Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the US. So what can you do to help keep your family 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, dry eyes, and fatigue. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or intensified by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS said 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 key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, improperly maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification units, tobacco, etc)
So all this info – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing adulterated, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable 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 get for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are multiple other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From basic 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-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying contraptions can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from accumulating in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light unit 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 machines do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I install one over the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can lead to itchy skin, sinus sickness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your air, helping with illness, cracked skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since the majority of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s vital to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the service tech to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause extra contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones safe.
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 air systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a great 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 staying inside your home’s air – the air you 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 hour, reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, ask for a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning contractor. An expert A/C system company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional recommendations to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note 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.