Another message. Yes, another message about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Stomach bug. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC said that RSV results in 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, nasal mucus, and lethargy. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or aggravated 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 drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification units, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? 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 angry 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 not 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 very 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 many other options to help clean your family’s air. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine 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 systems 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 unit will help purify and sterilize 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 choose one instead of 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 cracked skin, sinus ailments, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on what climate you live in, 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 eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since the majority of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s important 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, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional contaminants to enter your air and circulate throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family 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 lingering inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. 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 each hour, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next A/C system tune-up, request 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 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 the best it can be.