Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. RSV. Just seeing the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the US. So what do 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 fatigue. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or exacerbated 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 dire cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning solutions, poorly maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this data – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing contaminated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, you have 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 door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately quenched? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, 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 purchase for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to disease. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a regular air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are multiple other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help remove airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying appliances 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 machines do exactly the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one instead of 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 cause cracked skin, sinus sickness, cracking 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 home’s air, helping with disease, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this revitalizing 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, 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 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 healthy.
With the shift to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated more thoroughly to make sure air isn’t escaping while our hvac systems work to keep our home comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a lower amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stagnant and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and constantly 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 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 suggestions to address these and other air issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your kids 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 as strong as possible.