Another note. Yes, another note about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the United States. So what do you do to help ensure 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, nausea, and lethargy. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or compounded 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 extreme cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two leading causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning products, poorly maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, cigarette smoke, etc)
So all this data – so what? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your little ones aren’t breathing contaminated, sickness-inducing air?
Luckily, we have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been enraged 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 quenched? That’s the filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying consequences. You filter your words for peace, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Several hospitals use a high-efficiency air filtration system called HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air), which you can get for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to illness. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be very surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are multiple other options to help clean your family’s air. From regular 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-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 systems can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from accumulating 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 device 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 things do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I install one instead of the other? For home comfort, it’s recommended to have the humidity levels between 35% and 50%. Too much humidity can cause microbes, condensation and even wood damage. Insufficient humidity can lead to itchy skin, sinus sickness, cracking 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’s air, helping with disease, dry skin, and contorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home, helping to eliminate bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort a great deal.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this time of renewal. Since most of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s vital to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, microbes, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the service tech 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 family 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 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 static and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air you breathe. An air ventilation system detects 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, reducing 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 A/C system 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 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.