Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC said that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So what can you do to help keep your family 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. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or compounded 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 leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning products, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this info – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing contaminated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant consequences. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Several 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 family member with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are several other options to help clean your home’s air. From standard 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 contraptions can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from accruing 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 device will help cleanse and decontaminate indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two machines do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I install 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 lead to itchy skin, sinus sickness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your air, helping with illness, dry skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out 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 enters 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 technician to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and flow 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 better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a lower 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 your family breathes. An air ventilation system observes 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 A/C system tune-up, request a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning contractor. An expert heating and cooling 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 kids are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email 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.