Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So how do you help make sure 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, dry eyes, and tiredness. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or worsened by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS said that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning solutions, inadequately maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos aren’t breathing sullied, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been livid 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 due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome consequences. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Many hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can buy for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to sickness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be extremely 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 many other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see 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 emitting high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying appliances can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from collecting in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their air systems. A UV light device will help cleanse and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two machines do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I install 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. Insufficient humidity can lead to itchy skin, sinus sickness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate 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, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this time of renewal. Since most of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician 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. Confirming 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 hvac 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 stagnant and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system detects 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 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 guidance to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s troubling to know that your children 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.