Another note. Yes, another note about the sicknesses going around your kids’ school. Bronchitis. Strep. Influenza. RSV. Just reading the words is enough to send mamas and dadas into a panic. The CDC announced that RSV leads to an average of 57,527 hospitalizations among kids five and under each year in the United States. So what do you do to help keep your family 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 fatigue. In fact, the American College of Allergists report that 50% of all diseases are either caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. The Texas DSHS reported 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 key causes of poor indoor air quality:
- Pollutants (cleaning agents, inadequately maintained or dirty heating and cooling or humidification devises, cigarette smoke, 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, illness-inducing air?
Luckily, you have options.
Get Proactive On Air Filtration
Have you ever been irate 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 quenched? That’s due to a filter. Filters keep toxicity in check and avoid annoying outcomes. You filter your words for harmony, 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 invest in for your home if you have a loved one with a low immune system or someone who’s very susceptible to illness. Even if there are no respiratory issues in your family, you’ll be extremely surprised by the almost instant change from a basic air filter to a High Efficiency one.
If you don’t feel like a high-grade air filtration system is right for your home, there are multiple other options to help keep your home’s air clean. From standard air cleaners to electronic air cleaners, see 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 decrease airborne biological contaminants – germs – by safely giving off high intensity UV light from within your home’s air flow system. These bacteria-destroying machines can kill germs and even help stop 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 air systems. A UV light unit 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 precisely 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. Not enough humidity can lead to itchy 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 right amount of moisture to your home’s air, helping with illness, itchy skin, and distorted wood furniture and instruments. Dehumidifiers take away 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 revitalizing time. Since the majority of our in-home air comes through our duct system, it’s vital to keep it from getting dirty with bacteria, mildew, and dust. When you have your ducts cleaned, ask the technician to check for duct leaks, as well. Leaks in the duct system can cause additional contaminants to enter your air and move around throughout your home. Confirming they are clean and maintained will help keep your air clean and your family safe.
With the challenge to become more energy-efficient, homes are often sealed tighter and insulated better to make sure air isn’t escaping while our heating and cooling systems work to keep our home enjoyable. Energy-efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it also means a decreased amount of airflow, less circulation, and reduced movement. This can cause the air to become stagnant and contaminants (indoor air pollution) are staying 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 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 HVAC 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 concerns in your home.
So, yes, it’s troubling to know that your children 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 keep your indoor air quality as strong as possible.