According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, triggers that can initiate an asthma attack...

Friday, July 12, 2013 by Aprilaire Team

Stat of the Week:

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, triggers that can initiate an asthma attack include allergens such as pollen, dust, animal dander, drugs and food additives, as well as viral respiratory infections and physical exertion. Aprilaire whole-home air purification systems destroy 98 percent of airborne particulates down to one micron in size and are 40 times more efficient than a standard furnace filter. Learn more here: http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?znfAction=ProductsCat&category=cleaner

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.
 

Blower Motor Cycling Issue

Monday, February 18, 2013 by Customers Sharing Stories

Consumer feedback:

I have the Model 700 with the Model 58 humidistat. The problem I'm having is that the humidistat is callingtne furnace to start the blower motor I guess because the humidity has fallen below what it needs to be. However, the blower motor comes on for like 10 seconds and the shuts off. It will repeat this cycle 100 times a day so I have to turn the humidistat off. It generally only does this during the day because the thermostat is set to a temp that generally doesn't require heat. The HVAC guy has replaced the humidistat already with no success. My furnace is an Amana prane model. What's going on with this? Thanks

Name: Ken
City: Middletown
State: MD

 

Aprilaires' reponse:

Dear Ken,

Thank you for contacting us with regards to your model 700 Humidifier. Based on the information provided, it’s not clear how this humidistat has been wired. Normally, the model 58 humidistat does not have the ability to operate your furnace fan without an additional relay. It’s possible that this relay has not been wired properly. We would recommend that you have your HVAC guy contact us when he’s next on-site. We can provide troubleshooting assistance by phone.

We look forward to assisting you with this issue.

1-800-334-6011 Ext.6172
Call Center hours are M-F, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST
Visit www.aprilaire.com

Harmful Effects of Mold

Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Harmful effects of molds

The type and severity of health effects that result from molds exposure is widely variable among different locations, from person to person and over time.

Although difficult to predict, exposure to molds growing indoors is most often associated with the following allergy symptoms:

  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Cough/sore throat
  • Chest tightness
  • Dyspnea (breathing difficulty)
  • Asthma (or exacerbation of it)
  • Epistaxis (nosebleed)
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Headache
  • Skin and eye irritation

 

Indoor molds exposure leads mostly to upper respiratory tract symptoms

Long-term exposure to indoor molds is certainly unhealthy to anyone, but some groups will develop more severe symptoms sooner than others, including:

  • Infants and children
  • Elderly people
  • Individuals with respiratory conditions, allergies and/or asthma
  • Immunocompromised patients

Some indoor molds are capable of producing extremely potent toxins (mycotoxins) that are lipid-soluble and readily absorbed by the intestinal lining, airways, and skin. These agents, usually contained in the fungal spores, have toxic effects ranging from short-term irritation to immunosuppression and cancer. (Photo: Mold growing behind wallpaper)

More severe symptoms that could result from continuous human exposure to indoor mycotoxigenic molds include:

  • Cancer (aflatoxin best characterized as potential human carcinogen)
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis/pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pulmonary injury/hemosiderosis (bleeding)
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Hematologic and immunologic disorders
  • Hepatic, endocrine and/or renal toxicities
  • Pregnancy, gastrointestinal and/or cardiac conditions

It is important to notice that the clinical relevance of mycotoxins under realistic airborne exposure levels is not fully established. Further, some or much of the supporting evidence for these other health effects is based on case studies rather than controlled studies, studies that have not yet been reproduced or involve symptoms that are subjective.
(Photo: Black mold spores micrography)

Among the indoor mycotoxin-producing species of molds are Fusarium, Trichoderma, and one that, although less commonly isolated, became notorious during the past decade, Stachybotrys atra (aka S. chartarum, black mold). Between 1993 and 1994, there was an unusual outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage in infants in Cleveland, Ohio, where one kid died. Researchers found that the kids’ homes had previously sustained water damage that resulted in molds contamination, and the quantity of molds, including S. chartarum, was higher in the homes of infants with pulmonary hemorrhage than in those of controls. (Photo: Stachybotrys growing on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA))

It was this Cleveland event that initiated the headline news of Stachybotrys. The American Academy of Pediatrics produced guidelines in the wake of the outbreak. Other incidents involving kids in Stachybotrys-contaminated water-damaged school buildings have captured headlines as well, with children becoming symptom-free after being removed from those environments.
Article from the Fargo Forum newspaper, North Dakota (5/1/1997)

The role of S. chartarum in pulmonary hemorrhage in the Cleveland incident and in human health in the indoor environment is not clear though. There is not enough evidence to prove a solid causal relationship between S. chartarum and these health problems. Actually, in 2000 the CDC released two reports critical of the study conducted in Cleveland and concluded that the association between S. chartarum and acute pulmonary hemorrhage was not proven.

While case studies certainly indicate the possibility or even the plausibility of an effect from molds exposure, such studies by their nature cannot address whether the effect is common or widespread among building occupants. Results from studies that have not been reproduced may be spurious or have yet to be confirmed by well-designed follow up studies. (Photo: Moldy humid walls in a closet space)

In large epidemiologic studies, general symptoms have been associated with moisture damaged and presumably moldy buildings. Many of the reported symptoms are subjective and difficult to quantify. Results are confounded by the fact that the association is general, and mold is not the only possible cause of the symptoms. Neither condition proves that mold is NOT a cause.

In any case, molds growth in the indoor environment should be considered unacceptable from the perspectives of potential adverse health effects and building performance.

Dose-response

There is almost a complete lack of information on specific human responses to well-defined exposures to molds contaminants. There is currently no proven method to measure the type or amount of mold that a person is exposed to, and common symptoms associated with molds exposure are non-specific, aggravated by the facts that molds are present everywhere in the environment and that responses to exposure vary greatly among individuals. (Photo: Heavy mold growth on the underside of spruce floorboards)

There are no accepted standards for molds sampling in indoor environments or for analyzing and interpreting the data in terms of human health. Most studies are then based primarily on baseline environmental data rather than on human dose-response data. Neither OSHA or NIOSH, nor the EPA has set a standard or PEL for molds exposure.

Mold growth on air diffuser in ceiling
Miller et al. (1988) stated that it is reasonable to assume there is a problem if a single species predominates with >50 CFU/m3, that <150 CFU/m3 is acceptable if there is a mix of benign species, and that there is no problem when up to 300 CFU/m3 of Cladosporium or other common fungi is isolated. There is no source material to support these assertions, as few inhalation studies have been conducted.

References

American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health. 1998. Toxic effects of indoor molds. Pediatrics. 101:712-714. 11/23/03

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2002. State of the Science on Molds and Human Health. 11/15/03

US Environmental Protection Agency – Indoor Air Quality – Molds. 11/15/03

Kuhn, D. M., and M. A. Ghannoum. 2003. Indoor mold, toxigenic fungi, and Stachybotrys chartarum: infectious disease perspective. Clin Microbiol Rev. 16(1):144-172. 11/15/03

Miller, J. D., A. M. Laflamme, Y. Sobol, P. Lafontaine and R. Greenhalgh. 1988. Fungi and fungal products in some Canadian houses. Int. Biodeterior. 24:103-120.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2000. Update: Pulmonary Hemorrhage/Hemosiderosis Among Infants --- Cleveland, Ohio, 1993-1996. 49(9):180-184. 11/17/03

Nelson, B. D. 2001. Stachybotrys chartarum: The Toxic Indoor Mold – APSnet. 11/23/03

What Types Of Mold Are Considered Toxic Mold

"Toxic mold" is a term that is used to describe types of mold that are considered deadly to humans. Most people believe that the name refers to one particular species of mold; however, it encompasses hundreds of species, a small fraction of which are not very harmful to the human body. Black mold is commonly used as a name for the most harmful mold species, which happen to be black in appearance. However, even molds of a different color can be toxic to the human body.

Any place that is dark and where there is an accumulation of moisture, is a potential breeding pool for mold. Mold can grown on almost any organic surface as long as moisture and oxygen are present. When large amounts of moisture build-up in buildings, or building materials mold growth will occur. It is virtually impossible to remove all indoor mold and mold spores, but it is possible to manage.

People are exposed to some amount of mold everyday. When mold is growing on a surface, spores can be released into the air where a person can then inhale them. A person who is subject to inhaling a large amount of these spores may be subject to some medical damage.

There are five categories of toxic mold. They are Cladosporium, Penicilium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys. Some of the species included in these categories may only cause hay fever-like allergic reactions, while others can cause potentially deadly illnesses. All five of these mold families can be found lurking indoors, in damp spaces. Each has its own particular characteristics that can greatly affect whatever organism or material it contacts. Indoor mold is not always obvious. Mold can manifest on hidden surfaces, such as wallpaper, paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, and underneath carpet.

Stachbotrys

The toxin produced by Stachybotrys chartarum is the most deadly. It has been tied to diseases as minor as hay fever, to those as serious as liver damage, pulmonary edema, and in the most severe cases, brain or nerve damage and even death. It has also been linked to severe illness in infants. Those with compromised immune systems, small children, and the elderly are highly susceptible to illness when they come in contact with this species of mold. Some symptoms associated with exposure to Stachbotrys include:
respiratory issues
nasal and sinus congestion
eye irritation
sore throat
hacking cough
chronic fatigue
central nervous system issues
aches and pains

Cladosporium, Fusarium, and Penicillium

These mold families have been connected to illnesses such as nail fungus, asthma, and also infections of the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Additionally, Fusarium may cause gastrointestinal illnesses, and even illness which affect the female reproductive system. Chronic cases of Cladosporium may produce pulmonary edema and emphysema.

Aspergillus

The least serious of the toxic mold groups, the Aspergillus mold family consists of over 160 species. Only 16 of those cause illness in humans, none of which are fatal if treated.

Toxic molds produce chemicals during their natural growth that are classified as toxins or poisons. The types that have been found to have profound effects on human health, are given the label of "toxic mold."

Toxic molds are all very dangerous if allowed to grow inside the home. Proper precautions should be taken to prevent and eliminate their growth. These measures should include eliminating every material that nourishes the molds, such as old remodeling materials left in a basement. Also, never try to determine the type of mold in your home. Contact a professional to test any mold colony you may find, and consult with your family physician.

Mechanical Ventilation

Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

The Need for Mechanical Ventilation

History of Ventilation in Houses
Houses need to have an indoor/outdoor exchange of air to replenish oxygen used by the occupants and to remove pollutants generated by breathing, household activities and emissions from building materials and furnishings. For many years, houses were constructed without mechanical ventilation systems and relied on air leakage through the building envelope to provide this indoor/ outdoor air exchange during the winter months.

In the past, this natural form of ventilation worked fairly well. Houses built before the 1960s tended to be quite leaky and pressure differences between the inside and outside, caused by wind or temperature difference, were sufficient to provide a significant amount of air exchange most of the time. However, a leaky building envelope does not always guarantee adequate air exchange. The movement of air requires both a pathway (e.g., a leak) and a pressure difference, and even a leaky house will experience periods when there is no indoor/outdoor air exchange. These periods are most likely to occur during the spring or fall, when winds are light and there is little or no indoor/outdoor temperature difference that can create a stack effect. The leakier the house, however, the less frequent the periods of inadequate air exchange.

Since most fuel-fired systems consume air from the house, and this air must then be replaced by leakage from outdoors, the operation of fuel-fired systems promotes some indoor/outdoor air exchange. The chimneys associated with these systems also provide a major leakage point, thus promoting air exchange even when the heating system is not operating. As well, a chimney tends to raise the level of the neutral pressure plane, thus reducing the outward pressure difference across the building envelope and, with it, the potential for interstitial condensation (i.e., condensation that occurs within the building envelope) caused by air leaking out of the house.

In houses built prior to the 1960s, the amount of air exchange provided by leakage was generally regarded as sufficient. But in the '60s, a number of factors changed this picture, including the increased use of electric heating in houses. Unlike fuel-fired systems, electric heating systems do not require the replacement of air, nor do they require chimneys. Consequently, electrically heated houses have a greater tendency to experience high humidity levels, interior surface moulds and interstitial condensation.

In the early 1970s, in response to these problems associated with electrically heated houses, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) took the step of requiring all NHA-financed electrically heated houses to incorporate exhaust fans, a requirement that was eventually incorporated into the National Building Code. By the mid-70s, these problems had became so apparent that CMHC contemplated not allowing electric heating in houses financed under its National Housing Act mortgage insurance program.

In addition to the increase in the use of electric heating, the 1960s brought the construction of houses that were much more airtight as a result of new products and practices, which included the substitution of panel sheathings, such as plywood and waferboard, for board sheathing; the replacement of paper-backed insulation batts by friction-fit batts and polyethylene film; improved caulking materials; tighter windows and doors; and more efficient heating systems.

When the energy crisis developed in the early 1970s, considerable emphasis was placed on reducing air leakage in order to conserve energy. The use of electric heating systems was encouraged and higher efficiency furnaces were developed further reducing airchange rates in buildings. This trend towards greater airtightness and higher efficiency furnaces gave rise to concerns that the exchange of air in houses by natural means might be insufficient in some instances to provide adequate air quality thus increasing the risk of health problems among the occupants. Condensation problems resulting from higher humidity levels were also a concern.

How Much Indoor/Outdoor Air Exchange Is Necessary?
The air-change needs of houses are not uniform. Not only do they vary from house to house according to the number of occupants, and the presence and strength of various pollutant sources, but, for any given house, they also vary with time as occupants come and go, and pollutant sources wax and wane. Nevertheless, ASHRAE Standard 62, Canadian Standards Association Standard CAN/CSA-F326 and the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) have all established levels of air change that can be expected to meet the peak or near-peak needs of a majority of normal households. (The latter two are based to some extent on ASHRAE Standard 62.)

All three approaches suggest an air change rate of about 0.3 air changes per hour (ach). This is the level of air change used internationally as the norm in terms of analyzing the success of various ventilation schemes. Again, it is recognized that few, if any, houses require constant air change at the rate of 0.3 ach. However, if a house is so tight that leakage fails to provide this level of air change for significant periods of time, it is likely that many such periods of shortfall will coincide with periods when this level of air change is required. When this happens, poor indoor air quality, high humidity, surface moulds and interstitial condensation can result.

How Airtight Are Recently Built Houses?
In 1989, a study to determine the airtightness of recently constructed houses in various regions of Canada was conducted. Airtightness was measured by carrying out fan-depressurization tests on nearly 200 houses throughout the country. The test results were analyzed to estimate the indoor/outdoor air change rate that could be attributed solely to the air leakage likely to be experienced by each house over a typical heating season. The results of the study allowed the researchers to make the following predictions:

  • More than 70% of the surveyed houses would have an average air-leakage rate of less than 0.3 ach over the entire heating season.
  • Almost 90% of the surveyed houses would have at least one month during the heating season when the average air-leakage rate was less than 0.3 ach.
  • Virtually all of the surveyed houses (99%) would have at least one 24-hour period over the heating season in which the average air-leakage rate was less than 0.3 ach.

These results seem to indicate that a majority of houses being built in Canada using normal construction practices are close enough to being airtight that air leakage through the envelope cannot be relied on to provide the rate of air change deemed necessary to maintain adequate indoor air quality in a typical household. While the rate of air change through the building envelope may be adequate most of the time, it may not be all of the time. Therefore, to ensure that a satisfactory rate of air change is attainable at all times throughout the heating season, these houses must be provided with mechanical ventilation systems.

Characteristics of an Ideal Mechanical Ventilation System

Currently available technology is not able to provide an ideal mechanical ventilation system for houses. But before looking at the methods of mechanically ventilating houses that are available today, it is helpful to identify the characteristics of an ideal system:

Operate when needed
The system would operate whenever additional indoor/outdoor air exchange is needed and would do so without the need for occupant intervention.

Operate only when needed
This is important since a mechanical ventilation system has costs associated with it — the cost of the electricity to run it and the cost of heating the outdoor air that the system brings in. (The latter can be reduced by incorporating heat-recovery capabilities in the system, but cannot be eliminated altogether.) Therefore, the system should not operate during those periods when no indoor/ outdoor air exchange is required. The length, timing and frequency of such periods vary from household to household. Air exchange is not required when:

  • there are no occupants in the house
  • there are no activities or processes underway that generate pollutants
  • there is sufficient air exchange due to wind or stack effect to meet the household's needs.

Provide needed amount of air exchange
The system would be able to deliver enough outdoor air to meet the probable maximum needs of the household. It would also be capable of modulating delivery so that it did not deliver more outdoor air than required at times of reduced need. A system that does not have this capability is likely to provide too much outdoor air most of the time it is in operation, resulting in excess energy costs and low humidity. As well, a system that is unresponsive can annoy the occupants, possibly to the point that they simply turn it off altogether.

Distribute outdoor air where needed
It is not enough that the mechanical ventilation system change the air in the house as a whole to meet the standard of 0.3 ach. The system must also be able to deliver the outdoor air to those parts of the house where the occupants are likely to spend most of their time — the living room, the kitchen and the bedrooms.

Be quiet
The system would be quiet enough so that the occupants would not be tempted to turn it off to reduce noise.

Not interfere with other systems
There is significant potential for mechanical ventilation systems to interfere with the operation of other systems, such as certain types of fuel-fired heating systems. Under these circumstances, if the ventilation system creates a high negative pressure in the house, the products of combustion (which can be harmful to the occupants) can spill into the house rather than flowing up the chimney to the outdoors.

Not interfere with the building envelope
The system would not create significant positive pressure in the house since this could drive humid air from the house through the building envelope, resulting in interstitial condensation.

Demand-Controlled Ventilation

The first two characteristics of the ideal mechanical ventilation system described above are related to the issue of control. A system that embodies these characteristics is known as a "demand-controlled ventilation system." Such a system would ideally be controlled by an array of sensors — one for humidity and one for every possible pollutant that the ventilation system would have to respond to, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, etc. The system would bring in outdoor air and/or extract indoor air until all of these sensors determined that specific pollutants were at, or below, predetermined safe levels. Whenever a sensor detected a pollutant above its safe level, the ventilation system would operate.

A less-than-ideal demand-controlled ventilation system would have at least one sensor. For example, many ventilation systems are controlled by dehumidistats: the system operates until the dehumidistat has determined that the humidity in the house is at a safe level. Excess humidity is one of the main reasons that ventilation is required, but not the only one. The amount of ventilation required to control humidity may not be sufficient to control other pollutants since this depends on the activities of the occupants, on the relative strengths of other pollutants and on the level of humidity.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors are sometimes used to control ventilation systems in large buildings, and this technology is just now becoming available for residential use. Increasing CO2 concentration is usually a good indicator of decreasing air quality but it may not be adequate in cases where there are unusual pollutants, such as those generated by certain hobbies.

The ideal system requires the full array of sensors mentioned above. However, at present this ideal is not attainable because:

- there is insufficient knowledge and information to determine

- which pollutants should be monitored, and

- what the acceptable levels for a particular pollutant

- practical, reliable and economical detectors for all pollutants of concern are not available.

While research and development is underway in many countries to try to address these issues, breakthroughs are not expected in the near future.

For a discussion of current approaches to mechanical ventilation systems for houses, please see Construction Technology Update No. 15.

References

1. ASHRAE 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Atlanta, GA.

2. Standard CAN/CSA-F326-M91, Residential Mechanical Ventilation Systems. Canadian Standards Association, Etobicoke, ON.

3. National Building Code of Canada, 1995. Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

4. 1989 Survey of Airtightness of New, Merchant Builder Houses. Haysom, J.C., Reardon, J.T., and R. Monsour. Indoor Air '90: The Fifth International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, v. 4, Toronto, 1990.

5. Residential Air System Design. Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), Islington, ON, 1986.

6. Complying with Residential Ventilation Requirements in the 1995 National Building Code. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Ottawa, 1996.

7. Airtightness and Energy Efficiency of New Conventional and R-2000 Housing in Canada, 1997. Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa

Aprilaire thermostat

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Customers Sharing Stories
We've moved into a home with an Aprilaire thermostat for the furnace. How can we get an instructional booklet to learn how to work this thermostat and install a new battery.We have model 8363.

Name: Barbara Gorno
City: Trenton
State: MI

Lots of water running down the drain tube, is that correct?

Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
I had a model 700 Aprilaire humidifier installed yesterday and have a couple of questions;

1) it seems to have a lot of water when running coming out of the drain tube, is that normal?
2) I had to install the hunidifier on the return side becuase there was no room on the feed side of the furnace. I put the thermostat on the return side also but the reading goes way up and then back down when its operating when it kicks on and off. Should I put the thermostat on the feed side so its not on the same side as the humidifier? Its running in manual mode right now, I have to run the sensor outside adn my basemnet is finished so thats going to be a challenge.

 
Aprilaires' response:
 
Thank you for choosing the Aprilaire line of humidifiers for your home comfort system.
 
The amount of water that is discharged down your drain should be approximately 3 gallons per hour. Your description of the extreme humidity swings when the unit is cycling on and off lead me to the conclusion that the humidifier control may be mounted too close to the humidifier, or is mounted between the humidifier and the furnace, allowing for the humidifier output to affect the sensing of the control. It is recommended , in the installation guide that the control should be mounted at least 6" upwind of the humidifier.

If you have other questions regarding your Aprilaire 700 humidifier, please contact us at the number below. We appreciate your business.

My Aprilaire humidifier control is showing an E1 error? Help!

Monday, June 11, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
I have an 600 model humidifer that has been working fine since installed. I noticed my house was dry this past week and discover an E1 error on the humidstat. I reset the unit a few times but the error keeps coming back.


Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us.
Unfortunately an e1 error code would indicate an issue with the relative humidity sensor on the back or an issue with the circuit board on the control.
The humidistat would need to be serviced by the point of purchase or another local dealer.
Here is our dealer locator if you need to find a recommended local dealer:
http://estore.aprilaire.com/catalog/installed-products/humidifiers

 

What merv rating was/is the older 2200 and 2400 aprilaire media's?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Consumer question:

What merv rating was/is the older 2200 and 2400 aprilaire media's?

 
Aprilaires' response:
 
Thank you for contacting us regarding our 2200 and 2400 air cleaners. The filters that the 2200 and 2400 air cleaners use has a MERV rating of 10. These are the 201 and 401 filters. We now offer upgrade kits for both air cleaners that upgrade the air cleaners to use MERV 13 filters. Please follow the link below for more information on our upgrade kits:

http://estore.aprilaire.com/catalog/air-cleaners/upgrade-kits

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.

 

My Aprilaire model 760 humidifier that has worked great for the last 11 years has a short

Thursday, May 10, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Consumer question:

My Aprilaire model 760 humidifier that has worked great for the last 11 years has a short that apparently cannot be repaired. So what would it cost to get a new one that will fit my furnace exactly like my 760 did. Also the cost of a new one, or can mine be sent in for repair.

 

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for using Aprilaire products in your home comfort system.

I am sorry to hear that your model 760 has failed after 11 years of service. I am please to let you know that you local heating and air conditioning company can assist you in obtaining a replacement for your model 760. Our current model 700 humidifier would replace the model 760 for area coverage, the dimensional size may vary slightly.

 

What is the replacement for the 2120/2140?

Monday, May 7, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

We had our A/C system replaced last year. We had an Aprilaire filter system installed at the recommendation of the contractor. He said that the filters were Aprilaire 2120/2140 and a Humidifier Panel 400. What is your current replacement for these. I do not see them on any site selling your product.

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding replacement media for your Aprilaire products. The models 2120 and 2140 are two different air cleaners and would take different filter media. Please follow the links below for more information on the filter media for the two air cleaners:

http://estore.aprilaire.com/catalog/air-cleaners/model-2120-parts
and
http://estore.aprilaire.com/catalog/air-cleaners/model-2140-parts

Furthermore, please follow the link or navigate through the estore for information on the replacement water panels for the model 400 humidifier:

http://estore.aprilaire.com/catalog/humidifiers/model-400-series-parts/254

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.

 

Help

Monday, May 7, 2012 by Customers Sharing Stories
Hi there, I live in South Africa and in winter the humidity levels can drop to 9%. The only humidifiers we can get are the cheap ones from the pharmasy that dont work or create white dust on all your furniture. I have a 300m2 home and I would love to humidify the whole home. I dont have any ducting, we have airconditioning which are split units. Can I install ducting for your product? I would like to have a controlled unit in each room. Also please let me know if your products are available in South Africa, if not can we purchase online and ship to SA.

Name: Colin
City: JHB
State: South Africa

I need humidity in the Summer, what should I do?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
My heating/air cool unit is now controlled by a new thermostat that allows fan circulation about 35% of the time whether the heat or cooling is running or not. Will the humidifier work when the fan is on whether it is on heating or cooling? I live in an area which humidity averages about 12% during the summer. I need to add humidity during those times.
 
 
Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for that very good question regarding the Aprilaire humidifier operation.

The answer to your question depends on the type of humidity control that was installed with the humidifier. In the event that the humidity control was the type that used an outdoor temperature sensor to regulate the humidity, then the humidifier would not add humidity in the summer months. this type of control would disable the humidifier when the outdoor temperature would go above 60 degrees. If the humidity control does not use the outdoor temperature sensor, then you may be able to humidify during the summer months. Just be aware that the air conditioning system will remove some humidity during its normal operation; which would take longer to bring the humidity level up.

 

Summer time use of my Aprilaire Humidifier Model 700?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
I recently moved into home that has Aprilaire Automatic Humidifier Model number 700. My question is during the Summer time when I switch the heat off and turn on the A/C at the thermostat. Will the Humidifier stay off or do I need to somehow turn the unit off?
 
Aprilaire response:
 
Thank you for contacting Aprilaire.

To live in Indiana, the humidifier would typically not bother to come on during summer, as nature gives us more humidity than we need. Any time the level of humidity is higher than the selected level, (or max of 45%) the humidifier will not come on.

Some people, just to make sure, will go ahead and turn down the humidistat to 'off' or at least the lowest setting. Then, for the same reasons as listed above, the humidifier will not come on.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.


 
 

 

How to program an Aprilaire 8463 Thermostat.

Friday, April 13, 2012 by Aprilaire Team

Consumer question:

My 8463 Aprilaire Thermostat was installed with a new furnace and A.C. The thermostat was programmed to 5-2 by the installer. I want it to 5-1-1. The installer did not know how to do it and the companies techs are stumped. How can I change this thermostat from a 5-2 to a 5-1-1? Or can I? I would like the settings for Saturday and Sunday to be different.

 

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding your model 8463 Aprilaire Thermostat.

Yes you can change your 8463 Aprilaire Thermostat to 5/1/1 program. Here are the steps.

1) Make sure the MODE is set to OFF.

2) Hold down MODE and the UP ARROW at the exact same time for about 3-5 seconds until 00 shows in the middle of the screen in bold.

3) Press the MODE button repeatedly until you get to the number 19. If you pass it, just keep going the numbers will cycle back around.

4) Use the UP and DOWN arrows to choose the number 1 in the upper right hand side of the screen.

5) Let the screen return to normal or press the MODE button repeatedly until you get to DONE.

Now you are all set to reprogram your 8463 Aprilaire Thermostat.
Please feel free to contact us by email or by the phone number provided.
 

 

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.

The Aprilaire 8463 thermostat has Auto, Off, Heat, Cool, and Em-Heat system modes

Monday, March 12, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
The Aprilaire 8463 thermostat has Auto, Off, Heat, Cool, and Em-Heat system modes. How do you select Auto. On my thermostat it does not present me with the Auto option.
 
Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for your email regarding your model 8463 Aprilaire Thermostat.

To select your Auto Mode on the 8463 first push the mode button and select OFF. Next press the MODE button and UP arrow at the same time, holding them both down (3-5 sec) until 00 comes up on the screen. Then press the MODE button to select 04. At this point you will see a small 0 in the top right hand corner of the screen. Using the UP and DOWN arrows you can select 1 to enable the AUTO feature. After that last selection let the screen return to normal by not touching the buttons. You can now select the AUTO mode.

 

What Aprilaire unit should I use to replace my old 110 humidiifer?

Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
The 110 does not seem to perform as it should any longer and may need to replace it. What is a replacement that will fit the 110 opening on the furnace
 
Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding the replacement for your model 110. From an operational standpoint the model 700 would be the replacement for your 110. However, due to size differences there would be some resizing of the opening on your duct work.

Additionally, we recommend the installation be done by a licensed HVAC contractor. When installed by a licensed contractor, the units come with a 5 year warranty beginning on the date of installation. If you choose not to use a licensed contractor you risk voiding the 5 year warranty.

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.

 

UV lights? Okay with my Aprilaire?

Friday, March 2, 2012 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:
 
Will the aprilaire media's standup to UV lights? I know the honeywell's at one time would get holes in them within a few months. And if the aprilaire's are compatable how far away does the light need to be?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding our Aprilaire air cleaner filters. We do not recommend any exposure from UV light onto our filter media. Our filters are made of acrylic and polypropylene fibers that break down when exposed to UV light. This break down could lead to shortened filter life and lowered efficiency.

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.

will the aprilaire media's standup to UV lights? I know the honeywell's at one time would get holes in them within a few months. And if the aprilaire's are compatable how far away does the light need to be?