Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Flu. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC said that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the United States. So what can you do to help keep your family safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can advance 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 intensified 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 severe cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing contaminated, sickness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry 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 relieved? 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 invest in 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 aren’t any respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard 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 basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? 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 machines can kill germs and even aid 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 duct systems. A UV light system will help clean 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 precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one instead of the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can lead to dry skin, sinus ailments, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, 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, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this refreshing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s important to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician 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 children healthy.
With the shift 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 pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a decreased 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 constantly 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 Precision tune-up, inquire about 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 issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s troubling to know that your little ones 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 keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.