Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. RSV. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the US. So how do you 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. 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 reported that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in severe cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning products, 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 contaminated, 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 a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your family, 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 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 help stop 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 ventilation 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 cause cracked skin, sinus ailments, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your air, helping with sickess, dry skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove 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 refreshing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air enters 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 more contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family safe.
With the shift to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated more thoroughly 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 your family breathes. 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, lowering 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 A/C contractor. An expert air conditioning company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional suggestions to address these and other air worries in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your sweet babies 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 keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.