Comfort, Quality, Green....It's all the same to me!

TERHi, I'm Tom Ruse. Marketing Communications Manager at Aprilaire. There's a lot of expert advice out there about Indoor Air Quality.  There's also alot of not-so-expert advice.

In my years of helping support the Aprilaire brand, I've learned that there are tons of ways to improve your indoor environment; create a healthier, more comfortable, and energy-efficient surrounding. Some solutions are ok, some are great and some just don't pass the sniff test.

The most important thing about making choices regarding improving your indoor environment is to do some research and make informed decisions based on what is right for you .

Some call it Indoor Air Quality. Now there's a lot of buzz around Green living. We sometimes refer to it as Indoor Air Comfort. Whatever. It's really all about better living, isn't it?

THE EPA is putting Indoor Air Quality at a Priority

Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Tom Ruse
Say what you want about the government and the goodness or badness of "Obama Bucks",  the EPA looks like it's spending at least some of our hard earned tax dollars wisely.

Asthma triggers and other respiratory problems associates with indoor air pollution has for years been considered as a big health concern.

Particulate control, maintaining cleaner air and surfaces in the home, proper humidity levels and properly maintained HVAC systems are all good ways to help control the health of your indoor air.

Hopefully the EPA follows through and spends the resources wisely. Read more about their plans.

Upgrade your whole house air cleaner

Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Tom Ruse
You can add more efficient filtration to your existing whole hose air cleaner. Aprilaire now has available higher-MERV rated filters (meaning they trap more crap!) for use in existing Aprilaire air cleaners as well as many of the other leading competitive brands.

So, if you have a whole house air cleaner attached to your HVAC system, Ask your HVAC dealer about a very easy and cost-effective way to upgrade.

Preparing for the Inevitable in Wisconsin - Comfort and Energy Savings Tips

Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Tom Ruse

As much as I "get" that newsprint is a dinasaur, I still love to leaf thru the Sunday newsPAPER! IT's a ritual I won't give up any time soon, unless the Wisconsin State Journal goes bankrupt and goes entirely online (at a cost, perhaps?).

Anyway, I found this article last Sunday and my first thought was to get a scissors, cut it out and scan it. I would have, but forgot, but I wanted to share, so I found it online! So much for old school, eh?

Good tips here; especially one you might not think of, which is to humidify your home to feel warmer! It works.


Hot August Night - Humidity is the badass!

Friday, August 6, 2010 by Tom Ruse
One of the hottest summers on record. But STILL, it's NOT the heat, it's the HUMIDITY!

The Money Pit has one good solution.

Vacuuming sucks

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 by Tom Ruse
Here's a little news you can use. I always turn on my HVAC blower fan while vacuuming. (well, not always, but whenever I think about it).

We don't really have problems with allergies, but I feel that since we're cleaning we might as well clean the air a little more than normal. Running your fan allows your air cleaner to trap more air through the return air ducts.

Another interesting thing about vacuuming. Although I can't attest to the accuracy of the source.

Wet Weather

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by Tom Ruse

Below is and interesting article about the wet weather and enjoying the outdoors.

To better enjoy indoors in damp, sticky weather, make sure your a/c is tuned and dehumidfying adequately. Adding a large-capacity dehumdifier can help......

Wet Weather Means More Mosquitoes
Avoiding bites and enjoying the outdoors

Madison, WI, Wednesday, June 22, 2010 — The mosquito season in Dane County started this past May but mosquito activity has been relatively low until now. Recent rainfall has spurred the emergence of a extra large crop of pesky mosquitoes that are causing problems in many parts of Dane County. The majority of the mosquitoes that are pestering us are the floodwater mosquitoes, which generally don’t carry disease such as West Nile virus but can be a significant deterrent to our enjoyment of the many outdoor activities in Madison and Dane County.

The best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is by keeping mosquitoes out of your house, wearing long pants and long sleeves while outside, and using a repellant that contains Deet, Picaridin (KBR3023), or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The US Environmental Protection Agency has a new tool to help pick the repellent that may work best for you. The tool can be found at:

http://cfpub. insect/index. cfm#searchform

While we cannot completely exclude mosquitoes from our outdoor activities, you can reduce their presence by eliminating standing water on your property that can provide excellent locations for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. These small stagnant water sources around our homes are especially attractive to the Culex mosquitoes that are most likely to be carrying West Nile virus in our area. To decrease your chances of being a mosquito nursery:

·         Clean out clogged rain gutters,
·         Change the water in birdbaths, wading pools, and pet water dishes every three to four days,
·         Properly dispose of old tires, see the Recyclopedia< streets/pdfs/ Recyclopedia2005 .pdf> for more information.
·          Make sure that items on your property (boats, pool covers, pots, bird baths, etc) do not hold water for more than 3 – 4 days.

For more information on what works and what doesn’t work to keep the mosquitoes at bay, visit the UW Integrated Mosquito Management website at: mosquitosite/ topicalrepel. html

Smoke Your Underwear

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by Tom Ruse

A very dedicated, "green" colleague/friend just published a new book, titled, You Don't Have to Wear Hemp Underwear. Hence my stupid pun in this post's title.

I thought a good title for the book would be "Green without Granola", but the author, quite wisely didn't consult me! Give it a read. Great, practical ideas. Simple ways to do green.  Just start somewhere! Watch the video.

Or better yet, just buy that damn thing.

Aprilaire Central Dehumidifier Steam Humidifier Help Preserve Maryland’s first synagogue

Friday, June 4, 2010 by Tom Ruse

Aprilaire Central Dehumidifier & Steam Humidifier Help Preserve Maryland’s first synagogue


The challenge for John Lederer, principal owner of Frosty Refrigeration, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland, was to control the level of humidity in the museum of the nation’s 3rd oldest remaining synagogue. Built in 1845, the Loyd Street Synagogue museum is located in the lower level of the Greek Revival structure. Humidity control was required to help preserve the historical artifacts, exhibits as well as the structure itself. Adding to the challenge was the requirement to maintain a constant humidity level of 40% to 50% all year round, to “...a historical building, not weatherized and with high infiltration.” With the help of Aprilaire’s Partner Website, John was able to calculate how much moisture would be required to add during the heating season and removed during non-heating seasons. “ The Aprilaire website software was helpful and intuitive.” Since there was no existing forced air duct system in the museum area, Frosty Refrigeration designed a stand alone system that included: an Aprilaire 1770A Central Dehumidifier; model 1160 Steam Humidifier; and a forced air system with duct work and dedicated blower. A commercial humidistat was used with high and low limits to control the 1160 and 1170A operation.   According John, “... the designed system and Aprilaire equipment have outperformed expectations.”

Submitted by: Marc Cassel 5/21/10

                          Museum display area >>>





 John Leder, principal owner of Frosty Refrigeration, Inc., standing next to an Aprilaire 1770A dehumidifier and 1160 steam humidifier with a dedicated duct system. >>>


Wall vent to museum area dishcarging humidity controlled air back to the museum space.



Main sanctuary of synagoque

True life testimony for electronic air cleaner

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 by Tom Ruse
Here's a real life testimonial from an HVAC contractor in Texas. It's legit! He sees the value of the Model 5000 Electronic Air Cleaner - enough to include it on the system's he recommends.

Allergies SUCK as hard as you BLOW your NOSE!

Monday, April 12, 2010 by Tom Ruse
It's coming!!!  Really, it's already here in much of the country. Since we still had snow falling here in Wisconsin just a few days ago, we have a few weeks before it gets real bad.

Good advice here.

Roll another shower curtain and smoke it

Thursday, April 8, 2010 by Tom Ruse
OK, this is a weird article, (Boulder, CO. Duh!) but I have to admit there's good advice regarding indoor pollution, ventilation and VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds); basically poisons.

The article also mentions a good point about dust being blown thru the furnace. But their solution has me thinking that they're smoking too many shower curtains (read the article to understand this reference). Yes, changing the furnace filter regularly is important, but there are other considerations.

Standard furnace filters only trap so much. Look at the difference between these expensive air conditioner coils. The clean one was protected with a high efficiency air cleaner, the dirty one was protected with a standard 1" filter.

So a high efficiency air cleaner not only traps more dust and allergens from the air you breathe, but it also protects a very expensive HVAC system. 

That's where health, PROTECTION AND ENERY SAVINGS comes in.

You make the call.

Smoking and air cleaners

Thursday, March 4, 2010 by Tom Ruse
No two ways about it, cigarette smokeis hard to avoid. Even with the best air cleaner on market. Alot of scammy makers of air purifiers will have you thinking you'll never smell or be harmed by 2nd hand smoke if you use their product.

I won't do that. Even our Model 5000, the best whole house particulate removal product, will not deter the harmful affects of 2nd hand smoke. It WILL help clean your air of all kinds of nasty stuff; virus-sized particles, allergens and other contaminants.

It's best just to properly ventilate, or maybe just don't smoke in the house. Go outside with the other 2nd class citizens!

Dirty Ducts and Laundry Shoots

Monday, March 1, 2010 by Tom Ruse
Air Duct Cleaning. Some think it's a scam. I doubt that, but I expect the need would depend on your home and your family. There's no question dust and all sorts of nasty things get hung up in heat ducts and can dislodge and become airborne again. Is it worth it to get them cleaned? Probably. Especially if you have allergies.

Here's a loosly related story about things getting hung up.

When I bought my house it was about 30 years old; a big 2-story; solid, well-built but really worn. Needed alot of work. It had been a foster home for years and it really showed the wear and tear.

One of the nice features I remember when we looked at this house was a laundry shoot; crucial really, especially for a two story with laundry facilities in the basement (two flights down from the bedrooms, where most of the laundry comes from and goes to).  REALLY handy!

It was a good sized shoot. You could stick your whole head in and look around. Once in a while we'd catch the kids climbing in and dropping down into a pile of dirty clothes on the basement floor (Thankfully they never tried this from the 2nd floor).

When we first moved in I noticed something hanging in the shoot between floors. A rag or a piece of clothing or something got caught on nail or something protruding from the wall inside the shoot.

I got a broom handle and snagged it. It was a very large pair of women's underpants. About the size that would've fit the previous owner. Presumable dirty, since it was hung up in the laundry shoot! EEEEEEW!

So, who knows what kind of treasures might be hanging around inside your air ducts!

Get a contractor to check it out occasionally! And while you're at it, have your entire HVAC system cleaned and checked.

Upon Further Review - IS Online retailer misleading the consumer? Maybe NOT!

Friday, February 12, 2010 by Tom Ruse
I posted the comments below on Friday and since then,  the kind folks at have... well.... cleared the air.

They assure me their intentions were never to mislead. I guess I'll never know that for 100% sure,  but I'm ready to give them the benefit of the doubt. After reading of my concerns they immediately took action to modify the language on their site and clarify what the consumer is buying.

I applaud their quick response and willingness to set things right.

Good luck,  and if you're happy purchasing filters for Aprilaire Air Cleaners that are not made by Aprilaire, seems like a fair place to trade.


From Friday......

Don't buy from this site if you are interested in receiving the quality of product provided by the original manufacturer! THESE ARE KNOCK-OFFS! is misleading you.  It describes knock-off replacement filters as Aprilaire and SpaceGard.  THEY ARE NOT MADE BY APRILAIRE!

The site tries to cleverly describe the filter as "Clear the Air's Aprilaire Spacegard replacement filter". They probably do this so that they could argue that legally they are calling it a "Clear the Air" brand and therefore NOT misleading the consumer into thinking they are buying an Aprilaire brand.

You decide. Take a look.  Would you think you were buying a filter made by Aprilaire or SpaceGard on this page?

They do this with other brands as well.


If you have an Aprilaire or SpaceGard air purifier / air cleaner and you typically replace the flters yourself,  ask an Aprilaire dealer in your area. Often they will sell them to you off the shelf. And they'll be the real deal!

UNLIKE CLEARTHEAIRINC.COM, I'LL BE VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD WITH YOU.  Take a look at the estore on , just so you get an idea of what the real thing looks like.

Sure, you can buy them there. But that's not the point. I could care less if you buy from our estore. We're the manufacturer! We get the sale of Aprilaire product regardless of where you buy it. Just go there to see the pictures.  Then you'll know what the real deal looks like. Then. if you want to shop around, you can get them cheaper on other websites or from your local dealer. 

And at least you'll know what you're getting for your dollar.

Aprilaire on Home Time

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 by Tom Ruse
One of my favorite things to do is watch home improvement shows on PBS late on Sunday afternoon. I got into the habit a few years ago when I was heavily involved in reahab at my own house (rehabbing the house, that is). It became kind of a  ritual; at the end of a long weekend; often times working on some rehab project, it was nice to sit down with a cold one and see how the pros do it.

Since then, I'm not quite as religious about catching the shows, or working on the house (must go hand in hand). The two that I still watch the most are This Old House and Home Time.

I'm excited now that Aprilaire is going to be featured on an upcoming project on HomeTime; a new construction project with all new green innovations. It will be very cool.

You can go here and click on the Stone Cottage Flyaround Video.

I'll keep writing about it as it happens. Can't wait.

Greenovation In Florida - Geothermal, Air Cleaning and Humidity Control

Thursday, January 28, 2010 by Tom Ruse
This is from a leading HVAC trade journal, not really for consumers but a really good article and I need a blogpost bad!!!!

Response to Comment

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 by Tom Ruse

Ventilation, Humidity and Health

Commented on by David C.
I have 2 furnaces in my house. Each supply around 1300 sq. ft. Do I need to have a humidifier put on each furnace, or would it be possible to get a really big unit put in downstairs only?

We would a little more information, such as the age of the home and it's tightness but on average a model 600 humidifier will cover 1000 sq ft in a loose home, 2000 sq ft in an average home and 4000 sq ft in a tight home.  If you do decide to go with one humidifier, please have your installing contractor install the humidifier on the furnace that functions most of the time.

H1N1 and Air Cleaning

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 by Tom Ruse
 I am amending my previous post about trapping flu virus.

Trapping Flu Virus with Air Cleaners

Can a high efficiency air cleaner safeguard my house against the flu?

The real answer is IT CAN HELP! Our Aprilaire Model 5000 Electronic Air Cleaner DOES trap airborne particles down to 1 micron in size; well within the range of the size of flu viruses.  Here's how:

If a virus attaches itself to a piece of airborne dust,  and when your system blower operates, if that dust is blown through your return air ducts to the air cleaner filter, the Model 5000 will permanently trap 98% of those particles and they will not re-enter your living space.

In that way, the air cleaner helps control and reduce the spread of the virus. A virus that someone leaves on a hard surface may never be airborne so the Aprilaire air cleaner cannot help that---- NO air cleaner can!

Be sure you take all the precautions that the pros tell you about the spread of the flu.

Ventilation, Humidity and Health

Thursday, January 7, 2010 by Tom Ruse

Commented on by Robert F. at 1-6-2010 10:33 PM

My Model 700 just doesn't seem to be doing the job on my 2700 square foot house here in Louisville KY. My furnace man came out yesterday and pronounced it in good working order and observed that he didn't think it would ever get my house to 30% or above with the current outdoor temps of low 20s. Is that true? There is no way to get my humidity up to the proper level with your product? Thanks for any info or help you can provide. PS. 20 year old well insulated house with a new furnace and humidifier and your air cleaner also. No condensation on the windows and I have about 4 different hygrometers working since they all read a little different anyway. They are currently reading in the 20-25 % range.


A model 700 CAN deliver over 30% RH to a home your size and larger.  But there are a ton of factors that may be affecting this. If it's colder than 20, it might be a challenge for the humidifier to maintain above 30%. And even though you say the house is well insulated, since it is 20 years old it may be a bit "looser" than newer homes; perhaps not using the latest insulation and maybe looser windows and/or doors. This could affect the capacity to deliver higher degrees of RH.

Take a look at the info in our owners manual for more info about the settings on the control. You might be able to adjust the setting slightly to increase the RH. 

It might also help to use hot water to flow to the humidifier. Not essential, but it is more efficient to the evaporation process. This,  along with running your blower more often than just when there is a call for heat, will increase vapor through your ductwork.

Comments for Comfort Made in the USA!

Thursday, January 7, 2010 by Tom Ruse

Comments for Comfort Made in the USA!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by Larry L:
I have a question more than a comment. We moved into a home which has an Aprilaire whole house humidifier, but I think it is installed incorrectly. The humidifier unit is installed on the outgoing heated air duct from the furnace. Aren't they supposed to be installed on the cold air return? With the duct from the Aprilaire unit then stretching to the heated air? Should I swap this so it is installed correctly or will it make much of a difference? Thanks.

If it is on the supply side, it is most likely installed correctly since either a power or bypass humidifier would be installed there.
A bypass humidifier gets its air movement through the Water Panel® by the differential pressure between the supply (hot air) plenum and the return (cold air) duct. The supply plenum is under positive pressure and the return duct is under negative pressure.


One of the advantages of a bypass humidifier is that it can be installed either on the supply plenum or on the return duct with equal effectiveness. No matter which duct the unit is mounted on, the airflow always goes from the supply to the return through the humidifier.

If your unit is a power humidifier, it would be correct to be mounted on the supply side.

Hope that helps.