Another note. Yes, another note about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC reported 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 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, dry eyes, and lethargy. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or aggravated 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 leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning agents, poorly maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing contaminated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something regrettable ? 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 unpleasant consequences. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Several 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 highly susceptible to disease. 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 one.
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 keep your home’s air clean. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
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 devices can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from accruing 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 system 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 machines do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I install one instead of 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. Not enough humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this refreshing time. Since the majority of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s vital to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the service tech to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Guaranteeing they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children safe.
With the move 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 cooling systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a decreased 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 breathe. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously 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 A/C system company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional recommendations to address these and other air concerns in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your kids are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.