Another note. Yes, another note about the illnesses 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 said that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the United States. 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 advance lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and lethargy. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning solutions, inadequately maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this info – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your family aren’t breathing sullied, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad 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 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?
Many 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 there aren’t any 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 many other options to help clean your family’s air. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help choose which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely producing high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying appliances can kill germs and even aid in stopping further germs from accruing 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 sanitize and disinfect indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two machines do precisely 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. Too little humidity can cause dry skin, sinus sickness, splitting 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, dry skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this time of renewal. Since the majority of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s vital to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, 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 extra 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 loved ones healthy.
With the challenge 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 comfortable. 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 stagnant and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every hour, reducing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next air conditioning tune-up, request a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning contractor. An expert AC 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 troubling to know that your children are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be as strong as possible.