Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. So how do you help keep your family 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 tiredness. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or compounded 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 drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning agents, poorly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing contaminated, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad 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 relieved? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying outcomes. 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 purchase for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to disease. Even if there aren’t any 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 basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see 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 giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying contraptions can kill germs and even help stop further germs from collecting 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 device will help clean and decontaminate 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 over 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 lead to dry skin, sinus illness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this refreshing 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, mildew, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the company to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and circulate 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 more thoroughly to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a decreased amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become static and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are remaining inside your home’s air – the air you 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 every 60 minutes, 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 heating and cooling company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional guidance 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 the best it can be.