Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the United States. 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 lead to lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and fatigue. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or intensified 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 severe cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning products, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, smoke, etc)
So all this information – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing adulterated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry 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 door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Numerous hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can buy for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency system.
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 standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? 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 devices can kill germs and even help stop further germs from accumulating 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 unit will help sanitize and decontaminate indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I want one instead of the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Not enough humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your air, helping with illness, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this time of renewal. Since a great amount of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s vital 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 additional contaminants to enter your air and move around 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 hvac systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful 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 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 Precision 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 suggestions to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s troubling to know that your children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.