tips for In-Home Mold Removal

     Should You Hire a Mold Inspector?

    The CDC actually doesn’t recommend mold inspection. It can not only be costly but can become a long process. The best thing to do is forego the inspection process and have the mold removed regardless. Again, if you see mold, take the necessary steps to remove it.

    Options for In-Home Mold Remediation and Removal

    There are plenty of options when it comes to in-home mold remediation and removal. If the area you’re looking to treat is less than 10sqft, you should be able to complete the job by yourself. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household cleaning products, soap and water, or a bleach solution. General rules of thumb when embarking on DIY mold remediation:

    • Use no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water
    • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners, as the combination can create a poisonous gas
    • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
    • Open doors and windows while using bleach; ensure proper ventilation
    • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and protective eyewear during remediation efforts

    If, for larger areas, you decide to call in a professional, be sure they’ve dealt with mold in the past. Plus, if you have any health concerns, it’s always best to consult with a pro before beginning cleanup.

    Looking for more in-home mold remediation or removal tips? Let these tips help guide you through the process:

    • If you suspect your carpeting or ceiling tiles are moldy, it’s best to throw them away rather than try to salvage them
    • Don’t paint or caulk in an effort to cover up mold; instead, clean mold and dry the surface prior to making any improvements
    • If you’re unsure how to repair or clean a moldy item, contacting a professional who specializes in furniture repair, restoration, or water damage may be beneficial
    • Be sure you’re protecting yourself and your family from during the cleanup process by wearing the recommended material and following the outlined cleanup steps

    Healthy Humidity plays a key role in our overall wellness. Just think…without it, your home could become a playground for in-home mold growth. Ensuring your home is filled with Healthy Air through humidification and ventilation efforts can keep your family happy and healthy in your home.

    Reduce In-Home Mold Growth with AprilAire

    Find a Healthy Air Professional near you to find out how you can protect your home from future in-home mold issues and breathe better overall.

    Breathe the Fullness of Life.
    Don't lose sleep over dry air this winter.

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    health impacts of humidity

    AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Humidity |

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

    2 minute read

    Click play to listen to Humid Air and Frizzy Hair—Plus Other Health Impacts of Humidity.

    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

    Find an AprilAire professional near you.

    Cost Savings With Humidity Control

    Healthy Humidity | AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages |

    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.

     

    healthy-humidity-cost-savings

    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.

    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

    Click the play button to listen to the post

    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.

    Total Home Performance Consultation

    AA Homepage Articles |

    Total Home Performance Provides Solutions Based on Building Science

    2 minute read

    Total Home Performance, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, utilizes a science-based, top-down approach in creating healthy homes for its clients. They see their customers as their neighbors, utilizing a no-pressure sales technique to provide the best solution, not just the one that’s going to make the biggest impact on the bottom line. They provide an informative and visual-based process that walks the homeowner through any issues they’ve spotted and how they can be addressed based on the latest building science principles.

    Total Home Performance Grows Steadily

    Over the last 13 years, Total Home has steadily grown from an energy audit service to a full-service home performance contractor. While its growth has led to expanded expertise, more employees, and more infrastructure, the company has remained true to its humble roots to make a positive impact on the lives of homeowners they service. Many of the company’s employees have been with them since the beginning, creating a unique family atmosphere that leaves owner Matthew Hargrove proud.

    “We are a true family here. We have committed our lives to this business…We feel very fortunate and proud to not only be supporting this amount of people but providing this type of work that is of such great benefit to our customers.”

    Like many other home performance contractors, Total Home Performance has seen increased demand for its services since the COVID-19 pandemic. More homeowners are concerned about their home’s indoor air quality and if their home is making them sick.

    Healthy Home Assessments Help Homeowners

    As a result, Total Home Performance began offering healthy home assessments to evaluate the health and safety issues that could be negatively impacting homeowners. This begins with a visual inspection of the property to identify things like moisture, mold, pest intrusion, or other potential contaminants. Based on this inspection, they can perform specific tests for things like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold, and moisture to pinpoint the root cause and lay out a plan to eradicate these issues.

    Humidity control is especially vital for many homeowners along the eastern shore since they butt up against the Chesapeake Bay and other inlets leaving them vulnerable to the impacts of excess humidity like mold, mildew, discomfort, and structural damage.

    The Big Three

    The Total Home team also shores up any poorly insulated areas ensuring the home is energy-efficient and protected from whatever mother nature may throw its way. Sealing up the house also helps create a perfect structure for Total Home Performance to apply, what Hargrove calls “The Big Three”—ventilation, filtration, and moisture management strategy—which helps eliminate household viruses, VOCs, and other health issues within the home.

    Contact Total Home Performance

    If you want to feel the difference in your home, see an improvement in your health and save on your energy bills, contact Total Home Performance today.