Another email. Yes, another email about the diseases going around your kids’ school. Whooping Cough. Strep. Influenza. RSV - Respiratory syncytial virus. Just seeing the words is enough to send moms and dads into a panic. The CDC said that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among little ones younger than five each year in the USA. So what do you do to help keep your family 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, dry eyes, and tiredness. Likewise, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or compounded 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 severe 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, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what is it for? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your children aren’t breathing adulterated, virus-inducing air?
Luckily, there are options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been mad and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something you may regret ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator dispenser and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s because of a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid miserable outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, you filter your water for health, why shouldn’t you filter your air?
Many 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 family member with a low immune system or someone who’s highly susceptible to illness. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your home, you’ll be immediately surprised by the almost instant change from a standard air filter to a High Efficiency system.
If you’re not interested in such a high-grade air filtration system, there are many other options to help clean your home’s air. From basic 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-huh? 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 appliances can kill germs and even aid in stopping 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 air systems. A UV light system will help clean and decontaminate 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 want one rather than 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, fractured wood and sore throats. Depending on where you live, chances are you have too much or too little humidity.
Humidifiers add the right amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with sickess, dry skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from your home, helping to destroy bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort significantly.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s practically spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t exclude your ducts during this refreshing 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 company 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. Guaranteeing 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 comfortable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a reduced amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become motionless and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are stuck inside your home’s air – the air you and your family breathe. An air ventilation system observes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and continually 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 A/C system tune-up, ask for a complete indoor air quality report from your air conditioning 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 concerns 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 email from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.