Another message. Yes, another message about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Influenza. 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 USA. So what do you do to 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, nausea, and tiredness. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or intensified 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 drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning agents, poorly maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your loved ones aren’t breathing contaminated, sickness-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something you may regret ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s due to a 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 get for your home if you have a family member 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 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 keep your home’s air clean. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help determine 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, 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 clean and decontaminate 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 install one instead of the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can lead to itchy skin, sinus sickness, splitting 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 sickess, cracked skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this time of renewal. Since the majority of our in-home air comes 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 company to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause more 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 children 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 cooling systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a great thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stationary and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly 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, inquire about a complete indoor air quality report from your A/C contractor. An expert air conditioning 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 frightening to know that your kids 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 help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.