Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Influenza. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC said that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. 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, nasal mucus, and lethargy. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or exacerbated 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this info – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing contaminated, 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 regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable outcomes. 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 family member with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are multiple other options to help clean your home’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? 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 appliances can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from accumulating in your home. According to one study, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light device will help purify 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 literally the opposite of each other? Why would I want one rather than the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can cause itchy skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since a great amount of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the company to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family healthy.
With the shift to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated more thoroughly to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful 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 remaining inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system monitors 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, request a complete indoor air quality report from your HVAC contractor. An expert air conditioning 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 terrifying to know that your children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.