Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Flu. RSV. Just looking at the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. So what do you do to help keep your family 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 illnesses are either caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS noted that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in severe cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant substances (cleaning products, improperly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, smoke, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your loved ones aren’t breathing contaminated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been angry and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid troublesome ramifications. You filter your words for amity, you filter your water for health, why wouldn’t you 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 disease. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are many other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off 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, 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 disinfect 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 install one rather than the other? For home comfort, suggested humidity levels are between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can lead to dry skin, sinus ailments, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with disease, cracked skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to stop 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 refreshing time. Since a great amount of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mold, 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 circulate throughout your home. Making sure they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your children safe.
With the shift to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a great thing, but it also means a reduced 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 detects indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly 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 air conditioning 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 guidance 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 message 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.