Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses 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 children under five each year in the USA. 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, nausea, and fatigue. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or worsened 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:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning products, poorly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing sullied, virus-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 door of a refrigerator 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 harmony, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Several hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can buy for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are many 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 you.
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 contraptions can kill germs and even help stop 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 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 want 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, cracking 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 air, helping with illness, itchy skin, and contorted 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 nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since most 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 company 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 family 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 great thing, but it also means a lower 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, lowering the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next Precision tune-up, request 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 recommendations to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening 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.