Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. RSV. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under 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 lead to lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and tiredness. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses 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 severe cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, poorly maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification devises, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing contaminated, sickness-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 awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying consequences. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Numerous 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 loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to sickness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are many other options to help clean your home’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart 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 remove airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off 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, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light device will help sanitize and disinfect indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two systems do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I install one over the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Not enough humidity can result in dry skin, sinus illness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home, helping with sickess, itchy skin, and warped 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 almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this rejuvenating 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, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones safe.
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 air 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 staying inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every hour, reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, ask for a complete indoor air quality report from your A/C contractor. An expert air conditioning 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 childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.