Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the USA. So what can you do to help make sure 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 tiredness. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or compounded 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 drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning products, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification devises, smoke, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos aren’t breathing sullied, sickness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have 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 because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying ramifications. You filter your words for peace, 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 invest in for your home if you have someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a standard 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 home’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart 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 remove airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying appliances 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 duct systems. A UV light system will help purify 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 exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one instead of the other? For home comfort, it’s recommended to have the humidity levels 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 the climate where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home, helping with illness, dry skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since the majority of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s important 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 move around throughout your home. Guaranteeing 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 better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home pleasant. 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 you and your family breathe. 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, request 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 issues 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 email from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.