Another note. Yes, another note about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. RSV. Just seeing the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the US. So what do you do to help ensure your family is 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, 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 said that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your loved ones aren’t breathing sullied, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been livid 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 door and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable outcomes. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Numerous hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can get for your home if you have someone living there 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 one.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are multiple other options to help clean your family’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help choose 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 producing high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying contraptions can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from accruing in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light device will help purify and decontaminate 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 rather than the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Not enough humidity can lead to dry skin, sinus ailments, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, chances are you 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 take away moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this time of renewal. Since a great amount of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s vital 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. 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 better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our hvac systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a great thing, but it also means a decreased amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stagnant 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 constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every hour, decreasing 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 air conditioning 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 worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your little ones are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.