Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Influenza. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among children under five each year in the United States. 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 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 said that air within homes and buildings can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and in drastic cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, poorly maintained or unclean 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 loved ones aren’t breathing contaminated, disease-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, 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 invest in for your home if you have a family member with a low immune system or someone who’s extremely susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has 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 sure if a high-grade air filtration system is the best system for you, there are several other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From regular air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see below to help decide which air filtration and purification system is right for your family.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-who? Germicidal UV Light Systems help reduce airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely producing 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 building up 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 device will help sanitize and sterilize indoor air to help you reach the highest air quality possible.
Optimize Moisture with Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers
Um, don’t those two machines do precisely the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one over the other? For home comfort, humidity levels should be between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can cause dry skin, sinus illness, splitting wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, you most likely have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home, helping with sickess, dry skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s nearly spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t neglect your ducts during this time of renewal. Since most of our in-home air arrives 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, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause more 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 better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and air systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful 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 remaining inside your home’s air – the air your family breathes. An air ventilation system monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continuously brings the required air replacement. This can add 5% to 10% more fresh air every 60 minutes, lowering the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next Precision tune-up, request a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning contractor. An expert heating and cooling 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 little ones 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.