Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses 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 said that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under 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 reported 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:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this info – 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 you may regret ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door 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 keep your home’s air clean. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying devices 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 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 machines do exactly 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 cause cracked skin, sinus sickness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your air, helping with sickess, cracked skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget 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 circulate throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children healthy.
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 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 your family breathes. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every 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 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 concerns 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.