Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. 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 United States. So what can you do to help ensure 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 fatigue. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses 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 serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, improperly maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing contaminated, disease-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 awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, 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 someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to sickness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be very 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 multiple other options to help clean your family’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help choose 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 producing high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying systems can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from building up in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their air systems. A UV light system will help cleanse 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 precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I install one rather than 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. Insufficient humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus illness, fractured 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, helping with disease, dry skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this refreshing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s vital to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, 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 additional contaminants to enter your air and circulate 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 carefully and completely to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home pleasant. 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 motionless 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 every hour, lowering 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 guidance to address these and other air worries 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 message from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.