Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So what do 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, nausea, and tiredness. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or worsened 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 agents, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, smoke, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing sullied, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 troublesome outcomes. You filter your words for amity, 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 someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to illness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are multiple other options to help clean your home’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
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 appliances can kill germs and even help stop further germs from accumulating 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 unit 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 literally 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. Not enough humidity can cause cracked skin, sinus illness, splitting 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, helping with disease, itchy 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 time of renewal. Since most of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s vital 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 extra contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Guaranteeing they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children healthy.
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 motionless and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are remaining inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every 60 minutes, lowering 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 HVAC 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 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 message 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.