Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC said that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the USA. So what do you do to help ensure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or exacerbated by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS said that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this data – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing adulterated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant outcomes. You filter your words for amity, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Numerous hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can invest in for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to illness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are several other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying contraptions can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from accruing in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light device will help clean and disinfect indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one instead of the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus illness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since most of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s vital to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the company to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Guaranteeing they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children safe.
With the move to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated more thoroughly to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a great thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stagnant and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are remaining inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every hour, lowering the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, ask for a complete indoor air quality report from your A/C contractor. An expert heating and cooling company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional guidance to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your little ones are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that message from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.