Springtime tips from the EPA

Thursday, April 4, 2013 by Aprilaire Team

Follow these tips suggested by the EPA, http://www.epa.gov/epahome/hi-spring.htm 

In your garden

A beautiful and healthy lawn is good for our environment. It can resist damage from weeds, disease, and insect pests. Pesticides can be effective, but need to be used according to the directions on the label and should not be relied on as a quick-fix to lawn problems.

Here are some tips to follow:

Develop healthy soil. Make sure your soil has the right pH balance, key nutrients, and good texture. You can buy easy-to-use soil analysis kits at hardware stores or contact your local County Cooperative Extension Service for a soil analysis.

Choose the right grass for your climate. If your area gets very little rain, don't plant a type of grass that needs a lot of water. Select grass seed that is well suited to your climate and other growing conditions such as the amount of sunlight and rain you lawn receives. Over-seed your lawn each Fall by spreading seeds on top of the lawn. A thicker lawn helps to crowd out weeds. Your local County Extension Service can advise you on which grasses grow best in your area.

Longer is Better. Make sure the lawn mower blades are sharp. Grass that is slightly long makes a strong, healthy lawn with few pest problems. Weeds have a hard time taking root and growing when grass is around 2½ to 3½ inches for most types of grass.

Water Early. It is time to water if footprint impressions stay in the lawn and do not spring back. Water early in the morning and only for short periods for time so the soil may absorb the water. Longer grass has stronger roots and retains water better.

Correct thatch buildup. Thatch is a layer of dead plant materials between the grass blades and the soil. When thatch gets too thick, deeper than 3/4 of an inch, water and nutrients are prevented from getting into the soil and reaching the roots of the grass. Overusing synthetic fertilizer can create heavy layer of thatch, and some kinds of grass are prone to thatch buildup.

Recycle grass. Don't pick up the grass clippings after you mow. Clippings will return nutrients and moisture to the soil. Consider buying a mulching lawn mower. This will cut the grass clippings finer and blow them into the lawn.

Let your lawn breathe. Once a year, remove small plugs of earth to allow air and water to aerate the grass roots.

Invite a few weeds and insects into you garden. Think of you lawn as a small piece of nature where pests have their place. Often, nature provides its own pest control in the form of birds or other insects that feed on the insects we consider nuisances.

Use manual tools. Tools that don't require electric or gasoline engines are especially handy for small yards or small jobs. There are hand tools available that will meet a wide variety of lawn and garden needs, like lightweight, quiet, easy-to-use reel push mowers that generate no emissions.


Using pesticides safely

If you decide that the best solution to your pest problem is a pesticide, follow these tips when selecting and using a garden product:

    Identify the pest problem
    Find the product that solves the problem
    Buy the right amount for your needs
    Read the label carefully and use the product the right way
    Pay attention to warnings
    Prevent harm to the environment - never pour lawn and garden products down a drain

Spring Cleaning


If you are going to be doing some spring cleaning, take a look around your house for items that present environmental hazards when they are improperly disposed of. Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be "household hazardous waste" or "HHW." Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides, that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when you dispose of them.

Heating and cooling


Is your home's cooling equipment more than 10 years old? If so, EPA encourages you to have your current system inspected for energy performance by a professional contractor before their busy summer season hits.

If it's time for a replacement, be sure to choose equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR for high efficiency.
If it's not yet time to replace, have your contractor perform routine annual maintenance on your system to make sure it will efficiently and comfortably carry you through the hot summer months without costing you more than necessary.
 

Can I set my Aprilaire model 5000 to come on anytime my furnace or air conditioning is running?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Consumer question:

Can I set my air cleaner to a mode in which it will only be active when the furnace (or air condition) is running? And what is the difference between the Constant Cleaning mode and the Allergies mode - is it that the Allergies mode shuts the air cleaner after 24 hours and then what?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding your model 5000 Aprilaire Electronic air cleaner.
You can set your model 5000 to be active only when the furnace is running if it is wired correctly. Press the button on your event control that has the arrow on the screen pointing to the event that it is set for. This will turn that arrow off rendering all events inactive.

The difference between Constant and Allergy; Constant Cleaning will run for 24 hrs, 7 days a week until turned off in the same manner discussed earlier. Allergy will run for 24 hrs then shut off the event on it's own. Then it will be set in the mode discussed earlier running only when the furnace runs.

 

I have manual control for my whole house humidifier. I've been noticing water on the windows in the morning.

Saturday, May 12, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
I have manual control for my whole house humidifier. I've been noticing water on the windows in the morning. When I look at the humidistat it is set for 32% (doesn't say RH but thats what I assume). I got another Aprilaire humistat that just measures RH and put it on top of my existing control. Where the existing control indicates about 32%(5% hysterisis) the standalone unit indicates 44%RH. How do I know which is correct and what do I do if my existing manual control is wrong? IS there a way to clean or calibrate it?
 

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding your Aprilaire humidistat. If you turn the dial from left to right you should hear two clicks. The actual humidity in your home will be the area between the two clicks. For example, if the humidistat clicks at 30% and 36% your actual humidity would be 33%. There is not a way to calibrate the humidistat. It is unclear from your email if the original humidistat is an Aprilaire humidistat, so it is difficult to say if it is out of spec. The accuracy of our Aprilaire manual humidistats are +/- 5%

The moisture on your windows is due to the surface temperature of your windows reaching dew point. This occurs when there is more humidity in the home than what the home can hold based on the current outdoor temperature. As the temperature outside drops you want less humidity in your home. For example when the outdoor temperature is 20F or above we recommend 35% humidity at a room temperature of 70F. If the outdoor temperature drops to 0F you'll want 25%.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be of service.

No water comes in to the model 500 aprilaire humidifier when running. What could be happening?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
No water comes in to the model 500 aprilaire humidifier when running. Could it be a problem with the solenoid valve??


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us.
No water could be an indication of an issue with the solenoid valve.
If you have an Automatic Control try putting it into test mode:

A. No click at the solenoid valve indicates an electrical problem. Contact the heating and air conditioning dealer to further check the electrical components of the Aprilaire Humidifier.

B. If the solenoid valve makes a click sound and there is no water draining from the unit, this would indicate the flow of water is being obstructed.

1. To determine if water flow is being obstructed, turn the dial of the humidifier control to the off position. The first location to check for an obstruction would be at the saddle valve located on the water line supplying water to the humidifier. When checking the saddle valve, make sure it is completely open. This can be done by turning the valve all the way to the left. If anything is clogged, it can be dislodged by turning the saddle valve all the way to the right and back to the left. Once this is done, turn the humidifier control dial above the click point and water should be coming out the drain line.

2. If water is still not coming out of the drain, check the orifice and in-line strainer to make sure they are not clogged. The orifice is located in the tube on the outlet side of the solenoid valve and the in-line strainer is located on the inlet side of the solenoid valve (see attached). The orifice may be cleared by inserting a needle through the small opening. The strainer may be cleaned by running it under warm water to dislodge deposits or replace it. After clearing and re-installing the orifice and strainer (be sure to double wrench all water connections), turn the humidifier control dial above the click point and water should be coming out the drain line.

 

Aprilaire 10 Year Clean Coil Commitment

Friday, April 20, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Aprilaire Air Cleaners are so effective at removing particles and contaminants that are harmful to your family and your HVAC equipment, we offer this guarantee.  Should your new indoor air conditioning coil require professional cleaning in the next 10 years while properly using an Aprilaire Air Cleaner, we will pay $100 toward the cost of having the indoor coil cleaned by a licensed contractor.

This commitment applies to new HVAC equipment with a new indoor air conditioner coil (less than six months old) installed with an Aprilaire Air Cleaner.  The Aprilaire Air Cleaner must be installed by a licensed HVAC contractor.  The Aprilaire Air Cleaner must be properly maintained as per directions in the owner's manual including use of only Aprilaire brand media replacement.   Click to view Aprilaire's Clean Coil Commitment.

Summer's High Humidity Affects Indoor Air Quality

Monday, April 2, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Summer is almost here and with it we welcome the long-awaited warm weather but not the sticky, high levels of humidity that often come with it.  High humidity affects the quality of indoor air and can affect the health of you and your family in a variety of ways.

High humidity levels can cause mold, encourage dust mites which are a major cause of allergies, and cause a hot of problems in the home that can affect your physical health.  Visible signs of high humidity levels include condensation on windows, peeling wallpaper, damp patches on walls and ceilings, a musty smell and dampness.  But there are also numerous problems that go undetected because you can not see or smell them. 

A few of the most common health effects of too much moisture in the home include the following:

Dust mites:  At least 10 percent of the population suffers from a dust mite allergy.  Half of American homes have enough bedding with enough dust mite allergen to cause allergies.. Of these homes, 24 percent had levels that were five times greater than the threshold to cause allergic reactions.

To control dust mites, experts recommend regular cleaning to reduce dust, as well as encasing mattresses, box springs and pillows in allergy-free cases.  The more dust-free the home, the less likely it will be able to support significant populations of allergen0causing dust mites.  Some of the symptoms associated with it include sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, stuffy ears, respiratory problems, atopic dermatitis and asthma.

Bacteria: you can't see or feel bacteria but they live on countertops, table surfaces, carpet, pillows, mattresses and just about anywhere people are.  Bacteria also grow profusely when there is plenty of moisture present.

Formaldehyde: When humidity levels are high, products such as furniture, cabinets, building materials and even some latex paints then to release formaldehyde into the air at a faster rate.  Studies have suggested that people exposed to formaldehyde levels ranging from 50 to 100 parts per billion for long periods of time are more likely to experience asthma-related respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.

If you suspect that the air in your home is too moist, be sure to vent the areas that create moisture, like the show or bathroom.  You may also consider a whole home dehumidifier like the Aprilaire Model 1710A, 1730A,1750A or the 1770A.  The Aprilaire dehumidifiers can work independently or in tandem with the heating and cooling systems to remove extra moisture from your home.  A system like this will allow homeowners to achieve the EPA recommended humidity levels in the house of 30-50 percent.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Whole Home Air Cleaners - they are Proven to Protect and Even Improve Health

Monday, April 2, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

The air in American homes is increasingly contaminated and polluted, and now studies have linked poor indoor air quality to the dramatic rise in not only allergy and asthma symptoms, but also a variety of other health issues, including heart disease, stroke and blood clots.

Studies are emerging that prove poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to a variety of symptoms and medical issues.  While individuals with pre-existing medical problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and allergies are at most risk from poor indoor quality, the medical literature demonstrates that even those in a good state of health are negatively affected.

The latest study conducted by scientists from Denmark and Sweden, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, reveals that poor indoor air adversely affects the performance of blood vessels in humans leading to cardiovascular disease.  The study also found that indoor air filtration greatly reduced the amount of ultrafine, fine and coarse air particles in the homes tested, which was associated with an actual improvement in the microvascular function of the study participants.

In an effort to protect public health and combat airborne invaders, Aprilaire, a leading manufacturer of indoor air quality products, is urging consumers nationwide to consider whole-home air cleaners as part of a modern and integrated approach to managing their indoor environments. Homeowners can be sure that a whole-home air cleaner works to permanently trap the airborne contaminants that most affect health and aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms, moving clean and comfortable air throughout every room of the home, all while operating silently and out of sight.

While the medical community acknowledges the benefits of clean air in the home, consumers often find themselves disappointed with the options available at local home improvement centers where portable, do-it-yourself air cleaning units are sold.

“We know through research that most people buy portable air cleaners to help alleviate some sort of respiratory issue, this cannot be accomplished with one portable air cleaner for an entire home,” said Mike Rimrodt, marketing director for Aprilaire. “In fact, most homes require four or five portable units or more too clean the air throughout the entire home and still don’t do as good a job,” notes Rimrodt. “When comparing performance, installation and maintenance factors, and overall cost, a whole-home air cleaning solution is ideal for families who want to ensure healthy, clean air in every room and get the best value for their dollar.”

Whole-home air cleaners permanently trap the airborne contaminants that can aggravate health and allergy and asthma symptoms. In a recent standard industry test, the Aprilaire 5000 achieved 99 percent efficiency against airborne particles. The unit captures and kills virtually all contaminants including those that most affect personal health—viruses, bacteria, spores and allergens 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Aprilaire also offers homeowners a one-of-a-kind air cleaner control that allows them to actively clean the air in their entire home based on personal preference and event triggers. A simple-to-program thermostat features Event-Based ™ Air Cleaning:

  • Constant Cleaning:  air cleaner is active for 24 hours a day seven days a week
  • Automatic:  air cleaner will run a minimum of 30 minutes per hour
  • Event Clean:  air cleaners will run for three hours continuously and then turn off
  • Allergies:  air cleaner will run continuously for 24 hours and then turn off

Event-Based Air Cleaning also provides other conveniences such as indicators that air cleaning is taking place as well maintenance reminders.

For more information on whole-home air cleaners and Event-Based Air Cleaning, visit www.aprilaire.com.

Aprilaire Periodic Preventative Humidifier Maintenance

Monday, April 2, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Periodic Preventative Maintenance

  • NOTE: Periodic inspection and preventive maintenance of your total heating system is important for efficient and safe operation. Your heating contractor should include humidifier service at the same time. All models are equipped with an in-line water strainer and orifice as shown below. These parts should be inspected and cleaned periodically to assure continued proper unit performance.

Aprilaire Humidifier Recommended Annual Maintenance

Monday, April 2, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Recommended Annual Maintenance

  • The water panel should be changed once a year, with a few exceptions.
    • The model 400 has a panel that should be changed twice a season
    • If extremely hard water is used in any Aprilaire humidifier, the panel should be changed more frequently than once a season. 
    • The water panel cannot be cleaned because it has a special coating that helps the water adhere to the panel while the air is passing through it.  Without the coating, more water will go down the drain and less will be converted into a vapor.
  • Drain line
    • Detach the drain line from the drain spud at the bottom of the unit. 
    • Bend it at the various points to loosen calcium deposits which may have formed on the inside of the line, and flush it with pressurized water. 
    • You can also pour bleach through it prior to the water.  This will kill any micro-organisms that happen to be living in the drain line. 
    • The drain line can be replaced should it prove difficult to clean. 
  • Feed tube
    • Detach the tube from the nozzle at the top of the unit, and unscrew the end of the solenoid valve at the other end of the feed tube. 
    • Run high pressure water through the tube and replace. 
    • When reconnecting the feed tube, remember to double wrench the connections to prevent leaking.
  • Inside of unit
    • Look for any mineral deposits on the Scale Control Insert after removing the water panel, and get rid of them by wiping the insert with a damp towel or rag.  They should come right off. 
    • If there are deposits on the inside of the cover, or in the case of a 700, on the fan blade, it may be indicative of a larger problem known as entrainment.  ()
    • Do not remove granulated coating on the distribution tray – not an issue with the new ones. 
      • The granular coating is there to break up the surface tension of the water.  This allows water to flow evenly through all of the openings in the water distribution tray. 
      • The newer trays have a fabric along the bottom of the tray which does the same thing as the granular coating.  The difference is the customer doesn’t have to worry about scraping off the fabric.
  • Hard or Soft Water
    • Aprilaire offers total flexibility in the installation of our humidifiers in that they will operate properly with either hard or soft water. Connecting to hard water may leave mineral deposits on the water panel that are scaly and hard in nature. Connecting to soft water may leave mineral deposits that are fluffier in nature. The bottom line is the water panel will typically last a full heating season using either type of water.  When extremely hard water is used in the humidifier, maintenance should be performed approximately every six months. 

There's a knock whenever the humidifier comes on or shuts off. What is the cause?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Consumer question:

There's a knock whenever the humidifier comes on or shuts off. What is the cause?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us with regards to your model 700 Humidifier. The noise you hear is the humidifier's solenoid valve (water valve) opening or closing. Normally, this valve makes a slight 'click' noise when doing this, but water pressure and the build up of water scale inside the unit can increase this noise. As a test, try turning off the water to the humidifier and then use the humidistat to turn the humidifier on and off. Listen for changes in the noise. Typically, the noise is quieter without any water pressure, but pressure is required to feed the correct amount of water through the unit.
Speak to your contractor about possible remedies if the noise becomes excessive. Anything from cleaning the valve to adding sound-insulating foam rubber to the valve can help dampen the nosie. In some cases, replacing the copper tubing with steel-braided rubber tubing or installing a shock-arrestor can help dampen the noise by absorbing the impact the water makes when the valve closes.

 

 

How does the Drainless Model 400 Aprilaire humidifier work?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

On cleaning my humidifier, I noticed that the right hand float is sitting in water and when it is pushed down water enters the chamber. The left float compartment is dry. Is this the way it is supposed to be or is there something wrong. I have cleaned the unit and removed all scale buildup. Thanks for your attention.

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us. Yes, that is the way it is supposed to work. The second float is a back up to the first float valve that you pushed down. When the float valve touches the bottom the power from the transformer passes to the solenoid and causes it to open and allow water to flow into the basin. We recommend replacing the water panel at the half way point of your winter because the water panel can break down and not work as well in absorbing the water from the basin. If you have any other questions please contact us at 800-334-6011.

Clean or replace my Aprilaire water panel for my humidifier?

Monday, November 21, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

Can I clean my aprilaire filter or do I need to replace it?


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding the water panel (filter) for your 600A. Because there is a special coating on the water panel that helps the water adhere to the water panel, we don't recommend cleaning the water panel. By cleaning it, you may remove some of this coating and this will affect the performance of the water panel as well as the humidifier. We recommend changing the water panel with a genuine Aprilaire water panel for maximum performance. By replacing the water panel in the beginning of the heating season, your humidifier will be ready to run at peak performance for the winter.

If you have any further questions regarding this or any of our products, please feel free to contact our customer service department at your earliest convenience.

Seals for the model 2200 Space-Gard Air Cleaner, how do you clean them?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

We have the Aprilaire Space-Gard Air Cleaner Model 2200, using the Replacement Media #201, and we have the model which has an inner housing with the center aluminum brace down the middle.

The two end panels of the inner media housing are faced with a pink \"insulation-type\" material to seal the edges so the air flow can\'t go around the media. The outer (removable) panel also has the same pink material.

Over time this pink material has become very dusty and dirty (in the spaces where it lies between the folds of the media). I have turned each of them once, and now both sides are very dirty. I have tried vacuuming the surfaces, but the dirt is lodged so deeply that it will not come out. I want to have clean surfaces on these three panels.

1.) May I wash that pink "insulation" material?
2.) Are there other ways to clean those surfaces?
(like, what did the original engineers have in mind?)
3.) Are there replacement pink insulation pieces available?
Please advise.

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding the seals for your model 2200 Space-Gard Air Cleaner. The seals will get dirty over time as they are designed to catch any particles which try to avoid the 201 filtering media. Once the seals catch the particles they are permanently trapped. Since you would like to replace them you may contact your installing contractor to obtain the seal kit, our part number 4725.

Taming Your Pet Allergies

Friday, October 7, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Taming Your Pet Allergies

Studies indicate that more than 70% of U.S. households currently own one or more domestic animals, with an estimated 10 million owners who are allergic to them.  About a third of the population that is allergic to cats, live with at least one cat in their home anyways.  Whether it’s a cat, dog, hamster or other household animal, simple steps can be taken to make your pet allergies more tolerable.

Don’t Blame the Fur

Allergic reactions are caused by exposure to proteins that are normally present in secretions from the glands in the skin as well as in the animal’s saliva or urine.  Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter whether your pet has short or long hair – it’s the pet’s dander (skin scales) that con cause some of the worst allergic reactions.  Although a pet’s fur doesn’t in itself cause allergic reactions – a pet’s hair is a good carrier of pet dander and saliva as well as dust, mold spores and other allergens.

Prevention is the Best Treatment

Allergists agree that the best treatment for pet allergies, as for all types of allergies, is avoidance of the things that cause allergic reactions.  But avoidance doesn’t necessarily mean living without pets, especially when a family member’s allergies are moderate in nature.

Dr. Robert A. Wood, Director of the Pediatric Allergy Clinic at Johns Hopkins, offers a simple avoidance strategy for those who have moderate animal allergies but don’t want to give up their pets including:

Avoiding Allergen Exposure – Reduce the overall allergen burden in your home by home by restricting your pet  no-carpeted areas.  Keeping pets out of the bedroom is a sensible strategy since you spend roughly 1/3 of your time there.  If possible, remove carpeting and upholstered furniture, once allergens get into them, they may remain there as long as 6 months.

Removing Allergens from the Air – Good ventilation and a high efficiency, whole-house air cleaner can help remove allergens already in the home.

Grooming Your Pet Regularly – You can help make your pets less of an allergy source by keeping them groomed and clean.  Dr. Llona Rodan, a veterinarian, cat owner and a mother of a child with allergies, recommends having non-allergic person comb the pet everyday either outside or away from the allergic person’s sleeping area.

Where should my Model 550 Aprilaire humidifier be located?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

Recently I had central air conditioning installed on my hot air furnace. After installing the coil the contractor found that there was no room left to reinstall the Aprilaire 550 whole house humidifier on the supply side. He then installed it on the return side just before the Hepa air filter cartridge. He ran an aluminum circular flexible duct over to the supply side.
I have concerns about this:
1) won't this simply force water into my hepa filter and create mold /mildew in it?
2) By the contractor running the flexible circular ductwork over to the supply side - is this sufficient to force all the available water moisture coming from the Aprilaire unit into the supply ductwork?
3) Should the unit now be attached to the hot water line instead of the cold water line?
4) Considering the lack of room to install on the supply side [since the a/c coil has been installed] is there any other more preferable place to install this uni
t other than the return side - and risk soaking the Hepa cartridge air filter?

Thank you for your time and consideration on these critically important matters.


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us about your humidifier and addressing these issues with us. I'd be happy to explain what can be done here.

1) It is ok for the humidified air to be introduced ahead of the filter. This is because our humidifier is creating a vapor. Vapor is just like the moisture already in the air. Its invisible, light and cannot condense onto anything such as the filter media or the duct work itself.

2) The beauty of our by-pass humidifier models is that the force will be equal no matter which side the unit is installed on. This is because force from the furnace is the same regardless of any new add-ons.

3) Cold water may be ok. If you have a standard furnace and only run the humidifier when the heat is on than cold water is okay. The only time cold water would be bad would be in situations where you run your fan to try and humidify (no heat source in this application).

4) Referring back to question 1, If the supply side is not available and return side is a equal alternative. Air flow will still allow the air to circulate through the air filter without harm and will continue to create and obtain the adequate humidity you are looking for.

If you have any questions please give us a call @ 1-800-334-6011.

What is this sand like particles on the distribution tray on my Aprilaire humidifier?

Monday, September 12, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

The plastic water distribution plate above the mess element pad has very little of the sand like particles left on it's water flow surface .Is that a problem that needs correcting?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding the granular coating in the distribution tray of your model 440 Aprilaire® Humidifier.

This coating is designed to provide equal distribution of water to each opening in the distribution tray, assuring an even flow of water over the water panel. If the coating is removed, it is not necessary to purchase a new distribution tray. You can accomplish the same uniform performance by applying a small amount of liquid dishwashing detergent over the entire lower surface of the water distribution tray. This will break the surface tension of the water and allow equal flow through each of the openings, provided the unit is level. This information can be found on Page Two of the enclosed homeowner's manual.

During future annual servicing, continue to clean out the “V” openings as in the past, but do not scrape all the mineral scale off the bottom of the water distribution tray. The scale or lime deposit will provide the same wetting action as the granular coating and give even water flow over the Water Panel.

On an upflow furnace without a/c (heat only) what is the preferred location of the main components of an Aprilaire 500 series?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

On an upflow furnace without a/c (heat only) what is the preferred location of the main components of an Aprilaire 500 series? Should the main unit be mounted on the output(hot)side and the bypass on the return plenum with the controls above the bypass on the return? Thank you in advance

Aprilaires' response:

Thanks for contacting us about you Aprilaire humidifier.
The mounting of the main unit depends on the space available. Preferably the main unit would be mounted on the return duct before the air filter. The bypass duct connection should be connected to the supply plenum, about 12 inches away from the furnace. Mounting of the humidistat should be at least 6 inches upstream of the connection to the return duct.
Thank you for allowing us to assist you.

Outlet Mall Shopping

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 by Michael Hebert
 This weekend I was dragged along to an outlet mall. If my first statement wasn't a good enough clue, then I'll just come out and say it, I'm not the shopping type.

The shops lined a massive parking lot, and the whole mall was pretty busy. As we pulled in there was a funny smell in the air I recognized very well. 
I used to load that smell fifty pounds at a time into people's cars at my old job, it was asphalt sealant. The smell was fairly overpowering, the parking lot had clearly been redone the night before.

It was amazing what a relief it continuously felt to enter a store and get out of the parking lot just to get away from the smell. and what a headache it was to go back outside. We were more than aware that the bad smell was accompanied with bad chemicals. Despite my usual tendency to hang out outside, while people get their shopping done, I found myself accompanying them into the store.

It was clear which store's were running better air cleaners. Some stores still smelled of the parking lot, but others managed to smell fresh and clean despite only a door seperating its air from the parking lot's air. We forget about air quality so easily, but when it's staring us in the face we remember not to take it for granted. I'm fortunate to say I survived the shopping trip, and I survived the parking lot smells and chemicals, and have returned with another reminder of the importance of indoor air quality.


"Vac Hack" gets robotic vacuums to test indoor air quality

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by Michael Hebert
At my house we have a pretty weak vacuum. You have to roll over the same carpet spot, with little to no speed, several times to make sure you've picked up half the dirt in the carpet. Because of this weakness, nobody likes to use the vacuum, and for some reason that means nobody uses the vacuum until it is desperately needed. It's annoying, but we shrug it off as a college norm.

I remember seeing the first commercials for a robotic vacuum cleaner that would roll around your rooms on its own. I remember thinking the idea was fun when it first came out, I must have been in middle school then. There have been a few advances in technology since, and I'm sure the machines have gotten much better at their jobs, but now students from the Rhode Island University of Design have just made those little robotic vacuums even more functional.

The students have equipped the Roomba robotic vacuum with an air quality sensor so while it's cleaning up the mess in your carpet, it can let you know about the mess in your air. They already roll around full rooms at a time, so they're an ideal machine to test your air quality as well. The tricked out roomba will test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as it sucks up dirt, pretty slick.

See the project page here.

The project was funded by Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) which funds projects that are environmentally or socially progressive. The Roomba is now looking pretty legit! Now if I could only convince my roommates it's a necessity...

Can you tell me if there is a shelf life on your Aprilaire replacement air filters like the 213?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

Can you tell me if there is a shelf life on your replacement air filters like the 213? I had a distributor tell me it's not a good idea to stock up on them ahead of time because of "a tackiness on the element and it's MERV rating may very well decrease after sitting on a shelf for a year or two." Is there any merit to this?


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding storage of our 213 filters. When stored in a cool, dry space, our filters have no specific shelf life. The MERV rating of the filters will not be effected over time and there is no tackiness to our pleated media such as the 213. If the filters are stored for two years, their performance will be the same as the day they were made.

Be sure that the filters are in a cool dry space to avoid mold growth or the possibility of the filter taking on a musty odor.

If you have any further questions regarding this or any of our products, please feel free to contact our customer service department at your earliest convenience.