Another message. Yes, another message about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the United States. So how do you help ensure your family is safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, dry eyes, and tiredness. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses 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 dire cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this info – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your family aren’t breathing sullied, sickness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been irate 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 annoying 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 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 house, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are many other options to help clean your family’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help remove 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 help stop 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 duct systems. A UV light system will help cleanse and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two things do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I want 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. Insufficient humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus ailments, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home, helping with sickess, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since the majority of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, 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 move around throughout your home. Guaranteeing they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family 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 air systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a lower amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become static and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are lingering inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next air conditioning tune-up, ask for 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 guidance to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your little ones are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that email from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.