Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Influenza. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. So how do you help keep your family safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can result in lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and fatigue. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or compounded 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 main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, poorly maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification systems, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing sullied, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Many 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 extremely susceptible to illness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a basic 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 basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see 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 remove airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting 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 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 air systems. A UV light system will help purify and decontaminate indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two machines do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I install one rather than the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can result in dry skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with sickess, cracked skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to eliminate 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 neglect your ducts during this time of renewal. Since a great amount 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 technician to check for duct leaks, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and flow throughout your home. Making sure 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 more thoroughly to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful 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 stuck inside your home’s air – the air you 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 each hour, 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 air conditioning contractor. An expert heating and cooling company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional suggestions to address these and other air concerns in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note 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.