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Healthy Air In The News – March 2021

2 minute read

Healthy Air In The News is a collection of recently published articles and resources that we’ve found for you to share with your co-workers and customers. Help spread the message about what everyone can do to create Healthy Air!

MIT – COVID-19 Indoor Safety Guideline
https://indoor-covid-safety.herokuapp.com/

This interesting new app from MIT researchers calculates safe occupancy levels and periods of exposure for indoor environments with the goal of limiting COVID-19 transmission. Taking into account room specifications, number of occupants and human behavior (e.g. speaking, exercising, use of a mask, etc.) the app provides a general safety guideline for people to follow. A great interactive tool you can share with customers anytime, but especially when promoting Effective Virus Protection with AprilAire’s Healthy Air System!

Business Insider – Using a humidifier in your home this winter could lower the risk of coronavirus transmission and give your immune system a leg up
https://www.businessinsider.com/humidifiers-could-reduce-coronavirus-transmission-risk-indoors-2020-12

A great article from Business Insider provides insight into how humidity and temperature impact the spread of coronavirus along with why proper humidification is especially important during the winter. It also includes a conversation about how an indoor relative humidity range of 40-60% *provides an overall benefit to our immune systems. While the benefits of using a humidifier are highlighted, readers are also reminded that virus spread prevention is a multi-faceted approach. One that includes overall air quality control (e.g. ventilation, air filtration, etc.), proper hygiene, and mask use.

AARP – How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
https://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2020/improve-home-air-quality.html

A great resource to share with your customers, How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality provides some great tips for homeowners to get them thinking about proper ventilation, air purification, radon, and mold/mildew prevention. This doesn’t just include the HVAC strategies that you, as contractors, know and promote so well. The article also talks about developing good habits like using ceiling fans and cleaning cooking vents on a regular basis to promote good ventilation.

*AprilAire, in concordance with ASHRAE, recommends keeping indoor humidity levels between 30-60% to minimize virus survival rates.

Healthy Home | AprilAire Partners

Corbett Lunsford from Home Diagnosis On IAQ

3 minute read

Lunsford’s Advice For Creating A Healthy Home

 

We talked about creating a healthy home and much more with Corbett Lunsford, co-host of the public television series ‘Home Diagnosis,’ which focuses on the science of homes.

 

This article serves a great resource to inform your customer’s on the importance of reducing chemicals in the home. The challenges will be different depending on the age of the home. 

 

While buying an older, existing home presents its own air quality challenges, building a new home provides your customers with a chance to create their own unique space. 

 

Modern building techniques and materials make construction more efficient and less expensive, but some of them can emit pollutants into the air and introduce other potential air quality issues.

 

Lunsford and the zero-VOC home

 

“Every home is a chemical experiment at work,” said Corbett Lunsford. “Think of the home as a planet, with millions of microorganisms, an ecosystem that evolves as more things are added to it. Try to avoid bringing reactive things into the house and things that will “off-gas” over the long-term, like insulation or materials with flame retardants.” 

 

Lunsford reminds us that despite your customer’s best efforts, it is impossible to have a zero-VOC home. 

 

“We’re always bringing chemicals and VOCs into the house with everyday activities like cooking and cleaning and breathing.”

 

Using the AprilAire Healthy Air System™ helps keep those VOCs that Lunsford mentioned from accumulating in the customer’s homes. This multi-prong approach helps reduce the proliferation of VOCs, airborne viruses, odors, and other pollutants that can wreak havoc on a home’s indoor air quality. This approach uses humidity control, air filtration, and fresh air ventilation to address the multitude of problems faced by homeowners. 

 

Lunsford details all of the important steps homeowners can take, with your help, to keep their home’s ecosystem balanced. We detail the ways that AprilAire can address those concerns presented by homeowners in both new and older homes. 

 

‘You Should Have A Dehumidifier’

 

  • “You should have a dehumidifier, even if you have a humidifier for the winter. What you want to do is control the humidity so you don’t grow mold.

 

Controlling humidity is a crucial component for controlling indoor air quality. ASHRAE recommends keeping a home’s humidity between 30-60 percent to the proliferation of a majority of issues like airborne viruses, pests, and mold. AprilAire Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers feature an easy display panel to keep your  customer’s home comfortable. A humidifier and dehumidifier will also help protect important furnishings in the home from warping and rotting. This is especially key for older homes. 

 

Lunsford says Ventilation is Key

 

  • “If you have an outdoor air system that works, then things like chemicals and humidity won’t be as big of an issue.”

 

With newer homes, ventilation is key. Newer built homes are built tighter which is great for energy-efficiency, but the home traps in moisture and chemicals. An AprilAire Ventilation system works to remove that moisture and chemical-filled air and replace it with fresh air from the outside. Our ventilation system filters and humidifies the outdoor air that it brings in too. 

 

Lunsford’s Healthy Home Advice for Kids

 

Keeping the air healthy is especially important for kids’ developing lungs. 

 

“If you’re seeking healthier indoor air, especially for developing kids, you need a MERV 13 filter,” Lunsford said. 

 

Constant exposure to air pollution can cause respiratory issues like asthma. 

 

“Carpets hold onto a lot of particles. Children spend the most time next to that flooring that may have harmful chemicals in it,” according to Lunsford.

 

Lunsford recommends using an air purifier to filter out those harmful particulates and replace those particulates with healthy air. Those particulates include asthma and allergy triggers, radon, and odors. 

 

While Lunsford recommends a MERV 13 Filter, AprilAire offers a MERV 16 Filter which can be paired with several of our air purifiers to filter out those harmful particulates even better. Our Model 5000 Air purifier paired with our MERV 16 Air Filter offers superior protection to your customer’s HVAC system and filters out 98% of airborne particulates that trigger asthma. 

 

As Lunsford said, a home’s ecosystem is a balance. Provide resources below to your customers and let them know that AprilAire has a multitude of products to help combat indoor air quality regardless of whether it’s a new home or an existing home. 

 

Corbett Lunsford’s Recommended Resources

The HOMEChem Experiment

A deep exploration into how indoor air chemical compounds interact and transform throughout a normal day of activities.

Six Classes Approach

Information on household chemicals.

Toxic Chemicals and Home Performance

Biophysical chemist Arlene Blum talks with Corbett Lunsford and Grace (hosts of Home Diagnosis) to talk about the “Six Classes” of harmful chemicals.

Home Performance YouTube Channel

Over 500 educational videos on the science of homes.

Partners Homepage Blog Display AprilAire Partners

AprilAire, the Leader in Healthy Air Solutions, Reduces by 66% Environmental Impact of Dehumidifiers

2 minute read

MADISON, Wis. (March 25, 2024) – AprilAire, the leader in whole-house Healthy Air solutions, announces it is once again advancing its Dehumidifier lineup to be more intuitive, easy to connect, simple to use and maintain, and environmentally friendly.

 

Customers fuel the AprilAire passion to continually raise the bar. In 2024, AprilAire is excited to phase in the following new features and benefits to its market-leading Dehumidifier product offering:

 

First, and most significantly, AprilAire is upgrading the refrigerant in its Dehumidifiers to reduce by 66% the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of all the models in its lineup. The transition to R32 is underway and projected to wrap up across the full product line by year-end.

 

Look for this seal on AprilAire Dehumidifier packaging to indicate the product is more environmentally friendly and contains the refrigerant R32.

 

 

In addition, AprilAire continues to make its Dehumidifiers easier to use and maintain by eliminating the On/Off switch in non-hardwired models, as well as introducing a new, tool-less filter door in the E080 and E100 models.

 

“Customers will continue to experience the same superior product performance and reliability they have come to expect from AprilAire Dehumidifiers. By providing a more environmentally friendly product, we strengthen our brand leverage in the whole-home category and retain our position as the leader in delivering best-in-class Healthy Air solutions to dehumidify homes,” said Katie Zagorski, AprilAire Senior Product Manager, Dehumidification.

 

About AprilAire

 

AprilAire is on a mission to make homes healthy. We believe everyone deserves Healthy Air and envision a future with Healthy Air in every home. Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin since 1954, AprilAire has been creating and delivering Healthy Air solutions to manage air purity, humidity, fresh air supply, temperature, and mitigate radon and viruses in all types of homes, and all environments. We have an unparalleled reputation as the brand of choice among tens of thousands of professional contractors and make a Healthy Air difference in the lives of the millions of families who rely on our products every day. To learn how to turn a house into a Healthy Home with the AprilAire Healthy Air System® visit www.aprilaire.com.

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An Update on Indoor Air Quality from the Project Sustainability Podcast

2 minute read

As a contractor, you know that Indoor Air Quality is a hot topic these days. With more and more people spending time indoors, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that the air inside homes and businesses for your customers is as clean as possible. The Project Sustainability Podcast is here to help.

 

Hosted by a team of experts in sustainability and environmentalism, the Project Sustainability Podcast aims to educate and entertain listeners about a wide range of topics related to the environment. Their episode, “An Update on Indoor Air Quality,” features AprilAire Senior Training and Development Manager of AprilAire Academy Chris Howells participating in a discussion on the many factors that can affect the air quality inside our homes and buildings.

 

From volatile organic compounds to particulate matter to the impact of the air in the home on your customers’ pets, Chris and Project Sustainability’s Peggy Smedley cover a broad range of information and provide an engaging, enjoyable conversation on environmental issues and Indoor Air Quality.

 

This episode offers valuable insights into how you can continue to improve the air quality in your customers’ homes as well as practical tips for choosing the right air cleaner for different spaces and advice on how to improve ventilation and humidity control. Chris also emphasizes the importance of taking a holistic approach to Indoor Air Quality—there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and a combination of different strategies may be needed depending on the specific circumstances of the home and its location. For contractors, this is an important reminder that improving Indoor Air Quality requires a nuanced understanding of the unique needs of each client.

 

Tune in for a resource to stay informed on the latest trends and best practices in Indoor Air Quality plus the impact on the HVAC industry. If you are looking to stay ahead of the curve and provide the best possible service to your clients, give the Project Sustainability Podcast a listen today.

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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.