Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC said that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the United States. So what can you do to help keep your family safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and fatigue. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or exacerbated by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS said 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:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, poorly maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification units, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing sullied, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been livid and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable consequences. You filter your words for amity, 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 purchase for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to sickness. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are multiple other options to help clean your home’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help remove airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying appliances can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from building up 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 cleanse and decontaminate indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two things do literally 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. Not enough humidity can lead to cracked 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 right amount of moisture to your air, helping with disease, dry skin, and warped 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 practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this time of renewal. Since the majority of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the service tech to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra 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 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 air 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 stagnant 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 air conditioning tune-up, inquire about a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning contractor. An expert A/C system company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional recommendations 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 childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.