Another message. Yes, another message about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So what do you do to help make sure your family is 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 lethargy. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or exacerbated 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 serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this info – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your family aren’t breathing adulterated, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 relieved? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying consequences. You filter your words for amity, 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 highly susceptible to sickness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are several other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying machines can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from building up 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 clean 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 choose one instead of the other? For home comfort, it’s recommended to have the humidity levels between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus sickness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with sickess, cracked skin, and warped 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 nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since most of our in-home air arrives 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 move around throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones safe.
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 hvac systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a lower amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become static and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are lingering inside your home’s air – the air you and your family 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 every 60 minutes, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, ask for 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 issues 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 email from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.