Another email. Yes, another email about the illnesses going around your kids’ school. Croup. Strep. Stomach bug. Respiratory syncytial virus. Just looking at the words is enough to send mommies and daddies into a panic. The CDC reported that RSV results in an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under 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 lead to lung diseases such as asthma and also cause headaches, nasal mucus, and lethargy. Additionally, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all sicknesses are either caused or aggravated 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 serious cases, 1000 times more polluted. There are two main causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutant sources (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification systems, tobacco, etc)
So all this information – what does it mean? What do you do? How can you make sure you and your kids aren’t breathing sullied, sickness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been livid and had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something awful ? That’s a filter. Have you ever used water from the refrigerator door and had your thirst immediately relieved? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying outcomes. You filter your words for amity, you filter your water for health, why not filter your air?
Numerous 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 family member with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to disease. Even if nobody has respiratory issues in your house, you’ll be instantly surprised by the almost instant change from a basic 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 keep your home’s air clean. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, review the chart below to help determine which air filtration and purification system is right for your home.
Help Control Germs With Germicidal Systems
Germi-what? 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 machines can kill germs and even assist in stopping further germs from accruing in your home. According to one study, nearly one of five people with allergies suffer from exposure to fungi and bacteria in their duct 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 systems do literally the opposite of each other? Why would I choose one over 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 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 perfect amount of moisture to your air, helping with sickess, itchy skin, and warped wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers pull out moisture from your home, helping to stop bacteria growth, and improving indoor comfort considerably.
Don’t Dismiss Duct Cleaning
It’s almost spring and that means spring cleaning! Don’t forget your ducts during this rejuvenating time. Since most of our in-home air arrives through our duct system, it’s important 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, too. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional 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 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 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 you breathe. 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 every hour, decreasing the concentration of airborne contaminants.
Get A Home Health Report
During your next Precision tune-up, ask for 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 issues in your home.
So, yes, it’s frightening to know that your little ones are being exposed to scary respiratory diseases but next time you get that note from your little ones’ school, wash their hands, cover their cough, and invest in a system to help your indoor air quality be the best it can be.