Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. 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 little ones younger than five 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, nasal mucus, and tiredness. 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 dire cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning solutions, improperly maintained or unsanitary heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing sullied, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 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 not filter your air?
Many 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 highly susceptible to sickness. Even if there aren’t any respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a regular air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
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 keep your home’s air clean. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? 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 devices can kill germs and even help stop further germs from collecting in your home. According to one study, roughly one out of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct systems. A UV light unit will help clean and decontaminate indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two machines do exactly 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. Not enough humidity can cause itchy skin, sinus sickness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the ideal amount of moisture to your air, helping with illness, cracked skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this time of renewal. Since a great amount of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the company to check for duct leaks, also. 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 loved ones safe.
With the move 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 cooling systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a great thing, but it also means a lower amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become motionless and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air you and your family 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, reducing 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 air conditioning 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 terrifying to know that your kids are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that message 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.