Another message. Yes, another message about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC said that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the USA. So what do you do to help make sure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can lead to lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and lethargy. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or worsened by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS reported 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 main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning solutions, poorly maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this info – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos aren’t breathing contaminated, sickness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been irate and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable consequences. You filter your words for peace, 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 invest in for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to sickness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be extremely 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 multiple other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help determine 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 emitting high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying appliances can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from collecting in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their air systems. A UV light unit will help purify and decontaminate 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 install one over the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can result in dry skin, sinus illness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your air, helping with disease, cracked skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since the majority of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones healthy.
With the challenge to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our hvac systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a lower amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become motionless and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are remaining inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every hour, decreasing 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 air conditioning contractor. An expert air conditioning company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional recommendations to address these and other air concerns 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 note from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.