Another message. Yes, another message about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the United States. So how do you help make sure 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, dry eyes, and lethargy. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or compounded 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 key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification devises, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this info – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing sullied, sickness-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 door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome outcomes. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you filter your air?
Several 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 family member with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to sickness. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are several other options to help clean your family’s air. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting 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, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their ventilation systems. A UV light system will help sanitize 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 literally the opposite of each other? Why would I want one over the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can lead to itchy skin, sinus illness, cracking wood and sore throats. Depending on the climate where you live, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with sickess, cracked skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since the majority of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s vital 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, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause more 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 shift to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated more thoroughly to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful 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 continuously 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 HVAC contractor. An expert heating and cooling company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional guidance to address these and other air concerns 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 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.