Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Flu. RSV. Just seeing 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 kids five and under 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 advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, dry eyes, and lethargy. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning solutions, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing contaminated, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been irate 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 satisfied? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid unpleasant consequences. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Numerous 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 highly susceptible to disease. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a regular 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 several other options to help clean your family’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? 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 ventilation systems. A UV light unit 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 machines do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one over 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 perfect amount of moisture to your home, helping with sickess, itchy skin, and deformed wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove 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 forget your ducts during this refreshing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air enters 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 service tech to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your loved ones safe.
With the challenge to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated carefully and completely to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a good 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 remaining inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. 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 every 60 minutes, decreasing 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 issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying 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.