Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the US. So how do you 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, dry eyes, and lethargy. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or exacerbated by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS noted that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification devises, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this information – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos aren’t breathing sullied, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been irate and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant ramifications. You filter your words for amity, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Many hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can get for your home if you have someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to disease. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a regular air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are several other options to help clean your family’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying devices can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from accruing in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light unit will help cleanse and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two machines do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I want one over the other? For home comfort, it’s recommended to have the humidity levels between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can cause dry skin, sinus sickness, 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 ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this refreshing time. Since the majority of our in-home air enters 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, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children safe.
With the shift 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 cooling 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 stationary and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously 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 air conditioning tune-up, request 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 recommendations to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.