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News from the HIR Mailbox 4/20/20

Surprise, suprise. Our mail run today is heavy on innovations to combat a viral epidemic. Check out the new home-improvement products below.

Clean Mist Humidifiers Raising indoor relative humidity levels to between 40 and 60 percent can render 86 percent of airborne flu virus particles powerless, according to a recent study reported in the journal PLOS One by a team supported by the CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. When the air is too dry (below 40 percent relative humidity) droplets from a sneeze, cough or saliva spray will stay airborne and circulate for up to two hours, spreading the virus further and making it easy to breathe in. However, when using a cool mist humidifier and increasing the indoor humidity between 40 to 60 percent, the droplets may attach to the water molecules, which become too heavy and fall to the ground, thereby helping to reduce the amount of airborne germs and viruses. The extra humidity is the key.

Additionally, humidity in the home above 40 percent is recommended to help soothe symptoms of colds and flu. Doctors recommend ultrasonic technology cool mist humidifiers, which create ultra-small molecules of moisture that evenly distribute throughout the room. The Mayo Clinic states, however, that “If you use a humidifier, be sure to keep it clean to prevent mineral buildup and the growth of bacteria and molds. Humidifiers that hold standing water, particularly cool-mist humidifiers, can disperse these materials into the air.”

Look for an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier manufacturer that uses an antimicrobial inhibitor that is infused into the tank and base, such as Air Innovations Clean Mist Humidifiers. These humidifiers are infused with an antimicrobial inhibitor that helps prevent microbial growth on the surface of the tank and base, and have a permanent ceramic filter to trap other impurities. This means no gunk growing in the tank and low maintenance; the permanent ceramic filter is cleaned by just rinsing. Visit www.Air-Innovations.com.

Allergy Guard Screen

Allergy Guard can filter particles as small as 0.02 microns. According to the manufacturer, this makes blocking the coronavirus measuring 0.1-0.3 microns easy—the virus will be caught within the screen material before it can pass through into your home. The CDC mentions opening windows and enjoying fresh air as vital to one’s health and as a means to combat COVID-19; when Allergy Guard is installed, people can open their windows without worry. Additionally, this screening material can filter larger particles such as pollen, bacteria, fly ash, dust, dirt, pollutants and other harmful substances. As a result of the screen’s three-layer construction, it also provides excellent circulation (80% porosity), visibility, UV and heat protection, durability, corrosion resistance, and the screens are easy-to-clean. Visit MetroScreenworks.com.

Brink’s Hands-Free Door Hardware Brink’s Push Pull Rotate (“PPR”) door handles, knobs and levers are easy to install replacements for traditional doorknobs that allow hands-free access with a push of your elbow or bump with your hip. This provides a way to stay clear of frequently touched knobs, levers and handles that are classified by the CDC as “high-touch” surfaces and could pose an inherent risk. Paired with a connected lock with geolocation abilities (like the Array By Hampton Connected Deadbolt), users can enhance the hands-free capability so the deadbolt unlocks as they approach, hip-checking to enter. After they’re inside, the deadbolt can then be locked via voice command using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. Created by Hampton Products, Push Pull Rotate knobs and levers can be opened traditionally by turning or rotating, and in two new ways: Simply push in or pull out on the knob or lever to release the door latch. Visit www.BrinksPPR.com.

INOX Antimicrobial Coating for Door Hardware Available immediately, INOX now offers an antimicrobial coating for its line of stainless steel products, including door levers and pulls, deadbolts and push/pull plates. INOX MicroArmor Antimicrobial Coating is a powder coating infused with antimicrobial technology applied during the hardware’s manufacturing process and works to inhibit the growth and reproduction of harmful bacteria, mold and mildew by up to 99.9%. The coating contains silver ions that attach themselves to a microbe’s cellular enzyme to inhibit growth of the microbe, reducing its spread. The silver ions within the coating integrate with the product itself for around-the-clock protection that does not wash off or wear away. Visit inoxproducts.com.

Free Armstrong Flooring Samples for At-Home Shopping Armstrong Flooring is launching a program to ship free flooring samples directly to consumers, as well as new enhancements to its online Design-a-Room tool. “As people spend more time at home, it’s likely to spark ideas for their next home improvement project,” said Meredith Hafer, Director, Residential Marketing for Armstrong Flooring. “We want to make it convenient for homeowners to keep those plans moving forward, with free samples delivered right to their door.” Armstrong Flooring will ship up to three flooring samples for free. Upgrades to the company’s online Design-a-Room tool make it even more convenient to compare products and see how new flooring will look in their home. Customers can upload a photo of their own room and apply different flooring options using quick, convenient autofill functionality. Using the tool, customers can compare the look of floors by sliding back and forth between side-by-side images and even change wall colors in the room, choosing from a selection of Sherwin-Williams paint colors. Visit www.armstrongflooring.com.

SmartControl Fuel Container The innovative spout design of a SmartControl container makes it easier than ever to fuel equipment. The spout provides a clean, fast, and hassle-free pour and helps save gas for where it’s needed by eliminating messy spills. The user-controlled flow valve and FMD make it effortless and safe to direct the amount of fuel being dispensed. With a single motion, the user simply presses the lever up to unlock the child safety feature with the palm of the hand, and then squeezes the large button. This first squeeze is done when upright to vent the container. Then, place the nozzle over the tank and squeeze again to pour just the right amount of fuel. Visit www.scepter.com.

Diablo 6-1/2” Framing Blade with Tracking Point Tooth Design The new Diablo 6-1/2” 24-Tooth Tracking Point saw blade produces accurate, smooth cuts on framing materials without bogging down cordless power tools. Designed with the professional user in mind with the introduction of Tracking Point™, a “rudder” like tooth design that reduces vibration and tension, allowing for true, straight cuts from the first cut to the last. Its Perma-SHIELD™ nonstick coating and the super-thin kerf minimizes material removal and produces a fast, clean cut. According to the manufacturer, the new framing blades deliver up to 65% more cuts per charge in cordless saws. This 24-tooth framing blade is ideal for framers, roofers, remodelers, concrete formers or anyone who owns a saw that chews through nail-embedded wood. Visit www.diablotools.com.

Rockler Miter Gauge and Fence Rockler offers a sturdy, easy-to-set and highly precise miter gauge along with a telescoping aluminum fence that mounts to the new Rockler gauge or to other gauges on the market. The miter gauge has an aluminum head with an easy-to-read scale ranging from 0° to 70° in both directions, plus precision-machined positive stops at 0°, 15°, 22.5°, 30°, 45° and 60°. A spring-loaded stop locks into the notches that create the positive stops, and a machined hairline indicator makes it easy to set other angles. The gauge’s 18″ steel miter bar works in 3/4″ x 3/8″ standard and T-slot miter slots and features adjustable set screws for eliminating slop. As an accessory to the gauge, the backbone of the Rockler Miter Gauge Fence is a rigid 2-1/4″-tall x 1-1/8″-deep x 14″-long aluminum extrusion and a matching 2″-long telescoping extension that can be mounted on either side of the fence and adjusted to provide a total fence length ranging from 16″ to 24″. An included 3/4″-thick x 18″-long melamine-coated MDF fence face attaches to the extrusion with included hardware and can be extended beyond the fence to provide zero-clearance support for cleaner cuts. Visit www.rockler.com.

KronoSwiss Laminate Flooring Modeled to provide a real, rustic-looking natural wood flooring, the new KroniSwiss collection from Quality Wood Floors is called Grand Selection Origin, featuring six oversized-panel, abrasion-resistant color options. A popular choice in homes across the country for all traffic types, including bedrooms, living rooms, dining and kitchens, the laminate flooring is resilient and withstands highly-trafficked hotels, restaurants and commercial applications. A modern and attractive set of colors, the Grand Selection Origin collection is waterproof for 72 hours, and because of the Aquastop technology, the flooring can be used in bathrooms, laundry rooms and other spaces that attract water. Each plank is 14 mm thick, 80 inches long and 9.6 inches wide, making for one of the sturdiest planks in the industry. An abrasion score of AC5 puts this laminate in the highest scratch-resistance class. Visit www.qualitywoodfloorsinc.com.

KOVA Compact Appliances KOVA, the official building products brand of Katerra, has launched a line of compact appliances designed to deliver full-sized functionality in a 24-inch footprint at an affordable price. KOVA Compact Appliances offer maximum power and energy-efficient solutions for smaller spaces, with a suite of cohesively designed products including stainless steel wall ovens, refrigerators and vent hoods, each of which can be directly sourced from KOVA for an increased savings of up to 20%. All products meet the highest environmental and quality standards, including Energy Star, ETL and UL certification. Visit www.kovaproducts.com.

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