Another message. Yes, another message about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Flu. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV causes an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under 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 result in 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 diseases are either caused or intensified 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 serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two primary causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning products, poorly maintained or unclean heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this data – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children 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 regrettable ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the door of a refrigerator and had your thirst immediately satisfied? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying consequences. You filter your words for peace, 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 invest in for your home if you have someone living there with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to sickness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a regular air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are several other options to help clean your home’s air. From basic air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, read below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely emitting 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 accruing in your home. According to one study, almost 20% of people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their air 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 literally 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. Insufficient humidity can result in itchy skin, sinus illness, cracking 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 air, helping with disease, cracked skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort immensely.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since most of our in-home air enters through our duct system, it’s crucial to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the company to check for duct leaks, also. Leaks in the duct system can cause more 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 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 pleasant. Energy-efficiency is a good thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become static and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are lingering 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, request a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning contractor. An expert AC company like Service Experts will provide a copy of your report with professional guidance to address these and other air concerns in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your sweet babies 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 as strong as possible.