Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the USA. So what can you do to help make sure 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, dry eyes, and lethargy. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or exacerbated 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this data – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing adulterated, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, there are 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 door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying 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 get for your home if you have someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to illness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a regular 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 regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for you.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-huh? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying devices can kill germs and even aid 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 air systems. A UV light system will help purify and disinfect indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two things do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I want one over the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Too little humidity can result in dry skin, sinus ailments, 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 air, helping with disease, dry skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since the majority of our in-home air comes 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, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause more contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children 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 air systems work to keep our home enjoyable. 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 stationary and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually 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 air conditioning 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 concerns 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 email from your kids’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.