Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the USA. So what can you do to help ensure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can result in lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, dry eyes, and tiredness. Likewise, 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, smoke, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing contaminated, disease-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 you may regret ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying outcomes. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Several hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can buy 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 house, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency one.
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, see below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-huh? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely producing high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying appliances can kill germs and even help stop further germs from accruing in your home. According to one study, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light system will help purify and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two things 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. Too little humidity can result in cracked skin, sinus illness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your air, helping with disease, itchy skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since most of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones safe.
With the move to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated carefully and completely to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home enjoyable. 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 stationary and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are lingering inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each 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 air conditioning 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 kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.