Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the United States. So how do you 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, nasal mucus, and fatigue. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or exacerbated by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS noted that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in dire cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning products, poorly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos 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 quenched? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant ramifications. You filter your words for amity, you filter your water for health, why not 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 loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to illness. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are many other options to help clean your home’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce 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 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 ventilation systems. A UV light system 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 things do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one instead of 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 cracked skin, sinus ailments, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home, helping with illness, cracked 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 almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since a great amount 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, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Guaranteeing 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 more thoroughly to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become static and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, 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 A/C 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 worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.