Another message. Yes, another message about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV. Just reading 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 United States. So how do you help make sure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and fatigue. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or worsened 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 dire cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification systems, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing adulterated, virus-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 awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying ramifications. You filter your words for amity, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you 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 extremely susceptible to sickness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are many other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From standard 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 accruing 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 sanitize and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I want one instead of the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Not enough humidity can cause dry skin, sinus illness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate 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, cracked skin, and deformed 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 neglect 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 service tech to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Guaranteeing 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 carefully and completely to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a great 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 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 continually brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, lowering 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 AC company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional recommendations to address these and other air concerns in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.