Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV results in 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. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses 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, poorly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this info – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing sullied, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying 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 invest in 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 basic air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are many 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 giving off 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, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light device 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 literally the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one over 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. Not enough humidity can lead to dry skin, sinus sickness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home, helping with disease, itchy skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this time of renewal. 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 company to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional 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 hvac 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 staying 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 air conditioning 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 childs’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.