Another message. Yes, another message about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Influenza. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC said that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the US. So what can you do to help keep your family 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 tiredness. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or aggravated 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 main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing adulterated, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 dispenser and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying ramifications. You filter your words for harmony, 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 invest in for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to disease. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a regular air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are many other options to help clean your family’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-huh? 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 accumulating in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light system will help cleanse and disinfect indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I install 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. Too little humidity can lead to cracked skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with sickess, dry skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this refreshing time. Since most of our in-home air arrives 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 technician to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Guaranteeing they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family 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 comfortable. 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 remaining inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly 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 air conditioning tune-up, request a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning contractor. An expert AC 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 children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that message from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.