Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC said that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the United States. So what can you do to help make sure 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, nasal mucus, and lethargy. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or intensified 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 severe cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning solutions, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification devises, smoke, etc)
So all this information – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing sullied, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been irate and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? 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 troublesome ramifications. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Numerous 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 illness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be extremely 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 multiple other options to help clean your home’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help remove 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 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 device will help purify and decontaminate indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I choose 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 cause itchy skin, sinus ailments, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with illness, itchy skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this refreshing time. Since most of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s important 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 additional contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Guaranteeing they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family safe.
With the challenge 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 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 stationary and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying 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 every 60 minutes, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system 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 suggestions to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note 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.