Another message. Yes, another message about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five 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 tiredness. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or worsened 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 leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing contaminated, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, there are 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 door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome consequences. You filter your words for harmony, 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 get for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to disease. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a regular air filter to a High Efficiency system.
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 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 machines can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from building up in your home. According to one study, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their air systems. A UV light unit 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 literally the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one rather than the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus sickness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your home, helping with illness, itchy skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this refreshing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air comes 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, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra 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 children healthy.
With the move 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 great thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become motionless and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly 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 Precision tune-up, ask for a complete indoor air quality report from your A/C contractor. An expert air conditioning 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 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.