Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV. Just seeing the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. So how do you help keep your family safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, dry eyes, and tiredness. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or exacerbated 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning solutions, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing contaminated, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been livid 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 satisfied? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant consequences. You filter your words for amity, 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 someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to illness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are many other options to help clean your home’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read 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 remove 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 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 unit will help clean and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two things do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I want one instead of 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 cause cracked skin, sinus ailments, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your air, helping with sickess, dry skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air comes 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, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family healthy.
With the challenge 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 comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a good 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 remaining 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 each hour, decreasing 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 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 issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.