Another note. Yes, another note about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the USA. 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, nausea, and fatigue. Likewise, 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 primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing sullied, virus-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 awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant ramifications. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Many hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can invest in 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 house, 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 keep your home’s air clean. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
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 systems can kill germs and even assist 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 ventilation 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 things do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one over 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. Too little humidity can result in dry skin, sinus ailments, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, 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 warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
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 a great amount of our in-home air enters 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, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones healthy.
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 cooling systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a great 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 staying inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system detects 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, decreasing 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 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 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 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.