Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the United States. So what do you do to help keep your family 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, nasal mucus, and lethargy. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or intensified by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS noted 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:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, tobacco, etc)
So all this info – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos aren’t breathing contaminated, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry 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 refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome ramifications. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Numerous 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 loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are several other options to help clean your home’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-who? 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 systems 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 device will help clean and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two things 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. Not enough humidity can cause cracked skin, sinus illness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your air, helping with disease, dry skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this refreshing time. Since the majority of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family safe.
With the move 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 cooling systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful 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 lingering inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next Precision tune-up, inquire about 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 recommendations to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s terrifying to know that your kids 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.