Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the USA. So how do you help ensure 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. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or worsened 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing contaminated, illness-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 door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant ramifications. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Many 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 illness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a regular 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, read below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely producing high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying systems can kill germs and even help stop further germs from building up in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light system will help clean 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 exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I want one rather than 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 result in dry skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your air, helping with disease, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since a great amount 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 technician to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Making sure 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 cooling systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a good 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 remaining inside your home’s air – the air you 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 every 60 minutes, decreasing 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 A/C system company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional guidance to address these and other air concerns in your home.
So, yes, it’s troubling to know that your little ones are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note 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.