Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at 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 kids five and under each year in the US. So what can you do to help ensure your family is 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 fatigue. 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 reported that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in dire cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, improperly maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your loved ones aren’t breathing contaminated, sickness-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 troublesome ramifications. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’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 family, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency one.
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 standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help remove airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying systems can kill germs and even aid in stopping 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 duct 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 systems do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I want 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. Insufficient humidity can lead to itchy skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and deformed 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 nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since the majority of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional 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 children safe.
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 cooling systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a great 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 staying inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every hour, lowering 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 HVAC contractor. An expert AC 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 frightening to know that your sweet babies are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that message 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.