Another email. Yes, another email about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing 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 children under five each year in the US. So what can you do to help keep your family safe?
Understand Indoor Air Pollution
The CDC warns that poor indoor air quality can result in lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, dry eyes, and tiredness. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or compounded 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 serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning solutions, inadequately maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification units, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kiddos aren’t breathing sullied, virus-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 awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable outcomes. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Numerous hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can invest in for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to sickness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency unit.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are several other options to help clean your family’s air. From standard 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 systems 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 cleanse 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 precisely 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 result in itchy skin, sinus sickness, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you probably have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the perfect amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with sickess, itchy skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this revitalizing time. Since most of our in-home air arrives 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 extra contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Making sure 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 air systems work to keep our home enjoyable. 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 stuck inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air each hour, lowering 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 A/C 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 troubling 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.