Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and daddies 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 United States. So what can you do to 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 noted that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning solutions, poorly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, smoke, etc)
So all this information – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your family aren’t breathing sullied, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been irate 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 satisfied? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable ramifications. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Several hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can buy for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to illness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are several other options to help clean your home’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-huh? 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 accumulating in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light device 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 exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I want one over 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 result in itchy skin, sinus ailments, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
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 most of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s crucial 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, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Guaranteeing 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 better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a great thing, but it also means a reduced 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 detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly 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, ask for a complete indoor air quality report from your HVAC 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 sweet babies 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.