Another note. Yes, another note about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Influenza. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC reported 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 result in lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, dry eyes, and lethargy. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or worsened 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 drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification devises, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this information – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your loved ones aren’t breathing contaminated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry 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 quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant ramifications. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Many hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can get for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to illness. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are many other options to help clean your home’s air. From basic 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 reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying systems can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from collecting in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light unit 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 literally the opposite of each other? Why would I want one rather than 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 lead to dry skin, sinus illness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home, helping with illness, cracked skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this rejuvenating 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, microbes, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the service tech to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional 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 children healthy.
With the shift 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 pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a decreased amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stagnant and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, reducing 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 A/C 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 kids are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that message from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.