Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Influenza. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. So what do you do to help make sure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can lead to lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nausea, and tiredness. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or intensified 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 key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or unclean 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 children aren’t breathing sullied, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have 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 refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Several 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 someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to disease. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are several other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-huh? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease 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 help stop further germs from collecting in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation 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 machines do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I choose 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. Insufficient humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus ailments, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home, helping with disease, cracked skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since the majority 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 technician to check for duct leaks, too. 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 family safe.
With the move 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 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 stationary 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 constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every hour, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next air conditioning tune-up, inquire about 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 suggestions to address these and other air concerns 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 message from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.